Over the next few weeks, Short Order will pair eight Miami-Dade neighborhoods in a "Snackdown". This is the fourth entry. Today pits Aventura against Midtown/Wynwood/and the Design District. Which one is the better neighborhood for dining?
Read our arguments and VOTE! Tweet it. Facebook it. Google+ it. Comment.
For north of the county line, visit our sister blog, Clean Plate Charlie, and vote for your favorites during its Food Town Throwdown.
Aventura, North Miami, North Miami Beach
Nobody else has Yakko-San - plain and simple. Oh, Yakko... how you complete everyone who walks through your doors. We liked the seedy hole in the wall on West Dixie Highway... and the new digs on 163rd Street are great but the food has stayed the same. Damn
good great. A chilled order of beef tataki with outrageously tasty ponzu sauce, a pork and onion salad with spicy sesame oil, a crispy bok choy with soy-garlic sauce we could all swear by, a Capilco drink and Japanese sundae to seal the deal. Sweet Jewish Jesus, this will be our last meal on earth if we have any say.
Until then, onto more ammo. Lee Klein, one of our very own, said Chef Philip Ho is as good as it gets. Lacking in some of the traditional dishes you'd expect to find in a Chinese restaurant, Ho makes up for it in dim sum deliciousness. Congee and cheung fan? Why, yes, we're fans.
Unknown to any tourist who lands in Miami is the line of Oriental eateries, (some quite sketchy), along NE 163rd Street. Need a delicious boba tea fix? Shing Wang calls the neighborhood home.
Slightly further south houses Bulldog Barbecue, which Klein has also deemed a winner. Barbecue is something of an anomaly 'round these here parts. Arguably, it doesn't get any more southern than Miami (put your pitchforks down - I meant in terms of geographical location) however, we're eons behind the "deep south" when it comes to good 'cue. Good thing Chef Howie Kleinberg decided to bring in his barbecue pulled pork, chicken, ribs, mac 'n cheese... sorry, we can't continue. We're melting.
Midtown (Including Design District and Wynwood)
This area has been developing for years. What used to be a pit stop between downtown and North Miami is now an eclectic mix of food, art, music, coffee houses and hipsters. All of which usually leads to good food.
In the heart of the Midtown shopping center lies a bucket load of restaurants both big and small. Cocktails and small bites at Sugarcane and Mercadito, dinner at Sustain, fro-yo for dessert... those are the big places (all in Midtown's favor, might we add). Then you have your small ones, which in this case, we'll exemplify with Sakaya Kitchen. Have you had their Bulgogi Burger? No? You haven't lived. Fix that for us, and you'll rep this neighborhood in no time.
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Just up the road from your Bulgogi Burger fix is a Bernstein staple and Best Spanish Restaurant of 2009, Sra. Martinez (tuna crudo, pan con tomate, and bronzino? Ay Dios mio!) and a little further up from there lies the quaint Mandolin where Greek fare, a beautiful patio and killer lamb meatballs keep customers happy.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink is a must in the area (that is, if you want to be a happy customer). Sinfully good deviled eggs, crispy sweet and spicy pork belly, Berkshire pork pizza with figs and fontina cheese, duck rillete, kimchi benedict... need we go on? Well, we can't because it's just too much to bear.