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Snackdown Finals: Coconut Grove vs. Coral Gables

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Over the last few weeks, Short Order has been pairing eight Miami-Dade neighborhoods in a "Snackdown." This is the finals entry. Today pits Coconut Grove against Coral Gables. Which of these two is the better neighborhood for dining?

Read our arguments and VOTE! Tweet it. Facebook it. Google+ it. Comment if you don't like it. Comment if you love it. Do whatever it takes to rep your epicurean mecca.

It's D-Day.

Last night, hundreds of you decided that Midtown/Design District/Wynwood does not have what it takes to be crowned the Short Order Snackdown champion. The people of Coral Gables and loyal patrons alike harnessed 69.69 percent of the vote (did you guys plan that?).

Who's the favorite and who's the underdog in this race? At this point it doesn't matter. The point is there will only be one winner.

Coconut Grove
First you decided South Beach doesn't have what it takes to compete in the big leagues -- so the Grove came out on top. Then you decided Downtown couldn't compete alongside the Grove. So here we are in the finals.

The Grove has been something of a haven for locals to leave the tourist-saturated beach scene. With old shady trees and meandering walkways and sidewalks, Coconut Grove offers a more peaceful dining setting than most other areas of Miami. In fact, we might even say it's most peaceful here in The Grove.

Grove-ites and visitors alike are crazy about Villa Mayfair - and rightfully so. Despite the pretty penny one spends on dinner for two, you pay for the ambiance and alcohol just as much as you do for the food. Neither of which Mayfair lacks very much in.

For the burger lovers, LoKal has been turned into the new hot spot for a good, clean burger. Have you had those sweet potato fries? Try them, they may sway your judgement in The Grove's favor. The LoKal Burger boasts homemade honey mustard and Homestead avocados. Did we mention the Florida grass-fed beef? Feel good about your meat and eat it too!

Scotty's Landing, the neighborhood place on the marina where you can, as Laine Doss put it, "chill the f**k out." Bombay Darbar and Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill need not be forgotten. (Fresh ceviche and kick-ass spicy paneer makhani? yes, please!)

Its iconic GreenStreet Cafe is a favorite among locals, and just up the road are favorites like Lulu and Le Bouchon du Grove. The area is a favorite amongst students of the nearby campuses like University of Miami and FIU South Campus. A cheap and quick bite is always accessible at casual places like El Taquito taqueria, Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill, and The Last Carrot.

The Grove is the place to be for a hassle-free grub spot whether you're looking to doll up and take a date or have a quiet lunch with friends and family. It's the ideal place to even grab a seat outside of a cafe, nosh a sandwich and read a book.

Coral Gables
The Gables came out strong against Little Havana. After moving through to the semis, Coral Gables rocked the Midtown/Design District and Wynwood area hard, nabbing 69 percent of readers votes. Clearly, the Gables is in it to win it.

It's really time to pull out the big guns now. We mentioned it first in our Mid Beach vs. Downtown Snackdown, but we're gonna bring it back, and bring it back with vengeance.

Hey, Coconut Grove, do you have a Chopped Champion running around nearby? No need to respond, we all know the answer. 'Tis right folks, Coral Gables is home (albeit temporary) to its most recent addition, Eating House. The bangin' pop-up has pleased just about every lost soul that's strolled in. It's said their dishes are if not comparable, far better than sex. One of our very own from the Short Order team even caught a woman romancing her bone marrow there one night. Excuse us, we think we need a personal break.

Sex aside, there's much more to The Gables than meets the eye. An all-time favorite among many our residents, Randazzo's offers solid, homey Italian food right off of Miracle Mile. With a sizable parking lot across the street and Sunday Gravy Pasta (don't get grossed out, they just mean tomato sauce), we don't mind the longish haul it takes to get to The Gables just for this.

That's not all the Gables brings to the table, though. Commenters left shout outs for favorites like Ortanique on the Mile. The new world Caribbean fare has eaters jumping out of their seats for more of that Hawaiian tuna tartare with bacon butter and West Indian style bouillabaisse. Slightly pricey, sure. But worth it.

Places like Christy's on Ponce de Leon Boulevard hands over the meaty goods of outright deliciousness (how do you like your steak? Rare? Medium?) and Cafe Vialetto on LeJeune Road offers tuna tostones... you just can't beat a sashimi tuna topped toston.

Outstanding [far beyond] notable mentions for The Gables won't stop there, though. Route 9, Patagonia, Pascal's on Ponce, and Caffe Abracci are spots we'd be silly to leave out.

Coral Gables may seem like it's an area for pricier nights out, and while that statement isn't entirely false, who wouldn't want to spend a little extra on spectacular food far off the beaten path of the typical Miami scene?

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

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