Best Fresh Pasta - 2012
Why is foodie synonymous with yuppie? No matter what our tax returns say, we all have taste buds, right? And weren't the original foodies those Italian grandmas who spent all day cooking delectable dishes with simple and inexpensive ingredients? But in Miami — a town with an epic shortage of farmers' markets and unpretentious specialty food stores — it's tough to buy good ingredients without cleaning out your bank account. So Mr. Pasta shimmers like an oasis. The little store in North Beach sells a variety of fresh noodles in varieties ranging from egg to tomato to black squid. It also offers masterfully handcrafted gnocchi and ravioli. Prices start at $4 for a pound of noodles — enough to serve you and your date — and are worlds better than that stiff stuff from a cardboard box. It is also a hell of a lot easier than mixing and rolling your own dough. Cheeses — such as a one-pound ball of fresh mozzarella for $4 — taste better and cost less than anything you can buy at a supermarket. Imported canned tomatoes and sauces sell at competitive prices. Forget those extortion artists at the gourmet chains, and stock up here instead. Nonna would be proud.