The sisters serve several hundred meals a day, sponsor on-site visiting nurses twice a week, and will soon offer shelter for 25 women and 10 children. When Mother Teresa visited Miami in 1974, she established the Missionary of Charity in one of downtown's grimmest quarters. Early in the morning, the homeless begin congregating in front of the 727 building on NW Seventeenth Street. Most of them wait patiently, others anxiously, for the sisters to open the doors to their soup kitchen. For many of those waiting, it will be the only meal of the day. This is a corner of Miami where both the missionaries and the homeless prefer to be known only by their first names. Those who come to the soup kitchen are white, black, Hispanic, men and women, a reminder that misery can come knocking on anyone's door. "We have to take care of our brothers and sisters, especially the poor, those who are abandoned, those who are alone," said one sister. "Mother Teresa reminds us of the words of Jesus: 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.'"

The sisters serve several hundred meals a day, sponsor on-site visiting nurses twice a week, and will soon offer shelter for 25 women and 10 children. When Mother Teresa visited Miami in 1974, she established the Missionary of Charity in one of downtown's grimmest quarters. Early in the morning, the homeless begin congregating in front of the 727 building on NW Seventeenth Street. Most of them wait patiently, others anxiously, for the sisters to open the doors to their soup kitchen. For many of those waiting, it will be the only meal of the day. This is a corner of Miami where both the missionaries and the homeless prefer to be known only by their first names. Those who come to the soup kitchen are white, black, Hispanic, men and women, a reminder that misery can come knocking on anyone's door. "We have to take care of our brothers and sisters, especially the poor, those who are abandoned, those who are alone," said one sister. "Mother Teresa reminds us of the words of Jesus: 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.'"

Located in the upstairs area of the old Firehouse Four restaurant/bar, and offering indoor and outdoor dining (choose outdoors if possible), this classy and hip addition to the Brickell dining scene owes its acclaim to Barcelona chef Jordi Vallès. Before coming to America, Vallès worked under Spain's Ferran Adrià, the madly creative genius whose culinary inventions have made him a worldwide star. Adrià also trained the supremely talented Angel Palacios, who hired Vallès to work for him at the ill-fated La Broche, the most daring restaurant Miami has ever seen. (Palacios's own Adrià-inspired inventions somehow couldn't find an audience, and the restaurant closed after less than a year.) But at his new home, Vallès's goal is not to shock so much as to surprise. Yes, he employs some of the trademark touches of Adrià's "deconstructionist" cuisine (uniquely flavored foams and ice creams), but they are in the service of the more familiar, such as lobster tails with a dollop of avocado sorbet resting on a "consommé" of golden tomato.

Located in the upstairs area of the old Firehouse Four restaurant/bar, and offering indoor and outdoor dining (choose outdoors if possible), this classy and hip addition to the Brickell dining scene owes its acclaim to Barcelona chef Jordi Vallès. Before coming to America, Vallès worked under Spain's Ferran Adrià, the madly creative genius whose culinary inventions have made him a worldwide star. Adrià also trained the supremely talented Angel Palacios, who hired Vallès to work for him at the ill-fated La Broche, the most daring restaurant Miami has ever seen. (Palacios's own Adrià-inspired inventions somehow couldn't find an audience, and the restaurant closed after less than a year.) But at his new home, Vallès's goal is not to shock so much as to surprise. Yes, he employs some of the trademark touches of Adrià's "deconstructionist" cuisine (uniquely flavored foams and ice creams), but they are in the service of the more familiar, such as lobster tails with a dollop of avocado sorbet resting on a "consommé" of golden tomato.

Your mother. Duh. And there's this woman at the hidden snack counter inside Chuck's Laundry on Red Road who will customize the amount of sugar, steamy milk, and "espresso" to launch a Jungian dream of drowning in caffeine (if you ever get to sleep). But blindfold-tested, any proper coffee-with-milk Cuban style tastes about as wonderful as any other. With experience and franchise-level quality control, Carreta never lets drinkers down, and visitors to the outlet on Bird Road just west of the Palmetto Expressway on a weekend can view a herd of fancy motorcycles corralled in the parking lot by modern-day drovers, most of whom are police officers and their pals. A free chopper show doesn't hurt as you sip away at something that resembles coffee mixed with hot chocolate.

Your mother. Duh. And there's this woman at the hidden snack counter inside Chuck's Laundry on Red Road who will customize the amount of sugar, steamy milk, and "espresso" to launch a Jungian dream of drowning in caffeine (if you ever get to sleep). But blindfold-tested, any proper coffee-with-milk Cuban style tastes about as wonderful as any other. With experience and franchise-level quality control, Carreta never lets drinkers down, and visitors to the outlet on Bird Road just west of the Palmetto Expressway on a weekend can view a herd of fancy motorcycles corralled in the parking lot by modern-day drovers, most of whom are police officers and their pals. A free chopper show doesn't hurt as you sip away at something that resembles coffee mixed with hot chocolate.

There used to be only two seatings for the Biltmore's famous Sunday brunch. Now seating in the outdoor fountain court is continuous, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This means your table is not always ready when you arrive. But that's a good thing! While you wait, you'll be ushered to a side bar and served up a taste of the endless bounty to come: mimosas or straight champagne, as much as you can handle. Dedicated drinkers could conceivably quaff enough bubbly to justify the meal's entire $49 tag before even hitting the big table, laden with nova, whitefish, sable, and all manner of other smoked fish (plus capers, cream cheese, bagels, and any other accouterment imaginable). Then you only have eight additional food stations to demolish. Offerings include pastas, salads, sushi, cold seafood selections, a carving station, meats and seafood from a charcoal grill, a dessert table featuring flambé crêpes. Champagne continues throughout the repast, and unlike other champagne brunches, the Biltmore's servers pour constantly and generously.

There used to be only two seatings for the Biltmore's famous Sunday brunch. Now seating in the outdoor fountain court is continuous, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This means your table is not always ready when you arrive. But that's a good thing! While you wait, you'll be ushered to a side bar and served up a taste of the endless bounty to come: mimosas or straight champagne, as much as you can handle. Dedicated drinkers could conceivably quaff enough bubbly to justify the meal's entire $49 tag before even hitting the big table, laden with nova, whitefish, sable, and all manner of other smoked fish (plus capers, cream cheese, bagels, and any other accouterment imaginable). Then you only have eight additional food stations to demolish. Offerings include pastas, salads, sushi, cold seafood selections, a carving station, meats and seafood from a charcoal grill, a dessert table featuring flambé crêpes. Champagne continues throughout the repast, and unlike other champagne brunches, the Biltmore's servers pour constantly and generously.

Every April for the past two decades Miami Springs, our own version of Mayberry, has celebrated the river that runs through it with a street party that fills the famous circle in the northeast corner of town -- where most of the businesses are -- and extends out along the streets and into the large green space in the middle of the circle. Family-oriented to the extreme, the kiosks feature the usual arts and crafts and souvenirs as well as more unusual items (the African statues booth is always fascinating). There's a river cleanup, a fishing contest, canoe races, and plenty of live music. Food seems to dominate, and the highlight is a large chickee-type booth where several of the town's venerable citizens roast corn. For the most part, corn is corn, but to roast it perfectly requires know-how, which is why the same guys, each year a bit more gray, swelter over the open fire and, with gloved hands, find a good cob, rip open the husk, put a stick in it, and provide what just might be the perfect corn. Sweet, plump, smoky, juicy ... the best.

Every April for the past two decades Miami Springs, our own version of Mayberry, has celebrated the river that runs through it with a street party that fills the famous circle in the northeast corner of town -- where most of the businesses are -- and extends out along the streets and into the large green space in the middle of the circle. Family-oriented to the extreme, the kiosks feature the usual arts and crafts and souvenirs as well as more unusual items (the African statues booth is always fascinating). There's a river cleanup, a fishing contest, canoe races, and plenty of live music. Food seems to dominate, and the highlight is a large chickee-type booth where several of the town's venerable citizens roast corn. For the most part, corn is corn, but to roast it perfectly requires know-how, which is why the same guys, each year a bit more gray, swelter over the open fire and, with gloved hands, find a good cob, rip open the husk, put a stick in it, and provide what just might be the perfect corn. Sweet, plump, smoky, juicy ... the best.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®