With so much coming at me, I decided to get away for a much deserved extended weekend. I wanted to go where the water and sky is crystal blue. I wanted the sun to kiss my skin. With that said, I also wanted all of this in the continental United States. I found a deal within my budget that took me to South Beach.
Paradise. Getaway. Vacay.
When people think of South Beach, beaches, palm trees, bikinis, and partying instantaneously comes to mind. As a foodie, I had to see what South Beach restaurants had to offer. I must say, my overall food experience didn’t disappoint. I did’t have a researched prepared list of restaurants before I departed Chicago. The hotel where I stayed provided me with a list of ‘popular’ restaurants. After trying one of the restaurants on their list, I decided to go rogue and leave the list on the nightstand.
After my run on Saturday morning, I needed to fuel my body. As I strolled along Collins Avenue, I came across La Provence Artisanal French Bakery & Cafe at 1629 Collins Avenue. I bought a fresh fruit cup and a chicken empanada. I took my sweaty self back to the hotel and ate breakfast on the private balcony of my room.
For dinner, I took the advice of the hotel list and went to Joe’s Stone Crab at the far south end of the beach at 11 Washington Avenue. The food was fresh and the service was great. Eating at Joe’s, I felt as if I was eating at another good seafood restaurant. I didn’t feel as if I was having a dining experience unique to South Beach. The lighting was dim so I couldn’t capture any great photos. I say, if you are in South Beach and you have some spare time, check out them out.
The next day I walked myself into a hunger frenzy. A sign that read Happy Hour and $5 mojitos drew me in. Keep in mind, it was Saturday at 1:30 in the afternoon. This sign was in front of Yuca (Young Urban Cuban American) located at 501 Lincoln Road. I decided to order Ceviche Salvaje, a fresh medley of seafood served with tostones. Who could go wrong with $5 mojitos? I left Yuca more than satisfied and feeling great. Keep in mind, Yuca was not on the hotel’s list.
When I woke up on Sunday, I was famished. I went to Yardbird for brunch. Located on the corner of 16th Street and Lenox Avenue at 1600 Lenox Avenue, Yardbird did not disappoint. I ordered a little bit of everything. I learned that the chicken is marinated for 27 hours. I love my mother’s fried chicken; but I think Yardbird’s chicken would win over my mother’s recipe hands down. And because of Yardbird, I know I cannot give up chicken :-). Another favorite of mine at Yardbird was the Chilled Spiced Watermelon. With a mixture of spices, they turned my favorite summertime dessert into a savory side.
For brunch, they offer a limited dessert menu. I walked my happy self right back to Yardbird for the Key Lime Donut Bites. They are served with coconut pudding, mango jellies, and a crunch topping. I am glad that I waited to get back to the room to eat dessert. When I bit into what appeared to be a sugary donut whole, a burst of yummy key lime filling took me by surprise. I wolfed down the donuts before I realized that I had more containers in the box. The coconut pudding and mango jellies are good enough to shine on their own. I forgot to mention, Yardbird wasn’t on the hotel’s ‘list’ either.
I don’t know about you; but I could not go to South Beach without soaking up some sun. I put on my bathing suit, sprayed on the sunscreen, threw my bag over my shoulder, and went to the beach to lay out like it was nobody’s business. I was on vacation so I was not in the mood to find a grocery store. I ordered beach service from DiLibo’s Beach Club. Because the sun was blazing, I ordered a humus plate and an amazing virgin frozen drink. I forgot the name; but it was a refreshing combination of ginger and lime juice. I believe there was a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice added.
DiLibo Beach Club
While you are Lincoln Road, remember to stop into Dylan’s Candy Bar. I picked out an assortment of circus sticks. I also took advantage of the Green Market that was held on Sunday. I couldn’t resist buying tea from Exotic Tea & Spice.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Do not let anyone tell you that South Beach is not a great food city because overall I enjoyed my food excursion. When you go to South Beach, put on regular clothes and eat a meal or two at a table with a chair 🙂 With so much to eat in so little time, I didn’t get a chance to go to half of the restaurants that I found on the internet when I stopped being lazy. I look forward to next year when I go back to South Beach. South Beach is worthy of an annual foodie holiday 🙂