Miami Spice Is Getting Annoying

Miami Spice started as a discount deal that was meant to promote dining out during the traditionally sluggish month of August. Then it was officially lengthened through September, and the following year restaurateurs unofficially jumped the gun and started the program in July. This year there were winter Spice programs aplenty, and now The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is introducing the first Spring Miami Spice, which will take place starting this Friday, May 1st, and run through the end of the month -- assuming it isn't extended through June.

We love a bargain as much as the next person, but maybe those participating restaurant owners who scatter Spice through as many months as possible should instead just permanently lower the price of their $15-to-$20 appetizers and $30-to-$45 entrees.

The deal remains the same: A special three-course menu for lunch ($23), and dinner ($36). The advice remains the same: After perusing the list of participating restaurants, and selecting those that are of interest (hint:only pick the most expensive spots), find out what each is offering for the dough. Some places will charge $36 (exclusive of wine or coffee, tax, tip, etc.) for a dinner of house salad, pasta with salmon chunks, and Jell-O. Other, wiser  proprietors will proffer plates of their restaurants' tastiest fare, the idea being that $36-plus in the pocket is fine and dandy, but it's more profitable to impress customers enough that they'll want to return even after the deal expires (if it ever does).

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