Another day brings another cheesy national food holiday to celebrate. Sunday, June 4, is National Cheese Day, and because cheese makes everything taste better, New Times scoured the Magic City for the best and brightest dishes offering gooey goodness.
Sink your teeth into a luscious slice of four-cheese pizza, or munch on a sweet and flaky cheese-filled pastelito. Regardless of your favorite cheese — mozzarella, Gruyère, manchego, cheddar — curb your curd cravings with the following foods that are not just Gouda; they’re grate.
1. Outside Is In Burger at JR’s Gourmet Burgers
This cult-favorite burger lab in Miami Springs has led the local burger boom with its award-winning Angus creations. There are plenty of extravagances here, but none can compare to JR’s masterful Outside Is In burger. Choose either a one-third ($7.50) or half-pound ($8.75) meat patty stuffed with crisp bacon and melted cheddar cheese, and discover what cheesy dreams are made of.
2. Quattro Formaggi at Andiamo
What’s even more sinfully delicious than cheese pizza? Four-cheese pizza! Arguably Miami’s best pizza shop, Andiamo ups the ante on the classic cheese pizza with its quattro formaggi, topped with a beautiful blend of mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, and Gorgonzola. The result is every bit bubbly, thick, and nothing short of perfection atop Andiamo’s golden crust. Fresh garlic and basil finish off the pie, which comes in ten-inch ($11.75), 14-inch ($15.75), or 16-inch ($19.50).
3. The Mac at Blue Collar
Nothing says comfort food quite like a delicious bowl of mac 'n' cheese, and there’s no other place that serves a better mac than the MiMo District’s comfort-food king, Blue Collar. For $14, enjoy gooey fontina, cheddar, and Parmesan-covered cavatappi pasta that can be loaded even further with add-ins such as bacon for $3 and rock shrimp for $8.
4. Cachapa con Queso de Mano at Doggi’s
Venezuelan arepas — cornmeal patties split lengthwise and packed with a variety of fillings — are the name of the game at Doggi’s. And the cachapa con queso mano ($8.50) satisfies any cheese lover’s hankering. Indulge in a traditional semisweet corn pancake that's filled with the typical Venezuelan soft white cheese, drizzled with cream, topped with shredded organic white cheese, and packed with a choice of beef or chicken ($3.50), asado negro ($4), or churrasco ($5.99).
5. Fiocchi di Formaggio e Pere at MC Kitchen
If you want to splurge on one of the best upscale Italian dining experiences in town, head to MC Kitchen. Located in the Design District, the restaurant boasts a simple, spacious, and sleek design, contrary to its elaborate, heavenly pasta dish fiocchi di formaggio e pere ($19). Dig into pillowy pockets of fresh pasta filled with roasted pears and white truffle cream and draped in an epic trifecta of melted robiola, Taleggio, and grana padano cheeses.
6. Croqueta Monsieur at Ms. Cheezious
No list about cheese is complete without a nod to Miami’s grilled cheese specialist, Ms. Cheezious. This food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar hot spot has plenty of choices, but feast your eyes (and stomach) on the best option: the croqueta monsieur ($8). Miami’s quintessential finger food and France’s beloved snack join forces to create a thing of beauty that includes three ham croquetas, shaved tavern ham, Swiss cheese, béchamel sauce, and a few handfuls of Gouda on sourdough bread before being grilled to perfection.
7. Broccoli Cheddar Soup at the Cheese Course
Cheese and wine are arguably the building blocks of a solid diet. The Cheese Course shows everyone how it’s done with its encyclopedia-like variety of cheeses and wines to fit every taste and palate. However, this cheese emporium also serves a gussied-up version of broccoli cheddar soup that guests love to slurp. Served in a cup ($3.99) or bowl ($5.99), the fan favorite features cheddar, broccoli, and fresh cream garnished with grated cheddar and crisp croutons for a balancing crunch.
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8. Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso at Vicky Bakery
Cuban bakeries dot the Magic City like palm trees, so choosing the best one might be impossible. But leave it to no-fail Vicky Bakery to fulfill all of your pastry needs, including a guava and cream cheese delight. It takes about three bites to scarf down, but it takes only one bite to leave a flaky mess all over your shirt no matter how hard you try to keep this pastry together.
9. Cheesecake Ice Cream at Serendipity Creamery
Beat the sweltering heat and sate your need for cheese at Serendipity Creamery with one of this Wynwood shop's can’t-miss flavors: cheesecake. Priced at $4 or $6 depending upon the size, tangy cheesecake ice cream made in-house is mixed with decadent chunks of cheesecake. This frozen treat cools you while satisfying your sweet tooth and love of all things creamy.
10. Cheese Fries at Shake Shack
By now you’ve seen a mix of simple and over-the-top ooey-gooey concoctions, but don’t get so distracted that you forget to go back to the basics. Cue Shake Shack. Pair your Shack Stack burger ($9.95) or Chick’n Shack ($6.55) with an order of crinkle-cut cheese fries ($3.99), made with Yukon Gold potatoes and smothered in a blend of American and cheddar cheeses. These babies will set you back 560 calories, but who’s counting?