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BEST BAR FOOD Miami 2005 - The Bar

The Bar

The Bar

172 Giralda Ave.

Coral Gables, FL 33134

305-442-2730

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The Bar is the best of both bar worlds. Dark and cool even at midday and absolutely shadowed at night, it's a great place to drown sorrow or joy in a shot glass of bourbon accompanied by one of the Bar's many boutique beers. But Giralda Avenue is in Coral Gables, after all, and if you're going to have an establishment there, you might as well give the rich folk something to throw their cash at. The Bar's food is bar food, but not of the microwaved-mozzarella-stick variety. It is inexpensive enough for the budget-conscious drinker and fine enough for the discerning bourgeois palate. Chicken tenders, for instance, are strips of chicken breast dipped in a homemade spicy breading and deep fried until crisp. They taste a lot like homemade fried chicken and absolutely nothing like the warmed-over, limp fingers that most bars serve, and you get a plateful (between four and six strips usually) for six bucks. The six-dollar burgers are a steal as well -- juicy lumps of high-quality meat actually cooked to order (as opposed to many bars, where the waitress politely asks how you'd like your burger cooked and returns with something akin to a blackened-carbon sandwich) and dressed any way you like. The eight-dollar steak sandwich -- a healthy slab of grilled London broil topped with melted provolone on a hunk of French bread -- couldn't be better. The menu is pretty extensive, with plenty of sandwich and salad options and the requisite bar-food appetizers, all of them better than you're likely to find at your neighborhood watering hole.

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