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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wynwood Art Walk and Michael's Genuine Food and Drink

Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami, FL.  This area used to be an industrial wasteland until colonized by the art scene about 10 years ago. The next game-changer will be the proposed Residential Developments here.

Next to Wynwood is The Design District, but more on that later.

Every second Saturday of each month in Wynwood they have an Art Walk and the galleries and vendors are open late. Although there are many of these on adjacent streets, it really all happens on NW 2nd Avenue between NW 22nd Street and NW 29th Street.

Walking up and down NW 2nd Avenue you would have thought you went to food truck heaven.

Sweet Sensations, making Funnel Cake among other things,
 


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Sugar Yummy Mama cupcakes,

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Palate Party, serving an eclectic fare,

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90 Miles To Go, serving Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine,

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Mulberry 1965 serving wood-fired pizza,

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and The Lost Chefs food truck


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where you can get your Plantain fix.

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A turn off NW 2nd Avenue found a juice maker

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and even more food trucks. There is something here for everyone.

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Now for some of the non-culinary art.

Wynwood has a very interesting permanent Mural exhibit called Wynwood Walls.


It's right off NW 2nd Avenue, and as you walk through,

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you see a quite a bit of engaging art.

There are a number of galleries in this area, but being pressed for time could only see a handful.

There was Glassblowing at OG3 Gallery,

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 and interesting gallery spaces at Alberto Linero Gallery

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The Best of New York Show at the Museum of Fashion

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had Haute Couture fashions from yesteryear from the likes of Halston and Yves Saint Laurent. Tres cool.

On the way out of Wynwood there were a pair of Conga players. If nothing else, I just really liked this picture, especially the kids in the belly of the whale.

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After the art walk, my dining companion (DC) and I worked up a bit of an appetite. We decided to eat at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink (MGFD). Michael's is in the Design District adjacent to Wynwood, and is an area complementary to it having fashion and design themes. The restaurant has been around since 2007. Michael Schwartz, one of the owners, won The Best Chef South Award in 2010 from The James Beard Foundation. This is sort of an Oscar in the culinary world, and a very good sign.

After negotiating one of the parking meters in the design district, here is what greeted us, and it was very cool.  The sculpture was buttressed asthetically by images of Elvis Presley.

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Upon entering MGFD,

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you can choose to eat outside,

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inside by the bar

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or in the indoor dining area.

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After getting a table outside my DC and I decided to sample a few things off the Dinner Menu.

 After some really good bread was brought to the table,

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the first thing that was ordered was an appetizer, the crispy pig ears.

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Chewy and crunchy at the same time, and seasoned with Cajun Seasoning. With a bit of lime juice, perfect.

The Pork Belly was next.

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Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage was served on the side with peanuts and a Pea Shoot. Really, really good.

Grilled octopus followed the pork belly.

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This was a fairly large salad with octopus, Gigandes Beans, roasted peppers, spicy tomato Harissa, olives and herbs. Another really good dish.

I am not much of a dessert eater, but decided to try some of the Passion Fruit pot de creme.



Coconut donuts were served with both a passion fruit creme and a Papaya jam. Although I have eaten all of 2 donuts in the past 10 years, I think these were the best donuts I have ever had.

The offerings at MGFD are excellent, and I would run back without a second thought. The food for it's caliber is reasonably priced and the service was excellent. What more could you want? Too bad it's not closer to Southwest Florida.

That's all folks for another post on Forks.

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St.
Miami, FL 33137
(305)573-5550

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brunch at Swine Southern Table and Bar




is a restaurant in Coral Gables, FL that is themed around all things pig. They are located steps from the historic Miracle Mile of Coral Gables, a 4 block section of shops and restaurants in their downtown area. Swine was part of Coral Gables Restaurant Week which somehow stretches out into 3 weeks in June. Many restauranteurs participate in this. There are a number of Prix Fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner, and I thought the offering here looked like one of the better ones. My dining companion (DC) and I wanted to try their lunch prix fixe served during restaurant week.

Unfortunately we struck out. Their restaurant week menu was not available on weekends nor was their lunch menu, only brunch. Undeterred, we decided to try a few items off the Brunch menu.

First for the dining area. Their downstairs dining area is rather commodious,

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and there is also upstairs seating should you want or need to dine there.

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They also have a very nice bar on both the upper and lower levels should you care to wait for a table or just enjoy a libation.

It was a Scorcher that day, an iced tea was just what the doctor ordered.

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This was followed by a Kale salad.

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Kale was topped with sliced apples, Cheddar cheese, raisins, Cornbread Croutons and a Cider  Vinaigrette. Light, refreshing and very good. It seemed to have a Synergistic refreshing effect with the iced tea.

Embarking into the Triple Bypass dining realm, we split a swine burger.

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I do not usually order hamburgers but why not? Deviating from the pork theme, the burger was a meld of Short Rib beef, beef Brisket and smoked pork. The usual suspects (pickle, tomato, lettuce and cheese) accompanied this with Steak (thick) fries, spicy Ketchup and of course, bacon on the fries and the burger. This was heavy duty, but really good and i am sure a burger lover would agree.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts,



were baked forever and topped with apples and a bacon vinaigrette. I did not try everything, but could easily guess that this side dish was one of the best things on the menu.


The food here was really good and I would come back without hesitation. The kale salad and Brussels sprouts were standouts and when near here again, can't wait to reorder.

Swine Southern Table and Bar
2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33314
(786)360-6433

Swine Southern Table & Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dinner at Matsuri

Matsuri, which means a Japanese Festival,

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is a restaurant serving Japanese Cuisine in Coral Gables, FL.

It is located in a very unassuming, retro strip mall on the corner of Red and Bird Roads.

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Despite it's Patina, those eating here are in for a real treat. I am told that some of the staff from the Japanese Consulate dines here, in my book a very good sign.

As you enter, they have a very nice dining area,

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in addition to their Sushi bar.

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Their Menu is extensive, and my dining companion (DC) and I decided to sample a few things from it.

The first thing that was ordered was Otoro.


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This is the fattest part of the underbelly of the Bluefin Tuna. Like Buttah.

Japanese Pickled Vegetables were then ordered. I apologize for the picture quality but you can't be 100% all the time.


Very light, good and a nice palate cleanser for the next course which was seafood salad.

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Crab Stick, shrimp, salmon skin and clams were served with tomatoes and greens with a sesame dressing. Really good.

Octopus Hot Yaki

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was sauteed octopus served with Kimchee, a spicy Fermented vegetable salad. Tasty!

This was followed by an 1163 ($11.63) roll.

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This is a roll with cucumber instead of rice, tuna, toro, Scallions, avocado, crab and Masago served with a spicy mayonnaise/soy sauce.  Quite good.

DC and I finished up with a humble California Roll.


It was really, really good and a nice ending to the meal.

Matsuri is "The Bomb" and I would run back there if ever within 30 miles of the place.


It's a wrap (sorry for the bad Double Entendre) for another post on Forks.

Matsuri
5759 Bird Rd.
Coral Gables, FL 33155
(305)663-1615

Matsuri on Urbanspoon