Title: Biscayne times
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00025
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Publication Date: January 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Dade -- Biscayne Boulevard Corridor
Coordinates: 25.831647 x -80.182343 ( Place of Publication )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099644
Volume ID: VID00025
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Serving the communities along the Biscayne Corridor, including Arch Creek East, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena
Vista, Design District, Downtown, Edgewater, El Portal, Hibiscus Island, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Momingside, North Bay Island,
North Miami, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

Volume 6, Issue 11

You're trapped in your metal box,
shipwrecked with a throng of
cheerless humanity on a soulless
stretch of 1-95 or Biscayne Boulevard,
somewhere between Aventura and down-
town Miami, and the traffic is creeping
along at glacial speed. On some days,
you can almost feel the hours of your life

leaching out and you wonder how it is
that America's playground became
America's parking lot.
A set of railway tracks appears, some-
times snaking alongside the Boulevard,
sometimes striking off into the urban jun-
gle. Only rarely do you see a train on
them. And again you begin to wonder:

What if a passenger train rode those rails?
What if you could save yourself time,
money, gas, and frustration, gliding to your
Brickell office on rails instead of drowning
in this slow-moving river of steel?
If the Florida Department of
Transportation has its way, and gets
enough money, that vision could become

a reality. The state, like much of the
nation, wants to turn back the clock and
revive the greatly neglected passenger-
rail industry.
There was a time, you see, when
Continued on page 14

Dining Guide

The Biscayne l
Corridor's biggest
and best
restaurant guide.
Page 47

Community News

Miami photographer C
Bunny Yeager
Bettie Page.
Page 28


Our Correspondents

The pleasures
and perils of
life as a civic .V
Page 22

Art & Culture
It was an artistic
triumph. Now
The Living Room
is a mess.
Page 34



Miami Shores Deco Charmer on
corner lot, 3/3.
rYZL Aftif


Bay a Po t, a hop, skip and a jump to downtiiuw
and nRp dnlnhi Int t1 qRM

Zen Flare, Waterfront Livin
pool, garage.


True Treasure on Treasure Island, 300 ft on wide water,
5/5.5, pool, over 20,000 sf lot.


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.- ...


The Open Door Miami Team
Bonnie Brooks 305.206.4186
Ilene Tessler 305.458.1200

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

it'll *~'JI~I I~ I I

January 2009



I k



- s

AdrienneArsht Center

invites you to a FREE



Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



Jim Mullin
Andrew Leins
Erin Polla
Victor Barrenchea, Pamela Robin Brandt,
Terence Cantarella, Bill Citara, Wendy
Doscher-Smith, Kathy Glasgow, Jim W.
Harper, Lisa Hartman, Jen Karetnick, Jack
King, Derek McCann, Frank Rollason,
Silvia Ros, Jeff Shimonski
Marco Fernandez

Marc Ruehle
Wilmer Ametin
Marcy Mock
Image Tech Studios
The Biscayne Times welcomes proposals
for articles and press releases. Submitted
material may be edited for length, clarity, and
content. All submitted material becomes the
property of The Biscayne Times. Please be
sure to include your name, address and tele-
phone number in all correspondence.
All articles, photos, and artwork in the
Biscayne Times are copyrighted by Biscayne
Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting with-
out authorized written consent from the pub-
lisher is prohibited.
The Biscayne Times is published the first
week of each month. We are hand delivered
to all the homes along both sides of Biscayne
Boulevard from downtown and the Venetian
Islands to Arch Creek.



Glasgow: Prophetic and
I enjoyed Kathy Glasgow's column
"Entering the Promised Land" (December
2008). It brought back memories of my
teenage years, when I would roam the
streets of Miami on my BSA motorcycle,
and Jackson, Miami, and Edison high
schools were the football powerhouses. I
now live in Palmetto Bay and seldom
venture north of Coconut Grove, but I
miss those days when Miami was more
open and I was more brave.
My wife is Cuban, and she gets her
"news" from the local Cuban radio sta-
tions. All she had to say about Obama
was comunista, comunista! But now
that she has heard the president-elect
speak, and realizes what a thoughtful
and intelligent person he is, even she is
content with the electorate's choice.
Kathy's writing style is so prophetic, so
full of imagery (even though I'm not much
of believer) that I still respond to the
Biblical imagery of those powerful men of
yore who stand like giants in our minds.
My first memory was my father
singing "Dry Bones," which was about
as religious as he ever got. It was up to
me to later learn about the struggles of
Moses and later of Martin Luther King.
That and the songs of Rev. Gary Davis

and his guitar remain my most enduring
images of such otherworldly men of
action. Too powerful to emulate, for me
they are metaphors for battles to be
fought and for universal wrongs yet to
be righted.
Victor Biver
Palmetto Bay

Glasgow: White Guilt or
Righteous Anger?
At first I thought Kathy Glasgow's
"Entering the Promised Land" was a
parody. When I realized the article was
serious, I honestly burst out laughing!
Practically comparing Barack Obama to
Moses leading his people to freedom?
Crossing the Jordan? Are you kidding?
Maybe her column was a make-good
attempt at the letter regarding her report-
ing that appeared in the same issue. The
letter-writer, architect Najeeb Campbell,
asked Ms. Glasgow to stop the negative
reporting on Liberty City, where she lives.
Maybe it's just white guilt on parade.
She seems to have fallen blindly in love
with Obama's message, as many people
did. I'm still not sure specifically what
that message is, but no matter.
Kathy, baby, get a grip. In the end,
Obama is not going to improve the
"appearance of [your] little house."

You're going to have to do that yourself.
Obama is not the second coming of
Christ, just a politician who hopefully
wants to lead the country to a better
future. He will not walk on water or per-
form miracles. He will not bail us out of
our rut. Only we can do that. Stop look-
ing at him like a savior. He's just a man,
a human being, really. Chill out, sister.
Regarding Jen Karetnick's article in
the same issue on a possible Miami
Shores food festival ("Bring Back the
Taste of the Shores"), I truly love the
idea of a food festival in the Shores.
When she listed possible restaurants that
could participate, I was sadly reminded
of just how few dining establishments
there are within village limits.
Publix and Subway at a food festival?
Come on! But really, what a small list to
choose from! Until the village council
becomes friendlier with potential eateries
and doesn't practically chase them out of
business, we will not see any changes. The
village is just a stale old establishment that
doesn't want to change for the better.
Let's hope that when the construction
is over on NE 2nd Avenue, we will have
a few more choices.
A. Acevedo
Continued on page 6


W waiting For the Train ...................................... ..... .............

Feedback .......................................................... ................. . .4
M iam i's K ing ................................................. .................. . 10
W ord on the Street ........................................ ................ .... 12

B izB uzz ........................................................... .................. . 8
A advertiser D directory ........................................ ..........................8

Kathy Glasgow: After 50 Years, Still Going Strong ...................20
Frank Rollason: Stand Up and Be Heard! Or Maybe Not............22
Jen Karetnick: Shores Shootings: Not What You Think ..............24
Wendy Doscher-Smith: The Big One Blows into Town ..............26

Bunny Remembers Bettie......................... ....................28
Little Haiti Park: Eight Months and Counting ............................28
One Night, Two Wheels, Many Families....................................29
Teachers vs. Attorneys: Guess Who Got the Money ..................30

Biscayne Crim e Beat........................................ ........... .... 32

Fall From Grace: The Living Room..................................38
A rt L istings .................................................. .................. . 36
Culture Briefs .............................................. .................... 39

A Tale of Two Minis...............................................40

Kids and the City: Big Music For Little Ears .............................42
Harper's Environment: Green Wishes For a New Year ................43
Pawsitively Pets: The Penny-Pincher's Guide to Pet Happiness .......44
Your Garden: Don't Throw Away Your Holiday Green................46

Restaurant Listings ........................................ .............. .... 47
W ine: Red W hite & You.................................. ........ ............ 48

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


8101 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 102, Miami Fl 33138
Tel 305 751 1511 Fax 305 751 1512
www. beau l i v i n g. co m

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



January 2009


Continued from page 4

Kathy Glasgow replies: Contrary to what
A. Acevedo asserts, I did not compare
Barack Obama to Moses. I called him
Joshua. This Biblical metaphor has been
used for many months now by millions of
churchgoers, and even by people like me
who just know the Bible. I also made a
point of stressing that even after Joshua
was "chosen" and the promised land occu-
pied, the daunting, drawn-out work by the
entire nation of Israel was yet to come.
Regarding letter-writer Naj eeb
Campbell, :I think he's the one who needs
to chill out if he's equating my writing
with Birth of a Nation! My column isn't
meant to "cover" a Liberty City beat but
rather to sketch (with limited space for
background, context, and so on) some of
my experiences as a newcomer to an his-
toric African-American neighborhood.
I know the popular media have always
demonized, sensationalized, and stereo-
typed black people. But that is not the
same as telling ugly truths. There are defi-
nitely many parts of Liberty City where
middle-class residents live comfortably and
productively. However, the part in which
we ended up through no one's foolish-
ness but our own is not comfortable.
When I talk about foul-mouthed dope
boys and unbalanced crack-smokers, I'm
looking at what's in front of me, not attack-
ing the "character and image" of Liberty
City residents or people of African/
Ethiopian heritage generally. I think anyone
who cares about anything should be angry
about some of the things I've seen.

She's Hungry for Taste of
the Shores
In response to Jen Karetnick's sugges-
tion to bring back Taste of the Shores:
Yes! I'm salivating at the thought. The

vendors should be ready with lots of to-
go containers.
Does anyone have statistics about the
financial benefits to the businesses that
participated in prior years? Perhaps the
vendors could also offer discount
coupons for dinners at their restaurants
to those who purchase from them at the
Shores Taste.
Bring it on!
Patricia M. Kolski
N/" I I L M

Vagabond Motel: It's Not
About Personalities, It's
About Preservation
Thanks to Biscayne Times and reporter
Terence Cantarella for covering the issues
at the Vagabond Motel ("Don't Mess with
My MiMo," December 2008). However, I
was quite surprised that you published
Ellen Wedner's comments about "people"
telling her that I was "screaming" at cars
about "parking illegally." Since Wedner
admitted to hearing that from "people," I
was shocked that your reporter did not
call me to verify that so-called fact, or at
least get one source to confirm her asser-
tion before you published it.
Any statement about me screaming at
cars is completely untrue. I would never
do that. My issue with the Vagabond is
only about preservation and code com-
pliance, not about parking. Fear of bully-
ing and retaliation are unfortunately
some of the many reasons why people
don't speak out against Vagabond owner
Eric Silverman. They are afraid of him
and his childish revenge tactics.
It's very clear to me now why Biscayne
Times asked me to pose for a photo stand-
ing under the Vagabond's sign. I declined
because I did not want this to be an issue
about me and the owner. This is strictly
about preservation. Publishing that sort of
cheeky photo would have given more

ammunition to the controversy you are
attempting to stir with your article.
I have had many positive phone calls
thanking me for standing up to the "big
man" on the Boulevard. He can be quite
intimidating. I suggest that your reporter
attend the January 6, 2009, meeting of
the Miami Historic and Environmental
Preservation Board. You just might find
out the truth about Eric Silverman's dis-
regard for the preservation process.
Teri D'Amico
North Miami

"'/ Nice Art,
/ Wrong
A drawing that
appeared as part of
Anne Tschida's
cover story
"Miami Art Machine" (December
2008) was mistakenly attributed to
New World School of the Arts grad
Michael Loveland. The drawing, Blow
Up Bad People!, was actually the work
of Michael Scoogin. Below is a detail
from a piece by Loveland, Mirror For
the Sun (2008), provided by his
gallery, Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.
We regret the error.

Boulevard of Names
In "Don't Mess with My MiMo,"
Vagabond Motel owner Eric Silverman is
quoted as saying: "And who's done more
than I've done? Show me one person on
the Boulevard."
Well, a few people quickly come to
mind: Mark Soyka, Sinuhe Vega, Sandra
Stefani, Fran Rollason, Bob Powers, Nancy
Liebman, and Jeff Akin, to name a few.
Clifton Childree, member
MiMo Biscayne Association

Wendy's Fan Club,
Phoenix Chapter: It's All
About Vitamin B
Glad to see that Wendy Doscher-Smith is
back with a pen and pad. We loved her
latest piece, "In the Land of No Sun"
(December 2008). Clever take on the bit-
ter northern people. It makes you thank-
ful to live in a place where we get ade-
quate amounts of Vitamin B.
Levon Guiragossian
Phoenix, Arizona

Wendy's Fan Club, LA
Chapter: It's All About
As always, Wendy Doscher-Smith had
me on the floor laughing with her col-
umn "In the Land of No Sun"
(December 2008). I was afraid we'd
never get to hear her let's call it
unique slant on life again when she
left us for the North Woods. It's nice to
know that even if she turned Yankee on
us, she's still sharing her weird world.
Her Ice Cream Nazi reminds me of the
Pho Nazi, a lady who runs a Vietnamese
restaurant in the high desert above
Mojave. We drive up there just to watch
her. "Soy sauce? You want put soy sauce
on my braise fish? Get out! Get out!"
Anyone innocently requesting the
Condiment of Evil gets the boot.
We ordered pho (Vietnamese beef
soup) one cold, blustery afternoon. "No
pho. You eat regular wonton. Pho not for
you!" she yelled at us. We ate the won-
ton, but to this day, we search our souls
and wonder what it is about us that
makes us un-pho worthy, and how she
managed to spot it so fast.
Anyway, Wendy's Ice Cream Nazi
would be the perfect dessert stop after a
no-pho lunch.
Continued on page 19

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

November 2008

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

"Within three miles al' the Adrienne
CH Amht Center there we more then
0- 650 places to *M.' dippe Magarim
Read the complete article at

January 2009



BizBuzz: January 2009

Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

Ever notice how, right after the

Christmas/Hanukkah season you've
spent selflessly shopping for others,
the personal gimmes hit you harder than at
any other time of the year? Why, then, is
January traditional White Sale month? A
new dish towel does not sate the need to
self-indulge. Here's what will: The
January sale at both Miami branches of
Agora, where furniture is 40 percent off,
and all other items reduced 20 percent off
the ethnic import store's already near-
unbelievably bargain prices. Aside from
the shop's renowned exotic cabinets,
desks, and benches, stock ranges from
sushi sets for two (including a serving
tray, plates, chopsticks, stick rests, and
bamboo placemats, all for about the price
of one upscale maki roll) to candles and
incense; ceramic dishes, vases, and stat-
ues; unusual lighting, like elaborate
Chinese paper star shades; rugs and floor
mats; even coconut maracas. (For those
traveling upstate this month, Agora's man-
agement extends an invite to the chain's
new location in downtown St. Petersburg.)
Whether you've eaten and imbibed
your way to December's extra five or
unspeakably more pounds, it's now time
to pay. But at least you'll pay less and
exercise less to take them off at
Studio FitVibe this month. For Biscayne
Times readers, the Midtown facility is

offering a free personal training session
using the revolutionary "Whole Body
Training" concept, a ten percent discount
off the regular price of a package of
training sessions, and for readers who
buy a package in the first week of
January, a free fresh fruit smoothie at the
in-house Tutti Frutti Caf6 ("To feed their
muscles," explains the studio's Chad
Parvus, "after a killer workout"). Which
is not actually so killing, thanks to the
studio's signature miracle machines.
Through "controlled whole body vibra-
tion," these activate almost 100 percent
of your muscle fibers (versus about 40
percent in a conventional training ses-
sion). Result: FitVibe clients need exer-
cise only 20 minutes a few times a week
to replace cellulite with lean muscle -
and then about half that time to maintain
that newly tight bod. (An added plus:
Stresses on joints are lower, decreasing
risk of injury, especially for those who
haven't lifted anything heavier than a
shot glass in years.)
It's also time to send off thank-you
notes for all those holiday gifts (yes,
even the truly bizarre ones you've
already rewrapped for next year's Secret
Santa swap box). Luckily, LetterHeads
(whose motto is: "Paper Plus Creative
Minds") offers a timely deal: From
January 3 through February 17, those
buying personalized Crane stationery get
a choice of free engraving dies the
plates that make those classy-looking

raised letters on engraved stationery,
or a free name (or monogram) plus
address on envelopes imprinted via ther-
mography. The difference, explains
Marilynn Connell (who co-owns
LetterHeads with Maria Izenman; both
are veterans of The Scarlett Letter in
South Beach): relatively new-tech ther-
mography produces raised printing that
resembles engraving, for a lesser cost,
while engraving is "very old school, the
creme de la creme." And since dies
(nearly a $100 value) can be saved and
reused on your next batch of stationery,
they're gifts that keep on giving.
At most restaurants, Miami Spice-level
prices stopped in September or October.
But the River Oyster Bar is continuing
its prix fixe $23 three-course lunch into
the New Year. Menus change every
week, but typically offer three choices
per course, with starters like caldeirada
(Portuguese fisherman's soup) or an oys-
ter-tasting plate; entrees that always
include a fish dish but go way beyond
(such as chef/owner David Bracha's
recent bison meatloaf); and desserts both
sweet (an assortment of chocolate truf-
fles) to savory (a double-creme brie
cheese plate with pear mostarda and cin-
namon-raisin crisp).
Being a main automobile thorough-
fare, Biscayne Boulevard may never be
a gallery-crawl area like Wynwood or
the Design District, but the concentra-
tion of shops that seem almost like mini-

museums of design are making the
Upper Eastside an increasingly artsy
enclave indeed. At Casca Doce Studios,
for instance, owner/interior designer
AnaCristina Correia features a changing
artist monthly; January's is painter
Neston Paz. Also new: designer furni-
ture from North Carolina's famed semi-
annual High Point Market. This includes
pieces from the Italian firm Tonin Casa,
renowned for merging sleek, clean-lined
beauty with comfie functionality, con-
temporary trendiness with timeless qual-
ity. "And do not forget our ongoing sale
of 20 percent off when you bring this
article," reminds Correia.
You've seen the movie: The Karate
Kid, forced to endlessly wax his sense's
car ("Wax on, wax off'), learns that he
has actually, intuitively, learned the
moves of irresistibly effective karate. At
the new Wax On Wax Off salon, clients
attain similar effortlessly rewarding
results but with less pain, thanks to a
time-tested, vitamin-enriched, skin-
friendly Parisian acqua wax (or for big
areas like one's legs or back, a special
strip wax that gets results faster and
more comfortably than at average wax-
ing joints). Admittedly, the free glass of
champagne they throw in may also add
to the winning experience.

Something special coming up at your
business? Send info to bizbuzz@bis-
caynetimes.com. For BT advertisers only.


PRddnl Iugufltn
Page 3
Addenm AM Centr
January Ciualendar
Page 7
Dee Dida
Page 13
I.D. Art Supply
2695 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 371
600 NE 72nd Terrace
Page 48
St Marthi' Church
9301 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 40
Twmpik lahn l M
137 NE 19th St.
573-5900 ext. 405
Page 39

Auto Body Experts
2921 NW 7th Ave.
Page 34
Europ Car Wuash and Ce1
6075 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 26
Karma Car Wash & Caf
7010 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 20
MIbn Parldg AuUhity
Page 34
Plra Tire& Auto
3005 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 35

Daeud Jewels
36 NE 1st St.
Seybold Building #114
Page 20

Chldren's VIIge
Schol and Daycare Canter
650 NE 88th Terr.
Page 44

Allied Public
Page 10
Sten L. Balrd
Attoney at Law
Page 18
Mary Robhhbs
Accounting & Tax Services
9165 Park Dr Suite 12
Page 10

611 NW 72nd St.
640 Lincoln Rd.
Page 16

Asot Teak
12951 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 22
Beau Lg
8101 Biscayne Blvd. #102
Page 5
Can Doer
6815 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 20
Chntfk Imports
7287 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 45
Dstilsattm aHor
5046 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 19
The LIt Sobs
2450 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 40
Plnt Uglting
5120 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 24
tak Only
8300 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 37

_7______ abEtc.
5084 Biscayne Blvd.
Bay COk Home for 305-754-0316
he Aged Page 43
435 NE 34th St. Slon Gilbert
305-573-4337 3430 N. Miami Ave.
Page 22 305-573-4288
Page 40
11645 Biscayne Blvd. S8~nchl Teh
#204 3301 NE 1st Ave., 7th floor
305-892-2960 3-6-4588
Page 35 Page 11
Studio RtVlbe
ht Club 3470 East Coast Ave. #109
120 NE 19th Terr. 786-623-5321
305-573-7400 Page 16
Page 25 ax n Wax Off
permit 1884 79th Street
7120 Biscayne Blvd. Causeway
305-762-6600 305-865-1300
Paae 17 Page 12

Holitlo Halling
1590 NE 162nd St. #400
Page 18
Kfdolotn Pedlatlca
4112 NE 1st Ave.
Page 42
M Power Prct
9301 NE 6th Ave.
Page 6

arIt SeoB _rd__
Page 24 Doglas Elllmn
1691 Michigan Ave. #2
0ueat Floidan 305-695-6300
Page 23 Page9
Hlimn Matz
k mk Is 786-290-8815
305-469-8162 305-525-8816
Page 43 Page 21

m d T nte Mio 9 Sp2e
Page 37 Page 26
Tuhmb rry Interna
4 PisOn 305-632-1588
1071 NE 79th St.
03 5-756-00 Page 2

Page 47
Adam's Vetednary Clinic
672 NE 79th St

l,_ ,, l;:!i l,, 7,i_ 305-757-7309
ArGlas& Windows Page 47
617 NE 125th St. Junior' Pat rooming
305-891-2726 2500 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 48 305-571-1818
Page 47
Avury G va i & Mror o' t Sp
813 NE 125th St. 18170W Dixie Hwy.
305-891-7734 305-935-5551
Page 45 Page 47
Brnett TreeService Smillng Pets
305-538-2451 305-754-0844
Page 43 Page 46


11064 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 52
Hue Main Fsh Houe
2500 NE 163rd St.
Page 58
Buna Vila Blstmr
4582 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 57

Chef Creb
200 NW 54th St.
13105 W. Dixie Hwy.
Page 57
CGts Goumnnt
9999 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 58
Dogmn Grll
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 64
MDurn' Donut
5128 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 59
Le Cl
7295 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 51
Lausre 's Italn M1lket
16385 W. Dixie Hwy.
Page 60
Mke's at Vnba
555 NE 15th St. 9th floor
Page 53
3221 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 55

Ph Hre
2905 NE 2nd Ave.
Page 54
Royal Bmdan
1085 NE 79th St.
Page 56
Rivr Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave.
Page 56
Sknplee Salad
7244 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 51
6900 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 51
Upper Eastlde Green
Market at Legion Park
Shop 4CE
7501 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 51
Ylt' Bdakry
646 NE 79th St.
Page 59

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

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January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Look Ahead, Be Afraid

Miami, true to form, wants to spend billions it doesn't have

By Jack King
BT Contributor

Ah, the end of one year and the
beginning of another. This is the
time I usually gather my
thoughts about the past year and put
together a column that reminds us of
what went wrong. In the case of 2008,
it's a little depressing, to say the least. So
this year I decided to look at our little
corer of the world and see where we
might be going, how good or bad that
could be, and to offer some suggestions
for improvement. I should have known it
wouldn't be easy.
As I got ready for my last cross-
country trip of the year, I began to
assemble those thoughts, and there
were many. With CNN blaring in the
background, I put the last few things in
my bag and headed for the door, but
before I could turn the knob, I heard
the name "Manny Diaz."
I stopped and sat down. What could
Manny Diaz, our concrete-pouring
mayor of Miami be doing on CNN?
After all, hadn't we given the Obama
transition team enough on him to make
sure he didn't get a job in Washington?
Diaz was angling for the top position at
the Department of Housing and Urban
Development based on his experience
in Miami, but it turned out that his
experience and qualifications were
sorely lacking.
The CNN interview started out nice,
but soon got serious. Diaz, in his role as
president of the U.S. Conference of
Mayors, was pushing an 800-page report
that touted 11,000 "ready to go" civic
projects to get the American economy

moving again. The CNN reporter pushed
Diaz on several items, including one that
proposed a $1.5 million addition to
Miami's Grapeland Water Park on
Douglas Road at SR 836.
"I don't know anything about that,"
said Diaz. The reporter then asked the
mayor if he had actually read the report.
"No," Diaz replied. "I didn't have time
to read it."
I slumped into my chair and thought:
My God, can it get any worse?
There's no question that Miami has a
long history of electing mayors whose
intellect is less than deep and who are

These projects add up to $2.5 bil
yet not one nickel has been set a!
All we have are "don't worry" prone
that future revenues will cover co

easily manipulated by whoever the
power and money brokers are at the
time. Manny Diaz has been no different.
But he certainly has not been alone.
Add to the list Joe Carollo. When it
comes to peddling the office of mayor,
he was right up there. None of them,
however, are in the same league as the
late Steve Clark, who was owned by the
builders and developers. Clark was low-
budget and didn't ask for much, but he
always gave much more. He was just
happy if the developers paid his bar tab
at the Clique Lounge.
The Cuban Diaspora brought us the
same kind of behavior from Havana,
with the last role model there being
Fulgencio Batista, who was just another

front-man puppet with the money guys
pulling the strings. After Batista fled,
the Cubans thought they had another
one in Fidel Castro, but he crossed
them up. They are still not sure why
Castro won't do anything for money.
That's so anti-Cuban.
I regrouped from the CNN embarrass-
ment and headed out the door, wonder-
ing: Is there .i' i,; good in Miami
other than the weather? There must be.
Why would we stay here?
Rather than checking off all the rea-
sons we live here, I think it would be
more productive to look at some upcom-
ing public projects that have lit-
tle or no value for Miami, and
lion, what we can do about them.
side. Can you say Knight Center?
nises How about Miami Arena?
Lists. For whatever reason, local
politicos for years have been
pushing the Museum Park
concept for Bicentennial
Park and the tunnel connecting the Port
of Miami to the mainland. The projects
have a common problem: no money.
However, that never seems to bother
our elected officials, who have
embraced the build it now and pay for it
later approach.
The science and art museums are pri-
vate, nonprofit entities that managed to
convince Miami-Dade County voters it
would be a terrific idea to give them
hundreds of millions of dollars for their
plans. The city and county have cut deals
with them that essentially say public
money will be used for everything but
the actual buildings. That's very nice, but
neither group has enough money to build
an anthill, and in this economic climate,

they have little chance of getting it.
The billion-dollar tunnel seems to be
on hold for now, again for the no-money
reason. But the bigger question is why
do we want to build a tunnel? Since the
creation of the State of Florida in 1845,
only one tunnel has been built that con-
nects public roads (in Fort Lauderdale).
Most engineers do not like the idea of
tunnels in areas where there's lots of
water that could get into a tunnel. Then
there's the cost, about $1 billion, com-
pared to about $150 million to modify
on- and off-ramps that could do the same
thing. Again, why a tunnel?
And finally there is the wonderful
Marlins stadium. Can someone explain
to me why a business like the Marlins,
worth an estimated $250 million,
needs a place to play that costs $600
million? Worse than that, they only
want to pay $200 million for their
share, claiming they're so poor they
don't have two cents to rub together.
The Marlins have agreed to pay for all
cost overruns, so if the stadium ends
up costing $800 million, they'll have
to pony up $400 mil from money they
don't have.
All of these projects add up to about
$2.5 billion, and yet not one nickel has
been set aside. All we have are "don't
worry" promises that future revenues
will cover the costs.
How about something different for a
change? How about a rule that local
governments don't start any projects
unless they can actually pay for them? A
novel concept and a worthwhile New
Year's resolution.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009




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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



What would be your dream job?

SCompiled by Victor Barrenechea BT Contributor

i 1 -EME F

Antonio Villaamil
Upper Eastside
An astronaut. It's kind
of like being a cowboy.
It's the last frontier.
Space is a pretty crazy
place. There's lots of
stuff we don't know
about out there. I'd like
to be like a Buzz Aldrin.
Or maybe someone who
explores the ocean. I
would like to see what's
down there. Eighty per-
cent of the ocean has
been unexplored.

Christy Gast
Little Haiti
I have my dream job
because it's up to me to
invent the projects that I
do, and invent the ways to
make them happen. The
process is a super creative
and engaging, not to men-
tion rewarding. I've
always wanted to be an
artist, even before I knew
what it really meant. And
now I am one.

Thomas Hollingworth
Upper Eastside
Honestly, my dream job
would be in conservation.
Specifically, I'd like to go
to Vietnam and spend a
prolonged period of time
crawling around, looking
for turtle eggs, helping
endangered animals to
stay alive. I think it's
incredibly important that
we save these animals.
Also I'd like to be able to
oversee this stuff because
I don't trust the people
who are doing it now,
having worked for chari-
ties before. And also I
love traveling.

Richard Haden
Little Haiti
I guess I'm doing my
dream job, because I get
to make things. I get to
make things with my
hands, make authentic
things. I get to talk
through my objects. I
have the opportunity to
influence. Except it's not
really a dream job
because I'm actually
doing it. I've always been
an artist, since I was a lit-
tle kid. I've always dab-
bled in the arts.


Heather Klinker
Charity Executive
My dream job would be
riding in the Tour de
France. The challenge of
it. The prestige of it. The
glory of it. Look at Lance
Armstrong. It'd be exhila-
rating. I do bike, and I
have competed, but not
professionally. I was at
one point a professional
skier, and skiers usually
make good cyclists.

Kelson Roberts
Hospital Administrator
Buena Vista
My dream job would be
to establish a home for
unwanted children -
and unwanted adults. I
want to help give direc-
tion in life, in education,
and to try to establish
their God-given talents.
Help these people choose
a career path not based
on materialistic gain but
rather to contribute to
helping other people.
Many children, as well
as adults, commit crimes
or commit suicide based
on lack of guidance

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009




Avant Gallery is a new lifestyle design gallery specializing in collectible furniture,
lighting, objects, and unique medium fine art. Some of the names you will find here
include Verner Panton, Marcel Wanders, Piero Fornasetti, Arik Levy, and Venini.
Located in the Marcy Building_3850 N. Miami Avenue
LUMAS Miami is presenting "VIRTUAL LANDSCAPES," a solo show of Berlin based
artist Gerhard Mantz. Mantz's digital interpretations of landscapes are sculpted to
evoke feelings and moods; the viewer enters the visual environment with an immediate
emotional response. At first glance the images appear realistic but, upon closer
inspection, the seemingly realistic details shift to reveal a strange virtual realm more
closely associated with an interior reality than with the exterior world.
Located in the Moore Building_4040 N.E. 2nd Avenue_Suite 103
/ LUMINAIRE X / Lynne Gelfman exhibition at Gallery X.
Experience the ethereal art of Lynn Gelfman as we present a new selection of
paintings in Gallery X. Gelfman often explores abstraction and its reference to
the physical world, architectural structures, and aerial landscapes. Be prepared
for unexpected combinations of color, texture, and form.
Located in the Mosaic Building_161 N.E. 40th Street_Suite 201
Founded by Caroline Herail, Martial Ricart and Arno Valere, the gallery's principal
focus is art as an investment with the representation of an international group of
contemporary artists. The gallery is currently featuring George Condo, Kenny Scharf,
Manolo Valdes, Li Songsong, David LaChapelle, Bert Stern, Vera Lutter, Carlito
I Dalceggio, Dellfina & Delacroix, Carolus and ]acques Gordes.
SLocated at 3900 N.E. 1st Avenue
., ,2
L'antipatico, by Piero Fornasetti, ceramic jar [Detail]. Limited Edition, part of the "Themes & Variations" series. On view at Avant Gallery.


T / 305.573.8116 N.E. 2nd Avenue [ between 39th & 40th Streets ]

January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Without FEC's freight service, cargo trucks would clog Miami's roadways 24/7.
Without FEC's freight service, cargo trucks would clog Miami's roadways 24/7.

Continued from page 1
American life revolved around trains.
For more than a century, from before the
Civil War until after WW II, nearly every
long journey on land began and ended at
a railway platform. From the romantic
steam engines of the Gilded Age to the
stainless-steel streamliners of the mid-
Twentieth Century, trains were fixtures
in everyday life that captured imagina-
tions and came to represent freedom,
opportunity, and progress. Wherever the
railroad went, new settlements, new
industry, and a new way of life followed.
South Florida, perhaps more than any
other region in the U.S., owes its very
existence to the railroad. The Florida East
Coast Railway (FEC), which runs along
the coast from Jacksonville to Miami -
and until 1935, to Key West trans-
formed the once inaccessible southern
peninsula into a booming tri-county mega-
lopolis. And the man who laid the tracks
in the late 1800s, oil and hotel magnate
Henry Flagler, earned himself the illustri-
ous title "Father of Miami" for bringing
the city to life and shaping an entire region
with his twin ribbons of steel.
But despite 112 years of active service,
which continues to this day, a passenger
train has not ridden the FEC rails since

1968. What was once known as
"America's Speedway to Sunshine" now
carries nothing but freight. And although
talk of placing commuter trains on the
rails has come and gone over the years,
no new transit service has materialized in
more than three decades, since a violent
strike of the United Transportation
Workers prompted FEC officials to dis-
continue passenger service, which had
already become difficult and unprofitable
to operate under intense government reg-
ulations and growing competition from
airlines and automobiles.
Today an FDOT study known as the
South Florida East Coast Corridor
Transit Analysis, which began in 2005
and will be completed late this year or
early 2010, looks to finally answer the
question of how best to utilize the FEC
rail corridor for commuter transit. The
goal is to reduce congestion along 1-95
and U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) by uti-
lizing the southernmost 85 miles of the
FEC corridor, from Flagler Street in
downtown Miami to Indiantown Road in
Palm Beach County.
In Miami-Dade County, the tracks
mostly parallel Biscayne Boulevard on
their way to downtown, where a
bustling, six-track passenger station once
stood just north of the county court-
house, linking Miami to New York's
Grand Central Station. The Miami sta-
tion was demolished years ago, and the
remaining tracks turn eastward at NE 7th
Street, skirting the Freedom Tower and
crossing by bridge over Biscayne Bay to
the Port of Miami. A padlocked gate
blocks access to the railway bridge,
which opens just once a week to allow
an FEC freight train to pass. That single,
weekly train currently handles some
eight percent of the port's cargo.
Farther north, a spur heads west along
NE 73rd Street to the FEC's 432-acre
Hialeah Yard northwest of Miami
International Airport one of the
nation's busiest shipping yards. Another
spur continues on through Medley,
where rock trains pick up crushed lime-
stone and other aggregates from the east-
ern edges of the Everglades. Other than
the weekly run to the port, trains rarely
stray south of 73rd Street anymore, and
the tracks below that point morph into a
lonely stretch of tall grass, rubbish-
strewn lots, graffiti-covered warehouses,
and the occasional homeless man curled
up on an old mattress.

Continued on page 15

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


I i

FEC historian and Shores resident
Seth Bramson.
Continued from page 14

In all, the FEC's north-south line pass-
es through the downtown of 28 cities
and towns in the tri-county region, tra-
versing one of the nation's most densely
populated and congested corridors.
Hence the logic of studying rail-transit
possibilities. "We got through phase one
of the study," says Scott Seeburger, proj-
ect manager at FDOT's District 4 office,
"and now we're going to go full force
with phase two." Phase one evaluated
the environmental, social, and economic
impacts of various transit technologies
(rapid-rail, light-rail, streetcars). Phase
two will analyze details like operations
and passenger-station sites, resulting in a
specific plan, which will be submitted to
the Federal Transit Administration. If
that agency gives the nod of approval to
the project, the state will become eligible
for federal funding. Engineering and
construction could begin soon thereafter.
Of course, whether any of that actually
means anything for the future of local rail
transit is unclear. Protracted studies of
commuter-rail proposals have come and
gone over the decades. A high-speed bul-
let train linking Miami, Orlando, and
Tampa was shot down just five months
before construction was to begin in 2003.
Baylink, the proposed trolley project
between Miami and Miami Beach along
the MacArthur Causeway, has been post-
poned until 2022. And construction of
88.9 miles of new Metrorail track, prom-
ised back in 2002, has stalled indefinitely
in the face of low ridership, deficits, inad-
equate funding, and pilfered tax revenues.

This is what we might get along the Biscayne Corridor.

Tri-Rail, the three-county commuter train
that has been breaking national ridership
records since 2006, is perhaps Miami's
only rail success story. Yet the system still
doesn't have a permanent funding source,
so its fate continually hangs in the balance
from one year to the next. And critics often
call it "the train from nowhere to nowhere"
because it lies too far west of major down-
town and commercial centers to be accessi-
ble without a car, shuttle bus, or other form
of mass transit.
Already there's talk within FDOT of
scrapping the FEC commuter-train idea
entirely. "Because of how much rail sys-
tems cost," says FDOT's Seeburger,
"there are arguments for obtaining the

A passenger train has not ridden
FEC rails since 1968. What was (
known as "America's Speedway
Sunshine" now carries nothing
but freight.

FEC right-of-way, paving [the strip of
land beside the tracks], and running
buses on it. Not that that would be
cheap, but it would be less expensive
than putting in the additional tracks that
are needed and all the communication
systems required."
City buses running alongside the FEC
tracks may not have the romantic appeal
of commuter trains gliding along the
rails, but opponents of rail-transit make a
solid case. Wendell Cox, a former Los
Angeles County transportation commis-
sioner and vocal rail opponent, regularly
churs out anti-rail literature and travels

the world consulting on transportation
issues. His message: Other than New
York City and Chicago, no rail system in
the U.S. has demonstrated the ability to
reduce traffic congestion.
"Putting a commuter train on the FEC
line," Cox says, "would not eliminate the
necessity of expanding 1-95, the turnpike,
and other urban roads. The test of rail's
success is not the number of people on the
train, but the number of cars removed
from the road. Something like 98 percent
of transit in the Miami area is by car.
You're not going to change that. The prob-
lem is the last quarter mile. International
studies show that anyone who has the
money to own a car is not going to walk
more than a quarter mile to and
the from a transit station."
The idea that rail transit is
an impotent white elephant
tmay be difficult to accept,
especially for some Biscayne
Corridor residents who dream
of commuting by train to jobs
in downtown Miami. Bob
Powers, president of the Palm Grove
Neighborhood Association in Miami's
Upper Eastside, couldn't find enough epi-
thets to describe how he feels about rail
detractors and the FEC project: "I went
to so many FDOT project meetings it
would make your head spin. When some-
one tells me they need to do a five-year
study, I say, What do you need to study?
The FEC made their money bringing
tourists to Miami! How much money did
they just spend making express toll lanes
on I-95? Why didn't they put that money
into the FEC? In 1961 JFK said he want-
ed to put a man on the moon. It took us

Rail advocate Bob Powers.

eight years to do it and he was dead for
six of them! So please don't tell me we
can't make this work."
Making FEC commuter trains work
would seem to be a fool-proof undertak-
ing. Roughly 60 stations proposed by
FDOT (see map), placed along the corri-
dor's commercial and residential areas,
should theoretically make pedestrian
access practical, leading not only to a
successful rail system but also to a
reduction in north-south automobile traf-
fic. But whether there's enough popula-
tion density within walking distance of
those proposed stations is questionable.
When the BT recently hiked the tracks
from the Miami port bridge to Miami
Shores, it appeared that many of the sites
were almost entirely devoid of pedestri-
ans. Notably, though, several new high-
rise condos were situated along the line,
indicating that developers may have been
aware of FDOT's commuter-rail plans.
Most of the buildings were empty, how-
ever, a consequence of Miami's spectac-
ular real-estate bust. And until the hous-
ing market rebounds and density signifi-
cantly increases, any commuter-train
operation on the FEC line will almost
certainly be a park-and-ride system.
That scenario has some locals worried.
At a 2006 FDOT public hearing, residents
who live along the FEC line expressed
concern that people arriving from sur-
rounding areas to use the system would
cause unwanted commotion, traffic con-
gestion, and overdevelopment of station
areas. Also on their list of potential draw-
backs: noise and fumes from trains,

Continued on page 16

January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Continued from page 15
continual horn blasts, disrupted traffic pat-
terns at track crossings, and expropriation
of land for stations, parking lots, and other
facilities. FDOT has since addressed two
of those concerns, recommending the
implementation of "quiet zones" and
clean-fuel technology, but the other issues
have yet to be discussed in detail.
Naysayers and concerned property
owners aside, Miami-Dade's congested
roadways are crying out for a viable
transportation solution. Unstable gas
prices, global warming, and a desire for
"smart growth" have further increased
interest in urban rail.
Seth Bramson, a Miami Shores resi-
dent and the FEC's company historian,
says, "The steel wheel and the steel rail
are the most efficient and economical
way of moving people and goods that
exist. A single train can carry the load of
280 [tractor-trailer] trucks. One gallon of
fuel will move one ton of freight 423
miles." He goes on to stress the critical
role the FEC currently plays in Florida:
"The most important part of what the
FEC does is to serve as a conveyor belt

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ha' sao

o iI
Aerial view (1962) of the old downtown Miami passenger station.

on rails. If the FEC was not there to
move the thousands of carloads of freight
each day, 1-95 and U.S. 1 would operate
at rush hour conditions 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. That's how important
the FEC is. So any commuter operation
in the corridor would have to be compli-
mentary to the freight operation."

In fact, concern about the FEC's freight
operation was the very thing that led to
the FDOT study. As Scott Seeburger
explains, "Miami-Dade had been looking
at the corridor for a long time. Tri-Rail
was looking at it north of West Palm
Beach. And there had been one or two
studies earlier in Broward. The FEC felt

that the whole thing was being done kind
of hodge-podge. They were concerned
that different governmental entities would
be coming at them with proposals and
they didn't want to jeopardize their well-
run and profitable freight services, so
they requested a study. They're involved
in the process and their needs are taken
into consideration."
There's little doubt, however, that com-
muter trains on the FEC tracks will mean
millions of dollars in new revenue for the
company as local governments would
need to lease or buy the right to use the
corridor. In addition, some of the compa-
ny's 2500 acres of real estate would
increase in value as trackside parcels
would be required for stations and double-
tracking. FEC property values would also
rise as business interests sought to estab-
lish themselves along the new commuter
route, a fact that likely did not escape the
multinational Fortress Investment Group.
In May 2007, the New York-based
firm shelled out $3.5 billion to acquire
Florida East Coast Industries and its real-
estate arm, Flagler Development. Earlier

Continued on page 18



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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Continued from page 16
the same year, Fortress purchased
RailAmerica, an operator of 41 short-line
railroads across North America.
According to Seth Bramson, the FEC is
slated to become the flagship railroad of
RailAmerica and will soon begin operat-
ing under the name "FEC RailAmerica,"
with headquarters in Jacksonville.
Fortress Investment Group may or may
not have purchased the FEC specifically
because they foresaw a boom in passen-
ger service along the corridor, but
FDOT's Scott Seeburger says that shortly
after his study began, he started receiving
calls from people he assumed were bro-
kers looking for investments. Fortress, it
appears, suspected that passenger trains
could be in the railway's future.
Amtrak is also interested in the FEC
line, according to the Florida Times-
Union. The federally supported national
passenger carrier would like to move its
twice-daily Miami-to-Jacksonville serv-
ice from the Tri-Rail tracks to the FEC,
where travel time would be shorter and
trains could make stops in key coastal
cities along the way. In 2001 Amtrak

..h.. I N

The FEC tracks cross Biscayne Boulevard at the Freedom Tower.

signed an operating agreement with the
FEC for a similar route, but the plan col-
lapsed amid concerns about Amtrak's
finances. A $15 billion funding bill,
approved by Congress this past June,
could put Amtrak in a position to pursue
the plan once again.
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there will be some kind of commuter
service along the FEC corridor. "How
long it takes," he says, "is the real ques-
tion, because of the amount of money
that's involved. Where are the funds
going to come from? And there will have
to be a local contribution." Financing will
likely need to come from all available

sources: federal, state, and the three
counties involved. Whether residents
would approve of a tax increase to sup-
port a commuter train remains to be seen.
Given Florida's current $2.3 billion
budget deficit, and Miami-Dade
County's history of failed public-transit
projects, an FEC commuter train may
remain an elusive dream. But President-
elect Barack Obama's massive infra-
structure-funding plan might help.
Already Miami Mayor Manny Diaz has
asked Obama for $3.4 billion for public-
works projects within the city, some of
which would go to rail development.
The golden age of railroading may be
long gone, but the possibility of easy,
affordable rail travel continues to hold
enormous appeal for many thousands of
urbanites, especially those marooned
daily on Miami's clogged asphalt arter-
ies, slumped behind steering wheels in
resignation. And until a viable trans-
portation alternative surfaces, that's
where they'll remain in their metal
boxes, staring at the railway tracks, wait-
ing for the train.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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January 2009


Continued from page 6

I hope we hear from her again. Wendy,
if you can read this, tell us more about
life in the Bing!
Lynne Merrill
Los Angeles, California

Editor's note: Wendy once again reports
from the frozen north. See page 26.

Feeling Sad About a Fine
Old Club
Sadly enough, sometimes the truth hurts. I
refer to Jen Karetnick's column about the
Miami Shores Country Club ("A Country
Club in Terminal Decline," October 2008).
It is way past time for someone to care
about MSCC. Over the past 25 years I
have been to a number of functions at this
fine old club. However, the last time I was
there I felt exactly the way Ms. Karetnick
did, and I was saddened by the condition
of the place in all aspects.
Hopefully, someone will take notice
before we lose another piece of Miami
history to progress.
Kathryn Milton
Miami Beach

Kathy on Cuba:
Insultingly Romanticized
Oversimplifications = Ugh!
In regards to Kathy Glasgow's article
"Cuba's Open Doors" (October 2008), I
say ugh! It's just ridiculous for her to
compare a small town in Cuba to
Miami's Liberty City.
She wrote: "When I was in Cuba, I
naturally compared conditions there with
those in Liberty City, which superficially
has some of the same demographics (to
begin with, a dysfunctional economy and
majority black population)."
Naturally? She's really married to a
Cuban? Wow! That is an oversimplifica-
tion, and I can't believe these things got
past the editor at Biscayne Times. Her
writing style is overly romantic, though
she claims not to be, and she adds color to
things that are totally benign. It's like she's
writing for a junior-high writing class.
Is she for real? I can't even imagine
how insulted most Cubans would be to
hear themselves or their circumstances
compared to problems in Liberty City. If
there are poor Cubans, black or white,
they don't have the problems that Liberty
City residents have today because the

Cubans come from a more educated cul-
ture. Hialeah doesn't have these prob-
lems, and there are tons of Cubans there.
It's not a problem of poverty or color in
Liberty City. It's a problem of ignorance
and lack of education. These two groups
are from totally different societies.
Cuba is a mess thanks to Castro, but
there is no fear because Cuban culture
is well-mannered and inherently proud.
They have tried to hang on to some
sense of dignity despite living under
communism and in utter poverty. I
know Kathy was trying to give a com-
pliment to the Cuban people, but it's
more of a backhanded compliment to
say Cubans in Cuba are living without
fear compared to the fear people experi-
ence in Liberty City, implying that we
have something to learn from commu-
nism. I'm pretty sure the Cubans in
Hialeah have a good sense of security
and would be terrified passing through
Liberty City, and appalled in speaking
to Kathy Glasgow.
Kathy, I think you need to spend less
time in Liberty City and more time in
Hialeah so you can better understand the
Cubans. Though I am not a Cuban, I
would never oversimplify the struggle of

the Cubans or the people of Liberty City.
They cannot be "-n.irii.i ll." compared.
Rob Crowley
Upper Eastside

Bashful BT Buff Loves the
Ads? So Tell the Advertisers!
I don't want anything with my name on
it getting published, but I do want you to
know how much I enjoy and appreciate
your newspaper. I finally gave up on the
Miami Herald, this from someone who
moved here in 1979, loves Miami, and
had the chance to read quality writing
like they used to publish in the Herald
and its Sunday magazine Tropic. I just
could not keep subscribing to the pale
imitation it has now become.
So my paper is the Biscayne Times! I
love the news and the articles, information
about our neighborhood, features about
pets and gardening, restaurant and art list-
ings, and even the ads! I'm a big fan of
your paper, as you can tell! So is my mom.
She moved here from Georgia and loves
the news and the flavor of Biscayne Times.
Thank you so much, BT, for keeping us
informed, entertained, and just neighbors.
Name Withheld by Request
Biscayne Park

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


After 50 Years, Still Going Strong

Rev. George McRae is living proof that the Lord's work is never

M ff f, .:

By Kathy Glasgow
BT Contributor

The Rev. George McRae keeps a
snapshot of a thrilled-looking
woman in a cap and gown among
the clusters of photos, notes, books, and
papers occupying the top of his desk at
Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church. In
his 20 years as pastor of the Liberty City
landmark, McRae has participated in
hundreds of dramatic life stories, but this
woman's is a pure allegory.
"One morning about ten years ago, I
looked out here -" the pastor motions
to a large window with a view of a
Dumpster guarding a parking lot on the
north side ofNW 67th Street "and I
saw that woman climbing out of that
Dumpster. I went outside and walked
over to her and I said, 'This was made
for garbage and trash, and God don't
make trash.' And I just let her know she
could come to the church and get help
whenever she was ready."

The woman did show up a few weeks
later, McRae relates, and he drove her
straight to rehab. When she got out, she
joined the 300 or so recovering addicts
who make up a third of Mt. Tabor's
membership. Some years after that, she
put on a royal blue cap and gown to

receive her Bachelor's degree in sociolo-
gy from Spelman College in Atlanta.
"She passed three or four months ago,"
McRae says. "She had the [HIV] virus.
But for eight to ten years she was an awe-
some advocate for addicts and the home-
less, and everyone struggling in the same

Space she had been in." Cardboard boxes
': of MREs are stacked against one wall of
' McRae's office. As we talk, an assistant
comes in to pick up one box to give to a
"homeless lady waiting downstairs."
Out in the church parking lot, an assort-
ment of men and women young and
Sold, raggedy and spiffy are arriving for
the daily noontime group session, one of
several moving-on-from-addiction pro-
grams Mt. Tabor offers. McRae, dressed
in gray knit pants and matching pullover,
walks out the back door, greeting many of
the attendees by name, nodding to all.
The reverend is trim and understated,
even in the pulpit (I've never seen him
worked up, but I haven't been to Mt.
Tabor in years). He is one of those peo-
ple who is not physically imposing but
whose presence is vivid. Other than the
gray in his close-cropped hair, McRae
doesn't seem to have changed much
since I first met him. Hard to believe it

Continued on page 21


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Continued from page 20
was more than 12 years ago. Now he is
about to complete 50 years in the min-
istry. His two decades at Mt. Tabor have
been those of a prophet who has gone
against the established religious grain in
Miami's (and the nation's) African-
American community.
After assuming the leadership of Mt.
Tabor in 1989, McRae was among the
first local clergy to warn of a spreading
catastrophe among the black population:
AIDS, disproportionately devastating
African Americans and fueled by homo-
phobia, poverty, and the epidemics of
crack and violence. Facing either antipa-
thy or apathy from most religious leaders
(which he asserts has improved little over
the years), McRae continues to target his
and his church's resources at society's
most wretched, even at the cost of dozens
of moneyed Mt. Tabor members. McRae
himself regularly visits the enclaves of
addicts, dealers, prostitutes, and homeless
who exist just blocks from Mt. Tabor.
In a way he hadn't envisioned,
McRae's calling has led him full circle,
back to the poverty and marginalization

of his youth. He was six months shy of
his 18th birthday when he preached his
first sermon. It was February 17, 1959,
at Greater Shiloh Baptist Church in
Palatka, Florida, his hometown. Before
that Sunday, most of Shiloh's congre-
gants had never heard McRae utter more
than a few words without stuttering. His
speech impediment (and a learning dis-
ability that today would be recognizable
as dyslexia) had silenced and isolated
him throughout his school years. "As
God is my witness,"
McRae declares today, "I
was least likely to suc- The rever
ceed." in the pull
McRae stood up is not
before the church, and as
he spoke it was clear that
something had happened
to him. His sermon centered on the Old
Testament story of God's righteous ser-
vant Job, who early in his life enjoyed
everything young George McRae did
not: vast wealth, influence, and power.
But then God, on a wager with the devil,
abandoned Job to the power of Satan,
who afflicted him with every human
form of pain, loss, and torment except

his own death. All because God had
ceased protecting Job from the catastro-
phes and injustices of the world.
"Early on, the Book of Job became
important in my life," McRae reflects,
"because he suffered a lot of things, and
I had been suffering too, not exclusively
physically." Job managed to hold onto
his faith through the hellish years and
eventually God restored to him twice as
much as he had lost.
As for George McRae, he has been all

end is trim and understated, even
pit. He is one of those people who
physically imposing but whose
presence is vivid.

over the world since his dirt-poor,
dyslexic days in Palatka; he has met with
world leaders and earned both a Master's
and a Doctorate of Divinity from two of
the nation's most prestigious seminaries.
In February 2009, Mt. Tabor will
honor McRae with an anniversary serv-
ice and ceremony. Full disclosure: His
congregants have requested that he

compile a short autobiography chroni-
cling his half-century career, and he has
asked me to help him write that history,
which I am doing (unpaid).
The reverend's request is a great honor
for me, and it means even more because
of a singular connection I had to Mt.
Tabor even before I saw the church or
met any of its members. For at least a
year before I moved to Miami in 1992, I
had the same simple dream several times:
I would enter a building that I understood
to be either a church or funeral home. I
would go downstairs to the basement,
where people were eating and drinking
punch around long wooden tables, a typi-
cal Protestant church social scene.
Then in 1996, not dreaming, I first
entered Mt. Tabor for a funeral service,
and as I walked in the front doors, my
dream came back to me, because there I
was, once again inside that same build-
ing. Later, after the memorial service,
which was conducted by Reverend
McRae, everyone made their way down
those strangely familiar stairs to the
basement, for lunch and fellowship.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.con

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Stand Up and Be Heard! Or Maybe Not

Activists do not win popularity contests

"m i

By Frank Rollason
BT Contributor
The story goes like this: "The
problem with apathy is that no
one gives a damn, and the prob-
lem with activism is that activists are
extremists or wackos or both." I'd say
that both are true and both are false. The
way I see it, no one is completely apa-
thetic. The question is how to motivate
apathetic people to the cause being
pushed by the activists?
So let's dissect the differences between
the activist and the apathetic. But first
we need a word for people who are apa-
thetic. Those involved in activism are, of
course, activists. And those poor apathet-
ic souls? Nothing. Let's coin a new word
and call them apathists.
Generally activists are concerned about
public issues, being either for or against
something the establishment (usually a
government) is promoting. On a local
level, we have matters like zoning say,

skyscrapers towering over residential
neighborhoods or buildings proposed for
waterfront sites. Local governmental
administrations and elected officials take
one position and those dastardly activists
take the opposite. It's a predictable con-
frontation, almost as if there's a script
that has to be followed. I mean, think
about it: If it weren't for activists, where
would the conflict be?

The establishment those people
who have the power to make decisions
that affect us all also has the power to
avoid conflict and to defuse activists. For
example, if Miami's elected officials
made it clear to the city administration
that they would not tolerate buildings
within a 50-foot setback from the water-
front, there would be no issue to protest
and no activists to confront.

Activism and apathy probably go back
as far as man has roamed the earth. It's
just part of our genetic imprint. We have
opinions and some of us feel compelled
to act on them, while others of us choose
to let the good times roll. The activist is
constantly trying to persuade the apathist
to get involved, to take a stand (the right
stand, of course), and make a difference.
What the activist misses, though, is
that the apathist most likely is involved
- just not in the same issues that inter-
est the activist. For instance, consider
how many people protest abortion clinics
or the wearing of fur. But those same
people may tune out activists who
oppose things like Miami 21 or residen-
tial development of the Miami River.
They simply aren't interested and so
they're labeled apathetic.
This brings us to another type of
activist, the one who is paid for his or
her activism. Paid activists who deal

Continued on page 23



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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Continued from page 22
with the governmental establishment are
called lobbyists. They aren't much dif-
ferent from unpaid community activists
except they don't have to actually
believe in the position they're advocat-
ing, and they'll readily advocate any
position for which they are appropriately
paid. In that sense, lobbyists are a lot
like prostitutes willing to embrace
nearly any position and to exhibit a pas-
sion for it as long as the money contin-
ues to flow. And they're equally willing
to embrace an entirely different position
the very next day, if the dollars are right.
In our odd little corer of the world,
lobbyists are an accepted part of the
governmental process at all levels.
Activists may grouse about lobbyists
and their ungodly access to elected and
appointed officials (the apathist never
complains because, remember, he does-
n't give a damn), but even local activists
can't deny the crucial role lobbyists play
in the game. I've attended many a meet-
ing at which the bulk of the criticism is
aimed at the no-good lobbyist who is
merely performing his or her solicited

task. The better they perform and the
more successful they are, the more the
activists loathe their existence. (By the
way, the easiest way to tell the differ-
ence between a lobbyist and an activist
is that the activist gets two minutes at
the podium while the lobbyist gets as
much time as his or her political contri-
butions will buy.)
Over the years, a hierarchy of commu-
nity involvement has evolved here in
Miami. At the top of the heap are those
reviled lobbyists, experienced profes-
sionals who understand governmental
processes that are often incomprehensi-
ble to outsiders, and who are hired to
accomplish specific tasks.
Then you have "advocates," individ-
uals who are usually revered because
of the nature of their positions. For
instance, a child advocate appointed
by the court is held in high esteem by
the establishment and anti-establish-
ment alike.
Farther down the hierarchical slope is
the activist, the very mention of whom
sends a chill down the spine of those in
power. Activists are tree-huggers,
whale-lovers, animal-rights crusaders,

pro-lifers, pro-choicers, no-growthers,
and all those newly minted "green
everything" fanatics.
Next down the list is the terrorist.
Terrorists follow immediately after
activists because they are viewed, at
least by the establishment, as activists
who have stepped over the line. In this
category would go the PETA activist
who throws paint on a woman wearing a
fur coat, or a pro-lifer who bombs an
abortion clinic. Nonviolent activists
abhor these extremes taken by the few,
but they often relish the ill-gotten gains.
For instance, if all abortion clinics were
closed down as a result of safety con-
cerns for patients and those performing
the services, nonviolent pro-lifers would
not be upset. They would exult in the
clinics being shut down but condemn
the method that produced the desired
result. It's the old end-justifies-the-
means phenomenon.
At the very bottom of the pile we
have the one-time activist who gets
elected to office because of his or her
activism but who subsequently disavows
all links to an activist past. And what the
heck is this all about? It is the politician

who says, "I am an activist who was
elected to office, and I will always
remain an activist while in office," but
who then turns around and says,
"Activist? I wouldn't say I was an
activist, but rather an advocate for the
best interests of the community."
And so you can see why apathists are
not easily persuaded to get involved, to
take a stand, and make a difference.
Activists have a tendency to look more
like members of some fringe group than
respectable citizens. Thus apathists are
more likely to join an organization of
advocates pushing for needed research
on breast cancer than to get involved in
a commission meeting about a zoning
matter in which competing teams of
lawyers can't even agree on a definition
of the issue.
While I would like to see larger and
more diverse crowds engaged with the
myriad issues facing our neighborhoods,
I think it's unrealistic to believe that will
happen at least not until the apathist's
ox has been sufficiently gored to pro-
voke a strong response.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Shores Shootings: They're Not What You Think
No, we're talking about the joys offilm crews and commercials

By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor
ou might be forgiven, these
days, for coming across a house
in Miami Shores where the
swales are loaded with trucks and trail-
ers, and assume that another unfortu-
nate family has been forced to sell and
move out. But take a closer look. Do
the men wandering around carrying fur-
niture and wheeling racks of clothing
have on headsets? Are there thick
extension cords snaking here and there,
and a general humming of machinery?
And most tellingly, is there a catering
cart of some sort?
What you're looking at is actually a
shoot, commercial productions where
one of the village's properties is the
location site, set up for either still pho-
tos or film.
If you're rolling your eyes right now
and saying, "Well, duh," allow me to add
that some of us, especially newcomers to

these parts, might need that explanation.
I certainly didn't know what to make of
it, just after moving in, when I saw such
a chaotic cluster of vehicles at a neigh-
bor's house. I also was pretty bewildered
when, just a few days later, a woman
showed up at my house requesting to

take pictures of the interior of my
garage, rhapsodic over the fact that it
had windows, apparently a rarity.
I learned very quickly that she was a
location scout; that my immediate neigh-
borhood was home to not one but two
such professionals, including one who

lived on my street; and that my property
came with a legacy, having been the
backdrop throughout the years in many
ad campaigns. And because the house
had been under construction and unoccu-
pied for the better part of three years
before my family moved in, the exten-
sive yard had been used more often than
usual. There's nothing a production team
likes better, I discovered, than a site that
doesn't come with a worried homeowner
wringing her hands.
We found ourselves that is, our
house listed in both companies' port-
folios. The money, we were told, is
good: an average of $2000 per day for an
interior shoot, $1000 for outdoors, and
more if it's a big-name company or
requires a lot of live-action filming.
Money like that is very welcome when
you've bought a house beyond your
means and your husband has just begun
his private practice after years of medical

Continued on page 25



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January 2009


Continued from page 24
school, internship, residency and fellow-
ship. In fact, eight years later in a reces-
sion that is seeing my own jobs dry up as
publications go out of business and
we still have med and grad school loans
to pay off.
The process of actually being
approved as a site location has many lay-
ers, and you have to pass through all of
them. Every time we "have a bite," the
scout must come and take more special-
ized pictures according to what the client
needs (like a garage with windows). If
we make it through that inspection, a
team representing the client will do a
walk-through and case the place. Or two
walk-throughs. Sometimes even three. It
can get, shall we say, irritating.
Especially if you're as lousy a house-
keeper as I am and have as many ani-
mals as we do.
Scouts will say such stuff doesn't real-
ly matter, because when it comes to stag-
ing the shoot, the crew clears out the
room anyway and puts in their own
props. But I've seen many a potential
shoot slip away because I didn't have

time to change the litter, or because the
sink was full of dishes, or because my
office windows have Scotch tape marks
on them from the kids' pictures. I'm not
exaggerating. I've heard comments about
"what a great house, but way too messy."
On the other hand, our clutter almost
worked for us once. The client was look-
ing for a "real-life situation." The pro-
duction team wanted a home, not a
house, complete with toys strewn about
and piles of unfiled papers. But appar-
ently, in the end, we were too real. I
think the drapes that are torn in half by
the cats had something to do with it.
Sometimes we'll be asked strange
questions about what we're willing to let
the crew do to our property put in
lights where there aren't any, take out
some "Florida" plants to make room for
"northern" foliage so the clip will be
more universal. It helps not to be pre-
cious about these kinds of things, though
being relaxed isn't a guarantee either.
For instance, when our house was up for
a Pepsi commercial, we were asked if we
would allow them to paint the Pepsi logo
on one exterior wall (they would repaint
the wall afterward). We said yes, but still

didn't get that shoot.
Sometimes these requests actually
result in home improvement. At this
moment we have some pretty begonias,
planted by the crew filming a tire com-
mercial, where before we had only
weeds. On the flip side, at that shoot
they also seemed to arrive without
appropriate props. While they were set-
ting up, I was asked first for a lemon,
which I had, then more lemons, which I
didn't but the tangerines were accept-
able. Then it was candles, and oh, by the
way, how about candlesticks? And final-
ly I had to produce a water pitcher.
Had I wanted to complain, I would
have gone to the site manager. This is
the person who safeguards your property
during a shoot, makes sure nothing is
broken or stolen, and ensures that the
homeowner feels comfortable leaving
his or her house in the hands of, say, 15
big dudes in work boots wielding gigan-
tic equipment. In the management
department, though, some shoots are
better than others. I've been told by
some that they'll be working outdoors
when there are suddenly guys setting up
lights in my closet and bedroom, with

dirty underwear on the floor; and I've
also had shoots that are supposed to be
indoors and they'll instead set up by the
pool. The lesson here is to expect the
As a fellow homeowner who also
hosts shoots wryly observed: Like the
pain of childbirth, you always manage to
forget that part. Perhaps because it's the
equivalent of being tented or evacuated,
you're so happy when it's over you
immediately put it out of your mind, and
it's hard to recall just how awful it is to
be pack up your valuables, remove the
paintings and fragile items from within
reach, board the animals, and get out for
who knows how long. Or because the
truth is that while a big production at
your house is remarkable for both you
and your neighbors by its very inconven-
ience and time consumption, you gener-
ally succeed in winning one only about
every six months. By that time, both the
inconvenience and the paycheck are
memories, and you somehow never do
catch sight of your house in that FPL
commercial after all.

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The Big One Blows into Town

In some scary ways, snowstorms are like hurricanes

By Wendy Doscher-Smith
BT Contributor

If I ever doubted that I am a Miamian,
the question became rhetorical when
I had a panic attack during what
should have been, by any other person's
standards, a delightful snowstorm at my
lovely new home in Binghamton, New
York. At first I dealt with it by docu-
menting the white blitz and e-mailing
photos to friends across the country.
"Wow! It's like a scene out of a
Norman Rockwell painting. All your
dogs look so cozy!" came the response
from my native-Ohioan friend, who
recently moved back there from West
Palm Beach.
I glanced at the window and only felt
my chest tighten. Okay, the snow is pret-
ty but why wouldn't it stop? It had been
snowing for three hours straight and it
just kept coming. Frankly, it was begin-
ning to get on my nerves. I could not
longer see the sidewalk. Enough was

enough. Just who did this snow think it
was, anyway?
If Miami is one thing, it is volatile
and inconsistent. It is a city that does as
it pleases. In this way, I guess
Binghamton is similar. In Miami, the
crashing crescendo of summer storms


lasts about 30 minutes. Then the sun
comes out. Then the muggy business
starts. But during the winter, Miami
goes into a different mode. It is not too
hot and not too cold. The sun is always
out. It is pleasant. So the consistency,
though odd, is not bad.

"Time for a cup of hot chocolate!" was
the response from a native New Jersian
who, much to my dismay, wishes he
: could return from Miami to the horror of
Sthe downstate winters. This response
arrived after I began pacing manically
around my dining-room table while two
Sof my four dogs watched me from the
Stairway landing, their heads, following
my pattern, revolving like the hips of a
dashboard hula girl hitting a pothole on a
salted street.
Up until this point, despite my bitch-
ing and whining, I had actually enjoyed
watching the seasons change. Summer
became autumn and then winter. The
lack of sun frightened me, but the snow
quickly became my friend, providing
much needed levity in the face of tomb-
stone-colored skies.
But somehow this Serious Snow was
different. Alien. It was the Little Snow
That Could. And would. But so what. I

Continued on page 27





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January 2009

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Big One
Continued from page 26
am one of the lucky ones. I work from
home so I didn't need to venture out
onto those sludge-pit excuses for roads
and then pray I did not skid on black ice
into a tree and have to climb my way out
of a frigid ditch with a mild concussion
and broken limbs.
Then it hit me. And no, I still hadn't
left the house or entered a ditch after
smacking into a tree. It was the realiza-
tion that what I was experiencing
Hurricane Stress. It made sense. In
Miami, whenever the city becomes a
buzz machine with weather warnings,
people run for the grocery and fight over
the last can of Dinty Moore beef stew.
Gas shortages kick in. Nurseries reserved
for the expected new kid become Water
Bottle Rooms.
I heard a loud thud on the roof and
thought, "Uh oh... Here we go."
I grabbed the six-buck cooking sherry
and took a swig.
Then it occurred to me that it was
probably just snow falling off of the
slant of the roof. In fact, this meant that
the roof was not, repeat not, going to A)

blow off or B) cave in due to "hurricane-
force winds."
I was safe. Yet the anxiety persisted.
I believe it is cumulative. Miamians
warned me about moving to upstate New
York because of the winters. Then, once
I arrived here, people rolled their eyes or
laughed or shook their heads in pity
when they learned of my steamy origins.

Okay, the snow is pretty but why
it stop? It had been snowing for t
straight and it just kept coming
getting on my nerves.

The winter here comes on slowly, like
an Everglades gator stalking a wayward
kayaker. Then, like the gator, it emerges
from the shadows and strikes. BAM!
You are either human jerky or you are in
the thick of the wintry beast. Really, both
fates are equally horrendous.
I had been wearing the same winter
clothes since September, and each day
I would wonder: Is this the cold?
The real thing?

But then I got hints. Foreshadowing.
The can of Sprite I left in my car for a
week and sipped from periodically
(gross, I know) froze overnight. It was
now a solid mass. Advertising slogans
aside, it was truly the un-cola. I tried to
drink it and nothing trickled. In Miami,
the same liquid left in the car might have
burned my tongue.
I went out for a walk and came back
with a chapped face.
"You need sunscreen!"
wouldn't my husband's colleague
hree hours chastised me. Huh? The
I. It was sun was anemic at best.
It needed a toasty medi-
anoche sandwich. But I
was in Binghamton now
and the sun that did come out reflected
off of snow. Oops. Welcome to the land
of opposites.
The previous day people were dis-
cussing the first "Big One" (a.k.a.
snowstorm) of the season. The guy
who packed my Twinkies into the
paper or plastic mumbled to the cashier
that he might not make it up the hill in
his clunker because he didn't have
snow tires. At the manicurist's place,

as her nails dried to a fine lustrous
shine, one teacher debated with another
as to whether school would be can-
celed or merely delayed. (Something
that does not happen in Miami.) A lady
on a cell phone debated: "Should we
take that shopping trip into NYC? Or
is it too dangerous?"
Then the forecast numbers began: "Six
to twelve inches." I listened to the local
weather nerds toss out those numbers
like so many dirty snowballs, the sort
that the naughty little kids chuck at the
crossing guard down the street. "Eight to
fourteen inches."
And then I waited.
And in the end, when it arrived, the
eight inches I could have sworn were
more like two feet. Then came the icy
sidewalks and inevitable skids, even in
all-wheel drive. The barometer dipped to
numbers reserved for shoe sizes. But I
was still around. I'd made it through my
first Big One.
I hope the trend continues, and this
tropi-girl stays clear of hungry alligators
in frozen swamps.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 27










January 2009

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She Remembers Bettie

Miami photographer Bunny Yeager propelled Bettie Page to stardom

By Margaret Griffis
Special to BT

When 1950s pinup queen Bettie
Page died of heart disease at a
Los Angeles hospital on
December 11, many in the Western world
took notice. Her death at age 85 may not
have been worthy of newspaper headlines,
but Page was special enough to induce the
likes of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to
quietly sit through a funeral service con-
ducted by none other than televangelist
Rev. Robert Schuller. Picture that!
Of course, the American media ran the
obvious stories detailing Page's mostly trag-
ic life, and their foreign counterparts ran
even longer obituaries. There was mention
of schoolteacher Bettie, fetish model Bettie,
psychward Bettie, and even born-again
Bettie. But what was perhaps the most mag-
ical Bettie of all, the Miami Bettie, got scant
attention. Sure, Nashville may have wit-
nessed the birth of Betty Mae Page in 1923,
but it was here, in 1950s Miami, where the
icon Bettie Page was truly born.
The "mother" of that icon was the
much-younger Bunny Yeager, a local beau-
ty queen whose curiosity had led her to the

other side of the lens. In the
1940s, the Pennsylvania-born
Yeager moved to Miami,
where she became one of the
most popular models in the
area after graduating from
Edison High. However, it
would be a "loaner" camera
borrowed from a photography
class she later took at the
Lindsey Hopkins Vocational
School that would set her on
her true path to becoming the
"World's Prettiest
Photographer." By 1954 the
Bettie-and-Bunny collabora-
tion would fix Yeager in her Bunny Y
new role as a celebrated profes- Bettie Pa
sional photographer, and propel
Page into Playboy magazine and eventual-
ly to cult superstardom.
Naturally, Page's death has sparked
renewed interest in her as a seductive
model, and Yeager has been extra busy
with photo orders. It's difficult to catch her
between work at her photo lab, visits to
the post office, and her other obligations,
but recently she took time out of her busy
schedule to reminisce with BT.

eager at a recent gallery show of
ige images.

Yeager's favorite photo shoot pro-
duced some of Bettie's most memorable
images. The scene was a Boca Raton
theme park called Africa U.S.A., which
is now a shopping center, office build-
ings, and the Camino Gardens residential
development. Back then, though, it was
the first "cageless" wild animal park in
the nation. "I had photographed Bettie
Page several times, and I was trying to

think of something outstanding that I
could do with her that would really draw
a lot of attention and sell to a lot of mag-
azines," recounts Yeager of the now-
famous trip. "If you could think up
something that nobody else had done,
they would buy the pictures."
Yeager picked up Page early one
morning to make the trek up to Boca
Raton. Page remained in her curlers the
entire car ride so she would look perfect
when the shutter finally clicked.
Meanwhile Yeager worried whether the
park owners would allow her to photo-
graph Page in a skimpy two-piece
bathing suit Yeager herself had made, let
alone without any clothes at all.
But permission was granted, and
Yeager photographed Page in the nude.
Then, instead of the two-piece, she opted
for a one-piece suit she'd also made from
the same fake leopard print fur. Why the
more modest one-piece outfit? Yeager
says she feared "they would think it was
like a burlesque show. I didn't want to
lower what I was trying to do. I was try-
ing to present something very artistic."

Continued on page 30

Eight Months and Counting

Little Haiti Park has developed detractors and defenders alike

By Erik Bojnansky
Special to BT

Officially it's still known as Little
Haiti Park, but a sign posted on
the grounds gives another name
and reflects the park's principal function:
"Emmanuel 'Manno' Sanon Soccer
Park." Sanon was the Haitian national
team's star player during the 1974 World
Cup competition and died this year at
age 65 of pancreatic cancer. Kenneth
Newman, an energetic man with a bushy
mustache, smiles as he points at the sign.
The name, he says, was his idea.
Newman, a part-time referee for the
Florida Youth Soccer League and a
parks advocate, supported the late
Miami Commissioner Art Teele's quest
to create some green space in the middle
of Little Haiti's warehouse section at NE
2nd Avenue and 63rd Street. Newman
even served on the city's soccer park

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Big field, big grandstand, big fees, few takers.

Committee, which tried to guide the
Spark's development.
On May 3 of last year, thousands
Attended Little Haiti Park's grand open-
ing, which included a match between a
Miami soccer team and one based in
SHaiti. Fifteen acres in size, the park has a
Manicured, Bermuda-grass "profession-
al" field sandwiched by a covered grand-
stand on one side and bleachers on the
other. There is also a worn soccer prac-
tice field, a playground, a kids' water
park, picnic pavilions, a paved jogging
path and a 5000-square-foot community
center now under construction.
So Newman is happy, right? Wrong.
Stretching his arms wide, Newman says,
"Told you. What a waste."
His main gripe: Another sign warning peo-
ple to stay off the main, "professional" soccer
field. "They are keeping people off the field

Continued on page 31

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


One Night, Two Wheels, Many Families

Every Thursday, Biscayne Park bikers get wild and crazy sort of

By Christian Cipriani
Special to BT

On a perfect Miami night in late
November, Joe Chao sets up traf-
fic cones around the parking lot
of Pizza Point, on NE 6th Avenue at
108th Street. By 7:30, the quiet strip of
shops just north of the Miami Shores
Country Club comes alive with the
sound of roaring engines and clinking
bottles. Gear-heads of every age and col-
lar pull up in classic cars and custom
choppers to admire each other's toys and
talk shop over fresh pizza and cold beer.
It is nothing short of guy heaven.
Chao lives just few blocks away in
Biscayne Park, and started Pizza Point's
Thursday-night motor show on behalf of
the Biscayne Park Motorcycle Riders -
an informal group of area riders who hit
the road together. Local high school kids
help him spread the word door-to-door
with flyers in exchange for the privilege
of hanging out, and e-mail lists and
Facebook drum up attention online. The
goal is to provide a more convenient
meet-up for Miami motorcycle devotees
and a chance to hit the road with peers.
Currently the best weekly options are at
opposite ends of the map one at
Hooters in Hollywood, and another
down near Homestead.
So far it's working. The Pizza Point
gathering just keeps growing, and now
attracts everyone from 9-to-5 hobbyists to
members of chartered clubs like the
Keltics, the kind who still sport matching
leather jackets. This is a come-one, come-
all, no-dues event for any enthusiast. Rick
Case Honda has even asked to set up a
tent and show off new motorcycle models.
One of the flashiest bikes on the lot
belongs to Luis Vasquez, a Village of
Miami Shores employee. His polished
Honda BTX is sprinkled with color-
changing LED lights and a speed-boost-
ing nitrous tank. Long and squat, with a
temperamental 45-degree rake, it's no
distance cruiser, unlike the Harley-
Davidson Electra Glide (the one used by
police), which showed up later. All told,
Vasquez paid $20,000 for custom work
by Unique Choppers of Kendall, on a
base model that retails for half that.
Joe Chao is only 45, yet his obsession
with high-powered choppers goes back 30
years. That was put on hold only once, for

Bike night organizer Joe Chao: A fun-filled block party is next.

Si.-ri ""1L-

Don't let the scary leather jackets fool you they're all family guys.

Luis Vasquez's flashy BTX (green lights).

three years. "The deal was, I would stop
biking if my wife quit smoking," Chao
explains. "She broke before I did! I caught
her sneaking around the yard. It's a good
thing, too, because I was already planning
to get my next bike in a few weeks."
Sentiments like this echoed around the
lot all evening. One guy turned up after a
cruise to the Everglades and lamented his
failed attempt to shake the habit: "I guess
I got back into it about a year ago." For
those who have been there, the rush of
speeding asphalt an inch or two beneath
your feet is hard to explain and harder to

forget, but with age comes greater respect
for the hazards of a speed addiction.
Chao, for one, always wears a helmet and
fully padded jacket. Like most of these
guys, he's a husband and father no
longer an immortal teenager.
Aside from a love of fast and loud engi-
neering, the other unifying thread is the per-
sonal relationship between man and
machine. Luis Vasquez helped his friend
Roberto customize his own BTX, in his
driveway, by hand. Unlike German and
Italian exotic drivers who can't even change
their own oil, chopper and hot-rod fans are

5 hands-on from a young age, tinkering in the
driveway on cheap, rusted-out beauties.
S That's how it started for Grant
SRawson, a 28-year-old ocean engineer
' for NOAA who came with his colleague,
Robert Roddy. Rawson's budding and
Eclectic motor collection includes a
right-hand-drive Land Rover imported
from England. Tonight he's showing off
a fully restored and customized '71 Ford
Bronco. The car spent two years at a spe-
cialist in North Carolina, and now boasts
a menacing 425-horsepower engine and
an interior matched to the truck's red-
and-white paint all for the cost of a
new Camry, Rawson notes.
Robert Roddy probably has the only
import on the lot, a gorgeous 1976 BMW
2002, with reworked transmission, new sus-
pension, and an arctic-blue paint job. It's the
kind of car David Bowie might have been
zipping around in during the Berlin years.
For Pizza Point owner Johnny Coetzee,
a native of South Africa, the bike night
and business strip are a full-on family
affair. His daughter's coffee shop, called
Just Imagine, opens next door in January.
It's a place where moms can unwind over
coffee and cakes and let the kids play. If
:. dad is in tow, he can even have a pizza
S sent over. Just Imagine's owner also hap-
2 pens to be married to the cousin of bike
J night's resident mechanic, Nicky, whom
Many Miamians know from his days as
an infamous Churchill's bartender.
Later in the night, Luis Vasquez's son
pulls up in a Chevy Impala with shining
rims and joins his dad and pregnant
mother inside for a family dinner. Mom
has two bikes herself, but is off them
until after the delivery.
Far from rowdy, the weekly bike night at
Pizza Point is all about community.
Everyone is a friend, a co-worker, a family
member, a neighbor, and Joe Chao is proud
of this. A veteran county employee most
recently with Team Metro, Chao is using
his bureaucratic smarts to organize permits
and funding for a block party. He envisions
the whole corer coming alive one sunny
weekend with music, food, and families -
and of course, everyone's mean machines.
Keep your eyes tuned to the BT and
we'll let you know when that happens.
Or log onto Facebook and befriend the
Biscayne Park Motorcycle Riders.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Teachers vs. Attorneys: Guess Who Got the Money

By Margaret Griffis
Special to BT

Although the media portray, not
incorrectly, the housing-bubble
bust as a severe economic dis-
ruption for the entire U.S. economy,
leave it to a group of Biscayne Corridor
residents to make sweet lemonade from
that huge sack of lemons. Thanks to the
bust, community activists from
Shorecrest and neighboring areas found
themselves sitting on a nice pile of
money never used for its intended pur-
pose. So why not "re-purpose" it?
The Upper Eastside Preservation
Coalition, formed as a nonprofit in 2002 to
fight what members saw as inappropriate
development along Miami's Upper
Eastside mostly the out-of-scale build-
ings that were threatening to dwarf the rel-
atively quaint architecture of their historic
neighborhoods. In addition to raising
money to fund legal challenges against
unwanted development, the group wanted
to educate local residents about their
options and unite homeowner associations.

Bunny Yeager
Continued from page 28
Although Yeager liked to work quickly
anyway, this shoot needed to really fast. It
had to be wrapped up before the park
opened. The pair worked feverishly with a
large-format 4 x 5 Speed Graphic camera
to capture the color images. Then out
came a medium-format 2 1/4 x 2 1/4
Rolleiflex for a series of black-and-white
images. "I think Bettie must have loved
animals," Yeager recalls. "You can tell
about people whether they like animals or
want to keep their distance. Well, she
went right up to them. They maybe would
kiss her on the face. She didn't care or
complain." The session went perfectly.
"After we did most of the animals, I
asked the trainer if we could use the 'war-
rior' who greets everyone at the gate. I saw
some cooking pots and wanted to tie Bettie
up and pretend he'd just captured her. We
put Bettie in the big black cooking pot as if
he were going to cook her. I know it
sounds stupid, but this is what men's mag-
azines were like then," Yeager says apolo-
getically, with a coquettish giggle.
Apart from the obvious commercial
benefits of photographing a stunning

Thanks to some ast
The collapse of condo
madness gave the UEPC a
much-needed break from
expensive attorneys and
courtroom battles. But what
to do with their bank
account and its unexpected
financial surplus? Since
their original goal was a
quality-of-life issue, UEPC
board member Jack Spirk
says they merely expanded
their mission to other com-
munity needs. They made
contributions to the Miami
Rescue Mission, the
Pelican Harbor Seabird
Station, and other worthy
causes. Then Phyllis R.
Miller Elementary School,
a Shorecrest neighbor, got
their attention, as did some-
thing called the Adopt-A-


Classroom program.
A group the UEPC works with, the
Shorecrest Homeowners Association,
had already used the program to adopt

Self-portrait, Miami, from the
1950s: Yeager was known as the
"World's Prettiest Photographer."

woman surrounded by equally beautiful
animals such as Mojah and Mbili, the
park's famous cheetahs, Yeager had a
loftier aim in mind. "My big goal was to
make things look beautiful and artistic,"
she explains. "By all means, if you have
a live model, make her look as good as
possible. Don't take away any beauty that


S UEPC board member Ginger Vela then
c went to a PTA meeting to learn more
about Adopt-A-Classroom, which raises
Money to use in classrooms and provides
moral support for educators. Drastic
_~4^ ,? rr


All smiles at Phyllis R. Miller Elementary:
(Front row) UEPC's Ginger Vela, PTA president
Stephanie Darring, vice principal Tracy McCloud,
and Jamie Rosenberg of Adopt-A-Classroom.
(Back row) Hal Marshall and Jack Spirk of UEPC,
Susie Taylor of Adopt-A-Classroom, and the
PTA's Ketha Otis and Evelyn McDonnell.

four classrooms at Miller Elementary
when members introduced Spirk and oth-
ers to the program. Spirk and fellow

she has, and look to see what the good
points are and what her flaws are, so that
you can cover up the flaws. And play up
the beautiful part of her. That was what I
was always doing with my models. I
think that's what made many of the pic-
tures look like fine art. They have sold in
galleries and hung in museums."
But her work with Bettie Page seems to
have transcended even those grand ambi-
tions and touched people in unexpected
ways. "Every day I get letters from girls
and older women who have idolized the
things I've done with Bettie Page, and
they want to be like her," Yeager says.
"Sometimes they cut their hair into bangs
and try to emulate the same hairdo. They
say I mean so much to them with what I
did elevating her to the artistic."
She also notes that Page seemed hap-
piest in front of the camera. Perhaps it
was that upbeat aspect of Page's beauty
that allowed her, through Yeager, to con-
nect with so many people.
So how did this wonderful collabora-
tion happen in the first place? "I was for-
tunate that we met when we did," Yeager
says. "I might have still been in photog-
raphy school, or just out of it. She called
me on the phone and I took her sight

reductions in Miami-Dade County Public
Schools budgets have forced many
teachers to spend their own money on
the school supplies their students will
use in class. Those costs can reach hun-
dreds of dollars.
Soon after the PTA meeting, the Upper
Eastside Preservation Coalition voted to
help adopt the remaining classrooms at
Miller Elementary to the tune of
$1000. A few more donations filled out
the wish lists for all 50 classrooms. As
thrilling as full funding may be, it also
makes the school eligible for an extra
$5000 donation from Adopt-A-
Classroom itself. However, the winner of
that grant won't be announced until later
this month, so as not to discourage more
donations to Miller and other schools.
Adopt-A-Classroom is a Miami-based

Continued on page 31

unseen because she was a New York
model, and I figured she couldn't be too
bad. That and she said she'd pose nude
for me. Nobody posed nude down here. I
couldn't find nude models! This is how
weird it was. I would never hire someone
over the phone, but I was so desperate to
get models when I was starting out."
Yeager didn't know what to expect.
She imagined Bettie might be a high-
fashion model, not a girl who mostly
posed for amateur camera clubs and
fetish photographers. Fortunately there
was instant chemistry. Bettie, Yeager
says, "was the best pinup model I ever
worked with. And she thought that I had
photographed her better than anyone else
she had posed for." It was a match for the
ages, and its appeal continues unabated.
In 2009 Bunny Yeager is celebrating
her 55th year as a photographer, to which
she proudly adds: "All of it in Miami."
You can get a feel for the Miami of an
earlier era by visiting Yeager's official
Website, www.bunnyyeager.com. More
work is available through her eBay store,
Bunny Yeager Glamour Photography, at

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

ute Upper Eastsiders, the teachers

La I
c. t.,j .

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Continued from page 28
to make it look nice," Newman complains.
"But no one is playing on it at all."
While the nearby practice field is open
to anyone free of charge, the city
reserves the main field for those who can
pay rental fees, explains Lara De Souza,
spokeswoman for Miami's Parks and
Recreation Department. "The main field
is classified as a professional soccer
field," De Souza continues, "which
means that we need to protect the grass
from daily wear and tear that comes
from practice and pickup soccer games,
so that when a group comes to rent the
stadium out, they have a field that is
usable and we are not placed in a situa-
tion where we cannot have a tournament
or special soccer event at the park due to
the poor conditions of the field."
So far, in the eight months the park has
been open, there have been a mere five
games on the professional field, two of which
were city-sponsored events. And only once
were fees waived by an act of the Miami
City Commission, according to De Souza.
And what are those fees? The basic
facility rental fee is $700, the concession
fee is $150, use of the press box is $100,
lights cost $50 per hour, plus a staff cost
of $600. For a three-hour, nighttime soc-
cer match, that amounts to some $1700.
High schools can use the field for a
flat $1000. A middle school can have it
for $300. Youth organizations can use
the professional field for $125 per hour,
plus a $50 concession charge, plus $35
for the press box, and another $120 for
lights during night games.
Lou Confessori, former vice president
of the Florida Youth Soccer League, has
never visited Little Haiti Park, but he

fumed when Newman told him the fees
the city expects to collect from its use.
"They build this beautiful facility," he
says. "Obviously it is for the adult
leagues, and that is fine. But the adult
leagues are not there in the middle of the
afternoon. It would be nice for [kids] to
be able to play [on the main field]."
Newman says Little Haiti's neighborhood
kids would be better served if the fields
were made freely available to competitive
soccer organizations like the Florida Youth
Soccer League. "Basically the city is in the
18th Century when it comes to its sports
program," Newman grumbles. "It's not
interested in giving kids opportunities."
Donald Lutton, superintendent of recre-
ation for the city's parks department, coun-
ters that the fees charged at Little Haiti
Park are comparable to those charged by
Miami-Dade County for its stadium park
facilities. Lutton also says the city has its
own soccer program in which residents of
nearby parks play against each other, as
well as teams from the City of North
Miami. Unlike the Florida Youth Soccer
League, Miami residents can play in those
games for free, Lutton notes. (Fees at
Florida Youth League Soccer vary from
team to team. For example, the Miami
Lakes Soccer Club charges kids $325 per
season plus $40 per month.)
The fee structure at Little Haiti Park
doesn't bother Tom Mulroy, president of
Copa Latina, a soccer promotions and mar-
keting company. In fact, to Mulroy a
restricted field makes sense. "If you have a
park like that, you can't let just anyone on
it," he asserts. Part of the reason for restrict-
ing the field's use is that you cheapen the
value of the venue. And then there is wear
and tear on the field. "If it is a grass field,"
he says," you can only play X-amount of

"We need to protect the grass
from daily wear and tear."

hours on it before it wears out."
Mulroy says he considered using Little
Haiti Park for an event and may do so
again. "I was talking with one of our
friends and we were looking at doing a
celebrity game [there]," he says, "We
couldn't get all the I's dotted and the T's
crossed [to make the game happen] but
Little Haiti Park would have been where
we would have hosted it."
Currently the parks department is
looking at the possibility of changing the
fee system for neighboring schools, says
De Souza.
Although Newman is angered by park
policies regarding the main soccer field,
many nearby residents and business oper-
ators are just glad to have a park at all.
Sophia Lacroix, an artist and Little Haiti
resident, loves the park and visits all the

Time. "In the afternoon," she says, "it's
packed with young people from the
neighborhood. Not just Haitians, but
Hispanics and Haitian boys who play
Against each other [on the practice field]."
Leonie Hermantin, a longtime activist
in Miami's Haitian community, says the
park's design could have been better. For
example, there are no locker rooms or
showers at the facility. However,
Hermantin says the park is "a good result
to a most tumultuous beginning. They
truly brought something beautiful."
Indeed Little Haiti Park generated the
most controversy at its very conception,
when Teele began pushing for its cre-
ation in 1998. Back then Teele wanted a
60-acre park. Local property owners,
wary of having their properties seized
via eminent domain, fought the scheme
relentlessly for years.
Many Little Haiti residents, mean-
while, were more concerned about
employment than green space,
Hermantin says. "It didn't strike us as a
priority at that point to build a park," she
remembers. "We did not see it as the
kind of investment that would generate
jobs for the neighborhood."
Eventually a compromise for a smaller
park was hammered out. But legal bills
and land costs pushed the taxpayer total
up to $34 million. Commissioner Teele
himself didn't live to see the park fin-
ished. In the summer of 2005, facing
multiple corruption charges brought by
state and federal authorities, Teele shot
himself in the lobby of the Miami
Herald. The park's community center,
which is scheduled for completion this
April, will be named after Teele.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Continued from page 30
nonprofit organization that distributes
100 percent of the contributions it
receives. The donated money is made
available to schools via online accounts
through which individual teachers have
access to select vendors. That way
donors know the money is being spent
only on classroom materials, such as
learning games, books, and other sup-
plies. The vendors then donate a percent-
age of their sales to Adopt-A-Classroom
for its operating expenses. Other charita-
ble contributions take care of the rest.
(The group also acts as a liaison between
donors and teachers, facilitating career

days, field trips, and other activities
among donors, parents, and the schools.)
Susie Taylor, a volunteer fundraiser at
Adopt-A-Classroom, is aware of philan-
thropists and commercial businesses that
have adopted entire schools, but this is
the first time she's heard of community
members adopting their local school, and
it's certainly the first time Phyllis R.
Miller Elementary has been fully adopt-
ed. "It was miraculous," says Taylor.
"They got money from the community to
raise awareness and get parents and
teachers active on a face-to-face level."
Needless to say, PTA president
Stephanie Darring is also as excited as a
cheerleader at homecoming. She has two
kids currently at the school and two

successful graduates, so she really under-
stands how far the money is going.
Miller Elementary operates as a mag-
net school in an unusual way: They uti-
lize the Montessori teaching method,
which stresses adaptation of the school to
the child, not the other way around as in
more traditional schooling. That can get
costly, but Darring says the method
makes Miller Elementary an "awesome
school for children who are very expres-
sive." Perhaps that's one reason the
school maintains an "A" rating from the
state, despite its large population of low-
income and minority students more
than 75 percent. The teachers, Darring
says, are also exceptional in that many
have Master's degrees. Further enhancing

the community aspect, quite a few of
those postgraduate degrees were earned
at nearby Barry University.
Earlier in the school year, Darring
notes, budget cuts and other problems
had threatened Miller Elementary's
Montessori curriculum. But the donation
from the Upper Eastside Preservation
Coalition means that threat has been
greatly diminished, if not eliminated.
Furthermore, the effort to secure full
adoption firmly connected the school's
teachers with the community. "It is so
much and so fulfilling" Darring says.
"Just a little bit from everyone made a
huge difference."

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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Purse Swapping
3400 Block ofN. Miami Avenue
A woman was shopping at Marshalls
when a purse caught her eye. In a moment
of retail ecstasy, her thinking became
clouded. She placed her own purse on the
floor and ventured over to examine this
other purse. When she looked back at the
floor, her old purse was gone. Oh, well.
Time for a new purse.

The Heterosexual
Dating Malaise
Yet another tale from the horny-drunk
files. A man was partying at Club
Space. He'd had a few drinks. He met
an attractive young woman named
Kelly and they "spent some time togeth-
er." When he hailed a cab to get back to
Miami Beach, the man was horrified to
discover his debit card was missing. In
a flash, "Kelly" had run up $4000 in
charges on the card. But how did she
get his PIN number?

Biscayne Crime Beat

SCompiled by Derek McCann

Name-Dropping Thug Does
Not Impress Officers
6200 Block ofBiscayne Boulevard
Officers have to deal with street scum all
day long, and more often than not, when
these characters are approached, they
surrender. (Miami cops are scary.) This

criminal mastermind chose to resist
arrest and repeatedly lunged and kicked
at the officers who were trying to arrest
him. He even pulled out a folding knife
while officers struggled to cuff him. To
the officers' credit, they kept the dread-
ed Taser in their holsters, thereby

demonstrating admirable restraint. Most
would have Tasered the bastard. When
both arms were finally cuffed, the thug
verbally threatened them and said he
would not forget their faces and even
mentioned the names of "friends" he
had on the force. Nonetheless he was
thrown in county jail, where he no doubt
has many more friends.

When Sorry Is Not Good
6900 Block ofBiscayne Boulevard
At a popular Biscayne Corridor restau-
rant, a man used a screwdriver to pry
open a wine shed. Mind you, this
upscale establishment usually encoun-
ters higher-end crooks, those who mere-
ly skip out on the bill. But this criminal
was different, if dumber. He was easily
caught and held for police. The owner
did mention the man was sorry. For

Continued on page 33

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January 2009


Crime Beat
Continued from page 32
unknown reasons, this type of contrition
has become common in recent months.
If only they could be sorry before the
crime, but that would make for a pretty
boring "Crime Beat."

Human Vultures
700 Block ofNE 1st Avenue
Victim suffered a heart attack at
Camillus House. Right before he was
lifted into the ambulance, he gave an
employee his red suitcase, which con-
tained $5000 in American Express
Travelers Cheques. He trusted this
employee to hold it for safekeeping.
After his stay at the hospital, he asked
Camillus House management to return
the suitcase, but was told they could not
find it. A day later he was walking down
NE 2nd Avenue and saw a woman, a fel-
low Camillus resident, carrying his suit-
case, which had his name prominently
displayed on the front. He called police
and they confronted her. She told police
a Camillus employee had given it to her,
without the Travelers Cheques but with a
free blanket thrown in for good measure.

Police returned the suitcase to the fraz-
zled man, who, much to his chagrin,
learned that numerous purchases were
made in his name with his cheques while
he was in the hospital. Fortunately this
did not cause another heart attack. He lit-
erally couldn't afford it.

Alternative Way to Avoid
the Velvet Rope
100 Block ofNE 11th Street
Who wants to wait on line to get into a
nightclub, only to be disappointed? This
provocateur decided to sneak in through
an open fire door. In the process of
being cool, he took the liberty of grab-
bing some club passes for himself and
his pals 242 of them for a total value
of $4800! (The nightclub racket is
apparently very lucrative.) According to
the police report, club employees were
not particularly subtle about notifying
police and began screaming at officers
to gain control of the heist. The alleged
thief walked briskly away from the club
but was apprehended. His bag of passes
was returned to the rightful owners.
Then the idiot resisted arrest (bad move,
Miamians) and was "forcibly restrained"

by officers, who promptly tossed him
into a squad car.

Another Problem for
Obama to Solve?
1700 Block of N. Bayshore Drive
This female victim, a cab driver, was
being stood up for a fare. When she
asked her customer several times to
pay, he responded, "Haitian, don't you
know who I am? Obama isn't going to
help you now!" Understandably the
cabbie became fearful, but was fortu-
nate enough to hail a nearby police
car. When police offered to take the
obviously drunken man to an ATM (he
had a card), the man replied, "Haitian,
don't you know who I am? I can take
your badge away." The officers
arrested him.

Home May Be Your Castle,
but Please Lock the Door
Belle Meade
It's bad enough that you can't leave the
door open and unattended for more than
ten seconds without some intruder taking
things, but it's even worse when you

can't go from room to room in your own
house. This victim was watching televi-
sion when she noticed she had left her
kitchen faucet on. She got up to turn it
off, but when she returned to her cozy
parlor, her front door was open and her
purse was gone. Neighbors reported see-
ing a man holding a purse, leaving the
area on a bicycle.

Word of Mouth Means
Kick in Teeth
400 Block ofNE 26th Terrace
In lieu of using a reputable storage com-
pany, this victim heard about a Miami
company with a generic name. She
arranged for them to move and store her
furniture and valuables. However, when
she showed up at the listed address, there
was no storage facility and no moving
company. Attempts to call the numbers
given to her were fruitless because they
were disconnected. This is a very painful
lesson and a message for Miami resi-
dents to always check references and
working phone numbers.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

General, Cosmetic & Specialty Dentistry

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


January 2009


Fall From Grace

Once an acclaimed work of art, The Living Room now attracts vandals, not admirers

By Victor Barrenechea
BT Contributor

It rises like a gargantuan doll house,
positioned in the heart of the Design
District, but no one seems to be play-
ing with it anymore. Just eight years old,
The Living Room, located on the corer of
NE 40th Street and N. Miami Avenue, is
now abandoned and forlorn. The 15-foot-
tall lamps no longer light up, the oversize
sofa cushions and 30-foot-tall curtains are
gone, and the walls are marred by graffiti.
The building that once surrounded it has
been demolished, leaving the art installa-
tion standing alone and neglected in the
corer a fenced-off vacant lot.
In its short life, The Living Room became
a Miami landmark. It's been featured in
popular tourist guides such as Lonely
Planet, and images of it have appeared
everywhere from the New York Times to
France's Le Monde. It was one of the most-
photographed buildings in Miami; people
from all over the world flocked to the
Design District to experience it.
"Kids never fail to become astonished
by the project, and adults never fail to
become kids," says artist and architect
Roberto Behar, who designed and creat-
ed The Living Room with artist wife
Rosario Marquardt. For more than a
decade the Miami Beach couple has been
creating public art installations, such as
the iconic M (An Mfor Miami) at the
Riverwalk Metromover station. Together
they've worked throughout the U.S.,
Europe, and Latin America.
The Design District was a very differ-
ent place in 2000, when plans got under
way to transform a dingy, unassuming
warehouse into something new and
unique. "When we started, the Design
District was not the same," Marquardt
recalls. The two had been commissioned
to revamp the building by its owner,
Craig Robins, the developer and arts
patron who played a key role in South
Beach's renaissance a decade earlier.
Robins subsequently invested heavily in
Design District properties, one of which
was the nondescript N. Miami Avenue
warehouse. "He wanted to do something
attractive on N. Miami Avenue in order
to expand the Design District to the
west," Marquardt says.
The first order of business, according
to Behar, was to "dissect" the building,

rL Ait

. mm. mmum,

Under construction, 2000-2001.

The artists at The Living Room
shortly after its completion.

figuratively turning it inside-out and
making it much more accessible by
installing large storefront windows. "Part
of the building became public,"
Marquardt explains. "It had been some-
thing private. We opened it and it
became a public space."
The eye-popping focus of that openness
was The Living Room, a monumental
reproduction of a cozy domestic set piece,
built from scratch and meticulously fin-
ished (the floral wall paper was hand-
painted, 360 individual flowers in all).
By 2001 The Living Room was com-
plete and instantly became an integral

A nighttime view of the installation and its transformed warehouse.

part of the neighborhood. Entire families
would gather at the site and have their
pictures taken as they sat on the massive,
bright-red couch. It was also a favorite
of fashion photographers. "It appealed to
everybody," says Marquardt, adding that
Robins could not have foreseen what
would happen that the allure of this
installation would cut across economic
and cultural lines and that people from
the surrounding neighborhoods would
claim it as their own. "The project really
played a role as a 'social living room,'"
says Behar. "The community took own-
ership of the building."

The building's exciting new look set
the tone for how the Design District
would develop and prosper. "I think it
played a very important role as an inspi-
rational device," says Behar, who
believes the building managed to capture
the Zeitgeist of the changing neighbor-
hood. But The Living Room, despite its
popularity, wasn't immune from the
vagaries of commerce.
Robins sold the building for $3 million
in 2004 to Ernesto Rimoch and his son
Diego, a Mexican family prominent in
that country's film industry. The family
Continued on page 35

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comJanuary 2009





Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009




Continued from page 34
bought the property with the intention of
building a high-tech movie theater that
would screen independent, classic, and
foreign films, a much-needed addition to
the area. This would not be just any mul-
tiplex, however. It would feature intimate
screening rooms, upscale food and drink,
and the whole thing would be digital -
films would be converted to digital for-
mats and projected on very large, high-
definition screens. The plan was to tear
down the existing structure except for
The Living Room, which would be incor-
porated into the new cinema complex.
The Rimoch family formed a company
to undertake the ambitious project:
Living Room Theaters.
According to Diego Rimoch, the
building was finally torn down in early
2008, leaving The Living Room free-
standing and isolated. Shortly thereafter
a chain-link fence was erected, Rimoch
says, to keep people from trespassing
and dumping garbage. But the fence
seemed to have the opposite effect, at
least regarding the installation, which
was immediately attacked by vandals.

"Nothing at all in five -
years ever happened to r
The Living Room," Behar
notes, "and as soon as the
fence went up, the graffiti
began to occur. That's
something very telling: An
architecture of hope versus
and architecture of fear."
Marquardt contends
that the installation was
essentially removed from
the public sphere the
moment that fence went
up. "That's the wrong
approach," she insists.
"As soon as you put up a
fence, people trespass and
ruin it."
Rimoch argues that the
fence was installed for
The Living Room's protec-
tion. He had already
removed the couch's The site t
cushions and the huge the vandc
curtain so they wouldn't
be stolen. Moreover, Rimoch says, the
family spent a lot of money reinforcing
the installation to make it structurally

today: As soon as the fences went up,
als attacked.

sound following the removal of remod-
eled warehouse. They added 10 to 15 feet
of foundation last year.

But it's a mystery why the cinema
project has come to a standstill. Emesto
and Diego Rimoch and their partners
were able to move much more quickly
in Portland, Oregon, where they rehabil-
itated a cluster of adjoining buildings in
the city's revived downtown and in
December 2006 opened their all-digital,
six-screen Living Room Theater com-
plex to favorable reviews. A similar
project is planned for Boca Raton, but
their Miami property remains a vacant
lot. Diego Rimoch declines to discuss
the delay except to say that financing is
not the problem.
Behar and Marquardt, discouraged by
the neglect of The Living Room, would
like to design an open-air cinema and
public square and present it to Rimoch as
an alternative to the current situation.
They remain hopeful, though, that even-
tually their installation will be repaired
and revived. "We know sooner or later it
will come back and be restored," says
Marquardt. "It -i// come back maybe
not in our lifetime, but we'll see it again
as it was."

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

I -e Lru

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009




101 NE 40th St., Miami
Through February 20:
"Trismegistus" with Marilyn Manson

233 NW 36th St., Miami
305-576-4278; www.abbafineart.com
Through January 8:
"Fusion" with Pip Brant, Emanuele Cacciatore, Tony
Caltabiano, Emmy Cho, Debra Holt, David McConnell,
Peter Mackie, Sara Modiano, Kerry Phillips, Susan
Woodruff, and Jayoung Yoon
January 10 through February 10:
"Recent Installation and Photographs" by Jayoung Yoon
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

2134 NW Miami Ct., Miami
Through January 31:
"New Work" by Pablo Siquier

2033 NW 1st PI., Miami
917-743-2925; www.amayagallery.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-891-5577; www.ambrosinogallery.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.

1 NE 40th St., Miami
January 10 through March 8:
"Exploration of the Spirit" with various artists
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

111 NW 1st St., Suite 625, Miami
Through January 30:
"Overflow" by Wendy Wischer

46 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 20:
"The Box of Mental States" by Jose Manuel Ciria
January 10 through February 11:
"From Warsaw to Mexico City via New York" with Luis
Sanchez, Leseks Skorski, and Ben Freeman
Reception January 10, 7 to 11 p.m.

171 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through January 3:
"No Easy Pieces" with Fabian De La Flor, Natasha
Duwin, Donna Haynes, Anja Marais, Alejandro
Mendoza, RJ. Mills, Ray Paul, Natalia Reparaz,
Rosario Rivera, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, and Chieko
January 10 through February 8: "Creatures" with
Natasha Duwin, Natalia Reparaz, and Ray Paul
Reception January 10, 7 to 11 p.m.

561 NW 32nd St., Miami
Through January 25:
"Paraphernalia" curated by Carol Damian with Tristan

Rashid Johnson, The New Negro
Escapist Social and Athletic Club
(Thurgood), Lambda print, 2008, at
the Rubell Family Collection.

Fitch, Leanne Hemmingway-Siebels, Moira Holoham,
Jill Hotchkiss, Stephen Barron Johnson, Kathy Kissik,
Cyriaco Lopes, Mario Marinoni, Luisa Mesa, Deborah
M. Mitchell, Daniel Ortiz, Tere Pastoriza, Randy
Polumbo, Susan Radau, Rosemarie Romero, Angelika
Rothkegel, Tina Salvesen, Anica Shpilberg, Jose
Pacheco Silva, Loren Squire, Kikuko Tanaka, and
Ramon Williams

4141 NE 2nd Ave. #202, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

1929 NW 1stAve., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

598 NE 77th St., Miami
January 30 through February 27:
"Last Works of Maximo Caminero" by Maximo
Reception January 30, 7 to 11 pm.

158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores
By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com
Through January 10:
"Limpiesa" by GisMo Girls
January 16 through March 14:
"OTHERWORLD" by Guerra de la Paz
Reception January 16, 7 to 10 pm.

541 NW 27th St., Miami
Through January 31:
"Rauschenberg in Series: A 30 Year Retrospective" by
Robert Rauschenberg and a solo show by Clarence
John Laughlin

250 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through February 7:
Solo show by Marc Seguin
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through February 9:
"eARTh Part Two: TERRA" with John Westmark,
John Mack, Eduardo and Mirta del Valle, TONEL,
Scherer and Ouporov, Tina Spiro, and
Helga Griffiths
Reception January 10, 7 to 11 p.m.

282 NW 36th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 3:
"Four Solo Shows" with Wendy Wischer, Glexis Novoa,
Aramis Gutierrez, Frances Trombly, and Leyden

2051 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through February 7:
"Spill-Over" with Felice Grodin, Perry Hall, Gye-Hoon
Park, Udo Noger, Silvia Rivas, Sterz, Karina
Wisnieska, and Xawery Wolski
"Fantastic Voyage" with Luis Alonzo-Barkigia, Carlos
Betancourt, Vicenta Casan, Rabindranat Diaz Arjona,
Michael Loveland, Marc Hello, Cecilia Paredes, and
Michael Scoggins
"$9990" with Luis Alonzo-Barkigia, Sergio Bazan,
Carlos Betancourt, Trisha Brookbank, Vicenta Casan,
Clifton Childree, Julie Davidow, Tulio De
Sagastizabal, Rabindranat Diaz Arjona, Nina Ferre,
Felice Grodin, Jill Hotchkiss, Rosa Irigoyen, Laura
Kina, Michael Loveland, Katrin Moller, Marc Hello,
Cecilia Paredes, Silvia Rivas, Graciela Sacco, Jorge
Simes, Nicole Soden, Guillermo Srodek-Hart, Sterz,
Annie Wharton, Karina Wisniewska, and
Xawery Wolski

3938 NE 39th St., Miami
Through January 26:
"Caribbean Crossroads Series In Between Time" with
various artists

151 NW 24th St., Miami
Through January 10:
"Shapeshifter" with Jenny Brillhart, Elisabeth Condon,
Robin Griffiths, Richard Haden, Michelle Hailey, m
lafille, Martin Murphy Ralph Provisero, John Sanchez,
and Kyle Trowbridge
January 17 through January 24:
"Shapeshifted" with Jenny Brillhart, Elisabeth Condon,
Robin Griffiths, Richard Haden, Michelle Hailey m
lafille, Martin Murphy Ralph Provisero, John Sanchez,
and Kyle Trowbridge
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.
Reception January 17, 3 to 5 p.m.

51 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 20:
"and let it go" by Leslie Gabaldon
Through January 22:
"Laboratory" by Leonel Matheu

7520 NE 4th Ct., Miami
January 16 through February 1:
"Accumulated Knowledge" by Grey Zeien
Reception January 16, 7 to 10 p.m.

47 NE 25th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

151 NW 36th St., Miami
305-403-5856; www.elitearteditions.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.

10 NE 40th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2247 NW 1st PI., Miami
Through January 3:
"Heavy Manner" by Luis Gispert and "DEATH BY
BASEL" with Chim_Pom, Cyprien Gaillard, Daniel
Newman, Eirik Saether, Eric Pougeau, Ida Ekblad,
Item Idem, John Riepenhoff, Ken Kagami, Tai Ogawa,
Yamataka Eye, and Yoshiaki Kuribara

194 NW 30th St., Miami
Through January 11:
"the PIG presents ..." with Paola Pivi, Gelitin, Alfredo
Jaar, Mario Grubisic, Jeremy Deller, Simon Martin, and
Roberto Cuoghi

174 NW 23rd St., Miami
January 10 through February 7:
"Counters" by Abby Mannock
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

62 NE 27th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami
January 10 through March 7:
"Daily Scenes" by Ignacio Goitia, "La Ventana
Indiscreta VI" by Alexis Perez Montero, and a group
show with various artists from Valencia
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 a.m.

Temporary location:
314 NW 24th St., Miami
Through January 4:
"KAIJU MONSTER INVASION" with various artists

Continued on page 37

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Art Listings

Continued from page 36
164 NW 20th St., Miami
305-534-5737; www.onemansho.com
Through January 30:
"Sisters in Arms" by Julio Blanco

50 NE 29 St., Miami
305-447-3888; www.kelleyroygallery.com
Through January 31:
"Migration" with Joe Concra and Kevin Paulsen

2249 NW 1st PI., Miami
305-576-2000; www.kevinbrukgallery.com
Through January 7:
"New Images / Unisex New Images/ Unisex" with
Kerstin Bratsch, Davis Rhodes, Nikolas Gambaroff,
Adele Roder, Taylor Kretschmar, Georgia Sagri,
Charles Mayton, and Greg Parma Smith
Through January 17:
"Deal or No Deal" by Mika Tajima

3312 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-438-1333; www.kunsthaus.org.mx
Call gallery for exhibition information.

6900 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

105 NW 23rd St., Miami
305-576-8570; www.locustprojects.org
January 10 through February 28:
A solo show by Loriel Beltran and a solo show by Mike
Reception January 10, 7 to 11 p.m.

98 NW 29th St., Miami
Through February 28:
"Escape" by Aldo Chaparro

2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

126 NE 40th St., Miami
January 10 through February 1:
"Global Vibrations" by Jeff League
Reception January 10, 8 to 10 p.m.

244 NW 35th St., Miami
January 10 through January 31:
"Super Iconic" by
Raffaele Ammavuta
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

300 NE 2nd Ave.,
Bldg. 1, Room 1365, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

7820 NE 4th Ct., Miami
Call gallery for
exhibition information.


Ancestors, XVII (detail), 2008, at the

1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Through January 8:
Annual faculty exhibition
January 15 through February 13: "Visual Arts MFA
Graduate Exhibition" by Andrew Grodner
Reception January 15, 5 to 8 p.m.
Reception January 15, 5 to 8 p.m.

3100 NW 7th Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-573-2400; www.panamericanart.com
Through January 31:
Francis Acea, Tracey Snelling, and Ana Maria Pacheco
Reception January 10, 6 to 9 p.m.

2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

81 NW 24th St., Miami
Ongoing show with Kevin Brady Manuel Carbonell,
Nichole Chimenti, Carter Davis, Stephen Gamson,
Raquel Glottman, Jim Herbert, Jennifer Kaiser, Alex
Paiva Lopez, Andy Piedilato, Tomy F. Trujillo, Jonathan
"Depoe" Villoch, and Giancarlo Zavala

2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 3:
"Primeval State of Perfection" by Santiago Rubino
January 10 through January 12:
"Opening Recession $499.99" with Santiago Rubino,
Agustina Woodgate, Federico Nessi, Lee Materazzi,
Kris Knight, Blackbooks, Christina Pettersson, Typoe,
Srta. Cristina, Kerry Phillips, Jen Stark, and TM Sisters
Reception January 10, 7 to 10 p.m.

Continued on page 38




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January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Art Listings

Continued from page 37
162 NE 50 Terrace, Miami.
305-992-7652; www.myspace.com/stashgallery
Through January 17:
"Leftovers" with Sarah Peacock, Addonis Parker, Joesph
Strasser, Bayunga Kialeku, Ozzy Perez, Jorge Viera,
Helene Weiss, Glitter Art Diva Sue Zola, q u e v z,
Joesph O'Neal, Alex Yanes, Pete Wolleager, and more

66 NE 40th St., Miami
305-484-1491 www.stevemartinfineart.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2020 NW Miami Ct., Miami
786-217-7683; www.twentytwentyprojects.com
Through January 6: "Cha-Cha" with John Bucklin,
Robert Chambers, Alyse Emdur, Jay Hines, Justin Long,
Raul J. Mendez, Gean Moreno, and Daniel Newman

2200 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.

2144 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
305-576-2112; www.untitled2144.com
Through February 4:
"ARTITALIA" with Luca Artioli, Andrea Bianconi,
Maurizio Galimberti, Emanuela Gardner, Domiziana
Girdano, Patrizia Guerresi Maimouna, Benedetta
Pignatelli, and Alberto Rizzo

10 NE 3rd St., Miami
305-579-0069 www.wallflowergallery.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.

Guerra de la Paz, "OTHERWORLD"
(detail from installation), 2008-2009,
at Carol Jazzar Gallery.

3322 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
305-776-1515; www.whitevinylspace.com
Call gallery for exhibition information.


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami
305-455-3380; www.cifo.org
Through March 1:
"The Prisoner's Dilemma: Selections from the Ella
Fontanals-Cisneros Collection" with Francis Alys,
Barbara Kruger, Alexander Apostol, Rafael Lozano-
Hemmer, Alexandre Arrechea, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle,
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Daniel Joseph Martinez,
Judith Barry, Priscilla Monge, Paolo Canevari, Carlos
Motta, Stan Douglas, Antoni Muntadas, Jimmie
Durham, Shirin Neshat, Cao Fei, Julian Rosefeldt,
Regina Jose Galindo, Laurie Simmons, Carlos
Garaicoa, Eve Sussman, Mathilde ter Heijne, Frank
Thiel, Thomas Hirschhorn, Susan Turcot, Jenny
Holzer, and Monika Weiss

11200 SW 8th St., Miami
305-348-0496; http://thefrost.fiu.edul
Through February 28: "Intersections" by Florencio
Through March 1: "Modern Masters from the
Smithsonian American Art Museum" with various artists
Through March 9: "Drawing in Space: The Peninsula
Project Illustrated" by John Henry
Through April 4: "Simulacra and Essence: The
Paintings of Luisa Basnuevo" by Luisa Maria

1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
305-284-3535; www.lowemuseum.org
Through January 18: "Charles Biederman: An
American Idealist" by Charles Biederman
January 31 through April 5:
"Las Artes de Mexico" with various artists

101 W. Flagler St., Miami
305-375-3000; www.miamiartmuseum.org
Through January 18: "MBE: A Flying Machine for
Every Man, Woman, and Child" by Yinka Shonibare
Through January 25: "Moving Through Time and
Space" by Chantal Akerman
Through February 22: "Objects of Value" with various artists

770 NE 125th St., North Miami
305-893-6211; www.mocanomi.org
Through March 1:
"Purchase Not By Moonlight" by Anri Sala

404 NW 26th St., Miami
305-893-6211; www.mocanomi.org
Through March 21: "The Possibility of an Island" with
Cory Arcangel, Davide Balula, Tobias Bernstrup, Heman
Chong, Peter Coffin, Matias Faldbakken, Cao Fei, Kim

Fisher, Claire Fontaine, K48, Chris Kraus, Cristina Lei
Rodriguez, Nicolas Lobo, Martin Oppel, Philip (a novel
written by Mark Aerial Waller, Heman Chong, Cosmin
Costinas, Rosemary Heather, Leif Magne Tangen,
Francis McKee, David Reinfurt, and Steve Rushton),
Lisi Raskin, Julika Rudelius, and Mungo Thomson

591 NW 27th St., Miami
305-576-1051; www.margulieswarehouse.com
Through April 25:
"Hurma" by MagdalenaAbakanowicz, "Western Union:
Small Boats" by Isaac Julien, "Oil Rich Niger Delta" by
George Osodi, and "Photography and Sculpture: A
Correlated Exhibition" with various artists

95 NW 29th St., Miami
305-573-6090; www.rubellfamilycollection.com
Call for operating hours and exhibit information.
Through May 30:
"30 AMERICANS" with Nina Chanel Abney John
Bankston, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, lona
Rozeal Brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Noah
Davis, Leonardo Drew, Renee Green, David
Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Rashid Johnson,
Glenn Ligon, Kalup Linzy, Kerry James Marshall,
Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, William Pope.L,
Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson,
Shinique Smith, Jeff Sonhouse, Henry Taylor, Hank
Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie
Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and Purvis Young

Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection
170 NW 23rd St., Miami
Appointment only: dennis@worldclassboxing.net
Call for operating hours and exhibit information.

Compiled by Victor Barrenechea
Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to

2480 BiSCAYNE BLVD MIAMI 7ae-228-8081

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



Free Yoga Classes to Relax
Mind and Body
Instructors Anamargret Sanchez and
Vanessa Van Dyne are now offering free
yoga classes to stressed-out Upper
Eastside residents in the relaxing, tree-
shaded setting of Legion Park (6630
Biscayne Blvd.). The mind-clearing,
body-stretching classes are designed for
both adults and children ages five and
up. (The kids are taught separately but
nearby.) The ongoing classes continue on
Saturday, January 3, and every Saturday
thereafter from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. You
need to bring your own mat or a large
towel on which you can stretch out. For
more information call 305-289-0416.

Friday Night in the Park,
For Free!
Here's a chance for downtown office
workers to chill out to some good music
in a great setting on a Friday evening -
and for free, thanks to the Downtown
Development Authority and the Knight
Foundation, sponsors of this concert
series. On January 9 at 5:30 p.m., the
Jacob Jeffries Band takes the stage at
Bayfront Park's Tina Hills Pavilion. With
singer/songwriter Jeffries at the key-
boards, the band has been likened to a
hybrid of Billy Joel, Steely Dan, and
Randy Newman. New Times went so far
as to call Jeffries a "superstar in the
making." So spread a blanket on the
lawn, gaze up at the glittering skyscrap-
ers, and unwind with your office pals.

Garcia Mirquez's Magic
Comes to the Shores
The Playground Theatre in Miami Shores
(9806 NE 2nd Ave.) reprises Gabriel
Garcia Marquez's enchanting A Very Old
Man with Enormous Wings in its stage
adaptation by Miami playwright and
Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz. The
play, directed by Stephanie Ansin and
propelled by Garcia Marquez's trademark

magical realism, is about discovering the
true identity of a mysterious creature that
falls from the sky. It is recommended for
children ages eight and up and will be on
stage from January 14 to February 8.
Tickets are $15. For more information
visit www.playgroundtheatre.com or call

MLK at MOCA by
This year's observance of Martin Luther
King Day (January 19) takes on special
meaning. The very next day, Barack
Obama will be sworn in as the first
African-American President of the
United States. In anticipation of that hol-
iday and the presidential inauguration,
North Miami's University Relations
Board will host a candlelight vigil honor-
ing MLK on Thursday, January 15. The
event, featuring spoken-word and musi-
cal tributes to the late civil rights leader,
begins at 7:00 p.m. on the MOCA plaza
(770 NE 125th St.). For information call

One Night Only: America's
Hottest Jazz Band
Wynton Marsalis is America's jazz
ambassador to the world. He's a one-
man preservation movement and a tire-
less advocate for music education in the
schools. He won the Pulitzer Prize for
his epic composition Blood on the
Fields. He also happens to be a terrific
musician, a nine-time Grammy winner
not just in the jazz idiom but classical
as well. And he is the driving force
behind the Lincoln Center Jazz Project
(www.jalc.org), which includes leading
one of America's hottest jazz ensem-
bles, the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln
Center Orchestra. Marsalis brings his
all-star big band to Miami for one night
only, January 22, at the Arsht Center
(1300 Biscayne Blvd.). Show starts at
8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15-$135 and are
going fast. They're available at

Violin Virtuoso Rocks
the House
When Joshua Bell was four years old and
living on a farm outside Bloomington,


Did You Hear the
One About...
With the entire world in
financial meltdown, a
good laugh is worth its
weight in maybe
gold bullion? So the
timing couldn't be bet-
ter for the Fourth Annual
South Beach Comedy
Festival January 21-24.
This year's lineup
includes Daily \I h/. regu-
lar Lewis Black, the angriest man alive.
Cheech and Chong will be on hand
(BYOW), as will Lisa Lampanelli, Dave
Barry, and many more. The festival will
also feature up-and-coming comedians
performing free on Lincoln Road.
Festival events take place at the Fillmore
at the Jackie Gleason Theater, the
Lincoln Theatre, Colony Theater, and the
Lincoln Road Stage. Tickets are on sale
at Ticketmaster and www.southbeach-

Mazel Tov To You, MJFF!
The theme for the 12th-annual Miami
Jewish Film Festival: "A new generation
of filmmakers explore age-old issues."
This nine-day cinematic feast, which
begins January 24, kicks off with Beau
Jest. Based on the off-Broadway hit, the
film explores with warmth and humor a
mother's efforts to find a "nice Jewish
boy" for her daughter. Other films
include Blessed Is the Match, Un Secret,
and Vasermil among many more.
Screenings take place at the Sunrise
Intracoastal (3701 NE 163rd St.), the
Regal South Beach (1120 Lincoln Rd.),
and the Cosford Cinema at University of
Miami (1380 Miller Dr.). For more infor-
mation visit www.miamij ewishfilmfesti-
val.com or call 1-888-585-FILM.

January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Indiana, he would tie rubber bands
around the handles of his dresser drawers
and pluck them to play tunes. His parents
noticed his precocious talent and decided
to buy him a violin. The rest, as they say,
is history, and today Bell is one of the
world's most celebrated violinists. He'll
be accompanied by the acclaimed
Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the New
World Symphony in Saint-Saens's Third
Violin Concerto, overflowing with
pyrotechnics and lush Romanticism. Also
on the program is Gustav Mahler's mon-
umental Symphony No. 1 ("Titan").
Arsht Center, January 24, 8:00 p.m.
Tickets at www.arshtcenter.org or call the
box office at 305-949-6722.

Miami Marathon:
Just Finish and
You'll Be a Hero
On Sunday, January 25, thousands of
runners of all abilities will congregate in
downtown Miami for a 22.6-mile
endurance test that starts in front of the
American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne
Blvd.) and finishes a few blocks south at
Bayfront Park. The race starts at 6:15
a.m., though participants must arrive
well before that. Registration fees range
from $70 to $120. For more information
visit www.ingmiamimarathon.com.

The Many Shapes of
Design District
The Historical Museum of Southern
Florida invites you to join them for a
Design District architecture walking tour
on Sunday, January 25, from 10:00 a.m.
to 12:00 p.m. The museum's resident
expert, Paul George, will guide you
through the district's wide range of
styles, from contemporary buildings by
some of today's most respected archi-
tects to classical revivals to the nouveau-
Minoan figures on the Buick Building.
You'll also hear about the district's
unique master plan, created by New
Urbanism pioneers Andres Duany and
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Meet at
Charcuterie French restaurant (3610 NE
2nd Ave.) and use metered parking under
the 1-195 overpass. Tickets are $20 for
museum members and $25 for nonmem-
bers. For more information visit
www.hmsf.org or call 305-375-1492.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

The movie trailer might go some-
thing like this [Creepy, deep
voice]: "In a world gone to the
dogs, one woman had the courage to
stand up for them." This movie would
follow the travails of Margaret Tynan, a
one-woman crusade (played by Julia
Roberts) who overcame the City of
Miami's countless procedural hurdles to
convert an empty lot into a neighborhood
doggie park. It is miraculous.
The Belle Meade doggie park, tucked
away in the depths of this close-knit
community of single-family homes,
functions as a town hall for dog owners.
A concrete table and bench allow neigh-
bors to sit and chat while the dogs go
about their business, off-leash.
For the holidays, the green fence sur-
rounding the little triangle of a park was
decorated with red bows and mini stock-
ings. These touches show that someone
is paying attention to this space, a tiny
slice of land that really matters.
I never would have found the Belle
Meade doggie park at the end of 76th
Street if not for my local informant,
Cristina Forestieri, who lives a few blocks
away, near the child-friendly Belle Meade
Mini Park. Like other mothers I met
there, she gives the mini park, on 77th
Street near NE 8th Avenue, rave reviews.

A Tale of Two Minis

Little parks in Belle Meade and Shorecrest tell different stories
bta rs_ -e -wru

Mini Park of Belle Meade: Kids and shade.

"I love it!" Forestieri says. "Some
moms go every day, religiously. It is
super cute."
This square in the center of a residen-
tial street is exactly what every neighbor-
hood needs a clean, safe, shady play-
ground for kids. This park is the real
neighborhood association. (Margaret
Tynan also happens to be president of
the Belle Meade Homeowners
The only problem is that a drainage
project has turned the streets around the
park into a war zone of endless construc-
tion. "It hasn't been very enjoyable the
last six months," Forestieri observes.
"The park is full of dust and noise."

The mother of three boys, Forestieri
appreciates the park's safety and its tree
canopy. "I'm impressed that some of the
trees were able to be salvaged after the
hurricanes, two big trees," she says,
referring to giant ficuses that were top-
pled during the 2005 hurricane season.
Recent upgrades to the mini park
include blue bouncy turf under the swing
set and additional benches. The play-
ground equipment is spotless, and for the
older crowd there are tables and barbe-
cue grills perfect for a hotdog fest.
Forestieri says that many families hold
children's birthday parties in the park.
Another mother in the mini park says
that she brings her daughter to Belle

Meade because of its safer feeling than
Legion Park, which also has a play-
ground and is much closer to her house.
Belle Meade is clearly doing some-
thing right, while a few blocks north,
something has gone horribly wrong.
[Cue the dramatic movie music.]
The mini park in Shorecrest should go
to the dogs, and a nearby empty lot
should go to the children.
Near NE 86th Street on E. Dixie
Highway (the "other" Dixie Highway), a
very large, undeveloped plot of land sits
idle. Beautiful, mature live oaks and
gumbo limbos cast dappled shade over
fields of grass.
Continued on page 41

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

The Belle Meade doggie park.


Park Rating

NE 8th Avenue at
77th Street
Hours: Sunrise-sunset
Picnic tables: Yes
Barbecues: Yes
Picnic pavilions: No
Playground: Yes
Athletic fields: No
Night lighting: Yes

NE 77th Terrace

NE 77th St


y Park Rating

NE 85th St E. Dixie Highway at NE
84th Street
Hours: Sunrise-sunset
Picnic tables: No
Barbecues: No
SPicnic pavilions: No
Playground: No
Athletic fields: No
Night lighting: Yes
NE 84th St


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Continued from page 40
These acres of open bliss, however,
are fenced in and off limits to the public.
If Shorecrest were as smart as Belle
Meade, it would convert this premium
land into a park.
A couple of blocks away on NE 84th
Street sits the sad excuse of Shorecrest
Mini Park, which has also gone by the
name of Biscayne Heights Mini Park.
This park is like a crime that did not
happen: There is nothing to see. Keep
moving along.
The Shorecrest movie trailer might go
this way: "In a world where children
have nowhere to play, this place went to
the dogs." This romantic comedy (star-
ring Spot from Target) would show the
conversion of this heartless triangle of
grass into a setting worthy of Lady and
the Tramp.
The problem here is that dogs are
officially prevented from walking off-
leash, although it assuredly happens.
With an official sanction as a doggie
park, the Shorecrest Mini Park would
fulfill its puny destiny. Very few
upgrades would be needed, and the

Potential park: Shorecrest residents unite!

neighborhood would no longer be
humiliated by the pretense that this park
provides any use for humans.
The most notable feature in Shorecrest
Mini Park is outside of the green metal
fence. A solar panel sits atop a pole and
feeds what appears to be a gas meter for
TECO. Way to go green, TECO!
Otherwise the park basically has a few
trees and a fancy, double-headed street
lamp in its center. And grass. That's
about all she wrote. It is slightly larger
than the dog park in Belle Meade but

Mini Park of Shorecrest: Fit for dogs only.

lacks that park's energy.
This mini-series of four parcels of land
tells the story of an empowered neigh-
borhood, Belle Meade, versus an appar-
ently disempowered one, Shorecrest. The
residents of Shorecrest need to take a
page from the playbook of Margaret
Tynan, who saw the potential for a dog
park and made it happen.
Let the dogs run wild in the Mini Park
of Shorecrest. That's all it's good for.
As for the empty acres on E. Dixie
Highway, they could become a fabulous

park for people. A million excuses (and
dollars) will probably prevent that
from happening, but only one reason is
needed to prove its worth: the smiles
on children's faces when the fence
comes down and the grassy field
becomes theirs.
The residents of Belle Meade, two-
and four-legged alike, already have their
little slices of heaven. Residents a few
block north should demand their cut, too.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

I ncludlng: Horn Dbpol. Loes or ANY South Florida Wlndow Treatment Relallrs.

All OUT BlindS wYra Lilutime Warnrnly (Part A Lboril






January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Big Music For Little Ears

A dynamic teacher and a unique program come to the neighborhood

By Jenni Person
BT Contributor
The Biscayne Corridor has a great
new treasure of a neighbor. For
anyone in the Corridor who has
devotedly schlepped to Watson Island or
Coral Gables to participate in the awe-
some Music Together classes of Ashlee
Cramer, you now only have to go as far
as Midtown Miami to get some of
Ashlee's incredible energy and spirit.
As an alum ofAshlee's classes and a
diehard fan, I highly recommend you get to
her studio as soon as possible if you're not
already familiar with her particular take on
the Music Together program. A national
organization with franchises all around the
country, including several in our area, Music
Together offers research-based music educa-
tion for the early-childhood set. The pro-
gram is built on a parent-and-me model,
engaging small kids and their grown-ups
(parents, grandparents, childcare providers)
in rhythmic, tonal, and melodic exercises
through folkloric music from around the
globe. As taught by Ashlee, Music Together
is intoxicating for all involved.
If you are a regular reader of this col-
umn, you will not be surprised to hear
that, for this writer, on some level the
program's music selections are a bit too
sing-songy. I worried early on that the
song choices were a bit patronizing and
dumbed down for my kids, who I aim to
expose to the arts relatively uncensored,
presenting the same textured and layered
things I enjoy while encouraging them to
get what they will out of it. This, I
believe, promotes creativity and compre-
hension skills, and builds their confi-
dence as critical thinkers.

So when I embarked on
Ashlee's class with Izzi, I
was blown away by the
classes, which felt not terri-
bly unlike an aerobics
class. Izzi was completely
engaged the entire time,
and the previously sing-
songy music came off
instead as bold and bright
in a way that didn't make
me gag. Ashlee, who flies
around the space like a
Super Ball, ricocheting
from wall to wall, gets par-
ticipants clapping, snap-
ping, and tapping seamless-
ly, without a beat within
which to get distracted.
With her background as a .
performer and credits
singing and dancing on and
off Broadway and on TV,
Ashlee brings a very strong "*""
stage presence to her work. She also
brings the instincts she relies on as busy
mom of three kids, coddling and nurtur-
ing her students and fostering confidence
in every parent through a sense of cama-
raderie that is also inherent in the partici-
patory structure of Music Together. The
program relies on the grownups modeling
the musical and movement exercises for
their kids through full participation.
Our booming family population along
the Biscayne Corridor will certainly ben-
efit from Ashlee bringing her work right
into our neighborhood. Beginning this
month, there will be something happen-
ing in the studio space every day,
between her classes and one morning a
week when there will be a mommy-and-

me yoga class. Ashlee says that as she
settles into the studio and the area, the
space usage will expand to other kinds of
mommy-and-me programs and also after-
noon sessions. In the meantime, Music
Together classes kick off in the new
space with sessions beginning January 5.
Fees for the ten-week session are $150
plus $38 for CDs and songbook. Call 305-
519-0362 or visit www.miamichildresns-
musictogether.com for more information.

Stanley G. Tate Florida
Prepaid College Plan
Miami is lucky to have among its resi-
dents Stanley G. Tate, a visionary who
truly values education and the broadest
possible access to it. Tate, a prominent

developer, was the driving force in creat-
ing Florida's prepaid college tuition pro-
gram, which now bears his name. If you
don't already know about this college
savings program, get yourself immedi-
ately to www.myfloridaprepaid.com to
learn more. Or call 1-800-552-GRAD
(4723) to order an enrollment kit in
English or Spanish.
The plan locks in college tuition at any of
Florida's public universities, colleges, or
community colleges at today's rates. If your
child ends up going elsewhere for school,
the plan essentially works as a standard IRS
Section 529 college-savings account. You
still get your investment and its earnings to
put toward the expenses of most accredited
private colleges and universities.
Purchasing a four-year university-tuition
prepaid plan for a newborn who would
enroll in college in 2027 can save a family
up to $25,000. Florida Prepaid College
Plan prices are affordable. For a newborn,
they start at a little over three-dollars per
day for the four-year university-tuition
option. But purchasing a plan for a child of
any age is still worthwhile and can be cal-
culated on the plan's site. The "Budget for
College" section (click the "Affordability"
tab on the home page) helps families figure
out where there may be room in their
budgets for college savings.
But act now. The deadline to receive
current Florida Prepaid College Plan
prices is January 31, 2009. Parents or
grandparents or benefactors only need to
apply by then and pay the application fee.
You then have until April to pay in one
lump sum or begin payments. After
January 31, fees will increase.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

kidst wn

P e d i a t r i c


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

- i LIlr lllul

January 2009


Green Wishes for a New Year

Eight Earth-savings things you can do in oh-nine

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
With the new year comes new
hope that every day will be
Earth Day. Below are a few
wishes for the world and a few pledges
that you can take to make a difference
Wish: New Coral Growth
The coral reefs near South Florida and
around the world are in trouble, both
from warming waters and greater acidifi-
cation. The ocean is saturated with car-
bon dioxide, and these more acidic con-
ditions diminish the capacity of corals
and other hard-bodied creatures to form
their shells and skeletons. South
Florida's waters are home to two endan-
gered species of coral, staghorn and
elkhorn, and they need decades to recov-
er because they grow very slowly.
Pledge: I will do something about
global warming, period. Also I will not
pour dangerous chemicals down the
drain, because they get flushed out to sea.
Wish: Death to the Plastic Bag
This pet peeve may follow me to the
grave, where it will refuse to disinte-
grate, clog the drains, and create
cesspools where mosquitoes can get their
freak on. These petroleum sacks did not
exist back in the "good old days," and
they should not exist in our healthier,
greener, wiser future.
Pledge: I will carry my own bag. If I
forget, I'll ask for paper, on which I will
write a note to remind myself next time
to bring my own canvas bag.
Wish: Manatee Makeovers
Every manatee sporting huge propeller
scars on its back, which essentially

includes every one of the 3000 manatees those of you who cannot break the habit,

in Florida, deserves reconstructive sur-
gery and a complimentary spa treatment.
Unsightly scars add decades to one's
appearance, and we do not want our sea
cows looking as worn out and torn up as
the Miami-Dade County Board of
Pledge: I will motorboat slowly
around Biscayne Bay. I will spit at boats
moving too fast.
Wish: Bulbous Lights
How many people does it take to
replace my current bulbs with fluores-
cent ones? It only takes one person with
a brain and a conscience. The symbolism
is even greater than the savings of ener-
gy, as it teaches the next generation that
we can change our habits. What's better
than fluorescent bulbs? Lights out!
Pledge: I will turn out the lights when
I leave a room. Especially if that room is
occupied by my boss I don't want to
disturb his sleep.
Wish: Gasoholics Anonymous
Take the lesson from this year's high
gasoline prices and apply it at all times.
You can use less gas, and you will. For

go nuts and take the guilty pleasure of
locking yourself in the garage all night
with the motor running. In the morning,
you will have a whole new perspective
on carbon dioxide emissions!
Pledge: I will walk more and drive
less. I am a confident individual who is
not defined by my mode of transporta-
tion. I drive therefore I am. Or was. Oh
Lord, get me off this highway! 1-95 has
become a toll road? We're doomed!
Wish: Easy Green Being
Kermit the Frog was right when he
sang that it isn't easy being green, but
today's advertising and general hopping
on the environmental bandwagon would
have us think otherwise. Going green
usually entails a sacrifice of conven-
ience. That is the inconvenient truth. Get
over it. Eat more veggies.
Pledge: I will become an informed
consumer. I will not buy something sim-
ply because it was made in China,
except, of course, Chinese children.
Wish: Reclaimed Water
Water is being called the new oil,
because some analysts expect that it will

become the basis for most wars in the
future. Even if it doesn't get to that point
everywhere, the point is that conservation
of water is good for society. A great way
to save water is to recycle what has been
flushed and drained, which is called
reclaimed water. South Florida has a very
poor record in this area, whereas other
parts of Florida do an excellent job.
Pledge: I will turn off the faucet while
shaving. I will thinkle before I sprinkle. I
will vote for the politicians who try to
hold the Urban Development Boundary
line and to funnel funding into water-
reclamation projects, if indeed they exist.
Wish: Breath of Fresh Air
South Florida boasts some of the
greatest natural resources in the world.
Get out there and appreciate them. Ride
a bike in the Shark Valley section of
Everglades National Park. Take a walk
alongside a body of water, or better yet
try kayaking. Eat a fish that was caught
locally, and pick your own tomatoes. If
you know children who seldom play in
the great outdoors, whisk them away to
the Keys or the beach, and force them
play without electronics!
Pledge: I will appreciate the blue sky,
the blue ocean, and even the blue moon.
I will show the children that a single tree
is more valuable than all the world's
iPods. At least in theory.
These are my wishes for the new year.
Please scribble down your own wishes
and send me a note about them. I would
love to know what on Mother Earth is on
your mind.

Happy Greener Year, Miami!

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


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ICHANTIK 35%ff Sale

-. _____ dL.,I

6667 Blscayne Blvd 1954)559-2804
Miami 33138 www.CHANT1KONLINE.com

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January 2009


The Penny-Pincher's Guide to Pet Happiness
Don't let a lousy recession spoil Fido' fun

By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor

It's no secret out there that times are
tough. Everywhere you look, houses
are in foreclosure. People may be
working fewer hours or have lost their jobs
altogether. Many people are scaling back
their lifestyles to make ends meet. You can
see it in the half-empty restaurants and
stores along the Biscayne Corridor.
Unfortunately one of the first things to
be compromised is the family pet. Many
people are forced to abandon their pets
as they downsize to smaller apartments
or move in with friends or family mem-
bers. But even if you are lucky enough
to keep your pets, or would never under
any circumstances give them up, you
still might be feeling the crunch. But all
is not lost. There are plenty of ways to
pamper your pets and maintain the
lifestyle to which they have become
accustomed without breaking the bank.
In this goal, creativity is your friend.

Pet Beds I have never bought one of
these for my dogs. For one thing, some
of the prices being asked are just outra-
geous. For another, both of my current
dogs think dog beds are made to be
shredded and dragged around the house.
I have also seen many that are poorly
constructed, and one came with such a
strong lacquer or paint odor, it couldn't
possibly be healthy for them.
So what do I do? Recycle. Jay-J's all-
time favorite bed is a comforter I grew
tired of, and some of that egg-crate foam
($7) from my day bed. I fold the foam in
quarters and top it with the folded-up
comforter. I peel down a layer of the

bedding to form a bolster. It doesn't mat-
ter where I put that makeshift bed. Jay-J
sits on it like a proud prince.
A bed for Saffy, my Chinese Crested
puppy, was just as easy and inexpensive.
She relaxes on a king-size Thermopedic
pillow I bought on sale at Target for $8.
When it gets dirty I throw the pillow
case (which I change to match the decor)
and Jay-J's comforter in the wash. Easy.

Toys As one of my favorite sayings
goes: "Everything is a potential toy to

an animal." Now is the time to take
advantage of this. No need to buy the
latest fad toy if money is tight. Look
around you. One of my client's favorite
toys is what they call the Birdie. It is
basically one of her husband's old, dirty
sweat socks stuffed with more old socks
that were ready to be thrown out. The
dog loves it.
Cats and small dogs also love chasing
after moving objects, so why not make
one yourself? Get a stick or an old short
fishing pole. (Perhaps your kids have a

toy fishing pole they've outgrown.) On
the fishing line or a piece of yarn tie on a
small stuffed animal, or possibly a Birdie
sock. Now move it around for your pet
to follow and paw at.

Pet foods Using a high-quality, natural
kibble will help keep your pet healthier,
and thus you should have fewer trips to
the vet. Many ear infections and other
ailments are related to your pet's diet, so
switch to a food with fewer additives and
foreign ingredients. Many times you can
feed a little less of the better foods, mak-
ing the bag last longer. If you yourself
are eating healthy (broiled skinless
chicken, steamed vegetables) and there
are leftovers, why waste them? Give the
pets a little less pet food and treat them
with some nutritious food that would
have gone into the trash can. You can use
some of the leftovers as treats as well,
dice them up and keep them in the fridge
instead of buying that expensive brand-
name designer treat. If your pet is over-
weight, this might be the perfect time to
feed him a little less.

Grooming Many groomers are feeling
the pinch like everyone else. But you
don't need to give up your pet's favorite
stylist altogether. You need to make
alterations. Instead of every week,
maybe you can go every ten days
instead. Don't give up, just cut down
until your purse strings are back to nor-
mal. Also keeping your dog clean,
brushed, and relatively matt-free in
between appointments will save you
money in the long run.

Continued on page 45





Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comJanuary 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Continued from page 44

Recycle Does your boss or co-worker
have a pet? Show them how thoughtful
you are and give their pet a gift for a
holiday or birthday. Most of us still have
wrapped toys, Frisbees, and other stuff
we learned our own pets didn't care for.

didn't cost you a thing.
Don't know what to get a human animal-
lover, or are you always buying
the wrong thing? Make a small
donation to their favorite animal Man
shelter in their name, and take their
some of those leftover treats for
the shelter dogs. apa

situation you are in, make the most of it.
Be creative. Look at how many things

ly people are forced to abandon
pets as they downsize to smaller
rtments or move in with friends
or family members.

you already own that you can reinvent to
save money and add to you pet's life.

Take a few bags of those unused treats, You It all boils down to you,
catnip balls, tennis balls, and so on, and the loyal pet owner. A cheaper
make little gift baggies of them with bottle of wine for you is a few dollars
pretty bows. Voila! Appreciated gifts that more toward your pet's care. Whatever

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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Have a swap meet with pet-owning
friends to trade items. Take advantage.
Spending more time at home means
more time with your pet, and really, that
is the greatest gift you can give them.
Happy New Year!

Lisa Hartman is head dog trainer for
Pawsitively Pets. You can reach her at
pawsitivelypetsonline@yahoo.com or

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

,, &www.riospe1, spa.co
t J www.riospetspa.com

Complete Grooming
Flea &Tick Bath
Cageles Boarding
Day Care
Food & Supplies

New Customers Only
Store Hours:
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18170 Weset Pixie Hwy, Miami
Tel: 305.935.5551 Fax: 305.675.7788

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

.....'"f .. -" '^ ..... ..... .. ..



Don't Throw Away Your Holiday Green

Whether poinsettia or shrimp, let it grow, let it grow, let it grow

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor
There is no plant that is associated
more with the winter holidays
than the poinsettia. The plant with
the red-colored bracts is one of the best-
known tropical plants in North America.
There are dozens of varieties and many
colors that range from yellow to red, but
red is always the favorite.
For years I grew a very large bed of poin-
settias. It probably lasted about a decade.
During that time, I tested many different
varieties of this Mexican endemic to see if
they would grow better outside. The results
were inconclusive, other than red did best.
The poinsettias were a lot of work but
they put on a brilliant show every winter.
They were in a full-sun location, and in
the winter needed to be protected from
wind and frost as the foliage is very brit-
tle and easily damaged.
They rarely had problems with insects,
with the exception of a particular species
of moth, Ello spinx, that laid its eggs on
the plants. The resulting voracious, big
green caterpillars would devour all the
foliage. I was still an avid pesticide user
at that time but I did not want to spray
the foliage with a pesticide because of
leaf discoloration. So I would pick the
caterpillars off the plants by hand.
I also found that if the plants were
allowed to dry out in the summertime,
they would be attacked by spider mites
(spiders, not insects) and the foliage
would be lost even if I used a miticide.
They were never watered from above
because if the foliage got wet, fungal
problems could start. I also found if the
foliage got wet on a hot sunny day, the

The red shrimp plant, Ruellia chartacea, offers excellent color during
the holidays and afterward.

foliage sometimes burned. The roots also
don't like staying wet.
Other than all of the issues mentioned
above, poinsettias are not that difficult to
grow outside. I would cut them back
twice a year, once after blooming when I
would reduce the plant to half its height,
and a second time about two months
before the color would show. This sec-
ond pruning would only be six to eight
inches to encourage more branching, and
therefore more floral heads.
I would use the woody cuttings to
grow more plants in containers so if there
was a problem with the bed plants, I had
replacements. Poinsettias grow very easi-
ly from cuttings. I never used rooting
hormones or fungicides to grow them.
Flowering in poinsettias and the
accompanying color is induced by the

length of daylight hours. Commercially
in nurseries, the day length is controlled
artificially. Outdoors in the landscape,
these plants will be affected by ambient
light. This means a street light, porch
light, or any other light can hold off
blooming and color. If your outdoor
poinsettia is looking healthy but has not
colored-up yet, look around for night-
time lights.
The poinsettia is a member of the
Euphorbiaceae (hence its scientific name
Euphorbia pulcherrima) and characteris-
tically has very sticky sap. It may or may
not be poisonous, but will definitely burn
if you get it in your eyes.
I have another favorite tropical holiday
plant, the large red shrimp plant. It is
Ruellia chartacea or formally known as
R. colorata. It is in the Acanthaceae or

shrimp plant family, and like the poinset-
tia, blooms in the winter when the day
length shortens. It is very easy to grow if
you remember a few things. It's very trop-
* ical, even more sensitive than the poinset-
tia, and will not tolerate temperatures in
the 40s. It also prefers acidic soil, so in
the more alkaline areas, it is best grown in
a large container with, of course, acidic
soil. When in a container, it will also be
easy to move into a protected area if cold
weather threatens. The red shrimp plant is
very easy to grow from cuttings and the
colorful floral bracts (like the poinsettia)
will give color for a couple of months. No
sticky sap here.
I attended a lecture the other day on
the red palm mite, Raoiella indica. This
is a recently introduced species of spider
mite that in many tropical countries is
responsible for the death or poor health
of coconut palms. It will also attack
many other species of palm, bananas,
and Heliconias. It is barely visible to the
naked eye when found underneath
foliage, but under a magnifying lens is
completely red, and when rubbed with
your hand (or clothes) a red stain will
result. As was discussed at this lecture,
pesticides, or rather miticides, will not
work against these mites in the land-
scape, and it will be best to let all of the
beneficial insects in our area control
them naturally.

Jeff 'Ni ,,r... i, is an ISA-certified munic-
ipal arborist, director of horticulture at
Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical
Designs ofFlorida. Contact him at
j. Fee ck ii. letters l ..is eti

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.corn

Hurricane Proof your Homel 2 i

St., N-, _

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^PH 305.751.48194^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^600 nC 72nD TCR^^acc miami, FL B 33138f

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 193.

Restaurant listings for the BT Dining
Guide are written by Pamela Robin
Brandt. Every effort has been made to
ensure accuracy, but restaurants
frequently change menus, chefs, and
operating hours, so please call ahead to
confirm information. Icons ($$$) represent
estimates for a typical meal without wine,
tax, or tip. Hyphenated icons ($-$$$)
indicate a significant range in prices
between lunch and dinner menus, or
among individual items on those menus.
$= $10 and under
$$= $20
$$$= $30
$$$$= $40
$$$$$= $50 and over

Brickell / Downtown

900 S. Miami Ave.,
Hamachi chiles rellenos? Shiso leaf "nachos" topped with
raw spicy tuna, kaiware sprouts, and other Asian ingredients?
The Viva, a sushi roll that starts with standard Japanese
stuff (spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado), adds typical Latin
sabor (jalapeno, cilantro), wraps it all in a flour tortilla, and
garnishes it with South of the Border heat (spicy snow crab
mix)? Miami hasn't tended to initiate too many food "firsts,"
but this Japanese/Pan-Latin fusion place is surely one.
Intended as the groundbreaker of an international chain, this
stylish indoor-outdoor eatery features inventive makis (execut-
ed by Hiro Asano, formerly Bond Street's sushi maestro),
plus LatAmer/ Asian small plates and meals like pasilla chile-
braised short ribs with wasabi-shiitake grits. Prices are higher
than at neighborhood sushi spots, but in keeping with
Abokado's Mary Brickell Village neighbors. $$$$

1435 Brickell Ave., Four Seasons Hotel
Originally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfort-
ably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006 (to Patrick
Duff, formerly at the Sukhothai in Bangkok), resulting in a
complete menu renovation. Thailand's famed sense of culi-
nary balance is now evident throughout the gobal (though pri-
marily Asian or Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like
yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura (with
watercress, Vidalia onion, avocado, pomegranate), a tender
pork shank gazed with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce (accom-
panied by a chorizo-flecked plantain mash), or lunchtime's
rare tuna burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad.
For dessert few chocoholics can resist a butterycrusted tart
filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$

500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254
Floor-to-ceiling picture windows showcase Biscayne Bay.
But diners are more likely to focus on the sparkling raw

bar and open kitchen, where chef Clay Conley crafts
imaginative global creations many of them combina-
tions, to satisfy those who want it all. One offering, "A
Study in Tuna," includes tuna sashimi, Maine crab, avo-
cado tempura, and caviar, with several Asian sauces.
Moroccan lamb is three preparations (grilled chop, haris-
sa-marinated loin, and bastilla, the famed savory-sweet
Middle Eastern pastry, stuffed with braised shank), plus
feta and smoked eggplant. Finish with a vanilla souffle
your way, a choice of toppings: chocolate, raspberry, or
creme anglaise. $$$$$

109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751
While Indonesian food isn't easy to find in Miami, down-
town has secret stashes small joints catering to Asian-
Pacific cruise-ship and construction workers. Opened circa
2002, this cute, exotically decorated cafe has survived
and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is deli-
cious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the
timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want
Indonesia's signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection
of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice.
Once you're hooked, there's great gado-gado (veggies in
peanut sauce), nasi goring (ultimate fried rice), and laksa,
a complex coconut-curry noodle soup that's near-impossi-
ble to find made properly, as it is here. Note: bring cash.
No plastic accepted here. $-$$

The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel)
1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500
On the Conrad's restaurant/lobby-level 25th floor, the
expansive, picture-windowed space around the corner from
the check-in desks used to be just a lobby extension. Now
it's The Bar, which is not just a watering hole with
panoramic views. At lunch it's an elegant sandwich bar; at
night it's a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and
(best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. That's just the Basque
word for tapas, but as interpreted by Atrio's chef Michael
Gilligan, there's nothing mere about the generously por-
tioned small plates. They range from traditional items like
cod fish equixada (a zingy bacalao salad) and saffron-
sauteed Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like
foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas, or Asian-
inspired soft-shell crab in airy tempura batter. $$$

Blu Pizzeria e Cucina
900 S. Miami Ave. (Mary Brickell Village)
305-381-8335; www.blurestaurantsgroup.com
More than a mere pizzeria, this spot sports a super-sleek
Upper Eastside (of Manhattan) interior. If that's too formal, opt
for a casual patio table while you study the menu over an order
of warm, just-made gnocchetti (zeppole-like bread sticks, with
prosciutto and savory fontina fondue dip), or creamycentered
suppli alla romana (porcini-studded tomato and mozzarella rice
croquettes). And don't worry. The place looks upscale, but
prices of even the fanciest seafood or veal entrees don't
exceed $20. The fare fashioned by chef Ricardo Tognozzi (for-
merly from La Bussola and Oggi) is wide-ranging, but as the
name suggests, you can't go wrong with one of the thin-crust-
ed brick-oven pizzas, whether a traditional margherita or
inventive asparagi e granchi (with lump crab, lobster cream,
mozzarella, and fresh asparagus). $$-$$$

Caf6 Sambal
500 Brickell Key Dr.
305-913-8358; www.mandarinoriental.com/miami
Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space
as its "casual hotel restaurant," many consider it a more
spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs,

owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered ter-
race directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired,
with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents (sushi, plus
creative fusion dishes like tangerine-anise spiced short
ribs with scallion pancake, or a tempura-battered snapper
sandwich with lemon aioli). For the health-conscious, the
menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists there's a big
selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$

Caribbean Delight
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serv-
ing her traditional homemade island specialties to down-
town office workers and college students since the early
1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday
lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried corn-
meal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served
with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All
entrees come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and
salad, so no one leaves hungry doubly true thanks to the
home-baked Jamaican desserts. $

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103
It's hard to figure why a Mediterranean/Latin restaurant (with
Asian touches) would be named after a line in a 1950s novel
about a New Engand pedophile. But everything else about this
casually stylish spot is easy to understand and easy on the
wallet. All entrees cost either $18 or $23, a price that includes
an appetizer no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like
Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello
mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. And all
desserts, from tiramisu to mango carpaccio with lemon creme,
are a bargain $2.50. The best seats in this hip hangout,
housed in the old Firehouse 4, are on the rooftop patio. $$$

Fresco California Bistro
1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608
This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot
of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food
onto its menu, and a very large amount of informal retro
California-style fusion food onto its plates. To the familiar
Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of
Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu
offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to cus-
tardy tamales, but the bistro's especially known for imagi-
native meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin
oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied
pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$

Garcia's Seafood Grille and Fish Market
398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765
Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this
venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No wor-
ries about the seafood's freshness; on their way to the
rustic outside dining deck overlooking the Miami River,
diners can view the retail fish market to see what looks
freshest. Best preparations, as always when fish is this
fresh, are the simplest. When stone crabs are in sea-
son, Garcia's claws are as good as Joe's but consider-
ably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular -
grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi, fried, grilled,
or blackened. The place is also famous for its zesty
smoked-fish dip and its sides of hushpuppies. $-$$

Grimpa Steakhouse
901S. Miami Ave., 305-455-4757
This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery at Brickell

Plaza is more sleekly contemporary than most of Miami's
rodizio joints, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding
gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of
skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish -
16 cuts at dinner, 12 at lunch. And included in the price
(dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buf-
fet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and
cheeses, plus additional accompaniments like irresistible
cheese bread served tableside. A pleasant, nontradition-
al surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or
mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with
the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$

II Gabbiano
335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063
Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-
upscale Italian spot (especially the chic outdoor terrace) the
perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative for those
wanting something beyond steakhouses. And the culinary
experience goes way beyond the typical meat market,
thanks in part to the flood of freebies that's a trademark of
Manhattan's II Mulino, originally run by II Gabbiano's own-
ers. (Free starters: A generous hunk of parmegiano-reggiano
with aged balsamico dip, assertively garlicky fried zucchini
coins, and tomato-topped bruschette.) The rest of the food?
Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-
cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth
every penny. $$$$$

638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1525
Indochine has succeeded by morphing from mere restau-
rant into hip hangout. Copious special events (art open-
ings, happy hours with DJs, classic movie or karaoke
nights, wine or sake tasting) draw everyone from down-
town business types to the counterculture crowd. Not that
there's anything "mere" about the range of food served
from three Asian nations. Light eaters can snack on
Vietnamese summer rolls or Japanese sushi rolls, includ-
ing an imaginative masago-coated model with mango,
spicy tuna, and cilantro. For bigger appetites, there are
Thai curries and Vietnamese specialties like pho, richly fla-
vored beef soup with meatballs, steak slices, rice noodles,
and add-in Asian herbs and sprouts. $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000
(See Miami Shores listing)

La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge
68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800, www.laloggia.org
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm-feeling Italian
restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing
downtown; when it first opened, eating options in the
courthouse area were basically a variety of hot dog
wagons. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin
agnolloti in sage butter sauce, cilantro-spiced white
bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, and souf-
fle di granchi (crabmeat souffle atop arugula dressed
with honey-mustard vinaigrette), proprietors Jennifer
Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch
crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on
through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyer's Liquid
Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espres-
so. $$$

Continued on page 48

January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Red, White, and You

By Bill Citara
BT Contributor

Without Chianti, many of our favorite Italian

dishes might cease to exist. I mean, can you
even think about eating pizza without a bottle
of cheap Chianti alongside? Imagine spaghetti and
meatballs without the spaghetti, eggplant Parmigiana
without the Parmesan, lasagna without the "gna." The
mind recoils in horror.
But despite Chianti's identification with the hardiest
Italian fare, it's actually a terrifically versatile wine.
Light- to medium-bodied, with restrained fruit and a
pinch of terroir, plus relatively low alcohol and high
acidity, it's one of the most food-friendly wines around,
playing equally well with everything from burgers to
coq au vin, Szechuan beef to barbecued salmon.
In the same way that French wines are named after
their place of origin (Burgundy, Bordeaux), Chianti takes
its name from the Chianti region of Tuscany. There are
several subdesignations of Chianti, the most common
here being just plain Chianti and Chianti Classico, consid-
ered the best wine of the region and recognizable by the
label of a black rooster (gallo nero) on the bottle neck.

SAgreeable wine for $12 or less

Chianti production is regulated by law, including
vineyard age and yield and the type of grapes allowed
- mostly Sangiovese with smaller amounts of
Canaiolo and white grapes Trebbiano and
Malvasia. Newer regulations also permit the addi-
tion of nontraditional grapes like Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as Chiantis made
exclusively from Sangiovese.
None of which really matters when you're
staring at a piping-hot pizza margherita throw-
ing off clouds of steam scented with tomato and
basil. For that, and for standing up to all those
robust Italian favorites and more, the 2004
Monrosso does the job with some real muscle.
Its deep purple color and earthy aromas tell you
just what you'll get in the glass a big, bold
wine with bracing black cherry flavors and powerful
undercurrents of toast, spice, and black olives.
On the lighter (and less complex) side are a trio of
younger Chiantis. The 2007 Tenuta di Trecciano is the
baby of the bunch, still drinking a little green but with
tart, pleasant, cherry-berry fruit and tangy acidity that
would make it a good choice with seafood dishes like
snapper Livornese. The 2006 Folio is much the same,

Though with a faint kerosene aroma to go along with its
red cherry, raspberry, and clove scents. Also from the
2006 vintage is Tiziano, the wine in this tasting most
reminiscent of the California style, with a soft fruiti-
ness on the palate that makes for ready, easy drinka-
bility, whether you're serving it with lasagna or lasa.
Two wines that didn't make the cut were the 2003
Fosi Chianti Classico, which was plainly past its
pi inc,' and the 2004 Casa Moretti, which had oxi-
di7ed and was unfit for human consumption. If you
,cc either of these wines on your liquor store shelves,
i ni in the other direction. Preferably to your neigh-
borhood pizzeria and a really good bottle of Chianti.

The Folio Chianti costs $11.99 and is avail-
able at the North Miami Total Wine & More,
as is the Trecciano, which retails for $9.97
(14750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-354-3270). Tiziano's
Chianti can be found at Publix for $11.49 (price
and availability varies among stores), while the
Monrosso is on the shelves at Aventura's
Cellars Wine & Spirits Warehouse for $11.99
(21055 Biscayne Blvd., 305-936-9433).

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 47

La Moon
144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209
At four in the morning, nothing quells the post-clubbing
munchies like a Crazy Burger (a heart-stopping Colombian
take on a trucker's burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, moz-
zarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an area
corn pancake "bun") unless it's a Supermoon perro, a
similarly overloaded hot dog. For less dainty eaters, there's
a bandeja paisa, a mountainous construction containing
char-grilled steak, pork belly, pork-enriched beans, rice,
plantains, eggs, and arepas. One hardly knows whether to
eat it or burrow in to spend the rest of the night. While this
tiny place's late hours (till 3:00 a.m. Thursday, 6:00 a.m.
Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is
more so. In addition to all the cholesterol-packed
Colombian classics, there's a salad Nicoise with grilled
fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other
yuppie favorites. $-$$

Latitude Zero
36 SW 1st St., 305-372-5205
Potted plants are the only sign outside this narrow store-
front that the room inside is worlds more charming than
standard downtown Latin eateries. This urban oasis is an
artsy little white-tablecloth place (with alternating red table-
cloths warming up the feel), but with no-tablecloth prices.
While much of the menu is Miami's generic Latin mix,
there ia a separate Ecuadorian section that's a playlist of
that country's culinary greatest hits. Standouts: encebolla-
do, a centuries-old fishermen's soup given national individ-
uality by yuca and zingy hits of lime; lighter caldo de bola,
veggie-packed broth with plantain dumplings; and cazuelas,
thick layered casseroles of mashed plantains and tomato-
enriched seafood. No clue? Try a bandera, a mixed plate
of Ecuador's most distinctive dishes, including shrimp
ceviche. $$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900
For those who think "Argentine cuisine" is a synonym for
"beef and more beef," this popular eatery's wide range
of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will
be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for

traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative
Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia
(lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapenos, basil, and
the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab
ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are
entree salads like the signature Ensalada Novecento:
skirt steak slices (cooked to order) atop mixed greens
coated in rich mustard vinaigrette with a side of house-
made fries. $$-$$$

Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862
With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire may seem
more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack.
But while many dishes (including popular sides like bacon-
enriched hash browns and fried green tomatoes) are identi-
cal at all Oceanaires, menus vary significantly according to
regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal
(formerly at Merrick Park's Pescado) supplements signature
starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated,
Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20
specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom
seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But
even flown-in fish (and the raw bar's cold-water oysters) are
ultra-fresh. $$$$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road was
instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern
fast food made with no trans fats or other nutritional
nasties is served at the three newer outlets. The prices
are low enough that one might suspect Pasha's was con-
ceived as a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business
School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and
Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from common classics like
falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara
(tangy walnut spread), silky labneh yogurt cheese, and
chicken adana kebabs with grilled veggies and aioli sauce.
Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from
scratch, daily. $-$$

Peoples Bar-B-Que
360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080
Oak-smoked, fallingoff-the-bone tender barbecued ribs
(enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several

generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But
the chicken is also a winner, plus there's a full menu of soul
food entrees, including what many aficionados consider our
town's tastiest souse. Sides include collards, yams, and soft
mac and cheese. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits
without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus
a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$

15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449, www.perricones.com
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont),
this market/cafe was one of the Brickell area's first gentri-
fled amenities. At lunch chicken salad (with pignolias,
raisins, apples, and basil) is a favorite; dinner's strong suit
is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennie's old-fash-
ioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear
and gorgonzola. And Sunday's $15.95 brunch buffet
($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles,
smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains
one of our town's most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$

Prime Blue Grille
315 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-358-5901
This truly 21st-century steakhouse targets today's health-
minded gourmets by serving only certified-organic Brandt
beef- antibiotic- and hormone-free, as well as dry-aged,
butchered in-house, and smoke-seared by Prime Blue's
intense wood-burning grills and ovens. For noncarnivores,
the menu gives equal time to fish, all caught wild, and
offers dozens of cooked vegetable and salad options,
including build-your-own. There's also a raw bar and a
small steak/seafood retail counter. The decor is as mod-
ern as the menu. Instead of the stuffy men's club look,
you have a soaring, light-hued, open-plan, indoor/outdoor
space, with panoramic Miami River view. $$$$

Provence Grill
1001 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-1940
The cozy, terracotta-tiled dining room (and even more
charming outdoor dining terrace) indeed evoke the south
of France. But the menu of French bistro classics covers
all regions, a Greatest Hits of French comfort food: coun-
try-style pat6 maison with onion jam, roasted peppers and
cornichons; steak/frites (grilled rib-eye with peppercorn
cream sauce, fries, and salad); four preparations of mus-
sels; a tarte tatin (French apple tart with roasted walnuts,
served a la mode). Deal alert: An early-bird prix-fixe menu

(5:30-7:30 p.m.) offers soup or salad, entree, dessert,
and a carafe of wine for $44 per couple. $$$-$$$$

The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool Miami River-area jewel is a full-service
seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections
like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and
remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-
and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and
cheese. But oyster fans will still find it difficult to resist
stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection
of bivalves (often ten varieties per night), especially since
oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with
sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. To accompany these
delights, there's a thoughtful wine list and numerous arti-
san beers on tap. $$$

Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
A branch of the original Rosa Mexicano that introduced New
Yorkers to real Mexican food (not Tex-Mex) in 1984, this
expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience
that's haute in everything but price. Few entrees top $20.
The decor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive
but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates needn't fear; though
nachos aren't available, there is nothing scary about zarape
de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tor-
tillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce),
or Rosa's signature guacamole en molcajete, made table-
side. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$

Soya & Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511
Life is complicated. Food should be simple. That's owner
Armando Alfano's philosophy, which is stated above the entry
to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since it's also the
formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from
Pompeii), it's fitting that the menu is dominated by authentical-
ly straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entrees such as
spinach- and ricotta-stuffed crepes with bechamel and tomato
sauces. There are salads and sandwiches, too, including one
soy burger to justify the other half of the place's name. The
most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard,

Continued on page 50

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comJanuary 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 48
completely hidden from the street. Alfano serves dinner on
Thursday only to accompany his "Thursday Night Live" events
featuring local musicians and artists. $-$$

Taste of Bombay
111 NE 3rd Ave.
No surprise that a place called Taste of Bombay would be an
Indian restaurant. And depending mostly on the predominant
nationalities of downtown construction workers at any given
time, Taste of Bombay has also served sushi, Philippine,
and Chinese food. Best bet, though, is the all-you-can-eat
Indian buffet lunch spread, featuring six changing entrees (a
mix of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetable curries) plus veggie
pakoras, rice, salad, chutneys, hot naan bread, and a
dessert. The place looks plain outside, but it's pleasantly
exotic enough inside for a bargain business lunch. $$

Tobacco Road
626 S. Miami Ave.
305-374-1198; www.tobacco-road.com
Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone),
gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has
been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music,
primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to
late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is
especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and
burgers, including the mega-mega burger, a trucker-style
monster topped with said chili plus cheddar, mushrooms,
bacon, and a fried egg. There's also surprisingly elegant
fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon
aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs, perfect
accompaniment to the blues. $$

Midtown / Design District

Adelita's Caf6
2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262
From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this
Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside it's bigger,
better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American
eateries, which serve a multinational melange, this one sticks
close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends
especially, the two casual dining rooms are packed with families
enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas
(Honduras's take on tostones), rich mealin-a-bowl soups packed
with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. To spend ten
bucks on a meal here, one would have to be a sumo wrestler. $

2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976
At this Indian eatery the decor is date-worthy, with the typical
garsh brass/tapestry/elephants everywhere replaced by a
cool, contemporary ambiance: muted gray and earth-tone
walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts
"Modern Indian Cuisine" to match the look. Classicists, howev-
er, needn't worry. Some dishes' names are unfamiliar, but
Ameica's favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though
dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with
modern flair. Definitely don't miss starting with saladgarnished
Deshi Samosas (which come with terrific cilantro/mint dip) or
ending with mango kulfi, Indian ice milk. All meats are certified
halal, Islam's version of kosher which doesn't mean that
observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$

Bin No. 18
1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575
At this wine bar/cafe, located on the ground floor of one of
midtown's new mixed-use condo buildings, the decor is a
stylish mix of contemporary cool (high loft ceilings) and Old
World warmth (tables made from old wine barrels). Cuisine
is similarly geared to the area's new smart, upscale resi-
dents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and
larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French char-
cuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and fami-
ly-run friendly, Venezuelan-born chef Alfredo Patino's former
executive chef gigs at Bizcaya (at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut
Grove) and other high-profile venues are evident in sophisti-
cated snacks like the figciutto, a salad of arugula, gorgonzo-
la dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and pro-
sciutto. Free parking in a fenced lot behind the building. $$

Bleu Moon
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-373-8188
Deep inside the Doubletree Grand, this restaurant, which
has panoramic Biscayne Bay views and an outdoor deck, is
one of the few upscale dinner spots near the Arsht Center
for the Performing Arts. The eclectic menu is more
Mediterranean than anything else, from old-fashioned
favorites like lasagna to contemporary creations like gnoc-
chi with sun-dried tomatoes, sweet pea puree, pine nuts,
and ricotta salata. But a few seafood sauces reflect Asian
influences, and tropical Latin touches abound. Some of the
most charming dishes are modernized American, and done
well enough to make you nostalgic for 1985: creamy (but
not gunky) lobster bisque, lump crab cake with fried capers,
and a retro arugula salad with caramelized walnuts, bacon,
gorgonzola, fresh berries, and raspberry vinaigrette. $$$$

163 NE 39th St., 305-531-8700
The reputation that Arthur Artile amassed after years as
executive chef at Norman's and Chispa has made the
Design District's Brosia an instant hit. The menu is
Mediterranean-inspired, with a few items like gazpacho
Caprese fusing cuisines, but most retaining regional
individuality: Moroccan mussels in curry broth; shrimp and
clams (with garlic, chorizo, and sherry) that scream
"Spain!" The stylish space is a draw, too. Inside, all
mahogany, leather, and luxuriant intimacy; outside, seat-
ing on an extensive patio shaded by a canopy of old oaks.
And the convenient all-day hours (even breakfast) give it
the feel of a real neighborhood restaurant. $$$

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909
If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves
supremely satisfying Italian, American, and French bistro
food were within walking distance of every Miami resi-
dent, we'd be a helluva hip food town. Located in the inti-
mate space that formerly housed Restaurant A, it's the love
child of Quebequoise chef Claude Postel and his wife
Callie, who runs the front of the house with exuberantly
friendly charm. Like true Parisian bistros, it's open continu-
ously, every day (until midnight!), with prices so low
(starters $5-8, entrees $8-15) that one really can drop in
anytime for authentic rillettes (a scrumptious spiced meat
spread, like a rustic pate) with a crusty baguette, steak
with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many
changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is
free parking. And it's well worth a drive. $$

3612 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7877
This Design District old-timer has hung on for close to 20
years as the District has gone through its mood swings.
But it's no worse for the wear. The upstairs/downstairs
space looks good as new, and is still almost impossibly
cute. The menu, chalked daily on a blackboard, still fea-
tures well more than a dozen typical French bistro specials
like chicken Dijonaise or almond-crusted trout in creamy,
lemony beurre blanc. And the salads, soups, and sand-
wiches are still, invariably, evocative. Rough-cut pate de
champagne, topped with cornichons on a crusty buttered
baguette is an instant trip to Paris. Though weekend night-
time hours were instituted several years ago, dinner is an
on-again, off-again thing, so call first. $$-$$$

The Daily Creative Food Co.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535
While the food formula of this contemporary cafe is familiar
- sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries,
plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differenti-
ates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after
national and local newspapers (like the Biscayne Times:
tuna salad with hummus, cucumber, roasted peppers,
arugula, and sprouts on multigrain bread), giving diners
something to chat about. For those who'd rather Have It
Their Own Way, both sandwiches and salads can be do-it-
yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main
ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the cre-
atively minded. $

Delicias Peruanas
2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634
Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as
it was at the original Delicias, run by members of the
same family, eight blocks north on the Boulevard. There
are differences here, notably karaoke on weekends and a
kitchen that doesn't shut down till the wannabe American
Idols shut up, around 2:00 a.m. But the food is as tasty
as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches,
and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mam-
moth jalea platter (lightly breaded, fried seafood under a
blanket of marinated onions the fish and chips of your
dreams). As for nonseafood stuff, no one who doesn't
already know that Peru practically invented fusion cuisine
(in the 1800s) will doubt, after sampling two traditional
noodle dishes: tallerin saltado (Chinese-Peruvian beef or
chicken lo mein) or tallerin verde (Ital-Latin noodles with
pesto and steak). $$

18th Street Caf6
210 NE 18th St.
Most of the seating in this cool little breakfast/lunch
room is in a sort of giant bay window, backed with ban-
quettes, that makes the space feel expansively light-
filled, and quite nicely gentrifies its whole evolving
Midtown block. This pioneering place deserves to sur-
vive, even if just considering the roast beef sandwich
with creamy horseradish an inspired classic combina-
tion that makes one wonder why more places in this
town don't serve it. (We'll debate later.) Other culinary
highlights of the classic "Six S" repertoire (soups, sand-
wiches, salads, sweets, smoothies, specials) might
include a turkey/pear/cheddar melt sandwich, and really
sinful marshmallow-topped brownies. $

Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries
3401 N. Miami Ave. (Shops at Midtown)
Like the West Coast's legendary In-N-Out Burger chain,
this East Coast challenger serves no green-leaf faux
health food. You get what the name says, period, with
three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts
while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are
made fresh upon order, not steam-tabled. Available in dou-
ble or one-patty sizes, they're well-done but spurtingly
juicy, and after loading with your choice of 15 free garnish-
es, even a "little" burger makes a major meal. Fries (regu-
lar or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house
from sourced potatoes; a changing sign reports the
spuds' point of origin. $

Fratelli Lyon
4141 NE 2nd Ave.
This Italian cafe has been packed since the moment
it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken
Lyon's pioneering Lyon Freres gourmet store on pre-
gentrified Lincoln Road (1992-97), another joint that
was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The
restaurant's artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful bou-
tique olive oils, and more on the ingredient-driven
menu are so outstanding that one can't help wishing
this restaurant also had a retail component. Well,
maybe later. Meanwhile console yourself with the sort
of salamis and formaggi you'll never find in the super-
market (as well as rare finds like culatello prosciut-
to royalty), including a mixed antipasto esplosione
that would feed Rhode Island. Entrees include proper-
ly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like
Venetian-style calves liver, rarely found outside Italy.

28 NE 40th St.; 305-573-3355
After a couple of years in hiatus, this Design District
restolounge has reopened in the same outdoor courtyard
space. What's new: "MediterAsian" chef Michael Jacobs
and a menu that travels beyond pan-Asian and
Mediterranean influences into the Americas. Entrees range
from lowbrow comfort food (cunningly reinvented mini pot
pies) to high-status extravagance (stone-seared, authentic
Kobe steak). For healthy grazers, raw-bar selections include
ceviches and a large seafood platter (lobster, shrimp, and
lump crab with housemade dipping sauces). There's also a
snack menu (pristine coldwater oysters, a crab salad tim-
bale, parmesan-truffle shoestring fries, mini-Kobe burgers)
served till the wee hours, providing a welcome alternative to
the Boulevard's fast food chains. $$-$$$$$

Kafa Caf6
3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-438-0114
Opened in late 2007 by a brother/sister team (both origi-
nally from Ethiopia, via San Francisco), this casual spot is
located in the stylish indoor/outdoor, multi-roomed Midtown
space formerly housing Uva and Stop Miami. Nothing on
the breakfast and lunch menus tops $8, and portions feed
an army (or several starving artists). Signature item is the

Continued on page 51

S* Huge Omelets
Overstuffed Deli Sandwiches
Award Winning Banana Pnlcakes

B A 20 Years in Business

COiPANI 11064 Biscayne Blvd.,

4 Miami, FL 33161
Open 7-Days a Week.
6 AM to 4 PM


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 50
formidable Kafa Potato Platter- a mountain of wondrously
textured home fries mixed with bacon, ham, peppers,
onion, and cheese; eggs (any style), fresh fruit, and bread
accompany. Lunch's burgers, salads, and overstuffed sand-
wiches (like the roast beef supreme, a melt with sauteed
mushrooms, onion, sour cream, and cheddar on sour-
dough) come with homemade soup or other sides, plus
fruit. Not full yet? The pair has recently expanded to include
night hours with an authentic Ethiopian dinner menu, plus
beer and wine selections. $-$$

Latin Caf6 2000
2501 Biscayne Blvd.
305-576-3838; www.latincafe2000.com
The menu is similar to that at many of our town's Latin
cafes, largely classic Cuban entrees and sandwiches, with
a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America,
such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood),
or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eater-
ies consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millen-
nium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied
ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden
deck. Delivery is now available. $$

Lemoni Caf6
4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080
The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/sal-
ads/starters primer. What it doesn't convey is the
sparkling freshness of the ingredients and the care that
goes into constructing these mostly healthy snacks.
Entree-size salads range from an elegant spinach salad
(with goat cheese, pears, walnuts, and raisins) to chunky
homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens a
hefty helping of protein without typical deli-style mayo
overload. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed
paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads)
include a respectable Cuban, but the deceptively rich-
tasting light salad cream that dresses a veggie wrap
might tempt even hardcore cholesterol fans to stick with
the sprouts. $-$$

Lost & Found Saloon
185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008
There's an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friend-
ly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-
only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its
neighborhood. It's now open for dinner six nights a week,
serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices.
Dishes like pinon and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-driz-
zled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos
average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads,
hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild
berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $

Maino Churrascaria
2201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-571-9044
This very upscale Brazilian steakhouse has all the fea-
tures one expects at a rodizio-style restaurant, including
all-you-can-eat meats carved tableside and a lavish buffet
of salads, sides, salumi, and hot prepared dishes. What
sets Maino apart from typical rodizio palaces is its family-
run feel, intimate rather than intimidating, plus its atten-
tion to every detail (immediately obvious in the classy rus-
tic/elegant decor, highlighted by striking onyx accents -
bars, tabletops, and more). While it's rare at most rodizio
joints to get meat done less than medium, Maino's eager-
to-please servers here are happy to convey custom-cook-
ing preferences to the kitchen and they're English-speak-
ing, too. One other welcome difference: As well as the
one-price (hefty) feast, there are a la carte starters and
pastas for lighter eaters and noncarnivores, and some
lunch specials. Free parking, too. $$-$$$$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228
(See North Miami listing)

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
Long-awaited and an instant smash hit, this truly neighbor-
hood-oriented restaurant from Michael Schwartz, founding
chef of Nemo's in South Beach, offers down-toearth fun food
in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting.

Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range
from cuttingedge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac,
celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort
food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried
onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. There's also a
broad range of prices and portion sizes ($4-$8 for snacks
and small plates to $24-$39 for extra-large plates) to encour-
age frequent visits from light-bite as well as pig-out diners.
Michael's Genuine also features an eclectic and affordable
wine list, and a full bar, with cut-rate weekday happy hour
cocktails. $$-$$$$

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
There's no sign out front, but this family-owned Irish
pub, on the pool deck of a waterfront condo building
across from the Miami Herald, for more than 15 years
has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local
journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap
eats and drinks (not to mention a billiard table and 17
TV screens). Regulars know daily specials are the way
to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast
turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big
burgers and steak dinners are always good, and happy
hour appetizers (like meaty Buffalo wings) are always
half-price. Additionally, a limited late-night menu pro-
vides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$

3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-953-8003
Ultra-thin, crisp-crusted pizzas as good as Piola's in South
Beach. Made-from-scratch daily specials like green bean
and parmesan soup, or prosciutto and mozzarella-stuffed
gnocchi that you really have not seen on every other menu
in town. A homemade white chocolate/raspberry cake,
chocolate ganache cake, and other pastries to die for. High-
quality ingredients, wine and beer, low prices, enthusiastic
hands-on owners committed to arts-oriented creativity. A
comfortable hangout atmosphere. This tiny cafe, where
"processed food" is a dirty word, has it all except a high-
visibility location or media hype. So discover it for your-
selves. (There's ample free street parking, too.) $-$$

Orange Caf6 + Art
2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070
The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed cafe are for
sale. And for those who don't have thousands of dollars to
shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks
will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, pro-
sciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a
crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles
include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the
Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and
house-baked pastries. $

Out of the Blue Caf6
2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-3800
Forget impersonal chain coffeehouses. This artist-friendly,
independent neighborhood cafe serves a full selection of
coffee drinks made with the award-winning beans of
Intelligentsia, a roasting company that works directly with
artisan growers to encourage sustainable agriculture and
one helluva good cup of java. Also served: breakfast and
lunch sandwiches, imaginative salads, soups, homemade
pastries and creamy fresh-fruit smoothies. With tables,
sofas, and lounge chairs inside an old Midtown house, plus
free wireless Internet access, the space is also just a pleas-
ant place to hang out. Owner Carmen Miranda (real name)
says beer and wine will soon be available. $

Pacific Time
35 NE 40th St., 305-722-7369
Everyone knows Jonathan Eismann's original, now-
defunct Pacific Time, for many years Lincoln Road's only
serious contemporary restaurant. The question is: How
different is its new incarnation? Very, and it's all good,
starting with far superior acoustics (no more voice-shred-
ding conversations!), an admirably green ecological poli-
cy, and a neighborhood-friendly attitude (including kid-ori-
ented dishes, plus continuous service of inventive small
plates and bar snacks). The food is also more intriguing
- simultaneously complexly refined and accessibly clean.

Continued on page 52

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 51
While the addition of Mediterranean influences to PT's
former Pacific Rim menu may sound confusing on paper,
trust us: A meal that includes a butter-grilled asparagus
with prosciutto, soft-cooked egg Milanese, and preserved
lemon; plus an Asian-accented creamy corn/leek soup
with Peeky Toe crab dumplings, coriander, and mustard
oil makes perfect sense on the tongue. $$-$$$$

3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201
(See Brickell/Downtown listing)

2905 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-0900
Those seeking dainty designer pizzas can fuhgeddaboudit
here. At this New York-style pizzeria (which has roughly the
same menu as North Beach's original Pizzafiore, but inde-
pendent ownership), it's all about heftiness. A special
slice/soda deal features two pizza triangles bigger than
most Miami mini-skirts. Whole pies come medium (large),
large (huge), and extra-large (think truck tire). And with fully
loaded pizzas like the Supreme Meat Lover priced only a few
bucks more than a basic tomato/ cheese, it pays to think
big about toppings too. Other Italian-American fare is also
available, notably pastas and subs. $-$$

1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055
Relatively few people except hotel guests and condo resi-
dents are familiar with the Grand's restaurants (except
for Tony Chan's). The imposing, cavernous lobby just
doesn't have that "do drop in" locals' hangout vibe. But
this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the
neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens
with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to trendy
prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas
are also planned to please: diners' choice of starch, with
mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right,
with few entrees (whether traditional veal piccata or
seared ahi tuna) topping $20. The capper: It's open past
midnight every day but Sunday. $$

Sake Room
275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122
Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated decor
- at this small but sleek restolounge, which offers South
Beach sophistication without the prices or attitude, thanks
to charming proprietor Mario Cicilia. Among the seafood
offerings, you won't find exotica or local catches, but all
the usual sushi/sashimi favorites are here, but in more
interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond stan-
dard soy- spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more.
Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll (chopped
Pacific yellowtail with scallions, sesame, roe, citrusy dress-
ing, and refreshing shiso leaf), the lobster tempura maki
(with veggies, chive oil, and an oddly wonderful tomato
sauce), and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour
mayo and a salad. $$-$$$

S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291
Some things never change, or so it seems at this diner,
which is so classic it verges on cliche. Open since 1938,
it's still popular enough that people line up on Saturday

morning, waiting for a seat at the horseshoe-shaped count-
er (there are no tables) and enormous breakfasts: corned
beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pan-
cakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia
sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict, all in
mountainous portions. The lunch menu is a roll call of the
usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go
for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$

Tony Chan's Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888
The decor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, a
huge bayside condo/resort hotel, looks far too glitzy to
serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. The
presentation is indeed elegant, but the American dumbing-
down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and
skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami,
like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail (minced with mush-
rooms in lettuce cups). Moist sea bass fillet has a beauti-
fully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and sub-
tly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three
traditional courses: crepe-wrapped crispy skin, meat
sauteed with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$$-

W Wine Bistro
3622 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7775
Both bistro and retail wine shop, this Design District spot is
run by Florent Blanchet, an energetic young Frenchman who
was previously a wine distributor. His former gig led to con-
nections that mean if wine lovers don't find the bottle they
want in W's selection of roughly 200-labels (which empha-
sizes boutique and organic growers), Blanchet can probably
get it within 24 hours. Food is sophisticated light bites like
a shrimp club sandwich with pancetta and sun-dried tomato
aioli; smoked duck salad with goat cheese croutons and a
poached egg; and chocolate fondant. At night there are
tapas. $-$$

Zuperpollo Biztro Reztocafe
3050 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-8485
Occasionally there's a sign out front of the office building
housing this bistro, indicating that a branch of the popu-
lar Uruguayan eatery Zuperpollo (on Coral Way, since
1986) is within. Otherwise, since the restaurant opened
in 2006, locals have basically had to intuit its presence -
way in back, past a guard desk and an elevator bank,
behind an unmarked door. Once there, diners discover an
extensive pan-Latin menu of breakfast food, salads, sub-
stantial meat and fish entrees, homemade pastas and
soups, desserts, and sandwiches, including Uruguay's
famed chivito, sometimes called "a heart attack on a
bun": beef, bacon, ham, eggs, mozzarella, plus sauteed
mushrooms and red peppers. And naturally, from the
rotisserie, there's the signature zuper chicken. $-$$

Upper Eastside

5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751
Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car
wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soyka's 55th Street
Station which means ditching the car (in the complex's free
lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if
you're not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the

brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popu-
lar pizzeria's specialty. Choices range from the simple name-
sake Andiamo (actually a Margherita) to the Godfather, a
major meat monster. Extra toppings like arugula and goat
cheese enable diners to create their own designer pies. Also
available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines
and beers (including a few unusually sophisticated selections
like Belgium's Hoegaarden). $$

916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735
This strip of 79th Street, formerly known for its live bait
and auto repair shops, is rapidly becoming a cool alt-cul-
ture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic
indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially
bustling on nights featuring live music, it's even more fun
on Sunday, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal
fair and the menu includes Brazil's national dish, feijoada,
a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But
the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like
pasteis (shrimp and hearts of palm-stuffed turnovers) to
hefty Brazilian entrees, is also appealing and budget-
priced. $$

Le Caf6
7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551
For anyone who can't get over thinking of French food as
intimidating or pretentious, this cute cafe with a warm wel-
come, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the anti-
dote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic
comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters,
boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise
salad, quiche, and homemade creme brulee. A respectable
beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the house-
made sangria. Top price for entrees is about $14. $-$$

5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-3930
When this atmospheric little neighborhood oasis opened,
the formula was Cuban cooking at lunch, Catalan tapas at
night. The menu is now more uniform: contemporary
Spanish and pan-Latin tapas, sandwiches, salads, sides,
and entrees at all hours, just a far more elaborate selec-
tion at night. The tapas list is especially impressive, with
all the usual Hispanic meat and cheese favorites but also
an unusually large selection of seafood and vegetarian
items such as espinaca a la catalana (spinach sauteed
with pine nuts and raisins). Must-not-miss items include
ultra-creamy croquetas (ham, cheese, chicken, spinach, or
bacalao), grilled asparagus with aioli, and habit-forming
Brazilian cheese bread. $-$$$

Captain Crab's Take-Away
1100 NE 79th St., 305-754-2722
The drive-through window says "fast food," and so do
this long-lived seafood shack's low prices. And indeed
there are three Captain Crab's Take-Aways (the others
are in Carol City and Fort Lauderdale), all related to the
sit-down Crab House restaurants. But there the resem-
blance to McFauxFood ends. For about the price of a
bucket of the Colonel's chicken you can get a bucket of
the Captain's savory garlic crabs. The King's burger
meal or the Captain's similarly priced fried (or garlic
boiled or New Orleans-spiced) shrimp meal? No con-
test. Also popular: crab cakes and conch (fried or in frit-
ters and chowder). For fish haters, spicy or garlic chick-
en wings are an option; for kids, cut-price "first mate"
meals. $-$$

Casa Toscana
7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-3353
Tuscan-born chef/owner Sandra Stefani cooked at Norman's
(and briefly ran the Indian Creek Hotel's restaurant) before
opening this Upper Eastside jewel, a wine market/eatery
whose 30 original seats have been supplemented by a wine
room/garden for tasting events and private dining. Stefani
travels regularly to Italy to find exciting, limited-production
wines and inspiration for truly Tuscan-tasting daily special
dishes with honest, authentic flavors, such as grilled wild
boar sausages with lentil croquettes. Favorites that show up
often on the menu include pear and cotta raviolini with sage
butter sauce, gilled eggplant slices rolled around herbed
goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and a light ricotta tart
with lemon and rosemary. $$$

Che Sopranos
7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282
This branch of a Miami Beach Italian/Argentine pizzeria,
housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy
patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola
pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto,
and shredded parmesan) doesn't do the trick, the New
World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled
eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sand-
wiches, dinner entrees (eggplant parmigiana with spaghet-
ti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and
desserts (tiramisu or flan). $

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St, 305-754-2223
Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner
Wilkinson Sejour's two tiny but wildly popular establish-
ments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried
pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a
$3.99 roast chicken special is a hard deal to resist- the
glistening fish display that greets diners as they walk in
makes it clear that seafood is the specialty here: crevette
en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi
fri (a mountain of perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson
gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or
Creole crabs. Note for ambiance-seekers: The Miami branch
has outdoor tiki-hut dining; North Miami's outlet, a former
Carvel, has the same food but lacks the tropical charm. $-

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3433
What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the
Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just feet
from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened, people
have been lining up, even in summer's sweltering heat, for
this stand's sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey,
and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range from simple
(the Classic, with ketchup, relish, and chopped onion) to
the elaborate (the Athens, topped with a Greek salad,
including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to near-unbelievable
combinations like the VIP, which includes parmesan
cheese and crushed pineapple. $

East Side Pizza
731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351
Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger
soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entrees

Continued on page 53



a 2905 NE 2nd Ave. (5I0 -s..w tv dukell i

Miami Beach: 305.865.7500 P 703 71st St. I South Beach: 305-672-2400 1653 Washington Ave.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 52
like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pump-
kin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravio-
li, and other surprisingly upscale choices. The East Side
Salad includes goat cheese, walnuts, and cranberries;
quaffs include imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they
are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with
fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (consid-
ered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating
is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $

Europa Car Wash and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd.
Giving new meaning to the food term "fusion," Europa
serves up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with
croissants, and Chevron with Techron. Those who remem-
ber this former no-frills filling station only as one of the
Boulevard's cheapest sources of brand-name gas will be
astonished at the invitingly expanded interior. Snacks
match the casual chicness: sandwiches like the Renato
(prosciutto, hot cappicola, pepper jack cheese, red pep-
pers, and Romano cheese dressing); an elaborate almond-
garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H bagels, the world's
best, flown in from NYC. And the car cleaning done by
hand, not finish-scratching machines are equally gentri-
fied, especially on Wednesday's "Ladies Day," when
women are pampered with $10 detail washes and glasses
of sparkling wine while they wait. $

Garden of Eatin'
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Low profile would be an understatement for this place.
Housed in a yellow building that's tucked in back of a park-
ing lot behind a small grocery store, it's nearly invisible
from the street. Inside, though, it has the comfortable feel
of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-
Caribbean vegan food. Rastafari owner Immanuel Tafari
cooks up meat and dairy-free specials, like Jamaican
pumpkin/chayote stew in coconut milk, that depend on
what looks good at that morning's produce market. Large
or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus
free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven
bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn
tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast
menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage
patties. $

Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229
Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time
to cook, has been trendy for years. But the Gourmet Station
has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: decep-
tive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet
taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include
precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean
turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free com-
fort food. For lighter eaters, there are wraps and salads with
a large, interesting choice of dressings. Food is available a la
carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual
diner's nutritional needs. $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914
(See North Miami Beach listing)

Jimmy's East Side Diner
7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692
Open for more than 30 years, Jimmy's respects the most
important American diner tradition: Breakfast at any hour.
Admittedly the place closes at 4:00 p.m., but still. There are
blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles for sweet-tooth
eaters; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frit-
tatas for those preferring savories; and a full range of sides:
biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even
hot oatmeal. Also available are traditional diner entrees
(meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions), plus burgers, salad
platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$

7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-1392
A real car wash with meticulous detailing takes time. But
killing an hour is a pleasure at this stylish car wash/tapas
bar, where the elegant light fare occasionally even out-
shines the hand-washed automobiles. Vegetarians do espe-
cially well, with crusty baguette sandwich combos like brie,
walnuts, and honey, or another featuring grilled artichokes
and buttery St. Andre cheese. Lower carb items range from
an imported olive assortment to an antipasto platter with
Spanish Cantimpalo chorizo, manchego cheese, and gar-
banzos. There are breakfast and dessert pastries too.
Beverages include organic coffee and soy chai lattes, as
well as wines and an extensive beer list featuring Belgian
brewskis. On Thursday nights the car wash transforms into
a chic lounge until 2:00 a.m. $-$$

6708 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-0074
This newly renovated, indoor/outdoor sports bar serves
low-priced but high-quality steaks, plus more typical bar
food that's actually far from the usual premade, processed
stuff. Philly cheese steak sandwiches, big enough for two,
are made from hand-sliced rib eye; sides include fries and
beer-battered onion rings, but also lightly lemony sauteed
spinach. And the burgers rule, particularly the Doomsday,
a cheese/ bacon/mushroom-topped two-pound monster
that turns dinner into a competitive sport. But even the
smallest Queenburger (a half-pounder that's no sissy) is a
perfectly seasoned contender. No hard liquor, but the beer
list makes up for it. $$

Luna Caf6
4770 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-5862
The ground floor of the Wachovia Bank building may not
seem a particularly evocative locale for an Italian eatery,
but once inside, the charming decor and the staff's ebul-
lient welcome indeed are reminiscent of a cafe in Italy. The
kitchen's outstanding feature is a brick oven, which turns
out designer pizzas (greater in variety, lesser in cost on the
lunch menu, in effect till 4:30 p.m.) and crisp-skinned
roast chickens. Otherwise the menu holds few surprises -
except the prices, surprisingly low for such a stylish place.
No dish exceeds $22. $$-$$$

The Lunch Room
7957 NE 2nd Ave., 305-722-0759
Hidden in Little Haiti, this Thai/Japanese spot, which
opened in 2005, remains one of the Upper Eastside's best-
kept secrets. But chef Michelle Bernstein (of Michy's) and
other knowledgeable diners wander over from the Boulevard
for simple but perfect pad Thai, chili grouper (lightly bat-
tered fillets in a mouthwatering tangy/sweet/hot sauce),

n-u '

silky Asian eggplant slices in Thai basil sauce, and other
remarkably low-priced specialties of Matilda Apirukpinyo,
who operated a critically acclaimed South Beach Thai
eatery in the 1990s. Though the casually cute indoor/out-
door place is only open for weekday lunches, "cantina" din-
ners can be ordered and picked up after hours. $

6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don't even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a resume that
includes topchef gigs at upscale eateries like Azul, not to
mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey
restaurant in an emerging (but far from fully gentrified) neigh-
borhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond
gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croque-
tas. Though most full entrees also come in half-size portions
(at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. Table-to-
table conversations about the food are common, something
that only happens at exciting, if not flawless, restaurants. And
at this one, the star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in
the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$

7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
Like its Brickell-area older sibling Indochine, this friendly
indoor/outdoor Asian bistro serves stylish fare from three
nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also
similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and
East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll
(shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But the
cafe also carves out its own identity with original cre-
ations, including yellow curry-spiced Moonchine fried rice
or Popeye's Salad (spicy tuna, avocado, spinach, masago
roe, sesame seeds, and a scrumptious sweet/hot kim-
chee dressing). Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and
calories except desserts (notably the chocolate bomb).
There's also an impressive sake list, too. Coming soon: a
large rear patio for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$

Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
"Spruced up" is a supreme understatement for the space,
formerly the Haitian hole-in-the-wall Fidele. Now a boutique
Japanese eatery, this younger sibling of South Beach old-
timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an
izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip
decor is the food's unusually upscale quality. But this isn't
surprising given the owners' previous work: Toshi Furihata
and Hiro Terada were executive chefs at SushiSamba and
Doraku; Yani Yuhara is an ex-Benihana manager. Sushi
ranges from pristine plain individual nigiri (all the usuals plus
rarer finds like toro) to over-the-top maki rolls like the signa-
ture Moshi Moshi (tuna, white tuna, salmon, avocado, masa-
go, tempura flakes, spicy mayo). Tapas also go beyond stan-
dards like edamame to intriguing dishes like arabiki sausage,
a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank with a superior pop/spurt
factor; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, they're pop-
ular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like
Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy
even the biggest appetites. $-$$$

One Ninety
26 NE 54th St., 305-758-7085
When the original One Ninety, a hip Nuevo Hippie hangout
in residential Buena Vista, closed because of rent increas-
es in 2004, loyal patrons from all walks of life mourned

the loss. In its new Little Haiti location, the space is much
smaller but the loose vibe is the same, as are the eclectic
live bands and some old food favorites: bacalao cake with
onion, cuke, and tomato salad with lemony aioli sauce;
ricotta-walnut agnolotti with butter and sage; and chef Alan
Hughes's unique black-pepper-spiked white chocolate
mousse (now presented as one of a five-item chocolate
medley). $$-$$$

Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
8214 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8328
The interior of this pineapple-yellow building is a soothing
oasis offering traditional full English tea service or a more
zingy tropical fruit-flavored Caribbean variation. Whether your
chosen brew is steaming Earl Grey or pineapple-mint iced
tea, the scones (with thick cream and jam), tea cakes, cook-
ies, and desserts, are hometown treats. Owner Frances
Brown is a pastry chef. There's more substantial fare, too.
Innovative wraps like Caribbean shrimp salad with tropical
fruit salsa; salads such as warm goat cheese with fresh
greens, tomatoes, dried cranberries, and candied cashews.
Also offered are tempting take-out baskets like the Tea for
Two (with tea, jam, scones, and cookies), great for gifts or
for at-home teas. $-$$

Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-7773
Only in Miami: From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris
Wessel's intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool river-
front restaurant, located in a refurbished old motel, you
can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees (Florida's own half
mammal/half meatloaf) while enjoying eclectic regional
dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinat-
ed, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn
sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green
tomatoes). The menu is limited, which makes sense with a
chef-driven place; and it changes daily, which also makes
sense at an ingredient-driven place. But several signature
specialties, if they're available, are not to be missed: BBQ
shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked but-
ter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and home-
made ice cream. $$-$$$

Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002
With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party
noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this
German restaurant is owner Alex Richter's one-man
gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting
stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare
includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst,
hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst)
with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-
greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels,
a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal pat-
ties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$

Simplee Salad
7244 Biscayne Blvd.
This is actually a restaurant within a restaurant: Sushi
Square. But don't be confused. There's an explanation.
The original eatery's Paris-trained chef/co-owner Julien

Continued on page 54

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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 53
Durosini wanted to open for lunch, but couldn't lower sushi
prices to lunchtime levels without compromising quality. So
he decided on a midday morph from sushi bar to salad
bar. Choose a green (mixed, romaine, or spinach); load on
four choices from an extensive list of veggies, fruits, nuts,
olives, and cheeses; pick a dressing, all housemade (tangy
ranch, creamy-rich gorgonzola, and exotic sesame-ginger
are especially good); and pay six bucks or an extra $3 if
you want an added protein like shrimp or marinated white
anchovies. If doing it yourself is a brain strain, there are
also two daily chefcreated salad combos. $

5556 NE 4th Court
305-759-3117; www.soykarestaurant.com
This expansive, contemporary hangout was often credit-
ed with almost single-handedly sparking the revitalization
of the Biscayne Corridor's Upper Eastside. Now that the
hype has calmed down, Soyka remains a solid neighbor-
hood restaurant that, like restaurateur Mark Soyka's
previous ventures (notably Ocean Drive's pioneering
News Cafe and the Van Dyke on Lincoln Road) is a per-
fect fit for its area. Comfortably priced yuppie comfort
food like meatloaf with mashed potatoes, crab cakes
with spicy-sweet slaw, a wild mushroom/smoked moz-
zarella pizza, or a Cobb salad may not be revolutionary
fare, but Soyka continues to thrive while more ambi-
tious, nationally publicized restaurants like OLA have
come and gone. $$-$$$

Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818
On the fairly standard menu of sushi-bar specialties plus
a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes,
there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki
that's admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size:
six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus,
avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes,
and special sauces. Also popular are red and orange drag-
on rolls, similarly sauced makis of fried shrimp plus veg-
gies, topped with, respectively, raw tuna and salmon. Thai
dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces,
ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inven-
tive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$

UVA 69
6900 Biscayne Blvd.
305-754-9022; www.uva-69.com
Owned by the Vega brothers (chef Michael and artist
Sinuhe) of Cane 6 Sucre now defunct, but one of
Midtown Miami's first cool, contemporary cafes this
more ambitious yet casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf6 and
lounge serves the same purpose on the Upper Eastside,
helping to transform a commuter strip into a hip place to
hang out. The menu has grown more sophisticated along
with the neighborhood. Lunch includes a variety of salads
and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered
mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on
housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small
plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey
balsamic drizzle) and full entrees like sake-marinated
salmon with boniato mash, Ponzu butter sauce, and
crispy spinach. Drink specials and live music on week-
ends. $$-$$$

Ver-Daddys Taco Shop
7501 Biscayne Blvd.
At this soulful taco shop, the menu descriptions are in
common English ("cinnamon puffs" drizzled with honey
and lime, not "bunuelos"). But taco fillings range from the
commonplace (ground beef, shredded chicken) to more
unusual pork in chili verde, fried potato, or Baja battered
fish (authentically garnished with Mexican crema and
cilantro-spiked cabbage). And all offerings can be loaded
with other garnishes from the kitchen (refried beans,
cheese, crema) or less perishable offerings from a salsa
bar. For the heath-minded, oils are nonhydrogenated, and
sauces/seasonings are all housemade and free of preser-
vatives. $

Wine 69
6909 Biscayne Blvd.
From the name, one might think this is just a wine shop.
It's actually about wine, food, and art, and how they
work together. Wines, about 200 labels, are available
retail (at 35-50 percent of their marked prices, which are
for in-house drinkers), with 40 sold by the glass. But the
place's specialty is comparative flights of various wine
types from different regions. Food, designed for pairing,
includes a new $25 three-course dinner. But the menu
is mostly light bites with intriguingly inventive touches: a
seared Cajun tuna salad with wasabi sauce; crab cakes
with Asian sriracha chili sauce; a three-cheese souffle.
Especially impressive are some nicely priced
cheese/charcuterie platters, served with fig tapenade,
cornichons, fresh fruits, bread, and multiple sauces.
And the art part encompasses revolving exhibits, plus
an art lecture series featuring wines picked by owner
Ben Neji to compliment the art. $$

Barchetta on the Bay
160179th St. Causeway, 305-861-2228
Location, location, location. The truth of the old real
estate cliche could not be better illustrated than at this
reasonably priced Italian restaurant. While pastas like lob-
ster ravioli in tomato/cream vodka sauce are under $20,
and no meat or seafood entree exceeds $30, the spec-
tacular setting on Biscayne Bay is priceless. Floor to ceil-
ing picture windows serve as the expansive indoor dining
space's rear wall, but the primo seats are outdoors, in
sheltered banquettes and patio tables where the water
view, and carefree tropical party feel, is unimpeded. $$-

Bocados Ricos
1880 79th St. Causeway; 305-864-4889
Tucked into a mall best known for housing the Happy Stork
Lounge, this little luncheonette joint services big appetites.
Along with the usual grilled churrascos, there's an espe-
cially belly-busting bandeja paisa (Colombia's sampler plat-
ter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avoca-
do, plantains, rice, and beans). But do not miss marginally
daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib
bowl is among the daily changing homemade soups.
Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura,
stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, came desmechada
(shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese.

Garnished with even more over-the-top abandon are
Colombian-style hot dogs like the Perro Rico, topped with
chicharron, chorizo, cheese, a quail egg, and pineapple to
cancel out the cholesterol. Ha! But who cares? Strap on
the med emergency bracelet and bring it on. $-$$

Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway
Inside a small market that is, nevertheless, widely consid-
ered Miami's premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the
"Sushi Deli" restaurant component is nothing more than a
lunch counter to the left of the entrance. But chef Michio
Kushi, who worked for years at the Sushin, Miami's first
full-service Japanese restaurant, serves up some sushi
found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-
style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, more rice,
and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box,
then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw
fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian
sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entrees, like curried
beef stew, that typify Japanese home cooking. $

Mario the Baker
1700 79th St. Causeway
(See North Miami listing)

Oggi Caffe
1666 79th St. Causeway
305-866-1238; www.oggicaffe.com
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta
factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as
well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of
budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains
the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices
range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli
with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into
creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini (with sea
scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes). For those tempt-
ed by too much, ultra-accommodating servers have been
known to allow half orders of two pastas. $$-$$$

Shuckers Bar & Grill
1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570
"Cheap eats and a million-dollar view" is the sound bite
manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach
bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates
from South Beach's late 1980s revival, but the kickoff-
your-shoes vibe not to mention the pool tables and juke-
box couldn't be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges
from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters,
raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak,
homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. And since
about half of the establishment is sheltered, the bites and
bay view rock even when the weather sucks. $-$$

Sushi Siam
1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

940 71st St., 305-864-9848
It took a Greek place (Ouzo's, which moved to bigger SoBe
quarters in 2007) to break the curse of this former restaurant

jinx location. And Ariston continues the lucky streak with
classical Greek cuisine based on recipes of co-owner
Thanasis Barlos's mom Noni Barlou, and executed by CIA-
trained chef Alexia Apostolidis. Skip the menu's puzzling
Italianesque and generic Euro-American selections and
concentrate on authentic treats like the lightest, most
savory whipped tarama (caviar spread) west of Athens;
ultra-rich tzatziki (Greek yogurt with cukes, garlic, and olive
oil); bracing avgolemono (egg-thickened chicken/lemon
soup); char-grilled sardines with greens and citrus dress-
ing; or an inspired eggplant/ground beef moussaka, bound
here with an almost sinfully custardy bechamel. $$-$$$

Caf6 Prima Pasta
414 71st St., 305-867-0106, www.primapasta.com
Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run North
Beach landmark has now taken over the block, with an out-
door terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls
are full of photos of their clientele (including national and
local celebs). Particularly popular are homemade pastas,
sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian
simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce,
black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Veal dishes,
such as piccata with white wine-lemon-caper sauce, are
also a specialty. Though romantic enough for dates, the
place is quite kid-friendly- and on the terrace, they'll
even feed Fido. $$$

Tamarind Thai
946 Normandy Dr.,
When an eatery's executive chef is best-selling Thai cook-
book author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, you'd expect major
media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe
address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day
Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal who'd moved to
Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighbor-
hood place. Some standout dishes here (like shrimp and
corn cakes with plum sauce, deep-fried sweet and sour
fish, and roast duck with tamarind sauce) are featured in
the chef's latest tome, Vatch's Thai Kitchen, but with
Tamarind's very affordable prices (especially at lunch), you
might as well let the man's impeccably trained kitchen
staff do the work for you. $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
9432 NE 2nd Ave.
With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several
branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini
chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami.
And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There
isn't any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest,
where foodies know their fish, tout the seafood's
freshness, we listen. And though the bargain prices,
and many menu items, are similar to those at other
fast-food sushi places, there are some surprisingly
imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried
shrimp and drizzles of curry mayo. And where else will
you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday
cake? $-$$

Continued on page 55

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 54

Village Caf6
9540 NE 2nd Ave.
305-757-6453; www.villagecaferestaurant.com
There's an official Village Hall a few blocks up the road,
but a popular vote would probably proclaim Village Cafe
the community center of Miami Shores. Few residents can
resist starting the workday with unique breakfast treats
like a pressed panini of ham, Brie, and caramelized
apples. Later locals gather over a balsamic-dressed cran-
berry blue chicken salad (a grilled breast on romaine with
gorgonzola, walnuts, and dried cranberries), pan-fried blue
crab cakes with beurre blanc and crisp cayenne-fried
onions, wonton-topped salmon Oriental, or homemade
pasta. As for dessert, the pastry case speaks for village
residents: Let them eat (fresh-baked) cake! $-$$

C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112
If every Miami neighborhood had a neighborhood restaurant
like this low-priced little French jewel, it'd be one fantastic
food town. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast
croissants, crepe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and
a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik
(buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes,
and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is
homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impec-
cable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous
attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that
hold together the cafe's baguette sandwiches. $-$$

Los Antojos
11099 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-892-1411
If it's Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombia's
national dish. If it's Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are
thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. But veggies and
garnishes vary, and this modest Colombian eatery is a
handy spot to comparison-test such typical stews.
Adventuresome eaters may want to try another Saturday
special, mondongo (tripe soup, similar to Mexico's
menudo). For Colombian-cuisine novices, a Bandeja Paisa
(sampler including rice, beans, came asada, chicharron,
eggs, sauteed sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is
available every day, as are antojitos "little whims," small-
er snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with
Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are sev-
eral hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$

Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one
can't actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its
location next to a firearms shop. But there's a lot of other
stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sand-
wiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-
walnut pancakes especially popular. But what's most impor-
tant is that this is one of the area's few sources of the real,
New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly
chewy inside. Those puffy half-donuts most places pass off
as bagels aren't even contenders. $

13408 Biscayne Blvd, 305-947-6339
Buried in a strip mall perpendicular to the Boulevard,
Bamboche is worth the hunt on one of those head-splitting
Saturday, for a Haitian specialty not found in many area
restaurants: bouillon tet cabrit, a soup packed with greens
(like spinach, cabbage, cress, string beans) and root veggies
that is reputed to be a miraculous hangover remedy. Along
with bouillon, weekend specials include more unusual dish-
es like fritay, fried street snacks. Haitian standards (griot,
tassot) are available daily, as are fresh-squeezed juices,
lattes, and almost two dozen desserts. $

Bar-B-Que Beach Sports Bar & Grill
12599 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-3141
On Friday nights, there's karaoke at this expansive eatery,
though from the decor- mixing Wild West rusticity with Key
West flip-flops dangling from the ceiling- it's hard to know
whether to brush up your Jimmy Buffett medley or "Tumbling
Tumbleweeds." There are specials the other six days of the
week as well, from early-bird discounts to open-mike nights
to kids-eat-free Tuesdays. But don't forget the biggest draw:
the barbecue, honest stuff that has been low-temperature
smoked for 12 to 14 hours till tender yet resilient. Ribs are
meaty (except for the aptly named, bargain-priced "bucket of
bones," and while chopped pork may not totally satisfy
North Carolina pulled pork purists, nothing within a 1000-
mile drive ever does. Biggest winners: succulent sliced
brisket and delightfully juicy chicken. $$

Burritos Grill Caf6
11717 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1041
Originally a friendly little 125th Street hole-in-the-wall that gar-
nered raves for its limited menu of terrifically tasty treats,
Mario and Karina Manzanero's cafe is now in more sizable
and atmospheric quarters. But the friendly, family-run (and
kid-friendly) ambiance remains, as do the authentic Yucatan-
style specialties. Standouts include poc-chuc, a pork loin mar-
inated in sour orange juice and topped with pickled onions
and chiltomate sauce (roasted tomato/chili); tacos al pastor,
stuffed with subtly smoky steak, onion, cilantro, and pineap-
ple; sinful deep-fried tacos dorados (like fat flautas); and sig-
nature burritos, including the Maya, filled with juicy cochinita
pibil, refried beans, and pickled onions. $$

Canton Caf6
12749 Biscayne Blvd, 305-892-2882
Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly
Cantonese-based dishes, ranging from all the old Chinese-
American classics (chop suey, moo goo gai pan, pu pu
platters) through newer Americanized fusion favorites like
honey garlic chicken, teriyaki beef, and crab Rangoon. But
there are also about two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style
standards like kung po shrimp, ma po tofu, and General
Tso's chicken. And there are a few imaginative new items,
like the intriguingly christened "Shrimp Lost in the Forest,"
Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-
glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and
fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for both lunch
and dinner. $$

Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim
even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica
tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness

of its seafood (much of it from Capt. Jim Hanson's own
fishing boats, which supply many of Miami's most
upscale eateries). Now there's a casual but pleasantly
nautical side dining room with booths, and more recent-
ly added, a sushi bar stocked largely with flown-in
Japanese fish just as pristine as the local catch.
Whether it's garlicky scampi (made with sweet Key
West shrimp), housemade smoked fish dip, grilled yel-
lowtail (or some more exotic local snapper, like hog or
mutton), perfectly tenderized cracked conch, or conch
fritters (with just enough batter to bind the big chunks
of Bahamian shellfish), everything is deftly prepared
and bargain-priced. $$

Casa Mia Trattoria
1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770
Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the
Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming
indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neigh-
borhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars
after about ten minutes here, thanks to the staff's gen-
uinely Italian ebullience. The delightful Italian accents
don't hurt, either. As for the menu offerings, they're
mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary
items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that
low-carb dieters should definitely temporarily fuhgedda-
boudit, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or
better yet, delicate fagottini "beggar's purses" stuffed
with pears and cheese. $$

15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Diners can get some of the usual Tex-Mex dishes at this
cute spot, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted
Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one
can sample Caribbean Mexico's most typical dish: cochinita
pibil? It's currently LA's trendiest taco filling (and morning-
after hangover remedy). But that city couldn't have a more
authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped
marinated pork dish than Ch6en's earthily aromatic from
achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, meltingly tender from
slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a
lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican,
and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer.

Chef Creole
13105 W. Dixie Hwy.; 305-893-4246
(See Miami listing)

Chipotle Mexican Grill
14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779
Proving that national fast-food chains don't have to be
bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves
what the company calls "food with integrity." The fare is
simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp
corn tortillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or
chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-
scented pork carnitas, all with choice of fresh garnishes.
But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, arti-
ficial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones).
Additionally, all pork, plus a large and growing percentage
of the grill's beef and poultry, is raised via humane and
ecologically sustainable methods. And the food, while not
the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is
darned tasty, too. $

D.J.'s Diner
12210 Biscayne Blvd., 305-893-5250
Located in a Best Western motel, this place, run by a
Chinese-American family, serves mostly basic American
diner fare burgers, sandwiches, about a dozen dinner
entrees, fresh-baked apple pie, and, oddly, a whole section
of Caesar salad variations. But it's also a secret source for
Chinese food, mostly chow mien/chop suey-type dishes, but
also a few dishes such as eggplant with garlic sauce and
ma po tofu that are a step up in authenticity. $-$$

Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner
from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late
1990s, they added "Hanna's" to the name, but changed
little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a
north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can
get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in
tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, ice-
berg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid
salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-
melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal
dinner date destination. $$-$$$

Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miami's
first, there's a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple-
ments. But the place's hearty soups, large variety of entrees
(including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selec-
tions), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret "sun sauce"
(which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and
daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-
buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair,
now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smooth-
ies complete the menu. $$$

13488 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-9334
Half sushi/sashimi, half cooked Japanese dishes, the menu is
relatively small but covers most of the traditional favorites and a
few surprises. Popular makis include the Dream (shrimp tempu-
ra, avocado, Japanese mayo, and masago), the vegetarian
Popeye spicy spinach roll, and the deep-fried Crispy, a riceless
salmon and veggie roll. Among cooked items, there's a large list
of teryakis, and a few dishes prepared with a different twist -
panko-breaded pork or chicken katsu cutlets, for instance, that
eschew the standard sweet sauce for curry. $$

Jerusalem Market and Deli
16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080
Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hum-
mus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bul-
gur, arguably the world's most interesting meatball) are
native to many Middle East countries, but when a
Lebanese chef/owner, like this eatery's Sam Elzoor, is
at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement.
There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon
chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but
even a common falafel sandwich is special when the
pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion
salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. For home
cooks, there's also a limited selection of imported
spices and staples. $-$$

Continued on page 56




650 S. MIAMI AVE. ot30530.1915


January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 55

Le Griot de Madame John
975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333
When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little
Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one,
and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous tradi-
tional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and
an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt
before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the
dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork
chunks simmered and then fried till they're moistly tender
inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800
Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant
hit, as much for being a hip hangout as for its carefully craft-
ed Tex-Mex food. Though Lime is now franchising, the
chain's concept is "fast casual" rather than fast food -
meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredi-
ents aren't canned-type crapola. Seafood tacos are about as
exotic as the standard menu gets, but the mahi mahi for
fish tacos comes fresh, never frozen, from a local supplier,
and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb
tortillas for dieters and many Mexican beers for partiers. $

Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance that's several
steps up in elegance from the majority of neighborhood
eateries, this place features live Latin entertainment and
dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night
out, not just a meal. It's also a good choice for diners who
don't speak Spanish, but don't worry about authenticity.
Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated
lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are
translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier cre-
ations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem univer-
sal crowd-pleasers. $$$

Maleewan Thai & Sushi
2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0393
Redecorated (tasteful bamboo-matted walls, silk flowers) since
the days many days this space was occupied by the
kosher sushi spot Tani Guchi's Place, Maleewan is now a cozy,
neighborly nook at which to enjoy all the standard Japanese and
Thai selections. Cooked sushi is the strong suit here, particular-
ly the signature mammoth-size Maleewan roll, given zing by pick-
led Japanese squash and savor by a cispyyellowtail tempura
topping. If you're craving more creative fare, check out the hand-
written specials board on your way in. $$

Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been
drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with
prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the
latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a
mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-
busters. All pasta or meat entrees come with oil-drenched gar-
lic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed
greens, tomatoes, cukes, bined olives, and pickled peppers)
that's a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably
the red leatherette booths, add to Mama's charm. $-$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St., 305-891-7641
At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is
Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meatballs,
lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold subs. No
imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff on the New
York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the top topping here
is the savory housemade sausage. And no one leaves with-
out garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smashed gar-
lic ($4 a dozen, $3 per half-dozen, which won't even last
the ride home). New branches are now open in Miami's
Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $

The Melting Pot
15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228
For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were
standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches

of this chain (originating in Maitland, Florida, in 1975) are
generally the only places to go for this blast-from-the-past
eating experience. Fondues are available a la carte or as
full dip-it-yourself meals. Start with a wine-enriched four-
cheese fondue; proceed to an entr6e with choice of meat
or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion herbed wine,
bouillon, or oil; finish with fruits and cakes dipped in your
favorite melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that
diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other
table companions, so go with those you love. $$$

North One 10
11052 Biscayne Blvd
For most chefs a Miami-to-Manhattan move is generally con-
sidered one of those offers you can't refuse. But after helm-
ing several NYC restaurants for China Grill Management, the
homegrown married team of chef Dewey and sommelier
Dale LoSasso returned to do their own thing in their own
neighborhood. The menu is "creative comfort food": a
shrimp waffle with basil butter; "steak and eggs" (a grilled
NY strip with truffled goat cheese frittata, herb demiglace,
and hash browns); a stone crab hot dog the chef invented
for a Super Bowl party. The award-winning wine list inspires
playfully themed pairing events like an Italian food/wine
"Godfather" dinner. But it's not South Beach, so prices are
reasonable, and parking is free. $$$-$$$$

Nuvo Kafe
13152 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-1441
Though the neighborhood is decidedly ungentrified, the
interior of this cafe is an oasis of cultivated Caribbean cool
and subtly sophisticated global fare. Haitian-born,
Montreal-schooled chef Ivan Dorval formerly cooked at the
Oasis Cafe in Miami Beach, as well as the Delano, and the
varied background is reflected in cuisine that's chiefly cre-
ative Caribbean but with influences from the Middle East,
Asia, Greece, and Italy. Homemade, health-oriented dishes
include velvety ginger pumpkin bisque, unusually refined
conch fritters (light batter, monster chunks of conch), West
Indies crab cakes with citrus aioli, and a signature lavish,
but only slightly sinful, Citadel Raw Fruit Pie. $$-$$$

Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd.
At this stylish, dramatically minimalist Thai/sushi spot, the
regular Thai and Japanese dishes are as good as any-
where in town. But the way to go is the menu of specials,
many of which clearly reflect the young chef's fanatic devo-
tion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the
kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock
shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu
Matsuhisa's "new style sashimi" (slightly surface-seared
by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). Formerly all
Japanese-influenced, the specials menu now includes
some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman
curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with
basil sauce. $$$-$$$$

La Paloma
10999 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0505
Step into La Paloma and you'll be stepping back in time,
circa 1957. Adorned with antiques (some even real) and
chandeliers, the over-the-top plush decor was the American
fine-dining ideal half a century ago (though actually the

I -


TEL: 305-754-8002 www.schnitzelhausmiami.com

1085 N.E. 79th Street/Causeway, Miami, FL 33138

place only dates from the 1970s). Cuisine is similarly retro-
luxe: old-fashioned upscale steaks, chops, and lobster, plus
fancier Continental fare. If you have a yen for chateaubriand,
duck a I'orange, oysters Rockefeller, French onion soup,
trout almondine, wiener schnitzel, and peach Melba, it's the
only place in town that can deliver them all. A huge wine list
fuels the fantasy. $$$$

16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027
From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldn't
be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is
impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be
covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the
kitschy decor alone doesn't cheer you, the quickly arriving
basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi
band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from
Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic
Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations
like alb6ndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$

14871 Biscayne Blvd., 786-923-2323
(See Miami: Brickell / Downtown listing)

Paul Bakery Caf6
14861 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-4443
From one rural shop in 1889, the French bakery known sim-
ply as Paul has grown to a worldwide chain, which fortunately
chose to open its first U.S. outlet in our town. One bite of the
crusty peasant loaf, the olive-studded fougasse, or another of
the signature artisan breads transports you right back to
France. As authentic as the boulangerie breads are, the
patisserie items like flan normande (a buttery-crusted,
almond-topped apple-and-custard tart) are just as evocative.
For eat-in diners, quite continental soups, salads, and sand-
wiches are equally and dependably French. $$

Plein Sud
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-2355
The Boulevard may not be the Champs-Elys6es, but diners
could be fooled once inside this evocative French bistro.
The ambiance is Old World, and the menu is solid and well
executed. Starters range from country comfort (Lyonnaise
sausage with warm, vinegary potato salad; a charcuterie
platter with homemade pat6) to urban sophistication
(Maine lobster tail with celery remoulade). Entrees include
long-stewed, creamy blanquette de veau, or a precision-
cooked steak-frites (rib eye with crisp shoestring fries). For
dessert there is the ubiquitous tarte tatin, caramelized
apples atop puff-pastry crust. $$-$$$

2214 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312
While this mainly vegetaran kosher place is best known for its
pizza (New York-style medium crust or thickcrusted Sicilian,
topped with veggies and/or "meat buster" imitation meats),
it's also offers a full range of breakfast/lunch/dinner vegetari-
an cuisine of all nations, with many dairy and seafood items
too. Admittedly the cutesie names of many items bagels,
bergerrbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meat-a-ball, schmopperrr
- may cause queasiness. But the schmopperrr itself is one hel-
luva highoctane veggie burger. $-$$

Continued on page 57



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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009


P #1~~



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 56

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar
13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588
Though some food folks were initially exasperated when yet
another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our area's few
Vietnamese restaurants, it's hard to bear a grudge at a
friendly, casual neighborhood place that offers monster ten-
ounce char-grilled burgers, with potatoes or salad, for
$8.50; steaks, plus a side and a sauce or veg topper, for
nine bucks at lunch, $15 to $18.75 (the menu's top price)
at night; and three-dollar glasses of decent house wine.
Many other grilled meat and seafood items are also
offered, plus pastas, salads, gooey desserts, and specials
(events as well as food). $-$$

Steve's Pizza
12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin
designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff)
doesn't do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steve's
has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro
pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato
sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is
applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength:
pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $

Sun City Caf6
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-6955
Super-stuffed crepes, made to order from scratch, are the
main specialty here some sweet (the Banana Split:
fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, candied walnuts, ice
cream, and Nutella or dulce de leche), some savory (the
Sun City Steak: beef, mushrooms, onions, red peppers,
Swiss cheese, and Al sauce). But there's also a smaller
selection of custom-crafted wraps, salads, sandwiches,
and sides, plus smoothies, coffee drinks, even beer or
wine. Free Wi-Fi encourages long, lingering lunches. $

Sushi House
15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002
In terms of decor drama, this sushi spot seems to have
taken its cue from Philippe Starck: Delano-like sheer floor-
toceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the
top, featuring monster makis: the Cubbie Comfort (spicy
tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avoca-
do, jalapenos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three
sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy mayo); the Volcano,
topped with a mountain of tempura flakes; the spicy/sweet
sauce-drenched Hawaiian King Crab, containing unprece-
dented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and
pineapple. To drink there are boutique wines, artisan
sakes, and cocktails as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$

Twenty-One Toppings
14480 Biscayne Blvd., #105, North Miami
A shoo-in to top many future "Best Burger" polls, this little
joint serves sirloin, chicken, turkey, and white bean pat-
ties, topped with your choice of one cheese from a list of
seven, one sauce from a list of twelve, and three toppings
from a list of 21. And since the chef/co-owner is a culi-
nary school grad who has trained in several cutting-edge
kitchens (including David Bouley Evolution), the garnishes

cOte Gourmet

Elegant French Cuisine

dow Servri

Sun ay Brunch I

ain't just ketchup. There's Asian vinaigrette, gorgonzola,
grilled portobellos, much more. If choosing is too confus-
ing, try the chef-designed combos.$-$$

Two Chefs Too
2288 NE 123rd St
305-895-5155; www.twochefsrestaurant.com
At this much-anticipated spin-off of Jan Jorgensen's South
Miami Two Chefs, there are some differences in the menu.
But the concept of New American comfort food familiar
favorites modernized with the chef's elegant, unexpected
creative touches is the same. So are many much-loved
dishes like juicy bacon-wrapped meatloaf, flavored with a
fusion Chinese black bean barbecue sauce, and perfect
dessert souffles (with creme chantilly plus caramel or
chocolate sauce). New and notable: knockout artisan
cheese platters (with choice of inventive garnishes: brioche
frites, celery escabeche, Dijon mustard sauce, marinated
olives, much more) that, with wine (from a relatively high-
priced but high-quality list) make an idyllic light meal in
themselves. $$$$

Tokyo Bowl
12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400
This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside) is
named for its feature item, big budget-priced bowls of rice
or noodles topped with cooked Japanese-style items like
teriyaki fish (fresh fish sauteed with vegetables), curried
chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in
tangy sauce. There's also an all-you-can-eat deal sushi
(individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki, and
other cooked items for $14; three bucks more for sashimi
instead of sushi. $-$$

Venezia Pizza and Caf6
13452 Biscayne Blvd.
No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No
imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New
York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the
cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered America's
finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American
pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple sal-
ads, and a few new protein adds -grilled chicken breast,
fried fish, or a steak. $-$$

Wong's Chinese Restaurant
12420 Biscayne Blvd.
This old-timer's menu reads like a textbook on how to
please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese
to Chinese-American to just plain American. Appetizers
include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-
claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French
fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty
pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And snowbirds will
be pleased to find a number of dishes that are mainstays
of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami:
cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork,
Lake Tung Ting shrimp, and peppery kung po squid. $$

Woody's Famous Steak Sandwich
13105 Biscayne Blvd.
The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-
food joint, and new owners have done little to change the
time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into

the night and expand its classic griddled-or-fried-things
menu to include a few health-conscious touches like
Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of
trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a
traditional Philly thin-sliced beef, cheese, and onions on
a buttered Italian roll (with tasty housemade sour
cream/horseradish sauce served on the side so as not to
offend purists). Extras like mushrooms are possible, not
imposed. Drippin' good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain
addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good
grease. $-$$

14316 Biscayne Blvd.
It's appropriate that the name of this small strip-mall
sushi spot refers to Japan's first and only sparkling
sake something most Americans have never heard of,
making the reference pretty much an insider's joke.
Since opening several years ago, the restaurant itself
has been one of our town's best-kept secrets. But the
perfectionist chef/owner's concentration on quality and
freshness of ingredients has made Zipang the pick of
sushi cognoscenti like Loews's executive chef Marc
Ehrler, who has named the unpretentious place his
favorite Miami eatery, while admitting the obvious:
"Nobody knows it." $$-$$$

Bamboo Garden
1232 NE 163rd St.; 305-945-1722
Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran
is many diners' favorite on the 163rd/167th Street
"Chinatown" strip because of its superior decor. But the
menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like pep-
pery black bean clams, sauteed mustard greens, and
steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus
Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild
even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but
don't worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will cus-
tomize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St.
Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor
eatery (which is covered, but otherwise open-air) is a rare
surprise for nature lovers, especially since an eager-to-
please young couple took over the daytime-only conces-
sion, upgrading the menu, at the start of 2008. The fea-
tured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic
venue first started producing in 1938 three varieties
(salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin), avail-
able in a sampler, salads, sandwiches/wraps, or a delight-
fully mild smoked fish dip that may be Miami's best. But
the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable
brisket. Other new additions include roasted red pepper
hummus, crab cakes, a delightfully light homemade Key
lime chiffon pie, daily specials, and on weekends, fish
fries (with live music). For basic diners there are burgers
and hot dogs. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not
through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $

China Restaurant
178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549
When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese
fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional
Chinese cuisine in the world won't scratch the itch. So
the menu here, containing every authentically inauthen-
tic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the
ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to
pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless
chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$

Christine's Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave.
Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine
Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far
more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe
made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flat-
bread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced
stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chick-
peas. But there are about a dozen other curries to choose

Continued on page 58

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 57

January 2009


Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 57
from, including beef, goat, conch, shrimp, trout, and duck.
Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they trans-
form myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $

El Gran Inka
3155 NE 163rd St.
Somehow, when setting off to try Key Biscayne restau-
rants (like Miami's original Gran Inka), we never make
it past Jimbo's. So luckily, the newer branch of this
upscale Peruvian eatery offers the same menu.
Though diners will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood
jalea, and Peru's other expected traditional specialties,
all presented far more elegantly than most in town
(notably a picture-perfect causa con camarones,
mashed potatoes layered with shrimp), the contempo-
rary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially
recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by
Peru's influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita
Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corv-
ina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de
oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$

Hiro Japanese Restaurant
3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687
One of Miami's first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an
amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi
and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a
perennially popular snack stop after a hard night at the
area's movie multiplexes (or strip clubs). The sushi menu
has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exception-
al are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently
soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the
unusually large variety available of the last makes this
place a good choice for vegetarians. $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776
Tiny, true, but there's more than just sushi at this most-
ly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the

mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more com-
plex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unex-
pected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), avail-
able a la carte or in value-priced individual and party
combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring
tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and
udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miami's
Upper Eastside. $

Hiro's Yakko-San
17040 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-947-0064
After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the
night, many come here for a bite of something different.
The specialty is Japanese home cooking, served in graz-
ing portions so diners can enjoy a wide variety of the
unusual dishes offered. Standard sushi isn't missed
when glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in
maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with
habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Dishes depend
on the market, but other favorites include goma ae (wilt-
ed spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), gar-
lic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with ten-
der steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with
hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m.

1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393,
If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey
(cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or
Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladesh's
sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, it's because
chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman
once served such fare at the critically acclaimed
Renaisa. Their new menu's mix-and-match option also
allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish,
or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces,
from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, fla-
vored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour
orange. Early-bird dinners (5:00 to 6:30 p.m.) are a bar-
gain, as some dishes are almost half-price. Lunch is
served weekends only except by reservation, so call
ahead. $$-$$$


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Iron Sushi
16350 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-2244
(See Miami Shores listing)

JC Food
1242 NE 163rd St., 305-956-5677
Jumbo's regular menu offers a large percentage of
hard-to-find traditional Chinese home-cooking special-
ties (many using fresh and preserved Asian vegeta-
bles): pork with bitter melon, beef with sour cabbage,
chicken with mustard green, cellophane noodle with
mixed-vegetable casserole. Still, most diners come for
dim sum, a huge selection served at all hours. These
small plates include chewy rice noodle rolls filled with
shrimp or beef, leek dumplings, crisp-fried stuffed taro
balls, savory pork-studded turnip cake, pork/peanut
congee, custard croissants, and for the brave,
steamed chicken feet. $$

Kyung Ju
400 NE 167th St., 305-947-3838
Star of the show at this long-lived Korean restaurant
(one of only a handful in Miami-Dade County) is bulgogi.
The name translates as "fire meat," but isn't a refer-
ence to Koreans' love of hot chilis. Rather it refers to
Korean-style barbecue, which is really not barbecued but
quickly grilled after long marination in a mix of soy
sauce, sesame, sugar, garlic, and more. Lovers of fiery
food can customize with dipping sauces, or the eatery's
many little banchan (included side dishes, some mild,
others mouth-searing). Pa jun, a crispy egg/scallion-
based pancake, is a crowd-pleasing starter. And if the
unfamiliarity seems too scary altogether, there's a
selection of Chinese food. $$-$$$

Kebab Indian Restaurant
514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309
Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmos-
pheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside
(especially if you grab one of the exotically draped
booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably
priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing
and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen
will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to
please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery,
too. $$

King Buffet
316 NE 167th St., 305-940-8668
In this restaurant's parking lot, midday on Sundays, the
colorful display of vivid pinks, greens, and blues worn by
myriad families arriving for dinner in matching going-to-
church outfits is equaled only by the eye-poppingly dyed
shrimp chips and desserts displayed inside on the buf-
fet table. Though there's an a la carte menu, the draw
here is the 100-item (according to advertisements) all-
you-can-eat spread of dishes that are mostly Chinese,
with some American input. It's steam-table stuff, but the
price is right and then some: $5.95 for lunch, $8.95 for
dinner. $-$$

King Palace
330 NE 167th St., 305-949-2339
The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style bar-
becue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, dis-
played in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood
dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in
two tanks by the dining room entrance. There's also a
better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veg-
gies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering
strategy, since the place is usually packed with
Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables,
and point. Servers will also steer you to the good
stuff, once you convince them you're not a chop suey
kinda person. $$

Laurenzo's Market Caf6
16385 W. Dixie Hwy.
It's just a small area blocked off by grocery shelves,
buried between the wines and the fridge counters no
potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-
style snack space. But when negotiating this internation-
al gourmet market's packed shelves and crowds has
depleted your energies, it's a handy place to refuel with
eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics,
steam-tabled but housemade from old family recipes.
Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesday's hearty pasta fagi-
ole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person
shopping for hours. $-$$

Lemon Fizz
16310 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-6599
Like wraps? Then you'll love this Middle Eastern cafe's
version made with saj, a circular Syrian flatbread similar
to pita but much thinner, moister, and all-around better.
Upon order, diners can watch the chef custom-cook their
saj (on a scorching-hot, flying-saucer metal dome of the
same name), then roll the beautifully surface-blistered
bread around one of 27 stuffings, including za'atar and
EVOO, brined olives and labneh (creamy yogurt cheese),
falafel, steak, even dessert fillings like strawberries and
Nutella. Also available: soups, salads, and substantial
globally topped rice bowls, plus fresh fruit juices and
smoothies. $

Little Saigon
16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377
This is Miami's oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant,
but it's still packed most weekend nights. So even the
place's biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmos-
phere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a
plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao
is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad,
flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs,
and condiments that make it not just a soup but a
whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics.
The menu is humongous. $-$$

Mary Ann Bakery
1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333
Don't be unduly alarmed by the American birthday cakes
in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the real
finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and other
savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean sauce, and
curried ground beef. Prices are under a buck, making
them an exotic alternative to fast-food dollar meals.
There's one table for eat-in snackers. $

Matador Argentinean Steakhouse
3207 NE 163rd St.
With Latin parilla places spreading here as fast as
kudzu, it's hard to get excited about yet another all-you-
can-eat meat spread. But Matador offers far more for
the money than most. One dinner price ($24.95, $27.95
weekends) includes a salad bar of more than 30 items,
unlimited grilled proteins (many cuts of beef, sausages,
chicken, pork, assorted veggies, and even fish upon
request), crunchy steak fries, a dessert (typically
charged extra elsewhere), and even more fun, a bottle
of quite quaffable wine per person. $$$

Panya Thai
520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566
Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, there's no shortage of
genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panya's
chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional
and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesn't
automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to
please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo
khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips
with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green
papaya salad, a study in sour/sweet/savory balance);
broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic
sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond
Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$

PK Oriental Mart
255 NE 167th St.
While there are three other sizable Asian markets on
this strip between 1-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has
the only prepared-food counter, serving authentic
Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces
included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, includ-
ing barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then
deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcuta-
neous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated
roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and
whole roast ducks hanging, as tradition dictates,
beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will
chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $

Roasters & Toasters
18515 NE 18th Ave.
Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food pornography
one of the Carnegie Deli's mile-high pastrami sandwiches?

Continued on page 59

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com January 2009

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

January 2009



Restaurant Listings

Continued from page 58
Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Even a mouth like Angelina
Jolie's couldn't fit around a "Carnegie-style" monster contain-
ing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat
(really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All
the other Jewish deli classics are here too, includingjust-
sour-enough pickles, just-sweet-enough slaw, silky hand-sliced
nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite
mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with
sour cream and applesauce. $$

Sang's Chinese Restaurant
1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076
Open late (12:30 a.m. most nights) since 1990, Sang's
has an owner who previously cooked in NYC's
Chinatown, and three menus. The pink menu is
Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey
garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show
off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns,
rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken,
even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The
extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00
p.m. A limited live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes
like lobster with ginger and scallion. More recently
installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory
items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$

Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House
237 NE 167th St, 305-654-4008
At this unique Taiwanese eatery, run by a trio of Taipei-
trained female chefs, all seafood, poultry, and meats in
the budget-priced entrees ($6.95) are mock imitations
made from wheat gluten, tofu, and vegetables. But don't
mock it till you try the quite beefy pepper steak, or
smoking' duck, with slices that mimic the charcuterie
item down to convincing faux fat. Other main dishes fea-
ture recognizable veggies or noodles, including appeal-
ingly chewy curried chow fun. As for the rest of the
name: icee is shaved ice, an over-the-top dessert that's
a sort of a slurpee sundae, with toppings that vary from
the familiar (fresh fruits) to the weird (grass jelly, sweet
corn, kidney beans, rice balls, chocolate pudding). And
the bubble tea is a must-not-miss. Using housemade
syrup (as opposed to most establishments' store-bought
stuff), the cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous fla-
vors (mango, taro, even actual tea), all supplemented
with signature black tapioca balls that, slurped through
large-diameter straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $

Siam Square
54 NE 167th St; 305-944-9697
Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is
closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North
Miami Beach's "Chinatown" strip has become a popular
late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian
restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely pre-
sented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is will-
ing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving
staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke
equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$

Tuna's Garden Grille
17850 W. Dixie Hwy, 305-945-2567
When Tuna's moved in 2006 from the marina space it had
occupied for almost two decades, it lost its waterfront

location, its old-fashioned fish-house ambiance, and its
outdoor deck. But it has gained a garden setting, and
retained its menu of fresh (and sometimes locally caught)
seafood some fancified, some simple (the wiser choice).
Also continuing are Tuna's signature seasonal specials,
like a Maine lobster dinner for a bargain $15. Open daily
till 2:00 a.m., the place can sometimes feel like a singles
bar during the two post-midnight happy hours, but since
the kitchen is open till closing, it draws a serious late-night
dining crowd, too. $$

Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza
17901 Biscayne Blvd.
The last four digits of the phone number actually spell
"COAL." And that's what it's all about here a coal-fired
oven (like that at Lombardi's, Patsy's, John's, or
Grimaldi's in New York) producing the intense 800-degree
heat to turn out, in a mere three or four minutes, a pie
with the classic thin, crisp-bottomed, beautifully char-bub-
bled crust that fans of the above legendary pizzerias
crave at any cost. Expect neither bargain-chain prices, a
huge selection of toppings (these aren't the kind of
clunky crusts you overload), nor much else on the menu
except a hefty salad and some onion-topped chicken
wings that are also coal-oven tasty. Anthony's does just a
few things, and does them right. $$

Bella Luna
19575 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura Mall ,
If the menu here looks familiar, it should. It's identical
to that at the Upper Eastside's Luna Cafe and, with
minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billante's eater-
ies (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the type-
face. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting
more accustomed to food court, steam-tabled stuff-
dishes like carpaccio al salmon (crudo, with portobel-
los, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dress-
ing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with
pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit famil-
iar, air. $$-$$$

Bourbon Steak
19999 W. Country Club Dr.
(Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)
At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant
empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard
award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare
starts. There are also Mina's ingenious signature dish-
es, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby veg-
etable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable veg-
etable/seafood starters and sides (duck fat fries!) for
noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But don't neg-
lect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent
Wagyu American "Kobe," swoonworthy grade A5
Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all
cooked to perfection under the supervision of on-site
executive chef Andrew Rothschild, formerly of the Forge,
meaning he knows his beef. (Mina himself is absentee.)

Chef Allen's
19088 NE 29th Ave; 305-935-2900
After 20 years of success in the same location, many
chefs would coast on their backlog of tried-and-true
dishes. And it's doubtful that kindly Allen Susser would
freak out his many regulars by eliminating from the
menu the Bahamian lobster and crab cakes (with tropi-
cal fruit chutney and vanilla beurre blanc). But lobster-
lovers will find that the 20th anniversary menus also
offer new excitements like tandoori-spiced rock lobster,
along with what might be the ultimate mac'n'cheese:
lobster crab macaroni in a Fris vodka sauce with mush-
rooms, scallions, and parmesan. The famous dessert
souffle's flavor changes daily, but it always did. $$$$$

II Migliore
2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-792-2902
Reminiscent of an intimate Tuscan villa, chef Neal
Cooper's attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well
as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable
ingredients and straightforward recipes that don't over-
complicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that
perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and
mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does
the signature Polio Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and
cooked under a brick, require pretentious fancification.
And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand
basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla
Toscana, fried herb-sprinkled French fries. Located west
of Biscayne Boulevard in the Davis Plaza shopping mall,
across from Ojus Elementary School. $$-$$$

Mahogany Grille
2190 NW 183rd St.
Formerly Ruby and Jean's Soul Food Cuisine, a popular
but strictly neighborhood cafeteria, Mahogany Grille has
drawn critical raves and an international as well as
local clientele since retired major league outfielder
Andre Dawson and his brother Vincent Brown acquired
the place in early 2007. The diner decor is gone,
replaced by white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany.
The food is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion,

heaping platters from several African diaspora regions:
Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp,
sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed
fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-bat-
tered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miami's
best, made even better with the Grille's waffles. $$-$$$

20475 Biscayne Blvd.
305-937-2777; www.pilarrestaurant.com
Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman
Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef
at Rumi, and cooked at NYC's James Beard House.
Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his
partners launched Pilar (named for Hemingway's boat)
aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable.
Consider it now proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the
specialty, dishes like fried Bahamian cracked conch with
fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce,
rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, and yel-
lowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette and a pota-
to/leek croqueta. Don't let the strip-mall location fool
you. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$

The Soup Man
20475 Biscayne Blvd. #G-8
The real soup man behind this franchise is Al Yeganeh,
an antisocial Manhattan restaurant proprietor made
notorious, on a Seinfeld episode, as "the soup Nazi."
On the menu: ten different premium soups each day
(from a rotating list of about 50). The selection is care-
fully balanced among meat/poultry-based and vegetari-
an; clear and creamy (like the eatery's signature shell-
fish-packed lobster bisque); chilled and hot; familiar
(chicken noodle) and exotic (mulligatawny). All soups
come with gourmet bread, fruit, and imported chocolate.
Also available are salads, sandwiches, and wraps, a la
carte or in soup-plus combos. $-$$

Sushi Siam
19575 Biscayne Blvd.
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)



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January 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

perfect ambiance & beautiful artwork...

all in the same place.

January 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Itau euff Warke^H1644'5 W. Dixie Hwy
.....)/_ MM ifl.-W; 305-944-5052
OPEN 7 DAYS: 7amn 6pim, Sunday: Sam 5pm (yes, we have fresh herbs &fresh juice!)

I Ad valid until Jan. 31, ZUUY. Wiule supplies last. I

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January 2009

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