Memorial Day is this weekend. In most of the country, it's the official beginning of summer. Of course, it's summer year-round in South Florida, but that doesn't stop locals from popping open a cold one and firing up the grill.
The big question is, what are you putting on that grill? Before you throw a questionable frozen patty on the fire, check out some of Miami's fine establishments working overtime to provide you with quality meats and prepared foods for your backyard barbecue or beach picnic.
Why be like everyone else and grill some hot dogs when you can put Proper Sausages' whiskey cherry venison sausages on the grill? They're made with New Zealand venison, pork belly, and cherries soaked in American whiskey ($16 per pound). Burger fanatics can up their grill game with patties made with bison, beef, and bacon. Proper Sausages also offers a special selection of rubs and house-made pickles, pickled cauliflower, and pickled ramps. Don't forget to take home a container of orzo salad made with baby sweet peppers, chives, and herbs ($5 to $8).
Proper Sausages is open Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday and Memorial Day.
Miami Smokers is offering a special Smokers' sausage sampler pack for the holiday weekend. Fifteen bucks gets you two Wynwood beer brats, two medium Italian sausagees, and two Mama T's spicy Thai sausages. All are made with 100 percent Berkshire pork.
There are also special deals on chops for the weekend. A four-pack of double-cut one-pound Florida-raised Red Wattle chops — marinated in Smokers' cure, herbs, and citrus — is $40. It costs $24 for a four-pack of single-cut half-pound ones.
Miami Smokers' James Bowers says the chops come premarinated and can go straight to your grill. "Just cook them for ten minutes on each side, and allow the meat to get to 130 degrees."
Miami Smokers is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday but open on Memorial Day.
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Swine Southern Table & Bar
Swine's grillmasters are more than willing to do the work for you this Memorial Day weekend — leaving you more room to enjoy the day. The restaurant is offering a host of barbecue specials, including 12-hour slow-smoked pork shoulder (10-ounce portion with two fixings, $34; 20-ounce portion with three fixings, $64); low and slow ribs (half a rack with two fixings, $38; full rack with three fixings, $68); 14-hour smoked brisket (half-pound and two fixings, $38; one pound and three fixings, $68); and backyard barbecue chicken (half a chicken with two fixings, $28; whole chicken with three fixings, $48). Fixings include cornbread, mac 'n' cheese, roasted chilled beets, green farro, cheddar grits, and skillet-charred okra. Call 786-360-6433 to place an order.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Yardbird is offering several options for a backyard picnic, including its famous fried chicken. Lewellyn's fine fried chicken (half a chicken and two fixings, $36; whole chicken and three fixings, $64); St. Louis-style pork ribs (half a rack and two fixings, $32; fill rack and three fixings, $45); Florida shrimp 'n' grits with crisp Virginia ham ($28 serves two). Fixings include buttermilk biscuits, grits, mac 'n' cheese, charred okra, chilled watermelon, house-cut fries, and a big ol' cheddar waffle. Call 305-538-5220 to place an order.