The place: Hurricane Bar & Grill
365 N. Royal Poinciana Blvd., Miami Springs
The hours: Monday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m.
The deals: $1 off everything at the bar and half off all appetizers.
The scene: You can live your entire life in Miami and never go to Miami Springs, a sleepy town just north of the airport. And mostly that'd be all right, except for the fact that you'd miss out on Hurricane Bar & Grill. The bar is in an anonymous group of storefronts on a nothing street. But once you step through the foyer, you realize you're in the Cheers of this small town.
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There are the Springs' regulars you'd expect (the place has been open for more than a half-century), but its happy hour pulls in a consistent group of high-profile visitors from throughout Miami and even internationally. Pilots on break from nearby MIA come in droves, as do former Miami Dolphins such as Don Strock, George Roberts, and others. True to its name, the bar is a Miami Hurricanes stronghold, with former and current greats adorning the walls in paintings and caricatures. Former UM standout George Mira personally delivers his conch fritters to the joint, which you can get for half off during happy hour along with all the rest of the appetizers.
The drink and meal happy-hour specials are swell, but the real deal is the 16- to 18-ounce New York strip steak with baked potato, salad, and garlic bread for $20. It used to be you could get it only one night a week, but its popularity forced the owners to make it available all the time.
Conclusion: In the years that Hurricane Bar & Grill has been around, Miami has grown into a cosmopolitan and international city. But somehow -- maybe because it is so hard to find -- the bar has kept its small-town identity. When you feel like losing some of the big-city 'tude, put your GPS on overdrive and find your way to this neighborhood joint.