Knaus Berry Farm
Photo by Laine Doss
BEST KEY LIME PIE Knaus Berry Farm 15980 SW 248th Street

Homestead

305-247-0668 Key lime pie inevitably involves a graham cracker crust, filling made of key lime juice and condensed milk, and topping of either whipped cream or meringue. So how can one be that much better than another? Cream cheese. That's right, the German Baptists at Homestead's half-century-old Knaus Berry Farm use cream cheese in their topping. The Baptists have long beards, but they are not Amish, as many think, nor are they ZZ Top, as some less-than-astute folks might believe. The key limes are fresh from the farm, the citrus custard not too sweet, the creamy-whipped cream cheese a distinctive icing on the cake. A small key lime pie that feeds five (perhaps fewer because most people demand seconds) costs $7.35, and that's really all you need to know, though we'd be remiss not to mention Knaus Berry Farm's freshly baked pecan rolls and legendary strawberry milkshakes. Don't run out for your key lime pie just yet, though: The stand is open only from mid-November through the last Saturday of April and is closed Sundays.

Readers´ Choice: Joe´s Stone Crab

BEST KEY LIME PIE Knaus Berry Farm 15980 SW 248th Street

Homestead

305-247-0668 Key lime pie inevitably involves a graham cracker crust, filling made of key lime juice and condensed milk, and topping of either whipped cream or meringue. So how can one be that much better than another? Cream cheese. That's right, the German Baptists at Homestead's half-century-old Knaus Berry Farm use cream cheese in their topping. The Baptists have long beards, but they are not Amish, as many think, nor are they ZZ Top, as some less-than-astute folks might believe. The key limes are fresh from the farm, the citrus custard not too sweet, the creamy-whipped cream cheese a distinctive icing on the cake. A small key lime pie that feeds five (perhaps fewer because most people demand seconds) costs $7.35, and that's really all you need to know, though we'd be remiss not to mention Knaus Berry Farm's freshly baked pecan rolls and legendary strawberry milkshakes. Don't run out for your key lime pie just yet, though: The stand is open only from mid-November through the last Saturday of April and is closed Sundays.

Readers´ Choice: Joe´s Stone Crab

BEST SALADS Grass Restaurant & Lounge 28 NE 40th Street

Miami

305-573-3355

www.grasslounge.com The name of the restaurant, Grass, seems just right for eating salad. The tropical trappings reinforce the mood with French West Indian accents, Indonesian colonial slate floors, tiki hut booths, low-slung tables with flower petals strewn across them, and Buddha Bar and Stereo Sushi-like aural effects. The open-air venue, vaguely sheltered by a thatch roof, sometimes lets in a gentle rain. The organic surroundings practically scream for light, chic dining, but it's the menu descriptions of Chef Pedro Duarte's Pacific Rim salad compositions that will ultimately make you succumb to the lettuce. Try smoked salmon with diced avocados, teardrop tomatoes, crisp wontons, roasted almonds, frisée greens, and shoyu vinaigrette. Or maybe softly poached chicken with Fuji apples, carrots, delicate rice noodles, iceberg lettuce, and sesame dressing. Or the best of the best: a mismaloya salad of mesclun greens, red oak leaves, mango, nectarines, Korean pears, avocado, pine nuts, and vanilla-infused white balsamic vinaigrette. Tantalizing textures, flamboyant flavors, and portions big enough for two make the greens greener at Grass.

BEST SALADS Grass Restaurant & Lounge 28 NE 40th Street

Miami

305-573-3355

www.grasslounge.com The name of the restaurant, Grass, seems just right for eating salad. The tropical trappings reinforce the mood with French West Indian accents, Indonesian colonial slate floors, tiki hut booths, low-slung tables with flower petals strewn across them, and Buddha Bar and Stereo Sushi-like aural effects. The open-air venue, vaguely sheltered by a thatch roof, sometimes lets in a gentle rain. The organic surroundings practically scream for light, chic dining, but it's the menu descriptions of Chef Pedro Duarte's Pacific Rim salad compositions that will ultimately make you succumb to the lettuce. Try smoked salmon with diced avocados, teardrop tomatoes, crisp wontons, roasted almonds, frisée greens, and shoyu vinaigrette. Or maybe softly poached chicken with Fuji apples, carrots, delicate rice noodles, iceberg lettuce, and sesame dressing. Or the best of the best: a mismaloya salad of mesclun greens, red oak leaves, mango, nectarines, Korean pears, avocado, pine nuts, and vanilla-infused white balsamic vinaigrette. Tantalizing textures, flamboyant flavors, and portions big enough for two make the greens greener at Grass.

Prime 112
Photo by Gary James / Courtesy of Carma PR
BEST STEAK HOUSE Prime One Twelve 112 Ocean Drive

Miami Beach

305-532-8112

www.prime112.com Conventional wisdom suggests that when choosing a steak house, do so based on the quality of steak. We say throw conventional wisdom out the window along with the ketchup bottle. You can get a thick, juicy, dry-aged, inarguably delectable slab of meat at Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Palm, Morton's, Smith & Wollensky, or any such quality chain. Whatever subtle differences exist between the steaks at these places can be nullified by sheer dumb luck. The cut of sirloin you order may come from a well-marbled, tender animal -- or not. The grill cook might have a hangover and overcook it just enough to take away the edge. Or maybe he called in sick and his replacement possesses the perfect touch for seasoning that will make it taste a bit better. Prime One Twelve offers more than just prime meat. Housed in Miami Beach's original hotel, the two-story series of dining rooms are renovated gems of a bygone era, replete with a front porch for outdoor seating. Classic steak-house sides are upgrades over the competition, creamed spinach spiked with crispy shallots, the sweet-potato mash jazzed via vanilla bean. Non-carnivores can nibble on creative raw-bar selections, outlandishly large salads, and engaging entrées such as wild salmon in lemon nage. And after indulging in desserts like warm chocolate pudding cake with sweet cream and amarene cherries, or a bananas Foster cheesecake with Myers rum coffee sauce, you may have trouble remembering it was steak that brought you here in the first place.

BEST STEAK HOUSE Prime One Twelve 112 Ocean Drive

Miami Beach

305-532-8112

www.prime112.com Conventional wisdom suggests that when choosing a steak house, do so based on the quality of steak. We say throw conventional wisdom out the window along with the ketchup bottle. You can get a thick, juicy, dry-aged, inarguably delectable slab of meat at Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Palm, Morton's, Smith & Wollensky, or any such quality chain. Whatever subtle differences exist between the steaks at these places can be nullified by sheer dumb luck. The cut of sirloin you order may come from a well-marbled, tender animal -- or not. The grill cook might have a hangover and overcook it just enough to take away the edge. Or maybe he called in sick and his replacement possesses the perfect touch for seasoning that will make it taste a bit better. Prime One Twelve offers more than just prime meat. Housed in Miami Beach's original hotel, the two-story series of dining rooms are renovated gems of a bygone era, replete with a front porch for outdoor seating. Classic steak-house sides are upgrades over the competition, creamed spinach spiked with crispy shallots, the sweet-potato mash jazzed via vanilla bean. Non-carnivores can nibble on creative raw-bar selections, outlandishly large salads, and engaging entrées such as wild salmon in lemon nage. And after indulging in desserts like warm chocolate pudding cake with sweet cream and amarene cherries, or a bananas Foster cheesecake with Myers rum coffee sauce, you may have trouble remembering it was steak that brought you here in the first place.

BEST ARGENTINE RESTAURANT The Knife 602 E. Hallandale Beach Boulevard

Hallandale

954-456-6822 "Best Argentine Restaurant" may as well be synonymous with "Best Argentine Steak House," because Argentine restaurants are almost always steak houses. And this year's pick is unquestionably a red-meat joint -- make no mistake about it. If you are a vegetarian, don't bother reading further. Certainly you wouldn't be interested in this: a large, festive restaurant decked out in warm woods and neutral tones, filled with the buzz of excited, intoxicated patrons chatting loudly and gesticulating wildly (the place is a hit among Argentines, no surprise there). Waiters bring bowls of hot French fries and baskets of fresh bread to the tables, while diners scurry away from the self-service, all-you-can-eat grill with metal plates displaying succulent sausages, ribs, steaks, and sweetbreads. In front of the grill, a cold salad bar teems with Russian salad, fresh mozzarella, ripe red tomatoes, greens, vegetables, nuts, and dressings. The waiter brings a bottle of Argentine wine for each diner. You gorge, then get up for more, then do it all over again. And again. Finally the waiter offers you coffee (which here means espresso, with steamed milk if you like) or dessert (chocolate mousse, flan, ricotta torte). You accept because, after all, you are too drunk to say no to anything at this point. Then he brings the bill. You hold your breath. The total: $25 per person. Can it be? Yes, it can. The Knife is a fixed-price, all-you-can-eat steak house, and the quality is fixed too -- at superb. And that's why, though we know there are plenty of good Argentine restaurants in Miami-Dade (Graziano's Parrilla Argentina, Zuperpollo, Rincon Argentino), we must give credit where credit is due, and that's just a bit north of the county line.

BEST ARGENTINE RESTAURANT The Knife 602 E. Hallandale Beach Boulevard

Hallandale

954-456-6822 "Best Argentine Restaurant" may as well be synonymous with "Best Argentine Steak House," because Argentine restaurants are almost always steak houses. And this year's pick is unquestionably a red-meat joint -- make no mistake about it. If you are a vegetarian, don't bother reading further. Certainly you wouldn't be interested in this: a large, festive restaurant decked out in warm woods and neutral tones, filled with the buzz of excited, intoxicated patrons chatting loudly and gesticulating wildly (the place is a hit among Argentines, no surprise there). Waiters bring bowls of hot French fries and baskets of fresh bread to the tables, while diners scurry away from the self-service, all-you-can-eat grill with metal plates displaying succulent sausages, ribs, steaks, and sweetbreads. In front of the grill, a cold salad bar teems with Russian salad, fresh mozzarella, ripe red tomatoes, greens, vegetables, nuts, and dressings. The waiter brings a bottle of Argentine wine for each diner. You gorge, then get up for more, then do it all over again. And again. Finally the waiter offers you coffee (which here means espresso, with steamed milk if you like) or dessert (chocolate mousse, flan, ricotta torte). You accept because, after all, you are too drunk to say no to anything at this point. Then he brings the bill. You hold your breath. The total: $25 per person. Can it be? Yes, it can. The Knife is a fixed-price, all-you-can-eat steak house, and the quality is fixed too -- at superb. And that's why, though we know there are plenty of good Argentine restaurants in Miami-Dade (Graziano's Parrilla Argentina, Zuperpollo, Rincon Argentino), we must give credit where credit is due, and that's just a bit north of the county line.

BEST FARMERS' MARKET South Florida Farmers Market 8287 SW 124th Street

Pinecrest

305-255-2468

http://store.gardnersmarkets.com/farmersmarket.html From relatively exotic items to basic organic produce, this Pinecrest mainstay has fair prices and a staff of local growers and dreadlocked fakin' Jamaicans to tell you about your cruelty-free produce selections and Mother Earth. Berries, greens, tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, as well as a variety of orchids, plants, oils, preserves, and salsas, can be found here every Sunday from January through April. Bonus: Every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. a different chef from a prominent local restaurant puts on a cooking demonstration using market products.

BEST FARMERS' MARKET South Florida Farmers Market 8287 SW 124th Street

Pinecrest

305-255-2468

http://store.gardnersmarkets.com/farmersmarket.html From relatively exotic items to basic organic produce, this Pinecrest mainstay has fair prices and a staff of local growers and dreadlocked fakin' Jamaicans to tell you about your cruelty-free produce selections and Mother Earth. Berries, greens, tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, as well as a variety of orchids, plants, oils, preserves, and salsas, can be found here every Sunday from January through April. Bonus: Every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. a different chef from a prominent local restaurant puts on a cooking demonstration using market products.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®