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Carmel Ophir Seen Eating... Fried Chicken at Magnum Lounge

Carmel Ophir is well known as a nightlife veteran in Miami, DJ, co-owner of The Vagabond (with DJ John Digweed), and owner of Creations production company. Ophir's life is all about music, but it's also all about food. Like a musician who's riffing, once Ophir gets started talking about food, it's hard for him to stop. So we let him spiel.

Ophir also wants to offer you some post-Thanksgiving relief.Perhaps next Thursday, you'll eat way too much, wake up from a tryptophan nap, and realize you need to move your bones or risk forever lapsing into a food coma. Or you may suffer from cabin fever after spending too many consecutive hours with your family.br />
Come by The Vagabond (30 NE 14th Street, Miami) November 25th for their second annual Thanksgiving Charity for the Community Partnership for the Homeless.John Digweed headlines and local DJ hero Craze will be there too. Doors open at 10 p.m. Ophir says one hundred percent of the proceeds go to the charity, which is just down the street from the Vagabond: "We don't forget our own backyard." Get tickets here.

The twenty-year Miami nightlife veteran on what fuels him....after the jump.

Fried chicken at Magnum Lounge
Fried chicken at Magnum Lounge
Jacquelynn D. Powers

New Times:What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

Carmel Ophir: Oatmeal with real maple syrup, sliced bananas and strawberries, a fruit smoothie, and coffee (of course).

What are your top 3 places to eat in Miami right now?


I'm

going to have to give you six places. It's kind of like asking me what

my favorite Stones song is--there's no such thing. These are all

amazing in variety of menu and price points: Michael's Genuine, Lemoni Café, Buena Vista Bistro.

Also:
Mandolin
Mandolin

is very "Greek taverna." It's intimate, could be construed as romantic,

but it's just basically very comfortable. I love the atmosphere.

I'm

a big fan of great vegetarian food even though I'm not vegetarian. I

recommend the Greek sampler, stuffed grape leaves, zucchini fritters, and saganaki. The lamb chops are a great meat dish. They're not large portions, so you can have

a table of four, order six or seven dishes, and you're golden.

Indomania
I

hesitate to tell people about Indomania.   I love finding places

like this. I randomly went in there on a chance and I was blown away.

The husband is at the front of the house and the wife is the back of the

house which just gives it great chemistry right there. He's such a gracious host. And the food doesn't disappoint.

They have a wide variety of rijstaffel combinations and all of them are

good. They're all these Asian combo samplers based on a theme.

Magnum Lounge
Magnum is a gay owned and operated piano bar. So, here's my experience with Magnum:

Two

years ago it was my birthday and there was this girl who had kind of a

little crush on me and she said, "It's your birthday and I want to take

you out. It takes a lot of courage to ask you out so please don't say

no." So, I said yes; she was just so cute about it. The date comes

around and she says "We're going to Magnum." And I'm like, "Magnum on

79th Street? Really? I'm not so sure about this."

But when I got

there, I entered into a whole other world with draped curtains, low

ceilings, dark wood, and,you know, very good looking bartenders. And there is she is

sitting with a little beaded lamp in the corner and she says, "I hope

you like this spot. It's my favorite haunt." I felt like I was in a

movie! So before you even sit down, it's fascinating.

The bread

alone is good enough to eat as a meal. It tastes like the center of a

doughnut! It's warm out of the oven. Then, the waiter comes and gives

you specials on the big menu and I'm like, "They have fried chicken

here!" I didn't want to be that guy and order it on a date, but when I mentioned it, she

said, "I was hoping you would order that." And I'm thinking, "This

woman is great!"

I am a fan of comfort soul food. As far as health,

caloric intake--throw it all out of window here. The fried chicken, the

pistachio crusted chicken, the mashed potatoes--all amazing. Their pot

roast is like damn! You think, "What's so special about pot roast?" but

it tastes like butter. Here is a place that hasn't forgotten what it

used to be like. They roll out a cart of dessert like in an old

steakhouse or on a cruise ship. It's so dark that the waiter pops on the

flashlight to show the desserts. They have fresh strawberries with

fresh whipped cream, fruit cobbler, and giant New York style cheesecake.

The

owner is great. He comes in and he introduces himself, talks to

everybody, and then he offers everybody a glass of port wine.

And

then while we're dining, someone's at the piano. It's like, "Hello

ladies and gentlemen." They're singing things like, "Tie a yellow

ribbon 'round the old oak tree" and Elton John. There's a big snifter

glass for tips.

This is the most delicious comfort food, coma food.

You can go out on a rainy afternoon or evening and absolutely plan on

not going out afterward. It's like popping in a DVD of Lost and calling

it a night!

I don't party for my birthday, after being in the

business for twenty years. But for the first time I celebrate my

birthday, it's going to be there. My friends are going to say, "You're

going to a gay piano bar for your birthday?" and I'm saying, "No, we're

all going to a gay piano bar for my birthday!"


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