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Best Salads Miami 2006 - Afterglo - CLOSED



1200 Washington Ave.

Miami Beach, FL 33139


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Why are Americans obese? Blame it on Rich Melman and Jerry Orzoff, two Chicago restaurateurs who, in 1971, installed the first known salad bar in their aptly named J.R. Grunts. Ten billion pounds of mayo-soaked surimi salad later, Americans gleefully waddle from all-you-can-eat salad buffet to all-you-can-eat salad buffet, filling their plates with canned vegetables and their heads with delusions of becoming healthier for it. Hardy-har-har, chubbsies -- not gonna happen. It takes a beautiful mind to make you feel good about what you're eating. No, not your beautiful mind -- that's the name of one of the salads at Afterglo: A Beautiful Mind. It brings a brainstorm of baby romaine leaves, blueberries, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sun-dried Himalayan goji berries, Thai coconut meat, pomegranate-chia seed jelly, and ground raw cacao -- all splashed with rosemary, ginkgo, and gotu kola vinaigrette. "Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen" is also a smart, sensual salad, but we would need another page to list all the ingredients. Fact is, the complex, multitexture compositions at this hip South Beach restaurant taste so fantastic it really doesn't matter that the foodstuffs are grown without chemicals and pesticides, and are chock full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, alkalines, antioxidants, living enzymes, and omega-3 fatty acids. The aim is not to leave here with a rosy glow to your cheeks, but to avoid exiting with mayonnaise dripping down your chin.
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Maybe things have gone downhill since this award was given. The Beautiful Mind salad, spoken of so highly here, was one of the worst salads I've ever eaten in a restaurant, nearly unedible due to the swamp of vinegar which drowned out all the interesting elements that drove me to order it in the first place. The prices here are not proportionate to the quality or the experience, but I will say our service was some of the most attentive I've ever encountered in Miami. Our waiter seemed genuinely interested in how much we were enjoying our food. I almost didn't have the heart to tell him the truth.