On a busy night, it wouldn't be unusual to see Papa Nunzio struggling with two shopping carts filled with fresh ingredients from the Publix across the way in the same shopping center. Mama Nunzio would most likely be in the kitchen yelling in Italian at her staff to cook faster, and their sons would be taking food orders and talking soccer with the guests. The Nunzios, originally from Naples, have been providing Miami with home-cooked Italian meals since 1974. This is definitely a family venture, and even though the sons are grown and have other careers (one's a professore at Miami Dade College), they all chip in, whether it be answering phones, taking orders, or just interpreting for their parents, who don't speak a word of English. New Times wholeheartedly recommends this little piece of Italy for those who can appreciate quality mixed with an unpretentious atmosphere. Everything on the menu is great, but we had a predisposition to the garlic bread with cheese appetizer and Trochete Spinachi entrée, and by the time zupetta came our taste buds were in a state of orgasmic bliss.

Nunzio's Ristorante
On a busy night, it wouldn't be unusual to see Papa Nunzio struggling with two shopping carts filled with fresh ingredients from the Publix across the way in the same shopping center. Mama Nunzio would most likely be in the kitchen yelling in Italian at her staff to cook faster, and their sons would be taking food orders and talking soccer with the guests. The Nunzios, originally from Naples, have been providing Miami with home-cooked Italian meals since 1974. This is definitely a family venture, and even though the sons are grown and have other careers (one's a professore at Miami Dade College), they all chip in, whether it be answering phones, taking orders, or just interpreting for their parents, who don't speak a word of English. New Times wholeheartedly recommends this little piece of Italy for those who can appreciate quality mixed with an unpretentious atmosphere. Everything on the menu is great, but we had a predisposition to the garlic bread with cheese appetizer and Trochete Spinachi entrée, and by the time zupetta came our taste buds were in a state of orgasmic bliss.

So-called quick-casual restaurants are popping up all across America. The concept combines fast-food speed and service with higher-quality food, which is supposedly healthier and fresher. Baja Fresh, a Mexican-inspired operation (owned since 2002 by Wendy's), advertises that it has no freezers on its premises. It also has something most other chains don't: food that tastes good. As expected from the name, seafood items are particularly notable. The cabbage-and-salsa-topped Baja fish taco is succulent (the fillets are battered and fried), and the creamy white sauce kicks the flavor up many notches. Baja's charbroiled wild Gulf shrimp taco is just as tasty. Shell out a modest amount of cash for the nicely blackened, fire-roasted cebollitas (green onions), one order of which will spice up four tacos. Complete your creation with some chunky pico de gallo from the salsa bar in back. Then witness your taste buds get happy -- quickly.

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
So-called quick-casual restaurants are popping up all across America. The concept combines fast-food speed and service with higher-quality food, which is supposedly healthier and fresher. Baja Fresh, a Mexican-inspired operation (owned since 2002 by Wendy's), advertises that it has no freezers on its premises. It also has something most other chains don't: food that tastes good. As expected from the name, seafood items are particularly notable. The cabbage-and-salsa-topped Baja fish taco is succulent (the fillets are battered and fried), and the creamy white sauce kicks the flavor up many notches. Baja's charbroiled wild Gulf shrimp taco is just as tasty. Shell out a modest amount of cash for the nicely blackened, fire-roasted cebollitas (green onions), one order of which will spice up four tacos. Complete your creation with some chunky pico de gallo from the salsa bar in back. Then witness your taste buds get happy -- quickly.

The tastiest spot in the nation, let alone Miami, is a 35-acre public park in the heart of the Redland. Fruit and Spice Park has been tempting the palates of adventurous locals for 60 years with more than 500 varieties of exotic edible plants. Lychee, sapodilla, Malay apple, paradise nut, and carambola (star apple) are just a few of the treats to gnaw on during a visit. If gardening or crafts are more your speed, there are numerous workshops and festivals scattered throughout the year. This is also the spot to spend some time meditating in luscious groves.

The tastiest spot in the nation, let alone Miami, is a 35-acre public park in the heart of the Redland. Fruit and Spice Park has been tempting the palates of adventurous locals for 60 years with more than 500 varieties of exotic edible plants. Lychee, sapodilla, Malay apple, paradise nut, and carambola (star apple) are just a few of the treats to gnaw on during a visit. If gardening or crafts are more your speed, there are numerous workshops and festivals scattered throughout the year. This is also the spot to spend some time meditating in luscious groves.

Once you see the open-pit rotisserie in the middle of the dining room, che, you'll understand why Graziano's leaves even the most ravenous carnivore sedated after a full-course meal. Tender cuts of churrasco steaks, blood sausage, and other meats are grilled over the flames burning quebracho, a South American smoking wood. A word of caution: You might want to leave your PETA friends at home for this dining excursion, what with the skinless suckling pigs, lambs, and rabbits hanging from the ceiling. But if your veggie pals can handle the scenery, Graziano's offers a meatless vegetable parillada. Of course, no meal at Graziano's would be complete without sampling the restaurant's extensive wine selection, which emphasizes Argentine and Chilean labels and which won Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant in last year's Best of Miami.

Once you see the open-pit rotisserie in the middle of the dining room, che, you'll understand why Graziano's leaves even the most ravenous carnivore sedated after a full-course meal. Tender cuts of churrasco steaks, blood sausage, and other meats are grilled over the flames burning quebracho, a South American smoking wood. A word of caution: You might want to leave your PETA friends at home for this dining excursion, what with the skinless suckling pigs, lambs, and rabbits hanging from the ceiling. But if your veggie pals can handle the scenery, Graziano's offers a meatless vegetable parillada. Of course, no meal at Graziano's would be complete without sampling the restaurant's extensive wine selection, which emphasizes Argentine and Chilean labels and which won Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant in last year's Best of Miami.

This place's actual full name is Captain Jim Hanson's Seafood Market and Restaurant. But no one would waste time wrapping their mouths around that moniker when they could be wrapping their mouths around Captain Jim's grouper sandwich. The size is impressive (two fillets) and so are the accompaniments of hush puppies and crisp slaw, but what makes the sandwich so superior is the fish's freshness. The captain, who really is a fishing boat skipper, respects fish, as is evident by the sparkling appearance of the extensive fish counter's catches of the day. This includes South Florida's usual groupers and mahi-mahi plus natives available in our oceans yet unavailable in most of our markets and restaurants (amberjack, bonito, grunt, much more), as well as flown-in seafood such as Bahamian conch. The captain also respects pocketbooks, as is evident by his wholesale prices; stone crabs are generally half (often less) the price of Joe's or Epicure's. Retail and restaurant hours expanded just last year, so you can score a great grouper sandwich -- or the fishy fixings to do it yourself -- till 9:00 p.m.

This place's actual full name is Captain Jim Hanson's Seafood Market and Restaurant. But no one would waste time wrapping their mouths around that moniker when they could be wrapping their mouths around Captain Jim's grouper sandwich. The size is impressive (two fillets) and so are the accompaniments of hush puppies and crisp slaw, but what makes the sandwich so superior is the fish's freshness. The captain, who really is a fishing boat skipper, respects fish, as is evident by the sparkling appearance of the extensive fish counter's catches of the day. This includes South Florida's usual groupers and mahi-mahi plus natives available in our oceans yet unavailable in most of our markets and restaurants (amberjack, bonito, grunt, much more), as well as flown-in seafood such as Bahamian conch. The captain also respects pocketbooks, as is evident by his wholesale prices; stone crabs are generally half (often less) the price of Joe's or Epicure's. Retail and restaurant hours expanded just last year, so you can score a great grouper sandwich -- or the fishy fixings to do it yourself -- till 9:00 p.m.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®