Side Dish

When it comes to Oggi Caffe in North Bay Village, we just can't get enough. Fortunately for us, proprietors Alex Portela and Eloy Roy, who also run Caffe Da Vinci in Bay Harbor Islands, agree. They're currently in the process of opening a second Oggi, at 7921 NW Second St. in the Palm Plaza Shopping Center, right across from the Mall of the Americas. The new ristorante will appear to mark the partners' third venture, but it's actually their fifth: Caffe Sambuca and Donatello's (the latter in Pompano Beach), both originally part of the Oggi family, were sold, and Donatello's status is now erstwhile (while Sambuca thrives). Let's just hope Oggi II (Oggi is Italian for today) doesn't fall victim to overextension and become yesterday.

One of these things is not like the other: A Miami-based Latin-grocery Website ( has recently entered the wholesale business. Instead of offering just Latin-food products, the site has expanded to housewares, gifts, music, and small appliances. The site still concentrates on Latin groceries, though consumers should be warned that all foodstuffs are only available by the case. Recently featured items include Inca Kola Soda (twenty-four twelve-ounce bottles for $7.92), Iselitas Cassava Chips (twenty two-ounce bags for $9.12), and the "A-1 Sauce Steak" [sic] (six ten-ounce bottles for $43.75). Apparently nothing says sauce steak like A.1.

•A bit of historical confusion in Coconut Grove: Taurus Chops, a new steak house, has recently opened at 3540 Main Hwy. Beefeater drinkers (oh, yeah, and the occasional beef eater) will remember Taurus, a seedy steak house that some folks insisted on calling a local landmark and fought to keep in place year after year, in the exact same location. Rather than being torn down, as was rumored in 1999, the bull has been stubbornly resurrected. Still, the folks at Taurus Chops claim no relation to the original Taurus. "We have completely new owners," says the hostess. Let's just hope Taurus Chops also has new carpeting: Like mediocre meat, 50-odd-years' worth of cigarette smoke didn't do the restaurant much good.

Kvetch: Havana-style restaurant Bolero Bar & Grill has been so desperate to get my attention it sent me a letter to "make you aware of our restaurant." Well, the eatery certainly achieved its purpose: Not only was the salutation to "Ms. Jane Karetnick," the PR package included another, smaller envelope containing sample menus and postcard flyers announcing special events. Only problem was the enclosure was addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Bernardo Fernandez or Current Restaurant." Hey, Bernie, I got your mail.

•A Miami cookbook author and journalist has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for best Healthy Focus Cookbook: Steven Raichlen for his High-Flavor, Low-Fat Mexican Cooking. Sounds like an oxymoron, yes, but reads -- and cooks -- like an award winner to us.


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