Eat Local Miami 

 
 
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1418 Ocean Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Put down your soggy cornflakes and rush to Ocean Drive for a breakfast you won’t forget-- and I’m not talking $20 Cheerios!  Bye-Bye soggy cereal, hello Front Porch Café!


I'm absolutely obsessed with breakfast food and the fact that I will wait 20 minutes in Miami’s scorching sun for a table here, is proof that this place is all the rage.


I love my Cuban Toast and Café con Leche, but when you’re in the mood for bacon, eggs and fluffy pancakes, you’ve got to come here.



At the Front Porch, you can either sit outside on the front patio or inside. T
he menu is big with everything from tons of breakfast food like omelets, pancakes, several kinds of eggs benedict, burritos, frittatas, salads, sandwiches- you name it, they make it.

I ordered the California omelet chock full of ripe avocado and tomatoes and one of the best chocolate-chip banana pancakes ever. The portions are huge, so you can share too!

The prices weren’t too bad—about $10-15 per plate. Some people may think it’s a bit too pricey for breakfast, but the portions make up for it. And if you’re not too big on portions, the people- watching is fab here. It’s a great place to bring guests or just to enjoy a fabulous morning meal by the water while you sip a cool mimosa.

Absolutely the best American breakfast in Miami - bar none. It was huge, and I was enormously full before I had finished it, but you can bet I ate every bite. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
 
 
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In just a 40 minute drive, you can be in Ireland. That’s right. Ireland.

When you just want to toss back a few cold ones without having to deal with all the uppity nonsense of the South Beach nightlife, take a drive to the Field. This cozy shack in Dania will have you wondering if you’re in Broward or Donegal County.

Built around a massive but gorgeous tree, this quaint spot sports real bar stools, benches, tables and floors. If you get a chance, don’t sit at the bar… take a seat on the elevated platform. There are some really neat barrels to sit on with a perfect view of the band. Best of all, dim-lighted chandeliers grace the ceiling providing just the right amount of light so you don’t spill your Guinness. But enough about the décor…

Two red-headed sluts later (the drink) lol, and I was ready to try some of the menu’s highlights. If you’re going to have an appetizer, start with the sausage pastries--two golden and flaky puff pastries loaded with sausage on the inside…  Some friends had the wings which were pretty tasty but be warned they carry a spicy kick! An order of coconut shrimp was placed, but my pregnant friend Mia would have to give it a rating… I would guess great since she and baby- to- be left no morsel behind… Hmmm….

The main dishes were to die for. Rave reviews for all the dishes we tried. The Prime Rib—a spectacular hit with the guys and the Gaelic Steak, a superb cut full of flavor. The prices were not too bad either… Each meal was about 20-22… an excellent price for such scrumptious meals.

And who can forget about dessert? Not I! Seeing that our table was divided between chocolate fiends and vanillaholics, it was no surprise that two different sweets were ordered—the chocolate cake and the to-die-for—Whisky Crème Brule…mmmm. If only I didn’t have to share!

 
 
 
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You have always known that your an epicurean. Let's face it-- a Gourmet God or Goddess, but you just can't afford to thrown down big bucks at every meal...

I feel you. As much as I love, adore, ravish food, I can't always afford all these fab places all the time too. That's where Miami Spice comes in... I wait for it every year. That special time of the year where I can eat at the greatest spots for what me and my guy spend on Sportsgrill's wings and beer!

And for a little while, you can feel free to indulge too; Miami Spice offers gourmet dining at a price you can actually afford.

Some of Miami's finest restaurants roll out a prix-fixe menu, offering three-course lunches for $22 and three-course dinners for $35. Sample some of that top-notch cooking you've been depriving yourself while you're "between jobs", between girlfriends or boyfriends or just in the mood to splurge!

Although it contines into September, there are certain places where the books have filled up fast. Make sure you get reservations way in advance if you want to dine at  Emeril’s, Hakkasan, DeVito, or Scarpetta.

Oh, and if you need a dining buddy, I can suggest a great one: Me!

For a full list of participating restaurants, visit
ilovemiamispice.com.
 
 
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Let's Dicuss this ... Leave your thoughts on my Bite Me Section...

On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney stated that “evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer,” thereby changing the official position of the United States Public Health Service. This small but significant move opened the door to regulation of Big Tobacco, beginning a battle that came to a head last week with the FDA being granted the most power over the industry to date.


More than half a century later, Michael Pollen sheds light on another industry wreaking havoc on our nation—Big Food. His film, Food Inc. reveals the dysfunction our current food system. Highlighting the obesity epidemic and the constant threat of contaminated food,  makes sure to let us know that we have a problem as big as smoking: an addiction to cheap, unhealthy food perpetuated by an industry intent on maximizing profits at the expense of our health and our land.

Watch the film. It will change the way you think about those Cheetos you snack on during your favorite show or the burghers you snarfed this weekend. But most important it will make you want to take action. We need to get together and demand that our current food system be reformed. We cannot allow these companies to reap profits while our country’s waistlines thicken and our health declines.

But being part of a sustainable solution is not in Big Food’s interest. Instead, they continually deny the correlation between obesity and fast food as “junk science.” Remember Big Tobacco? They spent years insisting that there wasn’t enough evidence that smoking caused lung cancer. The results were that millions of people had to die before the government acted.

Good health, food safety and sustainability will never exist in our current food system because Big Food is standing in the way. There are too many politicians that have ties to the industry and there is unfortunately too much profit to be made by exploiting people like us.

While millions still die of smoking related illness every year, it’s not too late to lift the veil from Big Food, and in doing so, save lives and public health for years to come.

 
 
 
Organic food probably has modest nutrient advantages over conventional food. For example, a literature review in 2008 summarized several hundred matched pairs, where one observation was organic and the other conventional. Organic had more nutrients in 61% of cases, which is notable but not overwhelming.

It is wisest to make your decisions about organic and conventional food primarily based on your assessment of the environmental considerations. The nutrient differences are not as decisive. If you don't care about artificial pesticides or GMOs, you may prefer whichever is less expensive. If you want food grown without artificial pesticides or GMOs, you may prefer organic.

In any case, I would not yet give credence to the much-circulated Reuters report yesterday that organic has no nutrient advantages over conventional food. The report is based on a literature review released yesterday through the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The review, funded by the UK Food Standards Agency, had different selection criteria from the earlier research mentioned above.

It seems to me the new UK literature review was not sufficiently powered to detect the small advantages of organic that one might realistically expect. For example, unless there is an error (in tabulation or in my reading), it shows a 10% advantage of organic over conventional in zinc, but the result was not statistically significant (for example, because the sample size was not large enough). The authors say this shows organic is no better than conventional. But, nobody ever expected a greater than 10% advantage for organic anyway. Really, the new results are essentially consistent with the older research. I think the authors err in summarizing their results as refuting the earlier claim that organic food offers slightly more nutrients, and the Reuters report is mistaken in its news summary of this research.

The new study has also been critically covered by Paula Crossfield at Civil Eats and Charles Benbrook at the Organic Center. From Benbrook:
Despite the fact that these three categories of nutrients favored organic foods, and none favored conventionally grown foods, the London-based team concluded that there are no nutritional differences between organically and conventionally grown crops.I leave this fuss in the same place I started. There are probably modest nutrient advantages from organic production.
 
 
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13718 SW 88th St
Miami, FL 33186-1302

Every once in a while I get a hankering for Thai food.  Why?  Rock-A-Bangkok is why.  


When this craving gets the best of me, I make sure to get to little spot in Kendall and fast!

 It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but the inside is beautifully decorated making the experience delightful and intimate--- it’s a small place….



Start with the Spring rolls—delicious rice paper rolls freshly and tightly packed with noodles, basil and large shrimp with the requisite peanut dipping sauce. The steamed dumplings were a big hit for me too!  A mixture of ground pork and water chestnuts was enclosed in pastry pouches before being lightly steamed.


For entrees, don’t miss out on their pad Thai with shrimp. The classic dish of stir-fried rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts, green onions and roughly ground peanuts never fails me and if you’re in the mood for something a bit different than just Pad Thai try the Three Karat chicken—chicken bathed in tamarind and red curry sauce along with green beans, bell peppers and fried basil leaves…. Mmmmm… My Favorite!

For dessert, definitely the fried banana… It is just sweet enough to satisfy. The chef wraps thick banana slices in small wontons, fries them off and then drizzles the golden pillows with honey.

Service is fast but not rushed, and the wait staff is sharp and friendly.

For the timid, it's important to stress that this place makes dishes to order. I know Thai spots get a fiery rap, but here, you can order foods as spicy as you want or keep them as muted as you like. The hallmark of good Thai food is a balance of all the flavor elements and Rock-A- Bangkok achieves it in the kitchen and dining room.

Don't worry about braking the bank either....
The menu is full of moderately priced items so no section is off limits. Here are two suggestions to stretch your dining dollars:

Dinner for $15: You can get in just under the wire with the salmon filet curry ($14.50) with green beans, bell peppers and steamed jasmine rice.

Dinner for $10: Order the garlic delight ($8.95), a saucy dish of your choice of chicken, beef, pork, vegetables or tofu with streamed vegetables and rice.