Lunch is an oasis, a respite from the insanity of the everyday. Its magic is felt in
So abandon the self-destructive habit of eating a mediocre, solitary lunch. Is there anything sadder than a dry turkey sandwich?
There's no shortage of excellent lunches in Miami. You need only stop at Edge Steak & Bar for a sampling of Aaron Brooks' lunch break, a $24, three-course affair that changes weekly. Nearby, at Niven Patel's Ghee Indian Kitchen in the Design District, chef Pushkar Marathe dishes out a spectacular tiffin, a kind of Indian bento box, with a fragrant combination of rice, vegetables, pickles, and optional meat for $18.
But if such prices are too steep for you, try these choices for solid lunches that cost $10 or less.
1. Sausage and Peppers at Proper Sausages. Freddy Kaufmann doesn't compromise. Hence, this Miami Shores butcher shop is the obsession of home and professional cooks alike. From the bounty of house-made sausages and bacon to the eggs, duck fat, and even spices, the shop carries everything to fill the discerning cook's pantry. Yet at lunchtime, it's all about the chalkboard list of sandwiches held to a higher standard. The highlight is the sausage and peppers ($9), with your choice of any of Kaufmann's sausages, from the handmade chorizo to the classic with garlic and sage, tucked into a fluffy Portuguese bun. While you're eating it, take note of everything else on the board, like the BLT ($9), the fried chicken turkey burger ($10), and the barbecued tongue ($10). 9722 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores; 786-334-5734; propersausages.com.
2. Goat roti at L.C. Roti Shop. It's amazing that after you visit this iconic Trinidadian spot only a few times, its gregarious matriarch remembers your name and order. Be sure to lock in the goat roti ($10). First, watch in awe as a lump of dough is stretched, pulled, and grilled until it's thin and burnished. Then comes a heap of fragrant curried potatoes in a thick pale-yellow sauce with an intoxicating fragrance that fills the room. The chunks of tender goat are supple with the fatty richness of
3. Fried chicken sandwich at La Pollita. Tacos are the
4. Pan con lechón at the Butcher Shop. Down in Palmetto Bay, a pagoda of
5. Margherita pizza at Stanzione 87. Neapolitan pizzas today have an unshakable grip on Miami, and for good reason. When made by a dedicated pizzaiolo, a traditional pie, held to the exacting standards codified by the European Union, is a thing of beauty. There's the puffy, oven-pocked crust and, in this Brickell spot's case, handmade mozzarella on a
6. Cheeseburger at Burger Bob's. With the closure of North Miami Beach's Ham & Eggery and the Coral Gables location of S&S Diner, a decent meal from a good old greasy spoon is becoming ever rarer. But don't worry: Longtime
7. Barbecued pork and roast duck at King Palace Chinese Bar-B-Q. A grand formality of traditional Chinese restaurants mandates that ingredients be shown to the customer upfront. And that's just what you'll find at this mustard-yellow temple of meat. Diners are welcomed by glistening auburn ducks hanging in a row and crackly slabs of pork belly dangling in a window that offers a glimpse into the kitchen. At lunchtime, all of that juicy, umami-filled goodness can be yours atop a heap of rice and a few strands of greens for a mere $8.95. 330 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach; 305-949-2339.
8. Sabich at Etzel Itzik Deli. Those in the know say this diner that specializes in Israeli cuisine is the closest thing you'll get to Tel Aviv in Miami. If you're not convinced, show up at lunchtime and watch hairy-knuckled men chat and drink Turkish coffee well into the afternoon. While you're at it, order a
9. Quesadilla at Taquiza. Forget those greasy, gummy cheese-filled quesadillas from mediocre Mexican spots. Done? Good. Now prepare yourself for Steve Santana's version, filled with chihuahua cheese, squash blossoms, and refried beans ($7). What makes it all work is the tortilla, made from landrace corn brought in from Mexico and nixtamalized in-house to create the one-of-a-kind masa, or corn dough, that launched a citywide taco revolution. Though the price for three tacos tops $10, this steal is a traditional Mexican delight that will leave you happy without breaking the bank. 7450 Ocean Ter., Miami Beach; 305-748-6099; taquizatacos.com.
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