Archive for the ‘2010 Restaurant Reviews’ Category

4.25 out of 5

Decent location not too far north or west, just north of the 836 on 87th Avenue in Doral; ample parking and seating available; casual but nice, large Japanese steakhouse decor and ambiance; big clean bathrooms are a huge plus; service is welcoming, attentive, informed, and usually above average; full liquor bar with sports on flatscreens as well as sushi bar with dining counter are both available in different areas of this large space; lunch gets busy during the week but the lunch specials are very affordable and generous; dinner prices are very reasonable and depend on your taste as there is a rather large menu ranging from small plates and appetizers, soups and salads, regular and more unique sushi/sashimi/rolls, hibachi menu and tables with your personal chef and show are available, and a variety of bigger non-sushi/hibachi “Asian Special” plates are available; take out is available; imperfections are as expected and not significant; consistency is surprising considering the size of this restaurant venture; smoke and mirrors are minimal if any. Please “read the rest of this entry” below to see the complete, and quite lengthy, detailed review for much further information and insight.



3.5 out of 5

So we had just been bike riding with some friends… a day of rainy weather, freak bike accidents, dehydration, flat tires, broken bike racks, but free entry to Shark Valley due to national “lands day.” On our way back, as we had done once years ago returning from Naples via the scenic route of Alligator Alley (SW 8th Street) it seemed obvious that Pit BBQ would hit the spot just right… and both times it did. This review is of this more recent occasion where we had a dandy ol’ time filling up our well-deserving exercising bellies.

Decor and ambiance are that of a standard BBQ place, with out door wooden bench seating and just a bit closer to the everglades than usual so a lil’ mo’ country… in other words very pleasant and casual. Drinks included two sodas with 75 cent refills, a bottle of water, and a bottle of beer – self-explanatory in terms of quality. We shared the gator bites appetizer which brought about 10 to 15 pieces of small-bite-size lightly breaded and perfectly fried with the undeniable flavor and texture of gator without being too chewy. At least one at the table was a gator rookie and enjoyed, especially courtesy of the spicy pink sauce with which it came. (more…)

4 out of 5

VERY good burgers USUALLY cooked to order, strong variety of burgers, excellent side dishes and snacks for appetizers, very reasonable prices due to huge shareable portions, full bar, some hipness and nightlife evident without being too trendy (especially considering the area), parking garage right next door and that does not over charge, overall decent service or better depending on the night, and a nice touch of out of the ordinary and even upscale food options, tables arranged for comfortable seating despite how crowded it can be, music varied but was audible yet soft enough to hold conversation (very important), and they even have an ice cream bar that is separate but in the same restaurant. Very good and consistent food virtually no smoke and mirrors if any at all.

Burger and Beer Joint
(305) 523-2244
Mary Brickell Village
900 S Miami Ave. Suite 130
Miami, FL 33130

3 out of 5

We had been once before and it was good but this time just “hit or miss” from plate to plate. The look of the restaurant is modern, with large spacious tables surrounding a bar area and the open kitchen. The menu is divided into (soup) Bowla, Small Plates, Salads, Pizzas, Main Plates, and Sides. I was able to try the Caesar Salad, which they graciously provided in a half size portion at a smaller cost as per my request as all except the side salad are “dinner” portions. My appetizer size Caesar was perfect however my wife’s dinner portion lacked the anchovies, or “boquerones” as it were. The shrimp ceviches had been very good the first time we dined here however this time the two that were ordered were tiny and bland. At ten dollars you would expect more than about four or five baby shrimp in almost a shot size glass. The winner small plate were my mother’s Mojo Chicken Nachos, with black bean and corn salsa, pico de gallo, jalapenos, queso blanco, and avocado crema. These were such a nice portion that, if I ever return, could function as an appetizer for the table or even a small to moderate sized entrée. Further, they were tasty, fresh, with well-proportioned and distributed toppings. A great dish for the price and for what it is.


3.75 out of 5

Good location; easy parking; More dimly lit and slightly more modern but still classic steakhouse look; call or go online for reservations; full bar, quite varied steak and seafood menu with other options, and tempting happy hour (drinks and bar menu $7 and under) until 7 pm; Burger Bar menu available in the dining room for, not just at the bar, featuring the Flemings Prime Burger, one of the best we have ever had at a steal for $12 compared to all the other $25 to $40 dollar entrée options; Sunday Prime Rib Dinner is also a great value and with excellent quality and quantity; Regular dinner on the other hand was good but inconsistent. Amazing chocolate and pecan turtle pie!; Overall well above average service but not consistently great; the smoke and mirrors here are just about what one would expect although other places with the same S and M offer more in the quantity of food, yet others offer less in quality. Rating got downgraded from 4.0 after returning so it could really be a 4.0 with a bad night or a 3.5 with only some awesome things.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
(305) 569-7995
2525 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134

3.75 out of 5

First Dinner:

We had reservations, not that it mattered as it was a Wednesday night and quite empty, and were seated right away at a comfortable table in the middle of the classy dining room, up to par with your standard upscale steakhouse, though more dimly lit. We put in some drink orders which arrived soon as well as the bread, superb due to the accompanying spreads, including what tasted like a creamy goat cheese with the other having an herbier and/or roasted red peppery flavor.  I just wish I hadn’t filled up on it. We also ordered two appetizers, both of which were great. One was the extrEEEmely messy but delicious Crab Louis Wraps featuring real fresh crab bacon and a sauce with poorly, at least for wrapping purposes, trimmed or otherwise executed lettuce leaves. It was delicious though so conceptually it was definitely a winner. Next was the heaping (seriously have at least 4 people, maybe even 6 to 8 if just for nibbling, to share this or you will have to face resisting the leftovers, albeit  cold and soggy, the next day like I ended up NOT resisting, and happily so) portion of Fried Calamari with hot peppers.

The following moment was really the only major, though fortunately short lived, flaw in the dining experience. I had seen online, (more…)

4 out of 5

I had lunch there, a party of four including me. It was a Saturday and relatively empty so we were directed to seat ourselves and were greeted by a server immediately. We put in soda and water drink orders which came quickly in an expected amount of time. We ordered a medium Hawaiian pizza. It had the typical ham, pineapple, and onion well distributed on a thin and crispy 14 or so inch crust cut into six slices. It had an appropriate distribution of toppings as well as size for a “medium”.  All of us tried it and enjoyed it. We also ordered a large pizza split half BBQ chicken and half “Godfather”. The former brought chicken, red onions, cilantro, and bbq sauce and was very savory. The latter, as one could both expect and, at a pizza place, desire, contained more typical Italian style toppings such as sausage and pepperoni along with very fresh bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. (more…)