Picture of the Day: Dinning on Giralda Avenue

Last Saturday the City of Coral Gables closed one block of Giralda Avenue to motor vehicles. Restaurants set up tables on the street and diners enjoyed live music. What a brilliant idea. Perhaps the City Beautiful should consider a permanent street closure? Needless to say it was a complete success.  The street closure coincided with the Coral Gables Art Walk that takes place on the first Friday of every month.

 

Blue Collar-A Foodie Style Diner, at Reasonable Prices

The Good:

The Vaca Frita Topped Tostones appetizer was very well seasoned. The grilled Mahi-Mahi was good, the sides-sautéed Asian Style Broccoli and Bacony Potato Salad were both excellent. The baby back ribs were decent and the sautéed mushrooms were awesome. A nice varied beer selection.  The Butterscotch Heath Bar Pudding is worth waiting for a table.

Service was first-rate. Chef and owner Daniel Serfer personally came out of the kitchen to check-up on all of his guests to make sure they were satisfied.  Outdoor seating is available.

The Bad:

No reservations accepted; get in line and deal with it. It’s worth the wait.

The Ugly:

Biscayne Boulevard-not a pedestrian-friendly street.  Make sure you park on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard so you don’t have to cross the street. Parking is available, but somewhat limited.

Summary:

I’ll be going back next Wednesday for lunch.

Blue Collar Restaurant
(305) 756-0366
Upper East Side 6730 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
bluecollarmiami.com
on facebook.com

Route 9-On the Right Road

The Good:

The service was amazing.  Owner Jeremy Goldberg personally took our order.  Carefully selected wine list with prices at all levels. The ambiance was casual, but elegant. For appetizers we had the Burrata with Fig Preserve Crouton, Arugula and Olive oil as well as the Duck Confit and Manchego “Turnover” with Blueberry Chutney 13-both were brilliant.
The fish tacos were good, but the Garlic Marinated Skirt Steak was amazing. The Pork Chop was slightly overcooked however it was tastefully done. Black Gouper Catch of the Day stole the evening’s thunder.

The Bad:

It’s too far from my house to make it a regular spot.

The Ugly:

Still struggling to find something ugly.

Summary:

Great spot to go with a small party and have it be your evening. Reasonably priced and the owners are not interested in pushing you out the door.

Route 9
(305) 569-9009
Coral Gables
1915 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134
route9miami.com

Downtown Infill: New Restaurant Transforms Garbage Dump into Urban Lounge

Pollos y Jarras Opening Febuary 24th

The owners of the hugely successful CVI.CHE 105 are opening a new restaurant next door. On February 24 Juan Chipoco and Luis Hoyos will introduce Pollos y Jarras & Wasska Lounge to downtown foodies. Their newest restaurant menu will include Peruvian rotisserie chicken, BBQ, grilled meats and tapas. According the owners they will use organic ingredients too. I’m certain the food will not disappoint, but what is especially intriguing to me is the  transformation of a garbage dump into an outdoor lounge.

CVI.CHE 105 opened in 2008 with a handful of tables and became an immediate hit. It was so successful that two years later Juan and Luis expanded next door and now the restaurant seats 200 customers. I remember going to CVI.CHE 105 in 2008 and thinking to myself, “This neighborhood is terrible”. Four years later N.E. 3rd Avenue is coming alive for a number of reasons, but it would only be fair to recognize Juan and Luis for helping to revitalize this once seedy street.

A 200 seat restaurant brings people to the streets of downtown Miami.  The more people the restaurant attracts the more eyes on street, which in turn makes the immediate area safer. Pollos y Jarras & Waska will further help revitalize the neighborhood, especially with the cool new outdoor urban lounge they are designing. A former service alleyway is in the process of being converted and will become a bar and lounge. What awesome vision…see for yourselves. Pollos y Jarras &Wasska will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood.  I can’t wait to check this place out and have a beer, or two, or three…

Wassaka Today

Rendering of Wasska