The drinks at Miami Beach’s Broken Shaker may have earned the institution its “Best American Hotel Bar” award at the Tales of the Cocktail’s ninth annual Spirited Awards earlier this month, but dressed up cocktails aren’t the only thing to order at the Indian Creek bar. A revamped “Eats and Treats” menu courtesy of its sister in arms, 27 Restaurant & Bar, includes a number of mouth-watering highlights.
The staff at 27, helmed by chef Jimmy Lebron, has been playing with a new Shaker food menu for the past two months, looking for just the right dishes to satisfy bar-goers. And the kitchen has hit on just the right mix of fatty and fresh, settling on seven items that may end up competing with the Shaker’s award-winning drinks. With a bánh mi and burger like these, give the menu a try before you’re too far gone into the cocktails.
“We changed the Shaker menu completely,” Lebron said. “I don’t want to stick to a place, we want to stick to a Miami theme, where everyone is from everywhere. As long as it tastes good, it’s good with me.” The food at 27 is modeled after grandma’s home cooking, if your grandma spent time in Israel, Puerto Rico, Peru, Korea, and more.
The bacon double cheeseburger is one eye-catching addition. “With the burger, for example, when I go to a bar I don’t want a big half-pound burger,” Lebron said. So the Shaker burger is the best version of a fast food burger, with two thin patties grilled on the plancha and topped with cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, Shaker sauce, and Miami Smokers’ bacon on a brioche bun topped with a house-made pickle. It’s an In-N-Out Double Double (the better for bacon), built to take on any restaurant burger.
The next main is a take on the Vietnamese bánh mi sandwich, which at the Shaker is more of a pulled-pork sandwich hybrid. “Banh mi just means meat and bread. Traditionally it’s with pâté, but I love pork, I love to cook pork,” Lebron said. Thus, pulled pork. The kitchen braises pork shoulder with a sofrito, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon and then tops it with an Asian-style barbecue sauce heavy on garlic and ginger.
Traditionalists may miss the slightly funky taste of pate and cool deli meat in the sandwich, but with the unctuous pulled pork and soy-heavy barbecue sauce, the adventurous will be rewarded. The kitchen finishes the sandwich with bánh mi classics like cilantro, pickled carrot and daikon slaw, a bed of thinly sliced cucumber, and a French bread roll.
The bar menu brings 27’s Israeli influence into play with its shawarma wings. “I don’t think anyone is doing shawarma wings. The wings are really cool,” Lebron said. The aforementioned poultry pieces are marinated for a day in buttermilk and shawarma spices and then fried to order in a flour-cornmeal better. The crisped wings and drumsticks are then tossed with lemon, olive oil, and the Israeli za’atar. The wings are served with a rotating dipping sauce, which at the time was mango chutney.
The lighter dishes on the menu include a spicy roasted cauliflower tossed in house made buffalo sauce and served with a cashew butter dipping sauce, and a rotating dip dish which is currently a roasted eggplant served with pickled jalapenos and Zak the Baker bread. However, Lebron was testing a sweet plantain hummus at the time of the interview, so expect the dips to change.
Holdovers from the former Shaker food menu include the house-made beef jerky, prepared in a long process of marinating and drying, and hand-cut French fries.
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The bar menu isn’t the only thing getting an update. The restaurant menu is constantly transforming, including the best-selling local catch with curry. The current staff has swapped a Thai red curry and farro for the former green curry with couscous.
Off menu, the Freehand campus is undergoing renovations. The bar and restaurant were closed earlier this year due to permitting issues, including a problem patio that wasn’t permitted for bar or event use. The patio was landscaped in the interim, and now management is turning it into a restaurant garden to grow hard-to-get items like fresh aji amarillo peppers for the kitchen.