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Snackdown Semi-Finals: Coconut Grove vs. Downtown

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Over the next few weeks, Short Order will be pairing eight Miami-Dade neighborhoods in a "Snackdown." This is the first semi-finals entry. Today pits Coconut Grove against Downtown Miami. 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.

For north of the county line, visit our sister blog, Clean Plate Charlie, and vote for your favorites during its Food Town Throwdown.

Coconut Grove

You decided South Beach doesn't have what it takes to compete in the big leagues -- so the Grove came out on top.

Grovites 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!)

Downtown

Mid Beach ain't got it -- but you said Downtown does.

Edge, oh Edge. Your valet is outrageously expensive but the food is so worth it. Edge's insanely tasty corvina even made it onto our 100 Favorite Dishes list. Good steak, good fish, good drinks, (great brunch!) what more could you want?

Housed in the Mandarin Oriental lies Azul, not to be mistaken with the type of joint you can visit after a lazy day at the beach. It's a splurge, clearly. But that's what we like about it. It's nice to get fancy, throw on a nice tie or a pair of heels and forget about the fact that dinner may threaten this month's rent. But for now, who cares? It's the experience, the ritziness, the crazy beautiful dishes we're after.

Perricone's was awarded New Times best gnocchi in 2008 (if you don't like gnocchi you have no soul, basically). La Moon is open until the wee hours and where else would you pick up 2011's best hot dog? Leave it to the Colombian masterminds behind that kitchen to throw an American bun and wiener right back in our face. Bring on the chorizo, quail egg and chips!

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