For everything that 11th Street Diner's is not, Magnum Lounge's fried chicken (emphatically) is: crispy breading fortifying juicy, meaty pieces of tender chicken that is perfectly seasoned. It is, hands down, the best fried chicken in Miami. Sorry Joe's Stone Crab and Publix.
The experience of dining at Magnum is secretive, romantic, and cozy. Don't be off-put by the back lot parking, back door entrance, and the initial shock to the eyes of a darker-than-a-bat-cave lighting. There's a menu of comfort food -- the soup du jour of New England clam chowder is outstanding, and the hot item on their menu is the New Times' 2010 pick for Best Fried Chicken. And rightfully so. It's a designation is well deserved. Proprietor Jeffrey Landsman, who recently made the rounds offering complimentary port after dinner, was quite pleased about the honor, saying "It's hard to be humble about, because it's true."
The $21.95 plate of three large pieces of fried chicken comes with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a paltry offering of limp steamed vegetables. Vegetables aside, the entree is perfect for any fried chicken lover.
And speaking of lovers, the charming piano man might even dedicate "Hello Young Lovers" to you and your date as well. And if you happen to take your date to Magnum's on a Tuesday night, as I happened to do, entrees are buy one get one half off! (Be warned the service began to considerably slow down as the service staff of two worked just six tables.) Wednesday features half off all wine bottles and Thursday is $9 appetizer night.
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Magnum Restaurant & Lounge
709 NE 79th Street Causeway, Miami