660 at the Angler's Hotel is Rocking Out a New Chef & New Brunch Menu

September 27, 2012

I had been to 660 at the Angler's about a year ago when the restaurant was under a different chef. A shitty parking situation and not-so-great food led to me never returning, until now. I try to stay away from South Beach as much as humanly possible. Between the pata sucias making their early morning walks of shame to the myriad of tourists that drive worse than Hialeah residents, South Beach tends to be tremendo shit show.

I decided to give it another shot and luckily my friend was willing to check it out with me. We made our way to South Beach early and were able to find parking at a cheap $1.75 an hour. I mumbled to myself, “Mira que le ronca el mango a esta gente,” and paid $4.00 for a little over 2 hours, de pinga. We made our way into the Angler's hotel. The restaurant itself offers a lot of outdoor/lounge seating for the tourists that want to be seen, pero con el calor que hay my ass went indoors. The indoor decoration looks plush and fancy, yet comfortable. Our waiter, John, was very accommodating and took the time to explain the entire menu including their bottomless mimosas. I will admit that the mere mention of 'bottomless mimosas' made me want to shout, 'DASSIT!” but I had to regain control of myself. I settled on some bottomless house coffee and decided the mimosas would be better enjoyed when I have a designated driver.

We started off with some freshly baked cheese bread, Pan de Bono for my fellow Colombianos. It was served with house-made Guava Butter. Now the cheese bread was probably the best cheese bread I've had outside of Medellin. It was piping hot and fresh out of the oven. It was was firm and slightly crisp on the outside then doughy and cheesy on the inside. Slather on that delicious guava butter and you officially had a morning O-face. Once we were done with the pan de bono, we held that guava butter hostage on our table and made sure it didn't go anywhere.

After having a complete breakdown of our menu, I decided to go with their Torreja Sandwich. Now I should mention, their menu has definitely changed quite a bit. The menu now offers several items with a lot of Spanish/Latin flare. We were also warned that the dishes were large portions, so to be sure and order accordingly. Back to my torrejas, the menu specifies that the Torreja Sandwich comes with dulce de leche, condensed milk, fresh berries and queso fresco... wait, what? The queso fresco through me off completely, but I was intrigued so I decided to give it a shot. The torrejas came assembled as a sandwich with dulce de leche generously slathered all over the insides and dusted with confectioner's sugar, queso fresco and fresh berries over the top. On the side there were small tubs filled with condensed milk and maple syrup to add at your leisure. The torreja itself was slightly crisp on the outside, then soft and warm on the inside. The queso fresco gave the whole dish a little bit of saltiness that played well with the dulce de leche (almost like a salted caramel flavor). All in all, this dish was a diabetic's worst nightmare, but in the best way imaginable. Since I had the hostage guava butter, I made sure to add some of that to each bite. All I can say is wow! The Guava butter sky rocketed the entire dish to brunch nirvana. This was some of the best french toast I've had in a very long time and there was so much going on that I didn't even bother with the maple syrup. I know I'll be back for this, soon.

My friend went with their Benedicto; their take on eggs benedict with short rib, tomato salsa and scallion hollandaise on a Cuban roll. The eggs benedict also come with a side of papitas and mixed green salad. The eggs were perfectly poached, the short rib was well seasoned and ridiculously tender. The Cuban roll was fresh and soft, so soft that it fell victim to the tomato salsa, making the bread a little soggy in some parts. The tomato salsa had a bit of heat that gave you a nice wake up call. The papitas were 660's take on home fries and they were yummy. Not only were they perfectly seasoned, piping hot and slightly spicy they went perfectly with the Benedicto. Now I will mention, with all this deliciousness on one plate, my friend didn't even glance at the mixed green salad.

We left 660 happy and full. Not only was the food and service great, the prices were reasonable (even for South Beach standards). If you're looking for a fun place for Brunch in South Beach, or want to feel posh without breaking the bank, be sure to check out 660 at the Angler's and the creations Chef Torres has to offer.

Restaurant Details:
660 at The Angler's
(786) 594-5811
660 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

660 at The Angler's on Urbanspoon

Vegan Cookies That Make You Say Om Nom Nom

September 18, 2012

This week’s spotlight is on Om Nom Nom vegan cookie company. This local start-up company is the brain child of Anthea Ponsetti and has been in existence for a little over a year. The name may sound familiar because this cookie has been making its way around the block. Om Nom Nom cookies are currently being sold at several places through out south Florida, including Panther Coffee. They’re also being sold in Denver and in due time they’ll be available in California and throughout the east coast. This is definitely a start-up company on the rise, but how did it all start? Well Anthea was kind enough to meet with me and give me the chisme.

To continue reading, click HERE

Burritoville Should Be Called Microwaveville

September 15, 2012

There are several things Hialeah needs like a good sushi restaurant, a good mall, a bagel shop, restrictions on how many chickens a person can own in a private home and a good Mexican restaurant.  I was hoping that this post would be a positive one, but alas that ain’t finna happen. I thought I had found a solution to one of Hialeah’s many problems when I stumbled upon Burritoville in nearby Miami Springs, but man was I wrong. I went twice for lunch to make sure I got a good idea of what the place was like and the picture I put together was store-bought and preheated crap. The place itself is cute, located in the center of a small shopping plaza with a lot of outdoor seating, but we all know looking cute ain’t everything.

On my first visit, I went with their Jamaican Jerk Steak burrito. Now don’t ask me what Jamaican jerk seasoning has ANYTHING to do with Mexican cuisine, pero all I know is that it didn’t taste that bad. Now the menu boasts that this burrito is “very spicy” and it comes filled with refried beans, Spanish rice, jack cheese and sweet plantains. The burrito was rolled up like a giant taquito with both ends oozing out its contents. I took my first bite and bit into a cold plantain, lovely. The steak tasted fresh and was hot, but not "very spicy" by any standard. The slight sprinkling of cheese wasn’t even melted in the burrito. The rice and refried beans were warm, at best. I’ve always had a thing about refried beans; they give me the heebie-jeebies and remind me of something I’d find in a baby’s dirty diaper. I digress, the rice, refried beans and plantains all tasted decent and had they been made fresh or left in the microwave a bit longer, they might’ve been better.  I was left disappointed, but I didn’t want to give up on this place yet. 

The inside of the burrito... yummy looking, no?

Initially the service was attentive, but as my meal progressed it shifted from attentive to forgetful. Asking for more water was like engaging in the battle of Tabasco. When I first sat down, I was brought some tortilla chips and salsa. The waitress did mention their salsa is homemade and I did notice chunks of fresh tomato and cilantro. At first, the waitress was nice, but once my meal was served it was as if she no longer wanted to be bothered. I had to fight the urge to tell the waitress, “Oye vieja, la propina todavia no se ha dadoMiraver si te pones las pilas.” For my non-spanish speaking amigos that translates to, “Excuse me ma’am, but your tip hasn’t been given just yet. Prompter service would be appreciated.”

On my second and final visit, I decided to go with their Chicken Tacos al Carbon. They are supposed to be marinated chicken tacos with guacamole,sour cream and pico de gallo served with a side of Spanish rice and those pesky refried beans. You have the option of having your tacos on corn or flour tortillas. I asked my shitty lovely waitress which one was homemade and was told neither, so I just went with the flour tortillas.  Now I know I ain’t Mexican, but thanks to Taco Bell I think I know what a taco is supposed to look like. What I got were three flour tortillas rolled up like enchiladas and topped with guacamole (that is also store bought), sour cream and pico de gallo. The contents of the flour tortillas were warm, tasteless and unseasoned chicken breast. That chicken had absolutely no flavor and was obviously the previous night’s leftovers.  This time around the refried beans were cold and had a stingy sprinkling of unmelted cheese. The Spanish rice was the best part of the meal, it was actually warm and flavorful, but good rice isn’t enough to make me go back to this place.

I decided not to even wait for the check since I had the unfortunate luck of getting the same waitress. I left my money on the table and walked off. The best part was having the waitress catch me as I was walking away (she probably thought I skipped out on the bill) to ask if I wanted anything else. Of course I didn’t want anything else. I took my hungry ass to Casa Marin in Hialeah and ate a Cuban sandwich, which is probably what I should’ve done in the first place. Until then, I wait patiently til someone (or myself) opens up a good Mexican restaurant in/near Hialeah.

Don’t bother with Burritoville, if you want Mexican food close to Hialeah go to Taco Bell before hitting this place up. Not only was the food cold and reheated not fresh and lacking flavor, saying the service was poor is an understatement. 

Restaurant Details:
(305) 863-2224
1 Curtiss Pkwy
Miami Springs, FL 33166

Burritoville on Urbanspoon

No Slowing Down for Copperpots!

September 13, 2012

Copperpots is a locally owned startup company owned by a young couple, Vanessa Safie and Tom Wilfong. Copperpots has been in existence for less than a year, but in that short time they’ve gathered a cult following for their ingenious creations. You can find their concoctions at a couple of local establishments including Sweetness Bakeshop, Lokal Burgers & Beer and Pincho Factory. What are their creations, you wonder? Bueno, they’re in the jam business for now, making inventive jams like Pineapple Five spice, Red Onion Marmalade and Spicy Mango Jam from locally accessible fruits and veggies. However, they’ll be expanding all too soon. They’re starting to spread their wings and branch out into the savory world. For the last two weeks they’ve been selling their addictive homemade Sriracha hot sauce. I was lucky enough to catch these two for a quick interview to see what they’ve got up their sleeves and what they’re currently got cooking.

To read the interview go HERE!

Garages, Love Boats & Whales

September 7, 2012

This past weekend my boyfriend and I headed to Fort Myers to see friends and catch some well deserved R&R. In the process we tried to check out some local restaurants and see what the town has to offer. This post will cover three of the locally owned and operated places we hit up.

First up is Ford’s Garage, they’re the small town cousin of Miami’s Burger & Beer joint, specializing in burgers and over 200 craft beers. This was our second go-around at Ford's Garage. On our first visit I went with truffle fries, pulled short rib mac & cheese and their American standard burger. The American standard comes with a black angus burger topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle on a sesame seed bun. On the first visit I was a little disappointed, my burger looked like a hockey puck was over cooked, the mac and cheese was all mac with no cheese. Seriously, the driest mac and cheese I’d ever had. However the pulled short rib over the top of the mac & cheese was delicious. My truffle fries on the other hand were great and were topped with pecorino romano cheese. From what I’ve heard, when this place opened up it was hands down the best burgers around, my boyfriend even felt they were the best he’d had. Over this past weekend, we tried to give them another shot. They were better this time around, but not phenomenal. I got the American standard again to be able to compare and although my patty was cooked to order, it was still missing something. Even our friends that frequent this restaurant have said that there are times when it's great and others when it's not. Overall, this place seems inconsistent when it comes to their food.

Their beer on the other hand is on point, a huge selection and a neat decor with a vintage Ford car bar.  The place has a great vibe and tons of potential with over 16 burgers to choose from, but it’s been my experience that they’re a hit or miss, but worth giving a try just for the extensive beer selection.
Restaurant Details:
Ford's Garage
(239) 332-3673
2207 W 1st St
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Ford's Garage on Urbanspoon

Up next we’ve got The Beached Whale, a restaurant right on Fort Myers Beach (think of Miami Beach's Collins Ave.) with a sports bar feel and tons of seafood options. Their top floor is dedicated to a full bar and outdoor seating over looking the beach and people on the street. Personally, I loved that all their bottled beers come in a Beached Whale koozie. However, if you have a shell fish allergy, think twice before checking this place out! We got some appetizers including buffalo shrimp, beach bread and mussels. The mussels came in a tomato based/vodka-esque sauce and they must've been great because they were gone in minutes. The beach bread is a baguette smothered in garlic and butter then topped with cheese and diced tomatoes. The bread was deliciously fattening and I don’t regret eating half of it at all. The shrimp looked great, but 5 lonely shrimp for $9 was a bit steep.

 When it came time for our entrees I went with a grouper sandwich; the menu states you can have it blackened, fried, crunchy (covered in corn meal) or broiled, but due to my allergy I can only have the grouper broiled. The fillet was really tender and lightly seasoned, only issue was there was some connective tissue still on the fillet. I got it with buttered, parsley potatoes, they were slightly under-seasoned but still good.  My boyfriend went with their fish tacos which he mentioned tasted great and the fish was fresh, but 2 tacos for nearly $16 he too found a bit steep. I suppose the pricing is due to the proximity to the beach and being mostly a touristy area. My friend's Cuban sandwich seemed good even though it wasn't on Cuban bread, but I did notice her picking pieces of meat off the sandwich, so I can't vouch for it!

Check this place out for their vibe and for great people watching (who knew Fort Myers Beach had so many pata sucias?). Their seafood is fresh, but a bit on the pricey side for what you're getting due to the location.

Restaurant Details:

The Beached Whale
(239) 463-5505
1249 Estero Blvd
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

The Beached Whale on Urbanspoon

My good friends from Copperpots had suggested Love Boat Ice Cream right before heading to Fort Myers. Come to find out our friends that live up there are also big fans of this homemade ice cream shop. Even though we were full from our feast at The Beached Whale, we found some room for ice cream. We made our way in at the perfect moment, because seconds after we walked in a wave of people marched in behind us. The place itself is cute, almost like an old house from the 70's on the side of the highway.

With over 50 homemade ice creams to choose from with flavors like, Blueberry Cheesecake, Rocky Mountain Raspberry and old classics like Cookies N Cream, it was hard to narrow it down. The girls behind the counter humored me and let me try a few before settling on a small cup of Jamocha Almond Fudge. Holy hell, was that delicious and fresh! Every single bite had chunks of almonds, swirls of fudge and the mocha flavored ice cream was great all by itself. Now I know I asked for a small cup, but I don't think these people know what the definition of 'small' is because my cup included 4 generous scoops of ice cream. Now for those of you that know me personally, you may be saying, "Aren't you Lactose Intolerant?" The answer to that is, "Yea, and what?" This tub of ice cream was worth every second of lactose induced agony. My boyfriend went with their old school favorite, Rocky Road. This one didn't disappoint either, very rich with chucks of marshmallow, almonds and choclatey goodness. Our two friends both went with milkshakes, I got a small sip of their Cookies N Cream shake and my knees damn near buckled, but this may have been from the shooting stomach pains caused by my Lactose intolerance.

Rocky Road

Jamocha Almond Fudge
Be sure to make this a MUST if you're ever in Fort Myers or driving through. Don't be shy and try the different flavors!


Restaurant Details:
Love Boat Home Made Ice Cream
(239) 466-7707
16229 San Carlos Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33908

Love Boat Home Made Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Hedy Goldsmith Is Branching Out And Baking Out Loud

September 5, 2012

I’ve been a fan of Hedy Goldsmith’s creations since my first brunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. I still remember my first Hedy creation; they were coconut and vanilla cream stuffed doughnuts. I’ve never seen them again on the menu and yet they still make cameo appearances in my dreams. The desserts at Harry’s pizzeria, which include zeppole’s and the best freaking chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had, are just teasers to what Hedy can really do. Michael’s Genuine is where her skills really shine, from daily pie in jar creations, Hedy’s candies, Hedy’s childhood treats, sweet brunch options to homemade ice creams. My favorites from recent memory include...

Continue reading HERE.

Restaurant Info:

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

Harry's Pizzeria
(786) 275-4963
3918 N Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33127
Harry's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon