Title: Biscayne times
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00027
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Publication Date: March 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: VID00027
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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March 2009

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 7, Issue 1

Heavy Metal on the Bay


Not far from Biscayne Boulevard,
outside his ramshackle home just
north of the 79th Street Cause-
way drawbridge, Omar Ali is slumped in
a folding chair, his thin frame draped in
well-worn canvas work clothes, his face
turned toward the sun. He's listening to
Classical South Florida radio over a pair
of loudspeakers, fidgeting with an unlit

cigarette, and watching an osprey obses-
sively circling the sun-sparkled waters of
Biscayne Bay that stretch before him.
The bird swoops down, talons out-
stretched, and with a soft splash, snatches
a fish from the water. It rises, shakes off
the water from its plunge, and glides over
to a rotting wooden piling to feast on
its writhing prey. Ali smiles. He lifts the

cigarette to his mouth, almost lights it,
but stops. It's the holy Muslim month of
Ramadan, smoking is forbidden during
daylight hours, and he'll have to wait
until sunset to break his daily fast.
But the 54-year-old Egyptian metal
sculptor isn't focused on his hunger
or nicotine craving right now. He's
mostly thinking about the five-ton,

stainless-steel sculpture towering 25 feet
over his head, casting a strange, twisted
shadow over his Shorecrest property and,
more figuratively, over his life.
Back in 2004, he designed and built
the mammoth piece a graceful, spheri-
cal tribute to the famed French explorer
Continued on page 14

Dining Guide
We did it!
This month's
guide has 200
Biscayne Corridor
Page 43

Community News
An architectural
gem is up for
sale in North
Page 25

Park Patrol
FlU's Biscayne
Bay campus
is a wide-open,
Page 36

Get in shape.
Dine out.
Support our
Page 8


"Build a body, build a lifestyle, build a


SIN 2009
77 NE 24th Streel. Miami -133137 www.ILeacyFi .com Tel. 305 799 0850

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comMarch 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009








__ __ __ __ _ _ h __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I __ _ _ _

Liberty City
2 & 7:30PM
'Touches eloquently
on race, politics, and
the legacies of the
60's movements."
-The Village Voice

The Marriage
of Figaro
?PM ]

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NWSA Symphony
7:30PM EM
Tchaikovsky's First
Piano Concerto and
Brahms Symphony
No. 2, conducted by
Alfred Gershfeld,with
guest piano soloist,
n1-6 Fnha li



Miami Made Festival
of New Works:
Here and Now: 2009
7:30PM ]
Three World FPi,,,, iii
by some of Si..,1
Florida's mol
innovative aliii i'

Miami Made Festival
of New Works:
Here and Now: 2009
The Cleveland Orchestra
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Miami Made Festival
of New Works:
Here and Now: 2009
7:30PM H
The Cleveland
8PM [

Dallas Symphony Jos6 Carreras, tenor Kodo
Orchestra 8PM i 8PM S
Pinchas Zuckerman,
violinist and One of the "Three "Kodo's music can
conductor Tenors" superstars, raise the roof!"
8PM [ any time he sings- -The New York Times
anywhere in the
Grammy Award world- it is a
winner for "Best major event!
Chamber Music
Celebrity Chef The Mariage
Series: Tom Colicchio of Figaro
8PM E 7PM ]
Interview, cooking Mandy Patinkin:
demo, and Q&A with Dress Casual
one of salon.com's with Paul Ford on
"Sexiest Men of the Piano
Year!" 8PM E

The Marriage
of Figaro
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unbridled joy from
start to finish!


The Marriage
of Figaro
Jazz Roots Series:
The Roots of Fusion
with Chick Corea.
John McLaughlin,
Kenney Garrett,
Christian McBride.
and Brian Blade
8PM [@

The Marriage
of Figaro
PM 0

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009



Jim Mullin
Andrew Leins
David Rodriguez
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
DP Designs
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
telephone number in all correspondence.
All articles, photos, and artwork in the
Biscayne Times are copyrighted by Biscayne
Media, LLC. Any duplication or reprinting
without authorized written consent from the
publisher 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.



Great Story, Great
Research, Great Tragedy
"Tragic Drama Under the Miami
Moon" (February 2009) was a very in-
teresting story. Great research by author
Antolin Garcia Carbonell.
I did not recognize the Cuban presi-
dent's name: Federico Laredo Bni.
Manuel Perez-Vichot

Editor's note: The left-leaning
Federico Laredo Bni, who attended
the wedding of our story subject, Don
Alfonso de Borb6n, served as president
of Cuba from December 24, 1936, to
October 10, 1940. His successor: Ful-
gencio Batista.

What Secrets Lie Within
the Walls of Miami?
I loved "Tragic Drama Under the
Miami Moon." I was riveted. What a
story! I hope you can do more stories like
this. It's fascinating to think about the
secrets held within the walls of some of
Miami's landmarks.
Thanks for sharing this intriguing story.
Kristin Burke

Bayside: All That Work,
All That Money Lost for
Regarding Jim W. Harper's review
of Baywood Park ("Hidden Park, Open
Views" February 2009) in our Bayside
neighborhood: Once again it seems that
we the taxpayers have spent a lot of
money for community improvements and
the city does not have the foresight of
follow-up. I am referring to the landscap-
ing project on 69th Street from Biscayne
Boulevard to the bay.
Medians were built from the Bou-
levard to the bay starting at the entrance
of the Palm Bay Yacht Club. It was a big
project that took many months of disrup-
tion for the community. Well, it seems
all this work was done, all this money
spent, and guess what? No maintenance
was apparently planned. All the plantings
are all dead or dying, mainly the result of
the city not watering during the first year
to establish the planting. This is why so
many people feel that are our taxes are
being wasted and no one is watching
the store.
I recently looked at the all plants in
the medians. There were 16 dead sabal
palms. It appears that in almost every
case, the palms had begun to flush

with new growth at the tops. But four
to six weeks ago the tops began to dry
out rapidly, and in increasing numbers.
This response indicates a failure to
provide supplemental water once the
rains stopped.
In my opinion, it is critical that
supplemental watering be provided over
a several-month period after the palms
are replaced, and the watering should
include the oaks as well. The watering
should occur at least until the rains return
in June.
Joseph Canale

Bayside: Sparkle
Smothered by Swill
I love Baywood Park and walk there
every day. However, contrary to what
Jim W. Harper says in "Hidden Park,
Open Views," the park does not "sparkle."
I have had to call and ask for clean-ups
several times.
People stop and dump their auto gar-
bage in the first bin or eat lunch beside
the park and dump their garbage. Most
of the time cups and boxes are flying all
over the place.

Continued on page 6


H eavy M etal on the B ay ..................................... ....................... 1

F ee d b ack ............................. ................................. 4
M iam i's King .... .. ........ ... ....... ....... ... ........... 10
W ord on the Street ................. ... ...... ... ........... ........ 12

B izB uzz ....................................................................... 8
Advertiser Directory......................... .......................... 8

Jen Karetnick: Our Very Own Gastronomic Extravaganza......... 18
Frank Rollason: To Stop the Bleeding,
Apply a Tourniquet To Yourself ................................. 20
Wendy Doscher-Smith: Me and My Foul Mouth ......................22

You Have Mail Lots and Lots of It ...................................... 24
Gender Bender Quick Surrender........................................24
Still W waiting for the Train ................................. ... ........ 25
Hidden in Plain View: An Architectural Gem ........................... 25

Biscayne Crime Beat ..................................... .... ............. 28

The Book As Artwork .................................... ..... ........... 30
A rt Listings ....................... .............. ...... .... ........... ... 32
C culture B riefs......................... ..... ........ .......... . ........... ... 35

Kids and the City: The Parent's Curse: Damaged Kids............... 38
Harper's Environment: New Ideas for New Pools..................... 39
Pawsitively Pets: Just the Two of Us.......................................40
Your Garden: Fear and the Fig Whitefly............................... 42

W hen Is a Park N ot a Park?............................ ... ........... ..... .... 36

Restaurant Listings ............................................. .............. 43

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009



to 50%

on our current


8101 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 102, Miami Fl 33138 Tel 305 751 1511 Fax 305 751 1512
contact i@beauliving co rn www b e a u v i n g c o m
Open MON SAT 11am 8pm. SUN 12pm 6pm

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009



Continued from page 4

Obviously Mr. Harper doesn't visit
the park very often. My own goal is to
have the park sparkle, but most of the
time it doesn't.
Marlene Wellington

About That Royal Castle
I live in North Bay Village, and appre-
ciate you sending Biscayne Times across
the water to us. Here's a suggestion:
With articles such as the one on Royal
Castle ("Tiny Little Burgers Make a
Big Comeback," February 2009), or any
other business, please include the address
because I definitely want to go there for
some little burgers.
And you can then use the fact that
more people go to these places as a result
of your articles and you can get more
advertising business! What do you think?
Thanks for the BT and great success
in 2009!
Jim Carter
North Bay Village

Royal Castle? Missing
Address? Duh!
Editor's note: A production snafu
scrambled Pamela Robin Brandt's
"Tiny Little Burgers," about Wayne
Arnold's Royal Castle in North Miami.
A number of readers, in addition to
Mr. Carter, were kind enough to draw
our attention to the goof. Here is that
portion of Pam's story that may have
seemed unintelligible:
Though the lunchtime crush has long
passed on a recent Saturday afternoon at
Arnold's Royal Castle, veteran manager
Carlene Cunningham is still dashing
around in a tear. When a new, and still
very green, cook slaps one of the recently
reopened eatery's signature tiny burgers
(known to the initiated as sliders) on the
griddle atop coal-black onions, she lets

out a primordial shriek of a sort not heard
since the release ofJurassic Park.
"How many times do I have to
tell you? This is not our system! This
means burnt burgers," Cunningham
scolds, flipping the thin, square patty
off the offending veggies with one
hand, dumping a tub of water on the
hot griddle with the other as she scrubs
vigorously with her spatula.
"She tell it like it is. With a Castle
burger, you need that grease. But it's
gotta be good grease," chuckles a woman
at Royal Castle's counter.
The counter, like almost everything
else in the diminutive (950 square feet)
interior from major appliances to
plumbing pipes is brand new. Con-
structed in 1956, the miniature MiMo
mini-burger palace had been in continu-
ous 24/7 operation on its North Miami
corer (NW 7th Avenue at 125th Street)
until a fire in August of 2005 wiped out
everything but the exterior shell, forcing
its closure for more than three years.
"I intended to rebuild and reopen
as soon as possible," says owner Wayne
Arnold, who bought the location in
1982 after Royal Castle, once a thriving
Florida-based chain, went belly up. "This
restaurant always did good business. But
the initial repair estimate was $120,000. I
couldn't manage that."
The final bill turned out to be more
than $200,000. "We had to make the
structure hurricane-compliant. The
original iron plumbing pipes were
crumbling, so we couldn't just attach
new PVC. It's all new plumbing. We
put in new walls, a whole roof, a floor,
booths, all the lighting fixtures, new
air conditioning, new appliances. The
only things we could salvage were one
refrigerator and a freezer."
The sad story's heroes turned out to
be North Miami's Mayor Kevin Burns
(who has said that Arnold's Royal Castle
defines the city) and the city's slider-
scarfing Community Redevelopment
Agency, which contributed $80,000
toward the repair bill. "I never went to
them," Arnold reveals. "They contacted
me. Many people on the board had been
customers since they were kids."
That sounds familiar to the 71-year-
old Arnold. "It's like me I had my first
slider in 1953 when my family moved to
Miami, and there were Royal Castles all
over town. But I still eat a couple a day.
The mayor is a frequent customer, too."

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009

C7r--MTRlT WD. LT FL53 33

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

W-C--5. v-wJf



iuLan flw4Es


"SJ 2 I wam

i-K ,-;

The Open Door Miami Team
Bonnie Brooks 305.206.4186
Ilene Tessler 305.458.1200

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

'14-: ,j i t P'N
Li21 I L -


March 2009



BizBuzz: March 2009

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

Up in the frozen north, it's a bless-
ing that February is such a short
month. But in Miami it ought
to last longer, and Chantik Imports is
doing its part to make that happen. The
Asian imports company, which celebrated
the inauguration of its new Upper East-
side store (6667 Biscayne Blvd., 954-
559-2804) with a grand-opening sale that
ran throughout February, is extending the
bargain-priced period (up to 35 percent
off) through the entire month of March.
Mention Chantik's BT advertisement for
an additional discount.
March is the month of St. Patrick's Day,
and nobody looks better in a "Kiss Me, I'm
Irish" tie than the family dog. But just in
case a few green beers might inspire you to
follow the tie's instructions, better schlep
man's best friend over to Junior's Pet
Grooming for a thorough tooth-brushing
(2500 Biscayne Blvd., 305-571-1818). And
the really good news is that if you get your
pets there between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., the
dental cleaning is 10 percent off- along
with the rest of Junior's complete grooming
services, which include pet haircuts, baths,
ear cleaning, pedicures, and more.
But why stop there? Now that Fido or
Fang is looking good, immortalize your
fabulous favorite in frame-worthy form.
Catherine Kirkwood of Pet Portraits
(305-756-0719) is offering a St. Patrick's

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

Day special: 15 percent off all oil por-
traits (which begin at $400). And because
the artist is part-Irish, the deal runs for
the whole month of March. And by the
way, if your pet pal is the odd sort, no
worries. Kirkwood has painted every-
thing from parakeets to pythons and pigs.
Everybody complains about the
economy, but the River Oyster Bar
(650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915) is
doing something about it. On Fridays
from noon to 4:30 p.m., accompany
your whin-
ing with
some wining Let BizBuzz be yo
at prices indulge in a tas
no one can yourself into shap(
complain season
Bottles from
the River's
Wine Spectator-award-winning wine
list for half price. Yes, 50 percent off.
No complaints from Anise Taverna
(620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929), where
response to their grand opening has been
so positive they're now serving lunch
daily (closed Monday). On Saturday,
March 14, join them for their inaugural
monthly lamb roast outdoors, all day
long. And don't miss the belly dancing
hosted by Randi the River Goddess. Opa!
March is a time when customers
at Casca Doce (which, reports owner/
interior designer AnaCristina Correia, is
"stuffed with new accessories") needn't

worry about where to place their pur-
chases. The showroom (6815 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-757-6001) is offering free
space-planning all month.
March is also the time to begin think-
ing about that beloved old oak tree (or
banyan or magnolia or buttonwood) in
the backyard. Hurricane season will be
upon us before we know it, and our good
luck the past couple of years cannot and
will not last forever. That's why Paul
Wesley Barnett, the veteran certified
arborist who op-
erates Barnett

r guide as you Tree Service &
y treat, whip Landscaping
or go wild at a (305-538-2451)
sale. is making you
an offer you
can't refuse: a
discount of 25 percent for tree-trimming
in March. For procrastinators, Barnett
will knock off 20 percent in April or 15
percent in May. But wait, there's more!
Barnett will also meet or beat any writ-
ten arbor estimate from a licensed and
insured company.
Creating its own kind of storm in Wyn-
wood is Legacy Fit (77 NE 24th St., 305-
799-0850), whose much-anticipated grand
opening gives new meaning to march as
in boot camps and other workouts of the
strenuous sort. This isn't your ordinary
fitness studio. This is climbing ropes and
sledge hammers and tractor tires and fitness

walls and mixed martial arts. Legacy's
brand-new facility is also dog-friendly, so
your pooch can lounge while you train.
For those who prefer to train their
palates, the recently revived Friday wine
tasting at Laurenzo's Italian Market
continue, with a different theme each
week. While exact themes are chosen
only a week in advance, says the mar-
ket's sommelier, Larry Baker (aka Larry
the Wine Guy). "I can reveal that we'll
be taking people to Greece," he says.
"There's such a negative stigma about
Greek wines due to retsina. We're prob-
ably the only retailer in South Florida to
offer five-star Greek whites, reds, even
a phenomenal dessert fortified wine."
Flights are obviously in a glass, not a
plane, but the price is unbeatable: Tast-
ings are free, including complimentary
housemade nibbles.
And finally this month we have a
March mystery. An anonymous BT sponsor
has a message for Treasure Hunters who
can't resist the lure of adventure. That mes-
sage: Call 305-525-8816 for an appoint-
ment to discover what's behind the doors
at a particular Wynwood address. Maybe
a French day bed, or hand-painted doors,
or a unique billiard table, or chandeliers,
or glassware, or who knows what? You'll
have to call to find out.

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

I 1 E DI T

Adrienne Arsht Center
Page 3
Design District Art +Design
Page 11
Miami-Dade County ME
Adopt a Shelter Pet
Information call 311
miamidade gov/animals
Page 27
Miami-Dade County E
Grapeland Park Waterpark
1550 NW 37th Ave
Page 37
New Concept Video M
7699 Biscayne Blvd
Page 6
St. Martha's Church
9301 Biscayne Blvd
Page 34
Temple Israel
137 NE 19th St
573-5900 ext 405
Page 33

Auto Body Experts
2921 NW 7th Ave
Page 29
Europa Car Wash
and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd
Page 20
Karma Car Wash & Caf6
7010 Biscayne Blvd
Page 16
Miami Parking Authority
Page 23
Plaza Tire & Auto
3005 NE 2nd Ave
Page 28
Dasani Jewels
36 NE 1st St
Seybold Building #114
Page 12

Children's Village
School and Daycare Center
650 NE 88th Terr
Page 38
Live! Music School
2180 1/2 NE 123rd St
Page 38
Allied Public Adjusters
Page 39
Steven K. Baird
Attorney at Law
Page 29
Mary Robbins
Accounting & Tax Services
9165 Park Dr Suite 12
Page 42
Ascot Teak
12951 Biscayne Blvd
Page 20
Beau Living
8101 Biscayne Blvd #102

Casca Doce
6815 Biscayne Blvd
Page 22

Chantik Imports
6667 Biscayne Blvd
Page 42
Details at Home
5046 Biscayne Blvd
Page 17
Karnak Blinds
Page 39
600 NE 72nd Terr
Page 30
Planet Lighting
5120 Biscayne Blvd
Page 18
Teak Only
8300 Biscayne Blvd
Page 33
Treasure Hunters
Page 19

Dental Options
11645 Biscayne Blvd #204
Page 28
7120 Biscayne Blvd
Page 13
Holistic Healing Center
1590 NE 162nd St #400
Page 12
Legacy Fit E
77 NE 24th St
Page 2
Nails Etc.
5084 Biscayne Blvd
Page 33
9 to 5 Redesign
261 NE 102nd St
Page 31
Arco Glass & Windows
617 NE 125th St
Page 34

Barnett Tree Service
Page 37
Dart Services
Page 18
Fine Line Painting
Page 31
Guarantee Floridian
Page 21
Power Marble
Page 31
Suds Domestic
17033 S Dixie Hwy
Page 34
Painting and Services
Jeffrey Diamond
Page 31
Re: Design Studio
Architecture & Interiors
Page 30
Renu at Hand
Page 16

Allstate Insurance M
8703 Biscayne Blvd
Page 23
4 Paws Only
1071 NE 79th St
Page 41
Adam's Veterinary Clinic
672 NE 79th St
Page 41
Junior's Pet Grooming
2500 Biscayne Blvd
Page 40
Pet Portraits
Page 40
Smiling Pets
7310 Biscayne Blvd
Page 41

Douglas Elliman
1691 Michigan Ave #210
Miami Beach
Page 9

Miami Spaces
Page 22
Turnberry International
Page 7
Anise Waterfront
620 NE 78th St
Page 51
Ariston Restaurant
940 71st St
Miami Beach
Page 48
Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd
Page 52
Bengal Indian Cuisine
2010 Biscayne Blvd
Page 55
Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St
Page 53

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave
Page 44
Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St
13105W Dixie Hwy
Page 46
C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave
Page 53
Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd
Page 55
Dunkin' Donuts
5128 Biscayne Blvd
Page 46
Laurenzo's Italian
16385 W Dixie Hwy
Page 56
Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St 9th floor
Page 47

3221 NE 2nd Ave
Page 44
Pizza Fiore
2905 NE 2nd Ave
Page 54
Royal Bavarian
Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St
Page 52
River Oyster Bar
650 S Miami Ave
Page 50
Shops at Midtown M
3401 N Miami Ave
Page 49
Taste of MiMo E
MiMo Biscayne Association
Page 10
Tuna's Raw Bar and
17850 W Dixie Hwy
Page 45

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

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March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

h %r-, V.-.l "IN P.i, I L i n aI r r I JI-.I


Loose Money, Lousy Deals, and Low-end Jobs
When polite intn promise you paradise, hold onto your wallet

By Jack King
BT Contributor

several weeks ago the New York
Times's Frank Rich had a wonder-
ful column about how America is in
full denial about why we have gotten into
this wonderful economic mess. He con-
cluded that we as a nation really didn't
want a recession, but didn't really want
to do anything about it, either. So we just
stuck our heads in the sand and kept right
on spending money we didn't have. And
as long as we got ours, we didn't care
how much money the banks, investment
houses, corporate America, and their ilk
took for themselves.
The economic discussion at the na-
tional level is still stuck in the mud, with
most Republicans taking what they believe
to be the high moral ground and holding
out for their sacred beliefs: lower taxes,
lower spending, and smaller government.
It sure worked well during the Bush years.
They lowered taxes and increased spending
to record levels, but they did make govern-
ment smaller by cutting oversight em-
ployees by the thousands at the Food and
Drug Administration, the Securities and
Exchange Commission, and the Federal
Reserve. It worked really well, unless you
liked your bank account, your investment
account, and peanut butter. The Republi-
cans paint the Democrats as tax-and-spend
liberals. I paint the Republicans as borrow-
and-spend idiots.
While the Obama stimulus plan has
not been well received in Washington
by Republicans, it has met with mixed
response by the nation's governors. Seems
like the governors are a little bit closer to
the real people, the ones who are losing

their homes and have no jobs. Leading the
opposition to the plan (but with so many
caveats it isn't even funny) is Louisiana's
Gov. Bobby Jindal. He was on one of the
Sunday talking-heads programs, where he
told so many lies about the stimulus pro-
gram in such a rapid-fire way that the host
could hardly get in a word. Jindal said he
would look at every program to see how it
worked. What he left out is that he will take
every nickel while trying to make himself
look like a conservative Republican.
Jindal has fallen ill to the disease
that hits every politician eventually. It is
called "since my party wants me to run for
president in
2012, my head
has gotten so Our mayors are
big I can say stimulus money. T
anything I want, compunction about
no matter how
no mastu ow They just want to lo
stupid." How
about this for a
ticket: Jindal-
Palin, or Palin-Jindal. Whatever, it would
a great American thing to have these two
running for the highest office in America
with a bunch of old, fat, white guys in the
background running the program. Can you
say, "House of the Rising Sun?"
But let's get closer to home. The
mayors of Miami-Dade and Miami are
just drooling over the stimulus money.
They have no moral compunction about
taking federal funds. They just want
to look good at all costs. Not only are
Carlos Alvarez and Manny Diaz willing
to take every nickel the feds will give
them (they must be Democrats), they're
willing to borrow nearly two billion dol-
lars (wait, they must be Republicans) to
build a baseball stadium we don't really


own, a port tunnel that will be complete-
ly useless whenever a hurricane threatens,
an art museum that's supposed to put up
construction money for a new home but
doesn't have two nickels, and a science
museum that's supposed to do the same
but also doesn't have two nickels. Wow,
what a quadfecta!
And our two bobblehead mayors
are selling this vaporware (a term that
means selling software and hardware that
doesn't yet exist), and they are doing it
with one word: jobs. No doubt this gets
people's attention. Jobs, especially good
ones, have always been in short supply in
South Florida.
These days
'ooling over the they are
ey have no moral practically
king federal funds. nonexistent.
So Manny
k good at all costs. an Carlo
and Carlos
have taken
up the mantra
that they are generating new jobs with all
these new projects.
And they are right sort of. Most
of the high-end construction jobs go to
highly skilled, out-of-town workers. They
work, send their money back to where they
normally live, and then depart when the
project is completed. There are quite a few
lower-paying jobs that go to local workers,
but not nearly the number that the bobble-
head mayors would have us believe.
When asked about the low-paying
jobs the construction projects will bring,
and the recurring low-paying jobs the
baseball stadium will provide, Mayor
Diaz said, "What's the difference? Ajob
is a job." I'm sure that's true if you're a
really bad attorney like the good mayor.

If all this goes according to the
mayors' plan, we'll have a billion-dollar
tunnel to resolve a problem that could
have been done with $200 million in
expressway modifications; a new science
museum, even though the one they have
is not fully utilized; an art museum with
no art or money to buy art; and most
disconcerting of all a baseball stadium
we pay for and have no control over.
That really bothers me.
Personally I think we should have a
baseball stadium, but not on the terms
the Marlins have written. Unfortunately
they've promised the city and county com-
missioners so much in perks (read: cam-
paign money) that this may be a done deal.
Unfortunately we won't know until it's too
late. And we can't stop Jeffery Loria from
hawking the stadium and selling the Mar-
lins as the city and residents get nothing but
the mortgage payment. There's the reason
Loria has money and Alvarez and Diaz are
"public servants."
At the city level there are two firm votes
for the stadium, and one who has not commit-
ted. That's Michelle Spence-Jones, and based
on her prior modus operandi, she's waiting to
see what the deal will be. My best guess: Joe
Sanchez is planning to finance his cam-
paign for mayor with this deal. And Angel
Gonzalez? Well he doesn't particularly like
wealthy Cubans or gringos. He's voting for
the stadium just to see them twist in the wind.
Oh, I forgot to add that the City of
Miami is donating the land, worth about
$100 million, and is building the parking
garage, worth about $94 million. Think the
Marlins will write an individual thank-you
note to every resident in the city?

Feedback: letters(abiscaynetimes.com

^fo O rCHE SOI

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March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


How do you think an Obama presidency will affect race relations?
Compiled by Victor Barrenechea BT Contributor

Jorge Goya
I don't think Obama is
going to have any kind of
immediate effect. If the
economy goes bad, maybe
that will have more of
an impact on race rela-
tions. Then again, I think
the United States is more
advanced in race rela-
tions and socio-economic
relations, more so than my
home country of Argentina.
Things have advanced. I
think now people accept
minorities. They had to be
accepted because they're
also part of this country
made of immigrants.

Shop Assistant
Design District
It's going to be a long
process, and we'll have
to wait, but I think it's
better for everyone. He's
the first black President of
the United States. There's
going to be opportunities
for everyone. He's open-
ing doors for all people
- for immigrants like me.
People will say, "He did it,
now I can do it." Anyone
can do it.

Rucht D'Oleo
Fashion Designer
North Miami
I hope now that Obama is
president people actually
realize that the color of
your skin doesn't matter. I
hope it breaks down bar-
riers and helps us realize
that we're all together and
all the same. A lot still
needs to be done, so it'll
take a while, but I think
people now have a new
kind of consciousness.
Younger people, at least
my age, we don't care
about race. It's going to get
better over time, but it will
take a while.

Craig Demott
Client Specialist
I think it'll have a big
impact on race relations.
The fact that he was a
elected president signifies
that there's been a change
in middle America, outside
of the major U.S. cities.
Inside major U.S. cites,
things are pretty liberal, but
when you get outside in
middle America, it's harder
to convince people. And
now they're coming around.
Something like that doesn't
change overnight. It has to
filter down, but at least now
it can filter down from the
top, because he's the presi-
dent of this country.

Summer Bosworth
Design District
I think it'll affect it. I think
it'll be positive. I think
it'll make people more
open-minded. Since he's
in power, white people
have to defer to someone
of another race. I think
there'll be more of a sense
of equality between blacks
and whites. I think he's
opening communications
between races. I think in
general it opened a whole
new door. If a black man
can become president,
maybe there 11 be less of a
grudge because now some-
one s been given a chance.

Catalina Piedrahita
I think it will affect the
racial situation because
now we have a person who
is not Caucasian as presi-
dent, and the president is a
role model a lot of people
follow and look up to. He's
a person who has a lot of
influence. He really gets
across to people. I hope
it'll have a big impact on
race. It's like he's repre-
senting his entire race, and
it has created a positive



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March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Continued from page 1

Jacques Cousteau for a local real-
estate developer named Riccardo Olivieri.
Olivieri planned to install the work
at the eastern entrance to the MacArthur
Causeway, as part of his twin-tower
condo development named the Bentley
Bay, in full view of the tens of thousands
of motorists who careen daily across
the busy thoroughfare. With such prime
skyline positioning, the installation
would have been one of the area's most
prominently displayed sculptural artwork
and would almost certainly have become
a local landmark. And of course, the
exposure for Ali as an artist would have
been unparalleled.
But five years later the sculpture is
still here, looming above Ali's one-story
home, rather than overlooking one of
the South Florida's busiest bridges. Ali
reaches for a folder, pulls out a sheet
of paper, and holds it up. It's a court
document with a judge's signature at
the bottom. "They bought the piece for
$85,000," he says dryly, "and sold it back
to me for nothing."
The path that led up to, and then
veered sharply away from, artistic suc-
cess was a long one for Ali. He'd like to
think he'll still get another shot at a high-
profile installation. For now, though, he's
eager to tell the story of his abandoned
sculpture and of all the legal wrangling
that came with it.
Not many people know the reclusive
Ali or of his fierce brand of metal work.
He doesn't leave his house much, he
rarely exhibits, and most of all he doesn't
like to be separated from his tools. In
fact his home and his studio are one in
the same a shoddy former boat-repair
yard and work shed that he converted
into a makeshift home. Roll-down metal
shutters serve as doors, the exposed
concrete walls are lined with metallic
sculptures and tools, and the unaircon-
ditioned bedroom he constructed in the
back sits so close to Biscayne Bay he can
hear the water gently lapping the seawall
as he falls asleep at night.
Ali spends his days drafting intricate
designs, occasionally heading out in
his 1989 Chevy pickup to scavenge for
airplane and military parts at scrap yards
along the Miami River or at military
and government auctions. The titanium
and stainless steel, of which those parts
are often made, are Ali's metals of
choice. He doesn't build. He "engineers"

Al's tribute to Jacques Cousteau awaits a
Ali's tribute to Jacques Cousteau awaits a


-a __

buyer, perhaps in Abu Dhabi.

The Cousteau sculpture as it would have appeared at the Bentley Bay.

, precision sculptural objects that are as
elaborate in design as they are formida-
Sble in construction. Chairs, benches, floor
lamps, table lamps, animals, abstractions
-- most of his pieces look like something
6 between art and artillery. (For examples,
visit www.artaircraft.com.)
"The best metal is airplane metal,"
Ali explains. He turns jet engines into
chairs, wings into benches, turbines into
tables, fuel valves into lighting fixtures,
steel tubing into faux machine guns. "But
I don't consider all of that art," he con-
cedes. Well-designed functional pieces,
like furniture, are just easier to sell. And
as for the machine gun, he traded that
to a local mechanic for $5000 in repair
work on his old truck.
"Real art delivers a message," he
contends. Art is the 11-foot great blue
heron spreading its titanium wings on
Ali's concrete terrace. Art is the metallic
fish (a grouper?) whose graceful curves
follow the aerodynamic arcs of stainless-
steel aircraft parts. Art is the sundial he's
crafting from a DC-9 engine to com-
memorate the crew of the space shuttle
Columbia by directing a single beam of
sunlight onto the name of each astronaut
at different hours throughout the day.
Ever since Ali was a boy in Cairo,
his creative tastes have leaned toward the
industrial, the mechanical, and especially
militaria. "My father was a genius with
his hands," he recalls. A mechanic by
trade, Ali's father would scour Cairo for
old automobile parts, refurbish them, and
assemble large, fortified work trucks,
which he would later sell.
Ali quickly began to mimic the old
man, building his own toys in a similar
fashion. He'd rig small electric motors
Sto empty tomato cans to make toy cars. A
neighbor in uniform influenced him, too.
"There was a military guy in my building,"
She recalls, "and every morning soldiers
would come pick him up in a big, brand-
Snew Land Rover. I fell in love with that
car and with everything military." Even-
Stually Ali started using his father's tools
to make mini tanks instead of cars.
But at age 17, seeing no future for
himself in his impoverished homeland,
he obtained an Italian tourist visa the
easiest and cheapest visa Egyptians could
get in the 1970s and headed for Rome.
Circo Nones Orfei, an Italian circus, re-
cruited him at Rome's main train station
on his very first day in the country, the
station being a popular hunting ground

Continued on page 15

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Continued from page 14

for immigrant labor.
"I cleaned up a lot of animal dung in
the beginning," he says. With time, and
once he had learned enough Italian, the
circus manager upgraded him to help-
ing care for the elephants and creating
promotional artwork. "Italy was para-
dise," he remembers. "I spent four years
with the circus and saw the entire country.
But there were a lot of dangerous people
in the circus criminals, lunatics, all
Tired of the vagabond lifestyle, Ali
settled in Milan in 1976 and began to
concentrate on his art. He rented a ma-
chine shop and began experimenting with
leather and jewelry, churning out purses,
belts, amulets, and lockets. Functional
metalwork like lamps, gates, windows,
and doors helped to pay the bills, too. In
his free time,
he began
sculpting, "In 1999, when I a
exhibiting beautiful. The life!
widely and
even enjoying everything was easy
extensive cov- work permit, found
erage in Italian
But, he says,
the country experienced an economic
downturn in the 1990s and it became in-
creasingly difficult to make a living. Ali
could no longer afford his rent. He lost
the workshop, sold his tools, and after 28
years in Italy, packed up and headed for
Miami on the advice of a friend who had
already emigrated.
"In 1999, when I arrived, Miami was
beautiful," Ali recalls. "The lifestyle was
free and everything was easy. I managed
to get a work permit, found some decent
work here and there, and bought my
house." Notable among his proj-
ects, he created and installed



the metallic interior of Jail, a former bar
and lounge designed to look like a prison
inside the Bentley Hotel at 510 Ocean
Dr. And it was the owner of that hotel,
prominent South Florida developer Ric-
cardo Olivieri, who would later commis-
sion him to create his colossal Jacques
Olivieri, an Italian businessman now
in his 60s, was not only a developer but
also an art-lover who adorned his Miami
Beach buildings with designer materials,
fine paintings, and pricey sculptures. In
2003 his largest South Beach develop-
ment, the Bentley Bay condo towers
at 520 and 540 West Ave., was under
construction and he wanted the project to
reflect his artistic taste and make a bold
Familiar with Omar Ali's workman-
ship, and having already seen a miniature
version of Ali's Jacques Cousteau briefly
on display in his Ocean Drive hotel, O1-
ivieri decided
that a 25-foot
version of
rived, Miami was version of
the artwork
style was free and t rtr
would perfect-
I managed to get a ly compliment
ome decent work." the Bentley
Bay's sail-
shaped condo
towers and
reflect the development's distinct nautical
theme. And of course, placed atop the
stairwell tower rising above the condo's
multistory parking garage, the sculpture
would be visible to every South Beach
visitor coming across the MacArthur
Causeway, turning the artwork, and the
Bentley Bay, into a Miami landmark.
According to Ali's
records, contracts
,. were drawn up
in July 2004
and Olivieri
to pay

Forklift ant with driver's seat.

him $60,000 to design and construct the
full-size Jacques Cousteau piece. The
price tag mostly reflected the market cost
of stainless steel, heavy-duty equipment
required for the job, and labor. Upon
completion, Olivieri was to arrange for
transportation of the 9000-pound sculp-
ture by barge across Biscayne Bay and
have it hoisted by crane into position at
the Bentley Bay. Alternatively, the sculp-
ture would cross the bay by helicopter, if
consulting engineers felt that would be
more practical.
What Ali didn't know at the time,
however, was that a pending foreclosure
hearing on the Bentley Bay had forced
Olivieri's company, Florida Development
Associates, to file for bankruptcy four
months before signing the contract with
him. Why Olivieri entered into an agree-
ment with Ali in the midst of financial
difficulties is unclear. BT's efforts to con-
tact him for comment were unsuccessful.
By the time Ali learned of the
bankruptcy, a few weeks after signing the
contract, he had already spent a $5000
deposit from Olivieri and had invested a

fttt~n~2 |
^f~js~m^^^^^f^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ c


few thousand dollars of his own money
on materials and equipment. He also
found that Olivieri had become impos-
sible to reach, and Ali was left wonder-
ing if he should even continue work on
his sculpture, or if he'd ever be able to
recoup his expenses should the agree-
ment fall apart.
The bankruptcy case came before a
federal judge in August 2004, and Ali's
agreement with Olivieri was among the
contractual obligations the judge ordered
to be honored. Moreover, to account for
the rapidly increasing price of stainless
steel, an amended contract for $80,000
was signed and Ali was instructed to
complete his sculpture within 120 days.
He received payment in full, hired sev-
eral workers, and on December 21, 2004,
after almost six months of meticulous
planning and labor, his sweeping, 25-by-
19-foot Jacques Cousteau sculpture,
complete with sharks, a shark cage, and
abstract representations of waves and
sails, stood ready on the concrete patio
outside his house.
But a year and half would pass
without anyone from the Bentley Bay
coming to pick it up. According to Ali,
whenever he would call the attorney
representing the Bentley's interests at
the time, the lawyer would cite issues
with Miami Beach permits relating to
the artwork's installation as reasons for
the delay. "They never showed me any
proof that they contacted the city," Ali
complains, "and they never asked me
for my drawings or sent an engineer
to discuss the installation and to draft

Continued on page 16

Light Fixture No. 7.


March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Continued from page 15

engineering papers." Those papers, he
says, would have been necessary for the
city to determine whether installation
was permissible.
Over time it became clear that no
one was going to collect the sculpture.
The problem, however, was that Ali
couldn't sell it. Technically it didn't
belong to him, since the Bentley Bay had
already paid for it. Selling it, he surmised,
could put him in the position of having to
repay the Bentley Bay should they sud-
denly decide they wanted it.
Ali went through a string of
lawyers to see if he could regain legal
ownership but, he says, three and a
half years passed with little communi-
cation and no progress. The sculpture
remained on Ali's property, requiring
upkeep and safety preparations with
each hurricane season to prevent the
piece from being destroyed or toppling
over onto his house.
Frustrated, Ali drafted a demand
letter to the Bentley Bay's attorneys,
threatening legal action and citing the

costs he was incurring
for storage, mainte-
nance, labor, attorney
fees, and more. All
this, he asserted,
added up to at least
$300,000. Ali did not
expect to receive mon- r
etary damages, but he
hoped at least to pro-
voke the Bentley Bay
into giving him a legal
document restoring
his ownership rights to
the sculpture which
he claims actually cost
him $120,000 in total,
$35,000 more than he
received in payment.
When he didn't
get a response, he
hired what he calls
an "honest lawyer," a
Miami attorney named f
William Sumner Scott,
who managed to get
results where others
had failed. "Perhaps
Omar's letter softened

Them up a bit and they realized just how
bad this could get for them," Scott says
, of the Bentley's legal team. "I simply
a presented an offer and we negotiated
. back and forth until we worked it out. It
c was definitely a heavy-duty negotiation,
To Ali's surprise, just three weeks
later, in October 2008, the Bentley Bay
gave him what he needed, a court order
signed by federal Judge A. Jay Cristol
granting him full ownership rights to
Jacques Cousteau, with a stipulation
that he "shall not have any further claim"
against the Bentley Bay. "I could have
pressed my case and tried to get more
money from them," Ali says, "but I was
happy not to give them the sculpture in
the end. They might have chopped it up
and sold it for scrap."
"The challenge now," he says, "is
to find a buyer. I'm trying to sell it to
collectors in Abu Dhabi, where there's a
huge art market, because honestly, good
public art doesn't exist in Miami."
Of the hundreds of publicly dis-
played works of art countywide, he

Continued on page 17

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March 2009


Continued from page 16

points out, hardly any are known outside
of the Miami area, and very few are
memorable to most locals. "Cheap art is
unhealthy," Ali says. "People are losing
trust in artists, and it's because of all the
bad art that's around."
Regarding his own work, he refuses
to show in galleries because he rejects
the commission structure most of them
use. "They take half your blood," he

Omar Ali's work inhabits a creal
realm where design and fine a
co-exist, where the boundarie
between form and function tei
to blur.

says, and he simply won't "give [his] life
to them." But with little in the way of
commissioned work, lack of exposure is
a major issue for Ali.
Still, he can't imagine doing any-
thing else but create art: "When you love
something, you do your best work." And

his best work is all around him. "I've
always lived in my studio," he says. "I
love to have my tools next to my bed.
When I can't sleep, I get up and make
something. Creating things relaxes me."
He has about 50 cherished pieces
he holds onto like offspring, ranging
from representational to abstract. "If
someone loves them enough to pay the
high price," he says, "I'll sell them.
Otherwise, when I die, I want them all
thrown into the ocean."
Omar Ali's work inhabits a creative
realm where design and fine art
co-exist, where the boundar-
tive ies between form and function
irt tend to blur, where imagina-
'S tion knows no limits. But the
id enchantment Ali sells comes at
a price few art aficionados are
able to pay. "Since I've been
here in the U.S.," he says, "I've
been surviving, that's all, doing small prac-
tical jobs here and there." He'd like to think
that the quality of his work will someday
be recognized, and that he will once again
be able to make a decent living from it.
As for his Jacques Cousteau, he's
holding out hope that it will find a


OmarAli: If he can't sell his work, he'll have it sent to the bottom of
the sea.

permanent home where it can be appreci-
ated. If not, he'll commit it to the watery
world of its French namesake. He'll have
it sent to the bottom of the Atlantic.
With a trace of heartache in his
voice, Ali turns to the quivering waters

of Biscayne Bay stretched out before
him, finally puts his unlit cigarette back
in the pack, and mutters, "It's written in
my will."

Feedback: letters(@biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Our Very Own Gastronomic Extravaganza

Taste of the Shores can be a reality with your help. So let go!

By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor
he day before the Super Bowl, I
did something that, despite bat-
tling a stubborn case of bronchitis,
was all-too-characteristic of me: I drove
275 miles for grub. Of course, this wasn't
just any old chow. I made the trek from
Miami Shores to Tampa for Taste of the
NFL, also known as "Party with a Pur-
pose," one of the premier food-and-wine
fundraising events in the nation.
Founded in Minneapolis in 1992,
where the Super Bowl was held that year,
Taste of the NFL raised $90,000 for local
and national hunger organizations in its
first outing. Since then each Super Bowl
city, on the eve of the big game, hosts
this gastronomic extravaganza, in which
each city with an NFL team is represent-
ed by top-name chefs (like our very own
Allen Susser of Chef Allen's, pictured
here with former Dolphin Dick Ander-
son), along with off-season and alumni

A .l
players (such as QB Earl Morrall from
the undefeated Dolphins). To date, ap-
proximately $7 million has been raised.
Though improvements are made an-
nually, and guest celebrities change, the
format remains: The chefs set up tasting
tables and the players perch at their
own stations beside them in the middle
of a venue in the case of Tampa,
Tropicana Field. Partygoers, who pay

hundreds of dollars per ticket (thousands
for VIP tables) not only feast on signa-
ture delicacies and sample Gallo wines
that are paired with the goodies, but they
purchase footballs, aprons, cookbooks,
caps, and auctioned sports memorabilia
for both toques and athletes to autograph.
Because Taste of the NFL founder
Wayne Kostroski and his crew manage to
get almost everything donated or reduced

I in price (lodging and airfare for partici-
pants), and the chefs, their vendors, and the
Players all volunteer their time, products,
. and services, operating costs are extremely
Z low. So the funds that come in? To mix
Z sporting metaphors, they're mostly all
net, and they're distributed to Share Our
7 Strength charities that feed the hungry.
Coincidentally, my food-writing career
also began in 1992, and since then I've
been to countless walk-around food-and-
wine tasting, most of all which raise
money for a good cause. But I attended
Taste of the NFL with a different purpose
in mind, which was to huddle with my
sister, who was broadcasting live from the
event for Martha Stewart Living Sirius
Satellite Radio (also in the food biz, Betsy
is the co-host for the morning drive show).
Just kidding, of course. I love my
sister and was delighted to spend time
with her and crash in her hotel room.
But I really went to Taste of the NFL

Continued on page 19

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March 2009


Continued from page 18

because I fully intend to make into a re-
ality what I proposed a few months ago:
revitalizing a Taste of the Shores.
Response to that column has been inspir-
ing. Not only do residents want to see such
an event happen in our village, several have
already come forward to lend a hand, includ-
ing our own publisher, who says Biscayne
Times will happily be a sponsor.
Given that the original Taste of the
Shores turned out to be the model for
festivals such as Taste of the Grove and
many others, I have little interest in
spearheading a revival of what once was.
So I do believe research is in order, not
to mention forming a committee.
I chose Taste of the NFL initially to
study as a model for a few reasons. For
starters, it has a firm identity that allows
for terrific tie-ins. Taste of the Shores
could draw on our village's agricul-
tural past, and certainly we have plenty of
mango trees to support that. And it could
take on an appropriate annual theme, like
renewal, that plays into that identity. But
I'm looking to refine that angle or who

knows, maybe come up with a brand-new
one and am open to all ideas.
For another thing, Taste of the NFL
has a distinct aura of sophistication. It's
for adults. I've long been a proponent of
bringing my kids to fine-dining restaurants
and chic functions, and I hope you do too.
But when it comes to Taste of the Shores, I
don't want it to be about chocolate-flavored
face paint. We already have Unity Day

I went to Taste of the NFL becai
I fully intend to make into a rea
what I proposed a few months a
revitalizing a Taste of the Shor

and the Marshmallow Drop and St. Rose's
Carnival and a whole bunch of other truly
great family-style events in Miami Shores.
It's time to give the grown-ups a night out
in their own backyard.
Finally, Taste of the NFL targeted a
recipient for its fundraising from the first
day, and its mission has never altered.
I'd like to see Taste of the Shores do the

same, designating monies for the entity
that I believe is the most neglected in
town: Miami Shores Elementary School.
I know all our schools are struggling in
this economy. At Miami Country Day, which
my kids attend, tuition has gone up but teach-
ers and staff are still being laid off, which
is heartbreaking for everybody. But Shores
Elementary suffers from a complex problem.
Chief among its difficulties is a poor
community image, thanks in part
to its socio-economic demo-
ise graphic, and how that's perceived.
Second to that is money itself,
ity an influx of which could help
go: to change the image. "The new
es. administration is great," says
Judith Williams, a member of the
PTA, whose son is in the third
grade after switching from Aida
Merritt a little over a year ago. "Most of the
teachers are very passionate and have been
there a long time. A lot of us are convinced
the school is being overlooked."
While Williams and Margarita Mesa,
current PTA president, are among the moti-
vators who work on the school's behalf, they
have trouble eliciting participation from the
students' parents. "Many of the homes are

nontraditional," Williams notes. "We have a
lot of parents who don't, or can't, participate
at all in the PTA or in the school."
To that end, the MS Elementary PTA is
presenting its own food festival on April 24,
called Caribbean Carnivale. Williams es-
timates that 80 percent of the student body
is of Afro-Carib origin, but she empha-
sizes the diversity of those ethnicities. The
Carnivale, which will have booths featuring
dishes from Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba,
Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Repub-
lic, plus Haitian dancers and a Bahamian
junkanoo band, is meant to unite those
cultures both within the school and within
the Shores. "It's more ofaftiend-raiser than
a fundraiser," Williams says. The event,
which will run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., will
be open to students, their families, and
friends of the school.
To my mind, a friend-raiser is the per-
fect first step in the right direction. Want to
join me in taking the second one? Send me
an e-mail (Kavetchnik@aol.com)
And next year, when Taste of the
NFL comes to Miami, maybe they'll
learn something from us.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


To Stop the Bleeding, Apply a Tourniquet To Yourself

By Frank Rollason
BT Contributor

It's early morning on Friday the 13th
as I pen this column. This is an
auspicious day for our community,
for in a few hours, both the city and
the county will (theoretically) make a
Yes or No decision on the new Marlin's
baseball stadium.
My thoughts today, however, are
not about the stadium. They've been
triggered by an opinion piece by Miami
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff that ap-
peared in the Miami Herald on January
26, entitled, "Freeze City Employ-
ees' Salaries." In it, the commissioner
invokes the words of President Obama:
"Families are tightening their belts, so
should Washington." The premise was
that freezing the salaries of nonunion
employees, including each commis-
sioner and staff (no mention of the
mayor), would be a "symbolic move"
showing that the city is tightening its

Need to cut costs? Here are seven toz

own belt, one of the "tough decisions"
elected leaders must make. There was
no call for the manager to renegotiate
existing union contracts to achieve the
same freeze. This is not only a permit-
ted course of action, but it's certainly a
viable option if the city is in dire finan-
cial straits.
However, union families vote in
great numbers and are very active in
supporting candidates who protect

i decisions local politicos could make

their salaries and benefits. Nonunion
employees serve at the will of the
manager and are safer targets for such
a "symbolic move."
A few days after "Freeze" appeared,
a rebuttal appeared from Miami Com-
missioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Her
closing summed it up: "A tough decision
is asking for salary freezes across the
board, including for the unions, but that
was not proffered."

Today, facing a grave financial crisis,
we are dealing with a city budget that
has grown from $313 million in 1999
to more than $523 million in 2008 a
60-percent increase in less than ten
years! Without doubt it's time to make
some genuinely "tough decisions," so
let's consider a few that commissioners
could enact immediately, that no one
would find objectionable, and that every-
one would see as more than symbolic.
Tough Decision #1 Freeze their own
salaries ($58,200), independent of any
other action involving any other employ-
ees. Just do it!
Tough Decision #2 Reduce their
own staffs dramatically. Just do it! In
tough times, you have to believe their
offices could be run with two staff per-
sonnel. Certainly eliminate all contract
Tough Decision #3 Eliminate the
commissioners' sergeant-at-arms. Just

Continued on page 21


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March 2009

14. j '


Continued from page 20

do it! Sworn police officers providing
chauffeur and bodyguard services?
What kind of message does it send when
commissioners feel they must have a
bodyguard to move around their own
city? This would put two or three more
officers back on the street, where they're
really needed.
Tough Decision #4 Eliminate their
annual expense account ($32,000). Just
do it! Every commissioner receives this
gift, which was unilaterally (and quietly)
provided by a previous city manager as a
way to increase commissioners' com-
pensation. To his credit, Commissioner
Johnny Winton refused to take this
freebie. To date, I believe, he is the only
commissioner who has ever turned it
down. This generous benefit, by the way,
requires nothing of commissioners no
accounting, no records, no justifications,
no oversight, no nothing.
Tough Decision #5 Eliminate their
annual phone allowance ($3900). Just
do it! This one is arguably a justified
expense, but it could be handled as a

reimbursement for official city business
instead of a blanket amount. Right now
I have a personal family plan with five
phones and virtually unlimited minutes,
two of them Blackberries with e-mail,
and it runs just under $4200 a year. I'd
venture to say the cost of conducting city
business on one phone would be a hell of
a lot cheaper than $3900 per year.
Tough Decision #6 Eliminate their
annual car allowance ($10,800). Just do
it! Most of us drive a car to and from
work, and some of us are able to receive
reimbursement for mileage other than
normal commuting. Commissioners
could be entitled to the same. This al-
lowance is also supposed to cover the
cost auto insurance, which in most cases
includes the commissioner's spouses.
Such policies are normally issued in the
names both spouses' jointly. This relates
to Tough Decision #3 eliminating the
sergeant-at-arms. Currently commis-
sioners not only enjoy the use of a police
chauffeur, they also receive an annual
car allowance, yet the car can sit at
home in the garage! Some commission-
ers utilize the police chauffeur service
more than others, but drastic times call

for drastic measures, like driving your
own car to and from work and to various
events throughout the city you love and
serve selflessly.
Tough Decision #7 Eliminate their
pension. Just do it! This one is a beauty.
Here we have a noncontributory plan
(noncontributory for the commissioners,
but all contributory for the taxpayers) that
essentially provides 50 percent of their
highest two years' earnings for the rest
of their lives after serving as a commis-
sioner for only seven years. Notice I said
"earnings" not "salaries." This means their
pensions are based on salary ($58,200),
expense account ($32,000), car allowance
($10,800), and phone allowance ($3900),
for a total of $104,900. That results in a
minimum lifetime pension of more than
$52,000 annually, a pension that an aver-
age city employee would have work more
than 30 years to receive.
Notice that I said "minimum" lifetime
pension. Here's the catch: After seven years,
elected officials receive an additional 5
percent above the 50 percent for each year of
service, up to 100 percent of earnings. (Ifa
commissioner becomes mayor, those years
also count above the minimum of seven)

To put this in perspective, consider
former Commissioner J.L. Plummer, who
served the city as an elected official for 29
years. He left city hall in 1999, before the
current pension plan was in place. Today he
receives an annual pension ofjust $29,471.
It is unconscionable that individuals
serving at the will of the public, for the
purpose of performing the work of the
public, be rewarded so much for so little.
I'm in a position to say that because,
after serving 33 years as a firefighter for
the City of Miami (of which I am very
proud), I receive a pension of roughly
$100,000 annually but I contributed
ten percent of my salary each and every
year to make that pension possible.
Seven tough decisions that could be
made by our elected leaders. They could
fashion them as a package and do it to-
morrow. A personal sacrifice that would
set an example for all. As Commissioner
Sarnoff so eloquently wrote: "It's now up
to each of us to follow the lead of Presi-
dent Obama and 'make a clean break
from business as usual' for the best inter-
est of all of our constituents."

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com

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By Wendy Doscher-Smith
BT Contributor

11 never forget the day my kindergarten
teacher threatened to wash my mouth
out with soap. Ms. Spatafora grabbed
my arm and dragged me over to the jani-
tor's closet, pushed my head down over a
sludgy bar of brownish soap, and into the
industrial-grade, double-wide steel sink.
But I wriggled away from her, twist-
ing my arm out of her grasp, screaming
that I would "sue her" if she touched me
again. She didn't.
My past is littered with these sorts of mo-
ments. I never took well to authority. It wasn't
a question of my ornery nature. I simply
didn't believe anyone deserved my respect
or trust until they earned it. And I didn't
appreciate the presumption made by adults
that just because they lived longer they knew
better. More than often, they did not.
When I was ten, the director of my
after-school program instructed me to
write 100 times "I will not talk back." I

Me and My Foul Mouth
One more way in which the Merciless Frozen Tundra is definitely not Miami


-\ rlAj

wrote it 100 times and waited for my
father to pick me up. He arrived, and
the director glared at me as she told my
father I was bad. I sat on my metal-and-
plastic chair in the deserted school caf-
eteria and watched as her buggy eyeballs
darted back and forth between us. He

pretended t
director did
"See? I
said to her
gave her a s
My fath
the one who

l et "- 5- I knew. He was always swearing. So was I.
S- However, if I said, "When I graduate high
I school," I was promptly corrected: "When
S . I grduatefrom high school."
S-. Before he became a full-time lawyer,
my father taught English at the Univer-
Sj.l ~ i', sity of Miami. He knew all about "bad
Js tI '" words," but he didn't believe that any
Z words were truly "bad." As for percep-
Se u tions? Well, the man just didn't give a
fuck. He cared about proper usage of
curse words.
I learned that using "bad words" too
often was not a good idea because it
cheapened the effect of the words and
lessened their impact. That mattered.
In Biscayne Park or surrounding
areas, I never got in trouble for swearing.
o be upset and I yawned. The But I also did not fraternize with people
not seem satisfied. who believe language censorship is one
told you he wouldn't care," I of life's top priorities.
as I gathered my book bag. I Yet I'll be damned, as I have unin-
mug smile and walked out. tentionally run into the same language

er didn't care because he was
taught me all the curse words

Continued on page 25


Alex Saa 305-495-8712

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Foul Mouth
Continued from page 24

problem up here in Binghamton, New
York, or what I call the Merciless Frozen
Tundra, MFT. I was recently repri-
manded for my foul mouth. And sinks
played a part once more, as this time my
hair colorist played Ms. Spatafora in the
dirty-word drama.
I get my hair done at a salon in the
city which is quite gritty, actually -
by a woman who is covered in tattoos,
worked as a stripper, had a job in a porn
shop, and used to hang by hooks in a
circus. None of this mattered to me. She
happens to be an okay colorist. But the
last time I went in, Bea told me I had to
"tone it down."
I thought she must have been talking
about my hair. No. She was referring to
my language.
"It's just, well," Bea said as she poked
at a piece of foil on top of my damp head.
"It's not cool. All those f-bombs."
F-bombs? Was she serious?
I stared at her in the mirror, which
reflected, apparently, not just a gloppy
mess of red pigment that used to be

my hair, but a person (me) who uttered
something called an "f-bomb."
"What?" was the best I could imme-
diately muster.
I thought back to my salon in the
Biscayne Corridor, the one with the man-
datory French Maid costumes and sexy
themed days. I could not begin to count
the "f-bombs" that detonated in that
salon. And in that moment, I realized
just how far I was from home.
"You know," Bea said, dipping her
brush in a stained cup, "we try to keep
this place classy and professional. We
have some older ladies come in here.
Some church ladies! They would faint
at that language! It's okay if certain
customers are here."
I looked around. Seconds before my
reprimand, an "older lady" had smiled at
me while looking up from her magazine.
Did she go to church? Did she worship
at the altar of the Filthy Mouth and Con-
taminated Soul?
I remained speechless, but I was
thinking along these lines: What hap-
pened to "The customer is always right?"
How much younger than me is this
tattooed little bitch? And then: What

happened to "Respect your elders?"
What did I even say? I listened to the
music playing and the hair dryers whirl-
ing. How could anyone hear me talking
anyway? Are there kids around? No. I
had already checked for that. And of
course ultimately: Who the fuck cared?
The answer was that Bea cared.
Thousands of miles away and years later,
I had stumbled onto an inked-up version
of Ms. Spatafora.
I thought about walking out. One
problem: It was characteristically 19
degrees outside, and I looked like some-
thing from Planet Zar with my foiled,
wet, half-colored head. Damned MFT.
So as usual I tried to talk it out. "But
Bea," I said, "I don't understand the
problem. I'm your client. It's not you
saying, um, f-bombs."
"Yes," Bea continued, twirling a
piece of wet hair in her gloved hand
and placing it atop my head, "but I have
a sinus infection, so if I can hear you,
anyone can. Plus what you do reflects on
me and the entire salon, really."
Oh? I stared at her and chewed my lip.
"Look," she continued, "I had a guy
in here once. He used to scream horrible,

horrible things across the salon. So I
finally told him I couldn't do his hair
here anymore. He was not appropriate
for the salon."
Again, I sat speechless. What was this?
A threat? Now I was not appropriate?
Sensing my seething, she gave me a
friendly pat on the shoulder. "Wendy," she
continued, "it's not a big deal. I don't care!
It's just, ya know, tone it down is all."
Oh really? So now Bea is a colorist, a
judge of character, and a liar.
She sauntered away to check on
another client.
I was pissed. My heart was pounding
in my head. But something else was hap-
pening as well. I was sent to the prin-
cipal's office once. For kissing a boy in
the second grade. And this was the same
feeling I had back then: shame.
Shame. Perhaps the dirtiest word of all.
Bea finished my hair, and messed
up my highlights in the process. But
that's not why I never returned. I
don't want a lecture. And if shame is
involved, I'd better at least get a kiss
for my troubles.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com




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You've Got Mail Lots and Lots of It

Are you in Steve Hagen's address book? Should you be?

By Erik Bojnansky
Special to BT

teve Hagen isn't pitching subscrip-
tions, pretending he's Nigerian
royalty, or offering you a job as a
telemarketer. But his barrages of e-mails
to civic-minded Miamians still get him
pegged by some as a nuisance which
is unfortunate, his fans say.
"He can be very irritating," concedes
Greg Bush, a founder of the Urban Envi-
ronment League, history professor at the
University of Miami, and one of Hagen's
admirers. "He sends so many damn
e-mails, and sometimes he needs to edit
himself a little more."
"He can type about 75 words a minute,
but [his mind] moves at 190 words a
minute," laughs Coconut Grove activist
and Miami Neighborhoods United member
Nina West. "He has all kinds of spelling
mistakes. He's lousy at that. And he doesn't
put in periods or commas."
However, those who direct Hagen's
missives straight to the trash bin may be
missing some valuable substance in the
deluge of Hagen-speak. His most recent
crusade, for example, raises troubling
questions about how two local museums

From his home office in Belle Meade, Steve Hagen keeps you informed,
whether you like it or not.

are proceeding in a drive to create
new facilities for themselves. Hagen
believes the Miami Art Museum and
the Miami Museum of Science are not
being forthright about their fundraising
campaigns to build fancy new homes on
an eight-acre chunk of Bicentennial Park
in downtown Miami.
"According to a reliable source, the
museums have essentially no money in
their capital campaign accounts," Hagen
wrote in a recent e-mail to BT and some

two dozen others. "Pledges are not very
much either... We are in year two, I think,
of their capital campaigns...What they have
raised, they have spent on consultants..."
So where does that leave the build-
ing drive? And assuming it goes forward,
who will really end up paying for it?
Hagen, typically, is better at asking ques-
tions than answering them.
The controversy goes back to 2004,
when Miami-Dade voters approved
a $553 million bond measure, which,

among other things, committed the
county to providing $100 million for a
new Miami Art Museum (MAM) and
$175 million for a new Museum of
Science. But the deal was that MAM's
board of directors was supposed to raise
more than $120 million on its own for
its project, and the science museum's
board would similarly come up with at
least $100 million. That was before the
economy went south.
Hagen thinks the museums do not
have the money to kick in their share,
and he isn't shy about sharing his views
with anyone who'll listen. He also criti-
cizes what he sees as MAM's profligate
spending practices. According to the
museum's tax returns from 2005 and
2006, MAM invested $55,708 in lobby-
ing governments, paid $286,397 in 2006
to hire Terence Riley as the museum's
executive director, and spent $1.8 million
on "professional fees."
"Big sucking sound, as Ross Perot
would say, as the fees leave Miami,"
Hagen wrote in a January e-mail. "Ques-
tion is: Are they [MAM] going to raise their
150 million... Or are we Miami taxpayers

Continued on page 27

Gender Bender Quick Surrender

By Erik Bojnansky
Special to BT

omeday Leroy Griffith is going to
get it right. Someday the owner
of the Boulevard Theater at 7770
Biscayne Blvd. will find the right combi-
nation of striptease specialists, burlesque
acts, or X-rated movies, and Griffith will
stop experimenting with the formula,
like a frustrated interior designer moving
furniture around in a showroom.
In the meantime the veteran adult-
entertainment impresario is at it again
- as local civic leaders, once eager to
shut the place down, look on with world-
weary indifference. Griffith recently
switched again, from nude women back
to scantily clad men. The venue has been
re-re-christened At the Boulevard, and
it celebrated its grand re-re-opening on
Valentine's Day weekend. Three nights a
week, it's where the boys are.

ladies didn't draw crowds to the Boulevard Theater so it back to boys

"It was doing really good before,"
says Griffith, referring to a previous
incarnation of At The Boulevard that ex-
isted six months ago until he decided
to shut it down and convert the landmark
theater to a traditional strip club called
Club Madonna II. (Madonna I is his adult
club on South Beach.)
Griffith has owned the Boulevard
Theater since 1971, transforming the
single-screen, family-oriented movie
house into a burlesque theater and,
later, a triple-X cinema. In recent
times, the Boulevard has switched
from a nightclub with female strip-
pers to a nightclub with male strip-
pers so many times that, during an
interview with BT, even Griffith had
trouble keeping track.
Last year he leased the club to a
group that ran Black Gold, a strip club
aimed at African-American men. When

that tanked, he tried a gay format, which
he says had a respectable following. But
he was lured back to female strippers
after talking to a guy with an impressive
adult-entertainment r6sum6 who prom-
ised him a quality operation.
Griffith then left town for a vacation.
When he returned, Griffith says, he paid
the club a visit. That "quality operation"
amounted to six lonely dancers. He shut
down Madonna II after only two weeks
of operation.
Griffith says he has now sunk
another $200,000 into renovations, in-
cluding expanding the main dance floor.
He has kept a small porno theater in
the complex but removed a parking fee,
lowered the price of admission, and
added drink specials. "I hope it works,"
he says of the latest incarnation. "Who
knows what will happen down the
road? That's up to neighborhood."

Fran Rollason, president of the
MiMo Biscayne Association and a Belle
Meade resident, is pretty much resigned
to the Boulevard being an adult venue in
one form or another. "I have to be quite
honest with you, I really don't even pay
attention," she says, "They're just there.
It would be really nice if something else
were there, like an independent film
cinema. But whatever he wants to do -
it's his building."
Griffith apparently isn't through ex-
perimenting, though. He's open to using
the theater as a nightclub without naked
dancers. How about jazz nights at the
Boulevard, or a Minsky-style burlesque
theater, with comedians, chorus girls,
vaudeville acts? "Maybe we can get
Jackie Mason," he jokes.
Maybe he could. No joke.

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March 2009


Still Waiting for the Train

By Terence Cantarella
BT Contributor

outh Florida, like many densely
populated metro regions around
the nation, is planning to expand
commuter-rail transit in an effort to curb
traffic congestion, create jobs, lower
emissions, and reduce fuel dependence.
The only problem, say many Biscayne
Corridor residents, is that it's not happen-
ing fast enough.
Some 50 people showed up at the
Miami Shores Country Club on the
evening February 12 for the Florida
Department of Transportation's "Phase 2
Kick-off Meeting" of their South Florida
East Coast Corridor study. The study,
launched in 2005, has been examining
the possibility of adding passenger trains
to the Florida East Coast Railway.
The railway (known as the FEC) runs
along the coast from Miami to Jacksonville,
and then connects to other railroads that
head north up the Eastern Seaboard. But
the southernmost 85-mile stretch, which
roughly parallels U.S. 1 from downtown
Miami (Biscayne Boulevard) to West Palm

Biscayne Corridor residents to FDOT: Yes! And please hurry!
st Beach, passes through the centers of 28
st South Florida cities, making it an obvious
st candidate for commuter-rail services and
the focus of FDOT's study.
Built by oil and hotel magnate Henry
Flagler in the late 19th Century, the FEC
played a major role in Florida's develop-
ment, bringing goods and people to the
once inaccessible southern end of the
th t peninsula. But competition from cars,
th St affordable air travel, and problems posed
by a workers' strike brought passenger
th t service to an abrupt end in 1968, and the
00th t railroad has carried nothing but freight
ever since. Reinstating passenger service
th St today, says FDOT, would not only ease
9th St north-south traffic congestion on 1-95
71st St and U.S. 1, but also improve the quality
E 61st St of life along the corridor.
E 54th St
The gathering in Miami Shores, one
of 11 meetings in the tri-county area over
E 29th St the past five weeks, was part of an effort
by FDOT to involve the public as they
19th St move toward deciding things like transit
8th St technologies, routes, station locations,
vernment Center and possible connections to Tri-Rail in
the west. Attendees had an opportunity to
examine project illustrations, mingle with

project reps, and ask questions following
a half-hour presentation.
Sue Gibbons of Gannett Fleming, the
consulting firm working on the rail study,
began the evening with these prophetic
words: "If you think congestion is bad today,
there's an enormous amount of growth that's
going to take place between now and 2030,
and it's only going to get worse."
Within the 100-foot-wide FEC corridor,
she explained, there's room for up to five
tracks, so a combination of local, express,
and even inter-city Amtrak trains is pos-
sible. But she cautioned, "In the very best
of circumstances, it's going to be six years
or more before we actually have service
running anywhere on this corridor and
probably many more years than that before
the whole plan is implemented."
That timeline frustrated Miami
Shores resident John Van Leer, who
stood up and stated, "I'd really like to
ride on this system before I die."
Scott Seeburger, project manager at
FDOT, noted that securing funding for
the project is a major cause of the delay.

Continued on page 26

Hidden in Plain View: An Architectural Gem
In the heart of North Miami, a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright

By Christian Cipriani
Special to BT

If you drive too fast along NE 125th
Street in North Miami, you may very
well miss an architectural landmark
- the Mortgage Corporation of America
Building at 1125 NE 125th, a structure that
has captured the imagination for nearly 40
years. The building is again up for sale after
being purchased in 2007 by Salerno Hold-
ings. Salerno's principals, Donato and Vito
Carretta, were as interested in the architec-
ture as the investment, but after picking it
up for $4.25 million, they're now asking
$7 million, though in a tumbling real
estate market. As the Carrettas search for a
buyer, the BT caught up with the building's
architect, Carson Bennett Wright, for a trip
down memory lane.
Designed in 1971, the building's
style remains as arresting as it is tough to
classify: Towering, hand-laid walls made
from 167 tons of Tennessee River boulders,

and 15,000 board feet
of imported Honduran
mahogany establish a
visual weight that far
exceeds the four-story
layout. Dark wood per-
vades the design in
window frames, doors,
interior woodwork, and .
overhangs that extend i
at least six feet from the _..
roof of each floor.
The lines evoke the
geometric balance of
Japanese temples and
the cantilevered lines
of that other famous
Wright Frank Lloyd
Wright. While there's no Designed by
relation, Carson Wright Miami landn
says his namesake Wright Fr
forerunner was a huge
influence, from prominent horizontals to
allowing the aesthetic to permeate every

SCarson Bennett Wright, this North
nark evokes the style of a more famous
ank Lloyd.

detail to designing in harmony with the site.
It stands as a worthy homage to the master.

"We used lots of organic materials and put
C a huge emphasis on landscaping" says Wright.
"The Honduran mahogany, for instance, contains
Snatual preservatives and still looks great today."
- Wright designed the building to host
Sthe headquarters of Miami millionaire Tom
Ireland's Mortgage Corporation of America,
Q and soon after completion, the structure col-
lected virtually every design and landscape
award around. "Tom wanted a building with
real identity," Wright recalls. "And it gave me
a chance to express architecture as a mixture
of art and science. It takes an investor-owner
who's looking way beyond the dollar to
contribute something lasting to the commu-
nity. We've lost that today everyone wants
boxes that are all about money."
The stone-and-wood theme is pre-
served throughout the interior at 1125,
and in most office suites the finishes
remain intact. Four decades of wear on
the brass-and-mahogany front doors
Continued on page 26

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Continued from page 25

"The hang-up is that we're trying to cap-
ture federal money, which eats up a lot of
time." The federal government will fund
up to 50 percent of the project, he said,
and FDOT's protracted studies are neces-
sary in order to comply with complicated
federal regulations. With an estimated
project cost of $4 to $10 billion, federal
money will be essential.
ANorth Miami resident named Mike
suggested, "The length of time you're spend-
ing to get federal money is kind of rankling. Is
there anything we can do to push this?"
"Talk to your local officials," See-
burger said. "If the local community
really wants it, there's going to have to
be a sharing of the cost." In other parts
of the country where rail systems are in
place, he said, citizens have been willing
to pay for it. So a dedicated source of
local funding will need to be secured.
Mention of local funding rubbed some
raw nerves in the room. Miami-Dade
implemented a half-cent sales tax back in
2002 to fund new transportation projects,
but nearly half of the $800 million collect-
ed so far has been squandered, and the new
projects never materialized. "I don't think

Back to the future: FEC's "Havana
Special" to Miami, ca. 1930.

you realize how badly burned people are,"
said one Upper Eastside resident. "We paid
money and expected things, and through
corruption we lost everything."
The biggest question of the night, though,
was whether the FEC project would receive
any money from Florida's $12.2 billion share
of President Barack Obama's economic
stimulus plan "The short answer," Seeburger
said, "is no. We won't have anything ready to
go to construction within the time frame that
the stimulus demands."
On a positive note, Seeburger
mentioned that he has worked on several
large transportation projects and has
never seen the level of support that exists



The last FEC passenger train
heads for Miami, July 30, 1968.

for the FEC project.
Approximately 96 proposed station
locations are currently on the table for
the tri-county region, and so far only the
Village of Miami Shores has expressed no
interest. "They don't want a station," said
Ric Katz, an FDOT consultant. "They don't
want noise from horns or any more com-
motion in their city than they already have,
and I think we can accommodate that."
The effects of commuter trains on
minority and historic neighborhoods, as
well as on parks, trails, and wetlands
along the corridor will also be taken
into consideration in this new, second
phase of FDOT's study. "We're going

to rock and roll to get through Phase 2,"
Seeburger enthused. "We should have a
decision [about the project's viability] by
spring of next year."
Bob Powers, president of the Upper East-
side's Palm Grove Neighborhood Association,
questioned why there were no representatives
from the FEC at the meeting. "I'm furious
that you can even say to me that it's going to
be another six years.... You could put tmins
on there tomorrow and people would use
them. The next time you do this, I'd really
like to see a rep from the FEC here to say
whether they're onboard or not."
Seeburger responded, "If there's
something that makes a lot of sense and
it's not happening, it's not because there's
a conspiracy, it isn't because people aren't
doing their jobs. The fight over money is
constant, even in boom times."
Overall residents displayed a mix
of impatience and enthusiasm for the
project. The BT's January cover story,
which took an in-depth look at the FEC
railroad and the FDOT study, bore the
title "Waiting for the Train." The gather-
ing in Miami Shores clearly showed that
Biscayne Corridor residents are not only
waiting, they're eager to climb aboard.

Feedback: letterst@biscaynetimes.com

Continued from page 25

is evident from the outside, but inside,
the design's concentric rectangles
still catch the light in deep caramel
tones. Likewise, swooping, concentric
wooden Vs emanate from angled lamps
the length of the main hallway, and the
elevator retains its intricately carved
doors. The project remains one of
Wright's favorites, and holds a special
place in his heart.
"My affection for that building is a
very decent, pure love affair," he says.
"It's actually how I met my wife. My
first wife had passed away and I had two
small children, and Tom Ireland had a
friend who wanted to meet the architect.
She and I were set up on a blind date, and
30 years later we're still married."
The Mortgage Corporation of Ameri-
ca building was the start of a decade-plus
period in which Wright applied his touch
to a number of commercial and residen-
tial designs around Miami. In 1972 he
was hired to design the retirement home
of chemical engineer Paul Vaughan, who
had invented a mechanism that dispenses
plastic wrap, and Wright recalls the day

he walked into the office
flush with $22 million after
selling his company.
"I'll never forget it,"
Wright recounts. "Paul told
me that he spent his whole
life being an ordinary work-
ing guy, and he wanted this
house to be extraordinary."
The result was a
12,000-square-foot waterfront
mansion on Arvida Parkway
in Gables Estates. Vaughan
lived out his retirement in his
dream home, passing away
shortly before the next buyer
razed it in 1993. Like the
Mortgage Corporation build-
ing, Vaughan's house also
used Honduran mahogany,
copper, enormous glass
panels, and six railroad cars
of hand-laid, sand-colored
river stone. The house was
described by the Miami
Herald as "one-of-a-kind...a
mix of jutting angles and sloping planes."
According to Wright, the house
was designed so that every vantage
point looked down at the water,

creating a sense that there was no
separation between the resident and
the bay. As with his work on Tom
Ireland's building, Wright's design

vision permeated the interior, bring-
ing his palette of materials to a
handmade wine cellar; glass, brass,
and mahogany double doors; ma-
hogany planters; and stone fireplaces
- most of which was salvaged before
the home's cumbersome destruction.
"The demolition company almost went
bankrupt trying to take that house
down," says Wright with pride. "It
was all poured concrete and very
sturdy. The demolition was painful
for me because I put so much passion
into designing it. I guess you could
say that the house died with Paul."
Carson Wright is still a practic-
ing architect, managing partner of
the Tampa office of Schwab Twitty &
Hanser, and he's grateful to still be in
demand: "I've been blessed that I've
been able to do what I love the most -
design buildings."
The days of river rocks by the
trainload and heavy beams imported
from tropical jungles may be gone, but
Wright's work has left an indelible im-
pression on Miami's architectural land-
scape, in particular at 1125 NE 125th St.

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March 2009


Continued from page 26

throwing dollars down a rat hole?"
According to Michael Spring, direc-
tor of cultural affairs for Miami-Dade
County, two things need to happen before
the museums can proceed with their proj-
ects: They have to nail down long-term
leases with the City of Miami for the
Bicentennial Park land (the museums are
reportedly negotiating 99-year arrange-
ments), and they need to raise their share
of the capital.
"They have to have enough money
to pay for the entire project," says Spring,
who adds that he has been following the
museums' fundraising efforts very closely
and only releases bond money to them
when they document expenditures related
to their future homes at Bicentennial, or
Museum Park, as it may one day be called.
According to a county manager's report,
MAM has taken in $14.88 million of $45
million pledged by would-be donors, "all
of which has been expended on project
costs to date." No new financial updates
have been received by the science museum
since last year, when it reported raising
$1.8 million, Spring says. (Officials from
MAM and the Museum of Science did not
return BT's calls seeking clarification.)
Museum Park skeptics, Greg Bush
included, doubt the county's ability to
track the funds collected by the museums,
raising the specter of another project
like the performing arts center, which
was 20 months late in opening and more
than $100 million over budget. "It really
needs to be looked at a lot more," Bush
says. "They're getting advances on
money from the county bond issue. We
can't walk away from that."
A county commission committee last
month recommended another $8.4 million
disbursement to MAM from the bond
money for design costs. However, Com-
missioner Sally Heyman added language
requiring that unspent funds be returned to
the county in the event the museums are
not built. The allocation has been delayed
in order to give all 13 commissioners more
time to review the proposal.
Hagen, a 15-year resident of Belle
Meade now retired from his business
importing art and goods from Indone-
sia, isn't just an e-mail crusader on the
subject of museums in a waterfront park.
He's been vociferous in opposition to a
publicly funded Marlins stadium, to high-
rise projects along the Biscayne Boule-
vard and the 79th Street corridors, to the

proliferation of billboards and advertis-
ing murals, and to the slashing of trees
by developers. He's also been a relentless
advocate for additional park space.
Says Greg Bush: "I gained a great
deal of respect for him and his research
on issues."
Albert Ruder, now a Bay Harbor
Islands councilmember, headed Miami's
parks department for 14 years. "I think he
is an outstanding citizen," Ruder says. "He
is very well informed and does outstanding
research. Every time he got involved with
an issue, it was never to benefit himself but
for the benefit of community."
Adds Miami Commissioner Marc
Sarnoff, a supporter of Museum Park: "He
[Hagen] taught me a lot of what I know
about parks, how much acreage we need
for parks and how many we're lacking."
Hagen often points out that the City of
Miami is dead last in the United States when
it comes to recreational open space. "We
currently have about 3.4 acres per thousand
residents, or 148 square feet per person," he
wrote in an e-mail to the city's Planning Ad-
visory Board. "Yes this number puts Miami
at the bottom of all medium and high density
cities. If we doubled our space we would still
be last. If we tripled it we would rise just one
slot on the list of cities."
"Great cities have great spaces to
walk around in," Hagen says, adding that
parks not only give locals and tourists a
place to decompress but also to interact
with one another. "It's an opportunity to
rub shoulders with someone."
When city officials opted for the Museum
Park idea in 2003, consuming more than a
quarter of Bicentennial's 29 acres, Hagen
weighed in as an opponent of the $553 mil-
lion bond issue, which also promised new
libraries and schools. But the measure passed
easily, along with seven other bond issues -
a grand total of $2.9 billion
"They [museum supporters] basi-
cally drove the bus afterward," Bush says.
"Park advocates really had no say. Steve,
to his credit, examined the [plans] care-
fully. He has held their feet to the fire."
Hagen continues stoking that fire, and
overloading countless e-mail inboxes. His
recent communiques accuse Miami offi-
cials of being outright lawbreakers, arguing
that the Carollo Amendment, spearheaded
by former mayor Joe Carollo, requires a
public referendum prior to major devel-
opment within a public park. "They're
violating the law," Hagen fumes. "There is
supposed to be a vote by the people."

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March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Biscayne Crime Beat

Compiled by Derek McCann

Boulevard Trinity
100 Block ofNE 73rd Street
Jalousie windows are an aesthetically
pleasing Miami staple, but they are anach-
ronisms too. A church was closed up by
a member one evening. All doors were
locked and all windows secured. Some-
one still managed to enter the church and
stole several items. The thief gained entry
through the back jalousie windows the
same windows that had been manipu-
lated several months earlier (and featured
in "Crime Beat") when another burglary
occurred at this church. Miami denizens
are warned to lose the jalousies or risk
becoming a future item in this monthly
crime report. This church, it appears, may
be going for the trifecta.

Snake of a Man Strikes Hard
Upper Eastside
A female cashier needed to use the bath-
room, so she left her station, which she
thought she had locked, and disappeared


from view for three minutes. During
those three minutes, a mystery man
crawled on the floor to avoid detec-
tion and opened the cash register with
his right hand, stealing $300. He then
crawled out the door. There is video of
this slithering scrounger, but at press
time no arrests have been made.

The Limits of Charity
A Good Samaritan saw a seemingly
hungry woman and offered to feed her.
She brought the poor woman to her apart-
ment and told her to stay outside as she
prepared something for her to eat. The
famished female gained some spunk and

entered the apartment anyway, uninvited,
and gathered the audacity to remove a
20-dollar bill from a coffee table. Hell
broke loose and an old-fashioned chase
through the apartment complex ensued.
With the assistance of a neighbor, the
starving woman was tackled just as she
began to climb a 12-foot fence. Police ar-
rived and found the offending woman on
the ground and the victim yelling, "Give
me my money!" The defendant offered a
feeble excuse and returned the bill. Police
then arrested her. This "charity" incident,
Biscayne Corridor residents should know,
occurred in at least six different forms in
this month's reports.

On the Trail of Another
Criminal Genius
700 Block ofNE 64th Street
Victim legally evicted her boyfriend
one week earlier and had taken his key.
On this night, he did not need a key.
He kicked in the bathroom window

Continued on page 31

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Crime Beat
Continued from page 30
(which was locked) and entered the
apartment, ransacking and vandal-
izing it, while stealing several items,
including a plasma television. But this
dolt left his wallet at the scene! He
was later arrested at a local pawnshop
trying to hawk that plasma television.

Travails of a
Walgreens Shopper
3103 Biscayne Blvd.
Shopping at Walgreens in Miami can
be a frustrating experience owing to
the heavy volume of customers, but at
the very least you can remain some-
what autonomous by using your own
shopping cart. This victim took that to
heart, placing his briefcase in his cart.
While shopping, he briefly walked
away from the cart (typical Boulevard
victim behavior), only to return and
find the cart and briefcase gone. There
are no leads save for a fuzzy image of
a man casually striding away with the
goods. Miami's true credo: "Here one
second, gone the next."

Reefer Madness
Menaces Miami
200 Block ofNE 20th Street
Victim arranged for sex on a chat line and
met the subject at her home, in the vestibule.
Apparently the agreement was marijuana for
sex. (Weed whore?) While they engaged in
Clintonian sexual relations, the woman asked
for actual intercourse, which the victim (?)
refused. At this time the victim was pushed
out the door and locked out of the home, sans
marijuana. When police arrived, the subject
refused to interrupt her green day, and did
not answer the door. NORML would need to
sort this one out.

Felony Dumb
Morningside Park
On a beautiful Miami day, a woman
decided to spend some quality time at the
park. She impulsively decided she wanted
a little exercise, so she went for a run. She
placed her purse on a park bench, left it un-
attended, and then did her little jog. When
she returned, the purse, of course, was
missing. Miami's Finest still answered the
call. Next time, she might want to spend
that beautiful day on her couch.

I Want Your Sex, but I'll
Settle for Your Watch
Club Space
Victim was outside the club, eating a
hotdog, when a nymphomaniac of a
woman walked up to him. She aggres-
sively began grabbing his body in places
the man found none too comfortable.
(He was just not that into her.) He pushed
her away, but as he did he felt her hand
on his wrist. Shaken by the sexual high
jinks, he did not notice she was stealing
his watch. Efforts to locate the wanton
coquette were not successful.

Secure All Sticky
5900 Block ofBiscayne Boulevard
Opportunists will steal just about
anything. This victim had his annual
vehicle-registration decal stolen from
his car's license plate. It was meticu-
lously peeled off by the perpetrator and
probably sold on the decal black market
for crack. There is no foolproof way to
secure such a decal, so just pray this
does not happen to you.

A Hirsute Case of He Said,
She Said
600 Block ofNE 36th Street
Victim claims her ex-boyfriend from two
years ago attacked her after she opened
her door. He pulled her hair and said, "I'm
going to kill you." She fought him off.
However, the alleged perpetrator's story is
that she attacked him, ripping out a hunk of
his chest hair and threatening to kill him.
Hair samples from both were found at the
scene, lending credence to both versions.
In what may have been a toss of the coin,
police arrested the man.

After Two Years, Time to
File that Police Report
200 Block ofNE 82nd Terrace
A woman had applied for a job at a record
store and had given her passport to the
manager as proof of identity. Two years
passed and the passport was not returned.
("Crime Beat" is unsure if she ever asked
for it back.) Victim filed a report because
she now "believes it was stolen." For police,
this was a cold case from the first day.

Feedback: letters@abiscaynetimes.com

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March 2009

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The Book As Artwork

What happens when artists

By Victor Barrenechea
BT Contributor

Anew medium will soon be avail-
able to select Miami artists: the
printed page. At least it will
be if [NAME] Publications has its way.
The publishing house intends to release
four books this year, each showcasing a
single Miami artist, giving him or her
the opportunity to branch out into new
modes of expression.
[NAME] is the brainchild of artist/
writer Gean Moreno, a winner of the
James L. Knight Foundation's Knight
Arts Challenge. His is just one of the
many community arts projects made
possible by grants from the Knight
Foundation in Moreno's case, $30,000,
a sum that must be matched by another
funding source. Moreno is confident
the grant money will be matched, and
he plans to expand his project over the
next five years to include a total of 20
books, each created by a Miami artist.
Artists chosen for this year include
Daniel Newman, Beatriz Monteavaro,
and Clifton Childree, as well as William
Cordova and the BASE collective.
Moreno (i..CllInOInoiI (r la loilkli conni
has been a fixture on the local art scene
since the late 1990s, known for creating
art that has been exhibited internationally.
He's also known for his extensive writing
on the arts. In addition, he's had a hand in
curating numerous shows, and for years
was closely associated with exhibits at the
alternative art space Locust Projects.
"I've always done curatorial and
organizational things," says Moreno,
and for him [NAME] is just an exten-
sion of that. "A long time ago I stopped

create books? We 'll soon find out

^ *^tedjc^^ Z'

Online image from Daniel Newman's WWW.

making the distinction between creat-
ing and writing," he says, hinting at the
line-blurring, media-hopping approach
that will inform [NAME]. But Moreno
does not plan to publish his own work
as part of this endeavor, nor does he
expect mere artist monographs. As he
puts it: "I think of it almost as a design
project, where you create a system and
you let people do whatever they want.
Inside these structures, there's kind of
no restrictions."
The only restrictions for each book
will be a page count of 80 to 100, and
dimensions of six-by-nine inches. Artists
essentially will have a blank slate upon

which to work. Moreno's only job is to
choose who gets to release a book. From
there it's up to the artists.
For instance, if someone wants to
glue all the pages together and release
it that way, so be it. The cover designs
will be as minimal and unobtrusive as
possible, including edition number, the
[NAME] logo, and the artist's own name.
The rest will be left to the bookmaker's
imagination. Even within that broad
framework, things are negotiable, ac-
cording to Moreno. "If an artist comes
up with this great way to undermine the
design, that would be fantastic too," he
says. "The whole idea is to have this

space where people can do what they
want to do."
The first book, WWWby artist
Daniel Newman, should be out in May. A
longtime underground Miami mainstay,
Newman uses a wide array of media, from
painting to sculpture to video, and now
books. The multi-tasking artist, who is
busy with an upcoming solo exhibition
in Los Angeles as well as the [NAME]
project, reveals that his will be a book
about the Internet. The original idea was to
create a reference volume that would cata-
logue oddities found on the World Wide
Web, but it has morphed into a massive un-
dertaking that hopes to convey a snapshot
of this moment in our digital age.
"There's a book that made an im-
pression on me that I came across re-
cently," says Newman. "It's titled The
Complete Compendium of Universal
Knowledge." Published in 1895, it was
written by William Ralston Balch, who
sought to compile all knowledge of the
universe into one digestible read, a feat
the Internet has come much closer to
Newman describes WWW as the
Compendium's "red-headed stepchild."
In an effort to model itself on The Com-
plete Compendium, Newman's WWW
will include text and images, most lifted
directly from the Web, that highlight
curious items, strange stories, hoaxes,
and other forms of Web misinformation,
presented in a stream-of-consciousness
manner designed to mirror the mechan-
ics of the Internet itself.
Newman may be no stranger to
producing work in written form (he has

Continued on page 31


: .

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Continued from page 30
created a handful of small-circulation
zines, manifestos, even a book of poetry),
but he freely admits that the [NAME]
project is taking him outside his comfort
zone. "This is a different situation for sure,"
he acknowledges. "The book opened a
number of doors for other ideas, too."
The book as artwork appears to be a
novel concept for Miami. Even Moreno
admits he's never seen anything quite like
his project here. BuI it s also in the spirit of
a lot of things that have happened in Miami,"
he adds, citing some of Miami's laissez-faire
alternative spaces such the Bas Fisher Invita-
tional and Locust Projects. Both these spaces
have given artists the freedom to experiment
and produce work that would probably never
be accepted in more commercial galleries.
For example, last summer filmmak-
er Clifton Childree was offered free
run of the Locust space and given two
months to create whatever he wanted.
He ended up with an installation called
Dream-Cum-Tru, in which he trans-
formed the space into a meticulously
detailed replica (in miniature) of an

Clifton Childree: For his book, he's
planning an audio component
from local noise artists.

abandoned amusement park, with his
films interspersed throughout. He says
he's finding similar creative freedom
while working on his upcoming book,
tentatively titled Black Licorice.
"With Clifton, I kind of didn't know
what a Clifton book would look like,

h J
Gean Moreno sees [NAME] as a
design project.

and I thought that would be interesting,"
Moreno explains.
Children's project is still inthe planning
stages, but he does say he's beenthinking about
surrealist Max Ernst, and imagines a multime-
diabook that would use two-minute snippets of
noise, createdby noise-music artists assembled
by Childree andRatBastard, aveteranMiami

noisemaker. Each succeeding artist would
create his own sound segment after listening
to a ten-second sample of the preceding artist's
work. A CD would be included with the book
to accompany Childice's illustrations.
With a going price of $15, and print
runs of 1000 each, each [NAME] book will
have a chance of reaching larger audiences
than a single painting or sculpture displayed
temporarily in a gallery. Newman believes
the books will provide "the opportunity for
some really great artists from the swamp to
reach out beyond. Books are eternal. They
carry a life of their own"
Many art-related books, printed in very
limited numbers and priced exoibitantly, never
circulate outside of elite circles. "I didn't want to
make them like art books, like a 75 run," says
Moreno. "I want them to be out inthe wold"
Imagine stumbling across a wildly
eccentric book like WWW at some random
bookstore, having never heard of Daniel
Newman. Moreno delights in such a
scenario: "I think it's pretty amazing if
someone buys it because it's in the culture
- if it negotiates a place in the culture."

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 31

Fine Line Painting Company


March 2009

h- lL. ",, I (' I0 1




101 NE 40th St, Miami
305-573-2101, www 101exhibit com
Call gallery for exhibition information

233 NW 36th St, Miami
www abbafineart com
Through March 11
"Forces of Nature" by Suzan Woodruff
March 14 through May 5
"Zoe" by Debra Holt
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

2134 NW Miami Ct, Miami
www alejandravonhartz net
Through March 29
"Everything Is Borrowed" by Jalme Gili

2033 NW 1st PI, Miami
www amayagallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

1 NE 40th St, Miami
www artfusiongallery com
Through March 25
"Exploration of the Spirit" with various artists
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

111 NW 1st St, Suite 625, Miami
www mlamidadearts org
Through April 2 "Adopt a Masterpiece Selections from
the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places Artbank Collection"
with Carlos Alfonso, Jose Bedla, Cundo Bermudez,
Kelth Haring, Wifredo Lam, and Ed Ruscha

46 NW 36th St, Miami
www artrouge com
Through March 11 "Art of Deception abstract and
ethnic sculptures and paintings" with Terence Carr, Dee
Sands, and John LaHuls

171 NW 23rd St, Miami
www artformz net
Through March 9 "Faith, Fear, and Fortune" with PJ
Mills and Ramon Williams

561 NW 32nd St, Miami
305-576-2828, www bacfl org
March 13 through April 1
"Collective Consciousness" with Jennifer Baslle, Ingrid
Eliasson, Patricia Gutlerrez, Tina Salvesen, and Jose
Pacheco Silva
Reception March 13, 7 to 10 p.m.

4141 NE 2nd Ave #202, Miami
www artnet com/bgillman html
Call gallery for exhibition information

3550 N Miami Ave, Miami
www bemlcesteinbaumgallerycom
Through March 7 "Voom Portraits" by Robert Wilson

598 NE 77th St Miami

Through March 30
"Last Works of Maximo
Caminero and Serglo Garcla"
with Maximo Caminero and
Serglo Garcla

158 NW 91st St
Miami Shores
www cjazzart com
By appointment carol
Through March 14
"OTHERWORLD" by Guerra
de la Paz
March 20 through April 12
"Deepen / Deeper" by Asser
Saint Val Shay Kun, Never regret anything because at one time
Reception March 20, 7 to
10 p.m March 20. it was exactly what you wanted, oil on canvas, 2008,

at David Castillo Gallery.
COMMUNICATION Though March 25 "Juxtaposition" with Hubert Neal Jr,
COMMU51 NW 2h SFrancesca Lalanne, and Adrienne Chadwick
541 NW 27th St, Miaml
305-571-1415 DORSCH GALLERY
www visual org 151 NW 24th St, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information 305-576-1278
www dorschgallery com
CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY March 14 through April 4
250 NW 23rd St, Miami "Celluloid Drag some spaces between film and
305-292-0411 architecture" curated by Terrn C Smith with Gordon
www charest-welnberg com Matta-Clark, Todd McDaniel, and Ralph Provisero
Through April 4 Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.
"New Sculture" by Larry Estridge
Exhibition featuring the work of DASH students 51 NW 36th St, Miami
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m. 305-573-9994
www dotfiftyone com
2441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Bazaar" by Pancho Luna
www chelseagalleria com EDGAR ACE GALLERY
Through March 10 7520 NE 4th Ct, Miami
Walking on Air" by Gare Waltzer 305-877-2401
March 21 through April 4
DAMIEN B. CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER "Fly Away" by Bernardo Medina-Col6n
282 NW 36th St, Miami Reception March 21, 8 to 11 p.m.
March 14 through April 10 47 NE 25th St, Miami
"Sentinels" by Narbero 305-303-8852
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m. www edgezones org
March 14 through March 30
DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY "Everything Must Go" by Mideo M Cruz and Ten
2234 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Selves" by J Valdla
305-573-8110 Reception March 14, 8 to 11 p.m.
www castllloart com

"Pinched" by Tom Scicluna and "Calor" 151 NW 36th St, Miami
by Guido Albi-Marini 305-403-5856
March 14 through April 4 www eltearteditions com
"Fight or Flight" by George Sanchez-Calderon and Call gallery for exhibition information
"Opportunities Multiply As They Are Seized" by Shay Kun
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m. NE 40h St
10 NE 40th St, Miami
2043 N Miami Ave, Miami www etrafineart com
305-576-1804 Call gallery for exhibition information
www dlfinearts com FACHE ARTS
Through March 7 750 NE 124thSt, North Miami Suite 2
"Pigment Coast" by Darlo Basso 305-975-6933
March 14 though April 4 www fachearts com
"Inanimate Survey of Male Potential" by Call gallery for exhibition information
Luls M Alonzo-Barklgla and "Diagrams for a
Seismic Bioscape" by Julie Davldow FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY
Reception March 14, 7:30 to 10 p.m. 2247 NW 1st PI, Miami
3938 NE 39th St, Miami March 14 through April 4
305-573-4046 "Sculpture Without A Skin" by Yasue Maetake
www diasporavilbe net Reception March 14, 7 to 9 p.m.

174 NW 23rd St, Miami
www gallerydlet com
Through March 7
"The Best of Intentions" by Daniel Milewski
March 14 through April 4
"The Benjamin Project" by The Benjamin Project
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

62 NE 27th St, Miami
www garynader com
Call gallery for exhibition information

3326 N Miami Ave, Miami
www hardcoreartcontemporary com
Through March 7
"Daily Scenes" by Ignacio Goltla, "La Ventana Indiscreta
VI" by Alexis Perez Montero, and a group show with
various artists from Valencia
March 14 through April 4
"Squared In/Squared Out" with Pepe Lopez, Pancho
Qullicl, Claudia Bueno, Gladys Triana, Comba,
Richard Garet, and Rodolfo Agrela
"From where, what, who" by Henry Bermudez
"it tastes like chicken" by Julie Lopez
"RE-CYCLED" by Andres Michelena
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

Temporary location
314 NW 24th St, Miami
www haroldgolengallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

164 NW 20th St, Miami
www onemansho com
Through March 30
"Abstractions" by Julio Blanco

50 NE 29 St, Miami
www kelleyroygallery com
March 7 through April 25
"Waters" by Antonio Ugarte and "Rhyme Art"
by Mike Tesch
Reception March 7, 7 to 10 a.m.

2249 NW 1st PI Miami
www kevinbrukgallery com
Through April 8
"PAINTHINGS" curated by Sam Gordon
with Lecla Dole-Recio, Jake Ewert, and
Jacob Roblhcaux
"48 Hours in Miami" by Sam Gordon

3312 N Miaml Ave, Miami
www kunsthaus org mx
Call gallery for exhibition information

6900 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

105 NW 23rd St, Miami
www locustprojects org
March 14 through April 26
"transvirtual perspectives in a semi-tropical
environment" by Bartow + Metzgar
Reception March 14, 7 to 11 p.m.

Continued on page 33

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Art Listings
Continued from page 32

98 NW 29th St, Miami
www lulsadelantadomlaml corn
March 14 through May 15
"Homeless Boy" by Dario Villalba and a solo show by
Marta Maria Perez Bravo
Reception March 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

2441 NW2nd Ave, Miami
www artnet com/reltzel html
Call gallery for exhibition information

12502 NE 8th Ave, North Miami
www marofloresgallery com
Through March 20
"RED AND GRAY" with Marlo Flores and Freddy Osorio
March 27 through April 20
"GARAGE SALE" by Igor Montoya-Laske
Reception March 27, 6:30 to 11 p.m.

126 NE 40th St, Miami
www mlamlartgroup com
March 1 through June 1
"Wake Up Your Wallsl" with James Kitchens, Jeff
League, Tom Rossetti, Gall Taylor, Shawn McNulty,
Hessam, Goli Mahallati, and Gregory Deane
Reception March 14, 8 to 10 p.m.

244 NW 35th St, Miami
www miamiartspace com

Asser Saint Val, Stumpt. WE.
(1988). The endicrinology
of sunlight and darkness:
complimentary roles of vitamin
D and peneal hormones.
Naturwissenschaftern, 75, 247-251,
mixed media on masonite, 2008, at
Carol Jazzar.

Through March 27
"Cars of Cuba" by H Allen Benowitz

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

1501 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
www mymlu com
Through March 15
"A Celebration of Life Luclano Franchi de Alfaro III," a
Luclano Franchi memorial retrospective

346 NW 29th St, Miami
www museovault com
Through March 7
"Construction" by Barbara Frank
March 14 through April 15
"Non-Stop, Retrospective from the glamorous 80s"
by Sheila Ellas
Reception March 14, 6 to 10 p.m.

3100 NW 7th Ave, Miami
www oh-wow com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2450 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www panamericanart com
March 7 through April 4
Kcho and Cuban Collective
Reception March 14, 6 to 9 p.m.

2219 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www praxis-art com
Call gallery for exhibition information

81 NW 24th St, Miami
917-929-8559, www puzzlementart com
Ongoing show with Kevin Brady, Manuel Carbonell,
Nichole Chimenti, Carter Davis, Stephen Gamson,
Raquel Glottman, Jim Herbert, Jennifer Kaiser, Alex
Palva Lopez, Andy Pledilato, Tomy F Trujillo, Jonathan
"Depoe" Villoch, and Glancarlo Zavala

531 NE 82nd Terr, Miami
www spinellogallery com
Through March 31

162 NE 50 Terr, Miami
www myspace com/stashgallery
Call gallery for exhibition information

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

2020 NW Miami Ct, Miami
www twentytwentyprojects com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2200 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
Through March 7
"The Open City" by Karla Turclos
March 14 through Aprill
Tutua Boshell and Lisa Kaplowitz
Reception March 14, 6 to 10 p.m.

Continued on page 34

Hwurilcne Proof yuwu Horme _7


, ..(305)E'_ v,- 01.

-,1 F1 4KS .I it kiF

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

'che 6 0/Sail ~ kairn &a ent&c/

Your best option for successful
social and
business gatherings in the
Performing Arts District in
Downtown Miami

Complimentary parking
Full service event planning and
catering available
Special packages for weddings,
bat and bar mitzvah,
and nonprofit organizations

For more information, please call
Vivian Simo at 305-573-5900 or

Temple Israel of Greater Miami
137 NE 19 St., Miami, FL 33132

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Art Listings
Continued from page 33

2144 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
www untitled2144 com
Call gallery for exhibition information

10 NE 3rd St, Miami
www wallflowergallery com
myspace com/wallflowergallery
Call gallery for exhibition information

3322 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www whitevinylspace com
Call gallery for exhibition information


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018 N Miaml Ave, Miami
www clfo org
Call gallery for exhibition information

11200 SW 8th St, Miami
http //thefrost flu edu/
Through March 9 "Drawing in Space The Peninsula
Project Illustrated" by John Henry
Through April 4 "Simulacra and Essence The
Paintings of Lulsa Basnuevo" by Lulsa Maria Basnuevo
March 16 through April 10

"Aesthetics and Values Exhibition 2009" with
Ray Azcuy, Brian Burkhardt, Cooper, Julie
Davidow, Edouard Duval Carrie, Jacek
Kolasinskl, Mark Koven, Ralph Provisero,
Sara Stltes, and Ruben Torres-Llorca

1301 Stanford Dr, Coral Gables
www lowemuseum org
Through April 5
"Los Artes de Mexico" with various artists

101 W FlaglerSt, Miami
www mlamlartmuseum org
Through May 24
"NeoHooDoo Art for a Forgotten Faith" with
various artists
March 13 through October 11
"Recent Acquisitions" with various artists

770 NE 125th St, North Miami
www mocanoml org
March 25 through May 10
"Abstract Cinema" with various artists

404 NW 26th St, Miami Jos6
305-893-6211 Edge
www mocanomi org
Through March 21
"The Possibility of an Island" with Cory Arcangel, Davide
Balula, Tobias Bernstrup, Heman Chong, Peter Coffin,
Matlas Faldbakken, Cao Fel, Kim Fisher, Claire

/aldivia, Self, photography, 2009, at

Fontaine, K48, Chris Kraus, Crlstina Lei Rodriguez,
Nicolas Lobo, Martin Oppel, Philip (a novel written by
Mark Aerial Waller, Heman Chong, Cosmln Costinas,
Rosemary Heather, Lelf Magne Tangen, Francis

McKee, David Reinfurt, and Steve Rushton), LisI
Raskin, Julika Rudelius, and Mungo Thomson

591 NW 27th St, Miami
www margulieswarehouse com
Through April 25
"Hurma" by Magdalena Abakanowicz, "Western Union
Small Boats" by Isaac Julien, "Oil Rich Niger Delta" by
George Osodl, and "Photography and Sculpture A
Correlated Exhibition" with various artists

95 NW 29th St, Miami
www rubellfamilycollection com
Call for operating hours and exhibit information
Through May 30
"30 AMERICANS" with Nina Chanel Abney, John
Bankston, Jean-Michel Basqulat, Mark Bradford, lona
Rozeal Brown, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Noah
Davis, Leonardo Drew, Renee Green, David Hammons,
Barkley L Hendricks, Rashld 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
305-438-9908, wwwworldclassboxing org/
Through March 3 "Works Folding Out Of And In To
The Collection Of" by Alice Channer and "2ndLight" by
Paul Chan

Compiled by Victor Barrenechea
Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to
art@biscaynetimes cor


with Carmen Bradford

World-renowned jazz pianist, educator, and Dean of UM Frost School of Music, Shelly Berg will
perform with acclaimed vocalist Carmen Bradford, soloist with Count Basie and Doc Severinsen
bands, with 16 albums and 4 collaborative Grammy awards. Dancing, clapping and rejoicing are
welcome as they traverse classics, contemporary jazz and jazz standards.

Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 pm

St. Martha Church
9301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores
Meet the artists at our after-concert
reception in The Atrium, included
with your tickets.

Visit www.saintmartha.tix.com or
Call 1 -800-595-4849
or purchase at church office or at door
$10 General Admission, $20 Blue Circle
All programs are subject to change without notice

Hurricane Proof your Home



I 12 '3 r

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009

Sponsored by: in Cooperation with
ASponsored by: Piano Music Center


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Culture Briefs

Miami Time Machine
Your chances of getting past the front
door of any of the stately manses in
Morningside have probably been, until
now, slim to none. The bayfront neigh-
borhood has become something of an
exclusive preserve since James Nun-
nally, owner of a string of candy stores,
conceived of the tract in 1926. But on
Sunday, March 1, the Morningside
Civic Association throws the doors open
during this annual tour. "None of these
1920s and 1930s historically signifi-
cant gems has ever been on the home
tour before," says association president
William Hopper. Tickets are $12 in
advance at www.MorningsideTour.com
(through February 28), or $15 on the day
of the tour. For more information call

New Work on the Edge
For years the Miami Light Project has
commissioned new work from Miami's
most adventurous emerging artists as
part of it's annual "Here & Now" festival.
This year's festival features three new
performance works. With subjects that
range from bees to underwater dreams
and airborne illusions, the new pieces
premiere at the Arsht Center March 5-7.
Elizabeth Doud and Jennylin Duany's
Sipping Fury from a Teacup explores
the mysteries of apiary "colony collapse
disorder." Alexey Puig Taran takes on
the challenges of aerial dance in Symbol.
Rosie Herrera goes submarine in Various
Stages ofDrowning: A Cabaret. Perfor-
mances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the center's
Studio Theater (1300 Biscayne Blvd.).
Tickets are $20. Call 305-949-6722 or
visit www.arshtcenter.org.

Go Fly a Pifiata!
Flying kites dates back 3000 years, to
the Chinese and their slinky, dragon-
shaped aerial artworks. Since then
millions have experienced the joys of
holding a string and feeling the tug of

the wind on light-as-air constructions
of stick and paper. Take the kids outside
for some fresh air and let the winds
of the Atlantic carry their kites and
imaginations to the heavens at the 16th
Annual Kite Day on Sunday, March 8,
from noon until 5:00 p.m. at Haulover
Park (10800 Collins Ave.) There will
be activities for kite-lovers of all ages,
including competitions, kite-making
classes, and the promise of candy falling
from high-flying pifiata kites. Kite Day
is free. Participants can bring their own
kites or buy them on site. Call the park
office (305-947-3525) or Skyward Kites

Joe the Restaurant Critic
Hosted by celebrity chef and Upper
Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein,
WPBT-2's restaurant-review show Check,
Please! South Florida begins its second
season on March 9. Airing on Mondays
and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., the show is
a sort of on-the-air Zagat's Guide, with
each episode highlighting three local res-
taurants chosen by diners from all walks
of life. Restaurants can be anywhere
from the Keys to Palm Beach. While this
season's are still top secret, a number of
last year's picks were from BT terri-
tory, including River Oyster Bar, Hiro's
Yakko-San, and Uva 69. After dining
anonymously, the amateur reviewers
discuss the selected venue's pros and
cons. Fun fact: In Chicago, where Check,
Please! originated, one ic\ i\\ci" was
a relatively unknown local politician
named Barack Obama. Obama's episode
never aired because the future president
was "too thoughtful, too articulate, not
enough an amateur."

Let Them Do the Trekking
Too broke to afford a vacation? Well,
you can always let your imagination do
the hiking and biking. It's free and you
don't have to go through customs. Three

notable South Florida writers read their
stories of travel on Thursday, March 12,
at Bagua (4736 NE 2nd Ave.) as part of
the Florida Center for the Literary Arts'
Write Out Loud series. The speakers
will be Tom Swick, travel editor at the
Sun-Sentinel for 19 years, who writes
and talks about living in Alsace, Greece,
and Poland; Fabiola Santiago, an arts
and culture writer for the Miami Herald,
who'll discuss her travels from Cuba to
Paris; and former Herald columnist and
Pulitzer Prize-winner Liz Balmaseda,
who will share stories from the news-
worthy foreign fronts she has covered.
The readings, free and open to the public,
start at 7:30 p.m.

Get Spammed Friday Night
in the Park for Free!
Once again it's time for downtown office
workers to chill out to some excellent
music in a great setting on a Friday
evening forfree, thanks to the Down-
town Development Authority. On March
13 at 5:30 p.m., DJ Le Spam and the
Spam Allstars take the stage at Bayfront
Park's Tina Hills Pavilion (south end
of the park). Led by maestro Andrew
Yeomanson, the Spam Allstars have
invented an infectious, only-in-Miami
musical form that blends Latin, funk,
dance, electronic, jazz, hip hop, and
more. So spread a blanket on the lawn,
gaze up at the glittering skyscrapers, and
unwind with your office pals.

Bids on Buds by Flower
Orchids are the gemstones of the plant
world the largest family of flowering
plants, with each prized species claim-
ing its own mix of exotic color and form.
Orchid aficionados will have a bonanza
at the Exotic Orchid Auction on Monday,
March 23, sponsored by the North Dade
Orchid Club. The event will feature

more than 100 rare orchids open for bid-
ding at the McDonald Center in North
Miami Beach (17051 NE 19th St.). Doors
open at 6:30 p.m., and bidding begins
at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. Bidders
must pay with cash or checks. Free park-
ing behind the center, on NE 171st Street.
For more information contact Amy at

Jazz Cool and Uncool
Depending on
whom you talked
to in 1970, iconic
jazz trumpeter
Miles Davis's
album Bitches
Brew was either
a revolutionary
step forward
in American
music or an unwelcome descent into
the dark side. Davis's use of electric
instruments and rock rhythms had jazz
purists frothing at the mouth, though in
retrospect those who saw the genius of
the music now seem closer to the truth.
Two central players on the album, Chick
Corea and John McLaughlin, appear at
the Arsht Center as part of its Jazz Roots
series on Friday, March 27, at 8:00
p.m. Pianist Corea, a 15-time Grammy
winner, is renowned for his expansion
of the fusion style. McLaughlin shot to
fame in the 1970s with his band Mahav-
ishnu Orchestra, which blended eclectic
jazz with Eastern influences. The two
will join three artists who are stars in
their own right: saxophonist Kenny
Garrett, bassist Christian McBride, and
drummer Brian Blade. Tickets are $25-
$145 at www.arshtcenter.org.

MiMo Tastes Good
The MiMo Historic District on Saturday,
March 28, offers tasty gourmet treats as
part of Taste of MiMo. Boulevard restau-
rants deliver samples straight to you be-
tween noon and 5:00 p.m. Small dishes
ranging in price from $2 to $5 will be
available at, among other places, Le Caf6,
Ver Daddy's, Moonchine, Moshi Moshi,
Che Soprano's, Wine 69, Casa Toscana,
Kingdom, Anise Taverna, Uva 69, and
Red Light. For details call 305-609-4288
or visit www.mimoboulevard.org.

Feedback: letters@,biscaynetimes.com

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


When Is a Park Not a Park?

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

he best park in town is really

not a park at all. Despite that, it
has miles of jogging trails with
million-dollar views of Biscayne Bay.
There are actual forests of pines and
mangroves, and it offers some of the
best kayaking and bird-watching around.
Manatees and dolphins are regulars.
It may sound like mammoth Oleta
State Park, but it is actually Oleta's
conjoined twin. Together they offer one
of South Florida's largest patches of
green east of 1-95. Both are on state land.
However, only one of them is free. The
secret is now out: The best park in town
is the Biscayne Bay campus of Florida
International University.
The eastern half of FIU's 200-acre
property is more like a park than a
campus because it houses no buildings
and remains in a mostly natural state. It
is possible to explore the area for hours
without coming across anything re-
motely academic. And the best way to
experience the campus's better, greener
half is from the back-door entrance.
A new bike trail leads you down
135th Street North Miami's version
of the Champs-tlys6es and brings
you to nature's version of the Arc de
Triomphe. Giant Australian pines create
an arch above the newly marked pathway


Maae Ba, p o p aa a il i-

Manatee Beach, perfect for pets, kayaks, and wild things.

into the forest. Two footbridges cross
over idyllic canals of dark, brackish
water that reflect the silhouettes above.
This former access road at the
terminus of 135th Street is unmarked
and inaccessible to cars, which makes
it perfect for the many bike-riders, jog-
gers, and dog-walkers who visit daily.
You can hardly miss it, as the street
loops around right where it begins. The
lack of lighting makes it too spooky for

nighttime use, and
there is no security.
But in the daylight,
it is our private little
slice of paradise.
Connecting to
the access road, the
improved trail loops
around the entire
campus for nearly
four miles, but the
section along the
bay is by far the best
place to spend your
time. At one point,
the mangroves have
been cleared and
the view opens up to Wide-open spa
a circular thumb of
Biscayne Bay that is dotted with glis-
tening white yachts. I call it Manatee
Beach, and it is one of my favorite
spots in Miami. I bring my dogs here
to take a dip, though people are not
allowed to swim.
On one of my first visits to this
shore of large pebbles, I saw a huge
manatee in shallow water resting
under the shade of a mangrove. On
other visits, I have heard what sounds
like a plastic soda bottle being opened
- that's the whoosh of dolphins break-
ing the surface to exhale. I have also
witnessed barren trees crammed with

black vultures, and a single white
heron reflected in the water.
Take a few moments to search for the
smaller, less obvious creatures along the
shoreline: the hermit crabs, land crabs,
and snails in the rocks. But be prepared
for some disappointment, too. The rocks
are covered with washed-up litter.
Most of the area near the bay is clean,
wide open, rocky, and weedy. There is
not a lot of shade. For some reason, I
never see people flying kites, but I have
seen a model airplane or two.
This eastern stretch of the FIU
campus is so wide open that people
actually say hello to each other when
walking by. Call it a Miami miracle! Try
it, you'll like it.
Unlike at Oleta State Park or the nearby
spoil islands, fishing and dipping in the water
is not permitted, although it is possible to
kayak for miles. Check out the southwestern
corer to experience an impenetrable man-

ces like this are rare in Miami.

grove forest, broken up only by a few canals.
Here is another remarkable ele-
ment: 13 acres of waterfront that will
never be developed. In 2007 the City of
North Miami preserved its piece along-
side the FIU pie by creating the Arch
Creek East Environmental Preserve in
perpetuity. North Miami Councilman
Scott Galvin calls the 5-0 vote "one of
my proudest moments."
Other large sections on the public
university's land are also protected
by their status as swampy mangrove

Continued on page 37

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comMarch 2009

Park Rating

3111111 NE 15Ir Sr.
North Miamin

Picnic i.t)ble: No
B.arlcicue: No
Piciic Ipai ilioni: No
Tei ni colnrt: 1k4$
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SP iinnminll pool: YesJ
PI..la nnnld: No

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Continued from page 36

preserves, but most of the land could be
developed. FIU considered selling some
of its valuable waterfront property to pri-
vate developers a few years ago, but Gov.
Jeb Bush quashed the proposal. Any
development here requires state approval,
and the state wants it reserved only for
educational purposes.
Given that this state land is free to
visit, it is easy to overlook its shortcom-
ings. The litter embedded in the shore-
line rocks is disheartening. The towering,
shady trees are actually invasive Austra-
lian pines that crowd out native species.
Invasive Brazilian pepper plants are also
common. The bugs can be insufferable
at times, and as isolated as the area may
be, it is still too close to the crazy people
of Miami to feel completely safe.
But these transgressions are forgiv-
able, because the Biscayne Bay campus
gives the community something it really
lacks: wide-open spaces. Here is one of the
few places in town where you can wander
around and truly forget where you are.
Campus police do appear at times

Bike path entrance as it extends
from NE 135th Street.

to keep the peace, but usually the peace
has not been disturbed. The crime of
arson has been committed on the forest
repeatedly, but I am unaware of any
recent, major assaults in the area. A
thin but steady stream of university

A footbridge across still waters that rise and fall with the tides.

types and dog-walkers acts as the civil-
ian patrol.
Here's hoping that the word will
not spread too widely and people will
not begin swarming the place in droves,
because its magic might diminish.

"I'd hate for humans to ruin this
place," said the dolphin to the manatee.
In response, the sea cow burped, "I
indubitably agree."

Feedback: letters(@ibiscaynetimes.com

New water park

makes a splash in your


The Grapeland Park is transformed. Once a collection of dusty sports
fields, it's now a fun four-pool water park!
Grapeland is just one example of more than 400 projects completed
thanks to the Building Better Communities Bond Program.
Check out the new water park at 1550 NW 37 Avenue.

To find Building Better Communities projects in your neighborhood,
go to miamidade.gov or call 3-1-1.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


The Parent's Curse: Damaged Kids

It our fate -we're going to mess up no matter what

By Jenni Person
BT Contributor

Brought my son late to karate the
past two times. My daughter's
reading homework was incomplete
and she wasn't properly prepared with
a poem she was supposed to recite. In
addition to feeing like I am letting
people down in my own life, I now feel
like I am letting down two other layers
of people: my kids and their karate
teachers, reading teachers, and class-
room teachers.
Recently I was out of town at a
conference for one week and my partner
for half of each of the next two. In an
arrangement that is already a tag-team
affair, things obviously got spotty. The
poetry assignment slipped through the
cracks. Having to get my son to karate
on a day that is normally my partner's
day to take him threw me completely
off schedule. Despite reasonable real-
life reasons for these less-than-perfect
results, the words of the instructors feel
like daggers piercing through my qualifi-
cations for being a parent.
"Your son is late today..."
"Your daughter was not prepared
with her poem..."
And the layers are deeper than
simply hearing the disappointment in
their voices. Two bright kids am I
screwing them for life?
Then there's the grandparent layer!
I never have to worry about what would
happen if I were gone clearly my
mother and mother-in-law would be
much better at raising my kids than I
could ever be. You can tell by the way
they always make it clear that they are

not satisfied by the way I do things.
"You're sending them out like that?"
"Don't you think she should eat this?"
"He should know better than to
behave like that."
Being a mom is no picnic, and not
just because of the challenges our kids
present, but because the only affirma-
tion comes from fleeting moments in our
own minds when we observe or partake
in our kids' deliciousness. The rest of the
time all the messages we hear are how
we should be doing better. And this, I
guess, is the nature of the job. The truth
is parents screw up their kids no matter
what, right?
So it shouldn't surprise me now that
my daughter is squarely into her elemen-
tary school years, the implications of
my/our parenting are getting more public,
more layered, and more complex.
It seems my Goldi is having some
social challenges. My Goldi, the
sunshine girl everyone always loves.

A psychiatrist once observing another
child in Goldi's pre-K class even re-
marked that she is the one child all the
kids play with. She has that "cross-
over" appeal, if you will. This was not
surprising to her parents, but suddenly
Goldi is telling me she has no friends
in school. Even the kids she talks about
interacting with during her school day
- at work and at play she claims are
not her friends.
And my heart breaks. How have
we created the kid no one wants to be
friends with? Is it that she has these
who fly their freaks flags so damn high
they're visible in space? Parents who are
only trying to encourage and allow their
kids to let their own imaginations soar?
Is it that her dad is an authority figure
and a very public persona at her school?
Is it that her mom isn't like all the other
coiffed designer moms at the affluent
suburban private school?

Is it that the substantial distance
between school and home interferes with
play-date potential with schoolmates
who generally have parental or domestic
staff support available at the right hours
for shuttling? Has she missed too many
birthday parties because of her parents'
weekend work schedules or because she
spends her Sundays in Hebrew school for
the sole purpose (her choice) of keeping
close to the kids she spent her first five
years with in preschool and Torah Tykes?
Is it because she needed some extra
help reading her sounding-out skills
lagging behind her otherwise excellent
learning skills and goes to a special-
ist at reading time (an experience she
sees as a special treat)? Is it because the
music we play for our kids is stuff like
Free To Be... You and Me, They Might Be
Giants (both kids' and regular albums),
and the soundtrack from Moulin Rouge
instead of Hannah Montana and High
School Musical?
Her reported perception, real or
imagined, is a red flag that I must not
ignore. Instead of wasting time beating
up myself and trying to fight the inevi-
table, I need to act. I need to make more
of an effort to get to Pinecrest every
weekend for the birthday parties even
if it means she only gets a short time
there and I have to bring along the baby
brother. I need to arrange play dates and
invite classmates over to play, and even
their families over for Shabbat dinner.
But no way am I changing the music.

Keep up with "Kids and the City" byfol-
lowing us on Twitter:@BiscayneKids.

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com



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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


New Ideas for New Pools
Morningside Park could set the standard for "green" swimming pools

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

W ith a new public swimming
pool coming to our communi-
ty, the question arises as to the
environmental impact of constructing
and maintaining pools. How "green" can
a pool be? This question didn't come up
at a Morningside Park public meeting on
February 11, when the City of Miami's
parks department announced that fund-
ing was available to replace the park's
current, aging pool.
Attendees vented about getting rid
of the pool altogether or, at the other
extreme, of creating a huge water park.
A new pool here seems certain, but for
now its size and style are undecided.
This project is an opportunity for Miami
to create a prototype, low-impact pool.
It could be an architect's dream and a
national model of sustainability.
I must confess I love pools, so it
feels odd to look at them critically. My
childhood was spent in our backyard
pool, and as a competitive swimmer for
most of my life, I've spent thousands
of hours in chlorinated bliss. Sure, the
chemicals sting your eyes and bleach
your hair. There are remedies for those
inconveniences. But is there a remedy
for the waste generated by pools? What's
the best way, environmentally, to create
aquatic facilities? You don't hear much
about this topic, but it bears consider-
able attention in South Florida, where
backyard pools sprout like weeds.
One type of eco-pool can be built
along a shoreline and filled by a natural
body of water such as a bay or lake. This
alternative makes perfect sense for South

Florida, and an excellent example can be
found at Matheson Hammock Park. A few
more such natural pools in Biscayne Bay,
done correctly, could convert the bay into a
real and sustainable swimming hole.
Most unnatural pools, however, give
no consideration to their surroundings.
They don't care how much they displace
native flora and fauna nor how much
energy they consume for heating and
maintenance. But what is a concerned
pool owner to do? You could skip the
next two paragraphs, or you could con-
sider removing it. Drain it and use it as
an underground painting studio. Fill it up
with dirt to create a giant planter.
If you're considering a new pool,
think carefully about your options. Use
public pools or pools at gyms. Join a
neighborhood association and propose a
community pool. If you still want a pool
in your backyard, consider a blow-up
kiddie pool or a hot tub first. An above-
ground pool may be less disruptive to the
earth than an in-ground pool, but in the
long run it might not save much on water
consumption and other maintenance.

The pool industry may be cleaning up
its act. "We don't talk about 'going green'
because we associate it with algae," jokes
Frank Carmona, general manager at the
All Florida Pool & Spa Center in North
Miami. Yet the growth of alternatives to
traditional chlorine pools shows that a
green-pool market is growing.
Carmona offers several recommen-
dations. A solar blanket will "reduce
the heating bill by 50 percent," he says.
It insulates the water while generating
up to ten degrees of heat, and it should
also reduce evaporation. Carmona also
prefers a heat pump versus heat from
gas. Third, he promotes a new hybrid-
technology pump, Intelliflow, that saves
more than 60 percent on electricity.
The conversion of a chlorine pool
into a saltwater pool is worth exploring.
Saltwater pools still convert their salt
into chlorine, but they avoid the mess of
transporting and storing it. Apparently
they also cut down on its ugly effects,
such as red eyes and green hair. The pro-
cess requires an upgrade to a titanium-
cell mechanism.

Several other alternatives for treating
water exist, though sadly, none is free. E/The
Environmental Magazine lists three types of
reduced-chlorine options: Nature2's purifier,
the Aqua-Flo ozone generator, and Chlor-
Free, a patented chemical compound that
replaces chlorine. But there might be an even
better, chemical-free alternative.
Mother Earth News magazine sug-
gests building a natural pool the
equivalent of a backyard pond that uses
aquatic plants as filters and frogs or fish
as insect consumers. Even a convention-
al pool can be converted to natural by
constructing a natural filter area along-
side it. Search for "natural pools" online
and you'll see beautiful images of luxuri-
ous, private Golden Ponds most likely
behind the homes of wealthy Europeans.
Personally, I don't have or want a
pool in my backyard, but if I did, the
ideal manmade pool would be a cross
between an Olympic, 50-meter pool and
Miami Seaquarium plenty of space
and plenty of fish.
Come to think of it, the best pool is the
ocean, right here in our communal back-
yard. That's why every Sunday I head over
to the beach and go for a swim. Maybe
manmade pools could try harder to imitate
God's great swimming hole, but they will
never achieve its level of beauty.
What's my recommendation for the
new pool in Morningside Park? The
concept would be a place where man
and fish can coexist, but I don't know
how that would be created. If you have a
better idea, let us know about it via the
feedback address below. It might just be
realized as the pool of the future.

Feedback: letters@ibbiscaynetimes.com

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March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Just the Two of Us

The investment of a little one-on-one, quality time pays a big dividend

While busy running to and fro,
trying to keep up with our
overburdened schedules, we
seldom get a chance to stop and, as they
say, smell the roses. (Myself included!)
Our animal friends sometimes end up
being neglected as a result. Taking your
dog out for a walk is an example. It can
be done quickly and thoughtlessly, or it
can be a wholly different experience. So
when you are walking your pet, what are
you really doing?
You may think I'm going to start
preaching the values of training your pet
during a walk to stay beside you, to
not pull, to get proper exercise, and so
on. Well, I'm not. Been there, done that.
Besides, the walk should be fun, not a
military exercise.
I really want you to think about
it: What are you doing when you walk
the dog? Or for that matter, your cat or
rabbit? Most people I observe may be
walking, but they are doing a lot more
talking on a cell phone, that is. The
pets are left to amuse themselves while
their masters sip coffee and chat with
friends. The dog possibly hears a mum-
bled "Good boy" with barely a glance
when he does his business, and possibly
receives a quick pat on the head. But a
walk can be so much more than just a
walk. It is a time for you to be present
with your animal.
Sometimes I too have other things
on my mind when I walk my dogs, espe-
cially in the morning, when I'm barely
awake and planning my work day. But
being conscious of it, I make sure we

use this time to be together intensely, not
just walking side by side or in single file.
This may be
the only time
ithe daly i It may seem funny
in the day,
other than eye contact, bu
bedtime, in multi-tasking during
which we get with your pets,
to be in each acknowled
other's com-
pany. Because
of this, I make sure I really look my dogs
in the eye and smile and praise them


*i ..

when they do something wonderful.
Even Jay-J, now almost five years
old, loves to
hear me
hat I'm stressing make a fuss
you're always occasionally
your interactions when he does
ot completely his business
ing them. in the right
spot. My arms
extended, I
greet him, and call him to me like he
just won a Nobel prize. I make sure to do

By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor

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the same with little 11-month-old Saffy,
separating her good deeds from Jay-J's,
and looking directly at her. Sure, many
animals don't look directly at people or
other animals as it can be considered a
challenge and rude, but you can teach
those animals that it is a good thing to
look at you, if you start small and if it
has a positive outcome.
Being a conscious pet parent does
not stop with dogs or the walk. You can
always make sure you are truly present.
Like when your cat comes over to you to
rub against you and sit in your lap. Take
a few minutes to put aside your maga-
zine or your homework. Get on the floor
and give him your undivided attention,
and look right at him.
It may seem funny to you that I'm
stressing eye contact with your pet, but
if you really think about it, you might
realize that you're always multi-task-
ing during your interactions with your
pets, not completely acknowledging
them. Even a few minutes a day of un-
divided attention can strengthen your
relationship far more than walking for
an hour with your coffee, friends, cell
phone, and pet.
On another note, if you have more
than one animal, it's important to avoid
always treating them like a unit, no
matter how much they love each other or
how well they get along. Separate them
for a few minutes, even if only now and
then each week, and spend time with
each pet separately. I too fall into this
group habit. Both of my dogs need to do
their business before I start work, and so
we have ended up a unit of three.

Continued on page 41

SEvery member of the family
deserves the best!

12 Y a .I .

mortalif e yur frief _d

aintings of pets by Catherine Kirkwood .
flffNW 04.7 v.%-Jf

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Continued from page 40

But truth be told, Saffy doesn't
always want to go. Since she usually does
most of her bathroom business in the
yard first thing in the morning anyway, I
have been leaving her home sometimes.
This gives me a chance to focus on Jay-J
alone, to connect with him in
a way we used to before Saffy
came into our lives. He loves Tho
walking at our old pace, and children
getting all the attention and Blacl
play for a little while.
Those of you who are par-
ents to human children know
this well. You have to be a con-
scious parent sometimes. Turn off your
Blackberry and shut off the TV. With a
warm and friendly expression, look them
square in the eye when speaking to them.
It is important for you to do something
with your kids, separating them some-
times as individuals. You'll notice that
the more you validate them and really
notice them, the less actual time you'll
need to invest for them to be happy and
well-adjusted. And as reinforcement for

you, fewer feelings of guilt! It's quality
versus quantity, for people and our pets
- rabbit, bird, badger, whatever.
As I write this, Jay-J and Saffy are
wrestling next to me. I'll take a break with
them before I hit the gym. When they take
turns somersaulting into my lap, as they like
to do to make me laugh, I will giggle, smile
at them, and scratch their bellies. It's a few

se who are parents to human
*n know you have to turn off your
berry and shut off the TV to do
something with your kids.

moments of validation to let them know how
important they are. A few moments of indi-
vidual training. And it is important. Then it's
back to our busy lives as an energetic trio.

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

Feedback: letters @biscaynetimes.com

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or we can come to ou


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March 2009

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Fear and the Fig Whitefly
- Go ahead, rip out that ficus hedge -we have too many as it is -

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

A few weeks ago I attended a half-
day seminar that provided an
update on treatment and control
for the fig whitefly. There was really
nothing new on the life cycle of this
insect approximately one month from
egg to egg, and that it really only likes
certain species of ficus.
One point that really becomes appar-
ent when discussing fig whitefly is the
fact that this problem is mostly our fault.
Why is that? Well, we all planted so
many Ficus benjaminia that our collec-
tive South Florida landscape is almost a
monoculture. A monoculture in this in-
stance means lots of food for any newly
introduced insect or disease that likes to
dine on that particular species of ficus. If
we had very few Ficus benjaminia in the
landscape, there would be no problem.
So now tons of chemicals are being
used in yards everywhere to affect some
kind of control. Many types and classes of
chemicals were discussed at this seminar.
There were the systemic drenches that
get taken up by the roots and translocated
through the tree and foliage, that can last
from eight to twelve months. There was
also foliar spraying that may last a few
weeks at best. I don't advocate the use of
pesticides, but here are a few points you
need to be aware of if you spray or hire
someone who will be spraying for you.
Do not use the same chemical to
drench the roots and spray the foliage.
This could possibly be illegal, depending
on the label and directions that come with
the pesticide. More important, there are
already other species of whitefly infesting

Crotons come in many colors and leaf forms, and they make great hedges.

other plant species here in South Florida
that are resistant to the chemicals available
for fig whitefly control.
Pesticides need to be rotated or insect
resistance will occur. That means different
chemicals with different modes of action.
Do not spray or drench unless you find
the whitefly on the leaves. No whitefly, no
chemicals. If you have a hedge and only
part of it is infested, only spray or drench
the part with the whitefly.
If someone else is spraying for you,
ask them questions like these: What is
the efficacy of this chemical against fig
whitefly? What is the rate of chemical
you are using and why? Are you going to
switch chemicals? What is the effect of
this chemical on beneficial insects and
honey bees? Are you a licensed pest-
control operator? Can you show me the
different life stages of this whitefly on
the foliage of my plants?

Or you can make your yard a chem-
ical-free zone and start to establish full-
time populations of natural predators. At
the fig whitefly seminar, natural preda-
tors were identified and discussed. The
five species of Lady beetle, wasp, and
fly that are known to attack fig whitefly
are all found in our area. So how about
really practicing sustainability? Rip out
that ficus hedge and plant something else.
Here are a few recommendations that
grow in full sun and need little fertilizer
in our soil conditions:
Clusia. This is an attractive, thick-
leaf tree that comes in several sizes and
varieties and tolerates salt, drought, and
our soil conditions very well.
Silver and Green Buttonwood. These
are excellent plants for our area. They are
drought resistant, and tolerate salty condi-
tions. Green Buttonwood is considered a
mangrove species here. At Jungle Island

we have hundreds of feet of Green Button-
wood hedges. They definitely don't have to
be trimmed as often as a ficus hedge and
never need to be fertilized.
Crotons. What better way to add color
to your landscape? Crotons can live 40 or 50
years with no fertilizer or insect problems.
When established, they tolerate drought.
Jamaican Caper. This relative of
the caper you eat grows very happily in
our area. An attractive plant with very
few problems. At Jungle Island we have
grown them from seed to six-foot-tall
plants in four years.
Cordyline or Dracaena species.
The many relatives of the dracaena can
thrive in our soils. At Jungle Island we
use hundreds of Dracaenafragrans
Massangeana. This is an excellent hedge
plant and very fragrant when in bloom.
Podocarpus species. This is an old-
time South Florida hedge plant that used
to be quite common. It is very temperate-
looking but does well in our conditions.
Acalypha species and varieties.
These very colorful plants are a bit soft-
leaved and brittle, but they do well here,
tolerate full sun, and are very easy to grow.
Areca palm. With enough water,
this clumping palm will make a tall,
long-lasting hedge.
Schefflera arboricola. This is a very
tough plant. Several varieties are available.
Hamelia species. This well-known
butterfly plant is now available in differ-
ent species or hybrids. A bit brittle, but
the sturdier varieties will last for years.
Stop spending so much money trying
to save all those ficus hedges. Try some-
thing new and go sustainable.

Feedback: letters(itbiscaynetimes.com


6667 Biscayne Blvd (954J559-2804
Miami 33138 www.CHANTIKONLINE.com :. : *. f. *

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 200.



Area 31
270 EBiicaii E ouleard Wna

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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

1435 Brickell Ave., Four Seasons Hotel
Orignally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant this comfortably
elegant upscale spot switched chefs in 2006 (to Patrick Duff.
formerly atthe Sukhothai in Bangkok), resulting in a complete
menu renovation Thalland's famed sense of culinary balance

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Manny's Steakhouse
300 S. Eiica% nE Eld.

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is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian
or Latn American-inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white
soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura (with watercress, Vidalia
onion, avocado, pomegranate), a tender pork shank glazed with
spicy Szechuan citrus sauce (accompanied by a chorizoflecked
plantain mash), or lunchtmes rare tuna burger with lively
wasabi aloli and wakame salad For dessert few chocoholics
can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm
chocolate custard $$$$$

500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254
Floor-toceiling 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 imagnative global cre-
ations many of them combinations, to satsfy those who want it
all One offering, "A Study in Tuna," includes tuna sashimi, Maine
crab, avocado tempura, and caviar, with several Asian sauces
Moroccan lamb is three preparations (grilled chop, harlssa-man-
nated loin, and bastilla, the famed savory-sweet Middle Eastern
pastry stuffed with braised shank), plus feta and smoked egg-
plant 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 easyto find in Miami, downtown
has secret stashes small joints catering to Asian-Pacific cruise-
ship and construction workers Opened circa 2002, this cute,
exotcally decorated cafe has survived and thrived for good
reason The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family
feel encourages even the tmid of palate to trysomething new
Novices will want Indonesia's signature jrjsttafel, a mixand-match
collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice
Once you re hooked, there's great gado-gado (vegges in peanut
sauce), nasi goring (ultimate fried rice), and laksa, a complex
coconut-curry noodle soup that's near-impossible 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 expan-
sive picture-windowed space around the corner from the


Captain Joe Seafood & Pasta Grill
3401 N. Miami A.eI ,Shopi as Midlovni

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check-in desks used to bejust a lobby extension Now its The
Bar, which is notjust a watering hole with panoramic views
At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar, at night its a raw bar
(with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving
pintxos Thats justthe Basque word for tapas, but as interpret-
ed byAtrio's chef Michael Gilligan, there's nothing mere about
the generously portoned small plates They range from tradi-
tional Items like cod fish equlxada (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 stcks, with
prosciutto and savoryfontina fondue dip), or creamy-centered
supply 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
(formerly from La Bussola and Oggl) is wideranging but as the
name suggests, you can't go wrong with one of the thin-crusted
brick-oven pizzas, whether a traditional margherita or inventive
asparagl 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 terrace
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 scal-
lion pancake, or a tempura-battered snapper sandwich with
lemon aloli) For the health-conscious, the menu includes
low-cal choices For hedonists there's a big selection of arti-
san sakes $$$-$$$$$


News Lounge
55S2 NE 4th Ci.
305-75S.9932: t.,,..Ihe551hi.l1l1ion.ccmi

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Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serv-
ing her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown
office workers and college students since the early 1990s
Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special
ofjerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal 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
Its hard to figure why a Mediterranean/Latin restaurant
(with Asian touches) would be named after a line in a 1950s
novel about a New England 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., 305858-0608
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 custardy
tamales, but the bistro's especially known for imaginative
meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges,
avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and
chicken on a mesclun bed $$

Continued on page 44

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


perfect ambiance & beautiful artwork...

all in the same place.

Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 43

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 season,
Garcla's claws are as good as Joe's but considerably
cheaper The local fish sandwich is most popular grou-
per, yellowtail snapper, or mahl mahl, fried, grilled, or
blackened The place is also famous for its zesty smoked-
fish dip and its sides of hushpuppies $-$$

Grimpa Steakhouse
901 S. Miami Ave., 305455-4757
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 buffet of hot and cold prepared
foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses, plus additional accompa-
niments -- like irresistible cheese bread -- served tableside A
pleasant, nontraditional surprise unusual sauces like sweet/
tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chut-
ney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurrl $$$$-$$$$$

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 Gabblano's owners (Free starters
A generous hunk of parmegiano-reggano with aged balsamic
dip, assertively garlickyfried zucchini coins, and tomato-topped
bruschette) The rest of the food? Pricy but portions are mam-
moth And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli
with black truffles? Worth every penny $$$$$

638 S. Miami Ave.
Indochine has succeeded bymorphingfrom mere restaurantinto hip
hangout Copius special events (art openings, happy hours with DJs,
classic movie or karaoke nights, wine or sake tastings) draw every-
onefrom downtown business types tothe counterculture crowd Not
thattheres anything "mere" aboutthe range of food served from
three Asian nations Lighteaters can snack on Vietnamese summer
rolls or Japanesesushl rdls, includingan imagnatve masagocoated
model with mango, spicytuna, and cilantro For bigger appetites,
there are Thai curries and Vietnamesespecialtes like pho, rich 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.
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm-feeling Italian res-
taurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing down-
town, 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, cllantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad
dressed with truffle oil, and souffle di granchi (crabmeat
souffle atop arugula dressed with honey-mustard vinai-
grette), proprietors Jennifer Porclello and Horatio Olivelra
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 sweet-
ened espresso $$$

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 truckers burger beef patty, bacon, ham, moz-
zarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn
pancake "bun") unless its a Supermoon perro, a similarly
overloaded hot dog For less dainty eaters, theres 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 Fridayand 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 storefront
thatthe room inside is worlds more charming than standard
downtown Latin eateries This urban oasis is an artsy lite white
tablecloth place (with alternating red tablecloths warming up the
feel), but with no-tablecloth prices While much of the menu is
Miami's generic Latin mix, there la a separate Ecuadorian section
that's a playlst of that country culinary greatest hits Standouts
encebollado, a centuries-old fishermen's soup given national
individuality byyuca and zingy hits of lime, lighter caldo de bola,
veggiepacked 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 distnctve dishes, includingshrimp ceviche $$

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

Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave.
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 identical 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 dally-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood
selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus pom-
pano, parrot fish, amberjack But even flown-in fish (and the raw
bar's cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh $$$$

1414 Brickell Ave.
The original branch on Miami Beach's Lncoln Road was instantly
popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fastfood made
with no trans fats or other nutritional nastes is served atthe
three newer outlets The prices are low enough that one might
suspect Pasha's was conceived as a tax writeoff rather than a
Harvard Business School project which it was byfounders 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 aloli sauce Everythingfrom pitas to
lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily $-$$

Peoples Bar-B-Que
360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080
Oak-smoked, falling-off-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 afi-
cionados 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 $-$$

Continued on page 45

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 44

15 SE 10th St.
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont),
this market/cafe was one of the Brickell area's first gentrlfled
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-fashioned lasagna to
chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola And
Sunday $15 95 brunch buffet ($9 95 for kids) featuringan
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
This truly 21st-century steakhouse targets today 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 modern 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.
The cozy terracotta-tiled dining room (and even more charming
outdoor diningterrace) indeed evoke the south of France But
the menu of French bistro classics covers all regions, a Greatest
Hits of French comfortfood country-style pate mason with onion
jam, roasted peppers and cornichons, steak/frites (grilled rlbeye
with peppercorn cream sauce, fries, and salad), four preparations
of mussels, a tarte tatin (French apple tart with roasted walnuts,
served a la mode) Deal alert An early-bird prlx-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.
This casually cool Miami River-areajewel is a full-service
seafood spot as evidenced by tempting menu selections like
soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remou-
lade 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
- fireroasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego To
accompany these delights, there's a thoughtful wine list and
numerous artisan beers on tap $$$

Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave.
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 experi-
ence 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 tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-
pepper cream sauce), or Rosa's signature guacamole en
molcajete, made tableside A few pomegranate margaritas
ensure no worries $$$

Soya & Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St.
Life is complicated Food should be simple That's owner
Armando Alfands philosophy, which is stated above the entry
to his atmospheric downtown eatery And since its also the
formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from
Pompeii), its fittngthat the menu is dominated by authenti-
cally 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 tojustfy the other half of the place's name The
most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard,
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.; 305-358-0144
No surprise that a place called Taste of Bombay would
be an Indian restaurant And depending mostly on the
predominant nationalities of downtown construction work-
ers 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 veg-
etable curries) plus veggie pakoras, rice, salad, chutneys,
hot naan bread, and a dessert The place looks plain out-
side, but it's pleasantly exotic enough inside for a bargain
business lunch $$

Tobacco Road
626 S. Miami Ave.
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 week-
ends tll 4 00 a m) The kitchen is especially known for its chil,
budget-priced steaks, and burgers, including the mega-mega
burger, a trucker-style monster topped with said chill plus ched-
dar, mushrooms, bacon, and a fried egg There's also surpris-
ingy elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with
lemon aioli A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs, perfect
accompanimentto the blues $$


Adelita's Cafe
2699 Biscayne Blvd.
From the street (which Is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this
Honduran restaurantseems unpromising but inside its bigger,
better, and busier than it looks Unlike many Latin American
eateries, which serve a multinational melange, this one stcks
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 meal-in-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.
At this Indian eatery the decor is date-worthy, with the typical
garish 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,
however, needn't worry Some dishes' names are unfamil-
iar, but America'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 salad-garnished Deshl Samosas (which come with ter-
rific cllantro/mint dip) or ending with mango kulfl, 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.
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
charcuterie platters at night Though the place is small
and family-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 sophisticated snacks like the figciutto, a salad
of arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine
nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto Free parking in a fenced
lot behind the building $$

Continued on page 46

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March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 45

Bleu Moon
1717 N. Bayshore Dr.
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 favor-
ites like lasagna to contemporary creations like gnocchi 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 charm-
ing 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.
The reputation that Arthur Artile amassed after years
as executive chef at Norman's and Chispa has made
the Design Districts 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
Spainl" The stylish space is a draw, too Inside, all mahog-
any, leather, and luxuriant intimacy, outside, seating 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 resident,

we'd be a helluva hip food town Located in the intimate
space that formerly housed Restaurant A, its 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, its open continuously, everyday
(until midnightl, with prices so low (starters $5-8, entrees
$8-15) that one really can drop in anytime for authentic nl-
lettes (a scrumptious spiced meat spread, Ilke 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 its 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 its 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 features 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 sandwiches are still, invariably, evocatve Rough-
cut pate de champagne, topped with cornichons on a crusty
buttered baguette is an instant trip to Pars Though weekend
nighttme hours were instituted several years ago, dinner is an
onagain, 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, breakfastfood, and pastries, plus
coffee and fruit drinks a create concept differentates the place
Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspa-
pers (likethe Biscayne Times tuna salad with hummus, cucumber,
roasted peppers, arugula, and sprouts on multigrain bread), giving
diners somethingto chat about For those whod rather Have It
Their Own Way both sandwiches and salads can be do-it-yourself
projects, with an unusual wide choice of main ingredients, gar-
nishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively 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
am 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 mammoth 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 meln) or
tallerin verde (Ital-Latn noodles with pesto and steak) $$

18th Street Caf6
210 NE 18th St.
305-381-8006; www.l8thstreetcafe.com
Mostof the seating in this cool little breakfast/lunch room is in
a sort of giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes
the space feel expansively light-filled, and quite nicely gentrifles
its whole evolving Midtown block This pioneering place deserves
to survive, even if just considering the roast beef sandwich with
creamy horseradish an inspired classic combination that
makes one wonder why more places in this town don't serve it
(We'll debate later) Other culinary highlights of the classic SixS"
repertoire (soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, smoothies, spe
cials) might include a turkey/pear/cheddar meltsandwich, and
really sinful marshmallow-topped brownies $

Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries
3401 N. Miami Ave. (Shops at Midtown)
Like the West Coasts 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 double or one-patty
sizes, they re well-done but spurtingly jucy, and after loading
with your choice of 15 free garnishes, even a little" burger
makes a major meal Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also
superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes, a chang-
ng sign reports the spuds' point of origin $

Fratelli Lyon
4141 NE 2nd Ave.
305-572-2901; www.fratellilyon.com
This Italian cafe has been packed since the moment it opened
No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyon's pioneering Lyon
Freres gourmetstore on pregentrfled Lincoln Road (1992-97),
anotherjointthat was exactlywhat its neighborhood needed The
restaurants artsan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutque olive oils,
and more on the ingredient-driven menu are so outstandingthat
one can't help wishingthis restaurant also had a retail component
Well, maybe later Meanwhile console yourself with the sort of
salamis and formagg you'll never find in the supermarket (as
well as rare finds like culatello prosciutto royalty), including a
mixed antipasto esplosione that would feed Rhode Island Entrees
include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like
Venetan-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 Whats
new MediterAsian" chef Michael Jacobs and a menu that trav-
els 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 dippingsauces)
There's also a snack menu (pristine coldwater oysters, a crab
salad timbale, parmesan-truffle shoestring fries, mini-Kobe
burgers) served till the wee hours, providing a welcome alterna-
tivetothe Boulevards fast food chains $$-$$$$$

Joey's Italian Caf6
2506 NW 2nd Ave.
The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Cafe District, this
stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool
as one would hope -- and as affordable The highest ticket
items are $24 lamb chops with balsamic reduction, and a
few $1000 wines For starving artists, there's a five-buck
half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino

Continued on page 47

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

( -u~,J


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 46

for under $30 And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-
crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante (with figs,
gorgonzola, honey, and hot pepper) or orgasmic Carbonara
(mozzarella, pancetta, asparagus, and eggs) There are
also numerous surprise specials, as the energetic young
chef from Italy's Veneto region changes the menu twice
daily Pastas are fresh, produce is largely local, the mosaic-
centered decor is minimalist but inviting And no need to
be wary of the warehouse district at night Valet parking is
free $$-$$$

Kafa Caf6
3535 NE 2nd Ave.
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 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 sandwiches (like the roast beef
supreme, a melt with sauteed mushrooms, onion, sour
cream, and cheddar on sourdough) 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.
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 eateries
consider a Latin country Whatjustifies the new millennium
moniker is the more modern, yupplfled/yucafled ambiance,
encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck Delivery is
now available $$

Lemoni Caf6
4600 NE 2nd Ave.
The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/
salads/starters primer What it doesn't convey is the spar-
kling 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 help-
ing of protein without typical dell-style mayo overload
Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninls, or
wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respect-
able Cuban, but the deceptively rich-tasting light salad
cream that dresses a veggie wrap might tempt even hard-
core 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 friendly
Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only
breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neigh-
borhood It's now open for dinner six nights a week, serving
Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices Dishes like
pilon and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled 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 $

sides, saluml, and hot prepared dishes What sets Malno
apart from typical rodlzlo palaces is its family-run feel, intimate
rather than intimidating, plus its attention to every detail
(immediately obvious in the classy rustc/elegant decor, high-
lighted by striking onyx accents -- bars, tabletops, and more)
While its rare at most rodizio joints to get meat done less
than medium, Mainoes eager-to-please servers here are happy
to convey custom-cooking preferences to the kitchen -- and
there English-speaking, too One other welcome difference
As well as the one-price (hefty) feast, there are a la carte start-
ers and pastas for lighter eaters and noncarnivores, and some
lunch specials Free parking, too $$-$$$$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St.
(See North Miami listing)

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St.
Long-awaited and an instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-
oriented restaurant from Michael Schwartz, founding chef of
Nemos in South Beach, offers down-to-earth fun food in a com-
fortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor settng Fresh, organic
ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cuttng-edge
(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 Theres also a broad range of prices and
portion sizes ($4-$8 for snacks and small plates to $24-$39 for
extra-large plates) to encourage frequent visits from light-bite as
well as pig-out diners Michael's Genuine also features an eclec-
tc 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
Maino Churrascaria www.mikesvenetia.com
2201 Biscayne Blvd. There's no sign out front, but this family-owned Irish pub,
305-571-9044 on the pool deck of a waterfront condo building across
This very upscale Brazilian steakhouse has all the features from the Miami Herald, for more than 15 years has been a
one expects at a rodlzlo-style restaurant, including all-you- popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and
can-eat meats carved tableside and a lavish buffet of salads, 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 pre-
pared 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, choco-
late 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
hang-out 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 yourselves (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, prosciutto, man-
chego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette
Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily
soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, flocchi 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

Continued on page 48

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 47

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 alsojust 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.
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-shredding conversa-
tlonsl), an admirably green ecological policy, and a neigh-
borhood-friendly attitude (including kid-oriented dishes,
plus continuous service of inventive small plates and bar
snacks) The food is also more intriguing simultaneously
complexly refined and accessibly clean 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.
(See Brickell/Downtown listing)

2905 NE 2nd Ave.
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 Pizzaflore, but independent
ownership), its 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 pas-
tas and subs $-$$

1717 N. Bayshore Dr.
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 neighbor-
hood The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with top-
pings 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 plccata or seared ahi

tuna) topping $20 The capper Its 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 charm-
ing proprietor Marlo 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 standard soy spicysrlracha, garlic/
ponzu oil, and many more Especially recommended the yuzu
hamachi roll (chopped Pacific yellowtail with scallions, sesame,
roe, citrusy dressing, 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-nd-
sour mayo and a salad $$-$$$

S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave.
Some things never change, or so it seems at this diner, which is
so classic it verges on cliche Open since 1938, its still popular
enough that people line up on Saturday morning waltng for
a seat at the horseshoe-shaped counter (there are no tables)
and enormous breakfasts corned beef hash or crab cakes
and eggs with grits, fluffy pancakes, 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 $-$$

Sra. Martinez
4000 NE 2nd Ave.
No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively
tapas bar, in the historic former Buena Vista Post Office, is
the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle
Bernstein has opened in the area But know this Its not one
of her absentee celebrity-chef ggs She is hands-on at both
places on any given night Bernsteln's exuberant yet firmly
controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot
and cold tapas that, except for a few conventional entrees for
die-hards, make up the whole menu Items are frequently rein-
vented, depending on seasonal ingredients and diner feedback
Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig
jam (different from Michys, but equally flawless), white bean
stew (duck/fole gras sausage and favas in an intense port wine
reduction), crisp-coated artchokes with lemon/coriander dip,
simple but addictve Padron-stye shishito peppers, and buttery
bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced
by tiny pickled salads $$$

Tony Chan's Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr.
The decor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, a huge bay-
side condo/resort hotel, looks far too glitzyto serve anything but
politely Americanized Chinese food The presentation is indeed
elegant buttheAmerican 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 mushrooms in lettuce cups) Moist sea bass fillet
has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro,
and subtly sweet/salty sauce And Peking duck is served as three
traditional courses crepewrapped crispyskin, 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 connec-
tons that mean if wine lovers don'tfind the bottle they want
in W's selection of roughly 200-labels (which emphasizes bou-
tque 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.
Occasionally there a sign out front of the office building
housing this bistro, indicating that a branch of the popular
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, substantial meat and fish entrees,
homemade pastas and soups, desserts, and sandwiches,
including Uruguays 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 zlgnature zuper chicken $-$$

Upper Eastside

5600 Biscayne Blvd.
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
popular pizzeria's specialty Choices range from the simple
namesake Andlamo (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) $$

Anise Taverna
620 NE 78th St.
In the past 15 years this river shack has housed at least five
different restaurants Now new owners Liza and Gig are bank-
ing on Greek food and festivity being the concept that sticks
- a good bet, judging from their wildly popular previous eatery,
Ouzo The mainly mezze menu ranges from traditional Greek
small plates like the plkilia (combo dip plate of tzatzlkl, tarama,
hummus, and smoky eggplant puree) or tender grilled octopus
to creative Mediterranean-inspired dishes (like anisescented
fish croquettes with spicy aioli) that never stray too far from
the fold to remain evocatve But don't neglect large plates like
whole grilled Mediterranean fish (dorade or branzino), filleted
tableside The interior decor is charming, and the outdoor deck
on the Little River is positively romantic $$-$$$

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-culture
enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/out-
door Brazilian restaurant and bar Especially bustling on nights
featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, 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 Butthe everyday menu, ranging from
unique, tapas-like pastels (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 intmi-
datng or pretentous, this cute cafe with a warm welcome, and
family-friendly French home cooking is the antidote Nofancyfood
(or fancy prices) here, just classic comfortfood like onion soup,
escargot dallyfresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate
Pot Roast), Nicoisesalad, quiche, and homemade creme brulee
A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as B the
housemadesangria 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-Latn tapas, sandwiches, salads, sides, and entrees at all
hours, just a far more elaborate selection 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 aloli, 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 contest Also
popular crab cakes and conch (fried or in fritters and
chowder) For fish haters, spicy or garlic chicken 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

Continued on page 49





Lunch Set Menus for $995 or $12.95

Dinner Set Menus offered Sunday Thursday for

$17.50 $23.50 & $27.50

94. 71S ST SET MIM BEC 6 30-6494 0 WW* 6ORSAUATIA

"Ariston is derived from the Greek aristos, meaning 'the best, and it just might be."--Vlictorb NPsce 9lotf Itiwk'hWrd

"A restaurant that pleases its patrons. Ariston has started out doing just that."-- Lee Klein, Miamii~bw rim
"Ariston continues the lucky streak with classical Greek cuisine based on recipes of owner Thanasis Barlos's mom."-- fficayne rimes



Biscayne Tirnes www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 48

sausages with lent croquettes Favorites that show up often
on the menu include pear and ricotta raviolini with sage but-
ter sauce, grilled eggplantslices rolled around herbed goat
cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and a light ricotta tart with
lemon and rosemary $$$

Che Sopranos
7251 Biscayne Blvd.
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
Margherlta 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 avail-
able are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entrees (eggplant
parmigana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato
salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan) $

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St.
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 grlot (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), lambl
frl (a mountain of perfectly tenderized fried conch), poison
gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or
Creole crabs Note for ambiance-seekers The Miami branch
has outdoor tlkl-hut dining, North Miami's outlet, a former
Carvel, has the same food but lacks the tropical charm $-$$

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
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 varletes 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.
Minestrone, sure Buta pizzeria menu with carrot ginger
soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entrees
like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin
ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli,
and other surprisingly upscale choices The East Side Salad
includes goat cheese, walnuts, and cranberries, quaffs
include imported Peronl beer As for the pizza, they are clas-
sic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum
tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top
American pizza cheese) Best seating for eating is at the shel-
tered outdoor picnic tables $

El Q-Bano Palacio de los Jugos
8650 Biscayne Blvd.
In case you were wondering if its too good to be true -- it isnt El
Q-Banos owners are indeed related to the family that operates
the original three Palaclos de los Jugos which means no more
schlepping way out westfor the chicharrones against which all
others pale Also recommended are molsttamales, tasty sand-
wiches (especially the drippingly wonderful pan con lechon), rich
flan, and the fresh tropical juices thatjustifythe aforementioned
excesses For even heater eaters, there's a changing buffet of
daily specials and sides And those ordering the combo platter of,
basically, Cuba's Greatest Hits had better take advantage of the
free delivery, since waddling home will be difficult $-$$

Europa Car Wash and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd.
Giving new meaningto the food term "fusion," Europa serves
up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with croissants, and
Chevron with Techron Those who remember this former no-frills
fillingstation only as one of the Boulevard's cheapest sources of
brand-name gas will be astonished atthe invitngly expanded interi-
or Snacks match the casual chicness sandwiches like the Renato
prosciuttoo, hot capplcola, pepper jack cheese, red peppers,
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 cleanings- done by hand, not finish-scratching
machines are equally gentrified, especially on Wednesdays
"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.
Low profile would be an understatement for this place
Housed in a yellow building that's tucked in back of a parking
lot behind a small grocery store, its 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 Rastafarl owner Immanuel Tafarl cooks up meat
and dairy-free specials, like Jamaican pumpkin/chayote stew
in coconut milk, that depend on what looks good at that morn-
ings 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
soysausage patties $

Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd.
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 multmeal plans customized for individual
diner's nutritional needs $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
5140 Biscayne Blvd.
(See North Miami Beach listing)

Jimmy's East Side Diner
7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692
Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys 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 frittatas for
those preferring savories, and a full range of sides biscuits
and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oat-
meal 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 kill-
ing an hour is a pleasure at this stylish car wash/tapas bar,
where the elegant light fare occasionally even outshines the
hand-washed automobiles Vegetarians do especially well,
with crusty baguette sandwich combos like brie, walnuts, and
honey, or another featuring grilled artchokes and buttery St
Andre cheese Lower carb items range from an imported olive
assortment to an antipasto platter with Spanish Cantlmpalo
chorizo, manchego cheese, and garbanzos There are break-
fast and dessert pastries too Beverages include organic
coffee and soy chain lattes, as well as wines and an extensive
beer listfeaturing 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 Bernsteln (of Michys) and other
knowledgeable diners wander over from the Boulevard for
simple but perfect pad Thai, chill grouper (lightly battered fil-
lets in a mouthwatering tangy/sweet/hot sauce), 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/outdoor place is only open
for weekday lunches, "cantina" dinners 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 top-chef gigs at upscale eateries like Azul, not to
mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey
restaurant in an emerging (but far from fully gentrlfled) neigh-
borhood Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond
gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croqu-
etas 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
creatons like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato,
cilantro, roasted garlic) But the cafe also carves out its own
identity with original creatons, including yellow curry-spiced
Moonchine fried rice or Popeye's Salad (spicy tuna, avocado,
spinach, masago roe, sesame seeds, and a scrumptious
sweet/hot klmchee dressing) Nearly everything is low in sodi-
um, 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 understatementfor the space,
formerly the Haitian hole-in-thewall Fidele Now a boutique
Japanese eatery, this younger sibling of South Beach old-tmer
Moshl Moshl 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'tsurprising given
the owners' previous work Toshl Furlhata and Hiro Terada were
executive chefs atSushiSamba and Doraku, Yanl Yuhara is an
ex-Benlhana manager Sushi ranges from pristine plain individual
nigirl (all the usuals plus rarer finds like toro) to over-the-top maki
rolls likethe signature Moshl Moshl (tuna, whitetuna, salmon,
avocado, masago, tempura flakes, spicy mayo) Tapas also go
beyond standards like edamame to intriguing dishes like arablki
sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerlingfrank with a superior
pop/spurtfactor, rarely found in restaurants even in Japan,
they re popular Japanese home-cooking items And ricebased
plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types)
satisfy even the biggest appetites $-$$$

Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
8214 Biscayne Blvd., 305-7548328
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, cookies,
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,

Continued on page 50





Enjoy a casual meal at Midtown Miami.

Captain Joe Seafood & Pasta Grill


Five Guys Burgers & Fries

n m the Shops at

It All Spells Great Shopping

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 49

salads such as warm goat cheese with fresh greens, toma-
toes, dried cranberries, and candied cashews Also offered are
temptingtake-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 rustc al fresco deck of chef Kris
Wessel's intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront
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 cuttng-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-videcooked
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 butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and
homemade 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 blergarten, this
German restaurant is owner Alex Richter's one-man
gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninvit-
ing 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 patties
served with a half-dozen different sauces $$-$$$

5556 NE 4th Court
305-759-3117; www.soykarestaurant.com
This expansive, contemporary hangout was often credited
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 perfect fit
for its area Comfortably priced yuppie comfort food like
meatloaf with mashed potatoes, crab cakes with spicy-
sweet slaw, a wild mushroom/smoked mozzarella pizza,
or a Cobb salad may not be revolutionary fare, but Soyka
continues to thrive while more ambitious, nationally publi-
cized 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, avo-
cado, lettuce, toblko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and
special sauces Also popular are red and orange dragon
rolls, similarly sauced makls of fried shrimp plus veggies,
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.
Owned by the Vega brothers (chef Michael and art-
ist Sinuhe) of Cane a Sucre now defunct, but one of
Midtown Miami's first cool, contemporary cafes this
more ambitious yet casual outdoor/indoor Euro-cafe 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
mahl-mahl with cilantro aloli and caramelized onions on
housemade foccacla) Dinner features a range of small
plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey
balsamic drizzle) and full entrees like sake-marinated
salmon with bonlato mash, Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy
spinach Drink specials and live music on weekends

Ver-Daddys Taco Shop
7501 Biscayne Blvd.
Atthis soulful taco shop, the menu descriptions are in com-
mon English ("cinnamon puffs" drizzled with honey and lime,
not bufuelos") But taco fillings range from the commonplace
(ground beef, shredded chicken) to more unusual pork in
chill verde, fried potato, or Baja battered fish (authentically
garnished with Mexican crema and cllantro-splked cabbage)
And all offerings can be loaded with other garnishes from the
kitchen (refried beans, cheese, crema) or less perishable offer-
ings from a salsa bar For the heath-minded, oils are nonhydro-
genated, and sauces/seasonings are all housemade and free
of preservatives $

Wine 69
6909 Biscayne Blvd.
From the name, one might think this is just a wine shop
Its 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 wasabl sauce, crab cakes with Asian
srlracha chill sauce, a three-cheese souffle Especially
impressive are some nicely priced cheese/charcuterle
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 lobster ravioli in
tomato/cream vodka sauce are under $20, and no meat
or seafood entree exceeds $30, the spectacular setting on

Biscayne Bay is priceless Floor to ceiling 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 an especially
belly-busting bandeja paisa (Colombia's sampler platter of
grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg avocado, plantains,
rice, and beans) But do not miss marginally dainter dishes
like sopa de costlla, 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 can-
cel out the cholesterol Hal But who cares? Strap on the med
emergency bracelet and bring it on $-$$

Edy's Chicken & Steak
1624 79th St. Causeway
It might initially seem that the steaks (sirloin, filet or a chewy
marucha" top round) are what differentiate Edys from Miami's
many other chicken joints But what really makes the place
stand out is the signature Peruvian polio a la brasa, char-
broiled in a wood-fired rotisserie rather than simply plonked
on a grill The rotation makes the bird self-baste, keeping even
the delicate white meatjuicy under its crispy nearlyfat-free
skin Spicing is also superior The original recipe of owner Edy
Dernovsek's secret dozen-ingredient marinade came from a
visit to Peru, but has been tweaked with typical spices from her
hometown -- Chiang Mai, Thailand The result is subtly mouth-
warming heat absent from average chain chickens Nothing
leaps out at you, but there'sjust enough of a taste-bud tease to
make the poultrys own flavorsjump For serious fire, green chill
sauce comes with all orders $-$$

Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway; 305-861-0143
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 marinat-
ed 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 bud-
get-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 tempted 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 Thejoint dates from
South Beach's late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes
vibe not to mention the pool tables and jukebox 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 estab-
lishment 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 (Ouzos, 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 clas-
sical Greek cuisine based on recipes of coowner 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 dressing or an inspired eggplant/ground beef moussaka,
bound herewith 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 outdoor ter-
race and mult-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 crab-
meat raviolett 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.
305-861-6222; www.tamarindthai.us
When an eatery's executive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook
author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, you'd expect major media hype,
fancy South Beach prices, and a fancySoBe address Instead

Continued on page 51




65o S. MIAMr AVE. 3530S.5I915

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 50

Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai
school pal who d moved to Miami) at this unpretentious,
authentic (no sushi) neighborhood 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 chefs 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
theworkforyou $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
9432 NE 2nd Ave.
With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches
elsewhere in town), this mostly takeout mini chain is fast
becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami And why do
Mlamlans 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 imag-
inative 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? $-$$

Village Caf6
9540 NE 2nd Ave.
305-757-6453; www.villagecaferestaurant.com
There an official Village Hall a few blocks up the road but a
popular vote would probably proclaim Village Cafe the commu-
nity center of Miami Shores Few residents can resist starting
the workday with unique breakfast treats like a pressed panini
of ham, Brle, and caramelized apples Later locals gather over a
balsamic-dressed cranberry 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 resl-
dents Let them eat (fresh-baked) cakel $-$$

C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112
If every Miami neighborhood had a neighborhood restaurant
like this low-priced little French jewel, itd 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 brlk
(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 its Sunday it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombia's

national dish If its 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,"
smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with
Colombian sausage) And for noncarnivores there are several
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 loca-
tion next to a firearms shop But there's a lot of other stuff
aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches
and wraps Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut
pancakes especially popular But whats most important 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, Bambohe
is worth the hunt on one of those head-splitbng Saturdays, for a
Haitian specialty not found in manyarea restaurants bouillon tet
cabrlt 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 dishes like frtay, fried street snacks Haitian stan-
dards grott 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 atthis expansive eatery though
from the decor mixingWild West rusticity with Key Westflip-
flops dangling from the ceiling -- its 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
Tuesday But don'tforgetthe biggestdraw the barbecue, hon-
eststuffthat has been low-temperature smoked for 12 to 14
hours till tender yet resident 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 suc-
culent sliced brisket and delightfully jucy chicken $$

Burritos Grill Caf6
11717 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1041
Originally friendly little 125th Street hole-in-the-wall that
garnered raves for its limited menu of terrifically tasty treats,
Marlo and Karlna Manzanero s cafe is now In more siz-
able 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 marinated in sour orangejuice and topped with pickled
onions and chiltomate sauce (roasted tomato/chill), tacos al
pastor, stuffed with subtlysmoky steak, onion, cilantro, and
pineapple, sinful deep fried tacos dorados (like fat flautas),
and signature burritos including the Maya, filled with juicy

cochinlta plbil, refried beans, and pickled onions $$

Canton Caf6
12749 Biscayne Blvd.
Easily overlooked, this stripmall spot serves mostly Cantonese-
based dishes, rangingfrom all the old ChineseAmerican classics
(chop suey, moo goo ga pan, pu pu platters) through newer
Americanized fusion favorites like honey garlic chicken, teriyaki
bef, and crab Rangoon But there are also abouttwo dozen spic-
ier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma potofu,
and General Tsos chicken And there are a few imagnatve new
items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the Forest"
Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed
walnuts, and Mongolian bef (with raw chils and fresh Oriental
basil) Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner $$

Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy.
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 fresh-
ness 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 pleas-
antly nautical side dining room with booths, and more
recently 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-
lowtall (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 Bahamlan shellfish), everything is deftly prepared
and bargain-priced $$

Casa Mia Trattoria
1950 NE 123rd St.
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 neighborhood regulars
But even newcomers feel like regulars after about ten
minutes here, thanks to the staffs genuinely Italian ebul-
lhence 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 fuhgeddaboudit, especially for the tender gnoc-
chi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottinl -- 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 cochinlta
pibil? Its currently LAs 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 Cheen 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 mlchelada, 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, artificial 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 bya Chinese
American family serves mostly basic American diner fare burg-
ers, sandwiches about a dozen dinner entrees fresh-baked apple
pie, and, oddly a whole section of Caesar salad variations But its
also a secretsource 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 Sla and Nicole Hemmat bought the Gourmet Diner from
retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s.
theyadded Hannas" tothe name butchanged little else
about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-
Dade institution since 1983 Customers can get a cheese
burger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf
bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg 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.
At this friendly natural foods establishment one of Miami s
first, there's a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple-
ments Butthe place's heartysoups, 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.
Half sushl/sashimi, half cooked Japanese dishes, the
menu is relatively small but covers most of the traditional
favorites and a few surprises Popular makls include the
Dream (shrimp tempura, avocado, Japanese mayo, and
masago) the vegetarian Popeye spicy spinach roll, and the

Continued on page 52

Jans the fo(*jtiaa iLOi#Lk0 -.

Waterfront Taverna

Old World Chrmn-t b heart of the Upper East Side's MMi fDtritd

R Rtvenft Wining & Dining; Greek.Mediterranean Cuisine

SServing Fresh-Fish-QeepusSaSuar ne..
Limb & Meat Dishes and over 20 'Meze" Plates "

Opep at 6pm Tuesday through Sunday, FREE PARKING

r6(0 rNEWR freet Miami* T: 305.758.2929 -www.anisetavern

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 51

deep-fried Crispy, a priceless salmon and veggie roll Among
cooked items, there's a large list of terlyakis, 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.
Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hum-
mus, and klbbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur,
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 elabo-
rate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cab-
bage 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 lim-
ited selection of imported spices and staples $-$$

Le Griot de Madame John
975 NE 125th St.
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, includingjerked beef or goat tassot and
an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt
before poaching with various veggies and spices) Butthe dish
that still packs the place is the grlot marinated pork chunks
simmered and then fried till they re moistlytender inside, crisp
and intensely flavored outside $

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd.
Lke its South Beach predecessor, the Lime was an instant hit as
much for being a hip hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex

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food Though Lime is now franchising the chain's concept is fast
casual" rather than fastfood meaning nice enough for a night
out It also means ingredients aren't canned-type crapola Seafood
tacos are about as exotc as the standard menu gets, but the mahl
mahl for fish tacos comes fresh, never frozen, from a local supplier,
and salsas are housemade daily Niceties include lowcarb tortillas
for dieters and many Mexican beers for partners $

Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd.
In addition to whitetablecoth ambiance thatsseveral steps up in ele-
gance from the majortyof neighborhood eateries, this placefeatures
live Latin entertainment and dancing making it a good choice when
diners want nightout notjusta meal Its also good choice for
diners who don't speak Spanish, butdon't worryabout authenticity
Classic Cuban homestye dhes like mojmarinated lechon asado,
topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja aretranslated on the menu,
notthe plate and fancier creations like pork filet in tang tamarind
sauceseem universal crowd-pleasers $$$

Maleewan Thai & Sushi
2224 NE 123rd St.
Redecorated (tasteful bamboo-matted walls, silk flowers) since the
days- manydays- this space was occupied bythe koshersushi
spotTani Guchi's Place, Maleewan is nowa cozy neighbors nook
at which to enjoy all the standard Japanese and Thai selections
Cooked sushi is the strongsuit here, particularythe signature
mammoth-size Maleewan roll, given zing by pickled Japanese
squash and savor by a crspyyellowtail tempura topping If you're
craving more creative fare, check outthe handwritten specials
board on your way in $$

Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave.
For more than 35 years this beloved red-saucejoint has been
drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with pro-
digious 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 garlic rolls and

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either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, toma-
toes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) that's a dinner
in itself Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leather-
ette booths, add to Mama's charm $-$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St.
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.
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 entree with choice of meat or sea-
food, 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 compan-
ions, so go with those you love $$$

North One 10
11052 Biscayne Blvd.
For most chefs a Miami-to-Manhattan move is generally
considered one of those offers you can't refuse But after
helming 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 its not South Beach, so prices are reasonable,
and parking is free $$$-$$$$

Nuvo Kafe
13152 W. Dixie Hwy.
Though the neighborhood is decidedly ungentrlfied, the interior
of this cafe is an oasis of cultivated Caribbean cool and subtly
sophisticated global fare Haitan-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 creative 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 onlyslightlysinful, Citadel Raw Fruit Pie $$-$$$

We Hand Roll
All Our Bagels Damty


Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd.
At this stylish, dramatically minimalist Thai/sushi spot, the
regular Thai and Japanese dishes are as good as anywhere
in town But the way to go is the menu of specials, many
of which clearly reflect the young chef's fanatic devotion
to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of
Knob broiled miso-marinated black cod, rock shrimp tem-
pura 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.
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
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.
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 albondigas spicy, ultra-savory
meatballs $$-$$$

14871 Biscayne Blvd.
(See Miami Brickell / Downtown listing)

Paul Bakery Caf6
14861 Biscayne Blvd.
From one rural shop in 1889, the French bakery known
simply as Paul has grown to a worldwide chain, which for-
tunately 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 boulangerne
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 sandwiches are equally and dependably
French $$

Continued on page 53


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

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 52

2214 NE 123rd St.
While this mainly vegetarian kosher place is best known for its
pizza (New York-style medium crust or thick-crusted Sicilian,
topped with veggies and/or "meat buster" Imitation meats), its
also offers a full range of breakfast/lunch/dinner vegetarian
cuisine of all nations, with many dairy and seafood items too
Admittedly the cutesle names of many items baygels, berger-
rbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meat-a-ball, schmopperrr may
cause queasiness But the schmopperrr itself is one helluva
high-octane veggie burger $-$$

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar
13750 Biscayne Blvd.
Though some food folks were Initially exasperated when
yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our area's
few Vietnamese restaurants, its 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.
Atthe 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, Steves 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.
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.
In terms of decor drama, this sushi spot seems to have
taken its cue from Philippe Starck Delano-like sheer floor-to-
ceiling drapes, for starters The sushi list, too, is over the top,
featuring monster makls the Cubble Comfort (spicy tuna,
soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jala-
penos, 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 unprecedented
ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple To
drink there are boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails
as exotic as the cuisine $$$-$$$$

Tokyo Bowl
12295 Biscayne Blvd.
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 nigirl 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 tojust 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 pep-
per 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 exceptto stretch operating hours into the
night and expand its classic grlddled-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 notto 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.
Its appropriate that the name of this small strip-mall sushi
spot refers to Japan's first and only sparkling sake some-
thing 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 ingre-
dients 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 admit-
ting the obvious "Nobody knows it" $$-$$$

Bamboo Garden
1232 NE 163rd St.
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 peppery black bean clams, sauteed mustard
greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scal-
lions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young Default
spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with
red-chill icons, but don't worry, realizing some like it
hot, the chefs will customize 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,
mahl mahl, and the signature blue marlin), available in a
sampler, salads, sandwiches/wraps, or a delightfully mild
smoked fish dip that may be Miami's best But the smoke-
house 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.
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 inauthentic 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 probablyjerk 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
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 ele-
gantly than most in town (notably a picture-perfect causa
con camarones, mashed potatoes layered with shrimp),

Continued on page 54

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 53

the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique
Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from
recipes by Peru's influential nlkkel (Japanese/Creole) chef
Rosita Yimura an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de
corvina, 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 exceptional
are the nicely priced yakitor, skewers of succulently soy-
glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables, the unusu-
ally 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, butthere's more than just sushi at this mostly take-
out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro Makis are the mainstay
(standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like
mult-vegfutomakl, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy
Crunch & Caliente maki), available a la carte or in value-priced
individual and party combo platters But there are also bento
boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, str-fried veg-
gles, 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 (wilted spinach, chilled
and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild
young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps
just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chill sauce Open
till around 3 00 a m $$

1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393
If unusual Bangladeshl 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, its because
chef/owner Bithl 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 din-
ers 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, flavored with a
Bangladeshl citrus reminiscent of sour orange Early-bird
dinners (5 00 to 6 30 p m ) are a bargain, as some dishes
are almost half-price Lunch is served weekends only
except by reservation, so call ahead $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
16350 W. Dixie Hwy.
(See Miami Shores listing)

JC Food
1242 NE 163rd St.
Jumbo's regular menu offers a large percentage of hard-
to-find traditional Chinese home-cooking specialties
(many using fresh and preserved Asian vegetables) 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 crois-
sants, and for the brave, steamed chicken feet $$

Kyung Ju
400 NE 167th St.
Star of the show at this long-lived Korean restaurant
(one of only a handful in Mlami-Dade County) is bulgogi
The name translates as "fire meat," but isn't a refer-
ence to Koreans' love of hot chills 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 eaters 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.
Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo-
spheric 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.
In this restaurants parking lot, midday on Sundays, the colorful
displayof vivid pinks, greens, and blues worn by myriad families
arrivingfor dinner in matching going-to-church outfits is equaled
only by the eye-poppingy dyed shrimp chips and desserts dis-
played inside on the buffet table Though there's an a la carte
menu, the draw here is the 100-item (accordingto advertse-
ments) all-you-can-eat spread of dishes that are mostly Chinese,
with some American input Its 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.
The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbe-
cue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed
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-aver-
age selection of seasonal Chinese veggies 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.
Its just small area blocked off by grocery shelves, buried
between the wines and the frdge counters no potted palms,
and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style snack space But
when negotiatngthis international gourmet markets packed
shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy
place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-
American classics, steam-tabled but housemade from old fam-
ily recipes Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta
faglole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person
shoppingfor hours $-$$

Lemon Fizz
16310 W. Dixie Hwy.
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 fruitjuices and
smoothies $

Little Saiwwgon
16752 N. Miami Ave.
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 atmosphere,
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 notjust a soup but a whole ceremony), and
many other Vietnamese classics The menu is humon-
gous $-$$

Mary Ann Bakery
1284 NE 163rd St.
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,

its 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 quaf-
fable wine per person $$$

Panya Thai
520 NE 167th St.
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 chill/garlic sauce and
fresh Thai basil, and chill-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 pel duck (roasted, then deep-
fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous
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 pornogra-
phy one of the Carnegie Dell's mile-high pastrami sand-
wiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them Even a mouth
like Angelina Jolie's couldn't fit around a "Carnegie-style"
monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound
of succulent meat (really 14 pounds, we weighed It), for
a mere 15 bucks All the other Jewish deli classics are
here too, including just-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.
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

Continued on page 55

WE DELIVER eat 'ew lfs I tt


I 2905 NE 2nd Ave. hi.

Miami Beach: 305.865. 7500 703 71st St. I South Beach: 305-672-2400 1653 Washington Ave.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 54

show off his authentic Chinese fare salt and pepper
prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked
chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucum-
ber The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served
until 4 00 p m A limited live tank allows seasonal sea-
food 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.
At this unique Talwanese eatery, run by a trio of Talpel-
trained female chefs, all seafood, poultry, and meats
in the budget-priced entrees ($6 95) are mock imita-
tions 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 feature
recognizable veggies or noodles, including appealingly
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 flavors (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.
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 popu-
lar 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 willing
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 Raw Bar and Grille
17850 W. Dixie Hwy.
When Tuna's moved in 2006 from the marina space it
had occupied for more than 30 years, it lost its water-
front location, its old-fashioned fish-house ambiance,
and its outdoor deck But now it has gained new owners,
a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area,
and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties
cold-water oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points,
Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more Traditional house
favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish
from local waters Open daily till 2 00 a m, the place
can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitch-
en is open till closing, Tuna's 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-
bubbled 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 identi-
cal to that at the Upper Eastside's Luna Cafe and,
with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billante's
eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to
the typeface 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
portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/toma-
to dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce
with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit
familiar, 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 dishes,
like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot
pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood
starters and sides (duck fat friesl) for noncarnivores to
assemble a happy meal But don't neglect the steak -
flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American
Kobe," swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and but-
ter-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 dish-
es 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 tropical 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 Frls vodka sauce with mushrooms, scal-
lions, 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 fancifica-
tion 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-battered 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 Rumil and cooked at NYC's James Beard House Armed

with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife
launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to
prove that top restaurants can be affordable Consider
It now proven Florlbbean-style seafood is the specialty,
dishes fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry
sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, and
yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette and a
potato/leek croqueta Don't let the strip-mall location fool
you The restaurant itself is elegant $$-$$$

Pizza Roma
19090 NE 29th Ave.
Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not
Rome's wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New
York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to
fold in half for neat street eating Unlike chains, though, this
indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and
crisp just ask Also featured are Italian-American entrees
like baked manicotti that'ss mani-goat", for those not from
NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called
bullets," to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind The neigh-
borhood friendliness extends to kids, and there's a TV, plus
coolers of beer and plonk, for sports fans $$

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 carefully
balanced among meat/poultry-based and vegetarian,
clear and creamy (like the eatery's signature shellfish-
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)


modern Indian Cuisine


Lunch Dinner

Nw 'I.i:,, Lunch Bufivt T a 1w 1 r ;30-30pnm

M mar food t 1% HtIOl #eitr pnmMul ind lo ordi

2010 Biscayne Blvd. 305.40 .1976
.. * "i .i I ll.i ll i ..I i

CLASSIC COMBO: Hot Do Fries & Soda vese Do oddm


"Best Bang for the Buck"
Zagat 2007 & 2008

7030 Biscayne Blvd.

Fwrt Iamiseide
900s Fedew Hwy

March 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

March 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

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Ad valid until March 31, 2009. While supplies last.

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March 2009

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