Best Hummus 2014 | Jerusalem Market & Deli | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Server: Olive oil and paprika?

You nod.

Sever: Good, you like it like we do.Just like that, you have the perfect hummus. Wissam El-Zoor goes by Sam, and he knows how to sling delicious kebabs, shawarma, dolmas, and a plethora of fresh salads to patrons whom he effortlessly schmoozes. All of the items served at this market and deli are stars, but the hummus stands out. It is velvety smooth and made fresh every other day. You really taste the nuttiness of the tahini in each bite as you spread it on your pita. Sure, you can buy all the ingredients at the market portion of the shop to make your own, but why bother? Sam and family have you and your wrap covered.

In Miami, it's hard to get a Cuban sandwich wrong. The ingredients are simple (and common) enough: Cuban bread, ham, cheese, some mustard, a squirt of mayo, a pickle or two, and a delicate slice of pork. Sounds heavenly, right? It is if you're taking a bite of the Cuban sandwich at Enriqueta's. The bread here is toasted to just the right crunchiness, and inside the bun are layers and layers of carne. Go ahead, take a bite; feel like an honorary Cuban during that lunch break of yours — and it'll cost you only $6.25.

El Rey de las Fritas is the king of all Cuban burgers. Every ground-beef patty is seasoned with a secret family blend of herbs and spices, slathered in a tangy ketchup sauce, served with diced onions, and crusted with crunchy shoestring papitas that overflow the plate. And El Rey, the 2013 victor of the Frita Showdown, offers a variety of sandwiches fit for royalty. Try the frita dulce ($4.75), stuffed with chunks of plátano frito for a burst of sweetness; the frita a caballo ($4.75), served with a fried egg for an extra protein fix; and the B.S. frita ($5.75), loaded with bacon and Swiss cheese. If you're as hungry as a peasant, there's the frita doble ($6), which brings twice the meat with crunchy potato goodness.

Photo by Aran Graham

Plenty of people have called Miami a soulless town, but that doesn't mean you can't get good soul food here. Although greasy spoons and bourgie brunches have their place, Jackson Soul Food in Overtown is in a whole other weekend dining category. Jackson's version of brunch is letting you choose from all of its breakfast items and dinner entrées. Order one of each. Pair some red velvet pancakes with a $13.99 fried conch platter and enjoy all four sides it comes with. Or get a breakfast sandwich for less than five bucks and load up on mac 'n' cheese, black-eyed peas, and especially the candied yams for $2.50 each à la carte. You won't need to waste one of your selections on biscuits or cornbread, because both come gratis. Once you finish the last spoonful of $3 peach cobbler or banana pudding and you're done dredging your coffee's carafe, you'll feel totally restored. No place hocking bottomless mimosas can compete with that. Although about 90 percent of the other patrons will be there after attending church rather than reading this, you'll be praising Jesus right alongside them.

Valerie Lopez

Johnny Utah. It's the name of Keanu Reeves' character in the '90s cult surfer-gone-bank-robber classic Point Break. It's also the name of the new cult classic on which you're about to feast. Like the perfect wave, the perfect burger is an elusive thing. Though there are many out there, few are truly memorable. Kush's Johnny Utah ($13) is one to remember. The small Wynwood restaurant starts with beef from Florida's Cowart Ranch that's ground in-house daily. The patty is carefully cooked to order and then placed on a bun before being topped with cheddar, tomato, lettuce, diced onions, and pastrami. Yes, pastrami. Because the only thing that's better than a big hunk of meat is a big hunk of meat crowned with spicy pastrami.

Courtesy of Sweet Dogs

A hot dog with just the right toppings is sweet. Indeed, the franks at Sweet Dogs have it going on with Nathan's kosher quarter-pounders, which can be ordered boiled, grilled, or deep-fried. Beyond the bun and the meat, there are a lot of crazy toppings that give the famed Colombian dogs a run for their dinero. Try the mac dog ($5.50). Yes, that's five-cheese mac 'n' cheese on a frankfurter. Sports enthusiasts can order dogs by their favorite local team's name. The Dolphins dog ($6.50) has grilled ham, smoked bacon, melted mozzarella, pineapple, secret "home sauce," and papitas. For a little more sweetness, all dogs come with a free mini chocolate bar. It's like trick-or-treating with hot dogs.

Lobster mac 'n' cheese is hardly the novelty it once was, but in the expert hands of the Pubbelly Group (PB Steak, Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, L'echon, and Barceloneta), it's elevated to new heights. At PB Steak in Sunset Harbour, chef-partner Jose Mendin and chef de cuisine Guillermo Concho rely on a béchamel sauce spiked with blue crab and white cheddar to give their lobster mac 'n' cheese ($19) an assertive edge. The kitchen frequently switches up the ingredients used in this all-American side dish, and predecessors have included a cheddar and bacon version, roasted apple and chorizo, and even mac 'n' cheese escargots. Given that they've all been stellar, there's no reason to fear change. Besides, popular dishes like the steak tartare sliders ($5 each) and braised beef short ribs ($25) aren't going anywhere. With PB Steak, Mendin and partners Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro — AKA the Pubbelly boys — have given Miami something it was missing: an innovative and casual steak house with high-quality fare at reasonable prices.

The best things in life tend to be the simplest. One example: grilled cheese sandwiches. Luckily, the people at the Cheese Course, an artisanal cheese shop and bistro, understand this. It's why they steer clear of gimmicky add-ons and focus on offering high-quality dairy and bread to create a grilled cheese that's both utterly comforting and gourmet. Once you've decided between whole wheat and white French baguette, it's time to select your hand-crafted cheese(s). Choose from English cheddar, jalapeño Monterey Jack, Brie, or Asiago and fontina ($4.99). The addition of turkey, bacon, or Black Forest ham is an additional $2. A cup of tomato bisque or broccoli cheddar soup ($3.99) is quite complementary, as is a chicken caesar salad ($7.99 for half). The cheese mongers here can also help you step outside your dairy comfort zone by nudging you to try a variety of international cheeses. They'll also help you pick the perfect wine to pair with them.

Photo by Sergio Del Giudice

Yo, Jimmy Dean, have you ever considered orange and fennel as a flavor combination? What about prune and cognac? Even Proper Sausages' signature "Proper" is made of Berkshire pork, fresh sage, mace, and black pepper. Do you feel sad, Jimmy Dean? Ashamed? Your sausage game is weak, and sausage is your raison d'être, so quid pro, bro. Head over and check out the Black Tie, which has chanterelles stuffed in there. We don't even know what chanterelles are, bro. But we are inviting Proper to our sausage party.

Photo by Carina Ost

"Where does your chili get this hint of sweetness?" we asked at Vega's Burger Bar. Of course came the response "It's sugar." Well, after we were done feeling dumb, we dipped that spoon back into the bowl of homemade beanless beef chili ($5). It was topped with shredded cheese, diced onions, jalapeños, and sour cream. It had the heat, the sweet, and the meat. It was real good. Have it on your burger, fries, or hot dog. Pro tip: Vega's also serves a decadent macaroni 'n' cheese ($6.50). Order both and you can make your own chili mac tableside. There's also a great beer selection, but chili mac is by far the best pairing at this joint.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®