It's Memorial Day weekend. The "Official Unofficial" start of the summer. Which, in Miami, doesn't mean all that much since most of our days are filled with beach outings (try surfboarding in Minneapolis in January -- it's not working so well)!
But still, we have a three day weekend to look forward to. While most of South Beach is going on a party spree, we're listing five non-beach-related ways to spend your days.
From a brewery tour to a Heat watch party to vacationing in your own backyard, here's our top five picks for this weekend. No matter what you do -- don't drink and drive...There are massive police DUI checkpoints all over Miami (in Coconut Grove there are literally dozens of officers on motorcycles right now). Besides -- it's more fun to be happy and safe.
Watch the Miami Heat Beat The Crap Out of the Pacers
The Heat and the Pacers meet again tonight. If you missed Wednesday's game you're probably kicking yourself because it was one of the most exciting ever! Don't do that again! There are a bunch of places to watch the game, including HaVen and Blackbird Ordinary (where the Heat's actual chef is serving up exactly what he serves the team). Check out our top six places to watch the game, put on your best white shirt and root the home team to victory!
Memorial Day weekend on South Beach can be loud. It can be crowded. The beaches are filled with out of towners, the bars are teeming with revelers. Where the hell can a local grab a drink and a meal this weekend? Consider Tongue & Cheek your "port in a storm". The restaurant is opening early this weekend for all of us seeking a respite from the beach -- and they're extending happy hour. That means from 3 to 7 p.m (and again from 10 p.m. to closing), you'll be able to drink for $8 (most cocktails) and snack out from the bar menu (try the beef cheek sliders, a bite-sized version of chef Jamie DeRosa's famous burger).
Plus, try the new Sunday Supper (available all weekend for Memorial Day). $45 per couple (excluding tax, gratuity, and beverages) gets you a three course meal. The menu changes, but this week enjoy shrimp n' grits with whiskey cheddar and pickled okra for starters, followed by your choice of the fried fisherman's "Pu Pu Platter," and hush puppies or braised beef cheek "pot pie" with peas and carrots for a main course. Finish off with a deep dish almond cherry pie. Sunday Supper all weekend? Sounds good to us!
Live Music, BBQ, Beer, and Wine at Schnebly Redland's Winery
You had the best plans ever to get away for the weekend, right? Guess what? You're still in Miami. That's OK - get in the car and head south Schnebly Redland's Winery and have a staycation in a glass. The winery is hosting an entire weekend's worth of activities, starting tonight, May 24. From 6 to 11 p.m. enjoy dancing, singing, and live entertainment. Hungry? Jimmy's Redland Cafe will serve barbecue. $10 for adults, $6 for kids and the first 50 people get in free.
On Saturday, Bryan Gonzalez is in concert from 6 to 11 p.m.; $12.50 for adults, $6 for kids. On Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., enjoy free music by Matt Anderson at the Rhythm and Wine party. On Monday, $17 gets you a winery tour, wine tasting, take-home glass, and a glass of wine. $14 gets you a brewery tour, beer tasting, take-home glass, and glass of beer. Heck, it's Memorial Day -- do both!
Dine Alfresco at Open Table's "Top 100 Outdoor Dining Spots" Miami Picks
You've been holed up in your cubicle too long. It's time to get out in the sun! How about getting your friends together and having a great lunch on one of Miami's most beautiful outdoor restaurants? Can't choose?
Why not try one of the Miami restaurants that made Open Table's "Top 100 Outdoor Dining Spots"? Four restaurants made the cut -- none of them on the beach! The restaurants include Crazy About You; Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental; Peacock Garden Café; and Red Fish Grill. All different. All beautiful. All alfresco.
Barbecue at Home
Does the thought of dealing with hoards of people stress you out? Not a beach person? Here's what we suggest: Grab some fine vittles and a few six packs of craft beer and fire up the grill. Because as that famous pigtailed girl with the glitter shoe fetish always said, "there's no place like home."
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Forget the wieners -- make the trip to Proper Sausages to pick up some links made from heritage pork. Then, head over to the brand spankin' new Total Wine & More Superstore in Kendall where your mind will be blown by the selection of 2,500 craft beers. Confused? There are iPads and live people to help you. And, it's not a barbeque without a burger, so let the Hard Rock's executive chef, Gideon Horowitz show you how it's done!
Go back home, put on some Jimmy Buffet and you've got your own "Cheeseburger in Paradise!"