After getting back from a three day weekend, I realized just how bad my cooking tastes. I’ve been eating at Miami restaurants all week, and my palate has adapted to that of a more sophisticated cuisine. In layman’s terms, I’m used to eating good food instead of bad food. I’m going to list each restaurant I went to, because they’re all my favorites.
I’ll start off with Cardon Y El Tirano, which translates directly to “something and the tyrant”. I’m not sure what cardon means. Anyways, this restaurant is found near the East Coral Gables in Miami. The main reason I always eat at this restaurant is because there’s so much to order on the menu, so I always have a reason to come back. There’s no such thing as a picky eater at Cardon Y El Tirano, because they literally have something for everybody. Among my favorites are the yuka balls, soft shell crab buns, lechon dumplings, and tostones picanha.
Keep in mind that this is a gastropub, which essentially just means that it’s a higher-end restaurant and bar. Not just a plain pub, a gastropub. Cardon Y El Tirano specializes in tapas, which are spanish appetizers. The style of food here is Venezuelan, so you get a variety of foods that you wouldn’t normally find at a Mexican restaurant or Cuban restaurant. I appreciate that the owner would take risks and pick a unique style of food that most people aren’t accustomed with, because it absolutely paid off in the end.
The end result was one of my favorite restaurants in Miami. All of the waiters are very professional from what I’ve seen, and I have even seen them easily handle a few situations that went south. People can be very hard to reason with when it comes to food, but the waiters at Cardon Y El Tirano are very experienced. They act like it, at least. In addition, the wait staff is also friendly and helpful.
I needed assistance when ordering the first time, because the wide selection was a bit overwhelming for someone who is accustomed to fast food and P.F. Chang’s. My waitress suggested the salmon tacos, which are to die for if you haven’t tried them yet. I would be surprised if anyone reading this article hasn’t been to Cardon Y El Tirano yet, because the restaurant is always packed. Somehow the owner manages to keep the Miami restaurant’s interior feeling very open and roomy.
The music wasn’t played too loudly, and the interior was well-lit, so this would also be a great restaurant for business meetings. I made sure to let the manager know my thoughts on Yelp in a very good review, but it would probably take you a while to find it if you looked. There are a LOT of positive online reviews for this Miami restaurant.
Crazy About You Restaurant & Lounge has a name almost as long as its menu. Not literally, of course, because then it would only be about a sentence long. This time around, you’ll be eating right on the coast of the Miami South Channel, so make sure to order your food to go. Miami has a lot of beautiful scenery, but there’s nothing like eating on the shoreline. Beaches will always get packed because Miami is a tourist trap and giant vacation destination, but you can always just sit on a bench and eat your food with a friend.
Again, don’t be afraid to scour the menu and try lots of different things. I can sum up how amazing the menu is in three words: calamari flat bread. Might sound unappetizing to anyone who hasn’t tried it, but I assure you, once you try it you will be hooked as well. All of the dishes that I have ordered in the past tasted very fresh, and you feel as if the chefs really care about each person who comes into the restaurant.
They wouldn’t serve bad food to a friend, so why should you be any different? Sanitation must be paramount in the owner’s M.O., because this restaurant is a health inspector’s heaven. To give an example, I’ll tell you guys a personal story from my first visit. Halfway through my meal, the owner came up to my table and made sure that my glass was full and I was also enjoying my meal. I told him the latter was very true, and asked if I could spectate for a while in the kitchen as long as I didn’t get in the way.
Last but not least, there’s Pho 79. If you want to talk about fresh ingredients, there’s nothing like an Oriental restaurant. Everything on the menu is equally great, so I don’t have any favorites. Probably a dish with pork in it, because that’s my favorite type of meat. Out of the three restaurants, I think Pho 79 was my favorite to eat inside of. Even though it’s located near Florida International University in Southwest Miami, I haven’t once considered getting my food to go.
I love how helpful the waiters are, but at the same time they also let you eat in peace. A lot of restaurants go too far in either leaving you alone when your glass is empty and the waiters are ignoring you. On the flip side, I have also been to a couple restaurants where it seemed like the waitress wanted to sit down and tell me her whole life story. Pho 79 strikes a good balance, and definitely earns all of its very good online reviews. Very good restaurants overall, and there’s a reason I have kept coming back time and time again.