Title: Biscayne times
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00028
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Publication Date: April 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: VID00028
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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April 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 2

ji r a llo
1 M iami is no stranger to inner-
S/| city roosters, but inner-city
S pigs and emus? Welcome to
SThe Farm, a patch of paradise located
in an unlikely place -just off 79th
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filled with an equal mix of characters, Ray laughs as he hoists a stack of hay Woodstock," says Dav id Goldbcck iin
barnyard animals, groovy tree houses, to feed his goats. For the past 31 years, author and snowbird fiolll ri, \\ookdsockl
and a very colorful history. The Farm has hosted numerous school New York, who first visitied Tlh Fmn I
The property is owned by Ray field trips, drum circles, potluck din- last month. And for locals \ lo \\,nndci
Chasser, an uber-laid-back 50-some- ners, make-shift concerts, and even a in, especially Miami nauves, words like
hiliI,_' \o l n11i1'i Il0i lt.k loI .IcI 1 \\ n flic \\,IIll,_-'Li ,ll llid llhl is so cool illl'if i c
GJCic ll[I' l iod ll I 2C Oll lLinuLicll I I'\ oidl dn I k o\\ Illl \\.is r\ ILii .
,2c1$ OIIK IpcopIc hl\ C 1I | \ O 1ni Li il lih Ih i,. \Oi oi l d d lo dinio i"nto,'-j ,.1 1

Community News

What's with all that
squiggly stuff on
sidewalks in the
MiMo District?
Page 28 .

Pawsitively Pets
How much is
that doggie in
the window?
Please, think
before you buy!
Page 44

Our Correspondents
At Mount Tabor
Baptist, those
with the least
are honored
the most.
Page 26

Dining Guide
Six new restaurants
this month. The
Biscayne Corridor
is bursting!
Page 43



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The Upen Door Miami Team
Bonnie Brooks 305.206.4186
Ilene Tessler 305.458.1200

21131 b- .r-

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com




April 2009

11 ~nrl n IrCI

i, i

AdrienneArsht Center



Bryn Terfel.
bM b11|
W illh -..[,i in... H ih
Coburn, conducted by
Stewart Robertson.
Selections by Verdi,
Wagner, Bizet, and
Rodgers and Hammer-
stein accompanied by
- *,,11 --k-+-



2 Hours Only!
Saturday, April 4
11AM 1PM
In-Person Only
at Box Office!
*For selected
performances of

SFlorida Grand Opera:
Madama Butterfly
Family fortune and
honor-poor Butterfly
forsakes them all for
the officer who was
no gentleman.


Alvin Alley American
Dance Theater
"Every American owes
it to him or herself to
see the Ailey
[company] perform
It is an American

Miami City Ballet
Program IV
The Cleveland Orchestr
Brahms Violin Concerto
Pinchas Steinberg,
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
8PM a

Nat'l Philharmonic of
Vladimir Spivakov,
Mayuko Kamio, violinist
8PM [
Russian music
spectacular featuring
Tchaikovsky, Stravin-
sky, and Prokofiev.
Alvin Alley American
Dance Theater
All performances
include Alvin Ailey's

8PM g
Australian dancer
Ros Warby's mixture
of classical ballet and
cutting-edge video

FREE Family Fest
11:30AM-1:30PM []
The Cleveland Orchestra
Peter and the Wolf
2PM []
Miami City Ballet:
Program IV
8PM ]
The Cleveland Orchestra
Brahms Violin Concerto
8PM j]
Juan de Marcos
and the Afro-Cuban
All Stars
"The audience was
dancing in the
-The New York Times

Alvin Alley American
Dance Theater
2 & 8PM I
Jazz Roots Series:
Straight Ahead
with living legend,
and NEA Jazz Master
Sonny Rollins

Florida Grand Opera:
Madama Butterfly
heartbreaking tale
of ecstatic love and
tragic betrayal.
8PM [

With several lots and garages
conveniently close to the
Center, parking is plentiful at
every performance.
Valet parking also available

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

Miami City Ballet
Program IV
_'M 19
Balanchine's Concertc
Barocco and
Symphony in C, and
Robbins' In the Night.

Alvin Alley American
Dance Theater

Free Gospel Sundays
4PM g
F Ri ill' H.l. I ln :i Vl..
nni A ln... li M1 i ... v
[.; .r.h.] i i....I

April 2009

!I III 10 U I

~1~~)1~ 0



Jim Mullin
Brian Horowitz
David Rodriguez
Victor Barrenchea, Erik Bojnansky, 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.



An Oasis in the Journalism
Desert? Okay!
I just want to say how much I enjoyed
reading Terence Cantarella's story about
sculptor Omar Ali ("Heavy Metal on the
Bay," March 2009). I often enjoy Mr.
Cantarella's articles. His narrative abili-
ties are finely honed and his skillfully-
written pieces truly stand out in the arena
of long-form journalism.
I'm happy to see that in this era of
rapidly disappearing print media the
Biscayne Times is still running in-depth
features of local significance written by
talented writers.
As more and more print publica-
tions go out of business, I often wonder
if anyone will be left to provide these
human-interest stories, or will we be left
with endless, similarly dry reports about
the economy and partisan bickering?
I wish your publication success and
longevity. God bless.
Miriam Chester
North Miami

Canadians and Saltwater:
What Could Be More
I just read Jim W. Harper's article
about "green" swimming pools. In my

hometown, Victoria, B.C., Canada, I
swim in a large community pool that has
a saltwater filtration system. It is wonder-
ful. It has the saltwater ratio of tears, very
slightly salty, and none of the horrible
effects of chlorine.
If B.C. can do it, so can we!
By the way, love the BT
Alice Moffat
Miami Beach

From Our Little School To
Your Big Heart
Thanks to Jen Karetnick for her article
"Our Very Own Gastronomic Extravagan-
za" (March 2009). I was at the Mayor's
Ball on Saturday evening after the BT
was distributed and several people shared
great reviews with me. I really appreciate
the fact that Jen thought of our school
and advertised us in such a positive way.
Thanks again!
Yecenia Martinez-Lopez, principal
Miami Shores Elementary School

Jos6 To Steve: Did You
Have a Lovely Picnic?
After reading Erik Bojnansky's article
about Steve Hagen ("You've Got Mail -
Lots and Lots of It," March 2009), I wanted

to ask Mr. Hagen when was the last time he
went for a picnic in Bicentennial Park?
Museum Park will transform a
derelict, barren waste into a welcoming,
family-friendly venue where a picnic will
be possible. I have full confidence that
the Miami Art Museum people will honor
their commitments to funding.
I have been a Miami resident since
1968 and have lived to see the sleepy
giant that is Miami finally awaken. The
pulse of a city is tied to the quality of life
it affords its citizens not only in parks
but in its cultural institutions. The mix
of culture and a park has been a winner
in many of the great cities of the world.
Pretty soon it will be in Miami as well.
Jos W. Perez
The Redland

Editor's note: For more about Miami
Art Museum and its fundraising for a
new home in Bicentennial Park, see Erik
Bojnansky's article "Museums to Skeptics:
You Can Take It to the Bank," page 29.

Legalize Bribery At
Least Then We Can Tax It
Frank Rollason's article "To Stop
the Bleeding, Apply a Tourniquet To
Continued on page 6


Inner-City Shangri-la................. .... .. ............. ...... 1

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

B izB uzz .......................................... ... ...... 8
A dvertiser D irectory........................ ... ......................... 8

Jen Karetnick: Ghost Village................... ........ .............. 20
Wendy Doscher-Smith: Welcome Back Home Sort Of..........22
Frank Rollason: Big Projects, Little Vision............................... 24

MiMo Sidewalks: Love Them, Hate Them................................ 28
From H ero to Zero............................................ ....................... 28
Museums to Skeptics: You Can Take It to the Bank................... 29
Recession? What Recession? Let's Open a Gym! .....................30

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

The Design District As Art Magnet.................... ............ 34
A rt Listings ....................... .............. ...... .... ........... ... 36
C culture B riefs......................... ..... ........ .......... . ........... ... 39

The Pool M akes the Park.................................... ................ 40

Your Garden: Good Trees in Bad Locations.............................. 42
Kids and the City: Where We Come From................................ 43
Pawsitively Pets: A Primer on Puppies................................... 44

Restaurant Listings ............................................. .............. 47
Wine: Red, White, and You........................................... 48

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

D S R UtP VOI. R P[1 : C


up to 50%

on our current inventory

8101 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 102, Miami Fl 33138 Tel 305 751 1511 Fax 305 751 1512
c o n t a c b e a u l i ng co rnw w w beau l i v ing c o m
Open MON SAT 11am 8pm, SUN 12pm 6pm

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Continued from page 4

Yourself' (March 2009) was a real eye-
opener, and the more details he gave,
the angrier I became. I am shocked by
the extravagant expense accounts of
Miami city commissioners, and I had
no idea commissioners pensions are
Here is an idea for how commis-
sioners can keep their pensions and ex-
pense accounts and it will not cost the
taxpayers one penny. We already have
elected officials receiving millions as
"campaign contributions," so why not
set up a fund called Elected Officials'
Pension and Benefit Contributions.
Each commissioner's fund is full when
it reaches $100,000 per year, the cost
of an expense account and a pension
contribution. Some may say this could
be viewed as a type of bribe, but really,
what's the difference between this and
a legal "campaign contribution."
Regarding Jim W. Harper's article
Nic\\ Ideas for New Pools" (March
2009), I read about a company called
Fafco that builds a systems to heat
water with solar energy and costs

$1800. The company says it takes one
weekend for one person with average
tools to install the system, which reduc-
es water-heating bill up to 50 percent.
Gayle Durham
Miami Beach

Having Just Finished
Reading Your March Issue,
Allow Me To...
Regarding "Hidden in Plain View: An
Architectural Gem" by Christian Cipri-
ani (March 2009), believe it or not the
building at 1125 NE 125th St. in North
Miami actually used to look 100 times
better than it does today. I'm surprised
the building's architect, Carson Bennett
Wright, didn't mention that in its original
conception, the ground floor entrance
facing 125th Street was a tropical lagoon
with cascading waterfalls, big-leafed
jungle plants, and towering bamboo that
the upper floors floated over.
Sometime in the 1980s, that "wasted
space" was walled off and turned into of-
fices. What a loss. Of course, if you know
anything about the City of North Miami,
one of the ugliest on the planet, where
city ordinances allow gas stations and

fast-food restaurants to anchor the town's
main intersection at 125th Street and NE
6th Avenue, it fits right in.
Okay, that's being a little harsh.
Wright's building as it stands today is one
of the few good buildings in that artless
town. Aside from MOCA, a true dia-
mond in the rough and as hard to explain
as a black hole, it's a landscape best seen
with blinders and your pedal to the metal.
Moving along to "You've Got Mail
- Lots and Lots of It" from the same BT
issue, if it's true that the Museum Park
buildings lack private funding, that's a
good thing. The winning design for the
art museum by Hertzog and De Meuron
deserves to never see the light of day.
Instead of lifting spirits with soaring,
awe-inspiring architecture like Frank
Gehry's art museums do, it sits unimagi-
natively with its flat roof on prime public
real estate like an auto mall on steroids
And now regarding Terence Cantar-
ella's follow-up story "Still Waiting for
the Train" (again, same March issue), for
us to hear that no "economic stimulus"
money will go toward making a com-
muter rail line between Palm Beach and
downtown Miami a reality in the short
run is downright disheartening. And to

learn once again that the City of Miami
Shores wants nothing to do with a com-
muter station in their fair burg suggests
the April 14 election comes none too
soon. I can understand where the reac-
tionary old guard might have a problem
with it, but you would hope that the
new, younger generation moving into the
city might have a better appreciation of
having the option to hope a train in their
town that will get them north or south
without the hassle of wrestling with grid-
lock and rising fuel prices.
And finally, regarding Mr. Cantar-
ella's cover story "Heavy Metal on the
Bay," if the Knight Arts Challenge picks
my entry, in which I propose creating
a program that buys and leases monu-
mental sculptural pieces to be placed in
downtown Miami, to turn Miami into
the Paris of the Americas (I know, I will
probably need all the $40 million in
Knight money to pull that off), you can
bet one of the first people I approach
(besides Martin Margulies) will be Omar
Ali. He is so worthy.
D.C. Copeland
Hibiscus Island

Feedback: letters@,biscaynetimes.com




Show your love for the beauty of Biscayne Bay while giving back to your
Community by taking part in the 27th annual

Baynanza Biscayne Bay Cleanup Day

! Saturday, April 18th

FREE commemorative T-shirts are available! Official registration ends
April 3rd. For more information, call 305-372-6784 or www.miamidade.gov/derm

^ -fut, free .CUNTY

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Miami's Newest Charter School for the ARTS
Opening August, 2009

A Great Education with Free Tuition
Middle School-High School, Grades 6-12

Offering an outstanding academic
education combined with the finest
teachers and courses in the arts.

College Prep Academic Curriculum
Music (Instrumental/Vocal)
Creative Writing/Acting

Apply now: www.miamiartscharter.net

Coming to the Design District
3900 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33137
info@miamiartscharter.net charter school

A Miami-Dade County Public Charter School

April2009 iscaye T~imels wwwBisayneime^c

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


BizBuzz: April 2009

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

here are bigger community Easter
egg hunts for kids all over town,
but Biscayne Times territory
definitely has the egg hunt in the most
enjoyable setting for grown-ups: the fes-
tively decorated outdoor biergarten at the
Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus (1085
NE 79th St., 305-754-8002). No need ac-
tually eat the eggs, either. "Easter Sunday
starts with a big brunch from 11:30 a.m.
And we also barbecue our famous dar
beer-marinated ribs," assures owner Alex
Richter. Earlier in the weekend, Good
Friday and Saturday blackboard specials,
he adds, will include "a large variety of
fresh fish."
Chantik Imports (6667 Biscayne
Blvd., 954-559-2804), which celebrated
the grand opening of its new Biscayne
store with a February/March sale on its
one-of-a-kind Asian furniture, art, and
accessories, is marking April with a clos-
ing sale. And no, it's not a typo. It's the
economy, says Chantik's Stuart Gitlin,
who, unlike the Florida Marlins, runs his

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

private business without $400 million
in public funds, but wouldn't mind a
partner with a little investment money to
spare. Hmmm. Does anyone have team
owner Jeffrey Loria's cell phone number?
Meanwhile, lovers of unique Southeast
Asian lighting, mirrors, masks, beds,
sofas, bowls, baskets, panels, fountains,
or drums can score those, and much
more, at significant savings.
Whining about the economy is best
done while wining, or so say the folks
at the River Oyster Bar (650 S. Miami
Ave., 305-530-1915). So on Fridays,
from noon till 4:30 p.m., bottles from
the restaurant's Wine Spectator award-
winning wine list are half off.
At Laurenzo's Italian Market
(16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381),
National Pizza Festival Month, nor-
mally in October, has come early this
year. Every day during April, from 4:00
to 7:00 p.m., there's a free pizza tasting
featuring both thin Margherita and thick
Sicilian pies. "Our pizza maker Carlo
puts out some nice complementary food
offerings at our weekly Friday wine tast-
ings, too," adds the market's sommelier,

Larry Baker, better known as Larry the
Wine Guy. "And people order pizzas to
go while enjoying the wines."
Trader John's Records & Books
(484 NE 125th St., 305-899-7172), a
newcomer to our fine publication, is al-
ready known for its rock-bottom regular
prices: more than 500 books for a buck,
with most paperbacks half price and
hardbacks starting at $5; CDs and DVDs
for $8 (three for $20); even bargain-
priced specialty items like comics and
vinyl records. During April, though, men-
tion the Biscayne Times for an extra 25
percent off.
April is anniversary month for Casca
Doce (6815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-
6001), and proprietor/interior designer
AnaCristina Correia is celebrating with a
wealth of specials. Artist of the Month is
Ben Abounassif, known for his painted
3-D cubes and large-scale works that, as
Correia describes, "convert photographs
as paintings respecting the original ele-
ments, making them very modem." The
showroom, she adds, is "full of new
stuff!" That'd be accessories, furniture,
and more. See something you can't


Adrienne Arsht Center
www arshtcenter org
Page 3

Chop Shop M
Poker Tournament
Page 27

Qnco de MiMo Festival ME
MiMo Biscayne Association
www mlmoboulevard org
Page 10

City of North Miami E
Page 41

I.D. Art Supply
2695 Biscayne Blvd
Page 35

Miami Beach Gay Pride M
Page 15

Miami-Dade County
Page 6

Miami-Dade County
Go Green
wwwgreen miamidade gov
Page 31

Miami-Dade County
Easy Card
www mlamidade gov
Page 46

Miami Shores Presbyterian
Church ME
602 NE 96th St
Page 43

Rhythm Foundation M
wwwTransAtlanbcFesval corn
Page 17

Trader John's Records &
Books E
484 NE 125th St
Page 42

Europa Car Wash and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd
Page 24

Karma Car Wash & Caf6
7010 Biscayne Blvd
Page 20

Miami Parking Authority
Page 46

Plaza Tire & Auto
3005 NE 2nd Ave
Page 31

Children's Village
School and Daycare Center
650 NE 88th Terr
Page 42

Live! Music School
2180 NE 123rd St
Page 43

Miami Arts Charter
School ME
3900 Biscayne Blvd
Page 7

Allied Public Adjusters
Page 46

Law Offices of
Jake Miller ME
12250 Biscayne Blvd
Page 15

Steven K. Baird
Attorney at Law
Page 22

Mary Robbins
Accounting &
Tax Services
9165 Park Dr Suite 12
Page 44

Beau Living
8101 Biscayne Blvd #102
Page 5

Casca Doce
6815 Biscayne Blvd
Page 37
Chantik Imports
6667 Biscayne Blvd
Page 37

Details at Home
5046 Biscayne Blvd
Page 21

Karnak Blinds
Page 32

600 NE 72nd Terr
Page 35

Planet Lighting
5120 Biscayne Blvd
Page 12

Teak Only
8300 Biscayne Blvd
Page 32

Treasure Hunters
Page 25

Dental Options
11645 Biscayne Blvd #204
Page 20

7120 Biscayne Blvd
Page 13

Holistic Healing Center
1590 NE 162nd St #400
Page 26

Humana M
8400 NW 36th St #350
Page 44

Nails Etc.
5084 Biscayne Blvd
Page 33

9 to 5 Redesign
261 NE 102nd St
Page 38

All Florida Pool & Spa B
11720 Biscayne Blvd
Page 9

Arco Glass & Windows
617 NE 125th St
Page 33

Avery Glass & Mirror
813 NE 125th St
Page 37

Barnett Tree Service
Page 41

Dart Services
Page 32

Guarantee Floridian
Page 23

I Will Clean for You [
Page 38

Lighting Electric of Miami i
Page 38

Power Marble
Page 38

Suds Domestic
17033 S Dixie Hwy
Page 33

Painting and Services
Jeffrey Diamond
Page 38

Re: Design Studio
Architecture & Interiors
Page 35

Renu at Hand
Page 26

Allstate Insurance
8703 Biscayne Blvd
Page 24

Adam's Veterinary Clinic
672 NE 79th St
Page 45

Junior's Pet Grooming
2500 Biscayne Blvd
Page 45

Pet Portraits
Page 45

Smiling Pets
7310 Biscayne Blvd
Page 45

Douglas Elliman
1691 Michigan Ave #210
Miami Beach
Page 11

Miami Spaces
Page 22

Turnberry International
Page 2

Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd
Page 57

Bengal Indian Cuisine
2010 Biscayne Blvd
Page 59

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St
Page 52

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave
Page 55

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St
13105 W Dixie Hwy
Page 53

C6te Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave
Page 58

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
Page 50

Dunkin' Donuts
5128 Biscayne Blvd
Page 55

Laurenzo's Italian Market
16385 W Dixie Hwy
Page 60

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St 9th floor
Page 51
3221 NE 2nd Ave
Page 53

Piza Fiore
2905 NE 2nd Ave
Page 54

Royal Bavarian Schnitzel
1085 NE 79th St
Page 59

River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave.
Page 56

Shops at Midtown
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
3201 N Miami Ave #100
Page 19

Tuna's Raw Bar and Grille
17850 W Dixie Hwy
Page 49

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

resist? Bring this column in for 20 per-
cent off purchases this month.
Remember the month of May in the
year 2004? You missed the final epi-
sode of Friends. Smarty Jones won the
Kentucky Derby and Preakness before
blowing the Triple Crown at Belmont.
And an electrical fire wrecked your
kitchen, leading to a nightmarish insur-
ance battle which you blew, settling for
a pittance. Fortunately, you got a friend
in Craig Spencer from Allied Public
Adjusters (305-794-1171). Florida ho-
meowners have five years from the first
claim date meaning this month to
reopen claims and seek unpaid compen-
sation, and Spencer is now offering a free
consultation on your situation. If you do
decide on a challenge, he'll do all the
dealing for you on a contingency basis,
meaning you pay only a percentage of
any money he recovers. If he can't wring
out another dollar from your insurance
company, you pay nothing.

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

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

11r i l11 "i




April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Marlins Stadium + Toilet Flush = Eureka!
A bold new proposal for the wise expenditure of taxpayer money

By Jack King
BT Contributor

hen the city and county both
approved the Marlins stadium
deal, I could feel the collective
groan of all the taxpayers in Miami-Dade
County. The $634 million bill (or is that
$529 million, or was that $687 million, or
maybe a billion with interest?) won't really
come due until most of us are dead, and
that fact is scaring the hell out of just about
everyone in the area everyone, that is,
except Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria.
The really bad news is that no one
knows how much the project will end up
costing or what the interest rates will be.
(Would you buy a house before you knew
what your payment was? Wait, don't
answer that!) Couple that with the fact
we don't even have an idea if the Marlins
can afford the deal at all. That may not
be a factor if Loria pulls the ultimate end
game. The Marlins, thought to be worth
about $250 million right now, would be
worth at least $500 million now that the
deal is signed. He could sell 49 percent
of the team for $250 million.
That would give him a quick $250
million to pay the Marlins' share of the
stadium, about $135 million, plus the
repayment of the $35 million loan to the
county, leaving him a net profit of $80
million without even doing a thing with
the team on the field. What a deal!
Most people feel this is a com-
pletely done deal and we are stuck with
it. They're probably right, but there are
a few bumps in the road ahead that may
have to be dealt with. First and foremost
is borrowing the dough to build this
money pit.

The bonds
are backed by the
tourist bed-tax
dollars, and that
revenue stream -"
is dropping
by nearly 20
percent right now.
Granted there's .
a good chance
that the revenue w
stream will grow ,
over the years, but ,. .
the bond holders might not be as optimistic
as the county manager. That could trigger
more front-end payments, a shorter repay-
ment schedule, and a higher interest rate.
These variables could add hundreds of mil-
lions to the final cost of the stadium, now
estimated to be in the range of $1.8 billion.
Not exactly chump change.
It confounds me that the primary
drivers of the bed-tax revenues are the
convention and meeting facilities in
the county. Yet the Dinner Key Con-
vention Center is scheduled to be torn
down (for good reason it is a horrible
facility), the Knight Center downtown
(another little-used facility) is too small
for just about everything but a KC & the
Sunshine Band concert, and the Miami
Beach Convention Center desperately
needs to be upgraded and enlarged.
I guess the county believes that
people from Palm Beach County will
come down to a Marlins game and stay
a few nights. I hope they do, because
no one in Miami is going to the games
now. Attendance has been at or near the
bottom of Major League Baseball every
year of the team's existence. And why
should huge crowds suddenly flock to a

-t rw.- '-..- -
new ballpark? The prices will be higher
for tickets and parking, and the area is
virtually impossible to get in and out of.
The biggest red herring of all in the
stadium mess is the argument that the Mar-
lins will use local construction and design
companies, and local workers for the
stadium construction, and then hire more
people to work there. City Commissioner
Michelle Spence-Jones hung her re-election
hat on this argument. She might have gotten
some big campaign contributions out of
this, but I doubt very seriously if Overtown,
Liberty City, and Little Havana will see
any economic impact. Well, maybe Little
Havana will see a spike in the front-yard
parking business.
If you believe that locals will get
meaningful employment of any quality
out of this, you are fully delusional. A
case in point: One of the city commis-
sioners told me he had received a memo
from the city manager's office stating
that the architect for the Marlins' stadium
parking garages had been selected. The
memo was received by the commissioner
several days after the vote to approve
the stadium. Oddly enough, the memo
was dated more than a month before the
i:.....=,. = i'

vote was taken. When the commissioner
asked about this, he says he was told by
the manager's office that there wasn't
any reason the commission needed to
know such information earlier.
It turns out the design group is from
the Midwest. So much for local partici-
pation in the project. The city manager
clarified all this by saying the company
had local contacts. Yeah, right. Are you
listening Commissioner Spence-Jones?
Several weeks ago I got an e-flyer
from the Water and Sewer Department
about the new water restrictions being
imposed in Miami-Dade County. Seems
like we are in a very serious drought. I
find this unbelievably outrageous in
light of the fact that the county dumps
hundreds of millions of gallons of water
into the ocean every day. Yes, I know
it is full of barely treated (or untreated)
sewage, and that our sewage treatment
plants are incapable of handling that
much gunk before polluting the ocean
and our beaches.
Part of the argument for using the
bed tax for the Marlins stadium is that
the money can only be used for projects
directly related to tourism. I'm not sure
how the stadium relates to that, but I can
tell you that the millions of tourists who
come here every year flush toilets bil-
lions and billions of times. So why don't
we take the bed-tax money and improve
the sewer system? That would be some-
thing directly involved in tourism.
Better to spend the money in a
crappy way that improves the quality
of life for South Florida residents rather
than one that doesn't.

Feedback: letters(itbiscaynetimes.com

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What was your first childhood toy?

Compiled by Victor Barrenechea -BT Contributor

Tom Hutchison
Business Owner
MiMo District
The one that I probably
remember as being the
oldest was a teddy bear.
It was given to me by a
relative when I was born.
I think it was an aunt, and
she just died at the age of
98. I know my mom threw
it away once because I was
so attached to it. Of course,
it was retrieved right away.
I still have it but I'm not
sure where it is.

D,. 'i,,.., L,i,. ,' Consultant
It was a Kermit the Frog
with Velcro hands and
feet. My parents gave it to
me. They had these tacky
1970s speakers and they
stuck him spread out onto
the speaker box the day I
got it. It was for my first
birthday. I still have it. It's
at my parents' house in St.
Augustine. I haven't seen it
since college.

El Portal
I guess the first thing I can
think of is an old stuffed
kitty cat. I was two. I don't
remember getting it, but
every picture you see of
me that age, I was hold-
ing that cat, so I guess I
loved it. It was pink, it
had plastic on the bottom,
it was always in a lying
down pose. After we
moved from our first house,
I couldn't find it. I guess I
got something else because
I forgot all about the cat.

Ines Pefia
Sales Associate
MiMo District
I'm the oldest of six
children, four sisters and
one brother. In Venezuela,
when I grew up, I didn't
have a lot of time to play
because I used to take care
of them. My grandmother
used to make dolls out of
old clothes, but I didn't
have time to play with
dolls. In a way, my little
sisters were my dolls. We
had animals. I used to play
with rabbits, chickens, and
we even had a tortoise.

Jodi Stein
Design/Sales Consultant
It was Dr. Seuss and Disney
books. My parents intro-
duced me to these books
when I was three. I was
reading at that age well,
more like memorizing. My
favorite book was Robert
the Rose Horse. It's brilliant.
I also hadA Fish Out of
Water and Put Me in the Zoo.
Fantastic illustrations, scin-
tillating storylines. They're
even interesting now. I do
still have these books.

Dee Anne Treadway
Store Owner
I had a Raggedy Ann doll. I
got it for my second birthday.
My aunts gave it to me. I
have photos of it and I saw it
in pictures of the birthday. I
don't know what happened to
it. I remember sleeping with
it, taking naps with it. It went
wherever I went. The same
aunts made a Raggedy Ann
doll for my daughter but she
didn't like dolls. The next
generation obviously didn't
appreciate Raggedy Ann.


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April 2009


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April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Ray Chasser and the wood-burning barbecue: At big parties he's often
The Farm's go-to chef."

City kids can interact with a
variety of friendly critters.

Continued from page 1

after a shock to the geographic system. "Is
this really Miami?"
Yes, this is Miami, and not far from
the menacing sound of gunshots. About
those weapons that have gone boom in
the night? "Whenever anyone complains
about animal noises," Ray says, "I ask
them: What would you rather have, the
sound of guns or chickens?"
Before you go thinking The Farm is a
place where radicals sit around dropping
acid and planning revolutions, let me tell
you I first learned about it in the parking
lot of a North Miami synagogue as I was
leaving a bar mitzvah.
A guy loosening his tie walked up
to me. "You look like a hippie," he
said. "You should come to The Farm.
Volleyball on Sundays." Volleyball I
understood. But a farm? A hippie? Yeah,
I know I have long hair and a predilec-
tion for jeans and flip-flops, but.... What
exactly happens at this farm? Did I look

Farm culture: Tolerance, fun,
hard work.

like a stoner or something? I asked the
rabbi about this farm place. "What goes
on there? Do they do drugs or something,
because you know I'm not into "
"Go," he stopped me. "It's nothing
like that. You'll have fun."
A few days later I turned west on
79th Street and south a few blocks
down and found a parking spot in front

Ray built The Farm bit by bit, acqi
more land each year until 1986,
he owned the roughly half-block,
acre property he does now.

of a tree stump resting on a hollowed-
out canoe. I walked around back, past
a school bus decked out in peace-sign
bumper stickers, and jumped onto a
wooden deck. "Hi!" I said, greeting the
five or so folks hanging out, laughing at
a joke whose punch line I just missed.
"I'm here to play volleyball."

Shawnee with brother Ray: She raised a family in her tree house.

That was 13 years ago. I've had a lot
of fun at The Farm since then none of
it drug-related and I've met some really
interesting people, whose day jobs might
be law or engineering or parenting or yoga,
all hippies at heart, I suppose.
Ray built The Farm bit by bit. In 1978
he paid $35,000 for an initial quarter-acre
parcel located on the comer of NE 76th
Street and N. Miami Court. A
year later he purchased another
uiring quarter-acre, and acquired more
when land each year until 1986, when
he owned the roughly half-
block, two-acre property he
does now in addition to "a
few crack houses" across the
street he cleaned up by turning
them into rental properties.
Even as a white Jewish kid, Ray was
familiar with the neighborhood. At age
eight, back in the early 1960s, he helped
his father after school at the family rag
business on 77th Street. As an adult, he ran
a second-hand furniture business on 79th
Street with his father. Both businesses were

called "Kagan" in homage to the physician
who tried to save the life of Ray's brother
Bobby, who died at age four from a birth
defect. Ray's phone number still remains
the same as Kagan's 305-754-0000 -
and he's not getting rid of it.
"I had two requirements when I
was looking for a place," Ray tells me,
sipping a Bud Light in the kitchen of
The Farm's main house as we lean on
a handmade cedar table with pressed-
flower inlays that he built with his four
kids 25 years ago. "Enough room for a
garden and a spot for volleyball. It was
the gumbo limbos here that sold me." He
steps outside, beyond a wood-burning
grill, to indicate the huge gumbo limbo
tree that first hooked him. An inviting
hammock now hangs from it.
Jungle green is everywhere: papaya,
barbados cherry, lychee trees, even an
iguana hiding in a pithecellobium. Ray
points out damage here and there from
hurricanes. "After Andrew, it took us two

Continued on page 16

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April 2009

Come Show Your Pride Side

April 18."'

I. UIl 1I *, I .!' -

,.! .i I L i f re e : '
; ', 1 '. . I r:iinls And don'lmis being
here o1 show your pride side! I.

**i I- * h w *, *
416 C-I ^ :i M -.





MIAMI, FL 33181

(305) 758-D020

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


S t .. '1 .

April 2009


Scenes from life on The Farm (clockwise from
top left): Shawnee holding baby Josh with
young Wren; Ray and daughter Marney (with
ball) and Josh; Ray's son Aubrey and daughter
Sarah with Josh (center); Poppy and Lantana;
Ray's son Justin (circa 1980) has recently
moved back to The Farm.

Continued from page 14
to three months of chain-sawing just to
walk through the yard," he recalls with
the all-in-a-day's-labor attitude emblem-
atic of his work ethic and deference to
Mother Nature. His creed: "If you're not
just thinking about yourself, everything
will work out."
A total of nine goats, 120 chickens,
four geese, two emus, two pigs, a few

cats, a dog, and a snake I want nothing
to do with call The Farm home. Many
people do too. Ray rents about 30 rooms
scattered around the property, including
the school bus in which he used to live.
Today he sleeps on his sailboat, docked at
the Boat House, a home he rents out on
the Little River, just a few blocks north.
Nestled next to the bus is a tool shed
and work area flush up against a soda vend-
ing machine a Farm mainstay that

actually requires change (50 cents). A pic-
ture of Ray's father, Poppy, sporting a long
beard just like his son, hangs on a nearby
wall. Poppy passed away last year.
Assorted wood stumps double as a
school chairs. The Farm hosts school
field trips in which youngsters learn
about medicinal plants like comfrey
(good for treating bruises) and pepper-
mint (the oil helps headaches), and about
tending to the goats in a way that makes

you think connecting with more than
video games is a good thing for kids.
Ray and I walk from the main house
to the rear of the property. There's the
Honey Room on the left (more on that
later) and a massive tree house to the
right. We walk past an outdoor shower
and a composting toilet (there are regular
ones too), and find our way back to the

Continued on page 17

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April 2009


Continued from page 16

garden. "This is some of the best soil in
Miami," Ray insists, opening an iron gate
to reveal rows of organic chard, toma-
toes, eggplants more than 50 different
vegetables. "Not many people would
believe that."
There has always been some kind of
organic garden at The Farm, fed by water
from a deep well Ray installed the day
before he moved here in 1978. Today the
garden has grown, entered the digital age,
and is playing a role in the urban-sustain-
ability movement.
Po\\c illul Community Forming
For Organic Lifestyles!" declares The
Farm's MySpace profile, created by
Marcus Thomson male, Miami, 30
years old. Marcus moved to The Farm
from Fort Lauderdale this past Janu-
ary to dig into his dream of community

If you've been around Miami lo
enough, you probably remember
River Honey. Ray bottled the hone
distributed it in recycled glass j

living. He's taken on the position of
farm organizer, a loose title, as titles go
around here. He's in the garden today
preparing compost, mixing in seaweed
he canoed out to Biscayne Bay to
gather. "Seaweed contains many nutri-
ents to properly nourish the soil," he
says. Healthy dirt, he adds, is essential
to "creating healthy plants which ulti-
mately feed and create healthy people."
Marcus's goals are not your run-of-
the-mill backyard garden variety. His
eco-dreams are big. They encompass the
elements, from water (rain catchment
and gray-water recycling systems) to
sun (photovoltaic cells) to air (harness-
ing wind power) to earth (permaculture
gardens, sustainable homes, and more).
He also wants to show others that living
green doesn't have to be overwhelming.
"People complain their hands are full, that
they work nine-to-five, that they don't
have time," he says. "I think people need
to let go of more, to free up their hands
to find more meaning in their life."
Global warming, climate change -
call it what you will, there's an environ-
mental transformation taking place on
our planet. Food production is a hot topic.
Chime into best-selling author and food

guru Michael Pollan or Google average
citizens taking charge of their health and
finances, like InnerCityFarmer.com or
PathtoFreedom.com, and you'll see the
urban garden is catching on. Living self-
sufficiently isn't just a trend, it's becom-
ing a necessity, "and it totally makes
sense," Marcus says.
Many would agree. More than
100,000 people signed a petition in
support of an organic garden now being
planted on the White House lawn, and
even mainstream Hollywood celebrated
the urban garden with the nomination of
The Garden for an Academy Award this
year. That documentary film chronicles
a slightly different story Big Busi-
ness vs. Everyday People. It's set against
the backdrop of a Los Angeles garden,
and mirrors the kind of land use associ-
ated with stand-alone vegetable gardens
located on municipal property, like
those you find now in Overtown, not the
community-living vibe of Ray's
farm. But they all share the
ng same mission: taking control
Little of your own food production
y and in a group setting.
Ray's niece Wren Levy,
who grew up on The Farm
and lives in North Miami,
spearheaded the community-
garden idea. She sent out an e-mail-
WORKSHOP) to the social network to
which she broadcasts The Farm's drum
circles. That's how Marcus found out
about The Farm. The first meeting had
15 people. Ray spoke about things like
how to compost food scraps (compost
can be brought to The Farm if there's
no other place to put it), what compan-
ion planting is all about (for instance,
tomatoes, marigolds, and basil ought to
be planted together), and how to claim
your own plot in the garden.
Alison Krochina, an energetic
29-year-old transplant from Anchor-
age, Alaska, is now living in Wren's old
cottage on The Farm (thanks to an ad on
Craigslist). She says her vision extends
beyond The Farm's fence: "I'd love to
get to the point we can give out seed
starting kits to our neighbors so they can
start their own gardens too."
Lest you think this is a puff piece
on Utopia, or that I believe the grass is
always greener, it's true there can be
trouble in paradise. Renters don't always
gewt along, and "there's a lot of heavy

Continued on page 18


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April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

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Like many things at The Farm, the volleyball rules encourage teamwork
and reward effort.

View from the tree house: For Ray Chasser, The Farm is a unique
community asset and the place he wants to be.

Continued from page 17

pecking going on" with the roosters, as
Ray puts it. At The Farm, neighborhood
kids are free to come and go. It's part of
what the place is all about a refuge,
a safe haven. The kids usually behave
themselves; some even sign on to goat-
feeding duty. But sometimes things are
not so cool, like when teens are caught
smoking in the bushes, or when beers go
missing from the fridge. And then there's
the stack of cash from Ray's tenants that
disappeared from his office. Ray had a
solid idea who took it. The new sneakers
a few neighborhood kids were wearing
tipped him off. The ordeal turned into a
mess after Ray's good intentions work
it out with the families instead of calling
the cops backfired. The parents gave
their kids a beating. "Not what I had in
mind," he says.
It's worth noting the said money-
stealing crime occurred in the Honey
Room. No, it's not some kind of love
shack. It actually is or was a honey
production room. Now it's Ray's office,
his desk peppered with utility bills and
odds and ends on his fix-it list. On a back
wall, a picture of Albert Einstein hangs
above a cot for napping. Assorted con-
struction tools are strewn about (Ray is
currently rebuilding the deck), and piles
of pennies wait their turn to be rolled.
This was once the sweet spot on The
Farm, where Ray extracted honey from
hives. "But the bees all died," he says,
then offers up more about "someone in-
troducing the African bee to make a more

productive bee you know, more honey, sp
more money," and how out of control liv
things got when an exotic beetle ended sh
up killing off all the native bees. to
One result of our global ecological mi
problems is habitat crisis, which now
includes the widespread collapse of bee Th
colonies. What this means on a local level in;
is that the best honey you ever tasted is lic
history. If you've been around Miami wl
long enough, you probably remember di
Little River Honey. Until about 2000, 50 mi
beehives dotted The Farm. Ray bottled the ba
honey and distributed it via word-of-mouth po
in recycled glass jars from pickles to M
tomato sauce friends left at his place he
instead tossing in the garbage. I'
A few years after the honey busi- w
ness faded, Ray decided to sell off his
Little River Wood Company, a business pl

No story about The Farm can be
complete without a section devote
to Shawnee Chasser, who lived in
the massive, three-level tree house
for 15 years.

he started as a hobby many years ago, "hi
and which thrived between 1999 and w
2005. If you ate pizza at Chef Allen's m
or Norman's during that time, there's a on
good chance it was fired up on the pine th(
prepared right at The Farm.
Three years later, in 2008, Ray's bu
father passed away. Ray likely inherited bu
his zesty DNA from Poppy, who, until Ar
age 85, helped Ray with the wood busi- ch
ness: unloading it from trucks, sawing, on

hitting, preparing it for restaurant de-
ery. But when Poppy died, something
ifted in Ray. "I was feeling it was time
move on," he recalls, "time to explore
ore of life."
For a while Ray talked about selling
le Farm (a deal fell through) and sail-
g around the world (he has a captain's
ense). He couldn't pinpoint exactly
hat was going on. His dad had just
ed, he was recently single, life was
moving swiftly by him. Then he came
ck around, back home: "I realized the
tential of what The Farm could be for
iami, and how lucky we are to live
re." He decided to stay. "You know,
Je lived here over half my life. I don't
ant to die anywhere else."
No story about The Farm can be com-
ete without a section devoted to Shawnee
Chasser, Ray's sister, who lived
in the massive, three-level tree
,d house for 15 years. Shawnee
is the kind of singular person
that easy taglines fail, like Ray.
She was "the hippie living in
the tree house," featured on
CNN and Home and Garden TV
She's quick to point out that it's
ppie in the more profound sense of the
)rd." You know, a person who wants to
ake positive change in the world, some-
le like Shawnee, who once walked across
e country for nuclear disarmament.
Today Shawnee runs a landscape
siness called Plant More Flowers, and is
ilding on her dream to own a healing center.
id in the "some things stay the same, others
ange" department, she is no longer living
The Farm. That would have been hard to

imagine even two years ago. Shawnee and
the tree house seemed synonymous. Her kids,
Josh and Wren, grew up on The Farm. Her
young adopted child Lantana frolicked freely
there, doing things kids do finding worms
in the dirt, swinging from branches.
Shawnee's tree house was like an oasis.
I enjoyed lying in her hammock, detoxing
from hours in front of the computer. Last
year, after a complicated and deeply per-
sonal brother-sister disagreement (which
made its way to the pages of the local news
in an appallingly one-dimensional "hippies
have long hair and bare feet" kind of way),
Shawnee moved out.
Since then the tree house has lost some of
its charm It's quieter now and bit bedraggled.
There are fewer kids running around, the
waterhole where the ducks hung out has run
down, the string of colored lights illuminating
flowered paths is dismantled. But if life on a
farm teaches you anything, it's that the world
changes, new beginnings are always possible.
Marcus moved into the middle level of the
tree house and is sure that "everything will be
renewed and restored." Alison has turned the
ground level what used to double as the
kitchen and living room into her painting
studio. And Ray is guiding the focus of The
Farm back to the community, and the future.
On a recent Saturday night, Ray's
friend Melie Viera, a Miami attorney,
celebrated her 50th birthday at The Farm.
Ray called earlier in the week to say there
was going to be a fire walk where
brave souls stroll across hot coals. When
I showed up with my vegetarian frank
and beans in hand, like a dutiful potlucker,

Continued on page 19

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Continued from page 18

the backyard was afoot with Farm magic.
Melie went all out. Local band Live Bait
cranked out 1960s favorites, and Mr. Paella
cooked up a Miami meal for more than 100
friends, freeing Ray from his usual role as
go-to potluck chef.
As the band played Van Morrison,
Ray put on his wood-guy bandana and
tended to the oak heating up the coals.
Soon Cork Kallen, lawyer-turned-fire-
walking-coach, inspired revelers to throw
their fears into the flames and take a walk
on the hot side. Melie conquered the heat,
charging up her friends to follow suit. It
felt like old times at The Farm, mostly.
Even Shawnee was there. But something
was missing.
Josh Levy, Shawnee's 31-year-old
son Ray's nephew, Wren's brother,
one of the nicest guys you could ever
meet had recently and very suddenly
passed away. Josh's death was a shock,
not something a birthday party could
completely overshadow. Shawnee would
soon hold a memorial for him, attended

Ray sees leaders of the sustain
movement coming to lecture, k
continuing to be exposed to nat
and everyone sharing in the
overflowing garden.

by a huge crowd, at her new home, an-
other tree house oasis (some things never
change) in North Miami.
An avid volleyball player, Josh
juggled three games a week: South
Beach on Mondays, Miami Shores on
Thursday, and The Farm on Sundays.
He was a little more schooled than others
who show up just for fun. The rules are
free-form at Farm volleyball. There's no
traditional three-hit rule, you can pass the
ball around as much as you'd like, and
the point stays alive as long as the ball
doesn't touch the ground. This means old
Little River Wood stumps and Noah 'sArc,
a 38-foot sailboat parked nearby, are all
fair game if the ball hits them, that's
cool, just keep the point alive.
When I first joined in the volleyball
games 13 years ago, bets were on, and
losers bought sushi dinner at Katana's
in Normandy Isle. Today bets are off,
but Ray still dives to the ground to
chase down a point. Later a ball lands
in a giant coconut palm. All attempts

to pry it loose with a long stick of
bamboo fail, so Ray fetches an old ball,
weathered from the years but still full
of enough life to play.
At a post-volleyball powwow, Ray
and Marcus discuss tasks that lie ahead
for the week. Top of the list: Fix the goat
fence. Down the line: Get the pond up
and running. A large aquaculture pond,
a complete biodynamic habitat, long a
dream of Ray's that's broken ground
since Marcus showed up, is in the
works. Listening in is Christian Meyer,
a 25-year-old "wwoofer" from Munich,
Germany, a Farm volunteer from an
organization called (note the mnemonic)
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic
Farms. Marcus listed The Farm on
wwoof.org, and since then South Beach
is not the only local destination beckon-
ing young globetrotters.
Ray's girlfriend, Leslie Aronson, is
also relaxing post-volleyball. Her knee is
feeling better. Just two days earlier, Ray
gave Leslie "bee-venom therapy" he
stung her with a bee on purpose (she
agreed) to ease her muscle pain. Ray
has been itching to don his beekeeper hat
again, for the health of it ("Bee-
keepers never get arthritis!" he
chirps) and the honey every-
ids one's been missing. One hive,
ure, located in a spot where inva-
sive plant species have been
cleared, is starting to buzz
with life. "A lot of beekeepers
are using coumophos, a poison,
to get hives going," he notes. "We won't
do that, but we'll hopefully find a way."
You get the sense that Ray will some-
how figure a way through the beehive
challenge. Everything seems possible
when you're nurturing a swath of green
into an inner-city Shangri-la.
Ray is hoping to gain nonprofit
status for The Farm to better sup-
port educational opportunities (he
welcomes all help). He see lead-
ers of the sustainability movement
coming to lecture, kids continuing
to be exposed to nature, and ev-
eryone sharing in the bounty of an
overflowing garden. "My mother
taught me that anything you want to
do, you can," he says. "Shoot high,
there'll be lots of rocky roads, learn
from your mistakes."
As he jumps up to take in one last vol-
leyball game before the sun sets, he adds
with a smile: "And never get discouraged!"

Feedback: letters@abiscaynetimes.com

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Ghost Village

Closed restaurants, vacant storefronts
By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor

It's been a terrible winter and early
spring for my family. My children
(and me, who catches everything from
them) have had intestinal viruses, the flu,
sinus infections, bronchitis, and the big I
one, pneumonia. So we've missed a lot of
school, sports practices, and lessons, which
means I've spent less time than usual
hanging out with my computer, sipping T
coffee or wine, and writing while I wait for
the kids to finish whatever activity with
which they're involved.
This is how I didn't notice the clos- Monday since Miss Jane opened her meal
ing of Village Caf6 until it had been gone school, I was home wiping noses, and
for at least ten days we'd been absent The departure of Village Caf6 leaves C6te
from Jane Spinney's Music Studio for a us with a singular full-service restau- S
couple of weeks. And instead of gulping rant in Miami Shores. By full-service I beinj
Pinot Grigio and snacking on French mean an eatery with a menu that's not locat
fries (and torturing the staff) with my written on a wall, tables that have linens with
friend and her toddler while her older on them, waiters who bring you glasses food
child and my two took lessons across of cellar-temperature Sauvignon Blanc licen
the street, which I've done nearly every that sort of thing. And by singular I doub

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n both definitions, in that it's uno,
also that it's good. In other words,
Gourmet fits the bill.
io C6te Gourmet is it, for the time
g anyway. Given that the Village Cafe
ion comes with the ability to cook
real fire (as opposed to warming up
in a hot pot) and a wine and beer
se, things the lessees fought hard for, I
it it will stay empty for long.

At least I hope it won't. But from the
looks of things around here, my family
isn't the only thing suffering from malaise.
Indeed in the past six months, Miami
Shores' main drag, NE 2nd Avenue,
has turned into a virtual ghost village.
Thanks to the deadly infection of con-
struction and economy, the two blocks
between 96th and 98th streets have some
15 vacancies (at press time). By my esti-
mate, this is about 65 to 70 percent of the
available space. Cue the tumbleweeds.
Certainly this is not the vision
residents had for Miami Shores when
our beautification dreams began taking
shape. So now, as much of the jack-
hammering and barricading on the most
commercial blocks concludes, we have
some nicely expanded sidewalks in front
of some enhanced storefronts, at least
from a street-corner point of view. But as
pretty as they are, or will be, they're also
pretty empty.

Continued on page 21

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April 2009


Ghost Village
Continued from page 20

It's not that the landlords aren't
attempting to fill them. The "for rent"
signs are plainly visible, advertising not
just vacancy but square footage, which
isn't always a "drive-by" factoid when it
comes to real-estate trivia. In an attempt
to spur more interest, landlords are also
including on these signs the types of
businesses that might work there: doc-
tor's office, gym, bookstore, shoe store.
This practice seems a little desper-
ate, and maybe even deceitful. On the
one hand, I believe that advertising the
former Casa Chameleon design shop
on the corner of 96th Street and 2nd
Avenue as a potential ice cream parlor is
an excellent idea. The shape of the space
is perfect for a walk-in counter business
with perhaps a few tables inside and
a few on the sidewalk. And we could
surely use a gelateria all year round in
this family-centric hood.
On the other hand, some of the sug-
gestions are oddly specific not just
a market but an organic market, not a
bakery but a pastry shop. And another

pair of signs offers up this tantalizing
possibility: that you can open up a "na-
tional chain store" in the Shores.
Sure, I know we have a Starbucks and
a Subway. But these businesses are located
in the newer building that was constructed
on the site of the old diner; hence the al-
lowance of food service. And the reason
we have a Starbucks, incidentally, is that
one of the bigwigs who was in charge of

The two blocks between 96th and
streets have some 15 vacancies.
about 65 to 70 percent of the ava
space. Cue the tumbleweeds

scouting new locations in Miami moved
to Miami Shores and wanted a home base.
But is the village council really going to
allow a Baby Gap to move in next to the
Flower Bar? (That is, if the Flower Bar
can hold on long enough so we can afford
luxuries like flowers again.)
I highly doubt our elected officials
would ever allow a "national chain store"

to take root in Miami Shores. Not that
potential lessees would know that. I can
imagine that naive potential franchisers
could conceivably rent a location for six
months or a year with plans to open, say,
a Victoria's Secret, only to be blocked by
the Planning & Zoning Board or stone-
walled at the end by the council. Yes,
you would think most people would do
their homework or take the proper steps
in the right order, but there
are always a few who don't.
98th Landlords could collect rents
t from the idiots who fall into
that category, so it smacks of
a scam to me.
On March 17, the village
council approved a measure to
rename NE 2nd Avenue between
94th and 101st streets. It'll be
called Village Place Avenue. And the plan
to close down one lane of the street at night
to create parking is still apparently in place.
Taken together, these indicate a certain will-
ingness to embrace a real Main Street USA
vibe, and event entertain some out-of-the-
box options in order to fill these vacancies.
And who knows? It might be a dif-
ferent village council altogether deciding

things, given the municipal election on
April 14. So national chain stores aside,
let's give them something to think about.
We may not have the sewage capabilities
to install sidewalk caf6s (another discus-
sion entirely), but we can run candy shops
and bookstores and clothing boutiques.
Or encourage others to do so, before we
really do hear a lonely wind reverberating
through a ghostly Village Place.
Still it's probably worth noting that
three of the businesses which have
survived the econo-construct crunch are
located on side streets: Rumeur Boutique
and Sugar Bubble Day Spa, both on
96th Street, and Tiki Boutique on 98th
Street. You may not be able to do a lot
of things in the Shores right now, but if
you book yourself a manicure at Sugar
Bubble, pop into Rumeur for an outfit,
and head over to Tiki for some acces-
sories, you can take your partner out for
a romantic meal at C6te Gourmet. Just
hurry up and get to it while we still have
one restaurant left, or you might find
yourself all dressed up and standing in
line at Subway.

Feedback: letters@obiscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


April 2009


Welcome Back Home Sort Of
SThe only way you can see Miami like a native is by leaving

I am standing on a Key Biscayne
beach asking a man with a surfboard
if he has seen my rubber chicken. He
thinks about it for a second and shrugs.
"Nope," he says and returns to the task of
eyeballing the ebbing tide.
It is at this moment, halfway
through my three-week trip back to my
Iholtio%\ n," that I realize what a weird
and wonderful place Miami is. You gotta
love a city where being ISO a rubber
chicken on a sunny and 80-degree day in
March is par for the course.
"Chicken" served as my mascot for a
bunch of photos I shot while down here in
Miami. Chicken went with me everywhere,
from Key Biscayne to Stuart. I was slightly
panicked over the loss of Chicken. I had
placed him on my rental car hood along
with some shells, and then drove off.
Losing a trip mascot is really
bad luck. Neither the surfer not the

neo-hippies with the "Coexist" sticker
and "Go Aspen" on their car were of any
help in locating Chicken (whom I later
found on the road), but while one party
was nonplussed, the other was amused. I
have not conducted a Lost Chicken ex-
periment in the MFT (Merciless Frozen

Tundra) where I currently live, but my
bet is on neither of those responses. A
call to the cops would be more like it.
When I was in elementary school,
before the advent of acai and omega 3's, I
ate at a "heath food" restaurant with my
dad called Natural Eats, located in what is

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Snow East Kendall. I remember the garlic-
c salted pita chips that substituted for potato
Ships, and the mysterious, chunky soups.
SBut what really sticks out is a sign that
Shung on the wall behind the cashier a
Woman in her bathing suit on a beach. The
z slogan on the sign, "Miami: See It Like a
SNative," puzzled me.
I think, 20-something years later,
on my vacation home, I figured it out. I
realized I was in a rare position to do
so because I'm a Miami native and had
lived in Miami most of my life. And I
often wondered: What do people think of
this place?
I polled tourists and friends who
came to visit. What wowed people the
most were the women, the weather, and,
well, the women. Miamians know there's
more to the city than the W's. But let's
face it, the W's are a consistent draw.
While I lived in Miami, I would try
to twist myself into a touristy pretzel

Continued on page 23

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Back Home
Continued from page 22

and see the city like a tourist. Now that I
live in Binghamton, NY, I didn't have to
try too hard to twist my mind. I was the
northern touristy pretzel, all sourdough
as opposed to tropical cinnamon sugar,
and I was Seeing It Like a Native. And I
loved it. And I miss it.
At times navigating as a tourist in
my own city was a bit traumatic and
often rather comical. I stayed at hotels
in Brickell because, really, what would
a tourist do? My first hotel stay was,
thankfully, for only one night. The
two-bedroom suite (booked mere hours
before my arrival, hence the suite) was
haunted. I was exhausted, the ghost was
cranky. So I had a talk with the ghost
and we came to an agreement: I kept
the bathroom door shut (it kept swing-
ing shut on its own) and I was granted a
night of sleep minus the sighting of what
I guessed to be a disgruntled drug dealer
sporting a linen suit, with brain-ooze
stains on the left shoulder.
The next hotel was an improve-
ment. Ghost-free, the one-bedroom

Cotel, as I coined it, is a condo/hotel
combo, and was my home base for
three weeks. I sat by the pool one day
and met a nudist from the Northeast
and a Canadian social worker. I also
broke out in heat rash. Oh, the shame.
I still do not know why this occurred
because I had SPF 30 all over and sat
in the shade. I guess the cumulative
three hours' worth of wintry dull glow
of sun in the MFT could not prepare
me for 40
minutes of
Miami shade. While I lived in M
Just down twist myself into a
the street from see the city like a
the Cotel was have to try too ha
a Santeria
shrine. Double
whammy! The shrine itself was perplex-
ing two paper plates, one with three
rotted bananas, the other with uncooked
black beans, a white candle, and three
cupcakes. From a high tree branch hung
a bag of something that swayed in the
wind. There were beads at one point,
a friend of my father pointed out, but
they were gone. (My dad's friend keeps

track of the Santeria action
walks.) Pieces of wrapped,
were strewn near the cupc;
this at night.
Back in the Cotel, on
screen, I saw the other side
caught in the light of my fl
able to see some not-so-sw
including bird carcasses. T
was not in the backwaters
Rather it sat for weeks in t

liami, I would try to
I touristy pretzel and
tourist. Now I didn't
ird to twist my mind.

night, after leaving a frie
just outside of Biscayne P
pulled over. I figured I w;
because the cops in Bisca
me. But this guy looked f
the academy and waited b
red, rental slowmobile fo
before approaching the w
still digging for my license

n on her daily appeared and asked my name. I showed
hard candy him my license and then he proceeded
makes. I saw to ask me a long list of strange ques-
tions. Finally I asked him a question:
my laptop Had I done anything wrong? "No,"
Sof the tree came the answer. Turned out my rental
ash and was was similar to one used in a "crime"
eet tributes, committed the previous day. I thought
'his display our little pullover was finished when
of Calle Ocho. he suddenly asked me: "Were you at
he heart of the Family Dollar yesterday?"
he financial My answer was a definite "No,"
district, one with a hearty explanation about how and
block down why I frequent other dollar stores, and
from the Four then he looked at me for about one full
Seasons hotel, minute and at last said, "Well, guess
next to park- you're not our guy."
ing meters. This deduction ruffled me and I
Ah, Miami. said, "Well, maybe I've been in upstate
One New York for a bit too long if you think I
nd's house, could be your guy!"
'ark, I was No reaction from Officer Friendly,
as done for so I was on my way back to the Cotel.
[yne Park hate Now I'm back in the MFT and they say
resh out of spring is here. But I wouldn't know for
behindd my sure as I am merely a visitor. I will never
r some time see this place like a native.
window. I was
se when he Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com

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April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Big Projects, Little Vision

By Frank Rollason
BT Contributor

Miami 21, the Miami Mega-Plan,
the Global Agreement what
do these three major commit-
ments on behalf of our community have
in common? The answer to that billion-
dollar question: No Public Vote!
The most recent hot potato was the
Marlins stadium deal. We heard all the
pros and cons ad nauseam, but our local
Don Quixote, Norman Braman, said it
best when he proclaimed, "Put it to a
vote and whichever way it goes, I will
live with it." Voting on the stadium,
however, would have been premature,
because a baseball stadium is only one
element in a much larger plan a plan,
by the way, that does not exist.
Oh, some elected leaders and gov-
ernment administrators will point to
the Miami Mega-Plan and say, "What
do you mean we don't have a plan? It's
right in front of your dumb face. Don't

- There a reason we're not voting on \taldilumi, and tunnels
you get it, you stupid
voters? And what's
with all this voting
crap? Didn't you
vote us into office to
think, speak, and act i i "
for you in your '
best interest?" .
The problem with 1
the all the individual Yes
schemes a sports
stadium or a tunnel to NO
the port or a streetcar
system or museums
in a waterfront park is that they are neighborhood wants to have traffic-
not components of any plan that has calming devices installed along its
been vetted by the public. Why? In large residential streets to slow down all
part because governments are hard- the Mario Andretti wannabes. Simply
wired to resist public input. Not only is discovering the process by which this goal
it cumbersome, it can be a threat to the might be accomplished is a major challenge.
bureaucrats who run governments. So Eventually the neighbors will learn
they create obstacles, that a traffic study must be conducted
Let's scale it back a little and look before there's any hope of getting the
at one process created by government government's attention. Anyone can
supposedly in our best interest. Say a stand on the side of the road walking a

dog or pushing a baby stroller and figure
out that the cars are moving too damn
fast, but we need to have a traffic study
to make sure that 1) the number of cars
warrants the effort to save one doggie,
one baby, or one mommy; 2) that the
auto "through-put" (how many friggin'
cars you can squeeze through the eye of
a needle during rush hour) will not be
adversely affected after all, that's why
the roads are there, to move cars; and
3) that there are enough of these traffic
studies to provide a steady income for
the traffic engineers who have moved
into the private sector after years spent
working for local governments (cyni-
cal, I know, but these guys all know one
another on a first-name basis).
Then comes the issue of funding a
study, which will cost tens of thousands
of dollars. What homeowner association
has that kind of money? And don't forget
the public hearings and the efforts to

Continued on page 25

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April 2009


Continued from page 24

persuade all the neighbors that the calm-
ing devices are a good idea. And then
- well, you get the idea. So why not just
install something on a trial basis to see if
it works and if everyone can live with it?
Because that would circumvent the
bureaucratic process, and it's the bu-
reaucratic process that justifies the very
existence of bureaucrats.
Back to our baseball stadium. Hun-
dreds of millions of taxpayer dollars
will be expended on this venture, but
taxpayers themselves will really have
nothing to say about it. Nor will we have
a say on the port tunnel or any of the
other projects that may or may not be a
valid investment of our hard-earned cash.
I think this is disenfranchisement at its
most basic level. Elected officials hear
the clamoring for a vote, yet turn our
voices aside as though we were the chaff
separated from the grain, scattered to the
wind, not to be heard from again until
the next tug at our purse strings.
What we need is a master develop-
ment plan for Miami-Dade County that

not only includes the input and agree-
ment of all the municipalities, but also
that of Monroe, Collier, Broward, and
Palm Beach counties. Think about it -
just as the City of Miami is the core of
Miami-Dade County, so Miami-Dade is
the core of our surrounding counties.
True rapid transit (bullet trains)
could actually make it feasible and
affordable to live in the outlying coun-
ties. You could work in downtown
Miami and commute to and from a
Collier County residential community
in a half hour
or so. That
just won't Voting on a base
happen with- have been prematL
outcoordinat- one element in a n
ed planning.
We need a plan, by the way,
We need a

ment Plan a regional plan in which
the roles and responsibilities of each
county and municipality are clearly
defined as South Florida develops over
the next 100 years.
Whoa, did I say 100 years? Yes,
that's just three generations our


parent's lives, ours, and those of our
children. Not so long, is it? The prob-
lem is that the time frame in which
our elected officials work corresponds
to their own limited terms in office.
Without the obligations of a long-range
plan, there is nothing to keep them
on track during their tenure, and each
time we elect new people, we get a new
set of parameters for what constitutes
our best interest.
Miami 21, the Miami Mega-Plan,
and the Global Agreement are but
elements of a
plan yet to
ll stadium would materialize.
i, because it's only Those who
ch larger plan a get involved
in them tend
at does not exist. to btte
to battle
over details
while losing
sight of the "war" the next genera-
tion will confront.
Sometimes it seems there are just
too many "brilliant" ideas out there. But
in fact we need them all, for without
new approaches, we'll become stagnant
as a community, a region, a state, and

a nation. However, plans for our future
need to be carefully considered, and they
need to be supported by those who'll
be footing the bill. To have voted on
a baseball stadium at this time would
have been folly. Where would it fit in the
bigger plan? And what or whose plan
might that be?
Communities are built on solid
building blocks: public safety, health,
housing, jobs, transportation, educa-
tion all of which are in dire straits in
our local communities. On top of those
blocks, the arts and sports can flourish.
They play a critical role in any com-
munity, but not at the cost of the basic
building blocks.
The brakes need to be applied. And
if not now, then when? If not by us, by
whom? So all of us need to tell our
elected officials: It's time to develop a
plan that envisions where we're headed
and how we want to get there. Then let
us vote it up or down. Those who are not
happy with the results can get the hell
out of Dodge!

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


The Quiet Power of Acceptance

By Kathy Glasgow
BT Contributor

It took just a few minutes on a recent
Sunday morning to drive down NW
17th Avenue to Mount Tabor Mission-
ary Baptist Church. The sky was color-
less, the damp wind gusty and quickly
losing its slight nip. The avenue was
mostly deserted, until I reached Mount
Tabor's vicinity, around 67th Street,
where there were cars and SUVs packed
into every space in front of the little old
houses on the side streets.
I parked in the vacant lot directly
across 17th from the church, where the
congregation plans to build a new Mount
Tabor next year. The present building
almost shines with cleanliness and fairly
new paint, but inside it also has that
musty, church redolence common to
many 1950s- and 1960s-vintage meet-
ing halls (this one was built in 1963).
Outside the burnished wood doors of the
sanctuary, men and women dressed in


At Mount Tabor, drug addicts are as welcome as deacons
S rare and beautiful. It's a free breakfast
i"I for street people, junkies, pimps, hos,
Homeless. After all, Mount Tabor is
right in the middle of it all. Just a block
Sto the west, you start to see the signs of
Longtime degradation and abandonment.
A majority of Mount Tabor's congregants
drive in from other parts of town.
"We're unique," Deacon Beurie
Tullis agreed. Tullis stands tall, with salt-
and-pepper hair and a cordial smile. He
was born 68 years ago "over in Liberty
Square [housing projects]. There's a
street name now for it Pork 'n' Beans,
but I don't call it that."
Tullis, whose uncle James Byrd
was once pastor of Mount Tabor, said
he was baptized into the church 50
years ago. He has been in charge of the
unday best were waiting for the start of I had known about this breakfast breakfast ever since it was instituted by
he 7:30 a.m. service. I headed down- for a long time and had been urged by Rev. George McRae soon after McRae
tairs for the 7:00 breakfast that church several people to check it out. Not to eat became the pastor at Mount Tabor in
volunteers have been serving up for the (though the food more than compensates 1989. "Reverend decided we needed to

past 19 years, every Sunday morning,
rain or shine, hurricane or hail storm.

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April 2009


Continued from page 26

do something," Tullis explained. "He just
saw all the need for all these people."
The breakfast is one of several
ministries the church carries on to serve
the destitute. "We treat them as first-
class citizens," Tullis added. "We serve
them. Out in the streets they get beat up,
harassed, robbed they get it from all
sides. But here nobody's gonna bother
them. We welcome everybody in here."
Something I always notice when talk-
ing to anyone associated with Mount Tabor
- man or woman, well-dressed deacon or
T-shirted ex-crackhead: a certain equa-
nimity. Something like an acceptance of
reality without succumbing to it. There
is no apparent need to explain, justify, or
judge their own or anyone else's behavior,
past or present. Not many denominations
encourage attitudes like this, certainly not
the Protestant churches I'm used to, where
everyone judged and was judged accord-
ing to literal Biblical law and doctrine, and
poverty was considered sinful.
When I first entered the basement,
about 50 or 60 men, women, and children



were standing, holding hands in an ir-
regular circle around long rows of tables.
"Thank you for looking beyond our faults,"
a young minister was praying. "Thank you
for looking on us with compassion. We ask
you to deliver us in the name of Jesus and
have mercy on us."
Eager applause broke out as the
prayer concluded, and in a quiet instant
everyone was lined up to receive their
servings of eggs, grits, bacon, toast. The
cooks and servers were all formerly
homeless and addicted to at least one
drug. Freddie, in a spotless white T-shirt
and dark jeans, diamond stud in his right
ear, has been a Mount Tabor member
helping with the breakfast for more than
ten years now. "I found out about [the
feeding] going to school on the streets,"
he recalled with a grin. "It was sort of a
group of us, staying up on 18th Avenue
around 62nd Street. At the beginning
I didn't really come here to eat; in my
state, food wasn't necessary. You go to
an animal-like existence."
Freddie is almost 52 years old, the same
general age as the majority of breakfast-
ers. The crack generation Now middle age,
almost all of them African-Americans who

have rarely set foot outside Liberty City, who
over the decades have lost countless friends
and family members, as well as their own
youth, to drugs, guns, or AIDS. I noticed
there were almost no very young adults at
breakfast. The young ones haven't had time
yet to descend to the bottom, to become
defenseless enough to want saving.
Tatiana finally came in off the street
when she got pregnant ten years ago. "I
was ready," she said, her large almond
eyes watchful and wide. "I heard about
this from a friend of mine on the streets,
then I got pregnant, and I knew I had to
give up [drugs and street life] and take
care of my baby." Her son is nine now
and accompanies her to church.
Norma was harder to convince. During
32 years as a homeless crack and heroin
addict, she gave birth to six children, all
of whom were sent to family members or
foster homes. In 2006 she found herself
locked up at TGK, then released in July
2007 at the age of 48, "determined to
come up outta that life, and been clean
ever since," she declared with an emphatic
toss of her head. She doesn't try to hide
the scars on her face and neck, or needle
trails on her arms. But back when she

was lurking and working on 18th Avenue,
she admits to hiding every time George
McRae showed up just to schmooze, a
practice he continues to this day.
"Somebody said, 'There's Rever-
end McRae,'" Norma recalled. "Hey, I
had drugs on me, I had paraphernalia;
I said it's not my time. I'd run away, I'd
hide behind buildings." It would have
been hard not to find her that Sunday
morning in her swingy red dress and
tinted eyeglasses, giving off bionic
woman energy.
When I left the church, big drops of
rain were just starting; you could see
dark pinpoints where they fell on the
warm pavement. I rushed across 17th to
my car, just avoiding a quick cloudburst.
As I was driving out of the field, I caught
sight of a man wrapped in a raggedy
khaki cloth, reclining under a skeletal
tree beside a shopping cart filled with
stuff. Two boys looking to be in their
mid-teens, wearing the super-baggy
uniform and porcupine dreads, saun-
tered past the homeless man. They were
chuckling, but not at him.

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com




SUDA MY 0sl 20




, ,' , r, .

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



MiMo Sidewalks: Love Them, Hate Them

The period designs are groovy to some, ghastly to others

By Erik Bojnansky
BT Contributor

If you're driving up Biscayne Bou-
levard in Miami's Upper Eastside,
you'll likely miss the beige, yellow,
green, and black clustered designs
peppering the sidewalks between 50th
and 67th streets at seemingly random
intervals. Even pedestrians who live
nearby are perplexed by the designs -
trapezoids, starbursts, boomerangs. "I
was walking down the street," recounts
Palm Grove resident William Harbour,
"and I was like, 'Who is painting on the
sidewalks? Some artist must be doing a
thing.' And then I saw the workers."
What at first glance may appear to be
spray-painted scrawls from an ambitious
tagger, on closer inspection reveal them-
selves as a polymer substance permanent-
ly bonded to the concrete. It's the Florida
Department of Transportation's tribute
to the post-World War II design period,
what locals like to call Miami Modem, or
MiMo, and it cost taxpayers $300,805.08,
according to the state agency.
Harbour, who would rather see his
taxes spent on a crosswalk at busy 71st
Street, thinks the work is sloppy at best.
"I just thought it was chaotic," he says. "It

made [the sidewalks] look more messy."
Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff,
whose district includes much of the Bis-
cayne Corridor, is not too crazy about the
decorative markings either. "I'm not too
fond of them," he admits. "I guess it's
just not my taste."
Sarnoff says members of the MiMo
Biscayne Association, an alliance of
Upper Eastside residents and Biscayne
Boulevard business owners, wanted to
incorporate the sidewalk art as a way
of marketing the newly minted MiMo
Historic District. So two years ago, Sar-
noff, a Coconut Grove resident, voted to
approve the allocation of $298,000 from
the city's capital improvement fund for
the "nonstandard sidewalk treatments,"
landscaping, lighting, and other enhance-
ments. (The City of Miami's contribution
later increased to $320,000.)
Monica Diaz, public information
specialist for the Florida Department
of Transportation, says the "logotherm
thermoplastic" pavement markings were
installed "on sidewalk pedestrian ramp
locations along Biscayne Boulevard from
NE 52nd Terrace to NE 67th Street on
the east side and from NE 54th Street to
NE 66th Street on the west side." The
designs were also placed on 157 concrete

Biscayne at 54th Street: Better get
used to this it's permanent.

tree grates between NE 50th Terrace to
NE 67th Street.
As with all art, the work has its fans
and its detractors. "They're groovy,"
says Teri D'Amico, a MiMo Biscayne
Association member and an interior
designer from Bay Harbor Islands who,
with Miami Beach resident Randall
Robinson, coined the term "MiMo" in
the late 1990s to describe designs and

I architecture from the late 1940s to the
late 1960s. "The pattern is totally of the
MiMo era," she says. "I think it will
establish the [district] when people are
S But some MiMo Biscayne Asso-
ciation members aren't happy with the
final product. "They ran out of money
that's what happened," grumbles Bob
Powers, president of the Palm Grove
Neighborhood Association. Powers
says the designs were supposed to cover
longer swaths of Biscayne Boulevard's
sidewalks as well as sidewalks on some
side streets. "It would have looked like
ribbon on the covers," Powers says. The
design, though, was scaled back and as a
result, he observes, "There's no pattern
to it, so it looks weird."
FDOT's Diaz confirms that the
original plan proved to be too expensive.
Bids from contractors came at more than
$500,000 under the original plan, ac-
cording to FDOT As a result, the MiMo
design project had to be scaled back, a
decision Diaz says was made "in con-
junction with the City of Miami."
Love them or hate them, no one
is owning up to the idea of plastering

Continued on page 31

From Hero to Zero

By Terence Cantarella
BT Contributor

From a swanky, family-style motel in

the 1950s and 1960s to a red-light,
pay-per-hour operation in more
recent decades, the historic Vagabond
Motel at 7301 Biscayne Blvd. went from
being a jet-age emblem of newfound
middle-class affluence and mobility to a
modem-day symbol of urban decay, blight,
and social deprivation. So when current
owner, former Hugo Boss president Eric
Silverman, began converting the architec-
tural gem into a retail venue and farmers
market last year, many locals hailed the
concept as an ingenious form of adaptive
reuse and a welcome contribution to the
rejuvenation of Biscayne Boulevard.
Now, though, a handful of nearby
residents and business owners allege that

angry neighbors take aim at Vag

crime and prostitution
have found their way
back to the Vaga-
bond's environs. A
lack of renovation and
inadequate lighting at
the motel, they say, is
the cause a charge
that Silverman denies.
The following
letter- written by Belle
Meade resident Wil-
liam Castillo, endorsed
with 29 signatures, and Some Vagabor
excerpted here was market, but the
sent to the Miami City Sordid activity
Commission on March
15. It lays out, in unambiguous language, the
full range of their complaints:
"We, the undersigned, continue to be
alarmed at the state of dilapidation and

abond Motel owner Eric Silverman

Id neighbors don't like the farmers
iir main gripe is what you don't see:
in the back.

disrepair of the Vagabond Motel at 7301
Biscayne Blvd. It has all of the hallmarks
of a slum, and the slum owner, Mr. Eric
Silverman, has been unresponsive to us,

the City of Miami, and locals as to the
blight it has become. Considering it is
touted as the 'icon' of MiMo architecture
and the City of Miami Upper Eastside
District, we fail to understand why the
city is allowing the owner to not comply
with local ordinances and laws regulating
building structures that homeowners and
business owners must obey.
"The east side of the property in
question lies along NE 6th Court from
NE 73rd to 74th streets. It is the only
block that is completely dark at night
on NE 6th Court due to Mr. Silverman's
unwillingness to install light bulbs in
the light fixtures already affixed to his
property. He has also failed to install
outdoor lighting on the east side of his
property like so many of us have done on

Continued on page 30

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comApril 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Museums to Skeptics: You Can Take It to the Bank

SMiami art and science n1111\cimi' say their fundraising is going very nicely, thank you

By Erik Bojnansky
BT Contributor

erence Riley, director of the Miami
Art Museum, doesn't have a Plan
B. He says he doesn't need one. A
new home for his museum will be built
in Bicentennial Park, Riley assures you.
"Plan B? There is no Plan B," he says.
"We are building a building. There is
nothing that happened in the three years
I've been here to make me think that is
not going to happen."
The recession? Riley says MAM was
ready for it. Raising more than $100 mil-
lion? On track, he says.
Gillian Thomas, president and CEO
of the Miami Museum of Science, is
also certain her museum will have a new
home in Bicentennial Park. "Not unless
somebody knows something we don't
know," she says. In a couple of months,
she expects to unveil plans for a "green"
Museum of Science, designed by New
York-based Grimshaw Architects.
The new MAM is scheduled to break
ground in October, to be completed by 2012.
Thomas says the science museum will hold a
ceremonial ground-breaking at the same time
and opento the public in2013.
When Miami-Dade County voters
passed a $553 million bond issue for cul-
tural and educational institutions in 2004,
they also agreed to funnel $220 million
of those funds for the construction of a
new MAM and a new science museum
and transform Miami's waterfront Bicen-
tennial Park into Museum Park.
The museums must pay for any ex-
penses above the millions county taxpay-
ers have promised. That means MAM's
board of directors must raise $120 mil-
lion to pay for the estimated $220 million
cost of constructing and operating a
Herzog & DeMeuron-designed facility
with 120,000 square feet of indoor space
and 80,000 square feet of outdoor space.
(Riley says the $120 million includes a
$70 million operating endowment and
$20 million in "transition" costs such
as architects, consultants, a capital-fund
manager, and Lil\ci. God, we have
to hire lawyers.")
The Museum of Science's backers
must kick in about $100 million for its
new $275 million, 200,000-square-foot
home, which it will share with a satel-
lite branch of the Historical Museum of

Southern Florida.
Museum Park's
critics are question-
ing whether the
two organizations
will be able to
raise the neces-
sary funds in this
economic climate.
Some of those
questions were
addressed in a BT
article last month
about Museum
Park foe/chronic e-
mailer Steve Hagen
("You've Got Mail

MAM director Terence Riley says his board has
received legally binding pledges of $45 million so far.

- Lots and Lots of
It"). "Call me naive, but I believe we are
going to raise the whole $120 million,"
Riley says, though he admits that much
of the money for MAM's new home will
continue to be collected well into 2017.
Thomas, who sees substantial
economic benefits flowing from a new,
state-of-the-art science museum, doubts
that Miami-Dade County would allow
a project like hers to go down the tubes.
"To be quite honest," she says, "the
county is keen on moving forward with
the construction process rapidly."
Greg Bush, a University of Miami
history professor and founder of the
Urban Environment League, fears
the museums will become a financial
black hole for taxpayers, much like the
Carnival Center for the Performing Arts,
which opened two years late and more
than $200 million over budget. (Retired
banker Adrienne Arsht bailed out the
center, which was renamed in her honor.)
"I hope some of the elected officials look
more closely at what they have pledged
in agreements," Bush cautions.
But unlike the performing arts
center, whose construction was managed
by county bureaucrats, the museums
themselves will have full responsibility
for building their new homes. Moreover,
they can only receive their millions in
public bond dollars bit by bit, and only
after incurring capital expenses, says
Michael Spring, the county's director of
cultural affairs. "They get their money
in phases," Spring notes, "and those
phases are connected to grant agreements,
formal agreements between the county
and the museums."

Rendering of MAM's new home in
what is now Bicentennial Park.

So far MAM has received $8.64
million in bond money while the science
museum has claimed $3.5 million, Spring
says. In accordance with a 20-year-old
county law, nonprofits must show they
have a funding source and that they
have incurred a reimbursable expense.
For projects already under construction,
invoices must be submitted before funds
can be disbursed. "They don't just give
us 100 million. I wish they did," says
Riley. "If they did, we'd put $100 million
in the bank and we'd get interest."
MAM has a permanent collection
of 500 artworks. By contrast developer
Marty Margulies, a vocal opponent of
Museum Park, has 4500 works of art in
his private collection, many of which
he displays at his 45,000-square-foot
warehouse in Wynwood. Still, MAM has
a pretty decent collection, considering
it has only been at it for just 12 years,
Riley contends. "Marty Margulies has
been collecting since the 1950s," Riley
says. "He will be the first to tell you that
it doesn't happen overnight." (Margulies
did not return calls seeking comment.)

A lack of sufficient space has frus-
trated MAM's efforts to collect post-
World War II artwork, says Riley, who
became director in 2006. Whenever a
major exhibition is shown, every single
artwork from the museum's permanent
collection must be taken down. Riley
mentions an e-mail he just received from
an angry donor. "Well, they gave us a
wonderful painting and it was put up for
four months, and we have not been able
to put it up again," he says. "Believe me,
this discourages donors to give works of
art, because they expect them to be seen."
Riley believes Museum Park's central
location will give MAM better exposure
than its current home at 101 W. Flagler
St. "I think with the [new] building, with
the arena and performing arts center,
Miami is getting more and more of a
taste for public space," he says. "Some-
thing that is by rights open to the public
and has the feeling that one gets in that
environment I think it's a good thing."
To help make this good thing
happen, Riley says, MAM has col-
lected $14 million from the $45 million
that has been pledged thus far. Pledges,
while not actual donations, are legally
binding contracts, which the museum
can use as collateral to obtain loans.
Even in the current financial climate,
Riley emphasizes, no one has tried to
back out of a pledge.
Gillian Thomas won't reveal details
about her museum's fundraising. "We are
in the silent phase and we are not going
to talk about that," she says. "We raised
over $20 million just from our board."
She's confident that fundraising for the
Museum of Science will increase once
philanthropists take a look at Grimshaw
Architects' design concept, made possible
thanks to a $1.48 million grant from the
U.S. Department of Energy and the City
of Miami. "The building itself is like a
giant exhibit," she marvels.
The museums' secrecy in relation
to their fundraising activities has only
increased suspicions from critics. "I can
understand why some people might get
anxious, if they're not familiar with how
private entities raise money," Riley re-
sponds. He adds ruefully: "The one thing
that really surprised me about whole
experience is the fact that people like

Continued on page 31

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Recession? What Recession? Let's Open a Gym!

Hard timer and fitness centers seem to go together
I 1

By Rob Jordan
Special to BT

n late 1929, world markets were
crashing and the American economy
was in ruins. But a young Italian
immigrant who had recently changed his
name from Angelo Siciliano to Charles
Atlas saw opportunity. He offered
customers "the path to perfect manhood"
through his mail-order fitness program.
Thus was bor Charles Atlas Ltd., the
fitness industry phenomenon that to this
day sells workout routines to young men
tired of getting sand kicked in their face.
Before the Great Depression finally
lifted around 1941, muscle entrepreneurs
like Joe Weider and Jack LaLanne would
also get in on the act. This was the dawn
of the modern fitness industry. Atlas,
Weider, and LaLanne weren't necessar-
ily prescient contrarians, but they were
shrewd businessmen who grasped the
situation at hand. After all, the era in
which they launched their brands saw a

Vagabond Motel
Continued from page 28

our homes and businesses to protect our
neighborhood from crime. Mr. Silverman
has complained to local police that he
doesn't install outdoor lighting because
the 'thugs' shoot them out with guns. We
haven't had that experience at all. And
if Mr. Silverman finds it convenient to
blame thugs for criminal activity on his
property, then he is proving our point all
too well on the type of activity that takes
place on his very own property....
"As a result of Mr. Silverman's aban-
donment of duties as a property owner,
the prostitutes, their male clients, and
drug traffickers accumulate behind the
Vagabond Motel in the stealth of night....
Prostitutes have been caught by hom-
eowners servicing their clients in cars at
night parked behind the Vagabond Motel.
"The homeless, prowlers, and ad-
dicts cracked out on drugs meander NE
6th Court at night away from the bright
lights of Biscayne Boulevard (one block
west from NE 6th Court). They lurk or
sleep on NE 6th Court, posing a threat
to the neighborhood. The east side of the
Vagabond Motel is their safe haven due
to the darkness and the slum appearance
that invites them.

Shuichi Take: "More so in Miami
than other cities, there's a high
demand placed on looking good."

blossoming of recreational pursuits that
coincided with massive public works
projects such as sports stadiums, gym-
nasiums, swimming pools, tennis courts,
and golf courses. Hunger for escapism, a
key ingredient in Hollywood's unprec-
edented popularity at the time, may have
helped too.
Is something similar afoot now?
Despite swirling dark economic clouds,

"The knocked out holes on the walls of
the motel (about three dozen), hanging ply-
wood, many broken windows, lack of land-
scaping, mangled fencing, and complete
disrepair of the Vagabond Motel on the NE
6th Court side are a sad reminder of what
Biscayne Boulevard used to be.... Instead
of the Vagabond Motel being a beacon of
architectural greatness, it is a window to a
very ugly and shameful history of Miami.
The Vagabond Motel today is not in any
way, shape, or form a proud historical land-
mark. It is a slum, a trashy property, and
a sanctuary for criminals.... However, Mr.
Silverman sleeps comfortably at night far
away in his ranch in Davie, Florida.
"...Mr. Silverman has taken to going
to local media outlets (e.g. Biscayne
Times, New Times) to libel us by name,
portraying himself as a poor victim to our
very legitimate concerns as Miamians.
This is an outrage! He will stop at noth-
ing in retaliation and, as a result of this
precedent, we genuinely believe he might
retaliate further with harm to our proper-
ties and to us personally for bringing
light to this issue. We will not be silenced.
"We expect and demand from our
elected city officials to hold Mr. Silver-
man to the same standard that we are held
as homeowners and business owners. We
care neither how this is done nor about Mr.

Legacy Fit's Manning Sumner:
"Money doesn't bring happiness.
Health can bring happiness, make
you comfortable in your own skin."

at least ten gyms and fitness centers of
various stripes have opened along the
Biscayne Corridor during the past two
years. Their numbers include everything
from tiny boutique spots that train only
one customer at a time to sprawling
complexes with hundreds of members.
They join what would appear to be an
already crowded constellation of fitness

Silverman's personal financial situation. No
one cares about ours but we are still expect-
ed to perform. So should he. All we want is
a safe neighborhood, and that won't happen
until the Vagabond Motel is brought to
codes.... You must stop empowering Mr.
Silverman from ignoring these require-
ments. You are making special exceptions
for him that endanger our neighborhoods,
which is completely unacceptable. We
expect corrective action from you on this
very important issue before any more crime
takes a toll on our families."
Silverman counters the letter's content
with a mix of exasperation and puzzlement.
On lighting: "I'm not aware of anybody
shooting lights out. We put lights in and
had them stolen three times. I'm going to
try and put them in again." On crime: "I'm
not aware of any crime going on behind the
motel. I have a security guard that lives on
the premises and he hasn't seen or heard
anything. I walk the property every day and
never find any drug paraphernalia or con-
doms on the streets around my property."
On code violations: "They should be
resolved soon. I spent three days at city
hall last week and am working with the
city. I'm putting in my best effort to resolve
any open points."
District 2 Commissioner Marc Samoff
says he has been keeping an eye on the

Businesses in this body-obsessed town.
S The number of frequent health-
Sclubgoers is up over previous decades,
- according to the International Health,
SRacquet and Sportsclub Association. And
Sin 2008 the number of fitness businesses
w nationally increased slightly, according
to the association. But as far as Miami's
gym boom goes, appearances may be
deceiving, says Brian Biagioli, direc-
tor of FIU's graduate exercise and sport
science program. "This is probably the
worst time to open a gym," he says
bluntly. The fitness industry as a whole is
down about 30 percent since the current
recession set in, Biagioli says.
Biagioli suggests that fitness entrepre-
neurs stand a chance if they offer some-
thing new and challenging that avoids the
repetitive boredom of machine-based train-
ing. But, he cautions, it's a tough business
no matter what: "Gyms go out of business
at a rate similar to restaurants."

Continued on page 46

Vagabond: "As far as I know, the city is look-
ing into the status of [Silverman's] permits...
but people often don't come into compliance
until they can afford to, or the liens become so
much that the city forecloses on their property.
And like it or not, Eric's in a financial crunch
with the debt he has on the property and the
poor economy. The best thing we can do is try
to get him to comply as quickly as possible."
The BTwas unable to speak with the
letter's author, William Castillo, by deadline,
but one of the petition's signers, a Boulevard
business owner who initially supported
Silverman's farmers market concept, and who
wished to remain nameless in this report, had
this to say: "I think it looks horrible. It looks
like it belongs in Davie, not on Biscayne. The
market should be inside and there shouldn't
be a bunch of different signs and banners all
over the place. It doesn't do the historic build-
ingjustice at all."
"We're trying, in a very difficult
economic environment, to do something
positive," asserts Silverman, "and the
majority of locals have expressed great
support. I don't even know how to answer
the complaint letter. I read it and will do the
best I can, but I'm here for very long hours
every day and I honestly just don't see the
stuff that these people are seeing."

Feedback: letters @biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Continued from page 29

Steve Hagen and Greg Bush and all those
people who I know are good people
and who appreciate culture, never once
thought to think that maybe they should
be saying thank you to these [donors]
rather than calling them sneaks."
Most major donors like to keep a
low profile, Riley explains. "Common
wisdom says that, if you don't ask [a
donor] before you go public about how
much you raised, you are basically telling
them 'You're not an insider, you're not
important, we didn't need to touch base

with you before we went public.'"
Premature publicity also risks an-
noying big-ticket donors by exposing
them to other fundraisers. "If they give
$5 million dollars" a philanthropist does
not want to be called "a thousand times"
by other nonprofits for similar donations,
Riley says.
Individuals with enough money to
give to a museum are in short supply.
Riley says MAM was prepared for this,
thanks to advice from board members
involved in the real estate industry, such
as Jorge Perez, president of the Related
Group of Florida. "He was advising us a

year ago that it was going to get rough,"
he says. "We actually started to cut costs
a year ago."
That early decision not only made
MAM fundraising still viable, but it also
avoided cutting the salaries of any of the
museum's 41 full-time and 30 part-time
employees. Riley says he has diverted
about a third of his annual salary, which
was $286,397 in 2006, toward MAM's
fundraising efforts. "Because I believe
this project is a great project," he says.
Riley has a literary vision for his
museum as a destination for young
people and the culturally attuned

from all walks of life in search
of themselves. "Where does Holden
Caulfield go if he's been kicked out of
school, if he doesn't want to go home?"
Riley asks, conjuring the young pro-
tagonist of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher
in the Rye. "He goes to Central Park.
He goes to the Oak Bar and gets served
underage. He befriends a woman of
the night and he goes to two muse-
ums. It's a place where people go. It is
where young people can be something,
moving forward in the world."

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

Continued from page 28

sidewalks with the "atomic age" designs
in the first place. Diaz says the MiMo
Biscayne Association first suggested it. But
that's not how MiMo Biscayne Association
members remember it. "The idea came up
very early on, months before there was a
MiMo Biscayne Association," say Fran
Rollason, president of the association.

Don Worth, a member of the MiMo
group, says he remembers that an
FDOT landscaping consultant from a
subcontractor suggested decorating the
sidewalks with MiMo decals an idea
seized upon by historic-district advocates.
"I wish we could take credit," says Worth.
A consultant to the subcontractor, who
requests anonymity, may be an answer to
the mystery. He insists that the business
community asked for the designs, which he

himself came up with after discussing them
with MiMo preservationists. "They were a
real pleasure to work with," he says.
Another mystery: Who will now
maintain the MiMo-designed sidewalks?
The Miami City Commission agreed to
fund the project with the understanding
that the MiMo Biscayne Association
would be in charge of upkeep. But the
association still hasn't signed off on
any agreement. And maintaining the

designs may be quite an undertaking.
Bob Powers says the anticipated cost
has increased dramatically from original
estimates. "Right now everyone is trying
to cover their ass," he complains.
The contractor's consultant, though,
claims the design's material is easy to
maintain. "Just pressure clean it and that's
it," he says.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com

Going green is fun, easy

and rewarding!

Recycle everything from glass to plastic to metal and all kinds of
paper through Miami-Dade's new curbside recycling program.
Sign up for recycling alerts today!

Join the change: Participate in the Biscayne Bay Cleanup Day and
help keep our beaches beautiful for future generations.

Have some good clean fun with one of the County's many

For green tips, savings and more,
go to green.miamidade.gov or call 3-1-1.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Biscayne Crime Beat
Compiled by Derek McCann

The Uncertainty of
Miami's Finest
Design District
A woman called police upon suspicion a
house guest had stolen some jewelry from
her home. She told police: "I am pretty
sure it is him, but not a hundred percent
sure." When police queried her as to other
possible suspects, she mentioned that ten
people had frequented the home over the
past week; it might have been one of her
children. She "doubts that greatly, but is
not a hundred percent sure." The house
guest is a family friend. Police tried to
contact him at his place of employment
only to hear his denials he blamed the
victim's daughter, but he is not a hundred
percent sure. BTto Miami police: We are a
hundred percent sure we feel your pain.

So Much for Security
3200 Block ofNE 1stAvenue
Victim was in her shower when she
heard the sound of a police radio

emanating from the area of her new
condo's living room. She ignored it, as-
suming it was the television. However,
when she got out of the bathroom, she
observed her building's security guard
as he hurriedly walked out the front door.
Her roommate later said she'd seen the
same security guard in their parking
area, prying open the doors of several

cars. The guard is no longer employed
by the high-rise, high-end condominium.
Let's go for the background check next
time, okay?

The Stuff of Nightmares
2000 Block ofBayshore Drive
In a terrifying incident, an unknown man
appeared on an apartment balcony on

a violently stormy day, and tried to pry
open the sliding-glass doors with a garden
shovel. The frightened tenants screamed
and ran out the front door as the undaunted
man used the shovel to partially force open
the glass doors while thunder shook the
apartment. Police set up a large perimeter
with a canine unit immediately thereafter,
but equally frightening, no arrests have
been made.

It's Hard Out There for a
(Fill in the Blank)
At a local restaurant, a man had placed
a take-out order and gave the cashier a
ten-dollar bill. While she was getting his
change, she inexplicably walked away from
her cash register (Boulevard denizens should
know better). A few seconds later, $375
was missing from the register, as was the
customer. The cashier knows the man, as he
is a neighborhood vagrant. When police filed
Continued on page 33

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April 2009


Crime Beat
Continued from page 32
the report she and the restaurant's owner de-
clined to press charges because they figured
"he has it hard enough" At least he can live it
up for a few days with the extra dough, but
what was the point of filing a report?

Keep Car Windows Shut
NE 2ndAvenue and 71st Street
Victim was sitting in the passenger seat of a
car, waiting at a red light at this intersection
As her elbow rested on the open window
sill, her gold, bling-bling bracelet sparkled
under streetlights in the damp Miami night.
Suddenly the doltish victim felt a hand on her
wrist, which understandably prompted her to
scream. It was to little avail as the perp man-
aged to pull off the bracelet and then began
running south Miamians, please keep your
A/C going when driving the air outside is
just too full of toxic pollutants.

Even Miami's Bravest
Feeling the Crime Pinch
100 Block ofNE 5th Street
One would think that the belongings of
firefighters are safe and secure inside their

very own firehouses. Not so. An unlucky
Miami fireman had all his gear taken from
his personal locker at this station. Accord-
ing to police, suspects include the other
personnel at the firehouse. Either that or
this could be a pretty creative way to a end
up with brand-new gear.

Baby Used as
Cloaking Device
3400 Block ofN. Miami Avenue
Woman was shopping and left her clutch
wallet inside her shopping cart, then
walked away to, as she told police, "find
some bathing suits." Rather than the usual
missing-wallet scenario, this time two
other women reportedly approached the
shopping cart, plopped a baby on top of
the wallet, and pushed the cart away. The
offended shopper called police but did not
manage to recover her wallet. In Miami, a
life of crime can begin at a very young age.

Speaking Circuit Spawns
Specialized Crime
1900 Block N. Bayshore Drive
With professional speaker fees higher
than ever, despite (or maybe because of)

the uncertain economy, a new type of
crime seems to be emerging. A speaker's
podium was casually removed from this
location by two men and loaded into a
waiting white SUV. The podium was not
their property and they were not autho-
rized to move it. No arrests have been
made, which has left police are puzzling
over the prospect of an underground
criminal speaking circuit in Miami, a
circuit apparently not yet profitable
enough to afford its own podium.

Another Copycat
Shoe Thrower
Palm Bay
This boyfriend was kicked out of his
girlfriend's apartment for having ut-
tered "repeated lies," according to the
police report. One night he returned and
demanded entry. When the former girl-
friend opened the door, he was able to
force his way in. The lout then grabbed
her purse, which had $120 in it. While
in the process of this thievery, he took
off his sneaker and threw it at her head,
screaming, "This is for you!" His aim
was not true. He missed.

Can't Hide This Evidence
400 Block Biscayne Boulevard
Man had gotten three henna tattoos, and
after he was fully decorated, he blithely
left the tattoo salon, walking past all
cash registers without making any at-
tempt to pay. He was arrested despite his
denials and his rolled-down shirt sleeves.
If he keeps this up, it won't be long
before he'll be going for the real thing -
in prison.

Pizza Delivery from Hell
600 Block ofNE 36th Street
A loud thumping was heard at the vic-
tim's door, which she gleefully answered.
After all, it was the pizza man! However,
this delivery guy had no pizza and was
only delivering attitude bad attitude.
He kicked open the chained door and
stormed into the apartment, grabbing
the woman by the throat as he screamed,
"You don't know who you're fucking
with!" With that he left. It is not clear
from police reports whether the expected
pizza ever arrived.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com

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April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


The Design District As Art Magnet

Today it s more than furniture showrooms and fancy restaurants
By Victor Barrenechea
BT Contributor

When people talk about art in
Miami, the Design District
usually takes a backseat to
the gallery epicenter that Wynwood has
become. While the Design District has
a significant gallery presence, its claim
to fame has always been its design and
furniture showrooms. When some of the
district's foremost galleries, such as the
Moore Space and the Bas Fisher Invita-
tional, closed down last year, it got even
harder to argue for the area's preemi-
nence in the South Florida art world.
But all this seems to be changing
now, with new galleries and new collec-
tions opening in the area, as well as a
few key galleries reopening their doors.
The Design District is becoming an
exciting place for art again.
"I definitely see that it's growing,"
agrees Tiffany Chestler, manager and
curator for the Craig Robins art col-
lection. "There are a lot more galleries
coming into the area." The Design Dis-
trict still has a commanding commercial
design presence, Chester acknowledges,
but there's an increasing synergy with
the arts community. "The culture of this
neighborhood was always about design,"
she says. "The focus was always to bring
that back. It started with sort of rehabili-
tating the neighborhood."
Indeed 14 years ago when Craig
Robins, chief executive of Dacra Devel-
opment and now the premier mover and
shaker in the district, set out to revamp
the dilapidated textile and furniture
showrooms that comprised much of the
commercial space in the area, few could
have foreseen its transformation into
the upscale neighborhood it has become.
Rumblings of art activity began as far
back as 2001 with "HUMID," a group
show put up in the Moore Building
(the year Art Basel Miami Beach was
postponed after the September 11 at-
tacks), curated by Dominic Molon of the
Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art,
with 26 local artists participating.
Since then many galleries have moved
in and out of the area, as well as prominent
artists in search of work spaces. However,
restaurants and retail shops have tended to
overshadow the production of art. "I think
Craig is really making an effort to change

Dacra's Design District office displays works from Craig Robins' private collection.


District newcomers: Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Art Gallery.

that," says Debra Scholl, a noted art col-
lector and chairwoman of Locust Projects.
"He's trying to make it into a total culture
Locust Projects' not-for-profit alter-
native space was a major pioneer on the
local scene, opening its doors in Wyn-
wood well before Miami's contemporary
arts boom. Come May, Locust will move
into a new 3300-square-foot property
in the Design District, at 155 NE 38th
St., near the work studios of some of
Miami's leading artists. Prompting the
move was mainly unhappiness with
the condition of the previous building,

Scholl says. But she also expresses some
disillusionment with what the Wynwood
neighborhood has become.
"Art walk," Scholl says, referring
to the monthly second-Saturday, self-
guided art tours centering mostly on the
galleries in Wynwood, "is not so much
about seeing the art. It's about the social
experience. I think it's still vital, but I do
think maybe this town is getting bigger
in terms of artists and galleries.... I'm
hoping that because we're a nonprofit
and kind of edgy and different, we'll
make this area [the Design District] a
little more interesting."

Locust will use its move to break
down some conventional notions of what
constitutes an art space, Scholl suggests.
Its inaugural exhibition, a performance
by New York artist Kate Gilmore, will
not even take place in the new gallery, but
rather in one of the other vacant buildings
in the Design District. Locust's subsequent
show, by the TM Sisters in September, will
also take place in a different location.
"One of the things Locust wants
to do is not stay in a white box," says
Scholl. "I think you have a landlord in
Craig who owns a lot of buildings and is
willing to think outside the box." Be-
cause of an abundance of commercial
vacancies in the area, Locust and other
artists and curators have a unique re-
source to put on satellite shows, allowing
artists to express themselves in nontra-
ditional spaces rather than the usual four
white walls of a gallery.
Dacra chief Robins plans to use these
extra spaces for temporary exhibitions
of works from his personal collection.
Quite a few of his pieces can now be
found in the lobby of the Dacra of-
fices on NE 2nd Avenue. Robins wants
eventually to follow in the footsteps of
other local collectors like Martin Z. Mar-
gulies and the Rubell family and house

Continued on page 35

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comApril 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Design District
Continued from page 34
a permanent collection of his own in the
area, though those plans are a few years
Construction is already well under
way, however, on a building at NE 41st
Street and N. Miami Avenue to house
Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz's famous
collection of contemporary art, which
will be finished and open to the public
sometime this year.
Also new to the area is the Wolfgang
Roth & Partners Fine Art Gallery (201
NE 39th St.), which opened its doors
during the last Basel/Miami with a
photo exhibition by the internationally
renowned David LaChapelle. Tiffany
Chestler calls it "one of the hidden gems
in the Miami art scene." Other newcom-
ers include 101/Exhibit Gallery (101 NE
40th St.) and Arno Valere Art Gallery
(3900 NE 1st Ave.).
Also returning to the neighborhood
is one of the most prominent artist-run
alternative art spaces in Miami, Naomi
Fisher and Jim Drain's Bas Fisher
Invitational (180 NE 39th St., suite
210). The gallery was opened in 2004

by Fisher and Hernan Bas, who e
later handed the reins over to
Drain. The artists transformed
their studio space (then donated J
by Dacra) into a laissez-faire d
showroom for challenging and
unique artists' projects. "We're
really just giving artists a space
to do whatever they want," is
how Fisher sums up the gal-
lery's philosophy.
The gallery closed last
summer, as Dacra had plans to
lease out the space, but thanks
to a grant from the James L.
Knight Foundation, they now
have an opportunity to reopen
their doors at the same location
with an expanded program, if
Fisher and Drain can match the Craig F
$150,000 allotted to them. artists
The new direction of the
gallery includes a Website, not only for
keeping records of exhibitions but also
to give the gallery the ability to connect
with the art world at large. The gallery
is bringing in a new manager, Kathryn
Marks, who has plans to curate monthly
movie nights and to open a small

Robins is attracting more art and
to the Design District.

bookstore/reading room within the space.
Bas Fisher has also recently been
the site of weekly salon-style discussion
groups, called Theory Nights, spearheaded
and hosted by the Museum of Contempo-
rary Art's assistant curator, Ruba Katrib.
Here people get together in a laid-back

atmosphere to discuss everything from art
Sto philosophy to current affairs.
As part of these weekly theory
groups, regular attendees have re-
cently banded together to bring in guest
Speakers. "It's really important for us
to be connected with colleagues," says
Fisher. "We want to know what people
in other places have to say, people who
are doing what we're doing. We're defi-
nitely a work in progress but we're really
psyched about our potential. I think
Craig is pretty committed to keeping it a
really creative and vital neighborhood."

For more information contact Dacra
Development (www.dacra.con),
305-531-8700; Bas Fisher Invitational
(www. basfisherinvitational. corn),
info@basfisherinvitational.com; Locust
Projects (www.locustprojects.org),
305-576-8570; Wolfgang Roth & Part-
ners, Fine Art Gallery (www.wrpfineart.
corn), 305-576-6960; 101/Exhibit Gallery
(www.lOlexhibit.com), 305-573-2101; and
Arno Valere Art Gallery (www.valereri-
cartgallery.com), 305-576-5000.

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com

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April 2009




101 NE 40th St, Miami
305-573-2101, www 101exhibit com
April 4 through May 2 "Works" by Charles Pfahl
Reception April 4, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

233 NW 36th St, Miami
305-576-4278, www abbafineart com
Through May 6 "Zoe" by Debra Holt
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

2134 NW Miami Ct, Miami
305-438-0220, www alejandravonhartz net
April 11 through May 30
"Hablando con la Pared" by Eudenlo Espinoza
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.

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

3900 NE 1st Avenue
305-576-5000, www valerericartgallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

1 NE 40th St, Miami
305-573-5730, www artfusiongallery com
April 3 through June 24
"Illumination of the Soul" with various artists
Reception April 11,7 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
Call gallery for exhibition information

171 NW 23rd St, Miami
www artformz net
April 5 through May 4
"Threesome" with Anja Marals, Alette Simmons-Jimenez,
and Chleko Tanemura
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

561 NW 32nd St, Miami
www bacfl org
Through April 2
"Collective Consciousness" with Jennifer Baslle, Ingrid
Eliasson, Patricia Gutlerrez, Tina Salvesen, and Jose
Pacheco Silva

4141 NE 2nd Ave #202, Miami
305-573-1920, www artnet com/bgillman html
Call gallery for exhibition information

180 NE 39th St, #210, Miami
By appointment info@basfisherinvitational com
April 11 through May 9
"Out There" by Kathleen Staples
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

3550 N Miami Ave, Miami
bernicesteinbaumgallery com
April 11 through May 2 Solo
show by Edouard Duval
Reception April 11, 7 to
10 p.m.

8351 NE 8th Ct, Miami
www susannacaldwell com
Through May 22
"Exuberant Assemblages and Asser Scott Ca
Sculptures made from Florida
Wood" by Susanna Caldwell currency, 2008
Reception April 11, 4 to 9

598 NE 77th St, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information

158 NW 91st St, Miami Shores
305-490-6906, www cjazzart com
By appointment carol@cjazzart com
Through April 12
"Deepen / Deeper" by Asser Saint Val
April 17 through May 10
"The Drawing Show" with various artists
Reception April 17, 7 to 10 p.m.

541 NW 27th St, Miami
www visual org
Through May 21
"Visionary Photographer" by Clarence John Laughlin

250 NW 23rd St, Miami
305-292-0411, www charest-weinberg com
Through April 4
"New Sculpture" by Larry Estridge

2441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www chelseagalleria com
Through April 11
Solo show by Natalie Rels
April 11 through May 6 "Pulp" with Elsa Mora, Kate
Kretz, Kent Henrickson, Brian O' Neilll, Tina Salveson,
Reinerlo Tamayo, and more
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

282 NW 36th St, Miami
www damlenb com
Through April 14
"Sentinels" by Narbero
April 17 through May 6
"Broader Horizon" by Aline Jansen
"Broader Horizon will be held at a special location:
618 SW 8th St., Miami
Reception April 17, 7 to 11 p.m.

2234 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www castilloart com
Through April 4
"Opportunities Multiply As They Are Seized" by Shay
Kun and solo shows by Jackle Gendel and Tom
April 11 through May 2
"Allow me to re-introduce myself" with various artists
Reception April 11, 7to 10 p.m.

mpbell, Praying Hands, laser-cut U.S.
,at Our House West of Wynwood.

2051 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
Through April 30 "Drawings From A Parallel" by Louis
Wood and "Night Structures" by Artist Beast
Reception April 11, 7 to 11 p.m.

2043 N Miami Ave, Miami
www dlfinearts com
April 4
"Inanimate Survey of Male Potential" by Luls M Alonzo-
Barklgia and "Diagrams for a Seismic Bioscape" by
Julie Davidow
April 11 through May 2
"Logical gestures" by Michael Loveland
Solo show by Annie Wharton
"Wrap" by Irene Clouthler
Reception April 11, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

3938 NE 39th St, Miami
www diasporavibe net
April 9 through May 21
"Runaway Reaction" with Marion Griffith and Susan
Reception April 9, 7 to 10 p.m.

151 NW 24th St, Miami
www dorschgallery com
Through April 4
"Celluloid Drag some spaces between film and
architecture" curated by Tern C Smith with Gordon
Matta-Clark, Todd McDaniel, and Ralph Provisero
April 25 through May 9
"Brendan, Brandon, & Brenda" with various artists
Reception April 4, 7 to 10 p.m.

51 NW 36th St, Miami
www dotfiftyone com
Call gallery for exhibition information

7520 NE 4th Ct, Miami
Through April 4
"Fly Away" by Bernardo Medina-Col6n

47 NE 25th St, Miami
www edgezones org
April 11 and ongoing
Solo shows by Carlos Ortiz Sorlano and Izlia
Reception April 11, 8 to 11 p.m.

151 NW 36th St, Miami
www elitearteditions com
Call gallery for exhibition information

10 NE 40th St, Miami
www etrafineart com
Call gallery for exhibition information

750 NE 124thSt, North Miami Suite 2
www fachearts com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2247 NW 1st PI Miami
www snitzer com
Through April 4
"Sculpture Without A Skin" by Yasue Maetake
April 11 through May 2
"DISLOCATION" by Timothy Buwalda
Reception April 11,7 to 9 p.m.

174 NW 23rd St, Miami
www gallerydlet com
Through April 4
"The Benjamin Project" by The Benjamin Project
April 11 through May 2
Solo show by Sonya Blesofsky
Reception April 11,7 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 April 4
"Squared In/Squared Out" with Pepe Lopez, Pancho
Quillici, 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
April 11 through May 16
"Love Stories" with various artists and "Fashion Slave"
by Claude Guenard
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.

2294 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www haroldgolengallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

250 NW 23rd St, Loft 206, Miami
305-573-1673, www flightstudlogallery com
April 11 through May 8
"Aviation Artists Quartet" with Herve Alexandre, Jo-Ann
Lizlo, PilotO, and Desiree Bordes
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.

164 NW 20th St, Miami
305-534-5737, www onemansho com
Call gallery for exhibition information

50 NE 29 St, Miami
305-447-3888, www kelleyroygallery com
Through April 25
"Waters" by Antonio Ugarte and "Rhyme Art"
by Mike Tesch

Continued on page 37

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Art Listings
Continued from page 36
2249 NW 1st PI Miami
www kevinbrukgallery corn
Through April 8
'PAINTHINGS" curated by Sam Gordon with
Lecla Dole-Recio, Jake Ewert, and Jacob Roblhcaux
'48 Hours in Miami" by Sam Gordon
April 11 through June 11
Solo show by Richard Butler
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.

3312 N Miami 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
Through April 26
'transvirtual perspectives in a semi-tropical
environment" by Bartow + Metzgar and a show by
Viking Funeral
Reception April 11,7 to 11 p.m.

98 NW 29th St, Miami
www lulsadelantadomlaml com
Through May 15
'Homeless Boy" by Dario Villalba and a solo show by
Marta Maria Perez Bravo

Kate Kretz, Heart Center,
embroidery on red circular frame,
2007, at Chelsea Galleria.

2441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www artnet com/reltzel html
Call gallery for exhibition information

12502 NE 8th Ave North Miami
www marlofloresgallery com
Through April 20
"GARAGE SALE" by Igor Montoya-Laske

1601 SW 1st St, Miami
www mcpagallery com




813 N.E. 125th Street. North Miami, FL 33161

www.averyglass.com '

Chantik Liquidat\on

6667j Biscayne

Unique (954) 559-2804

Tables Benches Masks

Mirrors Cabinets Bowls

Sofas Lighting & Art

April 4 through 25
'Angels Around Us" by Claudia Cebrlan and "A Figment
of the Imagination" by Elena Ehrenwald
Reception April 4, 5 to 9 p.m.

126 NE 40th St, Miami
305-576-2633, www mlamlartgroup com
Through June 1
'Wake Up Your Wallsl" with James Kitchens, Jeff
League, Tom Rossetti, Gall Taylor, Shawn McNulty,
Hessam, Goli Mahallatl, and Gregory Deane

244 NW 35th St, Miami
www mlamlartspace com
April 11 through April 17
'Eyes and Tears" with Gabriela Sanchez-Vegas and
Rudolf Kohn
Reception April 11,7 to 10 p.m.

300 NE 2nd Ave ,
Bldg 1, Room 1365, Miami
www mdc edu
Through April 5
'New World School of the Arts BFA Showcase" with
various artists

1501 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
305-428-5700, www mymlu com
Call gallery for exhibition information

346 NW 29th St, Miami
305-571-1175, www museovault com
Through April 15
'Non-Stop, Retrospective from the glamorous 80s" by
Sheila Elias

3100 NW 7th Ave, Miami
www oh-wow com
April 11 through May 9
"Make it Rain" by Scott Campbell
Reception April 11, 8 to midnight

2450 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www panamericanart com
Through April 4
Kcho and Cuban Collective
April 11 through May 23
"The Mystery of Migrations" by Carlos Estevez
"Diptychs One Lens, Two Visions" with Gory
and Adrian Lopez
Reception April 11, 6 to 9 p.m.

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

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

531 NE 82nd Terr, Miami
www spinellogallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

Continued on page 38


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April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Art Listings
Continued from page 37
162 NE 50 Terr, Miami
305-992-7652, 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
Call gallery for exhibition information

2144 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
305-576-2112, www untitled2144 com
Call gallery for exhibition information

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

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

201 NE 39th St, Miami
305-576-6960, www wrpfineart com
April 11 through May 16 "BERLIN- NEW
YORK MIAMI" by Freddy Reltz
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art
1018N Miam Ave, Mami
305-455-3380, www clfo org
Call gallery for exhibition information a

11200 SW 8th St, Miami
305-348-0496, http //thefrost flu edu/ DVD
Through April 4 "Simulacra and Essence scree
The Paintings of Lulsa Basnuevo" by Lulsa
Maria Basnuevo Muse
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

1301 Stanford Dr, Coral Gables
305-284-3535www lowemuseum org
Through April 5 "Los Artes de Mexico" with vanous artists
April 18 through June 14 "UM Students and MFA Exhibition"
with various artists and "Naturell" by Carsten Meier

101 W FlaglerSt, Miami
305-375-3000 www mlamlartmuseum org
Through May 24 "NeoHooDoo Art for a Forgotten
Faith" with various artists

y Blake, Station to Station: Robert
s Terminal (detail), sequence from
vith sound for projection or plasma
n, 16-minute loop, 2001, at the
um of Contemporary Art.
Through October 11
"Recent Acquisitions" with various artists

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

404 NW 26th St, Miami
www mocanoml org
April 11 through June 27
Solo show by Luls Gispert
Reception April 11, 7 to 9 p.m.

591 NW27th 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
www worldclassboxing org/
April 11 through May 29
Solo show by Mitzi Pederson
Reception April 11, 7 to 10 p.m.

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


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Culture Briefs

Go Ahead, Ask the Doctor,
It's Free
Mom's back has been aching lately?
Would light exercise help? Get answers
at the City of North Miami's "Health
and Wellness Education Seminar" April
10 at the Griffing Community Center
(12220 Griffing Blvd.). Hosted by the
North Miami Foundation for Senior
Citizens, the seminar brings together
top medical professionals to enlighten
seniors on ways to improve their health.
Seminar topics: exercise, nutrition, stress
management, medications, and chronic
conditions. This free event is open to
all seniors living in and around North
Miami. From 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Call
Sheila at 305-893-3771.

Miami River Confidential,
If You Dare...
If you've never taken one of Paul
George's guided tours of the Miami
River, your lucky day will be Saturday,
April 11. George is a gifted storyteller,
and the river presents him with an em-
barrassment of riches. Miami's ancient
waterway is literally dripping with
lore, from the mysteries of the Miami
Circle at the river's mouth to its secret
caves, little-known communities, rust-
bucket Caribbean freighters, and bloody
pantheon of smugglers from yesteryear
to yesterday. The tour, sponsored by the
Historical Museum of Southern Florida,
embarks from Bayside Marketplace at
10:00 a.m. and returns at 1:00 p.m. Ad-
vance reservations and payment required.
Tickets are $39 for HMSF members, $44
for nonmembers. Call 305-375-1621.

Marshmallows from Above
When it comes to the scavenger-hunting
aspect of Easter, Miami Shores goes way
beyond dyed eggs in tall grass. Try this:
a hovering helicopter dropping 10,000
brightly colored marshmallows into a sea
of gleefully screaming kids. This super-
popular event has gained such a follow-
ing over the years that village officials
actually discourage publicity. Too many
kids already! The big drop takes place
at the recreation fields (9825 Park Dr.)
at 9:30 a.m. sharp on Saturday, April
11. Pint-size scavengers can redeem
their loot for surprises, and a lucky few
will snag one of the legendary Golden
Marshmallows worth a very special

prize. The Easter bunny may even show
up. Information: 305-758-8103.

Alvin Ailey Lives On
For 50 years the Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater has been baring the soul
of its creator to audiences. The Ailey
experience returns to Miami at the
Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
(1300 Biscayne Blvd.) April 16-19. By
now the troupe's daring and evocative
performances are legendary, and remain
imbued with the spirit and genius of
Ailey, who died 20 years ago at age 59.
Award-winning artistic director Judith
Jamison has guided the ensemble since
then, and marked it with her own brand
of genius. All performances will feature
Ailey's masterwork, Revelations. Eve-
ning performances 8:00 p.m., matinees
2:00 p.m. Tickets $20 to $120. Visit
arshtcenter.org or call 305-949-6722.

World Music Festival Feast
The seventh annual Heineken Trans-
Atlantic Festival brings to Miami a
delectable sampling of contemporary
World music. The festival kicks off with
two free evening events at the News
Lounge April 2 and April 7 (5580 NE
4th Ct.). The live performances take
place at the North Beach Band Shell
(7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) and
begin Friday, April 17, with Colombian
alternative icons Aterciopelados and
the Brazilian psychedelic samba-funk
of Curumin. Miami's irresistibly quirky
Rachel Goodrich opens April 18 for
Mexican singer-songwriter-superstar
Ximena Sarifiana. On Friday, April 24,
New York's 11-piece Budos Band (funk-
jazz-Afro-soul) opens for Javier Garcia,

the Cuban-Irish style blender (son, rock,
ska, funk, hip-hop) now living in Miami.
Latin sophisticate CuCu Diamantes of
Yerba Buena slithers onstage with her
band April 25, preceded by Tinariwen,
the electric troubadours from Mali's
Saharan desert. Shows begin at 7:00
p.m. Advance tickets $20, $25 at the
door. Children under 12 free. Visit www.
rhythmfoundation.com for details.

Not Exactly Your Father's
Tigertail Productions presents the
Alfredo Triff Trio at the Colony Theater
(1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) on Sat-
urday, April 18 at 8:30 p.m. The multi-
talented Triff, a Cuban-born violinist,
composer, author, and local philosophy
professor, received critical acclaim for
his sultry 2006 CD Boleros Perdidos.
A new release of the trio's avant-garde
take on traditional Afro-Cuban music is
expected this spring. Joining Triff will
be percussionist Daniel Ponce and bass-
ist Alex Berti, along with special guests
Roberto Poveda, Adrian Castro, and
Rosie Inguanzo. Tickets are $20, $25,
and $50 VIP. Call 305-545-8546 or visit

Baynanza? Yes We Canza!
Ever since the Black Plague, when hordes
of infected rats managed to kill off a siz-
able chunk of Europe's population, western
governments have taken a keen interest in
urban sanitation. But playing housekeeper
to the masses isn't easy, and Miami-Dade
County could use your help. On April 18,
Baynanza, an annual community clean-up
effort now in its 27th year, will give you a
chance to do your part in ridding Biscayne
Bay's shores of litter. Last year 7600 volun-
teers collected 38 tons of trash. This year
the county hopes to do even better. The
event is roll-up-your-sleeves fun for the
whole family. Visit http://www.miamidade.
gov/derm/baynanza or call 305-372-6784
to register for one of the 29 clean-up sites,

which include East Greynolds Park, FIU's
bayfront campus, Pelican Harbor, Legion
Park, and Morningside Park.

Morningside Elementary
Goes Gourmet
Of all the things you'd like to forget from
your early school days, cafeteria food prob-
ably ranks pretty high on the list. On April
24, however, Miami's Upper Eastside will
witness the welcome foray of gourmet cui-
sine onto school grounds when Moringside
Elementary School (6620 NE 5th Ave.) hosts
a fundraiser dinner modeled after the popular
Taste of MiMo food-sampling events (see
below). Held in the school's organic vegetable
garden, the event will feature food from 12
local restaurants, live music, and a showcase
of student artwork. Morningside Elementary,
a bilingual magnet school, hopes to raise
awareness about positive changes taking
place under their new administration, discuss
future plans, and reach out to local parents.
The event (6:00-8:00 p.m.) is open to all, even
if your only interest is the food. Call Amanda
Fischer at 786-208-1689 for tickets, or pur-
chase them at the door for a whopping $7.

Cinco de MiMo Returns,
Last year's inaugural Cinco de MiMo
celebration was shocking. Many observers
could scarcely believe what they were seeing.
Right there in full view. Over the course of a
weekend, day and night, hundreds of people,
maybe thousands, brazenly strolled up and
down Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo
Historic District. Yet there were zero arrests.
Why? Because we're talking fim,,ilies here,
with kids. A festival atmosphere. Live music,
great food, entertainment of all sorts. It was
the MiMo District's coming-out party, and it
was a smashing success. This year's install-
ment is shaping up to be even better, so mark
your calendar, because it actually takes place
in May May 1-3 to be exact. There are
too many attractions to list here, but they in-
clude a kickoff party, historic walking tours,
street performers, kids' activities, prizes for
costumes, ajuried pooch parade (registration
required), live bands, and the monthly Taste
of MiMo restaurant crawl thrown in for good
measure (Saturday, May 2). For much more
information call 305-609-4288 or visit www.

Feedback: letters@,biscaynetimes.com

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

The best pool in town is under 1-95.

Not exactly underneath it, but cer-
tainly feeling its shadow at sunset.
It lies adjacent to the beige barrier wall
at the northbound 62nd Street entrance
to 1-95, and the thousands of cars whiz-
zing by have no idea they are passing
the Athalie Range Olympic Swimming
Complex. The grand pool is the center-
piece of an otherwise dusty and average
City of Miami rectangle called Athalie
Range Park.
Athalie Range was a leading African-
American civil rights pioneer and entre-
preneur who died in 2006 at the age of 91.
Among her many accomplishments: first
African-American Miami city commission-
er, first woman and first African-American
to head a state agency (Florida Department
of Community Affairs), presidential ap-
pointment to the AMTRAK board of direc-
tors, induction into Florida Women's Hall
of Fame, and successful businesswoman
(Range Funeral Homes). A large mural
of her adorns the shady side of the park's
community center.
The park is a study in contrasts and
juxtapositions. Sandwiched between
the inner-city schools of Miami Edison
Senior High (home of the Red Raiders)
and Edison Park Elementary (Little Red
Raiders), the park's primary patrons are

The Pool Makes the Park

- If the rest of the place measured up, it would be a champ -

The Olympic-size pool was recently renovated.

students. The surrounding Little Haiti
neighborhood is filled with public hous-
ing and dashed hopes.
In contrast, the swimming complex is
a deluxe Mediterranean villa. An extra-
sturdy fence with creamy yellow-and-
white columns surrounds the deck, and
the entrance is bigger than most houses
nearby. The locker rooms are clean and
Coach Eduardo Fugiwara arrived

from the highly regarded
Fort Lauderdale Aquat-
ics program one year ago,
and he says no problems
have occurred under his
watch. His swim team of
60, ranging in age from 3
to 17, works out there daily
except Sundays.
Having used the pool
myself, I can testify to its
high quality. This is the
kind of pool that any seri-
ous athlete or coach would
want, and at 50 meters long
it is truly Olympic in size.

& connects the park with Edison Senior
z High, and its more geometric staircase
f sports some charming paintings. The
Sstreet-level entrance underneath features
Sa green, arched iron sign with the park's
name that is difficult to locate and to
On the east side, the ground-level
entrance is a disappointing portal, where
the fence divides a clean zone, inside the
park, from a very littered zone on the
other side. Most visitors from outside the
neighborhood enter from the west side,
where there is an ample parking lot.
The largest element of the park is an
open field with two baseball diamonds
facing each other. This area is shovel-
ready for its makeover, and the City of
Miami has already collected bids for
"Field Improvements, B-39507." The
main cost of the renovation will be for
the towering lights that surround the field.

Raggedy baseball diamond with gleaming pool
house in background.

It was recently renovated
by the City of Miami.
Other outstanding features of the park
include your options for arriving there. As
it sits along 1-95, the park is a breeze for
commuters, and the busy cross-street of
NW 62nd hosts plenty of buses. But the
most unique way to arrive is from above.
A caged, above-ground walkway at
the park's northwest comer allows you
to cross over 1-95. Walking over the ex-
pressway is a disturbing experience that
everyone should try once, if only to feel
the relentless rush of rage below. At the
comer, the walkway twists like a giant
Slinky stuck in the mud. It's the perfect
setting for a demented roller-derby.
Another above-ground walkway

The central, grassy area will become a
combination football and soccer field.
The western baseball diamond has
burnt-orange dirt where kids carve their
names and secret crushes. It appears quite
The other half of the park is a mixed
salad of the pool, basketball courts, a
playground, and the community center.
The only shady area fit for a summer
picnic is behind the community center
and facing Edison Senior High.
Otherwise trees are absent, as they
are across much of the City of Miami,
which has less than a 10 percent canopy,

Continued on page 41

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Park Rating

N%%- 0 (id St.


Barbecticllc: Y \-,
Piciiic p.1' iliomi: No
-; lcii itii cou ii,: NJo
Athletic licUl%: Yk-,

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Continued from page 40

- well below the recommendation of 40
percent. This park needs some native-
plant landscaping to provide shade, visual
interest, and simply to make it feel more
like a park.
The playground is quite spacious, and
the giant sandbox is quite inviting. In one
corner stands a strange looking contrap-
tion that resembles a big funnel on a stick.
It looks like you should toss small balls
into the funnel and let them pop back out
at you. This game screams "geeks!"
The cool kids hang out on the red bas-
ketball court, not the green one, because the
green one is too green? There is some
kind of sociological experiment going on
here. I think it used to be a tennis court and
appears to be despised as such.
The community center buzzes with
after-school programs from 2:00 to 6:30
p.m., and there is a special program for
girls. The expected screams of kids gone
wild echo from an uncluttered, industrial
room, while the pool tables in the nearby
game room remain silent. One bulletin
board is decorated with photos the park's

The park's namesake, Athalie Range,
civic leader.

2008 flag football national champion-
ship team (division: youth 13 and under).
Around the park, the team is proudly
referred to as "Baby UM."
Although adjacent to 1-95, the park does
not seem excessively noisy or busy, because
the barrier wall keeps the highway hidden.
But you can only relax to the extent that you
can block it out of your mind.
The main attraction is the pool, and in

was a revered

V1 T
No instruction manual, so it's your guess how to

play this game.

the summertime it fills up with swimmers
of all stripes. But during the school year,
it remains mostly empty throughout the
day. Lap swimming for $1 begins daily at
11:00 a.m. and continues until 5:00 p.m.
on weekends. During weekday afternoons,
teams rent most of the aquatic space. A
new, park-sponsored swim team for kids is
trying to get off the ground.
"Range Park," as people call it for short,

is great for the schools and the neighbors,
but it's not winning any awards for beauty,
although the pool- a fortress in the field
- is a winner. Perhaps nearby Momingside
Park, which is debating how to renovate its
aged pool, should copy this one. Or perhaps
those swimmers shouldjust move over here.
There is plenty of room.

Feedback: letters @tbiscaynetimes.com

Saturday VI

April 25, 2009
8 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Formal program begins
9 a.m. 1 p.m. Clean-up Activities

Go Green!
Clean up North Miami as part of the

Great American Cleanup!

These programs are made possible by

W&rumi *w iw

anted Forest Elaine Gordon Park
1725 NE 135 Street
North Miami

Volunteers will receive double community
service hours, a t-shirt and lunch.

For more info, call 305-895-9840
Groups can pre-register by calling the Program
Director at 305-895-9898. Participation waivers
and details at northmiamifl.gov/parks

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Good Trees in Bad Locations
A 40-foot tree planted under a 30-footpower line? Genius!

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

ome 10 or 12 years ago a local
municipality began an aggressive
street tree-planting campaign. This
was great. We had lost so many trees
to Hurricane Andrew that an ambitious
planting program like this one would
be a great benefit to the community. I
watched over a period of several months
- which tree and palm species had been
chosen, how they were being planted,
the overall quality of the trees regarding
branch structure and health, and where
they were being planted.
I am a firm believer in species
diversity. Many of our worst insect
problems have arisen from too many of
a single species of plant being concen-
trated across broad areas. For example,
hundreds of thousands of Jamaica Tall
coconut palms in South Florida have
been lost to lethal yellowing. More re-
cently there's the hysteria over all of the
Ficus benjamin now being damaged by
fig whitefly. And look at all the problems
Royal Palms have with the palm beetle
and Royal Palm bug. There really was
no problem until we overplanted Royal
Palms in our area.
Well, I thought our municipality was
doing a good job, particularly in the
species-diversity department, until I took
a closer look.
Many of the problems that affect our
trees and shorten their natural life spans
in the long run are direct results of the
manner in which they are planted. Plant-
ing good-quality trees helps a lot. But if
they are just stuck in the ground, perhaps
into a hole that was drilled into solid

rock, they will struggle
for years regardless
of how much fertil-
izer or irrigation they
get. Planting trees in
compacted structural fill
on a newly constructed
site will cause the same
problems. Just drive
around your neighbor-
hood after a wind storm
or hurricane and see all
the trees with dwarf root
systems attached to them
that have popped out of
their tiny little holes. I
was starting to foresee
long-term problems in
this municipality with
root-restriction issues.
Then there was
the problem of power

Live Oak that has been V-pruned by the power
company. This tree will survive longer having
been pruned this way.

line proximity. There
is a palm affliction called Po\ i Line
Decline." Really. This occurs when
palms are planted underneath or next to
overhead power lines. The palm fronds
do not have to come into contact with
the wires. The electromagnetic field
can burn the foliage within two to three
feet. The symptoms are chlorotic yellow
fronds or leaf tips. This usually does not
kill palms, and once they grow beyond
the power lines, the chlorotic symp-
toms disappear. However, if the palm is
underneath or too close to the wires, tree
trimming crews from the power com-
pany will cut the fronds or even resort to
cutting off the crown, which will kill the
palm! Why? Wait till hurricane season
and see all of the power outages that are
caused by falling trees.

Florida Power & Light has a nice
brochure that explains why trees and
palms need to be planted a certain dis-
tance away from power lines. If the palm
is greater than 20 feet tall at maturity,
plant to a distance outside of the wires
by the average frond length plus two feet,
allowing for minimal clearance when the
palm grows next to the wires. Our mu-
nicipality, though, did not follow FPL's
While planting was still under way,
I spoke with a highly placed official,
suggesting that it might be a good idea
to review some of the municipality's
planting specifications, especially with
regard to location. I was curtly informed
that the folks responsible for the planting
plan were very highly regarded and did

not need my input. I left feeling sorry for
the residents. Now, 10 to 12 years later,
Many of the palms have already been
Removed, but it is still a good place to
Ssee full-blown symptoms of Power Line
Years ago power company tree
trimmers would top, round out, or hat-
rack trees to keep them from growing
into electrical wires. It was eventually
learned that on many species of trees,
the ensuing flush of rapid growth would
be directed toward the wires and the
pruning cycle would have to be repeated
more often, at a greater fiscal cost. V-
pruning of trees located directly be-
neath wires is now an accepted practice.
Directional pruning is done by removing
unwanted branches all the way back to
lateral branches or parent stems that
are growing away from the wires. This
doesn't look very natural but is much
better for the tree and allows for a longer
pruning cycle.
Utility companies have very few
options when it comes to keeping trees
out of the power lines, and they are all
expensive. The best is to avoid planting
trees or palms that will get too big in the
first place. Topping or hat-racking trees
is now considered an unacceptable prac-
tice, according to current arboricultural
standards. It is also illegal in many cities
and municipalities.

.i,. \i ,ini,,. i,, i is an ISA-certified mu-
nicipal arborist, director of horticul-
ture at Jungle Island, and principal of
Tropical Designs ofFlorida. Contact
him atjeff@tropicaldesigns.con.

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com

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April 2009


By Jenni Person
BT Contributor

With Passover and Easter upon
us this month, I'm think-
ing about how we as parents
weave spiritual traditions and cultural
heritage into the lives of our families.
For some of you this may be a reason to
put down the BT, toss it into the recy-
cling bin, and never consider reading this
column again. I would encourage you
not to do that, and I recognize that belief
systems are intensely personal and all
are legitimate okay, well maybe not
the ones that preach hatred and violence.
And okay, there certainly are some parts
of the Bible that may be interpreted as
preaching hatred and violence.
But come on, you know I'm not talk-
ing about that. I'm just trying to say that,
whether you believe in God or Goddess
or Gods or a Higher Power or an Ommm
or a Harley or Muhammad or Moses or
Buddha or Art, chances are you feel com-
pelled to share this with your kids. There's
something fulfilling about securing a
sense of cultural identity in our children,
strength in the knowledge that they under-
stand who they are and how they connect
to a community and its history.
Here are some ideas for fusing cultural
or spiritual identity into your family's life:
In your own home, distinguish holi-
days in some way that clearly separates them
from other days. Feel free to make it your
own, bring your own vision to the traditions
of any given holiday. And if it involves a spe-
cial dinner, bring your kids into the kitchen
for prep and menu planning.
Books! Incorporate cultural
identity moments into the bedtime ritual

Where We Come From

Six ideas for giving your kids a sense of heritage

- that precious time we share with our
kids every day. There are lots of great
kids' books rooted in specific cultures
or religions. You can peruse the "Award
Winners" section on Amazon for
example, note selections touting the Ezra
Jack Keats Award, given to emerging
authors whose books "portray...the mul-
ticultural nature of our world."
Community involvement like join-
ing a synagogue or church is a good old-
fashioned option. Benefits include things
like family worship programs, a spiritual
"home" as a center in your life, meeting
families of all types seeking this kind of
community, and a context for marking
the cycles of the year.
If you're not a joiner or not inter-
ested in the organized-religion scene,
create your own community. When I
first moved to Miami 17 years ago and
couldn't find a synagogue I liked (I have
since found several that fit the bill in
combination), I inadvertently started a

chavurah (a group of friends who gather
for alternative experiences relating to
Jewish holidays and study) that grew
to 60 households and monthly events.
Today we still get together at least twice
a year, and my kids know these friends
as our extended family. You can grab
some friends and have a holiday dinner
together, or bake macaroons with your
kids in preparation for Passover, or dye
eggs for Easter.
Many of us have also chosen to
infuse our heritage into our kids' lives
through the names we choose for them.
I recently asked a colleague the names
of his kids and he said, "Y'know, the
same old-school kind of Jewish names
as yours." His kids are named Sadie and
Max, which do indeed go very nicely
with Goldi and Izzi, reflecting one
generation that is instilling the next with
the nostalgia of the culture worn on the
backs of our grandparents and great-
grandparents as they passed through

Ellis Island. Bayside mom Alice Mensch
Raval, owner of Palm Bay Gifts (www.
palmbaygifts.com), a gift-basket com-
pany, told me a bit about how her family
embraces her relatives' rich Indian and
Hindu background. Her sons' names are
a significant part of that. With distinctly
Indian names, her boys Veer and Avi-
nash present their heritage upon intro-
duction. Additionally they also each have
their father's name as their middle name,
a strong and important Indian tradition.
Family. Make sure all your rela-
tives from your sibling's kids to the
kooky old great aunts and uncles to the
second cousins twice removed are a
part of your child's life. Surely this will
reveal an interesting mix of relationships
to your heritage that will instill in your
kid the sense that he or she is part of a
timeless tribe.
Goldi's birthday is coming up this
month, and with it our family's annual
commitment to celebrating it at AIDS
Walk Miami. The AIDS Walk (April
19 in Miami Beach) holds a special
place in our hearts not only because of
its support for those living with and af-
fected by AIDS, but also because at her
fourth birthday, Goldi served as grand
marshal for the event and was given a
key to the city.
So please join or help out our team
at http://tinyurl.com/ccxmo4 there
will be birthday cake and a pifiata at the
end for us all to celebrate Goldi and our
accomplishment of the AIDS Walk.

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

Feedback: letters@ibiscaynetimes.com


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Aprii 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor

Isee many puppies over the course of
a year. Every week, new dog owners
sign up for classes with me at differ-
ent stages of their puppies' development.
Of course, dog owners come from all
different walks of life and they arrive
with a diversity of problems. Like the
well-to-do senior citizens who have
spent thousands of dollars for a pint-size
Yorkie they want to keep like a bird in a
cage a 24-7 prisoner in their pent-
house apartment.
Or the young law student hoping that
a frisky Golden Retriever will ease the
psychological pressure of working and
studying alone 14 hours a day. Or the
long-married couple who think that going
out and getting the nearest purebred lab
puppy they can find would be just the thing
to spice up the life of their aging Labrador
and bring joy to a sad household.
Misguided dog owners like these
only scratch the surface of the troubled
puppy-buying population. I still get cou-
ples in their 80s who decide to bring two
puppies at once into their households, so
each human can cuddle one on their lap
when they watch TV. Or people who buy
puppies online with "papers" from great
breeders in Missouri (one of the puppy-
mill capitals of the world), only to find
the dogs eliminate in their crates and not
outdoors, a world the farm-bred dog has
never known.
Even with a perfect match of owner
and dog from a reputable source, raising
puppies can be challenging at best. Baby
dogs exploring, chewing, and running
with reckless abandon while leaving

A Primer on Puppies

First rule: Know what you're getting into

droppings in their wake could try
even the patience of Mother Teresa. As
with human children, however, puppies
are not usually delivered with a manual.
And anyone can be a parent. Many
people are qualified on paper to be good
puppy parents, with the resources to pay
for food, vet
bills, and so
on- but they Many people are q
may not be be good puppy pai
emotionally not be emotionally
ready to care baby
for a baby
again, or as is
often the case,
they are upset with the baby they get.
I hear many people compare the new


puppy to their older dog, who, in their
eyes, is the perfect pet. They resent the
puppy for wanting to play, for not being
housebroken, and for being afraid of
their children, or nipping at them. But
many also expect the puppy to be like
the nine-year-old dog they currently live
with, or with
a mature
vilified on paper to dog that
nts, but they may has recently
ready to care for a passed. They
gain. have forgotten
what it was
like a decade
ago, when that
older dog too was the devil incarnate.
Of course, the real answer to the

problem of co-existing with a puppy is
education. People should know what they
are getting into and what a puppy needs
before it can learn to behave in the home.
Any puppy will need to be walked many
times a day if it is expected to be house
trained and to behave. It is not okay to
say that you are too busy or not willing
to bring the dog out in the middle of the
night, if called for, because you are too
old or tired to do it. I have had four new
clients this month tell me they might get
rid of their puppies because they "got the
wrong puppy" for them.
So let's start with some research.
It's extremely important to spend time
researching breeds and talking to many
owners of those you may be interested in.
I say "many," because with the surplus
of puppy mills and backyard breeders
nowadays, many breeds do not act the
way they are expected to act, since they
were bred for money instead of retaining
characteristics of a beloved breed.
Even if you adopt a mixed breed,
though, one of your biggest concerns
should be the dog's activity level and
how it affects your lifestyle.
All dogs should spend time outdoors.
Everyday. Owning a condo on the 20th
floor, or your urgent desire to keep your
puppy clean, is not a reason for your
dog to stay inside day after day. Many
well-meaning puppy owners buy their
dogs from breeders who did not socialize
the puppies (exposing them to different
sights and sounds) and, even worse, told
the new owners not to do so either!
I have seen unfriendly Bichon Frise
and Shih Tzus, Yorkies with no energy

Continued on page 45



Richard Prophete
Sales Rcpresentative

8400 NW 36th S St, Se. 350
Doral, FL 33166
(305) 389-9163 Cell
(305) 698-3144 Offie
(800) 462-7587 Toll Free
rprophete@humana .com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Continued from page 44
level, and scrappy Golden Retrievers -
all contrary to the typical characteristics
of those breeds. On the flip side, I see
many perfectly fine, albeit annoying
puppies (nipping, chewing) with owners
not willing to give them the time and
training they need. ("But Lisa,
we didn't sign up for this! We
wanted a calm dog." Then Think
why did you get a puppy!??) six-y
Week after week the dog though
never gets to see life outside
the apartment, except maybe
the groomer. It seems not one
family member is willing to
walk the dog and give it what it needs.
Naturally, the answer is to be
proactive. Think before you get that dog
your six-year-old has fallen I love with,
though you yourself haven't the least
interest in training it or providing the
activities necessary to socialize it. You
will have a puppy's life on the line. A
dog is not meant to live outside alone,
in a fenced backyard, just because you
can't find the time to housebreak it. A

pet should not be expected to act like a
stuffed animal, coming to life only when
you're ready to be with an active puppy.
People with "perfect" dogs five years old
or older must try to remember what that
first year was like, before that mature
dog magically turned perfect, after it fi-
nally calmed down and you got in synch
with it. I don't mean to sound harsh

before you get that dog your
ear-old has fallen I love with,
you yourself haven't the least
interest in training it.

about hopeful families shopping for a
puppy. But people should think harder
about what they are getting into. A dog's
life is on the line.
Lisa Hartman is head dog trainer for
Pawsitively Pets. You can reach her at
pawsitivelypetsonline@yahoo.com or
Feedback: letters @biscaynetimes.com

mortalize yur frieff
aintigs of pets by Catherne Kirkwood d


..... 3osysG-oTa 1




Sr Ar WAIIs WrFI M nasssAr w W I
Every member of the family
deserves the best!
C aw-"ing
S>r.u' t MAn f cj .-i 'r cMst .rC.av .Is a e

*.. . s T ra ..m |U I 1 -
*B / r.*k 4

-- a


You may come to us,
or we can come to you



305 754-0844



:i''. T: p r. r : r.' : -.:.rn It-r.:ii]: IFJ Ar a Oov rp,:" pcr -cC Iih-;ui.It: lnlJ 2~5
Biscayne Times www.Bis I wayneTimes. ccmr d 45rl
Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 45

April 2009

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Continued from page 30

Several new fitness center owners
are relying on Biagioli's sugges-
tion, expressing hope that the unique
nature of what they offer, combined
with average people's desire to better
themselves, will bring success. "We
believe that it is recession-free," Simi
Aboutboul says of her business, Studio
FitVibe. The Midtown Miami studio,
open since September, offers "whole
body vibration," a super-efficient
muscle-contraction workout technique
supposedly developed by the Russian
space agency. Although she admits
she was "naive" about opening in a
down economy and is "struggling like
anyone else," Aboutboul thinks the
recession will push people to redirect
their expenses toward more health-
conscious pursuits: "When times are
hard, that's when people are looking
into themselves more."
Similarly, Dan Martin of Crossfit 305,
a bare-bones fitness center that opened
in a former Lemon City auto garage this
past April, sees potential in the down-
turn. People are looking for relief from
the bad news, and a good workout can
do that. "It's the same reason people go
to bars during bad times," Martin says.
Referring to the routines he puts clients
through with free weights, gymnastics
rings, climbing ropes, and unorthodox
equipment such as sledgehammers,
Martin says, "We call it the opposite of
drugs. It's a high that lasts for days."
Economic concerns are different
for fitness centers in Miami, points out
Shuichi Take, owner of the three-month-
old Shuichi Take Fitness Club, also in
Midtown Miami. "In Miami, a gym is a
community setting," Take says, adding,

"More so in Miami than other cities,
there's such a high demand placed on
looking good." Combine that with the
added need for a boost of self-esteem
and a place to escape during tough times,
and there would seem ample reason for
people to sign up for gym memberships,
Take speculates.
While Take says his feng shui-
designed club is drawing customers
away from higher-cost gyms, he admits
he "could definitely use some more
members." On the other hand, he sees
positive indicators, such as one member
who recently lost much of his wealth but
insisted on keeping his membership at
Take's club. "At least I have my health,"
the man told Take.
Manning Sumner of the just-opened
Legacy Fit "training facility" in Wyn-
wood, doesn't speculate much on the
economy, but he's confident more people
would sign up for his services if they
knew what was best for them in hard
times. Says Sumner: "To be able to have
a place to go to, to let go, to not have a
care in the world except for sweating,
letting all the stress go." It's a simple
equation, Sumner says: "Money doesn't
bring happiness. I think that health can
bring happiness, make you comfortable
in your own skin."
Sumner is keeping busy, but he'd like
to drum up more clients for his indoor
and outdoor facility that focuses on free
weights, cardio machines, and old-school
equipment such as tractor tires, ropes, and
sleds. He sees hopeful signs in clients
similar to the individual cited by Shuichi
Take. This man also recently lost a signifi-
cant amount of his income, but still comes
regularly for training sessions. "If he didn't
have this," Sumner says, "he'd go crazy."

Feedback: letters(aibiscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 205.



Le Boudoir Brickell
1i SE 12h TErr.
v %%%.lEboudoirinmiaii.coin

C H .: =..- : 3h .h I.- ...: ...... i : .- .'I r.-H.- 1. r. .: ,

E i:, ,: l 1, ] ,,,,: 1,,-,] ':1 "9" ] r ,r,,,,9: 9 h , I -: :
i l,-Ii Ir i l,, l,- rIIIII I ,I I ,ii I : --I I I :i l ,'II II I:I : I 3 Ii :Ir ,-Hi ,h

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 Thailand's famed sense of culinary balance


Magnum Lounge
709 NE 791h Si.. 305-757.3361

I. 1. W..11 1J-I i..,1, ir

Yplantain myas Gourmet Cuban Bakery
646 NE 79th Si.. 305-754-3337
r1 i. 'i1 I h ,,,.- l ,- .- ., i. -,, rI

wasab now vident throughout th glForbadel thsseugh primafewchrilyAsiancs
or Latn American- inspired) menu in dishes like yuzu/white
soya dressed salad of shrimp tempura (with watercress, Vidalia
onion, avoado, pomegranate), a tender pork shank glazed with
spicy Szechuan citrus sauce (accompanied by a chorizo-flecked
plantain mash), or lunchtmes rare tuna burger with lively
wasabi aioli and wakame salad For dessert few chocoholics
can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm
chocolate custard $$$$$

Area 31
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Not that the sleek Interior of this seafood restaurant
(named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas
to South America) isn't a glamorous dining setting But
we'd eat outside From the expansive terrace on the 16th
floor of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River,
the views of Brickell's high-rises actually make Miami
look like a real city As for ingestibles, its hard to decide
whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive The
food is Impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean
Mediterranean-influenced style, like Royal Red shrimp with
salmoriglio sauce The cocktails are, for a change, genu-
inely creative They pack a wallop, but are refreshing rather
than overwrought Luckily you don't have to choose one or
the other $$$-$$$$

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 gobal
creations many of them combinations to satisfy 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,
harssa-marinated loin and bastilla, the famed savory-sweet
Middle Eastern pastry stuffed with braised shank) plus feta and

I ,-,'h ,:,, 3, ,,'1,,- : n Il, : ,' 3 r'-'] I" :,1 ':,,,' :,, ] :

Bulldog Barbecue
15400 Beicdln Bl~d.. 305-9409655
%t rt bulldogo -bbq.ccn
I' ,, -: I'-nl ,,- 1 ,1 .. : n,' 11 [ 1 :,:.

i, i.. I [o i I II I l .

smoked eggplant Finish with a vanilla souffle your way a choice
of toppings chocolate, raspberry, or creme anglaise $$$$$

109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751
While Indonesian food isnt easyto find in Miami, downtown
has secretstashes- small joints catering to Asian-Pacific cruise
ship and construction workers Opened circa 2002, this cute,
exotically decorated cafe has survived and thrived for good
reason The homey cooking is delicious, and thefriendlyfamily
feel encourages even the tmid of palate to try something new
Novices will want Indonesia's signature rjsttafel, a mix-and-match
collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice
Once you re hooked, there great gado-gado (veggies 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, picturewindowed space around the corner from the check-
in desks used to be just a lobby extension Now its The Bar,
which is notjusta 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
just the Basque word for tapas, but as interpreted byAtrios
chef Michael Gillgan, there's nothing mere about the generous-
ly portoned small plates They range from traditional items like
cod fish equixada (a zing 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 airytempura 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

3055 NE 163rd Sl.. 305.354.S4S4

eIxceed$20 Thefre: f. ,it: o edby r:1, c: II:.rdlr ,'no:I

Pizza Fusion
141a5 eBi,cdnc Bld.. 305-4056700

for a casual patio table while yu study the menu over an order
of warm just-made gnocchetti (zeppole-like bread sticks, with
prosciutto and savory fontina fondue dip), or creamy-centered
supply alla roman (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 Oggi) s wide-ranging but as the
name suggests, you can't go wrong with one of the thin-crusted
brick-oven pizzas, whether a traditional marghenta or inventive
asparagi e granchi (with lump crab, lobster cream, mozzarella,
and fresh asparagus) $$-$$$

Caf6 Sambal
500 Brickell Key Dr.
305-913-8358; www.mandarinoriental.com/miami
Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space
as its "casual hotel restaurant," many consider it a more
spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs,
owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace
directly on the waterfront The food is Asian-inspired with a
few Latin and Mediterranean accents (sushi, plus creative
fusion dishes like tangerine-anse spiced short ribs with scal-
lion pancake or a tempura-battered snapper sandwich with
lemon aioli) For the health-conscious, the menu includes
low-cal choices For hedonists there's a big selection of arti-
san sakes $$$-$$$$$

Caribbean Delight
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serv-
ing her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown
office workers and college students since the early 1990s
Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special
of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried 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

Continued on page 48

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Red, White, and You

Agreeable winefor $12 or less

By Bill Citara
BT Contributor

If Italy is known for fabulous food and
England is known for crappy weather
and France is known for being glori-
ously, annoyingly, obstinately French,
then Argentina is known for Malbec.
Okay, that may be stretching the
metaphor business a bit, but it's certainly
true that, when you put "wine" and "Ar-
gentina" in the same sentence, the next
word is "Malbec."
Malbec, the name said to be taken
from the surname of the Hungarian peas-
ant who introduced the grape to France,
is one of the six original "noble grapes"
of Bordeaux. (The others are Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot,
Petite Verdot, and Carmenere, the last
virtually extinct in France nowadays.)
A thin-skinned grape that requires
warm temperatures and abundant
sunlight to ripen properly, and which is
susceptible to rot in the cold and wet, is
not always at home in the variable and
often frigid and rainy climate of Bor-
deaux. But in Argentina, where it was
first planted in the 1860s and is now the

predominant varietal, the climate is near-
perfect. and Malbec thrives, at its best
producing powerful wines with intense
berry flavors and earthy notes of smoke,
coffee, and leather.
Malbec's popularity has soared,
being mostly responsible for Argentina
becoming the world's fourth-largest wine
exporter to the United States. Plantings
have more than doubled since the 1980s,
which is something of a double-edged
sword, as it means more good Malbec
coming into the country but also more
mediocre wines that seem to have been
rushed onto the market to take advantage
of current interest.
At our price point, $12 and under,
we sampled some of those less-than-im-
pressive Malbecs weedy, acidic, tast-
ing of underripe fruit. Luckily the others
delivered the rich, satisfying, full-bodied
experience we were after, especially
when paired with a thick, juicy steak
fresh off the grill.
The two best wines of the tasting
were the 2006 Terrazas and 2006 Alta
Vista Premium. The Terrazas is the
lighter of the two, though that term is

relative, with simple, accessi-
ble raspberry and red cherry
flavors and a hint of sweet
spice. The Alta Vista is huge
and inky and almost viscous,
bursting with black cherry
and cassis fruit, with
levels of nuanced flavors
from mushrooms and
black olives to cloves
and allspice.
Those earthier,
almost funky flavors
were at the fore of the
2006 Marraso, bal-
anced by tastes of ripe
cherries and anise,
though with somewhat -
disconcerting cedar
and pencil lead aromas.
The 2007 Alamos is a
good barbecue, sangria,
backyard-grill kind of
wine. It tastes like cher-
ries right off the tree,
albeit with tiny hints of
anise and mint, and while it doesn't offer
much complexity, it is straightforward

and easily drinkable.
Save your money and skip the
2007 Trapiche and 2007 Montes. The
former is as green as a freshly wa-
tered golf course, while the Montes is
funkier than George Clinton, who in
your ears can be pretty cool but in your
mouth is, well, not.

The Terrazas and Alta Vista
Malbecs can be found at the
North Miami Beach ABC Fine
Wine & Spirits for $11.99 each
(16355 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-
6525). The Marraso and Alamos
wines are at Laurenzo's Italian
Market for $10.99 and $9.99,
respectively (16385 W. Dixie
Hwy., North Miami Beach, 305-
945-6381). And the Trapiche
and Montes Malbecs are on the
shelves of Publix; the Montes
costs $11.49 and the Trapiche
$7.69, though prices vary
slightly among stores.

Feeedback: letters @biscaynetimes.com

Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 47

hungry doubly true thanks to the home-baked Jamaican
desserts $

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305403-3103
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., 305-858-0608
This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot
of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food
onto its menu, and a very large amount of informal retro
California-style fusion food onto its plates To the familiar
Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch
of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious) Menu
offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to 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 $$

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 hushpupples $-$$

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
rodlzlojoints, 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 (din-
ner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of
hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses,
plus additional accompaniments -- like irresistible cheese
bread -- served tableside A pleasant, nontraditional surprise
unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-
based BBQ, and mango chutney along with the ubiquitous
chimichurri $$$$-$$$$$

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

638 S. Miami Ave.
Indochine has succeeded by morphingfrom mere restaurant into hip
hangout Copious special events (art openings happy hours wth DJs,
classic move or karaoke nights, wine or sake tastings) draw every-
onefrom downtown businesstypestothe counterculture crowd Not
that there anything mere about the range of food served from
three Asian nations Light eaters can snack on Vietnamese summer
rolls or Japanese sushi rds, including an imagnatve masagocoated
model wth mango, spicytuna, and cilantro For bigger appetites,
there are Thai curries and Vietnamesespeciales like pho, rchlyfla-
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, cilantro-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 Porciello and Horatio Oliveira
continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or
perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the
Lawyer's Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with 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 tny 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 little 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 centuriesold 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 tomatoenriched
seafood No clue? Trya bandera, a mixed plate of Ecuador's
most distinctive dishes, including shrimp ceviche $$

Manny's Steakhouse
300 S. Biscayne Blvd.
M NightShyamalan couldn't have come up with more obvious
irony Located directly opposite Prime Blue Grille, Miami's most
intentionally female-friendly steakhouse (light decor, lightened
dishes), is Mannys, Miami's most intentionally masculine
steakhouse Here, ensconced in your black leather booth,
everything is humongous dry-aged choicegrade steaks like the

Continued on page 49

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 48

Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in rlbeye,
described as part meat part weapon"), king crab legs that
dwarf the plate, cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch
Ness monster whole, two-flsted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex
Notforthefrail $$$$$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305403-0900
For those who think Argentine cuisine" is a synonym for
beef and more beef," this popular eatery's wide range of
more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a
revelation Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for 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 daily-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 Miaml Beach's Lncoln Road was instantly
popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fastfood made
with notrans fats or other nutritional nastes B 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 gros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy
walnutspread), silky labneh yogurt cheese, and chicken adana
kebabs with grilled vegges and aloli sauce Everything from pitas to
lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily $-$$

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

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 flocchi 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 charm-
ing outdoor diningterrace) indeed evoke the south of France
But the menu of French bistro classics covers all regions, a
Greatest Hits of French comfort food country-style pate mal-
son with onion jam, roasted peppers and cornichons, steak/
frites (grilled rib-eye 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-area jewel is a full-service
seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections
like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish,
and remoulade There are even a few dishes to please
meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni
and cheese But oyster fans will still find It difficult to
resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large
selection of bivalves (often ten varieties per night), espe-
cially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-
roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego To
accompany these delights, there's a thoughtful wine list
and numerous 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 Thats owner
Armando Alfano's 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
halls from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated
by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian
entrees such as spinach- and ricotta-stuffed crepes with
bechamel and tomato sauces There are salads and sand-
wiches, too, including one soy burger to justify the other half
of the place's name The most enjoyable place to dine is
the secret, open-air courtyard, completely hidden from the
street Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays 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 $$

Continued on page 50

MW oiBMIlmu

April 12 Easter Sunday

Come celebrate Easter Sunday
with our Spectacular Easter Brunch
Buffet. Over 100 items, Carving station,
Dessert Fruit Bar. Easter Egg Hunt &
prize for the best Easter Bonnet.
Adults s28.95 & Children under 12
S 12.95. 11:00 am to 3:00 pmi
Call For Reservations.

every Monday continues.
IIIroducingM Paella Tuesday's.

Live Eiltertainmnent bly Steve Allisoi
e iery Friday night at the
Garden Bar 8:00 pin to midnight.

April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 49

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 chill,
budget-priced steaks, and burgers, includingthe mega-mega
burger, a trucker-style monster topped with said chill plus ched-
dar, mushrooms, bacon, and a fried egg There's also surpris-
ingly elegantfare, though, like a Norwegan salmon club with
lemon aloli A meat-smoker in back turns outtasty ribs, perfect
accompanimentto the blues $$


Adelita's Caf6
2699 Biscayne Blvd.
From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this
Honduran restaurant seems unpromising but inside its bigger,
better, and busier than it looks Unlike many Latn American
eateries, which serve a multnatonal melange, this one sticks
close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser On weekends
especially the two casual dining rooms are packed with families
enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas
(Honduras's take on tostones), rich meal-ina-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 figclutto, a salad
of arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine
nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto Free parking in a fenced
lot behind the building $$

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 Quebequolse 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, like a rustic pate)
with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon
atop ratatoullle, or many changing blackboard specials
Portions are plentiful So is free parking And its well worth
a drive $$

Captain Joe Seafood & Pasta Grill
3401 N. Miami Ave. (Shops at Midtown)
No matter if your splurge in the Shops at Midtown Miami
begins at 8 00 a m and ends at 10 00 p m This eatery will be
there for you, with eggs, pancakes, French toast and bagels
tll 1100 a m After that its a seafood-oriented menu of fast-
casual food, like a more upscale and more regional version
of Long John Silver's Best values are combo platters (served
with choice of two Latn or All-American sides) such as shrimp
and a grilled kebab, a heftyfried or grilled fish sandwich, or

a Caribbean paella The last is more like a pilaf than Spain's
saffron-rich creation, but is packed with enough mussels, fish,
calamari, chicken, and small shrimp to feed two There are also
more than a half-dozen specials (chicken, shrimp, or veggle-
topped pastas) served from 4 00-9 00 p m daily all for under
seven bucks $

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, evocative Rough-cut pate de champagne,
topped with cornichons on a crusty buttered baguette is an
instant trip to Paris Though weekend nighttime hours were
instituted several years ago, dinner is an on-again, off-again
thing, so call first $$-$$$

The Daily Creative Food Co.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535
While the food formula of this contemporary cafe is familiar -
sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfastfood, and pastries, plus
coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the
place Signature sandwiches are named after national and local
newspapers (like the Biscayne Times tuna salad with hummus,
cucumber, roasted peppers, arugula, and sprouts on multigrain
bread), giving diners something to chat about For those who'd
rather Have It Their Own Way, both sandwiches and salads
can be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of
main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the
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 a m But the food is as tasty as
ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and
for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a 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-Latin 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 gentrifies
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
clals) might include a turkey/pear/cheddar meltsandwich, and
reallysinful 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 walt
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 butspurtingly julcy, 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-
ing 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 exactly what its neighborhood needed The
restaurants artsan saluml, cheeses, flavorful boutique 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 esploslone that would feed Rhode Island Entrees
include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like
Venetan-style calves liver, rarelyfound 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 styl-
ish 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 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 spe-
cials, as the energetic young chef from Italys Veneto region
changes the menu twice daily Pastas are fresh, produce is
largely local, the mosaic-centered decor is minimalist but invit-
ing And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night
Valet parking is free $$-$$$

Continued on page 51

CLASSIC COMBO: $4-9 Hot Dog, Fres & Soda vasgs Dow am i
HOT DOG HAPPY HOUR: 4pmi l o-Cg 6

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"Best Bang for the Buck"

Zagat 2007 & 2008

7030 Biscayne Blvd

Fodt Land .e
900 S. Fders Hwy,

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 50

Kafa Caf6
3535 NE 2nd Ave.
Opened in late 2007 by a brother/sister team (both originally
from Ethiopia, via San Francisco), this casual spot is located
in the stylish indoor/outdoor, mult-roomed Midtown space
formerly housing Uva and Stop Miami Nothing on the break-
fast 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 burg-
ers, 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 $-$$

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
3201 N. Miami Ave. (Shops at Midtown)
(See North Miami listing)

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
pifon 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 $

Maino Churrascaria
2201 Biscayne Blvd.
This very upscale Brazilian steakhouse has all the features
one expects at a rodlzlo-style restaurant, including all-you-
can-eat meats carved tableside and a lavish buffet of salads,
sides, salumi, and hot prepared dishes What sets Maino
apart from typical rodlzlo palaces is its family-run feel, intimate
rather than intimidating, plus its attention to every detail
(immediately obvious in the classy rustic/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, Malno's 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 neighbor-
hood-oriented restaurant from Michael Schwartz, founding
chef of Nemo's in South Beach, offers down-to-earth fun
food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor set-
ting Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes
range from cutting-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
There's also a broad range of prices and portion sizes ($4-
$8 for snacks and small plates to $24-$39 for extra-large
plates) to encourage frequent visits from light-bite as well as
pig-out diners Michael's Genuine also features an eclectic
and affordable wine list, and a full bar, with cut-rate weekday
happy hour cocktails $$-$$$$

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
There's no sign out front, but this family-owned Irish pub,
on the pool deck of a waterfront condo building across
from the Miami Herald, for more than 15 years has been a
popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and
others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks (not to
mention a billiard table and 17 TV screens) Regulars know
daily specials are the way to go Depending on the day, fish,
churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all 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, babyspinach, 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
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 $

Continued on page 52

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 51

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 It's open past midnight
every day but Sunday $$

Sake Room
275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122
Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated decor at
this small but sleek restolounge, which offers South Beach
sophistication without the prices or attitude, thanks to charming

proprietor Mario Cicilia Among the seafood offerings, you won't
find exotca or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi
favorites are here, but in more interesting form, thanks to sauc-
es that go beyond standard soy spicysrlracha, garlic/ponzu
oil, and many more Especially recommended the yuzu hama-
chi 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 spicyshrimp with hot-and-sour mayo
and 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 restaurantthat 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 Districtspot is
run by Florent Blanchet, an energetic young Frenchman who
was previously a wine distributor His former gig led to connec-
tions that mean if wine lovers don't find the bottle they want
in W's selection of roughly 200-labels (which emphasizes bou-
tique 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 outfront 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-Latin tapas, sandwiches, salads, sides,
and entrees at all hours, just a far more elaborate selec-
tion at night The tapas list is especially impressive, with
all the usual Hispanic meat and cheese favorites but also
an unusually large selection of seafood and vegetarian
items such as espinaca a la catalafa (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 res-
taurant) before opening this Upper Eastside jewel, a
wine market/eatery whose 30 original seats have been
supplemented by a wine room/garden for tasting events
and private dining Stefani travels regularly to Italy to find
exciting, limited-production wines and inspiration for truly
Tuscan-tasting daily special dishes with honest, authentic
flavors, such as grilled wild boar sausages with lentil cro-
quettes Favorites that show up often on the menu include
pear and ricotta raviolini with sage butter sauce, grilled
eggplant slices rolled around herbed goat cheese and
sun-dried tomatoes, and a light ricotta tart with lemon and
rosemary $$$

Continued on page 53

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 52

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), lambi
frl (a mountain of perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson
gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or
Creole crabs Note for ambiance-seekers The Miami branch
has outdoor tiki-hut dining, North Miami's outlet, a former
Carvel, has the same food but lacks the tropical charm $-$$

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the
Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just feet from
the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened, people have been
lining up, even in summer's sweltering heat for this stand's
sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot
dogs The 22 varieties range from simple (the Classic, with

ketchup, relish, and chopped onion) to the elaborate (the
Athens, topped with a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil
dressing) to near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which
includes parmesan cheese and crushed pineapple $

East Side Pizza
731 NE 79th St.
Minestrone, sure But a 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 Peroni 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 isn't El
Q-Banos owners are indeed related to the family that operates
the original three Palacios de los Jugos which means no more
schlepping way out westfor the chicharrones against which all
others pale Also recommended are moisttamales, 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

, Cireek

(prosciutto, hotcappicola, pepperjack 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 cleaning done by hand, notfinish-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 wart $

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 grocerystore, its nearly invisible from the street Inside,
though, it has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous
servings of inexpensive AfroCaribbean 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 atthat mornings produce market
Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains
(plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven
bucks Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos,
desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring
organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage pattes $

Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd.
Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time
to cook, has been trendy for years Butthe Gourmet Station
has outlasted most of the competition Main reason decep-
tive healthiness These are meals that are good for you, yet
taste good enough to be bad for you Favorite items include
precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean
turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free com-
fort food For lighter eaters, there are wraps and salads with
a large, interesting choice of dressings Food is available a la
carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual
diners 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 artichokes and buttery St
Andre cheese Lower carb items range from an imported olive
assortmentto an antipasto platter with Spanish Cantimpalo
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 list featuring Belgian brewskis On Thursday nights the
car wash transforms into a chic lounge until 2 00 a m $-$$

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

Continued on page 54

perfect ambiance & beautiful artwork...

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 53

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
creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato,
cilantro, roasted garlic) But the cafe also carves out its own
identity with original creatons, includingyellow curry-spiced
Moonchine fried rice or Popeyes 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 pato for dining and entertainment $$-$$$

Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
Spruced up" is a supreme understatement for the space,
formerlythe Haltan holein-the-wall 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't surpris-
ing 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 pris-
tine plain individual nigirl (all the usuals plus rarer finds like
toro) to over-the-top maki rolls like the signature Moshl Moshi
(tuna, white tuna, salmon, avocado, masago, tempura flakes,
spicy mayo) Tapas also go beyond standards like edamame
to intriguing dishes like arablki sausage, a sweet-savory pork
fingerling frank with a superior pop/spurt factor, rarely found
in restaurants even in Japan, they re popular Japanese home-
cooking items And rice-based plates like Japanese curry
(richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest
appetites $-$$$

News Lounge
5582 NE 4th Ct.
305-758-9932; www.the55thststation.com
Unlike South Beach's News Cafe, MarkSoyka's new News is,
as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout
and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery Nevertheless the
limited menu of light bites is along with other entertaining
lures like an inviting outdoor pato, an intriguing music selection,
a 5 00-9 00 p m half-price deal on well drinks and selected
beers, and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries
-- part of the reason that almost all who drop in stay for hours
Especially recommended snacks are fat mini-burgers with
chipotle ketchup, a brie, turkey, and mango chutneysandwich
on crusty baguette, and what many feel is the original cafes
Greatest Hit creamy hummus with warm pita A beer list that
includes Tucher on tap, plus high-octane Belgan brews like
Duvel and Delirium Tremens, reminds diners that beer is food
too $

Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
8214 Biscayne Blvd., 305-7548328
The interior of this pineappleyellow building is a soothing
oasis offering traditional full English tea service or a more
zingy tropical fruit-flavored Caribbean variaton 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,
salads such as warm goat cheese with fresh greens, toma-
toes, dried cranberries, and candied cashews Also offered are
tempting take-out baskets like the Tea for Two (with tea, jam,
scones, and cookies), great for gifts or for at-home teas $-$$

Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-7773
Only in Miami From the 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 cutting-edge (sour-orangemarinated, sous-vide-cooked
Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-
breaded Old South fried green tomatoes) The menu is limited,
which makes sense with a chef-driven place, and it changes
daily which also makes sense at an ingredient-driven place But
several signature specialties, if they re available, are not to be
missed BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-
spiked 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 garlic-
wurst) with homemade mustard and catsup, savory
yet near-greaseless potato pancakes, and, naturally,
schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chick-
en, 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 cred-
ited with almost single-handedly sparking the revitaliza-
tion of the Biscayne Corridor's Upper Eastside Now
that the hype has calmed down, Soyka remains a solid
neighborhood restaurant that, like restaurateur Mark
Soyka's previous ventures (notably Ocean Drive's plo-
neering 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 revolu-
tionary fare, but Soyka continues to thrive while more
ambitious, nationally publicized restaurants like OLA
have come and gone $$-$$$

Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818
On the fairly standard menu of sushi-bar specialties
plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked
dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique
lobster maki that's admittedly huge in price ($25 95),
but also in size six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks,
plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, 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 inventive, such as an unconven-
tional 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") Buttaco 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 wasabi sauce, crab cakes with Asian
srlracha chill sauce, a three-cheese souffle Especially
impressive are some nicely priced cheese/charcutene
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 pato tables where the water view,
and carefree tropical partyfeel, is unimpeded $$-$$$$

Bocados Ricos
1880 79th St. Causeway; 305-8644889
Tucked into a mall best known for housing the Happy Stork
Lounge, this little luncheonette joint services big appetites
Along with the usual grilled churrascos, there's an 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 costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily
changing homemade soups Arepas include our favorite corn
cake the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, came
desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans,
and cheese Garnished with even more over-thetop 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 $-$$

Continued on page 55

VER Rea fterw I

Pf290 E 2dAFO E

2905 NE 2nd Ave.

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

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 54

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 sim-
ply plonked on a grill The rotation makes the bird self-baste,
keeping even the delicate white meatjuicy under its crispy,
nearly fat-free skin Spicing is also superior The original rec-
ipe of owner Edy Dernovsek's secret dozen-ingredient mari-
nade 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 aver-
age chain chickens Nothing leaps out at you, but there's
just 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 G reek place (Ouzo's, which moved to bigger SoBe
quarters in 2007) to break the curse of this former restaurant
jinx location And Ariston continues the lucky streak with clas-
sical Greek cuisine based on recipes of co-owner Thanasis
Barlos's mom Nonl 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 here with an almost sinfully custardy bechamel $$-$$$

Caf6 Prima Pasta
414 71st St., 305-867-0106, www.primapasta.com
Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run North Beach land-
mark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace 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 Argentneltalian indulgence
rather than Italian simplicity crabmeat raviolett in lobster cream
sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood Veal dishes,
such as piccata with white winelemon-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 eaterys 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 Bhumichitr
joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whdd
moved to Miami) atthis unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neigh-
borhood place Somestandout dhes here (like shrimp and corn
cakes with plum sauce, deep-fried sweet and sour fsh, and roast
duck with tamarind sauce) are featured in the chefs latesttome,
Vatch's Thai Kitchen, but with Tamarind's very affordable prices
(especially at lunch), you might as well letthe man's impeccably
trained kitchen staff do the work for you $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
9432 NE 2nd Ave.
With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches
elsewhere in town), this mostlytake-out mini chain is fast

becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami And why do
Miamians eat here? Not ambiance There isn't any But when
friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their
fish, tout the seafood's freshness, we listen And though the
bargain prices, and many menu items, are similar to those at
other fast-food sushi places, there are some surprisingly 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? $-$$

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
dsh If its Saturday it must be ajiaco Both are thick chicken
soups, full meals in a bowl But vegges and garnishes vary and
the modest Colombian eatery is a handy spot to comparison-test
such typical stews Adventuresome eaters may wantto try another
Saturdayspecial, mondongo (tripe soup, similar to Mexicds
menudo) For Colombian-cuisine novices, a Bandeja Paisa (sam-
pler including rice, beans, came asada, chicharron, eggs, sauteed
sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) B available every day as
are antojitos "lite whims," smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa
(a corn cake with Colombian sausage) And for noncarnivores there
are several heftyseafood platters, madeto order $$

Continued on page 56

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April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 55

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, Bamboche
is worth the hunt on one of those head-splittng Saturdays, for a
Haitan specialty notfound in many area restaurants boullontet
cabrlt, a soup packed with greens (like spinach, cabbage, cress,
string beans) and root vegges that is reputed to be a miraculous
hangover remedy Along with boullon, weekend specials include
more unusual dishes like fritay fried street snacks Haitan stan-
dards (grlot 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 karaoke at this expansive eatery, though
from the decor mixing Wild West rustcity with Key West flip-
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-mke nights to kidseat-free
Tuesday But don't forgetthe biggest draw the barbecue, hon-
est stuff that has been low-temperature smoked for 12 to 14
hours till tender yet resilient Ribs are meaty (exceptfor the aptly
named, bargain-priced bucket of bones," and while chopped
pork may not totallysatisfy North Carolina pulled pork purists,
nothing within a 1000-mile drive ever does Biggest winners suc-
culentsliced brisketand delightfullyjuicychicken $$

Burritos Grill Caf6
11717 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1041
Originally a friendly little 125th Street hole-in-the-wall that
garnered raves for its limited menu of terrifically tasty treats,
Mario and Karma 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 subtly smoky steak, onion, cilantro, and
pineapple, sinful deep-fried tacos dorados (like fat flautas),
and signature burritos, including the Maya, filled with juicy
cochinlta pibil, refried beans, and pickled onions $$

Canton Caf6
12749 Biscayne Blvd.
Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly Cantonese-
based dishes, rangngfrom all the old ChineseAmerican classics
(chop suey moo goo gai pan, pu pu platters) through newer
Americanized fusion favorites like honey garlic chicken, teryaki
beef, and crab Rangoon But there are also about two dozen

spicier, Szechuan-stye standards like kung po shrimp, ma po
tofu, and General Tsos chicken And there are a few imagnative
new items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the
Forest" Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-
gazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (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-
lowtail (or some more exotic local snapper, like hog or
mutton), perfectly tenderized cracked conch, or conch
fritters (with just enough batter to bind the big chunks
of Bahamian shellfish), everything is deftly prepared
and bargain-priced $$

Casa Mia Trattoria
1950 NE 123rd St.
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 staff's 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 LA s trendiest taco filling (and morning-
after hangover remedy) But that city couldn't have a more
authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped
marinated pork dish than 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 michelada, also authentically
Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to
dark beer $$-$$$

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

Chipotle Mexican Grill
14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779
Proving that national fast-food chains don't have to be bad
for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what
the company calls food with integrity" The fare is simple,

basically tacos and big burritos soft flour or crisp corn
tortillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken
chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented
pork carnitas, all with choice of fresh garnishes But these
bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, 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, the place, run bya Chinese-
American family serves mostly basic American dinerfare burg-
ers, sandwiches, about a dozen dinner entrees, fresh-baked apple
pie, and, oddly a whole section of Caesar salad variatons But its
also a secret source for Chinese food, mostly chow mien/chop
suey-type dishes, but also a few dishes such as eggplant with garlic
sauce and ma po tofu that are a step up in authenticity $-$$

Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from
retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s,
they added Hanna's" to the name, but changed little else
about this retrolooking 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 But the place's heartysoups, large variety of entrees
(including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selec-
tons), 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 sushi/sashimi, half cooked Japanese dishes, the
menu is relatively small but covers most of the traditional
favorites and a few surprises Popular makis include the
Dream (shrimp tempura, avocado, Japanese mayo, and
masago), the vegetarian Popeye spicy spinach roll, and the
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 kibbeh (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 goattassot and
an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt
before poaching with various veggies and spices) But the dish
that still packs the place is the grlot marinated pork chunks
simmered and then fried tll they re moistly tender inside, crisp
and intensely flavored outside $

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd.
Lke its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit as
much for being a hip hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex
food Though Lime a now franchising the chain's concept is fast
casual" rather than fast fod meaning nice enough for a night
out It also means ingredients aren't canned-type crapola Seafood
tacos are about as exotic as the standard menu gets, butthe mahl
mahi for fsh tacos comes fresh, never frozen, from a local supplier,
and salsas are housemade daily Nicetes include lowcarb tortillas
for dieters and many Mexican beers for partiers $

Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd.
In addition to whte-tablecoth ambiance that's several steps up in ele-
gancefrom the majority of neighborhood eateries, fth placefeatures
live Latin entertainment and dancing making it a god chance when
diners wanta nightout notjusta meal Its also a good choice for
diners who don't speak Spansh, but don't worry about authenticity
Classic Cuban homestyle dishes like mojomannated lechon asado,
topped with onions, andjuicy ropa vieja aretranslated on the menu,
notthe plate, and fancier creatons like pork filet in tangtamarind
sauceseem universal crowd-pleasers $$$

Maleewan Thai & Sushi
2224 NE 123rd St.
Redecorated (tasteful bamboo-matted walls, silk flowers) since the
days many days -this space was occupied by the kosher sushi
spotTani Guchi's Place, Maleewan a now a cozy neighborly nook
at which to enjoy all the standard Japanese and Thai selections
Cooked sushi is the strongsuit here, particularlythe signature
mammoth-size Maleewan roll, given zing by pickled Japanese
squash and savor bya cnspyyellowtail tempura topping If you're
craving more creativefare, 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

Continued on page 57

65o S. MIAMI AvE. 305.5%0,915I




Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 56

prodigous portons of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the lat-
ter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a moun-
tain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters
All pasta or meat entrees come with oil-drenched garlic rolls
and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens,
tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) that's a
dinner in itself Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red
leatherette booths, add to Mama's charm $-$$

Mario the Baker
250 NE 25th St.
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 ungentrfled, the interior
of this cafe is an oasis of cultivated Caribbean cool and subtly
sophisticated global fare Haltan-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 gnger pumpkin bisque,
unusually refined conch fritters (light batter, monster chunks of
conch), West Indies crab cakes with citrus atoli, and a signature
lavish, but onlyslightlysinful, Citadel Raw Fruit Pie $$-$$$

Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd.
At this stylish, dramatically minimalist Thai/sushi spot, the
regular Thai and Japanese dishes are as good as 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, its 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 festvity 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 listng)

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)
arejust as evocative For eat-in diners, quite continental
soups, salads, and sandwiches are equally and dependably
French $$

2214 NE 123rd St.
While this mainly vegetarian kosher place is best known for its
pizza (New York-style medium crust or thickcrusted Sicilian,
topped with veggies and/or "meat buster" imitation meats), its
also offers a full range of breakfast/lunch/dinner vegetarian
cuisine of all nations, with many dairy and seafood items too
Admittedly the cutesie names of many items baygels, berger-
rbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meat-a-ball, schmopperrr may
cause queasiness Butthe 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.
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin
designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff)
doesn't do the trick Open till 3 00 or 4 00 a m, Steve's has,
since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas
people crave at that hour As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is
sweet with strong oregano flavor Mozzarella is applied with
abandon Toppings are stuff that give strength pepperoni,
sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers $

Sun City Caf6
15400 Biscayne Blvd.
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 makis the Cubbie 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 not to offend purists) Extras like mushrooms are
possible, not imposed Drippin good burgers, too And unlike
MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the
good grease $-$$

Continued on page 58




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April 2009 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009

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Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 57

14316 Biscayne Blvd.
It's appropriate that the name of this small strip-mall sushi
spot refers to Japan's first and only sparkling sake some-
thing most Americans have never heard of, making the
reference pretty much an insider'sjoke 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) $-$$

COte Gourmet

Elegant ,, Ie

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),
the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique
Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from
recipes by Peru's influential nikkel (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 yakiton, 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, but there more than just sushi at this mostly take-
out spin-off of the pioneering H iro Makis are the mainstay
(standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creatons like
multi-vegfutomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy
Crunch & Callente 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, stir-fried veg-
gies, 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

9:30 j-'ar

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 Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey
(cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango)
or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladesh's
sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, it's because
chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman
once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa
Their new menu's mix-and-match option also allows 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
Bangladeshi 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 Miami-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 eatery's many little
banchan (included side dishes, some mild, others mouth-
searing) Pa jun, a crispy egg/scallion-based pancake, is
a crowd-pleasing starter And if the unfamiliarity seems
too scary altogether, there's a selection of Chinese food

Kebab Indian Restaurant
514 NE 167th St.
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
display of vivid pinks, greens, and blues worn by myriad families
arriving for dinner in matching going-to-church outfits is equaled
only by the eyepoppingly 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 (according to advertise-
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
barbecue (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-average selection of seasonal Chinese veg-
gies The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strat-
egy, 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.
Itsjust a small area blocked off by grocery shelves, buried
between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms,
and next-tono service in this cafeteria-style snack space But
when negotatingthis 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
fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person
shopping for 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 fruit juces and
smoothies $

Little Saiwwgon
16752 N. Miami Ave.
This is Miami's oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant,
but its 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

Continued on page 59

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com April 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

April 2009


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 58

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
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-
tlons 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 identical

to that at the Upper Eastside's Luna Cafe and, with
minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billante's eater-
ies (Rosalia, Villagglo, Carpacclo), 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;
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
Bahamlan 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' 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.
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
overcomplicate, 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 preten-
tious fancification And even low-carb dieters happily
go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound
of potatoes alla Toscana, fried herb-sprinkled French
fries Located west of Biscayne Boulevard in the Davis
Plaza shopping mall, across from Ojus Elementary
School $$-$$$

Mahogany Grille
2190 NW 183rd St.
Formerly Ruby and Jean's Soul Food Cuisine, a popular
but strictly neighborhood cafeteria, Mahogany Grille has
drawn critical raves and an international as well as local
clientele -since retired major league outfielder Andre
Dawson and his brother Vincent Brown acquired the place
in early 2007 The diner decor is gone, replaced by white
tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany The food is a sort
of trendy yet traditional soul fusion, heaping platters from
several African diaspora regions Carolina Low Country
(buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream
gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and
the Old South (lightly buttermilk-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 Rumi, 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
indle is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and
crisp just ask Also featured are Italian-American entrees
like baked manicotti that'ss manl-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

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

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com 59


PIZZA TASTING EVERY DAY 4PM-7PM! Try our famous thin Margherita Pizzas
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Ad valid until APRIL 30, 2009. While su lies last.

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April 2009

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