Best Hummus 2015 | Miami Mediterranean Cuisine | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Beards are everywhere, covering the faces of every man, from Wynwood hipsters to Surfside Hassids. May we suggest a new look? The hummustache. It's a smooth and edible hummus mustache made from a blend of puréed chickpeas delicately flavored with ground sesame seeds, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and Mediterranean spices. This stache is applied to your upper lip using warm pita bread that will leave your hands clean. Just think of Bert's unibrow or Burt Reynolds' mustache dressed up this way! Where to find the key ingredient? We recommend a nondescript restaurant in SoBe for the most special blend. It's made fresh and has just the right creamy texture. And if the completely reasonable $5.95 for fresh hummus and pita seems too much to pay, check in on Yelp to get a batch of this potion for free. It belongs on your pita, on your face, in your mouth, and most surely in your belly.

Emily Codik

For the past couple of years, the frita has enjoyed the spotlight. Morro Castle in Hialeah offers the ideal version. The smoky, spicy chorizo has the perfect sheen, and the fresh potato sticks have a warm amber hue, almost like a hard-earned suntan. And those buns? Oye, don't even try to say they're not surgically enhanced. But at the end of the day, the humble frita is a utilitarian, working man's food. It doesn't want to be celebrated or admired. The cost: $2.89 with tax. It even comes wrapped in paper so you can eat it on the run during a hectic day.

Photo courtesy of Ms. Cheezious

Béchamel is the stuff that binds France and Cuba. At Ms. Cheezious' long-awaited MiMo storefront, the humble mixture of butter, flour, and milk that's essential in croquetas and croque-monsieurs is doubled up with a couple of fat handfuls of creamy, smoky Gouda cheese. What emerges is the croqueta monsieur ($8). It's truly a thing of beauty. Three smoky croquetas de jamón are squished onto shaved tavern ham, with Gruyère cheese and sourdough bread soaked in béchamel and pressed until crisp. Call it fusion. Call it freakish. Whatever you call it, just make sure you have some.

Alexandra Rincon

The smokehouse wings at Bulldog are simple, subtle, and scrumpdillyicious. The smoke flavor is present but not overwhelming, and the meat is tender, never burned. They have a kick without being uncomfortably hot. It's a perfect base for the fickle eater and nothing some extra RedHot sauce won't fix for fire-eaters. The pound at $15 is enough to satisfy a couple of hungry bellies, especially when it's paired with Bulldog's incredible mac 'n' cheese ($4 small, $8 large) or burnt-end beans ($4 small, $8 large). A smaller portion of wings costs $8, but when they're this good, why order less? Top it all off with a beer from the extensive bottled and draft menu, and you have yourself the perfect evening out.

The juicy fried chicken thighs hold an unexpected secret. It's not about buttermilk, grandmothers, or the American South. Instead, the salty crust that crackles with each bite is a Cuban tale. Vincent Herryman's uncle skipped Miami when he fled the island in the days after the revolution. He went on to open a handful of beloved fried-chicken joints throughout Harlem and Washington Heights in New York City. A year ago, Vincent, who spent 15 years learning his uncle's secrets, pulled up his stakes and reopened Caporal Chicken in the heart of La Saguesera. He peddles wallet-friendly ($1 per thigh, $2 per breast) buckets of chicken whose meat emits a smoky aroma. Accompaniments include a pile of sweet-potato fries ($2), fried yuca ($2), and a chocolate-chip-studded waffle slathered with maple- or strawberry-infused butter.

Readers' choice: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

South Dade has long known Tom Wills as the man behind T&W Subs' hulking hoagies. What the good folks of this region didn't know is that they had a champion pit master at hand. It all began simply enough with a towed smoker for briskets. Before long, Wilms was taking jaunts across the South for barbecue throwdowns. After his ribs — baby-backs with a crackly, salty bark concealing juicy pink smoke rings — earned ribbons in Georgia and South Carolina, Wilms took out a space in a Cutler Bay strip mall. Thinking of going for lunch? Get there early. The brisket doused in a vinegary, mustard-based sauce often sells out.

Readers' choice: Shorty's Bar-B-Q

Walk into Sparky's during lunchtime and you'll see a herd of suits rolling their sleeves up and getting their hands dirty as they attack racks of St. Louis-style pork ribs. Owners, chefs, and barbecue mavens "Sparky" and "Sparky" (they nicknamed each other years ago, hence the name of the restaurant) came up with a special rub for the ribs one hot summer during a grill session. It has 26 spices and herbs, but the secret ingredient is a spoonful of sugar. Once the rack has been nicely rubbed, the thick slabs of meat are cooked "low and slow" until tender. The result: Every morsel of pork bursts with rub and smoke. You can go full ($26) or half ($16) rack depending upon how ambitious you feel. Either choice comes with two sides. One should be the baked beans, which have bacon bits smoked right into them. And whatever you do, be sure to squirt your rack with one of the five or so house-made sauce varieties. The guava-habañero is rib-licking good.

Every once in a while, your inner carnivore craves something more than a kale smoothie. It needs meat. Take it to 180 Degrees at the DRB for chef Ryan Martin's 50/50 ($12). Though that price might sound high for chopped meat, this burger is a sure thing. Equal parts chorizo and Angus beef are ground and then cooked to juicy perfection. The spicy Spanish sausage is a playful foil to the richness of the quality beef. The blend itself makes a tasty patty, but then Martin tops it with queso frito, maduros, and spicy citrus aioli. Just when you think this burger can't get any better, the chef slaps on a fried egg. Because everything — even an outstanding burger — can be made better with an egg. Finish it off with a cold beer, and your hunger pangs will have been vanquished.

Readers' choice: Burger & Beer Joint

Aran S Graham

"Dogma" is defined as a set of principles laid out by authority as absolute truth. The folks at Dogma Grill refer to this as their "Frank Philosophy." There are divine laws such as "Bring respect and creative culture to the hot dog" and "Create an urban oasis and a nostalgic place to celebrate the hot dog." If that sounds a little hippy-dippy for your ordinary Oscar Mayer wiener, just wait. This place aims to "offer the freshest ingredients," "focus on details," and "answer the demands of the vegetarian clientele." By this dogma, the hot dog abides. The results are pretty fantastic, and while others may compete, these are the hottest dogs and buns in town. The best of the best is the Pitchfork ($4.50), with barbecue sauce, bacon, grilled onions, and cheddar. It's more than the snap of a hot dog in your mouth; it's a religious experience. Peace, love, and hot dogs, man.

You can taste the difference between fresh and frozen fries. You can also make out the distinction between those cut in factories and the ones that are hand-sliced a few at a time. Rok:Brgr takes great pride in slicing its potatoes by hand every day. The result is thick-cut fries that are crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, and can withstand any adventure like an intrepid explorer. You can take them for a dip in the house-made ketchup or dress them up with truffle oil and Parmesan flakes. You can even weigh them down with Wisconsin cheese curds and brown gravy. (They will keep their structural integrity.) Also check out the sweet-potato fries and the truffle fries — and don't forget the trio of dipping sauces.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®