The early bird catches the free coffee at this bright and airy new addition to the midtown Miami scene: Arrive between 8 am and 10 am, and a cuppa basic American joe is complimentary. Of course once the bird lands in front of Sweet Point's pastry display case, chances are there will be a croissant, muffin, or delicate little cake ordered to pair with the coffee. Owner Liliana Alberece does the baking herself, and from what we sampled it seems she's quite talented. The workers here are more than friendly.
A blueberry-almond muffin ($2.50) of light, moist pound cake was as good as muffins get -- not big, clunky, and weighed down with too much sugar like many around town. If the muffin was lighter than most, an oatmeal-raisin cookie ($2.25) weighed way more than one would think a cookie could -- in a good way. It was soft, chewy, slightly under-baked, and (like the muffin), sweetened to just the right extent. Ms. Alberece is originally from Mexico, and makes a mean conchas ("shells") -- a dome of yeasted sweet bread, in this case chocolate-flavored, topped with a dusting of cinnamon.
A croissant ($3) proved fresh and buttery, but was otherwise a standard shiny, lightly-browned American rendition. The almond variety looked better.
Sweet Point isn't just about fulfilling the sweet tooth: A full breakfast menu is served until 2 p.m. daily, and there are lunch and dinner offerings too. I tried a breakfast order of scrambled tofu ($6.25). First thing I noticed is that the tofu wasn't scrambled, but neatly cubed, seasoned, and sauteed with spinach, mushrooms, and bits of green pepper. It lacked promised onions, the importance of which is to scrambled tofu what jelly is to peanut butter. "Brown toast" was disappointingly mundane (like brown-colored white bread) -- especially for a bakery. Potatoes on the plate, diced and sauteed with onions, were tasty, and altogether it was a satisfying breakfast. Coffee, which wasn't free at the hour I dined, was freshly brewed and robust.
Lunch brings various sandwiches and salads ($6.95 to $13); a burger with ham, fried egg, chips, mozzarella, and more ($12); and a very basic choose-your-pasta-and-sauce plates ($10). Dinner brings composed pasta dishes, same salads (but about a buck more), and a quartet of entrees: Tilapia, steak frites, roasted chicken, and the burger. Best part is, you don't have to be an early bird to enjoy these.
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