Coconut Grove Over South Beach? 50 Reasons That's Just Dumb

As you may or may not know, Short Order is having a little Snackdown! Over the next few weeks, we will be pairing eight Miami-Dade neighborhoods and pitting one against the other in an NCAA-bracket sort of tournament. The first entry, last Thursday, was Coconut Grove versus South Beach.

Admittedly this first battle isn't much of a contest -- South Beach, after all, is one of the best dining nabes in the city, and Coconut Grove is...well, let's put it this way: If you look over Zagat 2012's category of the 40 top-rated Miami-Dade restaurants for food (25 to 29 points), you will note that not one of these is located in Coconut Grove. Zero out of 40 (SoBe has 10).

And yet, lo and behold, with voting on this match-up due to close in two days, the Snackdown! voting looks like this:

South Beach 185 votes, or 29.79%
Coconut Grove 436 votes, or 70.21%

Say what? Why, to select Coconut Grove to move on to the next round would be as nutty as nominating a super-wealthy, out-of-touch, flip-flopping Mormon to represent your political party in a presidential election!

OK, bad example. But what follows is my argument to the contrary: 50 restaurants in South Beach that (in my humble estimation) are as good or better than any restaurant in Coconut Grove (with apologies to the worthy dining establishments in Coconut Grove, as well as to the many places in South Beach that could have made the grade had I extended the number to 75).

One more pre-list note: The disparity between neighborhoods will only widen in 2012, as South Beach readies for Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh; Bazaar by José Andrés; Katsuya; Juvia at 1111 Lincoln Rd.; Sam Gorenstein's My Ceviche; Milos Esitatorio; Gloutonnerie...

...then again, it's always possible that the Grove will counter by opening another Baja Mexican Grill.

The following 50 restaurants are listed randomly:

1. Altamare
2. Tudor House
3. Sardinia
4. Tap Tap
5. Pubbelly
6. Pubbelly Sushi
7. Barceloneta
8. OLA
9. De Rodriguez Ocean
10. Sushi Samba Dromo
11. The Dutch
12. The Restaurant at The Setai
13. The Dining Room
14. Quattro Gastronomia
15. Red, The Steakhouse
16. Smith & Wollensky
17. BLT Steak
18. Joe's Stone Crab
19. Osteria del Teatro
20. Casa Tua
21. Nobu
22. Bond St. Lounge
23. Haven Gastro Lounge
24. Meat Market
25. Escopazzo
26. Prime One Twelve
27. Prime Italian
28. STK
29. Rosa Mexicano
30. Morgans
31. Grimpa Steak House
32. Clarke's
33. Indomania
34. Asia de Cuba
35. China Grill
36. Lido at The Standard
37. Mr. Chow
38. Philippe by Philippe Chow
39. Bianca at Delano
40. Vesper at The Shelbourne
41. Lantao Kitchen at The Surfcomber
42. Shake Shack
43. Spiga
44. Jimmy'z Kitchen
45. Wish
46. Chowdown Grill
47. 660 at The Angler's
48. Barton G
49. The Villa by Barton G
50. Macaluso's

Remember: It's not too late to vote. Sensible readers have until Thursday to remedy this mockery. 

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