Title: Biscayne times
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00041
 Material Information
Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Publication Date: May 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
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: VID00041
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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

It began with a knock on the door. It
was around ten o'clock on a typical
weekday evening and my wife, Lane,
and I were sprawled out on the couch
in our Miami Shores apartment, watch-
ing TV. Curious that anyone would be


May 2010 Volume 8, Issue 3

coming around at that time of night, I our landlord. I thanked her for coming mortgage on our apartment. In every
made my way to the door. I had barely out, took the packet, and closed the door. other way, it made perfect sense. This
opened it before a woman thrust a thick The news was surprising only was June 2009 and the housing bubble
packet of paperwork at me and informed insofar as Lane and I had always made had begun to implode a year and a half
us that Bank of America would soon be our monthly rent payment, which we
bringing foreclosure proceedings against assumed was being used to cover the Continued on page 14




C l" i r 11 1 Ff l a I 'it

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The Open Door Miami Team
Bonnie Brooks 305.206.4186
Ilene Tessler 305.458.1200


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010



AdrienneArsht Center








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May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

1 As the Market Turns
6 Feedback: Letters
10 Miami's King: Jack King
12 Word on the Street
8 BizBuzz
24 Jen Karetnick: Teachers in the Crosshairs
26 Frank Rollason: Trust Our County Commissioners!
28 Wendy Doscher-Smith: Working Girls
30 Gaspar Gonzalez: Uncivil War
32 One Big House, Many Different Lives
33 Surging Supermarkets
34 In Miami Shores, It's Nix on Flicks
36 Five Big Ideas for the MiMo District
38 Mr. Mayor, Tell Them to Be Quiet
40 Another Neighborhood, Another Mutiny
42 Biscayne Crime Beat
44 Anne Tschida: The Future Is Here
46 Art Listings
49 Events Calendar
50 Jim W. Harper: Courts, Cats, and the Creeps
52 Kids and the City: Mother's Little Helpers
53 Your Garden: After the Chill, a Colorful Thrill
54 Vino: California's Deficits Are Your Benefits
55 Harper's Environment: You'll Love Offshore Oil
56 Pawsitively Pets: Your Little Bundles of Joy
59 Restaurant Listings: 226 Biscayne Corridor


PO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137

Jim Mullin
Mandy Baca
Victor Barrenchea, Erik Bojnansky,
Pamela Robin Brandt, Terence
Cantarella, Bill Citara, Karen-Janine
Cohen, Wendy Doscher-Smith, Kathy
Glasgow, Gaspar Gonzalez, Margaret
Griffis, Jim W. Harper, Lisa Hartman,
Jen Karetnick, Jack King, Cathi Marro,
Derek McCann, Jenni Person,
Frank Rollason, Silvia Ros, Jeff
Shimonski, Anne Tschida


Marc Ruehle
Nancy Newhart
Ileana Cohen
Marcy Mock
DP Designs
South Florida Distributors
Stuart Web, Inc.

All articles, photos, and artwork in the Biscayne Times mh
are copyrighted by Biscayne Media, LLC. Any duplication or Member ofthe
reprinting without authorized written consent from the publisher 1 Florida Press Association
is prohibited. .

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010



Pr,~ i


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


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SLetters to
The View from My Desk
Many thanks for Erik Bojnansky's excel-
lent article on the decay of the Little
Farm Trailer Park ("From Lovely to
Lousy to Lost," April 2009). I am living
next to the trailer park in an apartment
building. I agree with the author's main
arguments on why the trailer park suf-
fers. However, one point is not sufficient-
ly emphasized.
With my German perspective, I
have to say that the primary reason for
problems in the trailer park is anti-social
behavior by importantly very few
residents of that community. Every day I
am bombarded by a barrage of incredibly
vulgar, obscene, and aggressive noise.
The atmosphere this creates within that
community can only be one of insecurity.
What surprises me as a European
is how apathetically the community
accepts its fate. So many neighbors are
immensely disturbed in their peace, yet
do nothing. The police, who according
to the article patrol the area regularly, do
nothing either.
What's necessary is a community
leader to step in and pull the neighbor-
hood together, against the anti-social
elements. If this unlikely event should
not occur, it is up to the police to call
the few culprits to order. Otherwise the
community will further spiral downward,
with effects that will reach far outside
the trailer park.

We Once Had Burglar Bars
in Belle Meade, but No
Although Brandon Dane's article on
crime in Belle Meade makes some
very good points ("Living With Crime
- Eternally," April 2009), I strongly
disagree with the perception that
Belle Meade has become increasingly
Having lived in Belle Meade for 20
years, I feel perfectly comfortable and
safe on my corner (except for the fear
of being run over by the speeding Belle
Meade Islanders, who refuse to stop at
the four-way stops on NE 76th Street).
When we bought our house in 1989,
it was covered in bars, but over the years
we installed a security system and grad-
ually removed them. I've experienced
some petty theft such as someone riding

the Editor
off on a bicycle that was left outdoors,
and having a few things stolen out of my
car when I forgot to lock it. But those
crimes occur in every neighborhood, and
quite frankly, they were my own fault.
Frank Rollason's need to be armed
when doing yard work seems quite
extreme to me, but his home is much
closer to Biscayne Boulevard than mine.
Maybe he only sees dog-walkers around
his home, but further east there are
people out walking, bicycling, jogging,
and pushing strollers all the time.
Wade Hallock claims he's never
even seen a police car patrolling his
street, NE 6th Court. Could that be
because an eight-foot hedge surrounds
his entire yard, with the exception of his
driveway and even that has no view
of the street?
Deborah Gray Mitchell
Belle Meade

Reporter As Skateboard
Expert? No. Editor As
Skateboard Expert? No.
Resulting Story Dumb As
Before Biscayne Times published Erik
Bojnansky's article "Skateboards and
Synagogues Are Like Oil and Water"
(January 2010), did anyone with any
actual knowledge of skateboarding look
it over?
Someone with knowledge would
know about Miami being one of the
premier cities for skateboarding in the
U.S., and yet it remains the only major
city without a public skatepark.
Will Erik face the reality that
Miami is an urban environment, and one
thing that is consistent with all urban en-
vironments is the use of concrete. Sorry,
Erik. If you want fields of green and
swaying trees, move to the country.
Please take the time to research
other cities with a thriving skateboard
community, places like Seattle, Port-
land, or Philadelphia. Each of those
cities has space for skateboarders to
practice their beloved sport. Miami is
far behind. Sure, we can go play volley-
ball on South Beach, or a pickup game
of baseball at any of the large city parks.
But where is a person supposed to go
and skateboard?
Continued on page 58

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


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May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


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May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


BizBuzz: May 2010

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

By Pamela Robin Brandt
BT Contributor

At the Royal Bavarian Schnit-
zel Haus (1085 NE 79th St.),
chef/owner Alex Richter goes
all out for special occasions includ-
ing Mother's Day, when an extravagant
brunch, served indoors or in the outdoor
biergarten, will be offered from noon on.
For reservations call 305-754-8002.
"Mother's Day is every day" at
Herval USA's two locations (2666 NE
189th St., 305-466-2626; 1730 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-377-1221). To prove it, the
renowned contemporary furniture show-
rooms (and new BT advertisers) are of-
fering a 10% discount to customers who
utter that magic phrase, any day in May.
April was certainly an unforgettable
opening month for Amado Mesa and An-
thony Kylor of A&A Village Treasures
(9702 NE 2nd. Ave., 305-759-1612), start-
ing when one of our nationally notorious
motorists drove through their new Miami
Shores shop's front window. But no
worries. The new BT advertiser's stock
of unique vintage home furnishings and
accessories is unharmed and ready for
gifting mom or yourself.
By the way, if you haven't vis-
ited Miami Shores lately, you may be
surprised at the sleepy enclave's recent
revitalization. NE 2nd Avenue from 94th
to 101st Street is now christened "Village
Place at Miami Shores." On May 29, the
newly formed Village Place Merchants
Association will host a street fair to
draw in crowds and celebrate fashion,
art, healthy lifestyles, and good food.
The fun starts at 4:00 p.m.
As a special welcome to BT readers,
new advertiser Budget Blinds (9101 NW
7th Ave., 305-772-5660), which offers the
ultimate in personalized window treat-
ments, has a very generous offer: 30%
off all treatments purchased during May.
Great d6cor deals are also avail-
able this month at the annual yard sale
of Ascot Furniture (12951 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-892-2131). One-of-a-kind plus
scratch-and-dent teak benches, table,
chairs, and more will be on sale Saturday
and Sunday only, May 22 and 23.
Since 1953, new advertiser John
Stembridge Furniture (545 NE 125th
St.; 305-893-0800) has been selling both
contemporary and traditional/antique

Budget Blinds

scot Teak

furniture. Now
Mr. Stembridge is
really selling it. All
prices have been
reduced up to 70%.
it helps to have
a home for that new furniture. Lawyer
Jake Miller (12550 Biscayne Blvd., 8th
floor), whose free "save your home"
seminars continue on May 6 and May 11,
has good news for financially troubled
homeowners: "Finally both the banks
and government announced in April
they'll be forgiving mortgage princi-
pal for some underwater homeowners
who qualify." To find out if you qualify,
reserve seats at 305-758-2020.
That calls for a celebration! Fortu-
nately Anise Waterfront Taverna (620
NE 78th St., 305-758-2929) is now open
every day from noon to 11:00 p.m. New
special festivities include a weekend
brunch with 2-4-1 mimosas and selected
wines, and Friday's "Taverna Night,"
featuring live bouzouki music, Greek
dancing, and plate smashing. (Really!)
Actually, the greater Biscayne Cor-
ridor continues to grow as a whole-globe
dining route, if new advertisers like
Acquolina (124 S. Federal Hwy., Hallan-
dale; 954-454-2410) are any indication.
Right. That's in the wild north, Broward
County. But no need to bring survival
gear to this family-style Italian hot spot.
Just a huge appetite will do.
Welcome, too, to Fuji Hana (2775
NE 187th St.; 305-932-8080), new toe
the BT as an advertiser but a longtime
"best kept secret" Thai/sushi spot for
Aventura residents.
Remember the new Yogen Friiz
outlet opening (14881 Biscayne Blvd.)
scheduled for last month? April fool! It's
now rescheduled for May 8. Expect free
giveaways, and yogurt specials.


To marshal the '
strength needed to
even read about the Appliance MD
numerous great coupon deals offered
through August by Bagels & Company
(111 1 4 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435),
you might need to fortify yourself with
a dozen bagels. Or for eat-in custom-
ers, the free entries (with purchase of
same). Please, just consult the ad. We're
Farther south along the Corridor,
the MiMo Historic District continues
to grow. Perennially popular UVA 69
Restaurant & Lounge (6900 Biscayne
Blvd.; 305-754-9022) is now part of the
new UVA Plaza, a bustling complex also
housing lingerie/clothing shop La Bou-
doir Miami, Hugo Mijares Architect &
Suzanne Lawson Design, Dinin Partners
Law Firm, and Leiter Art Gallery.
Since new advertiser Gloribel
Gonzalez took over GG Salon and Spa
(9063 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-9710),
she see regulars who are returning every
week. Why? See for yourself any Tues-
day through Thursday this month, when
Gonzalez offers 20% off any service to
new clients who mention the BT.
Bathing suit weather is approach-
ing fast. But all is not lost. Just the
excess flab will be if you shape up at
Moti Horenstein's Mixed Martial
Arts and Universal Dance Studios
(18425 NE 19th Ave., 305-935-1855),
which is offering a free introductory
class of any kind, for all ages. Addition-
ally, two-week dance or martial arts
intro programs are just $29.95.

Searching for a summer camp
for sixth through ninth graders who
aren't the average purely out-
doorsy types? Try the Archbishop
Curley Notre Dame High School
Summer Academy (305-751-8367),
which offers not only a preview
high school sports program but
enrichment activities ranging from
performing arts to chess.
An historic 18-hole champion-
ship golf course and driving range. Nine
tennis courts. A clubhouse and a lounge/
grill with a new bistro menu. Happy hour
with two-buck beers. A fabulous Sunday
brunch. Even a camp for the kids. If that
sounds like perfect summer fun, you need
to visit the Miami Shores Country Club
(10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2360). It's
now open to the public.
For stay-at-home vacationers, All
Florida Pool & Spa Center (11720 Bis-
cayne Blvd., 305-893-4036) carries the very
best brands to make your relaxation dreams
come true. They provide maintenance too.
Attention, MDs: You will under-
stand the high-tech products offered by
new advertiser Techno-Derm (1071 NE
79th St., 305-392-0697) better than we
do. But we couldn't help noticing on the
website (techno-derm.com) infrared de-
vices that "burn calories at the speed of
light." Sounds like just what the doctor
ordered or should.
On the beach, Joseph Ribkoff out-
fits blow all competitors outta the water.
Problem: This Canadian company's
fashions aren't so easy to find. Problem
solved by new advertiser Statements
(2118 NE 123rd St., 305-893-7559), where
the fine ladies' line is a specialty.
Looking hot is a good thing. Feeling
hot because your A/C isn't up to par: not
so good. Warm beer is a bummer, too. So
Appliance MD (954-921-2306) has two
pre-summer special offers. For your hard-
working A/C unit, a coil and maintenance
overhaul cleaning, plus condenser check
and lubricant, for $195. And for your
refrigerator, a condenser coil cleaning
and maintenance cooling check for only
$69.95. At that price you can afford to
invite the whole BT crew over for icy-cold
brewskis. (Thanks! Don't mind if we do.)

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

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

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May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


For Sale: One U.S. Senate Seat, Best Offer!
Thanks to the Tanned One, we can expect an invasion of white guys with cash

By Jack King
BT Contributor

The Silly Season is upon us again,
and this year it has arrived several
months early. For those of you
who don't remember my earlier rants
about the Silly Season, here's a quick
recap. It's the season in which local poli-
ticians boast about all the good things
they're doing for your benefit, and then
quickly leave town for North Carolina
until September.
People running for office in the fall
often do the same thing, only they make
promises they know they can never keep
- if you'll just vote for them and then
leave town for North Carolina. What
they all do up there is beyond me. I've
never been invited to the party.
Normally the Silly Season doesn't
start this early. It usually begins in June,
soon after schools let out for the summer.
This year, though, the action has begun
more than a month early. It's going fast
and furious and for good reason. Local-
ly both the county and the City of Miami
are flat broke. The less our commissioners
stick around, the less chance they'll catch
blame for the mess. Moreover, just about
everything political is in play, and a whole
bunch of out-of-towners are very keen on
being here to rig the game.
Traditionally Florida has been a
donor state in politics, meaning that the
people of Florida, many of whom hail
from other states and nations, have polit-
ical interests in those places. They spend
money back home to support candidates
they like. For some it's been a nice deal.
The locals sent their money out of town,
and out-of-towners never bothered with

Florida, not giving a damn about
local politics.
In 2004 all that changed.
The presidential election was
hanging in the balance and the
Republicans flooded Florida
with every political operative
they could find, twisting the
election in their direction.
For many years the state
had been run by conservatives
from northern Florida, but over
time they began to lose influence
to South Florida as our power
base shifted from middle-of-the-
road Democrats to the burgeon-
ing population of Cuban exiles.
The Cubans knew all about
politics, and took advantage of
their numbers.
It was a costly change. The
Cuban political machine sold
its exile votes to the Republican
Party in exchange for a hard
line against Fidel Castro. The
Republicans were happy to oblige,
but Florida gained nothing in the

deal. It has solidly been that way for
more than a decade.
This symbiotic relationship embold-
ened conservative Republicans to treat
Florida not only as a piggy bank, but as
their own personal vote-generator. This
year will be a litmus test to see if it the
arrangement still holds. And it should
still hold, but Charlie Crist has thrown a
monkey wrench into the works.
Crist was a shoo-in for the U.S.
Senate seat left vacant by the resignation
of Republican Mel Martinez, but some-
how over the past two years, he managed
to piss off all the conservatives, and now

If Charlie Crist runs as an independent,
the carpetbaggers will descend on us.

they're leaving him in droves.
The more they leave him, the more
he finds ways to aggravate them. His last
great move was to veto a Republican-spon-
sored bill that tied teachers' pay to student
performance without regard to where
the teachers were working or under what
circumstances. Crist lost so much conser-
vative support that he's been considering a
run for the senate seat as an independent.
(As the BT was going to press, Crist made
his decision. He'll run as an independent.)
Crist as an independent would
throw another monkey wrench into the

gears. Early polling showed that such
a move would make the race a three-
way dead heat with Democrat Kendrick
Meek and ultra conservative poster boy
Marco Rubio. Leader of a new gen-
eration of Cuban politicians, Rubio has
shown he will do anything for money
and power.
All this is bringing out the Republi-
can glitterati. They fear they might lose
this senate seat (which they now hold)
and Republicans can ill afford to let
that happen. So this fall you can expect
to see more Republican carpetbaggers
invade Florida than at any time since
1875. The list is long and not varied -
they're all wealthy white guys who talk
alike. The list looks like this: South
Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Virginia Rep.
Eric Cantor, former Massachusetts gov-
ernor Mitt Romney; former Arkansas
governor Mike Huckabee, and former
New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Then we have the Tea Party Express
and FreedomWorks, off-the-wall groups
with more money than members. Both
are based in Washington, D.C., and
both have endorsed Rubio. Believe me,
the list will get longer, especially if the
senate race stays close.
My question is this: As Floridians,
do we want to turn the leadership of our
state over to a mob of carpetbaggers?
Of course, every election has out-
side influences, but this year may really
get crazy, particularly if the out-of-town-
ers think they can swoop in and just buy
everything. It's happened before and it
could happen again if you let it.

Feedback: letters@ibbiscaynetimes.com


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Pool/patio.A rare find.

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

Compiled by Cathi Marro

BT Contributor

Julissa Palma
Marketing Director
I personally want to be a
mom. This may not seem
like a big dream career-
wise, but it's my goal. I
grew up with a wonderful
mom and I kind of always
wanted to be her. The
main thing for me has
always been family: Be
a mom, a good wife, and
all that good stuff. I am
engaged to be married this
year, so I'm on my way,
but I don't want to have
kids too soon!

Jahtari Parris
Street \,/i,. ,,,1;,,, int, .ait
North Miami Beach
I want to be a lot of things.
Artist. Entrepreneur. Ball
player. I'm multitalented
and my talents shape my
career. As a kid I wanted
to be involved in sports. I
played ball in high school
and I'm good enough
to play overseas if I get
that opportunity. Right
now I've got to get things
organized financially, then
hopefully my art will open
doors to all these dreams
I have.

Iris Cirinese
Miami Shores
At peace. I had a son in
Iraq. Thank God he's alive
and back home, but he's
got a lot of recovering to
do. I'd like to stop seeing
our kids get killed. A lot of
this has to do with video
games they play. I see it
in my own grandchildren.
We're afraid to let them
outside to play anymore
without total supervision.
We used to go out and ride
our bikes and be safe.

Julio C.
North Miami
A better human being.
This is not related to
some material possession.
It's more about working
internally. I think I'm on
the right path. When I
was younger, I wanted to
be a soccer player. I did
that for a while but then
I changed careers. This
life is too short to reach
my goal. There are a lot of
things to do. We have to
change individually.

Marion Dollar
DJ/Fashion Consultant
I've been working in the
music industry on and off
for 15 years. Music is my
passion. I wish I could
make a 100-percent living
at it, but for now I am also
working in fashion until
my DJ career takes off.
I'm working toward get-
ting more gigs and touring.
You never know! I want
to be more involved in the
music industry and fulfill
my dreams.



An astronaut. You can't
give them shit because
they are smarter than
everybody and more
courageous than anybody
except firemen they
are pretty courageous
too. I've only wanted to
be an astronaut for about
five minutes. Before that I
wanted to be a pirate. But
after seeing Pirates of the
Caribbean 3 (that movie
was just awful), I don't
want to be that anymore.
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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com


Continued from page 1

earlier. We suspected our landlord, a
young woman who had been inspired
by rising home values to acquire a real
estate license and begin collecting
"investment properties," was probably
feeling the pinch. Now we knew just
how much.
The foreclosure notice came at a
bad time for Lane and me, as we were
three months pregnant with our first
child. Nevertheless we'd already been
thinking about venturing out into the real
estate market. Our lease was going to be
up in January, and it seemed like a good
idea to get out there and start looking
for a more permanent place. We knew
we would soon need more room, house
prices had already come down signifi-
cantly, and then there was that $8000 tax
credit for first-time homebuyers that our
new president had championed.
This wouldn't be our virgin voyage
into the market. Lane and I had looked at
houses in late 2006. Given the over-
heated state of things then, and the fact
that neither one of us is a trust-funder,
we considered houses in what most of

our friends, and most BT readers, would
consider edge neighborhoods mostly
safe, fairly quiet, but a little ragged, and
certainly short of the middle-class story-
book ideal.
One house we went to
see was in unincorpo-

rated Miami-Dad
directly across the
street from Barry
University. That
was about the
only thing it
had going for
it. The house
was a two bed-
room, one bath
about the size
of a shoebox,
but not as charm-

been altered tor this article), encouraged
us to jump on it, as who knew how much
it would be worth, oh, five minutes from
now! The best part, though, was when he
asked what we intended to do with it.
"Do with it?" I said. "You
know, the usual: Hire

SThe agent a

us to jump on it,
as who knew how
much the house
would be worth,
oh, five minutes
from now!

ing. Ana it neeaea a
considerable amount of
work. The asking price was
$280,000, or about what my in-laws
would soon be getting for their five bed-
room, three bath colonial on an acre of
land at the foot of the Blue Ridge Moun-
tains in Virginia.
The agent who showed us the house,
a veteran area Realtor named Everett
Russell (the identities of all Realtors have

ruck to bring our
belongings over,
decide where our
bedroom is going
to go, plug in the
that sort of
He looked
at me incredu-
lously. "You're
going to live in
it?" he asked.
I assured him

we were. He didn't
believe me.
That was an eye-opener. The
market was so out of whack that people
couldn't imagine anyone actually
moving in. Every house was a stucco
flapjack, waiting to be flipped. That's
when we opted to sit out what was left
of the bubble. (The house that Everett
showed us sold for around $250,000. Last

I looked, it was being offered at short
sale for $130,000.)
For our latest adventure in home-
buying, we decided to work through a
Realtor again. Lane suggested Chelsea
Marker. She had met Chelsea at one of
those street fairs the Shores holds once a
year or so. Chelsea, smartly dressed, had
been at a booth, handing out business
cards and telling everyone what a great
time it was to buy. She was confident,
chipper, and, as she was quick to say,
knew the area better than anyone. Lane
liked her. I had no opinion either way.
We decided to go with Chelsea. It was
the first plot point in what would become
our house-hunting soap opera.
We began to suspect we might be
in over our heads with Chelsea almost
immediately. For our initial expedition,
she picked us up and drove over to El
Portal, one of the three areas we told her
we liked and thought we could afford -
Miami Shores and Biscayne Park being
the other two. Turning on 88th Street,
Chelsea began gesturing to houses she
had previously sold, some as many as
two or three times. "I remember the first
time I sold that one," she'd say. "They

Continued on page 15

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Continued from page 14

were a nice couple. Last year I sold it to
an architect."
It was hard to escape the observa-
tion that Chelsea, like most Realtors,
had made a killing on the bubble, selling
the same houses over and over again,
each time for more and more money.
Now a lot of those homes sat empty. A
lot of others were teetering on the edge
of foreclosure. But Chelsea was still out
there, making her commissions, like
nothing had changed. (The only con-
stant in Miami's topsy-turvy real estate
market, it would become apparent, is that
Realtors always come out ahead, like
former Soviet officials turned ruling-
class capitalists.)
That first outing, Chelsea showed
us five or six homes around El Portal
and Miami Shores. Each was roughly
what we had said we wanted an older
house, nothing fancy, two bedrooms,
maybe two baths, and an extra room we
could use as an office. The only problem
was that every house we saw was, in our
estimation, overpriced by $25,000 to

Owners simply couldn't accept
that the modest homes they had paid
$450,000 for (or more) only a few years
earlier were now worth maybe half that
much and dropping. Not that owners
hadn't done their best to trick them out.
No matter how small the house, marble
countertops and stainless-steel appli-
ances in the kitchen were de rigueur.
Bathrooms looked like they had come
straight from IKEA. And there were
strategic flourishes the swing on the
porch, the koi pond in the back yard. All
very charming, but not as useful as an
extra closet, and certainly not worth an
extra $30,000.
As we discovered, these faux
dollhouses were at one end of the spec-
trum. On the other end were the "pink
elephants," as I dubbed them: sprawling
fixer-uppers with leaky roofs, creaky
floors, and cracked windows. These were
the true avatars of the bubble. You got
the feeling they had been flipped three or
four times without anybody ever coming
out to look at them. Size was their only
asset, but even that was deceiving, as
they had been expanded in ways that
didn't always make sense. One house re-
quired that you walk through the garage
to get to a third bedroom.

In our price range around
$230,000 we could either overpay for
a too-small house with fancy frills or
buy a larger home into which we would
have to sink more money just to render
it habitable. It was hardly an appealing
choice. Where was this "buyer's market"
we'd heard so much about?
We kept looking for several more
weeks, with little success. Finally Chel-
sea showed us a house in Biscayne Park
that was pretty close to what we had
envisioned. It was a 1940s two bedroom,
two bath with a Florida room and a
converted garage, perfect for a library or
home office. It had hardwood floors and
lots of windows. The bathrooms were
close to original, but they were in good
shape. And the house, as is common in
Biscayne Park, sat on a big lot. The kids
would have room to run.
The asking price was $248,000.
That was too much, we thought, but a
reasonable offer at least might get the
conversation started. We went to Chelsea
and told her we wanted to offer $212,000.
She blanched. "That's not enough,"
she said. "You want them to take you
seriously." (This, I later found out, was
Chelsea's variation on the stock "You
don't want to insult them.") She talked us

into offering $216,000.
The seller and his Realtor came
back with a counteroffer of $218,000.
They were looking to do business. Chel-
sea encouraged us to sign the contract.
At this point I should probably
stress that my wife and I are not unso-
phisticated people. We both have Ph.D.s.
We read The New York Times and The
Wall Street Journal. We watch the
nightly news. What we had never done
is try to buy a house. And as we discov-
ered, nothing prepares you for buying a
house except buying a house.
We'd always heard that the contract
between a buyer and seller was essential-
ly a baseline agreement. Once a contract
was signed, there would be a period of
discovery. A home inspection would
reveal more information about the house
- a leak in the roof, a problem with the
plumbing allowing the potential buyer
to either walk away from the deal or go
back to the seller and ask for the repair
(or renegotiate the price).
In this instance, however, the seller
had insisted on an "As Is" contract, mean-
ing the condition of the house was what it
was; he wasn't willing to make repairs. To

Continued on page 16

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May 2010

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Continued from page 15
us, the very idea of an "As Is" contract for
a home seemed odd. For a used car, okay,
maybe. But for a house? Chelsea assured
us this was standard, or at least standard
enough that we shouldn't be dissuaded
from pursuing the deal. And it didn't
mean, she reminded us, that the house

wouldn't be subject
inspection. To us, t
it sounded like
were already plah
ing defense. Buyer
beware, indeed.
In anticipa-
tion of the all-
important next
step, Chelsea
offered us a list
of inspectors
she had used
in the past. Our
antennae went u
again. We were n

t to n home

A friend referred us to a guy who
had done thousands of home inspections
in South Florida, and had a reputation for
being exceedingly thorough. He was also
refreshingly candid. "I'm not too popular
with real estate agents," he told us, "be-
cause I tend to throw a wrench into the
deal." Then he laughed, adding, "But you
know what? When real estate agents are
looking to buy a house for themselves,

I'm the gIV

hough, We M
we unc
Shad never w
tried to buy a
house. And as we
discovered, nothing
prepares you for
buying a nouse

except buying
e- a house. defe

bies at house-buying, but
letting our Realtor choose
our home inspector didn't seem like the
way to go. Realtors make money by sell-
ing houses. It stands to reason that they
gravitate toward those home inspectors
who generally make it easier for them to
sell those houses. Lane and I told Chel-
sea we'd get our own inspector.

they call."
y inspector would
over quite a few
orrisome areas. He
wasn't crazy about
the central A/C
unit. There was
termite damage
to the attic. The
storm awnings
didn't func-
tion properly
and would need
to be replaced.
ome windows were
ctive. There was

water intrusion in the
utility room. These weren't
deal-breakers, but all would require
money to fix.
Lane and I still wanted the house.
We just wanted to get it for less. We
made a date to meet with Chelsea at the
Starbucks on NE 2nd Avenue to discuss

Continued on page 17

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010



Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Continued from page 16
our options. Over a cup of coffee, I slid
a copy of the inspector's report across
the table to her. She flipped through it,
barely bothering to read it. "Okay, so
there are some issues. When aren't there
issues?" she asked.
"Yes," I told her, "but given that
it's going to take quite a bit of money to
remedy these things, aren't we in a posi-
tion to go back to the seller
and ask for a slightly W
better deal, especially
in this market?" wei
Chelsea interest
shook her head. *
She had bought Realtor pr
and renovated
lots of houses, this price r
she told us, EA
are getti
and these re- are getti
pairs wouldn't Buyers a
come to muches
money at all. For up with
the next 20 minutes,
she proceeded to go MI
through our list and ex-
plain, essentially, that every-
thing could be done for a song and in
virtually no time. You need a new door?
I know where you can get one for 20
bucks. Takes five minutes to hang. You
need a new window? They give those
away. Frankly, I think if I had told Chel-
sea that the house was missing its roof,

she would have looked at me and said,
"You need a new roof? I know a guy who
can do that for $100. It takes him maybe
20 minutes."
Ever since we had signed the offer
sheet, Lane and I felt like a twister had
scooped us up and would soon deposit
us on the doorstep of a house we had
only walked though a few times, with a
laundry list of repairs in hand and a 30-
year mortgage to our names. Part of our
anxiety was due to the fact that we had





never before bought property.
Dealing with Chelsea
didn't make things
any better. Over

, but the and over again, we
b t t 11 got the distinct
essed: "In impression that
Things her loyalty
nge, things wasn't to us so
g ca zy, much as to the
Scrazy. sale and her
e pulling three-percent
bags of (Each Realtor in a
so transaction typically
iey. receives three percent
of the sale price. Where
one Realtor represents both
sides, he or she gets six percent.)
To Chelsea, we were the unreason-
able ones. Lane and I decided to walk
away from the contract. We didn't think
we should be making all the concessions

Continued on page 18

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Continued from page 17
when house prices were continuing to
drop, and by this point we'd had enough
of Chelsea. We'd go out and look at
houses on our own, without a Realtor.
The next Saturday, we hit a couple
of places in the Shores. One of them
was a mess of a pink elephant dark
and labyrinthine, with leaks galore. The
elderly woman who owned it had used
it as an ATM machine, taking out home
equity loans for many times the value
of the house. Now she was looking for
someone to bail her out. The asking price
was a lot more than anybody in his or her
right mind would pay.
Outside the house, we encountered
the listing agent, Drake Leonard, another
prominent member of the Upper Eastside
Realtor brigade. "Are you interested?" he
asked. Not at all, we told him. "Why not?"
he pressed. "In this price range, things are
getting crazy. Buyers are pulling up with
bags of money." To hear Drake tell it, it
was the cocaine 1980s all over again.
And it was all hype. We had already
heard though the grapevine that Drake

was known to do things like re-list the
same house, to make it appear that it had
just hit the market. Stories of big spend-
ers snapping up homes like so many
Monopoly properties seemed to come
naturally to Drake.
Leaving Drake in front of his
elephant, we drove to another house for
sale, this one in Biscayne Park, on the
railroad tracks. The place, low-ceilinged
and cramped, wasn't much to begin with,
and there was the matter of the train
rumbling through the backyard five or
six times a day. "You'll get used to it,"
the Realtor assured us. "Yeah," I told
him, "that's what they say about prison."
He smiled. (They all smile.)
In our attempt at solo house hunt-
ing, we did come across one home we
liked, a well-maintained, architecturally
enhanced two bedroom, two bath on the
far western edge of Miami Shores. The
list price was $249,000. The agent was a
stylish woman named Tiffany Safire.
We called on Tiffany at her office
and explained the difficulties we'd been
having. We were careful not to mention
Chelsea by name. Tiffany smiled and
Continued on page 19


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May 2010


Continued from page 18

leaned back in her chair. "Do you know
the difference between a real estate
license and a voter registration card?"
she asked, in a way that suggested she
had posed the question before. No, we
told her. Her eyes lit up. "Not everybody
has a voter registration card," she said,
crinkling her nose like a cat.
There was already an offer on the
house, but she'd help us find another
one. All we had to do was agree to deal
exclusively through her. Otherwise, she
said, she would just be wasting her time
on us. She didn't put a client contract in
front of us for that matter, neither had
Chelsea but the message was becom-
ing increasingly clear: If you're looking
for a house in a particular neighborhood,
especially one in a lower price range,
you have to do business with the Realtors
who control that territory.
The cards are stacked in their favor.
In post-bubble Miami, it's hard to find
traditional sales, in which the owner
bought the house at a reasonable price
once upon a time, lived in it, built up

equity, and is now looking to maybe
retire to a condo. Certainly we never saw
many. Foreclosures and short sales give
the illusion of an inventory of available
homes, but those houses are in limbo;
make an offer and wait six months to see
if the bank will take it.
In this fractured landscape, Real-
tors wield a lot of power. They know
what houses are for sale before anybody
else does, they decide who's going to see
them, and they have a disproportionate
say in setting prices (not to mention a
vested interest in keeping them high). For
Realtors, in more ways than one, every
day is a "home game."
Exhausted from our dealings with
Chelsea, Drake, and Tiffany and close
to disgusted with the whole enterprise of
trying to buy anything at all we de-
cided to revisit the house we had recently
had under contract in Biscayne Park. It
was a good house on a quiet street, our
inspector had given it solid marks over-
all, and truth be told, we hadn't seen any-
thing better in our price range. Surprise:
It was still available. (Hell, nearly every
house we'd looked at was still available.)
Continued on page 20



Alexandra Gordon, D.D.S.

CLEANI (1110) I I


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Continued from page 19

Out of a sense of fairness or
maybe it was Stockholm Syndrome -
we called Chelsea. She was, after all, the
one who had shown us the house. She
and the seller's Realtor drew up a new
agreement for $230,000 (the previously
agreed-upon sale price of $218,000 plus
an extra $12,000 folded into the deal to
cover our closing costs and prepaids.)
Of course, there would be one last
twist to our soap opera. Our lender,
which previously had received an
appraisal for the house of $230,000
- meaning the sale could go forward
- now wanted another appraisal. The
lender wasn't worried about our credit;
Lane and I had been preapproved for a
much higher mortgage. No, the concern
was the value of the house. After years
of practically throwing loans at people so
they could buy homes that weren't worth
anything like what they were paying for
them, lenders were suddenly skittish
about the housing market. Go figure. To
everyone's surprise, the second apprais-
al, completed barely three weeks after

the first one, came back at $210,000.
Appraisals are based on comparable
sales (comps) made within a certain time
period in the same neighborhood as the
house in question. So in this instance, the
appraiser was looking at similar homes
that had sold recently in Biscayne Park.
But that's what he had done the first
time, so why the $20,000 difference in
appraised value? The answer: Enough
time had passed that the appraiser had to
discard a couple of older comps, which
had been in the $225,000 to $230,000
range, and replace them with more recent
ones. Unlike the older comps, the newer
ones were short sales. The banks had
let the houses go for less than they were
worth, thereby suppressing the value of
the surrounding properties.
I know what you're thinking,
because initially we thought the same
thing: The invisible hand of the market
had finally dealt us an ace. The seller
would have to lower his asking price
- either that or find buyers who didn't
mind paying more than the appraised
value of the home, and had enough cash

Continued on page 22

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Continued from page 20
on hand that they wouldn't need to take
out a mortgage to do it. Not likely.
Lane and I were going to be able to
purchase our home for less than we had
anticipated. Sure, the seller
was pissed I would be AlI
too, if short sales down H
the street were de- six m
pressing the value ate
of the house I was r
trying to sell- nl i
but his loss was and I
our gain right? recovering
actly. The new experienI
appraisal might
force the seller harrowi
to lower his price,
but it also signaled begi
trouble for Lane to
and me, since we had
planned to cover some of our
purchase-related expenses by folding
them into our mortgage. The too-close-
to-the-bone appraisal meant we would
have to cover those costs out of pocket.
And our pockets weren't exactly loaded
down with an extra $12,000.
The sale was falling apart again.
The seller wouldn't take a penny less than
$210,000 for the house. There was no way
Lane and I could front all of our closing
costs. It was a stalemate. About the only
one who seemed primed to get on with
things was our unborn son, who would
soon be making his appearance in the

- M_
world and was letting my wife know it.
Just when things were looking
bleak, the seller, who was trying to
unload his house but who also turned
out to be a pretty good guy, made a
counteroffer. He'd settle for a little less
than $210,000 as long as the Realtors
took reduced commissions.





not Because they were prob-
U ably as tired of this
months merry-go-round as
we were and
Lane because two-
re still and-a-half
1re still percent of
I from our $210000is
better than
e. It w as three percent
Sfof nothing -
S from Chelsea and the
nin g seller's Realtor
m g1 agreed. The com-
nd. promise allowed us to
cover enough of our costs
to make the deal work. We
closed the week before Thanksgiving.
Almost six months later, Lane and I
are still recovering from our experience.
It was harrowing from beginning to end.
Then again, maybe buying a house in
Miami always is.
The good news is we really like
living in Biscayne Park. We're on a great
street, the neighbors are friendly, and our
house is coming along nicely. In fact, we
can't imagine ever moving again.

Feedback: letters),biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

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May 2010

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May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Teachers in the Crosshairs
- In Florida, public education is under attack -relentlessly -

By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor

As usual, I've been doing a lot of
educating lately, but for once the
subject hasn't been creative writ-
ing. This time I've been lecturing family,
friends anyone unfortunate enough to
ask, really about the recently vetoed
Senate Bill 6, or as teachers like to call
it, SB 666.
If you missed the brouhaha over this
bill, passed by the Florida Legislature but
eventually, after tens of thousands of e-mails
and phone calls, vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist,
allow me to briefly fill you in
SB 6 proposed that newly hired
public school teachers be contracted to
a base salary, and then earn the rest of
their wage I'm sorry, incentive pay
- based on their students' test scores.
Needless to say these state-approved
exams would have to be created for
every single subject in every school,
from physical education to all the foreign

languages offered.
It also stipulated that new hires be
screened without thought or care for
advanced degrees (who needs those
pretentious masters of arts anyway?) and
that salary increases for existing teachers

shouldn't take those into account either (so
don't bother completing that longed-for
science doctorate). They call this "leveling
the playing field," and claim it will stop
teachers from getting masters degrees just
to keep their salaries on the upswing.

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

I call it manipulation. Politicians
would like the public to believe that
higher education comes for free. Those
of us who paid good money to earn
degrees, and are still repaying loans,
don't deserve the same starting salary as
someone who didn't? If we were looking
for jobs in big business the model on
which the government is trying to run
the school system those with an MBA
would start at a higher salaries than those
without one.
But we aren't in big business, and
it's our interests in our fields that lead us
to advanced degrees. Frankly, I shudder
to think of a Bachelor of Arts version
of myself teaching my classes. I learn
something new about writing every day.
Twenty years and two masters degrees
ago, I knew little more than my students.
In SB 6, tenure would also be
abolished, and principals would have
the ability to basically fire at will, based

Continued on page 25

May 2010


Continued from page 24

not only on observations but also, again,
on those test scores. No gains for Mr.
Jones's world geography students, no job
for Mr. Jones.
The goal, of course, was to get bad
teachers out of the school system, espe-
cially those who've been protected for
too long. Admittedly there are a few in
each school, hunched over their com-
puters playing solitaire or logged into
Facebook when they should be chal-
lenging their students with interesting
coursework. I'm all for getting rid of
tenure, which is one of the reasons I
never went down the college academic
road that most poets travel in the first
place. That type of job security is ob-
solete, a lazy dinosaur that has some-
how bred sloths. Let's open up the field
to new talent in the good ol' capitalist
American way that is, if we haven't
scared it all away yet.
It also might seem, initially, a
good idea to reward teachers who do,
on the surface, an excellent job. Let's
put that to the proverbial test, using

some imaginary teachers from Miami
Shores' own Doctors Charter School
- because, yes, that's a public school,
though it's run like a private one. So
Mrs. Smith's honors class does well on
the state biology exam? Bonus! And
she celebrates at a happy hour. Bad,
bad Mrs. Smith. She's nabbed leaving
Churchill's and blew a .09. According
to state law, once she's been booked as
a DUI, she must be terminated.
Let's also consider Mrs. Pink. She
teaches right next door to Mrs. Smith.
Her algebra students are not as gifted,
and they collectively fail. Like Mrs.
Smith, Mrs. Pink is a beloved and
dedicated teacher. So much so that in the
past she spent roughly $2000 of her own
money on supplies, given the limited
school budget. Now, because so much
money $900 million! went into
enacting SB 666 (never mind the enforc-
ing), she invests about twice the amount
just so she can have the necessary sup-
plies. But Mrs. Pink, we're happy to say,
has a very astute principal who recog-
nizes that her student population is not
going to get her any gains. He saves her
job. But Mrs. Pink's morale is so low she

becomes clinically depressed and leaves
the field.
Because SB 666 was vetoed, you
might think it's pointless to write about
its flaws, and its one or two good points.
But we'd be naive if we thought another
bill won't surface soon. The attack on
public education will continue. And yes,
it is an attack. The national trend seems
to be to blame teachers for everything,
and not just failing grades.
Here's an example from my own life.
When I see someone fooling around with
a phone in my class, I take it away for
the day. Recently I did that to a student
whose mother just happened to e-mail
me complaining about his grades. I
informed her that maybe he'd have more
success if he listened in class instead of
texting. She replied, "I really think the
teachers should take away all the cell
phones at the beginning of class." I didn't
confiscate his phone, so it's my fault he's
using it?
How about just teaching your kid
some manners and responsibility? Oh, I
forgot. I'm his teacher. That means I have
to persuade him not just to write a sonnet
and turn it in on time, a difficult enough

task on the best of days, but practice
good etiquette, too. I wonder if there'll
be a test on that?
Teacher complaints, protests, and
the virtual but eventual nonexistent
threat of a sick-out are what managed
to get SB 666 vetoed, and everyone
who wants to know where the state was
going to find that $900 million to enact
it should thank us.
But Crist's most loaded comment
was that he barely heard any feedback
from parents, either in support or defense
of the bill. Parents who want to put their
kids in Miami Shores Elementary School
should start paying attention. He will
likely consider passing the very next bill
that comes up, good or bad, to appease
those constituents he offended. Don't
support a bill that makes us do your job
on top of what is one of the emotionally
toughest, stressful, and least monetarily
rewarding professions in Florida. Do
help us create a better system, in Miami
Shores, greater Miami-Dade, and the rest
of Florida.

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


We Can Trust Our County Commissioners
That right -we can trust them to do anything and everything to preserve their grip on power

By Frank Rollason
BT Contributor

Our county commission is feeling
pretty feisty these days, trying
to build support for a couple of
initiatives that could be placed on our
upcoming August ballot at a time
when many people will be out of town on
vacation. (These strategically scheduled
items make the argument for signing
up for the absentee-ballot program that
ensures you will receive a ballot at your
home instead of having to be in town and
trek to the polls.)
Here are the two issues: A long-
sought salary increase for commission-
ers, and a move to strip away some of the
powers of the county mayor and return
them to the commission. Let's look at
them one at a time.
Salary Increase for Commis-
sioners. The premise here is simple:
Elected officials, Miami-Dade County
Commissioners in particular, deserve

to be paid a full-time salary for a full-
time job. Presently they receive $6000
annually along with various financial
perks: car and cell phone allowances,
health insurance, and of course their
seemingly bottomless reservoir of "dis-
cretionary re-election funds." Oops!
I mean "discretionary funds for the
welfare of their constituents."

So what do the commissioners con-
sider a full-time salary? They're talking
about something between $75,000 and
$90,000, depending upon which com-
missioner's plan is being considered.
There should be no question that the
position of county commissioner -
presiding over a $7.4 billion operating
budget and a sprawling bureaucracy

- is a full-time job and should be com-
pensated accordingly.
The fact that commissioners are
performing a "public service" should not
detract from the electorate's obligation to
fairly compensate those who perform the
public's work. Certainly policy-making
is every bit as important as administra-
tively carrying out those policies, a task
performed by the county's vast labor
force. Those employees are adequately
compensated, and so should be the
elected officials.
If commissioners' jobs are full time,
then it's only fair that we should expect
them to give us all their time meaning
no outside employment (or self-employ-
ment) of any sort while they're in office. I
don't want to hear the hogwash that such a
restriction would infringe on their rights.
If they don't like the requirements of the
job, then they shouldn't seek the posi-
tion. An ironclad prohibition on outside

Continued on page 27

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Continued from page 26

employment would go a long way toward
giving voters the confidence they would
need to get onboard with a big salary in-
crease. It would also help eliminate many
of those dastardly conflict-of-interest
issues that arise from time to time and
cause a commissioner to squirm in his
chair, trying to explain how an obvious
conflict is actually not a conflict.
The next hurdle to overcome will not
likely be on a ballot any time soon. That is
term limits. This is the issue that will not
die, right? The sitting commissioners argue
that if the citizenry wants one of them off
the dais, they simply run a new candidate
and they are voted off, and that is that. I
think we all know this is just not the case.
When was the last time an incumbent
was unseated? The year was 1994, when
newcomer Katy Sorenson ousted Larry
Hawkins. That was 16 years ago!
So we are left with a system in
which new faces are seen only when
a seat becomes vacant and incumbent
county commissioners never lose. Then
we're led to believe that the incumbent

commissioner will until hell freezes
over continue to be all-knowing on all
subjects always in the best interests of
all residents. Get a grip, commissioners.
You are no smarter than those you serve,
and the time comes for all in elective
office to step down and allow others to
pick up the baton.
The term-limits proposal by Com-
missioner Bruno Barreiro for no more
than four consecutive terms of four years
each (16 years!) suggests that he and his
proposal's supporters have completely
lost touch with reality. Here's the reality
check: Voters are more than just discon-
tent with the local political process. They
are disgusted by it.
You can be sure that if Barreiro's
plan ends up before voters, the language
will be such that the new term limits
will only begin after the election. So if a
commissioner already has 8 years on the
dais, he or she would be eligible for an-
other 16 for a grand total of 24 years
spent "servicing" the public. Hell, even a
prize bull on a stud farm is retired before
24 years of service!
Stripping Power from the Mayor.
This is nothing more than a power grab

by the commission to gain back control
of in-house administrative matters that
are best left to the mayor. Commissioner
Barbara Jordan is behind this latest at-
tempt to weaken the strong-mayor form
of government approved by the county
voters in 2007.
It makes no sense to have a county
manager who is appointed by the mayor
and approved by the commission, but
who reports directly to commission-
ers. For one thing, who is the manager's
boss? Is it the commission or is it the
mayor? This move would transfer back
to the commission countless meddling
opportunities concerning day-to-day
operations, from enormously lucrative
construction contracts to influence over
who is appointed director of this or that
county department.
The commission is the policy-mak-
ing body of the county, not the opera-
tions center for the delivery of services.
Commissioners steer the boat. They do
not row the boat. This effort to reduce
the mayor's power is about meddling,
plain and simple.
When Mayor Carlos Alvarez threw
his support behind the strong-mayor

form of government, he said voters
should have one person to point to when
services are not going right, and that
person should be the mayor. A major-
ity of us bought into that concept and
approved the change. The fault I find in
the current system is that Alvarez did not
eliminate the position of county man-
ager. Instead he kept the manager and
just had him report to the mayor instead
of the commission.
In my opinion, the manager's work
should have been divided among as-
sistants hired by Alvarez (maybe deputy
mayors?), which would have placed
responsibility for the county's daily
operations exactly where it belongs in
the lap of the strong mayor.
If the voters are not happy with the
mayor, they can vote him out of office.
But assuming that wouldn't happen to an
incumbent mayor until hell freezes over
again, at least the strong-mayor position
is term-limited two four-year terms.
And there we are full circle back
to term limits.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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By Wendy Doscher-Smith
BT Contributor

o there I was, crouched in front of
the trash room directly in front of my
apartment (smelly yet convenient!),
straining to hear the conversation between
two rather unlikely characters. They were
nearby, inside another apartment, and their
door was ajar. What I heard sounded like
ajob interview. Could it be? A high-class-
hooker job interview?
True story: The other day, as I stood
waiting in a hoodie and jeans, with my
loneliness dog Sasha, one of the elevator
doors in the Brickell cotel (condo/hotel)
I currently call home went Bing! and
rolled open. Out sauntered quite a sight,
even by Miami standards.
Before I even saw her, I heard the
words "Miami is a weird place..." float
out of the elevator.
Then a six-foot two-inch blonde,
pig-tailed woman wearing khaki shorts,

Working Girls

Evidence of Miami economic recovery: Escort services are booming

four-inch platform
sandals, and a
George Hamilton
tan swooshed past
us, she towering
over a bushy-haired
20-year-old (I'm
guessing) white guy,
who half-skipped to
keep up with her.
Both Sasha and
I whipped our heads
around to watch
them proceed down
the hall.
Bushy Boy: "Yeah, Miami is differ-
ent. You're not from here, right?"
Blonde Behemoth: "Oh, no. I'm from
the Midwest. From Ohio."
Little girl meets big city. The
movie clich&: Manhattan street corner.
Blonde, blue-eyed Midwesterner stum-
bles out of a bus with cheap suitcase
and big dreams.
Except not quite.

They proceeded to the end of the hall,
and as the door shut, I heard Bushy Boy
croak, "So, what do you want to drink?"
and then, following a half-lecherous,
half-expectant, 100-percent slimy laugh:
"Well, this should be..." And the door
Damn. Unfortunately Sasha was en
route to the groomer and, sadly, I figured
that would be the last I saw or heard
from this odd duo.

I dropped off Sasha at the groomer
and, on my walk back to the cotel, con-
sidered the sight I'd just witnessed. My
only conclusion: high-class hooker!
I returned to the cotel. There was,
as usual, a fuss in the lobby. This time
there was another very tall woman in
very high heels. No shorts here, but a
very tight skirt hugged her rear, holding
on for dear life. She was shrieking at the
concierge in both English and Span-
ish. Apparently, there was a missing cell
phone. Yawn. I thought: This woman
reminds me of Blonde Behemoth. I en-
tertained the thought that they might be
together or at least on similar missions.
Nah. This one seemed like another self-
proclaimed entitled tourist.
As I walked down the hall to my
apartment, I heard voices their voices.
Bushy Boy and Blonde Behemoth. I
heard them clearly because Bushy Boy

Continued on page 29

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failed to shut the door. Ah ha! The doors
on my floor of the cotel don't always
click closed.
Now I could hear all the banter. I en-
tertained the idea of listening outside the
door. But, no. That's so crass. So beneath
me. I continued walking, heard giggling,
and then this: "When men think I'm
going to do that..."
Wait a minute! I'm not beneath this.
No, sir.
Which brings us back to my
crouched position in front of the trash
room, intently listening, and having
an experience something like passing
a car accident on the highway. You
don't want to look. You cringe as the
carnage comes into view. But you can't
help yourself.
Here is what I heard: "People in Miami
are always talking about how much they
have, that they have this and they have all
that. And I'm like, 'No you don't!'"
Then: "I don't consider myself to be
like the typical Miami girl. I mean, I do
yoga for two hours a day."

Ah, yes. That is so atypical, after
all. I roll my eyes and hope it gets better.
Then I realize: Oh, Christ. This is an
At this point I'm trying to decide
if I should curse the fact that the wind
is howling in the hallway (a common
occurrence on the 28th floor) and that
a maid is noisily pushing a cart, thus
drowning out the audio on my "Opera-
tion Know-a-Ho" spy mission.
The maid banged on their door.
The door opened and the phrase, "I
consider myself smart," wafted out, fol-
lowed by a giggle.
"No thanks!" Bushy Boy told the
He shut the door completely. Just as
well. I was beginning to get a little nau-
seous. I unfolded myself and returned to
my room.
Then, a few minutes later, I heard a
door swing open, and this: "Well, when
I'm with someone and they think that I
don't know that their girlfriend or wife
is at the next table or outside, and I do
know, and I'm like, 'I know what's going
on here!'"

Was that the What don'tyou like
about the job? question?
Peeking out my peephole, I could see
it wasn't the Blonde Behemoth but rather
another oversize ditz departing with
Bushy Boy. Huh? How did they switch
so fast? In just minutes! Now I was
really interested. So I waited until they
walked down the hallway, and I followed.
As we waited for the elevator, I
smiled at them. The woman looked right
through me, obviously contemptuous,
and maybe confused. Overall, the look
said: "Oh, I'm better than you, you poor,
short thing."
Meanwhile Bushy Boy was busy
making out with his iPhone.
The conversation on the long ride
down was disappointing. Bushy Boy
attempted to get a date. Contemptuous
complained. Herjob was hard. Hmmm.
I'll bet.
Then things got even weirder. The
elevator doors opened, exposing swarms
of skyscraper women flooding the lobby.
The screeching cell phone woman was
one of them. I knew it! There was much
squealing. Long legs and hair extensions
were everywhere. A pink Lamborghini

was sunning itself in the valet. Wow! I
just walked into the eye of the Call Girl
Convention storm.
A quick glance around the lobby
revealed that the cotel staff was not
pleased. The security guard looked
pissed. The concierge woman was
counting money by slapping bills on the
counter and muttering under her breath.
I took a seat and exchanged raised
eyebrows with an amused nanny who
was pretending to push a stroller, oblivi-
ous to the drooling child. A few adult
males in the lobby needed a nanny to
stop their own drooling.
Three more blondes and two more
brunettes strutted in. What struck me
was how interchangeable they were.
Fake boobs. Huge designer handbags.
Long, toned legs. High, high heels. Lotsa
hair. More high-pitched squealing.
I'd seen enough. I entered the eleva-
tor just as Bushy Boy was exiting. Now
he was with an older woman. As they
passed me, and right before elevator
doors closed, I hear her say, "You must-
consider my daughter!"

Feedback: letters@tbiscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Uncivil War
In their fight to approve the FPL franchise agreement, some Biscayne Park conunmi' owners went too far

By Gaspar GonzAlez
BT Contributor

The quip about laws being like

sausages the less we know
about how they're made, the
better we'll sleep at night is generally
attributed to Bismarck, which raises a
question: Did Bismarck ever venture to
Biscayne Park? Because it would be hard
to imagine an uglier process than the one
that gave us our new 30-year franchise
agreement with FPL.
For the record, I was against the
agreement. I didn't want a 30-year pact
with a company that seems to have no
problem planting 80-foot-tall transmis-
sion lines at the edge of people's yards
(take a look at NE 135th Street) and
whose sole interest is in keeping us
energy-dependent on them for another
generation. The only argument anybody
really had for signing the agreement was
that it would keep roughly $120,000 in
annual franchise fees it's our own

money, collected through our electric
bills flowing to Biscayne Park. To me,
that wasn't a good enough reason.
In the end, a majority of our com-
mission thought otherwise. Mayor
Roxanna Ross, Vice Mayor Al Childress,
and Commissioner Bob Anderson voted
for the agreement. Commissioners Steve
Bernard and Bryan Cooper, against it.
I understand that votes don't always
go your way. What I have a hard time

accepting is how we got to that final 3-2
tally. I'd like to be able to say that the
commission's decision, especially on
something as significant as an irrevo-
cable 30-year contract, was the product
of extensive research, thoughtful discus-
sion, and putting the concerns of Bis-
cayne Park residents ahead of personal
resentments. If only.
While I'm certain that members of
the commission tried very hard to grasp

all aspects of the proposed contract, it
was evident that, right up to the time
they voted, there was some fundamental
confusion regarding the significance of
what they would be signing. To take one
example: Commissioners who favored
the agreement had long argued that it
would have no impact either way on
FPL's right to bring massive power lines
through our village if it so chose. They
pointed to the Transmission Line Siting
Act, a state law that they believed already
gives FPL all the authority it needs to
put power lines anywhere it likes. Their
position essentially was: Let's sign this
thing because we're already screwed.
Yet on the evening of the final vote, at-
torney (and Biscayne Park resident) Marga-
ret Foldes pointed out that just the opposite
is true. Far from screwing us, the Siting
Act is designed to protect communities by
regulating large-scale transmission-line
projects. Furthermore, she offered the legal

Continued on page 31

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May 2010


Uncivil War
Continued from page 30

opinion that signing the franchise agree-
ment would put us at a distinct disadvan-
tage if and when it came time to fight FPL
on transmission lines through the village.
(The question of whether FPL can put
transmission lines wherever it wants in
the absence of a franchise agreement -
has never been settled in a court of law. It
remains very much a matter of conjecture.
All the more reason, some would say, to
not sign the agreement.)
This is complicated stuff, to be sure. It
requires experienced utility lawyers who
know their business inside out. FPL has
experts like that. Biscayne Park doesn't,
and didn't bother to hire one. This was
largely a do-it-yourself operation on the
village's part and, by the end, it showed.
More dispiriting was the fact that
those on the commission who favored
signing the agreement tended to com-
pensate for their lack of expertise with
surefire certainty, as if being absolutely
committed to something were the same
as being right. They often treated those
with a differing viewpoint both on the

dais and in the community dismis-
sively and, in some cases, with disdain.
Prior to the second reading of the
ordinance, village resident Mike Gruener
spearheaded a petition drive asking
commissioners to postpone the final
vote and instead sponsor a workshop to
which municipal law experts could be
invited, in hopes of uncovering viable
alternatives for replacing the franchise
fee (which, again, was the only reason
for signing the agreement).
Gruener and a handful of other resi-
dents I was one of them collected
approximately 220 signatures in the
day and a half leading up to the April 6
commission meeting. That's an impres-
sive number of signed petitions in a very
short time. Residents were speaking
clearly: They wanted their representa-
tives to find a way around the FPL deal.
When the petitions were presented
to the commission at the meeting, Mayor
Ross's reaction was nothing short of as-
tounding. She moved to hold a workshop
right then and there. With no time to pre-
pare, no experts in the room, and almost
no new information, what exactly was
going to come out of it? It was a cynical

maneuver designed to throw a bone to
the residents who signed the petition,
without actually giving the workshop
idea a chance to succeed. (After much
hand-wringing, the commission did vote
4-1 to have the workshop, with Commis-
sioner Anderson opposed.)
A second petition, asking residents if
they would be willing to raise the village
tax rate to replace the franchise fee -
another direct indication to the commis-
sion that many in the community didn't
want the FPL agreement garnered
about 150 signatures, also in less than a
day. Those petitions were brought to the
special commission meeting on April 27,
where the FPL issue was to be decided.
This time it was Vice Mayor Chil-
dress who found the voice of the people
irksome. During commissioner com-
ments, he spoke first, moving that a vote
on the agreement be taken immediately
- that is, without giving commissioners
Bernard and Cooper one last opportunity
to articulate their opposition to the mea-
sure. (Commissioner Anderson seconded
the motion.) It was a graceless bully tactic.
When Commissioner Bernard finally
was given a chance to speak because it

would have required the vote of four com-
missioners to silence him Mayor Ross
continually interrupted him with admoni-
tions to wrap up his comments. At the end,
the mayor was unwilling even to listen
to a compromise that could have had the
village joining the Miami-Dade County
franchise agreement, instead of signing our
own. (The county's agreement expires in
only ten years and contains greater protec-
tions from FPL transmission lines.)
Commissioner Anderson said it was
too late to hear new ideas. The mayor
banged her gavel and called for the vote.
The whole thing played like a bad remake
of Mean Girls. (But don't take my word
for it tune in to Comcast channel 77
any evening and see for yourself.)
Apparently, for Mayor Ross, Vice
Mayor Childress, and Commissioner
Anderson, it wasn't enough to be in
the majority. For some reason, it also
became necessary to demean those who
didn't agree with them.
And that's how we voted to sign our
30-year FPL franchise agreement. You
want mustard on that sausage, folks?

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May 2010

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One Big House, Many Different Lives

Once a condemned architectural gem with a storied past, The Beauty Temple is now a storybook oasis

By Terence Cantarella
BT Contributor

It was a water-pumping station, a
house of music, a private residence,
maybe a church, a chop shop, flop
house, meeting place for mystics, and
finally a beauty salon. For decades the
grotto-like structure at 5808 NE 4th Ct.
in Miami's Upper Eastside was known
simply as the Lemon City Pump House.
Named for the citrus-rich agricultural
community that once flourished nearby,
the coral-rock building looked, to most
locals, like a stone chapel. But beyond
its sweeping entryway arches and heavy
wooden doors sprung a once-rich supply
of pure drinking water.
Built in 1923 by developer James
H. Nunnally, the pump house originally
concealed a 38-horsepower engine and
pump that drew water from two wells
sunk deep into the Biscayne Aquifer.
An 8000-gallon storage tank created
enough pressure to pipe the water across
Biscayne Boulevard to residents of the
newly constructed development of Bay
Shore (later renamed Morningside).
The Water Plant at Bay Shore, as
it was called in a 1920s sales brochure,
provided fresh tap water at a time when
many U.S. homes still had none. Yet
despite its functionality and modern trap-
pings, the pump house soon grew idle.
Two years after its construction, the
area of Bay Shore was annexed by the
City of Miami and, according to Miami-
Dade College history professor Paul
George, the house became redundant:
"When Bay Shore was a development
outside of city limits, the developer had
to assure people he could provide water.

The old pump house has been fully restored in its new
life as a salon.

But once it joined the City of Miami, the
city picked up the task."
Defunct and seemingly forgotten, the
pump house's historical record grows
dark for the next half a century. Hobos
are said to have used the place as a crash
pad during the 1930s. Local pianist
Marvin Maher converted the building
into a private home at some point and
gave music lessons there for many years.
But other than vague recollections and
old title deeds, information on the period
from 1925 to 1975 is hard to come by.
Historical photos, too, seem to have been
lost to time.
In the spring of 1976, the story picks
up on a much darker note when accused
murderer Robert Brent Bowman moved
from Ohio to Miami and mortgaged
the place for $50,000. The charis-
matic, 40-year-old handbag manufac-
turer brought with him his wife, young

A very large backyard is dominated by water features.

daughter, and a terrible secret.
According to published reports,
Bowman allegedly had abducted a
14-year-old schoolgirl in Toledo nine
years earlier. He shackled her to a wall in
his basement, sexually assaulted her, and
strangled her to death. Police found her
body in a field several days later.
It would take 40 years and new DNA
technology to link Bowman to the killing
and finally make an arrest. He's currently
awaiting trial in an Ohio jail. His days at
the pump house, however, have left some
unanswered questions.
Shortly after moving into the home,
Bowman began to go through profound
spiritual changes. He used LSD, slept
inside a glass pyramid, and talked about
being spiritually connected to John the
Baptist. Around the same time, ads began
to appear in local newspapers announc-
ing meetings at the pump house, hosted

by an outfit called Cornucopia Centers.
The meetings explored things like "multi-
sense awakening" and "cosmic rites."
Veteran South Florida journalist
Dan Christensen, writing for the Miami
News in 1988, reported that police finally
questioned Bowman in 1982 about the
Toledo killing. Bowman didn't admit to
the murder, but hinted that another girl's
body was buried somewhere on the pump
house grounds. Skepticism, money, and
departmental restructuring, according to
Christensen's article, kept Miami police
from conducting a search.
Whatever the case, ownership of
the pump house passed to the Veterans'
Administration in 1978 after Bowman,
who was a military vet, defaulted on his
VA-backed mortgage. A doctor snapped
up the place for just $10,000 in 1980 and

Continued on page 37

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010



Surging Supermarkets
Publix will build a big one in Edgewater while Whole Foods scouts locations in North Miami

By Brandon Dane
Special to BT
or residents, foodies, and amateur
as well as professional chefs along
the Biscayne Corridor, there is
good news and there is bad news. The
good news: Publix is proposing to build
a new, ultra-modern mega store at 1776
Biscayne Blvd., and Whole Foods Market
is negotiating to purchase a large parcel
of vacant land for a new store on NE
123rd Street just east of the Boulevard.
Bad news: The Publix is not expected
to open for at least 18 months, and the
Whole Foods, according to knowledge-
able sources, would not be welcoming
customers until approximately 2014.
Of the two projects, the Publix in
the Edgewater neighborhood is the most
concrete. Miami Commissioner Marc
Sarnoff, in whose district the new market
will be located, confirms that the com-
pany has applied for a building permit. A
staffer in Sarnoff's office says that, as far
as he knows, "nothing has changed" and
that Publix is simply "going through the
permitting process." Officials at the city's
building department say that process should
take less than six months; Sarnoff tacked on
another 18 months for construction.
However, no one can say with
certainty that a new Publix will open in
two years. Case in point: The new Miami
Beach Publix at 5th Street and Alton
Road took roughly five years to complete.
Furthermore, Kimberly Jaeger, a Publix
spokeswoman, says she cannot comment
on the proposed store because "we do not
have any official signed agreements." The
Houston-based development company
that owns the 83,000-square-foot parcel

Imagine this: Publix is coming to Edgewater, so why not have something
really cool, like they did in Miami Beach?

did not respond to requests for comment.
(In his July 2009 BT cover story "Dirt &
Dreams," contributor Christian Cipriani
identified the vacant land as ideally suited
for a supermarket, adding that "a neigh-
borhood that eats well lives well.")
Publix operates about 1000 stores in
five Southeastern states, with about 70 per-
cent of those located in Florida. The closest
one to the Edgewater neighborhood is at
48th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Its
reputation is less than stellar, with residents
complaining the store is overcrowded,
often dirty, and offers a limited selection
of meat, seafood, and produce. The next-
closest Publix is in Miami Shores at 90th
Street and Biscayne Boulevard. By most
accounts, it is the preferred choice for resi-
dents at the southern end of the Biscayne
Corridor. As with most mass retailers,
Publix markets vary in size and amenities,
and neither of those two is a mega Publix.

The real buzz, however, has been cre-
ated by persistent mmors that Whole Foods
Market the upscale organic grocer will
be opening a store in North Miami at 1850
NE 123rd St., on the vacant lot directly
behind Walgreens in the RK Causeway
Plaza. A regional spokesman for Whole
Foods says that while the company is always
looking for locations in Florida, "at this
time, we have no Miami store openings to
announce." Likewise Jacqueline Gonzalez,
director of the department of building and
zoning in the City of North Miami, says
there are not currently "any applications for
development of this property." The owner
of that property, developer Irwin Tauber of
Taubco, did not return phone calls. (Inci-
dentally, Taubco owns the new Causeway
Square development, featuring an L.A. Fit-
ness franchise, directly across the street.)
Real estate broker Jeff Tomlinson,
who specializes in the area, says he has

it on good authority that Whole Foods is
Indeed coming. "The word on the street is
that it won't be tomorrow, but it is going
Z to happen," he says. "It's common knowl-
edge. Right now it's a problem with the
economy, but by 2013-2014, it'll be here."
STomlinson adds that if Whole Foods ends
up not building on the 123rd Street prop-
erty, the company will most likely make a
deal for a large lot across the street from
the Jockey Club at 11111 Biscayne Blvd.
Currently the two closest Whole
Foods Markets are located in South
Beach and Aventura, both of which
present traffic problems. Biscayne Park
resident Michaela Bittner says her family
"would love, love, love to have a Whole
Foods" closer to home. As it stands,
"the current trek to Aventura is a night-
mare," leaving her with two options for
convenient grocery shopping: the Publix
in Miami Shores or the larger Publix in
North Miami Beach at Biscayne Com-
mons. "Our first choice [for a Whole
Foods Market] would be 123rd Street,
but we'd gladly accept 11th Street," she
says. "What a treat it would be to have
one in our own neighborhood."
Miami Shores resident Dale LoSasso,
wife of acclaimed chef Dewey LoSasso
and herself general manager of SoleI res-
taurant at the W Hotel on South Beach,
agrees with Bittner. "We would most
definitely drive to 123rd or anywhere that
close for Whole Foods. Aventura is such
a hassle with traffic. So I usually hit the
South Beach Whole Foods. It would be
great to just jump in the car and be there
in five minutes to pick up all the things
that we buy only there."

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In Miami Shores, It's Nix on Flicks
- The PlayGround Theatre wants to show movies and draw crowds to NE 2nd Avenue, but there one little problem -

By Mark Sell
Special to BT

ou'd think movies and the old
Shores Theater at 9806 NE 2nd
Ave. would go together as natural-
ly as buttered popcorn and Coke. But you
would be wrong. Why? Because movie
theaters are outlawed in Miami Shores.
Doesn't matter if the theater is called
the Shores Theater or its successor, the
PlayGround Theatre, a live venue for ac-
claimed children's theatrical productions,
now in its sixth season. No cinemas. Period.
(Also banned in the village: abortion clinics,
adult novelty stores, amusement arcades,
bingo halls, car washes, escort services,
massage parlors, mechanical repair shops,
modeling agencies, pawn shops, psychics,
palm readers, and spiritualists.)
A growing number of merchants and
civic activists are trying to change law,
and village officials are starting to pay
attention to the possibility of allowing

I to define content have resulted in First
c Amendment lawsuits.


* C
* 0

This photo, from the collection of historian Seth Bramson, was taken in
June 1966 well before multiplexes and the Internet.

independent, classic, or art-house films
that never make it to multiplexes.
The Shores Theater opened for
business on November 14, 1946, with a
sold-out benefit premiere of Blue Skies,
starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It
ended its cinematic life some 40 years
later as a 99-cent theater with a raff-
ish crowd and reputation as a nuisance,

which prompted the ordinance.
Yet undoing the law is not as easy
as it looks. The village enacted it more
than 20 years ago to keep out dirty
movies and the rough trade. Better to
bar all movie theaters outright, lawyers
counseled, than to fashion an ordinance
that tried to filter out just naughty theater
operators. In other cities, such efforts

Two decades on, and thanks largely to
the Internet, 99-cent theaters and X-rated
porn palaces are going the way of the
buggy whip. And even in this Great Reces-
sion of empty purses and sleepless nights,
crime and "encroachment" are not quite the
concerns they once were. "There's no ques-
tion times have changed," says Steve Lof-
fredo, a lawyer and village council member
both then and now, who was present at the
law's creation. "It's probably time to take a
fresh look at the ordinance."
Getting films into the theater, which
still has a workable projection window
in its upstairs office, is possible. In fact
even today movies can be screened
there, but only if the PlayGround Theatre
receives permission in conjunction with
an approved special event. That, however,
can happen just once every six months.

Continued on page 35

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May 2010


Nix on Flicks
Continued from page 34

Liz Roldan, the new marketing direc-
tor for the PlayGround Theatre and a
former news executive at NBC 6, insists
the theater's intentions are honorable and
does not wish to push too hard. "We just
want to draw people into the theater and
neighborhood," Roldan says. "We're here
to serve the community. We'd like to be
able to show movies with some regularity."
The PlayGround Theatre will join
other 2nd Avenue business owners at a
street fair on Saturday, May 29, from
4:00 to 8:00 p.m., to lure people to the
avenue. The newly minted Merchants
of Village Place, as they call themselves,
want to step it up.
Nearly 5000 people turned out for the
Village Place inaugural street festival this past
October, held to coincide the reopening of
the street after 18 months of construction and
economic collapse that killed many business-
es. Inspired by the Village Place example, the
merchants' group operating independently
from but in cooperation with the Miami
Shores Chamber of Commerce will throw
NE 2nd Avenue open to art, food, wine and

cheese, antique cars and furniture, ice cream,
and neighbors meeting neighbors (name tags
for everyone). The merchants hope to do this
every month, and the PlayGround Theatre
wants movies to be a part of it.
The theater learned of the prohibitive
ordinance some months back, when O
Cinema, as recipient of a $400,000 Knight
Foundation grant, was seeking a venue to
regularly screen foreign, independent, art
films while building its own facility in
Wynwood. Roldan and merchants have
gathered such allies as Jim McCoy, a
former mayor and chamber of commerce
director, who has been active in nearly
every civic effort of consequence over the
past decade. He chaired the street festival
and welcomes merchants and the theater
taking the lead. "This is in the theater's
court, and we're all working hard on this,"
McCoy says. "This has got to be a unified
effort. We can craft an ordinance that could
allow more movies with an art-house
concept, and that can help foot traffic for
merchants trying to make a living. The
theater is one of the true jewels of the street
that can be a tremendous source of traffic."
For decades the Shores Theater
reigned as a leading uptown cinema

in the days when ushers in snappy red
uniforms and flashlights guided patrons
to their seats. The theater survived the
Supreme Court breakup of studio-owned
theaters in the late 1940s, the ascent of
television in the 1950s, and even the first
dawning of the enclosed shopping mall.
But as the 1970s progressed, rot set
in, crowds dwindled, and traffic started to
move elsewhere. The then-conservative
and lily-white Miami Shores council, along
with prominent civic and church leaders,
gave the theater manager a hard time about
suggestive, if critically acclaimed, movies
of the era such as Last Tango in Paris and
Shampoo. Malls and multiplexes sealed the
theater's fate, and distributors took their
movies elsewhere. Enter the 99-cent theater,
which ended its life with a reputation as an
unmourned community annoyance.
Salvation and resurrection of a sort
came in 1989, with the arrival of the
Shores Performing Arts Center, followed
by a sweat-equity restoration, occasional
film showings (with special permitting),
theatrical productions, great community
pride, and hopelessly wobbly financing.
The village council could not keep it
afloat. The PlayGround Theatre, funded

heavily by the Ansin family WSVN-TV
broadcast fortune and a growing array of
grants, saved the day.
Alex Rodriguez opened the Flower
Bar between 96th and 97th streets in
2007 four months before construction
started in early 2008 and got clob-
bered as a result. But he's still standing
and starting to see some pickup. He and
Sean Saladino of Mooie's ice cream
parlor and panini shop, on the corner of
96th, are the driving forces behind the
Village Place Merchants Association.
Says Rodriguez: "We have had to
rethink the game. We all have to work
together and refer our customers to each
other. We have beautiful sidewalks with
beautiful trees. And movies are part of
bringing people together."
With some market studies showing
that properly positioned cinemas can drive
substantial foot traffic to nearby mer-
chants, Roldan believes it's time to give
movies a fresh shot. "You'll never find out
if there is a demand unless you're allowed
to try," she says. "This is our neighbor-
hood and we want to see it succeed."

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Five Big Ideas for the MiMo District
SInspired Barry University students go nuts, reinvent Biscayne Boulevard

By Erik Bojnansky
BT Contributor

Take a bunch of energetic and creative
graduate students, task them with imagin-
ing a future for the MiMo Biscayne Bou-
levard Historic District, and what do you
get? A tour featuring pimps and hookers!
Okay, that's not all you get. A tour
on the seedy side is just one of five
possibilities dreamed up by a group of
Barry University students enrolled in
the school's MBA program. Their ideas
are contained in a 120-page report now
being circulated among City of Miami
officials and neighborhood activists. The
report was commissioned by the MiMo
district's Business Improvement Com-
mittee, a coalition of property owners
and preservationists who want to create
a self-taxing "business improvement
district" for the area.
As part of their assignment, the 19
students formed five teams, each of which
came up with a scenario that could help
"create a unique and definitive new identity
for the MiMo District," which lies between
50th and 77th streets along the Boulevard.
Those scenarios include using Boulevard
motels as architectural "anchors," turning
the former INS building into a giant athletic
center, utilizing local chefs and artists as
ambassadors, as well as the pimp-and-
hooker "red light" history tour.
"I'm glad these students weren't lim-
ited in their thinking," says Scott Timm,
executive director of MiMo's Business
Improvement Committee. "They've given
us years' worth of development possibili-
ties, and we're not throwing out any of
their ideas as unfeasible or uninteresting."

Miami Modem
architecture (MiMo) is
at the heart of the 1950s
Revival scenario, which
calls for designating 12
"anchor" motels along
an 18-block stretch of the
Boulevard. The design
of these motels would
be used as an architec-
tural standard for future
buildings. "In order to
do this, the motels need
to be unified or tied
together through a string
of new developments and
facade upgrades in the
style of Miami Modern/
the 1950s," says the report. Sports Have
"Other communities have building in t
architectural continuity
- Miami Lakes' Main Street and South
Beach, for example. MiMo does not."
The 1950s Revival scenario encour-
ages MiMo-inspired iinil\Cd-us build-
ings two to three stories in height with
retail shops/restaurants on the bottom and
apartments or offices on top," the report
states. Historic motels could also be con-
verted into "nightclubs, lounges, restau-
rants, or theaters," while "newer versions
of each motel could possibly be built
adjacent to the property as the modem-
day hotel with the latest amenities."
MiMo-era motels that could serve as
anchors for the historic district include
(from south to north) the Seven Seas
Motel, Carl's Motel El Padre, Sinbad
Motel, Shalimar Motel, South Pacific
Motel, Davis Motel, Biscayne Inn (for-
merly the Stardust), Saturn Motel, King

n scenario: Recycle the ugliest

Motel, Vagabond Motel, Sunshine Motel,
Royal Motel, and Motel Blu.
Instead of historic architecture, the Red
Light District scenario embraces the Bou-
levard's criminal and sinful history. "While
many communities try to bury social taboos
in their past during a revitalization effort,
the MiMo District could consider capital-
izing on the events of its seedy past by
turning the district into a living red-light
history tour that will remind South Florida
of its past" says the report.
The Red Light scenario would enlist
the services of local historian Paul
George, who teaches at Miami-Dade Col-
lege and is affiliated with the Historical
Museum of Southern Florida. According
to the report, George would lead visi-
tors on tours "recounting all that it once
was good, bad, and criminally ugly."

SAnd he could "speak about the various
- architectural styles that dot the eastern
Sand western sides of the Boulevard, as
" well as the crime and prostitution that
. plagued the corridor for decades....
Those who are seeking thrills amid the
Grunge and seediness of the Boulevard
g can take another tour depicting the lives
of many famous gangsters and hooligans
who once inhabited this area."
"I would be pleased to do it," George
tells the BT, adding that he could pattern
it after his popular Miami River tours.
The Red Light scenario also borrows
the "Walk of Fame" concept from Hol-
lywood, California, but ours would be the
"Walk of Shame." Instead of celebrities,
the MiMo district's sidewalks would be
adorned with "the names and faces of Bis-
cayne Boulevard's most notorious inhabit-
ants, such as gangsters, pimps, untouch-
ables, and cultists who made their homes in
South Florida at one time or another."
The Sports Haven scenario takes
inspiration from the $34 million Little
Haiti Soccer Park, just a few blocks away
on NE 2nd Avenue. "The soccer fields...
expect to draw large crowds with stands
that seat 850 spectators," the study notes.
Such a soccer Mecca could be beneficial
to the MiMo district: "Existing motels
could become destination resorts for
traveling fans, while area sports bars and
sports-themed restaurants could become
destination points for all sports fans."
To enhance this sporting potential,
the Barry students would recycle the
vacant former INS building at 79th Street,
transforming it into a "large, multipurpose

Continued on page 37







Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Big Ideas
Continued from page 36

sporting venue." The Sports Haven
scenario even includes a floor plan: a
swimming pool on the roof, a VIP sports
bar on the tenth floor, an indoor bowling
alley with a caf6 and bar on the ninth floor,
indoor racquetball and tennis courts on
the eighth floor, indoor soccer and football
on the seventh floor, a gaming room
with table tennis and air hockey on the
sixth floor, a fitness center and gym with
"basketball hoops" on the fifth floor, a lap
pool on the fourth floor, locker rooms on
the third floor, sporting goods stores on the
second floor, and a giant sports bar with
an C\cnIllSi\ c food and drink menu" and
"many TVs displaying international and
national sports" on the ground floor.
Repurposing the INS building
wouldn't be necessary to lure fine-dining
patrons. The MiMo Historic District is
already home to popular and critically ac-
claimed restaurants such as Michy's, Casa
Toscana, Red Light, Soyka, Moonchine,
Uva 69, Balans, and more. The Culinary
Row scenario points out that the MiMo

Beauty Temple
Continued from page 32

partitioned the interior into 11 separate
rooms, creating cheap residential rental
units exclusively for women. Three years
later he sold it to retired art teacher Ever-
ett Gum at a $75,000 profit.
With the neighborhood newly awash
in drugs, violence, and prostitution
during the 1980s, however, Gum had
trouble maintaining the place. According
to his daughter, he bought the house as
an investment, and it's unclear whether
he ever lived there. Court records show
he evicted tenants twice during that
period, and a news report from 1988

area is "uniquely positioned to become a
prime destination neighborhood for those
looking for distinctive dining options."
The report notes that special events
sponsored by the nonprofit MiMo Biscayne
Association already promote the district's
restaurants, but "more canbe done" to
attract more restaurants, food markets, and
gourmet shops. One possibility: "develop-
ment of a unique food mall" or "a two- to
three-story restaurant center along the
Boulevard that would house an array of
ethnic restaurants and entertainment from
around the world." While encouraging
more "trendy, high-end restaurants," fast-
food places would be discouraged.
Culinary Row also suggests that
motels could offer gourmet food and wine,
and "make a better usage of their bars and
lounge areas by organizing weekly special
parties and events." The report imagines
that "the MiMo District's motels could
also host 'Taste & Toast' events, where
visitors pay for the drink and get the buffet
access free. This same idea could be ap-
plied to business lunches for a flat fee."
Artists can also be used to promote
the MiMo Historic District. "The lower

described the home as dilapidated and
By 1994 the pump house had become
an encampment for vagrants. Hundreds
of used tires accumulated on the prop-
erty possibly dumped there by the
proprietors of an automobile service sta-
tion across the street in the present-day
Andiamo Pizza building. Cars, stripped
to their frames, and mounds of debris
also littered the large backyard.
A near death blow was struck that
same year when a destructive fire tore
through the place, collapsing the second
floor and tall cathedral ceiling. Initial
speculation was that homeless squatters
had accidentally sparked the blaze. But

costs of rent and ownership may attract
artists, galleries, studios, and exhibits,
which would all benefit the district," the
report states. Thus the Art Hub scenario,
in which the district creates incentives
for art galleries to open, asking local
artists to "paint artistic walls and murals
throughout the district," attracting Art
Basel in December, and organizing
gallery walks that also showcase the
district's architecture. This scenario also
proposes that the district partner with the
Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and
host local Haitian art and cultural events.
The five scenarios are just one aspect
of the Barry report, completed this past
December, which also includes opinion
surveys, zoning analyses, comparisons to
other Florida historic districts, and even
suggestions for obtaining grant money.
Nancy Liebman, vice president of the
MiMo Business Improvement Commit-
tee, says she wants city officials to be
aware of the threats to the district cited
in the report in particular a 35-foot
height limit that was enacted along the
historic district as part of the Miami
21 zoning overhaul. "Having a 35-foot

according to the Sun Sentinel (which
described the place as an abandoned
church), investigators found flammable
liquid on the premises and concluded
there was "no doubt the building was
burned intentionally." The perpetrator
and motive remain a mystery.
Exposed, charred, and in ruins, the
house drew the attention of Miami code
inspectors, who gave Gum 90 days to
clean and secure his property. But with
$100,000 in liens against it for accumu-
lated code violations, Gum opted to have
the pump house demolished instead.
Miami Herald reporter Geoffrey
Tomb documented the pump house's
plight in an April 1995 article that

height limit is not going to allow the
district to grow into a real destination,"
Liebman asserts. She advocates a 53-
foot height limit that would allow strip
malls and motels to build up and become
mixed-use projects.
In fact the 35-foot rule is not yet law.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado sus-
pended the enactment of Miami 21 until
more discussions are held. As a result,
buildings in the MiMo Biscayne Boule-
vard Historic District are still allowed to
reach 80 to 120 feet in height. "I guess
it's a good thing there's a slowdown in
development," Liebman says.
Although the 35-foot height limit is in
limbo, it will likely figure into additional
studies. "Florida Atlantic University is
doing a financial study, and they're going
to have a lot more to say about the 35 feet"
Liebman promises. The FAU study is due
this summer. A streetscape report, which is
being prepared by two University of Miami
urban planning professors, will also look at
a future district with and without a 35-foot
height limit. That report is due in June.

Feedback: letters(@biscaynetimes.com

sparked an immediate public outcry. His
story prompted Miami Mayor Steve
Clark to order the demolition halted.
Volunteers descended on the place to
help with a clean-up effort. And most
significantly, Gum agreed to donate his
property to the preservation group Dade
Heritage Trust, which persuaded the city
to remove the hefty liens by promising to
restore the pump house.
Habitual building-savior Sal Pa-
tronaggio paid just $16,500 for the prop-
erty a year later and tried to fulfill that
promise. He hired a machete-wielding
homeless man, still living amid the ruins,

Continued on page 40

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Mr. Mayor, Can You Please Tell Them To Be Quiet?

IA town hall meeting, a huge turnout, a hodgepodge of issues
By Margaret Griffis ......
BT Contributor U

hat happens when you invite
Miami's new mayor and police
chief over for a little sex,
liquor, and loud music? A super-charged
town hall meeting, that's what. And a
successful one at that.
Nearly 200 residents, politicians,
community activists, and city police
attended the first-ever town hall meet-
ing for Miami's Upper Eastside, held on
April 21 at Legion Park. It was organized
by the City of Miami's Neighborhood
Enhancement Team at the request of
Shorecrest Homeowners Association
president Jack Spirk and his counterpart
at the Palm Grove Homeowners Associa-
tion, Bob Powers. Representatives from
Morningside, Belle Meade, and other
Upper Eastside neighborhoods were also
in attendance. As community meetings
go, the turnout for this inaugural town
hall session was exceptional.

Now taking your questions: Bob Powers and Jack Spirk (left) with City
of Miami helpful honchos.

Miami Mayor Tomds Regalado, the
featured guest, spoke about how difficult
it was in the past to hold such meetings.
He said he wants to bring government to
the people and improve their quality of
life. He then turned the discussion over
to Miguel Exposito, the city's new police

chief. Exposito proudly noted that violent
crime is down 28 percent in the city
thanks to a crackdown on crimes against
persons. He promised to concentrate on
property crimes next.
What seemed like a very dry meet-
and-greet changed dramatically when a

it & democracy in action
ditterent issue came up: Sex offenders
Moving into the Upper Eastside from
z their encampments on the Julia Tuttle
Causeway. Commissioner Marc Saroff
-- explained that, owing to a change in law
he helped to instigate, the colony living
Sunder the causeway bridge was dis-

mantled and the sex offenders were sent
to live elsewhere mostly Homestead,
Allapattah, and apparently Shorecrest.
Sergio Torres, administrator of
Miami's Homeless Assistance Program,
came forward to discuss the situation
and acknowledged that 14 offenders had
moved into the Upper Eastside and were
being heavily monitored. One of them,
however, had already committed another
offense, though of what sort wasn't clear.
Chris Masciatti, co-chair of the Sho-
recrest United Association, exasperatedly
questioned why the city moved so many
into the neighborhood, where they could
"reminisce about the old times when they
were raping children." The simple answer

Continued on page 39

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010


Town Hall
Continued from page 38
was that a lack of nearby schools and
other protected facilities created a legal
bubble for them to obtain residence. The
simple answer didn't do much to placate
residents who saw a complicated prob-
lem, and in their view, a dangerous one.
The meeting then addressed sev-
eral noise complaints that ranged from
incessant fire alarms at half-empty
condominiums to late-night musical
entertainment at several area clubs. A
hip young woman, Sandra Gonzales,
stood up to complain about how noise
from the Brazilian hot spot Boteco, on
NE 79th Street, was affecting her family.
She tried to explain that her "parents are
getting old my dad is 60 and my mom
just turned 50." But the crowd mainly
aging Boomers drowned her out, roar-
ing with laughter.
She went on to express her outrage
at being held hostage by club noise, then
stumbled onto something that interested a
larger portion of the audience. Gonzales
said, "I'd rather have a bunch of people that
don't drink, gathering together Again

she was drowned out, but this time she was
hailed for her clear support of the Alcoholics
Anonymous franchise known as the Little
River Club, also located on NE 79th Street.
An extraordinary number of people in
the audience appeared to be members or
supporters of the Little River Club, which is
embroiled in a long-running dispute with its
residential neighbors. One club supporter,
Allan McDonald, fidgeted through much of
the meeting, clearly wanting the organizers
to hurry on to the next issue his issue.
McDonald's hopes seemed to be
dashed when the mayor prepared to leave
the meeting without discussing the issue.
"Everybody is here, and nobody address-
es it.... I want to know why," McDonald
appealed to the mayor, Sarnoff, and other
city representatives.
He was cut off by a brief discussion
about Biscayne Boulevard landscaping,
before making a second attempt to focus
on the Little River Club. "Nobody here
cares about the trees," he said loudly.
"We're all here about the gate." That was
a reference to the controversy surround-
ing the club's rear parking area.
Then a grandmotherly figure, Victoria
Peach, walked up to the stage at the front

of the meeting room and movingly ex-
tolled the virtues of the club. The mayor
acknowledged their interest but deferred
discussion to another time because of
legal issues surrounding the matter.
The main dispute between the Little
River Club and its neighbors is over their
parking lot. Since the 1950s, access to the
club's lot has been from NE 80th Street,
which would be a quiet residential road if
not for the extra club traffic. Some club
members have allegedly driven recklessly
and threatened residents when confront-
ed. Neighbors want that gate closed and
to have club members enter their parking
lot from 79th Street, a busy commercial
corridor. The club has appealed to the
city to keep the current configuration.
Abbie Cuellar, who is a board
member of the Shorecrest Homeown-
ers Association, was surprised and
delighted by the turnout: "People were
very confused as to what their Shorecrest
neighbors want. There's mistrust on both
sides, but if we each could listen for just
a minute, we could all be good neighbors,
and hopefully they [Little River Club
members] will come to understand that.
The goal is to live in harmony."

Haydee Wheeler, director of the city's
Neighborhood Enhancement Teams and
the person behind the evening's agenda
(with help from the homeowner associa-
tions), was also very pleased with the
exceptionally big turnout, telling the BT
she's willing to add the Little River Club
to the next meeting's agenda, pending
recommendations from the legal depart-
ment. "We are not about providing lip
service," says Wheeler. "We are defi-
nitely working closely with them to make
a difference in their community."
Jack Spirk, who has long advocated
for quarterly town hall meetings, was
"blown away" by the attendance. "Only
once in the past ten years have I ever
seen a turnout like that," he says. "I
believe that if residents get to hear from
their elected officials and city service
providers, they'll have a better under-
standing as to how their government
works. And elected officials and service
providers get to hear the concerns of the
residents and what their needs are. It's a
win-win situation. I think we proved that
Wednesday night."

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com



Another Neighborhood, Another Mutiny

SThis time the rival faction has formed in Miami historic Palm Grove district

By Margaret Griffis
BT Contributor
Political scientists have long debated
whether the Domino Theory in
which small changes trigger a
chain reaction across political borders
- accurately described the realities of
the Cold War. Maybe it did, maybe it
didn't. In 2010, however, Miami's Upper
Eastside could prove to be a new testing
ground for the old hypothesis as hom-
eowner groups compete for the ears of
both residents and politicians.
Last month the BT reported on a fac-
tion of Shorecrest residents who broke
away from the long-standing Shorecrest
Homeowners Association (SHOA) to form
a parallel group called Shorecrest United
("One Neighborhood, Two Personali-
ties"). Troy Howard and Chris Masciatti,
founders of the breakaway group, believed
that a new organization, using different
tactics, would allow them to better serve

Democracy in action: President Bob Powers (left) and the board of the
Palm Grove Neighborhood Association.

their small neighborhood, which lies east
of Biscayne Boulevard and north of NE
79th Street.
That upbeat view is not shared by
current SHOA president Jack Spirk,
who sees Howard's and Masciatti's
methods as too aggressive for SHOA.

Spirk also believes that "the confusion
of having two groups [will] impede
progress" for the community. Although
it's still too early to predict how the
Shorecrest rivalry will pan out, the
separatist sentiment has now spread
across the Little River and into Palm

Grove, where residents have likewise
broken away and formed a second
neighborhood association.
Palm Grove is an officially desig-
nated City of Miami historic district, a
distinction conferred on the neighbor-
hood just last year. It is bordered on the
north by the Little River, on the east by
Biscayne Boulevard, on the south by
NE 58th Street, and on the west by the
FEC railroad tracks. The Palm Grove
split, however, has taken a tack different
from Shorecrest. Instead of having two
groups covering the entire neighborhood
simultaneously, the freshly minted North
Palm Grove Community Organization
(NPGCO) will concentrate on the upper
half of the community, above NE 70th
Street. But the older Palm Grove Neigh-
borhood Association will not retreat to its
southern flank. It will continue to work
throughout the district.

Continued on page 41

Beauty Temple
Continued from page 37

to help him clean the grounds; used a
pressure-washer to drive snakes out of
the rock walls; and eventually installed
a new roof. "It was junkyard back then,"
he says, "but I fell in love with it."
The pump house had another admirer
as well. Former actor J.B. Kilpatrick had
been eyeing the place for years. A decade
earlier, despite facing ridicule from
buddies, he had taken his sister's advice
to attend beauty school while pursuing
his movie career. Now, scouting a new
location for his South Beach hair salon,
he and his wife Sabrina D'eca decided to
make Patronaggio an offer.
Shortly thereafter, in 1999, they
bought the pump house for $208,000.
"It was like the Wild, Wild West back
then," Kilpatrick recalls. "There was
no fence in the back, so people were all
over the property. They were even in
the damn trees. One guy tried to hit me
with a hammer. Another time, five guys
kicked the door down when I was inside.
I picked up my bow and arrow and fired
a few shots. They ran out so fast you
wouldn't believe it."
Such mayhem wouldn't last long.
With developer Mark Soyka's burgeoning

J.B. Kilpatrick spent three years ct
the lagoon.

commercial complex next door, the
growing focus of historic preservation-
ists on nearby Biscayne Boulevard, and
Kilpatrick's D.I.Y. talents, things finally
started to turn around for the embattled
pump house.
"Every day I would cut hair on the
Beach until maybe 2:00 in the afternoon,
then come here and work on the place
until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning," Kil-
patrick recalls. "My vision kept getting
bigger and bigger until I ran out of
money. And this is what I ended up with."
What he ended up with is a
fully restored stone sanctuary with

a cathedral ceil-
ing, glazed concrete
floors, dark interior
woodwork, and lush
tropical landscaping.
The crowning jewel:
an elaborate, coral-
rock water feature
that took three years
to chisel out of the
ground. Spread half-
way across the back
garden, its water cas-
iseling out cades from an upper
pool into a larger
lagoon, where hand-
carved stone steps
descend like a Roman bath beneath the
glimmering surface.
There was, however, one problem
with his little Eden. The property carried
a decades-old residential zoning restric-
tion, which barred him from establishing
his salon business. Kilpatrick grimaces
as he describes the unexpectedly long
process of having the property rezoned
commercial (seven years by his count):
"I almost lost everything waiting for the
zoning change. Everyone at the city was
onboard except Sarah Eaton [the city's
former historic preservation officer]. I

put so much money into this property
and spent so many years not making any
money back from it."
He credits historian Paul George,
who spoke on his behalf at a Historic
and Environmental Preservation Board
meeting, with finally persuading Eaton to
approve the change. And if not for a gen-
erous investment by his late father-in-law,
Alfonso D'eca, and mother-in-law Joyce,
he insists the pump house project would
have died long ago. He and wife Sabrina
finally hung a sign outside in 2006, chris-
tening their building and business with a
new name: The Beauty Temple.
Standing in front of their coral-rock
masterpiece on a recent workday, Kilpat-
rick acknowledges a spiritual connection
to the place after his protracted struggle:
"This is where my heart is. This is my
soul. If I sold this property now, my
life journey would change completely.
There's definitely some powerful energy
in this place."

For more information about The Beauty
Temple, visit www.beautytemplesalon.
con or call 305-751-5077

Feedback: letters),biscaynetimes.com

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

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May 2010


Continued from page 40

Eileen Bottari, who is well known
in political circles across the city, heads
the new group, which officially incorpo-
rated last January. She tells the BT that "a
group of us started a new organization to
create better communication with the ho-
meowners in the north part of the neigh-
borhood, to address issues such as crime,
services, police all of that stuff."
The life-long Miami resident adds that
she has lived in the neighborhood 27 years:
"When I moved here [to Palm Grove] in
the 1980s it, was the wild, wild west. I've
seen the transformation. We have a really
beautiful neighborhood and we'd like to
make sure it stays that way, and that it
moves forward in a real positive way."
Although the fledgling organization has
yet to create a formal newsletter or website,
Bottari says they have begun to circulate
flyers and e-mails, held monthly meetings,
and organized a Crime Watch program.
They are also working with the city and
Miami-Dade County to improve services.
When asked about the coincidence
to two new neighborhood groups that

are, in effect, competing with established
associations, Bottari says: "To do it right,
it's a lot of work. If somebody is willing
to make the investment, the commitment,
the time and energy to get involved to
make a difference in their neighborhood,
I support anyone who wants to do it. I
think that is a good idea."
declines to dis- "They don't like me.
cuss the moti- Here is somebody
ovation behind $500 to create anc
the split from an annoyance. R
her former
Palm Grove
Neighborhood Association president Bob
Powers is quite willing to offer his im-
pressions on the matter. "They don't like
me," he says flatly. "It's a personal thing.
I think it is personal more than anything
else. Here is somebody who actually
came up with $500 to create another
thing to just be an annoyance. Really. It's
a shame."
With a little more prodding, however,
Powers gives up what may be the root of
the dissatisfaction. He says for several


years there weren't enough members to
hold a formal election in the association,
"so a lot of us sat on the board to fill those
seats." When a quorum was finally reached,
the members re-elected him despite a three-
year term limit called for in the bylaws.
(The requirement has since been dropped
and e-mail voting has been implemented.)
Bottari didn't
attend that
s a personal thing. meeting, says
vho came up with Powers, but
ler thing to just be he heard she
Ily. It's a shame." went "apo-
plectic" when
learning of his
"Believe me, if she wanted the presi-
dency of the Palm Grove Neighborhood
Association, she could have it. She could
run for it, but she wouldn't get elected," says
Powers, sounding a little agitated. "I have
standing, but it isn't like they couldn't be
involved. Were they precluded from being
involved? Were they asked not to partici-
pate? No. They never bothered to show!"
Powers is also very concerned that the
North Palm Grove Community Organization
overlies about half of his group's traditional

territory, and he wants residents to know
that Palm Grove's improvements have come
thanks to the work of the original association
(of which Bottari is a founding member),
and more are expected soon. There is also
the problem of duplicating or counteracting
each other's efforts.
It's bad enough that two competing
groups might confuse residents, but to
confuse government officials would be even
worse. At a recent meeting with city and
county officials, which Bottari's organization
requested, Powers tells the BTthat the new
group was dressed down by Miami-Dade
County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson,
who was bewildered that they weren't operat-
ing within the established association, which
had long ago brought up the same issues.
Powers has one last shot to take at
Bottari's North Palm Grove Community
Organization: "It's a community organiza-
tion, yet I've never received anything about
it. There are members of our board who are
living in their neighborhood and were never
informed [of the new group]. That's great,
but how about informing everybody?"

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The High Cost of Smelling
7500 Block ofNE 6th Court
Victim arrived home after making a
quick trip to the bank and found his back
door open and a side window tampered
with. Missing items included an X-box,
DVD player, and a Movado watch valued
at $4000. However, the burglar left his
mark: a mysterious perfume bottle was
found on the floor. Police were smart
enough to take prints, which they traced
to a metrosexual hoodlum, who was ar-
rested and hauled off to jail.

The Axeman Cometh
8500 Block ofNE 10th Avenue
In a scary incident, a man armed with
a pickaxe gained entry to a home's sun
room by breaking the sliding door and
opening the inside lock. He ventured
around the home and entered two bed-
rooms, which he ransacked, stealing sev-
eral items. Fortunately, the family was

Biscayne Crime Beat

Compiled by Derek McCann
not home during the incident, but
the suspect is still on the loose.

The Great Gumball
8400 Block ofNE 2ndAvenue
Our victim was closing her restau-
rant when an unknown suspect and
apparent candy aficionado man-
aged to get inside the eatery. He
grabbed a gum vending machine
and bolted, running south on the
avenue. It happened so quickly the owner
did not have a chance to see what he looked
like. That's a lot of gum. Dentists in the
area are asked to report suspicious patients.

Sense and Sensibility
in Miami
3600 Block of i: .... i,.- Boulevard
Maybe it happens differently in 19th-
century Romantic novels, but when a
woman twists her ankle along the cor-
ridor, suitors still come though for

different reasons. This hapless romantic
injured her ankle and requested a ride
from two Boulevard gentlemen, who
agreed to drive her to her destination.
As she carefully exited and thanked
the young men for "being normal," she
reached into the car to retrieve her purse,
only to have the twosome speed away.
Inside the purse: $2600 in cash. Penni-
less and in pain, the victim called police,
only to find herself later starring in
"Biscayne Crime Beat" and wondering if
there are any good people left anywhere.

Another Miami Samaritan
6th Street and N. Miami Avenue
A woman was struggling with her shop-
ping bags when a kindly man and apparent
knight in shining armor approached her on
a yellow bike. He offered to assist her with
her heavy and awkward burden. The future
victim was relieved by his altruism and
sensed his sincerity, so she placed one of
her bags on the ground. Instantly the Good
Samaritan grabbed the bag and raced off
on his bike. Advice to distressed Miam-
ians: If someone offers to help you, hold
onto your purse, clutch your shopping bags
tightly, and just say "No!"

Only the Best
3500 Block of i: ,.. i ,i.i Boulevard
While staying at a Boulevard motel with
a name fancier than it deserves, a guest
complained to management that the door
to his room would not lock properly.
Continued on page 43



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May 2010

I 'I


Crime Beat
Continued from page 42
Then he inexplicably went on his way (to
South Beach, we guess), and left it up to
the manager to take care of his personal
belongings. The trustworthy employees
of the motel moved all his stuff into a
locked room. Make that almost all his
stuff. The victim's laptop computer mys-
teriously disappeared in the process of
the security move. Efforts were made to
locate it, but to no avail. Either we have
a case of corrupt employees, or we have
a clueless tourist who was just aching to
file a police report.

Home Invader Improvises
Escape Plan
300 Block ofNE 57th Street
These victims were sleeping in their
bedroom when they heard a sharp
noise. They got up to investigate and
were disturbed to find an unknown
man in their home. They screamed for
him to leave and he did. Being ex-
ceedingly brave, the victims followed
the burglar outside. He had no real
back-up plan no waiting accomplice,

no getaway car. But being an industri-
ous sort of crook, he did manage to
steal a bike from next door and cycled
away into the night. There have been
no arrests.

Grand Slam Stupidity
3600 Biscayne Blvd.
A man was dining at his local Denny's
and got up to use the restroom. In a
move that could charitably be called
unwise, he left his wallet on the table
next to his ham and eggs. When he
returned, guess w liat Yes, his wallet
was gone. The question is this: Was he
really that stupid or was he crazy like
a fox? After all, he didn't have to pay
for his meal. Either way, hard-working
Miami police officers were going take
the time to file a report.

Publix Pickpocket?
4870 Biscayne Blvd.
While shopping at Publix, a woman no-
ticed someone hovering very close to her.
Oh, well. This is Miami and we do have
congestion. However, when she went to
the register to pay for her groceries, her
wallet was not to be found in her purse.

There is video surveillance and security
is investigating.

More Publix Silliness
4870 Biscayne Blvd.
The market's loss-prevention officer
witnessed a shabbily dressed man plac-
ing multiple cases of beer in his shopping
cart. Nothing wrong with that. We love
our neighborhood lushes. But this drunk
pushed his heavily laden cart right past
all the cash registers without paying.
He went outside to the parking lot with
his large stash of brew. The loss-preven-
tion officer followed him outside and told
him to stop. The inebriated man then
mightily shoved the cart at the security
guard, causing lacerations on his arm.
The perp ran off and escaped. No arrests
have been made.

Okay, This Must Stop!
601 Biscayne Blvd.
A young woman was dancing the night
away at Club Space but found her purse
a bit cumbersome and wanted to place
it somewhere so she could really cut
loose. Of course, we know from numer-
ous prior "Crime Beat" reports that this

is not a good idea. The woman noticed
an assemblage of purses that had been
placed next to a loudspeaker. Just what
she was looking for! Apparently these
tipsy dolts don't read the BT. Within
minutes her purse disappeared.

Furious Dog Owners
Fight Back
6400 Block ofNE 7th Avenue
Two signs were erected in a section of
Legion Park designed to keep dogs and
their owners away. (Another part of the
park is fenced in so dogs can play off-
leash.) According to Miami police, sever-
al of these neighborhood dog owners had
threatened a park supervisor on multiple
occasions, demanding open access for
their little mutts. After all, are not parks
specifically designed for dog excrement?
One night a homeless man sleeping in
the park heard a loud noise, woke up, and
observed a "white man" tearing down
the signs. Clean up after your dogs and
we wouldn't have this problem, right? No
arrests have been made.

Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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The Future Is Here

A recent student art show. featurit

By Anne Tschida
BT Contributor

T he Cisneros Fontanals

Art Foundation (CIFO)
opened up in 2005, and
in its run as an exhibition hall
has delivered some amazing and
groundbreaking art. So anyone
visiting the downtown space
in April would not have been
surprised at the quality of work
being shown: some beautiful
painting, intriguing sculpture,
powerful video, and quirky and
smart installation.
But there was a surprise.
This was not work from an
international roster of profes-
sional artists, as is often the
case at CIFO. It was the BFA
(Bachelor of Fine Arts) exhibit
of 22 soon-to-be graduates of
the New World School of the
Arts Visual Arts College. And
it was really good.
Normally we're lenient in Valedic
judging student shows; they are waiting
by definition amateur. In general
Miami's art schools don't rate on a nation-
al level; and sprawling student shows are
often more chaotic than navigable. Here,
however, were some large paintings on
the entrance wall by Jos6 Felix Perez that
oozed skill and complexity. An installa-
tion of a room complete with Spanish-
baroque touches, a fish tank, and dark
maroon wallpaper by Carolina Barros -
included a hidden gem. At floor level, cut
into the wall, was a tiny doorway. When
you got on the ground and crouched to
peek in, yet another living room was re-
vealed, in miniature, with some fantastic,
over-the-top d6cor and lighting. Yasmin
Tolentino created a lovely and lonely
painting-with-video projection, while
Samuel Lopez de Victoria incorporated
live pug dogs in his installation.
Those were just some of the high-
lights from a range of media that en-
compassed photography, sculpture, film,
video, painting, design, and drawing. A
quick look at the biographies of these
young artists also reveals the multicul-
tural nature of this new generation of
Miami, with students hailing from all
over the Western Hemisphere. In other
words, this was a strong showing from

torian Sleeper with his sculpture,
Sto awake.

an unexpected quarter.
In the first decade of the 21st Cen-
tury, we watched Miami's art scene
grow and develop around Art Basel, and
around the proliferation of new galler-
ies and other art fairs. The latest output
from the urban New World class of 2010
sprouts from another, noncommercial
strain. It does Miami proud and should
make us excited about what the
future holds.
The valedictorian of the The
class is representative of this being
new wave on a number of towar
levels, not least of which is can s
his working name. Anthony
Villasmil, whose sculp-
tures were a centerpiece of
the show and from whom the Bass
Museum has already commissioned
artwork, goes by the artistic nom de
plume of Sleeper. One of his sculptures
was a life-size, half-hidden sleeping
figure, with the title Bide. Biding its
time to rise, waiting for the appropriate
moment to stand up. That's how Vil-
lasmil describes himself, why he works
under the name Sleeper. He's his own
cultural "sleeper cell."

a special valedictorian, proves that Mia

S. ..

Samuel Lopez de Victoria playing in h
installation, feeling pug love.

"I was given that name at one of the
places I was living," says the nomadic
Miami native, who has moved from
home to home, neighborhood to neigh-
borhood. "And I liked it, I wanted to
keep it. Like, at the right time I would
wake up. There would be a right time to
show yourself, reveal yourself."
Of Argentine and Venezuelan heri-

fact that art of such quality is
g nourished here is a solid step
d a more rooted scene, one that
>urvive economic swings and art
fair largess.

tage, Villasmil roamed from Kendall to
South Miami, searching for cheaper rent,
eventually landing in Overtown, North
Miami, Liberty City and for the time
being downtown Miami. Along the
way he was enrolled in art programs,
from the third grade on. He went to New
World's high school arts program, and
then passing up scholarships in Chicago
and San Francisco, he stayed in Miami
for college.

mi has talent
Sculpture and performance
increasingly fueled his passion,
but an outgoing personality never
came easy. "That's why Sleeper
worked for me," he says. "I could
live out another personality, I
could have a theatrical impact
with work under that name. It
helped me let go of inhibitions."
Whether it was losing inhi-
bitions or just letting talent flow,
Sleeper would go on to earn a
4.0 GPA, and honors such as the
New World School of the Arts
Book Award 2006, the Sculpture
Award 2006, and the Scholastics
Gold Key Portfolio 2006.
Now, with his bicycle as
transportation, Sleeper works as
a nightclub manager by night and
student and artist by day. Having
entered New World's high school
S art program in 2002, he says he's
benefited from an increasingly
sophisticated art scene: "You
can't help absorb the energy from
iis what has happened here. Unlike
the past, we know what art looks
like now. We know how to hang
art, what a good show looks like."
On the other hand, he says, there are
also high expectations. Maybe too high.
And the art world can be a precarious
place to live. He knows it has to be kept
at arm's length in order to avoid being
subsumed and consumed by it.
Sleeper's second sculpture in the
BFA show is of two very tall, hooded,
spectral figures (he calls them wizards)
starring at an artwork. The piece is
all blinged out with lights and a gold
baroque frame. As Sleeper explains, it
screams out "I am important, look at
me!" The two figures themselves are im-
portant people, arbiters of what's worthy
in the art world. "They get to decide
what's important or not," Villasmil
says. "You know, they're the big people
standing there, making the ultimate deci-
sions." He seems to be asking: Who is
really in a dream? Who is sleep-walking
in our consumer society?
In fact Sleeper is awakening to a
pretty good morning in Miami. He's part
of the pioneering NWSA Visual Arts
Honors Program, only in its second year.

Continued on page 45

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010



A painter's paintings, from the brush of Jose Felix Perez.

The class of 2010 has reason to smile (aided by their dean, Maggy
Cuesta, fourth from left, and instructor, Fredric Snitzer, center).

Continued from page 44
It's a nine-month intensive tutoring pro-
gram for ten students focused more on
exchange and dialogue than on lectures,
and is led by faculty member and gallery
owner Fredric Snitzer.
The honors will culminate with a se-
nior-class trip to one of the most exciting
art centers today, Berlin, for the Berlin

Biennale in June. "We get to go see Ger-
many's Art Basel," enthuses Villasmil.
"We'll do studio visits and meet artists,
the whole thing. And think I've never
even left the country!"
It's a terrific opportunity, the idea
stemming from Snitzer, who in the past
took the senior class to New York. To
expand it overseas this year, during a re-
cession, took some heavy-duty fundraising

by both students and faculty, according to
the dean of visual arts, Maggy Cuesta.
No doubt it'll be an inspiring excur-
sion, though these students already
are an inspiring breed. Regardless of
whether they decide to stay in Miami
or move elsewhere, the fact that work
of such quality is being nourished here
is a solid step toward a more rooted art
scene, one that can survive economic

swings and art fair largess.
As for Villasmil, he'll be sticking
around for a bit, as he's had to wake up
to some everyday realities. "My puppy
got into a fight, and you know, veterinar-
ians are way expensive," he says. "So I
have to keep working here. I'm going to
have to get a credit card."

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Art Listings


101 NE 40th St, Miami
www 101exhibit com
May 8 through June 8
"ZEITGEIST" by Marcus Antonius Jansen
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

12345 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami
www 12345westdlxle com
Through June 12 "Alternate Realities" with Randy
Burman, Tom Welnkle, and Steve Radzi

233 NW 36th St, Miami
www abbafineart com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2630 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www alejandravonhartz net
Through June 30
"the constructive elan" with various artists

1 NE 40th St, Miami
www artfusiongallery com
Through June 23 "Inner Visions" with various artists
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

46 NW 36th St, Miami
www lurle-kavachnina com
Through May 6
"Blue Rose Journey" by Evelyn Valdlrlo

171 NW 23rd St, Miami
www artformz net
May 8 through August 28 "small wonders (art) salon"
with Haruml Abe, Gustavo Acosta, Eric Anfinson,
Duane Brandt, Pip Brandt, Leah Brown, Bill Burke,
Stephanle Cunningham, Angl Currerl, Rai Escale,
Shady Eshghl, Christian Feneck, Luls Garcla Nerey,
Paul Glass, John Gurbacs, Bryan Hiveley, Judy King,
Jacek Kolasinskl, Greg Latch, Lella Leder Kremer,
Silvia Lizama, Jules Lusson, John Martini, Lauren
McAloon, Lulsa Mesa, Venessa Monoklan, Hugo
Moro, Carol Munder, Sam Perry, Ron Plenlak, Barbara
Rivera, David Rohn, Gustavo Roman, Sara Rytteke,
Beatricia Sagar, Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, John
Sandell, Claudia Scalise, Gretchen Schargal, Sharl
Schemmel, Carolyn Schlam, Nina Surel, Peter Symons,
Chu Teppa, Paloma Teppa, Krlstin Thlele, Jackle
Tufford, Jovan Villalba, Daniel Vinoly, Tom Virgin, and
Ramon Williams
Reception May 8, 4 to 10 p.m.

561 NW 32nd St, Miami
www bacfl org
May 14 through 26 "Contemporary Landscapes"
curated by Nina Johnson with Richard Hoglund,
Samantha Salzinger, Julia Hetchman, and more
Reception May 14, 7 to 10 p.m.

180 NE 39th St, #210, Miami
By appointment info@basfisherinvitational com
www basfisherinvitational com
Through May 31 "Miami, Miami" by Noah Sheldon

795 NE 125th St North Miami

www bashagallery net
Through May 31 "RECESSION ART" with Allyson
Krowitz, Arnaldo Rosello, Jorge Chirinos Sanchez, Kar
Snyder, and Pedro Wilson

3550 N Miami Ave, Miami
www bernicesteinbaumgallery com
May 8 through June 2 "Rise and Fall Illusions and
Delusions" by Justine Smith
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

2320 N Miami Ave, Miami
www brevards com
Ongoing "NonDuality" by John Brevard

2301-2303 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
305-303-6254, www buttergallery com
Through May 29 "You Like Everything About Me
Except Me" by Tawnle Silva
Reception May 8, 6 to 11 p.m.

8351 NE 8th Ct, Miami
www susannacaldwell com
Ongoing "Seductive Assemblages and Wood
Sculpture" by Susanna Caldwell

98 NW29 St, Miami
www calixgustav com
Through May 29 "Sticky and Sweet" with Eurydice,
Carl Pascuzzl, Diane Arrieta, Jonathan Stein, Alexis
Rodriguez-Duarte, and Spunk and the Orange Kittens
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

158 NW 91st St, Miami Shores
www cjazzart com
By appointment carol@cjazzart com
May 14 through June 13 Jen Stark and Rory
Reception May 14, 7 to 11 p.m.

541 NW 27th St, Miami
www visual org
Through June 12 "Darby Bannard The Miami Years"
by Darby Bannard and "Beyond the Daily Life" with
Guerra de la Paz and Teresa Dlehl
Reception May 4, 7 to 10 p.m.

250 NW 23rd St, Miami
www charest-welnberg com
Through May 22 "10 Years" by SunTek Chung

61 NE 40th St, Miami
www cityloftart com
Call gallery for exhibition information

787 NE 125th St, North Miami
www chirinossanchez com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2234 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www castilloart com
May 8 through July 3 Adler Guerrier, Aramis Gutlerrez,
Qulsqueya Henrlquez, Susan Lee-Chun, Pepe Mar,
Glexls Novoa, Javier Pinon, Leyden Rodriguez-
Casanova, Frances Trombly, and Wendy Wischer
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

Jon Pylypchuk, fuckk it I'm done),
mixed media on paper, 2009, at
Fredric Snitzer Gallery.

2043 N Miami Ave, Miami
www dlfinearts com
May 8 through July 6
"The Inspired Dream Contemporary Australian
Aboriginal Art" with various artists
Reception May 8, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

3938 NE 39th St, Miami
www diasporavibe net
Through May 20 "Objects of Desire" with Rodney
Jackson and Calphus Moore

171 NE 38th St, Miami
dimenslonsvarlable net
May 8 through June 12
"The funny guy that sticks his hand in the paint can" by
Carlos Rigau
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

2620 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www dinamitranlgallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

151 NW 24th St, Miami
www dorschgallery com
May 7 through June 5
"Drying Flowers in a Microwave" by Corin Hewitt and
"Haptic" by Jacob Robichaux
Reception May 7, 7 to 10 p.m.

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

2441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www dpmgallery com
Call gallery for exhibition information

47 NE 25th St, Miami
www edgezones org
May 8 through May 29
"Face to Face" with Lucas Blanco, Juan Carballo,
Franklin Einspruch, Ernle Sandidge, and Claudia
Scalise and "Just Friends" curated by Victor Payares
with Orlando Robalna, Herman Felipe Kalzedo,
Mauricio Gonzales, Alvaro Ilizarbe, and Luls Pinto
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

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

750 NE 124th St, North Miami #2
www fachearts com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2247 NW 1st PI Miami
www snitzer com
May 8 through June 15
"Paper" with various artists
Reception May 8, 7 to 9 p.m.

600 Biscayne Blvd Miami
Through May 29
"FACES 100 Cuban Artists" photographs by Carlos
Manuel Cardenes
Through June 5
"Creatures" by Liliam Cuenca

125 NW23 St, Miami
www galerlehelenelamarque com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2085 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www galleryschuster com
Call gallery for exhibition information

174 NW 23rd St, Miami
www gallerydlet com
May 7 through June 5
"The Sunday Painter" by JJ PEET
Reception May 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

2531 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www galleryld com
Through May 8
"Upstate Girls What Became of Collar City" by
Brenda Ann Kenneally
Reception May 8, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

2628 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www glovannlrossifineart com
Call gallery for exhibition information

1 NE 40th St #5, Miami
www godonamerica com
May 8 through June 8
"BildoReliefos" by Alain Godon
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

Continued on page 47

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010


Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010


Art Listings
Continued from page 46

3326 N Miami Ave, Miami
www hardcoreartcontemporary com
May 8 through July 3
Sabrina Montiel-Soto and Lyndale Pettus
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

2294 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www haroldgolengallery corn
May 8 through June 1
"Spunik Plunk" by Mark Atomos Pilon
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

147 NW 36th St, Miami
www cashappeal corn
Through May 31 "The Art of the NBA and Dwyane
Wade Miami Heat" with Erika King, Gary Longordo, and
Kirk Maggio

250 NW 23rd St, Miami
305-573-1673, www interflightstudio corn
Call gallery for exhibition information

123 NW 23rd St, Miami
305-573-8142, www kabecontemporary corn
Call gallery for exhibition information

50 NE 29th St, Miami
www kelleyroygallery corn
May 8 through July 31 Tom Seghi
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

3312 N Miami Ave, Miami
www kunsthaus org mx
Through May 30
"homo nymos" by Ivan Puig

96 NW 29th St, Miami
www ilanalilienthal cor
Call gallery for exhibition information

155 NE 38th St, Miami
www locustprojects org
May 6 through June 26 "How To Read A Book" curated
by Michael Wilson with Becky Beasley, Guy Ben-Ner,
Lorin Davies, Harrell Fletcher, Jeff Gabel, Anna Gray and
Ryan Paulson, Graham Parker, Christina Pettersson,
Leanne Shapton, Eve Tremblay and Matt Wiegle
Conversation/Preview May 6, 6:30 p.m.
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

2441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www artnet com/reltzel html
May 8 through June 10 "Open Mind" by Raul Recio
Reception May 8, 7 to 11 p.m.

244 NW 35th St, Miami
www mlamlartspace corn
Call gallery for exhibition information

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

-( ,gr

1501 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
305-428-5700,www mymiu corn
Call gallery for exhibition information

3618 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
www mirlamfernandes corn
May 8 through 27
"Ipanema Colors in Miami Beach" by Marco Figueiredo
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

346 NW 29th St, Miami
www museovault cor
Call gallery for exhibition information

Jen Stark, Sunken Sediment, "
archival colored paper and
foam core, light, 2010, at ,
Carol Jazzar Gallery.

545 NE 125TH ST, N MIAMI
(305) 893-0800

FuNA gafy ofcanemprary, raahdionl anmpe reprucucon Iuniwe
frcn fs iop man factwers of Eurque. Ihe Amvercas and fhe Wrlbd.


May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

3324 N Miami Ave, Miami
Through May 29 "Yellow" with various artists

3100 NW 7th Ave, Miami
www oh-wow cor
Through May 30
"If You Don't Belong, Don't Be Long" by Scott Campbell

2450 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
www panamericanart cor
Through June 3 Gigl Leso and "Don't Call Me Pretty
Women in Arts" with Belkys Ayon, Tania Bruguera, C
Ryder Cooley, Nora Correas, Andrea Cote, Antonia
Eiriz, Ana Fabry, Aimee Garcla, Crlstina Lucas, Jane
Martin, Elsa Mora, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Sandra
Ramos, Rosangela Renno, Graclela Sacco, Carolina
Sardl, Vibeke Tandberg, Lucia Warck Melster, and
Maysey Craddock

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

82 NE 29th St, Miami
305-441-2005, artnet com/sammergallery html
Call gallery for exhibition information

250 NW 23rd St, #202, Miami
www sethjason cor
Call gallery for exhibition information

Continued on page 48

114 HI NE 59mbB I hrr

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May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com


Art Listings
Continued from page 47

155 NE 38th St, Miami
786-271-4223, www spinellogallery com
May 8 through June 1 "FEELS LIKE HOME" by Lee
Reception May 8, 7 to 10 p.m.

162 NE 50th Terr, Miami
305-992-7652, www myspace com/stashgallery
Call gallery for exhibition information

80 NE 29th St, Miami
Through July 31 "Steel Redemption" by George Schroeder

3821 NE 1st Ct, Miami
swampstyle@gmail com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2200 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
May 8 through June 1 Bianca Londono MFA Exhibition
Reception May 8, 5 to 9 p.m.

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
www wrpfineart com
Call gallery for exhibition information

2242 NW 1st PI Mami
www wynwoodcentral com
Kito Mbiango

250 NW 23rd St, Unit 306, Miami
www yeelenart com
Call gallery for exhibition information


CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation)
1018N MiamiAve, Mami
www cifo org
Call for exhibition information

23 NE 41st St, Miami
www delacruzcollection org
Through May 8
"Tr" with Psychic Youth, Inc featuring Aja Albertson,
Ana Mendez, and Federico Nessi
Performance May 8, 7:30 p.m.

10975 SW 17th St, Miami
thefrost flu edu
Through May 16 "Taiwan Discovered In Place and
Time" with various artists

Through May 16 "In Body and Soul The Performance
Art of Maria Teresa Hincapi" by Maria Teresa Hincapie
Through May 9 "Crome Yellow, Spring Bachelor of
Fine Art Students' Exhibition" with various artists
May 12 through May 23 "Creative Visions" with various
May 26 through August 1 "Mexico" by Paul Strand
May 26 through August 29 "From MADI to the LUDIC
revolution" by Volf Roitman
May 26 through October 3 "Spiritual Healing -
Shamans of the Northwest Coast Art and the Cultural
Approach to Healing" with various artists

1301 Stanford Dr, Coral Gables
www lowemuseum org
Through May 9 "Annual Juried Student Competition
Exhibition" with various artists
May 12 through June 6 "Annual Masters of Fine Arts
Candidates Exhibition" with various artists

101 W FlaglerSt, Miami
www mlamlartmuseum org
Through June 20 "The Embodied Experience of Color"
by Carlos Cruz Diez

770 NE 125th St, North Miami
www mocanoml org
Through May 9
"The Sharper Image" by Cory Arcangel and "Auto
Focus" by Ceal Floyer
Through May 30
Serge Jolimeau and Michee Ramil Remy

591 NW 27th St, Miami
www margulieswarehouse com
Call gallery for exhibition information

95 NW 29th St, Miami
www rubellfamilycollection com
Through May 29
"Beg Borrow and Steal" with Ai Weiwel, John
Baldessar, Frank Benson, Amy Bessone, Matthew
Brannon, Maurizio Cattelan, Peter Coffin, George
Condo, Aaron Curry, John Dogg, Marcel Duchamp,
Gardar Eide Einarsson, Elmgreen and Dragset,
Hans-Peter Feldmann, Urs Fischer, Dan Flavin,
Robert Gober, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Wade Guyton,
Guyton \Walker, Karl Haendel, Peter Halley, David
Hammons, Mark Handforth, Keith Haring, Rachel
Harrison, Richard Hawkins, Damien Hirst, Jenny
Holzer, Jonathan Horowitz, Thomas Houseago,
Rashid Johnson, William E Jones, Deborah Kass,
Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Jim Lambie,
Elad Lassry, Louise Lawler, Mark Leckey, Sherrie
Levine, Li Zhanyang, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo,
Nate Lowman, Nathan Mabry, Krls Martin, Paul
McCarthy, Allan McCollum, Adam McEwen, Takashi
Murakami, Cady Noland, David Noonan, Richard
Prince, Charles Ray, Jason Rhoades, Stephen G
Rhodes, Bert Rodriguez, Sterling Ruby, Thomas
Ruff, David Salle, Steven Shearer, Cindy Sherman,
Haim Steinbach, John Stezaker, Philip Taaffe, Hank
Willis Thomas, Piotr Uklanski, Meyer Vaisman, Kelley
Walker, Wang Ziwel, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool,
and Zhang Huan

Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection
170 NW 23rd St, Miami
www worldclassboxing org/
Through May 28
Anna Gaskell and Marlko Morl

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

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010


~~sr~ L


Slumdog Meets Stiltsville
Snoop Dog
On Thursday, May 6,
Momentum Dance Company
presents Miami/Mumbai
Night, a provocative juxtapo-
sition of two wildly different
dance styles: Bollywood
extravagance from India and
the premier performance of -
Miami's newest hip-hop crew,
NeSh Dance. Geeta Diaz directs Momentum
dance students in original choreography
highlighting Mumbai's trademark flair. NeSh
Dance promises a high-energy display of the
latest in Miami's unique amalgam of inter-
national hip-hop influences. The event, part
of the Miami Dance Festival, begins at 6:30
p.m. at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens
(2000 Convention Center Dr.). Admission is
free. Cash bar. Call 305-673-7256 or go to

Morningside Elementary
Lesson Plan: Eat, Drink,
and Be Jolly
What do Mark Soyka, a PTA commit-
tee, and a school vegetable garden have
in common? At Morningside Elementary
School, just about everything. The school's
inspired PTA committee will host the
second annual Morningside Elementary
Community Dinner on Friday, May 7
from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., uniting Miami's
Upper Eastside community for a fundraiser
that truly brings change. Restaurants like
Soyka, Andiamo, Moonchine, Buena Vista
Bistro, Mario the Baker, and more have
signed on, so you know the food will be
delicious. And at a donation minimum of a
mere $7, everyone can afford it. Good fun,
a good cause, and great food. What's not to
like? Call Amanda Fischer (PTA president)
at 786-208-1689 for more details.

Queen for a Day? Make
that Every Day
On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9,
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will
be offering two events fit for the queen in
your life. (That would be your mom, of
course!) Choose from either the brunch
(10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) or the afternoon
tea that begins promptly at 3:00 p.m. or
indulge in both. Brunch will be the cre-
ation of star chefs Andrea Curto-Randazzo
and Frank Randazzo (of Talula fame), so
expect an ingenious menu. Afternoon

Events Calendar
Carlos Varela
Qri-n A-L-k~i-n lmm. I

tea on the veranda at the
visitor's center will be
accompanied by light
guitar music and will offer
traditional delicacies like
scones and desserts. Prices
vary. For reservations call

Almost Famous and
Free at Midtown
Is your mom absolutely obsessed with
American Idol? Are you secretly obsessed
withAmerican Idol? The Shops at Midtown
Miami has the perfect gift for your mom (and
you), a present that both of you can enjoy
while bonding. Danny Gokey, last season's
American Idol finalist, will be performing
his debut album live and outdoors at the
Fountain Plaza on Monday, May 10. A self-
proclaimed student of the world, Gokey's
lyrics are soulful and inspirational. Show
starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission isfree. For
more information call 305-573-3371 or visit

The Hottest Show with the
Coolest Music
According to the New York Times, Spring
Awakening is "the most important musical
of the decade." No surprise it won eight
Tony Awards. Now the foot-stomping,
heart-pounding musical comes to Miami
for a brief run at the Arsht Center Tues-
day, May 11 through Sunday, May 16.
A nontraditional coming-of-age story of
three teenagers in oppressive 19th-century
Germany, Spring Awakening is propelled
by terrific a indie-rock score. A sellout is
likely. Visit arshtcenter.org for more infor-
mation and to purchase tickets.

Haydn and Hip-Hop? Sure,
Why Not
On Wednesday, May 12, the Dranoff In-
ternational Two-Piano Foundation presents
Piano Slam Vol. 2, a lively performance in

itary which classical music
and hip-hop share the
stage. Dranoff compe-
Stition winners Susan
and Sarah Wang will
team up with some of
S Miami's best spoken-
word artists, and
young Miami poets in-
spired by live classical
music will compete onstage in a slam, with
winners receiving laptop computers and
cash prizes. The music and poetry mashup
kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Concert
Hall at the Arsht Center. Admission isfree,
but tickets are required. Visit arshtcenter.
org or call 305-949-6722.

Orchid Madness
Strikes Again!
The Redland International Orchid Show
is one of the largest in the nation, which
is why fevered orchid-heads from all over
descend on the county's Fruit & Spice Park
each year. This edition takes place Friday,
May 14 through Sunday, May 16 from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (24801 SW 187th
Ave.). A $7 admission lets you browse
more than 50 display booths (judging by
the American Orchid Society) and enjoy
fancy flowers, international food, and
guided tours of the park. Call 305-247-5727
or visit fruitandspicepark.org.

Cuba's Carlos Varela: One
Night Only
Twelve years ago Cuban singer/song-
writer Carlos Varela slipped into
Miami and performed a couple of low-
key concerts, one of them in the back-
yard of a private home. In those days,
Miami's Cuban-exile community did not
look kindly on musicians from Havana,
just as Castro's government didn't look
kindly on Varela himself. A daring poet
of immense talent, Varela has since cre-
ated space for his art in Cuba, despite a
wary and skeptical regime. He also has
taken advantage of a new U.S. policy of

ir. ISmdi~OI~

May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

increased cultural exchanges, despite
today's poor relations between Havana
and Washington. Varela brings his band
to Miami for the last U.S. stop on his
"No Es el Fin" tour ("It's Not the End"),
a one-night-only performance at down-
town's Gusman theater (174 E. Flagler
St.) on Saturday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets at the Gusman box office or Tick-
etmaster. More info: 305-372-0925.

Daddy, What's a Hippie?
Channel your inner Zappa and bust out the
patchouli and peace signs for this year's
Love-In Festival on Sunday, May 16 at
Greynolds Park (17530 W. Dixie Hwy.,
North Miami Beach) from 11:00 a.m. to
6:30 p.m. to celebrate the 1960s, the best
decade in the history of recorded time.
Period. Summon your lost flower child
while grooving to the sounds of the Grass
Roots (more thanfive years on Billboard's
pop charts!). Also plugging in to play:
Rewind, The Fit, Been There Done That,
and Blackstar. There'll be plenty of far-out
contests (hula hooping), vintage "para-
phernalia," classic VW love bugs, tie-dyed
apparel, and food for when you get the
munchies. Admission is, of course, fiee,
but the park's normal parking fee will col-
lected. Want more info? Visit miamidade.

Those Homes on Stilts in
Biscayne Bay?
Listen to This...
Want to show your mom you really love
her? Treat her to something special a
week after Mother's Day. We suggest
getting out on the water in the company
of the voluble Paul George for his popu-
lar boat tour of Stiltsville, the Biscayne
Bay colony of elevated homes with a
most colorful past. Sponsored by the
Historical Museum of Southern Florida,
where George is resident historian and
preeminent tour guide, the cruise will
include lovely views of Key Biscayne
and the Cape Florida lighthouse, plus
tales of Miami's crooked past. The tour
departs from Bayside Marketplace on
Sunday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. and lasts
approximately three hours. For reser-
vations and advance payment ($39 for
museum members, $44 for nonmembers)
call 305-375-1621.

Compiled by BT intern Mandy Baca


Courts, Cats, and the Creeps

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

Cat art. Crazy cat ladies. The Cat
Man of Key West and his troupe
of fearless felines. These are just
some of the surest signs that we are bar-
reling toward the Apocalypse.
Then there are the fat, park cats of
North Miami Beach. These kitties don't
take no for an answer. They demand
what they want and get what they
need from plentiful water bowls to a
kitty condo fit for the King of the NMB
Jungle. These cats know where it's at.
The irony is that the place with
the sweetest amenities for stray cats is
located in the park closest to the Humane
Society of Greater Miami. What's more,
it's even closer to holy ground.
Just north of the animal adoption
center on W. Dixie Highway stands the
oldest European building in the Ameri-
cas. Seriously. The Ancient Spanish
Monastery is one of the area's most im-
pressive and unique structures, and it's
a place that every curious person should
visit. Not a reproduction, the monastery
was transplanted to Miami, brick by
brick, from the original in Spain that
dates to the 12th Century.
Sharing the property that used to
belong to the monastery is a park and
tennis center with a less impressive but
noteworthy pedigree. The Daniel D.
Diefenbach Bicentennial Park is named
after a former mayor and city manager
of North Miami Beach. The park's main

Modern tennis center meets Medieval monastery

Some of the Laykold hard courts have been painted Sony Ericsson
"Royal Purple."

feature, the Judge Arthur I. Snyder Tennis
Center, honors a leading local jurist.
The tennis center is quite nice, actu-
ally, and improvements are under way.
Construction crews are installing light-
ing that will extend coverage to all of the
center's 18 tennis courts. This improve-
ment is the first step of many that were
requested by City of North Miami Beach
in October 2009 as part of a planned
expansion of the tennis center and its
environs. The total cost, including the
renovation of playing fields at another
park, is $4 million.
Costs for the Synder Tennis Center
alone, according to a proposal by firm

PBS&J, will be
$1,069,398 for the
2009-2010 fiscal year.
More than half of this
amount is designated
for the main parking
lot and "miscella-
neous amenities," so it
remains unclear what
would be accom-
plished in the first year
of renovations.
However, one
area that really needs

Attraction. Several lovely cypress trees
I are growing here, alongside ugly and
invasive plants like Brazilian pepper. A
little housekeeping would help, as would
clearly marked signs, such as "You are
about to get your shoes wet."
The best natural element of the park
is the parking lot. Say what? The huge
live oaks around it are clearly granddad-
dies, covered with pelts of ferns, and
their arms throw ample shade. I'm sure
the cats appreciate them.
Now that I've eviscerated the cat
park, let's move on to more pleasant
pastures. The tennis center is for real
without being really pricey. Residents
get a slight discount, but nonresidents
can pony up for clay courts at $7 per
session plus $1.50 per person for lighting
at night.

Grand old oak trees shade the parking areas.

immediate attention
and rehabilitation is
the park's overgrown southern border with
the monastery. This jungle has gone to the
cats. Although you may not see any cats
running about, the evidence is scattered
around you: green plastic bowls and take-
out trays placed side-by-side to serve as
food and water bowls. Underneath one tree
is a covered kitty coop with bowls tucked
inside. The question now on everyone's
mind: Who is feeding these darn cats?
The park's wooded area is a murder
scene waiting to happen. Slogging
through these woods would demand the
use of a machete, and you would need to
cut some trees, too! There are no official
pathways, but there are plenty of empty
beer bottles, dead ends, and Deliver-
ance-style quagmires.
If the park's wetlands weren't so
littered and cluttered, they could be an

For those who like it hard, the center
has six newly painted purple courts.
These Laykold flexible hard courts are the
same style featured in the Sony-Ericsson
Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
In between the hard and the clay courts
is a fenced-in area with two paddleball
courts and four racquetball courts, where
loners can also practice their tennis game.
Dehydrated? Water fountains are scat-
tered throughout the center.
Although the hard courts are closer
to the monastery and therefore more
prone to divine intervention, the clay
courts are the more attractive option. A
walkway with two shady pavilions slices
through the middle of the 12 Hydrogrid
courts, which are steps away from the

Continued on page 51

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

rNE 1; Lii i1

'E l;,..,n ,

Park Rating

16851 \\. Di\ic Him_,l.i.
Noirtli Mi.ami B.icl
Pro Iho : 31i5-9 19-1183')
HoIur: N i linll-' p1ill! No1-
Tluiit p in Fii 5 plin Sjl-SLII
Picnic t.ib)l,: No
B.irhecti': No
Picnic I).i ilioii: \c:s
Tenni% court%: Yes
Atlikllic lictl(: No
Niuli, li_, liiine: Ycs.
Sn iiiiinu ipool: No

I i

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Tennis center
Continued from page 50

pro shop and its vending machines.
They are majestically framed by rows of
mature Royal Palms.
The city's plans to renovate the
tennis center call for a 19th, competition
court and a new clubhouse/restaurant.
While these would be nice additions -
the current clubhouse does seem stuck
in the 1970s these two projects can
be put on hold until the scrub brush gets
weeded out.
Besides hosting all sorts of snow
birds and local tennis teams, the tennis
center has a real niche market that makes
it unique. In April the center hosted the
first Wheelchair Tennis Classic Champi-
onship. This builds upon the center's pro-
gram of hosting wheelchair tennis every
Saturday at noon.
For those of you who don't play the
game of love, set, match, there is not
much going on in the rest of the park.
Even the cats seem to prefer the shelter
of the monastery next door.
The whole scene, however, adds up to
one of those "only in Miami" oddities that

Wetlands and a spooky wooded
area await the adventurous.

juxtaposes the Old World with the newer,
more messed-up one. Where else could
you bring together the likes of the de-
ferred dream of William Randolph Hearst
(who shipped the monastery to America),
the revolutionary railroad of Henry
Flagler (whose tracks run along the park's

Kitty caper: Someone is feeding a colony of feral cats.

eastern edge), and the grotesque grab bag
that is W. Dixie Highway?
Which leaves me with just one more
question: How do I get to the beach in
North Miami Beach?
I'm not trying to cause trouble, but
the woods around this place give me
the creeps, as well as a certain kind of

divine inspiration. It's one of the very
few parks that has given me the heebie-
jeebies, but it also gave me the strong
urge to fall prostrate before a vision of
Roger Federer. On this day, in this vision,
the god of tennis was herding cats.

Feedback: letters(@ibiscaynetimes.com

ARCl.iniso]P CIRii.rY NOTE DAM I H-IGcl- S :(XI.
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I. I _ __ _ _

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


Mother's Little Helpers

Anything that can save you time is precious, so here's a list
-- L

By Jenni Person
BT Contributor

A n old college friend wrote this on
her Facebook page: "Kids ruin
your life. I mean, they're cute and
I love them, but they totally ruin your life."
The message was followed by the requisite
thumbs-ups and pithy comments.
Sometimes you just gotta say it. And
don't tell me you've never thought it. In
this case, my friend was on her way to a
fancy party when, moments later, cov-
ered in her kid's barf, she realized how
much easier it's become to just stay home
on a Saturday night.
And why are we home on Satur-
day nights? Because we're exhausted,
we're broke, and truth be told, we're
content. We actually want to hang out
with our family. I know, that's hard
to imagine for those around us who
remember the old selves we used to
be busy with parties, performanc-
es, openings, fundraisers.
Now we look forward to the quint-
essential "Blockbuster Night," so aptly
coined by corporate America, though in
fact most of us these days probably sub-
scribe to Netflix, making it even easier
to juggle life and work when the flicks
come right to your mailbox. Saturday
night at home. It's the perfect antidote
to a ridiculously hectic week and
weekends with the birthday parties and
extracurriculars and errands that can't
get done during the week.
Speaking of antidotes, how long after
becoming a parent did you start think-
ing about the Rolling Stones' "Mother's
Little Helper" and totally get it?
What a drag it is getting old

Kids are different today
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs .. ',. dii,,ii today to
calm her down
And ;ib. i,,li she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a
mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her
;ii,. ,,r1i her busy day.
Of course, in the song, mother
overdoses. We definitely don't want
that. We just want mom to be able to
breathe a little. So in honor of Mother's
Day, here's my short list of narcotics-
free mother's little helper alternatives
for modern times.
Smart phones I think smart phones
were invented for parents. They enable
multi-tasking mamas to take care of
business, coordinate kids, or run errands
without worrying about missing an
important communication. The ability
to work from virtually anywhere often
translates to more time with family.

Netflix All hail the mailbox movies!
Starting at about $5 per month and based on
an uncanny relationship between a list you
control from your computer and the U.S.
Postal Service, this DVD rental business can
keep everyone in the family happy, from
vintage Pee Wee Herman to new releases.
Online banking, auto-debit, and
bill-pay services Who has time to write
a pile of checks? When certain bills are
consistent amounts every time, why
not just let them pay themselves? Being
able to set up auto-debit payments and
bill-pay services through online banking
sites easily buys a nice chunk of time and
peace of mind. The cable bill gets paid
by the registered credit card, which gets
paid by auto-debit from your checking
account, which has funds electronically
dumped into it by your employer and
you have time to sing with your kids that
the foot bone's connected the leg bone.
Greenwise sections and products
Thanks to the growing interest in and
popularity of natural and organic products,

many things that were once obscure and only
available at health-food stores are now right
there on the shelves of your local supermar-
ket. This makes for easy one-stop shopping,
better choices, and competitive prices instead
of the expense of something otherwise
considered a luxury. More and more store
brands come in natural/organic, too. Target
sells quite a nice selection, and the Publix
Greenwise label is expanding all the time.
The Greenwise branding has also expanded
organic produce departments nicely.
Educational television I know, I
know, TV is evil and is causing the down-
fall of our society yada yada yada (yes,
that was an ironic TV reference). But you
know, sometimes you just need the kind
of time and space that Max andRuby can
provide. Sleep a few extra minutes on a
weekend morning while your kids drink in
Jack's Big Music NI,. ,,- cuddled (and quiet)
next to you in your bed. Or while they
enjoy Discovery Kids in the family room,
grab your partner and rediscover why you
did all this in the first place.
IUDs and other forms of birth
control you can forget about Speaking
of grown-up sports, you spend all your
time struggling to not forget everyone's
routines, shoe sizes, schedules, plus your
own to-do lists for work and home, so
earthly pleasure should be something
that can be unfettered by accoutrements
and added time requirements. While
spontaneity has otherwise evaporated
from your life (with a few exceptions),
a great variety of modern birth-control
regimens can now provide you with an
invaluable gift: a delicious sense of free-
dom and unleashed passion.

Feedback: letters(i biscaynetimes.com

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May 2009

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2009


After the Chill, a Colorful Thrill
Yes, our cold winter caused some damage, but most plants are coming back strong

By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor

It's turning out to be a colorful spring
after all, considering the extended
cold temperatures we had this winter.
I'm seeing lots of flowering bromeliads,
with the red and pink cones of Quesnelia
species leading the way. Some neat little
Aechmea are also beginning to bloom,
and the old standard Hohenbergia stel-
lata, with its four-foot red inflorescences,
is putting on a great show. Begonias are
blooming well too. They definitely seem
to like the cooler evenings. If no chemi-
cals are used on them, taste the flowers.
They can be quite tangy.
I've noticed some wonderful flower-
ing shrubs. Orangejessamine (Cestrum
aurantiacum), with its yellow flowers, and
Panama rose (Rondeletia leucophylla), with
its salmon-colored flowers, are showing their
personalities, along with Dombeya "Semi-
nole" and its prolific pink blooms.
Many of the flowering tree species
are just spectacular. The large Bombax
ceiba, with leathery red flowers, is
blooming in many areas of Miami.
Yellow Tabebuia, the multi-hued and
wonderfully fragrant Bauhinia species,
and the occasional Triplaris, with its
bushy red inflorescences, are showing
off to motorists sitting in traffic.
We do have lingering cold damage,
though. Certain tree species seem to
be losing some of their lower branches.
Clusia and some species of Tabebuia are
showing a bit of lower-branch die-back,
while new foliage is being produced on
the upper branches.
In the case of coconut palms, I've
been getting many queries from folks

about cold damage.
Many coconut palms
are showing severely
cold-burned older foli-
age. Will they recover?
There are many
varieties of coconut
palms, and some of
the Malayan types
always seem to
yellow-up with cold
temperatures each
year. This winter was
different, of course,
and not necessarily
because of low tem-
peratures, but rather
owing to the duration
of the cold waves. I've Justicia spicigera is a striking, orange-flowered
been comparing stands plant that blooms throughout the year.

of mixed coconut
varieties throughout the city and have
noticed the palms that were growing in
the healthiest conditions with the least
amount of stress generally have the least
damage and are recovering much faster
by producing new growth. Before this
winter, many palms were infested with
red palm mites, or were growing in very
poor and restricted soil conditions, and
often were not receiving supplemental
irrigation. Palms in such situations seem
to have suffered the most damage.
A friend of mine who manages a
large estate called me to say that a land-
scaper was recommending applications
of calcium to "bring" the cold-burned
coconuts out of their unsightly condi-
tion. I asked if the landscaper had noted
that a lush green lawn was growing up
to the base of the coconut palms on the
property. Before making his calcium

recommendation, did the landscaper
inquire as to the type of lawn fertilizer
being used?
I mentioned the lawn because I know
that many property owners fertilize their
grass on a regular basis. To keep a lawn
lush, dark green and growing so fast it
must mowed weekly, they like fertilizer
with a high percentage of nitrogen.
However, high-nitrogen fertilizer
may not be good for palms and other
trees, which very often have their roots
underneath the lawn and must compete
for nutrients and water. Mature trees
should rarely be fertilized, and palms
have specific nutrient needs that often
don't match with the property owner's
desire for a lush green lawn. The fertil-
izers used for lawns can cause a nutrient
imbalance in palms that actually will
show up as a nutrient deficiency.

I also don't know if the landscaper
I explained that cool soil temperatures
, can reduce root growth and the ability of
; roots to function in tropical palm species.
SPalm roots may not be able to absorb
Water and nutrients until the soil tem-
0 peratures warm up and the roots begin
to grow once again. Cool soil tempera-
tures have been reported to be a primary
cause of transient manganese deficiency
in coconuts and to cause foliar necrosis
(damage to the leaves) of some tropical
palm species.
This brings me to a new state law
taking effect in January 2014 that will re-
quire all commercial fertilizer applicators
to be licensed by the Florida Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Green industry workers will need to be
trained in best management practices re-
garding tree, plant, and turf fertilizer needs,
along with related subjects. Individuals
completing the program will receive a cer-
tificate they can show their customers, and
they'll know a bit more about what they're
The program has already begun.
Courses in English and Spanish have
been given, more are scheduled, and some
people have completed them. It is volun-
tary at this point, but since many BT read-
ers are paying a lot of money to chemically
enhance their landscapes, it would be wise
to ask the lawn guy if he's certified.

i. 1. \NI,,,. i,,I-, is an ISA-certified mu-
nicipal arborist, director of horticulture
at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropi-
cal Designs of Florida. Contact him at
jeffdTi trrpiic al'e.ion.ii. cu/

Feedback: letters( abiscaynetimes.corn

Miami Shores Community Church School
Register Now For 2010-2011 School Year

Affordable Private Education Low Student/Teacher Ratio Culturally Diverse FullyAccredited Faculty
Enrichment programs include gymnastics, Spanish, ballet, Tae Kwon Do, art

May 2010

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California's Deficits Are Your Benefits
Red, white, and you: Agreeable wines for $12 or less

By Bill Citara
BT Contributor

California has been taking it in the
shorts lately. The state is broker
than a compulsive gambler in a
three-card-monte tournament. Its politi-
cal system is so dysfunctional it almost
makes the corrupt swine-weasels who
run Florida look good. Housing prices
are way down, while fees, surcharges,
and the price of just about everything
else are way up.
The California wine industry has
been catching it in the tighty whites
too. Reports have sales of wines costing
more than $30 a bottle down around 15
percent, while those $100-plus "trophy
wines" made in minuscule quantities are
finding fewer and fewer takers. Winer-
ies are sitting on thousands of bottles of
good stuff going back several vintages,
hoping they can unload when (or if) the
Great Recession ends. Many observ-
ers are betting they can't, at least not
at prices that will dig them out of their
overleveraged financial hole.
The good news for vintners every-
where is that people are still drinking
wine, albeit less expensive bottles. Sales
of wines priced from $10 to $14, which
just happens to be our sweet spot here at
"Vino," rose seven percent last year. The
bad news for California vintners is the
growing perception that the biggest bang
for your wine-drinking buck isn't found
there but in wines from South America,
Spain, Italy, even France.
It's not just a matter of price but one
of character. Though inexpensive Cali-
fornia wines are proliferating like mos-
quitoes after a summer thunderstorm,

too many are just shape-
less fruit blobs that reveal
nothing of their vineyard
and climate and unique
varietal character, what
the French lump together
under the heading terroir.
That sounded like
a challenge: Find a few
value-oriented California
wines that were more
than just cheap dates but
someone you'd actually
like to go home with. At
the top of my list are a
pair of hearty reds, both
from the Central Coast
region, where grapes can
be grown for a lot less than
in pricey areas like Napa
and Sonoma.
Five Rivers' 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon delivers much of
the stirring fruit intensity and complex
underpinnings of Napa and Sonoma
Cabs for an impressive $12. Its deep,
inky purple color suggests the bracing
blueberry-blackberry flavors that are re-
vealed in the glass, where hints of olives
and cassis mingle with balancing tannins
and toasty oak.
The 2007 Pacific Edge "Hell
'n' Back" Zinfandel does much the
same with the oft-abused Zinfandel
grape. Zin's spicy, peppery nature is
unrestrained in this big, bold wine,
but just enough soft, approachable
tannins and acidity combined with
a modest 13.5 percent alcohol level
make it as easy to sip on its own as
it is to partner with a juicy burger or
spaghetti 'n' meatballs.

California Merlots have taken a deserved
bad rap over the years. But the 2006 But-
terfield Station may help change that. That
extra year in the bottle helps add complexity
and interest, as do nuances of coffee, leather,
cloves, and toast that complement Merlot's
typical ripe cherry-berry fruit. It starts off a
little astringent but a few minutes in the glass
mellows it out.
Cheap, good Pinot Noir is one of those
oxy-type morons, and it fits the 2008
Harlow Ridge like a glove. It does display
a bit of Burgundian funk in the nose, but
its candy fruit and tissue-thin mid-palate
offer little beyond that. I'd have to have a
second go-round with the Rex Goliath
2008 Chardonnay. The dirty, off aromas
and flavors could have been the sign of a
bad bottle, though I wouldn't be surprised
if its troubles ran deeper.

On the other hand, the 2007 Liberty
School Chardonnay shows off much of
the same rich, ripe, elegant character of
more expensive Chardonnays without
falling into the fat, happy, and stupid
hole that swallows so many California
Chards. Flavors of baked apple, pear, and
citrus make it a lot more interesting that
your average $12 Chardonnay.
Sterling's 2008 Sauvignon Blanc gets
props for not trying to be a poor man' s
Chardonnay but seems afraid to plunge
into the grassy, herbal, citrusy waters of
New Zealand Sauv Blancs, which I think
deliver more for your money. I did like the
2008 Sea Ridge Chenin Blanc, with its
Vouvray aromas of flowers and stone fruit
and a hint of tropical sweetness that would
match up nicely with spicy seafood dishes.
Just because California is getting in
the shorts doesn't mean you have to.

The Pacific Edge "Hell 'n' Back" costs
$8.99 and Butterfield Merlot costs
$7.99 at the North Miami Beach
Total Wine & More (14750 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-354-3270). The Biscayne
Commons Publix (14641 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-354-2171) has the Rex
Goliath Chardonnay for $5.99 and
Five Rivers Cabernet for $11.99, while
North Miami's Crown Wine and Spirits
(12555 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9463)
has the Sea Ridge Chenin Blanc for
$5.95 and Harlow Ridge Pinot Noir for
$8.99. The Sterling Sauvignon Blanc
is available for $11.99 at the North
Miami Beach ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
(16355 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-6525).

Feedback: letters@ibbiscaynetimes.com

,A .. -, 0 .F'1 A I'... V < V % I., '- J I

305-772- 8426
S www.annahandhercisoraom hjanrti-.bells&ouch.nci

54 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com




www.ApplianceMD nc.com
May 2010


If You Like Root Canals, You'll Love Offshore Oil
Florida moves closer to oil drilling just as the big slick moves closer to shore

By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor

pill, baby, spill? The deaths and
the continuing spillage caused
by the explosion of the Deep-
water Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of
Mexico on April 23 (the day after
Earth Day) suddenly reframed the
conversation about opening Florida's
waters to drilling. It's not going to
happen this year.
But it almost did, and it probably
will. On April 9, a report from a state
House committee concluded that new
offshore drilling was "unlikely to pres-
ent a major risk to Florida." Two state
leaders intent on opening Florida's
waters are Rep. Dean Cannon, set to
become the next House speaker, and
Sen. Mike Haridopolos, slated as the
next president of the Senate. Of course,
the biggest endorsement has come
from President Obama himself.
The current spill might soon be for-
gotten, but there may be yet another trag-
edy waiting to happen. Think hurricanes.
They are like the cavities in Florida's
teeth. We know they're going to happen,
but we never know if they will require a
simple filling or a major root canal. To
date Florida has been protected from the
risky mixture of oil rigs and a major hur-
ricane. We have been flossing.
But the state legislature has been
trying to tell us that brushing is op-
tional while feeding us the candy of a
petroleum-based economic stimulus.
Last year a proposal to allow drilling
within three miles of Florida's coast-
line passed in the House of Representa-
tives. Hello dentures!

When this
shift happens,
when the rigs
start popping up
first in the Gulf of
Mexico and then
in other parts of
Florida, we will
have to amend our
state's moniker to
read "The Sun-
shine but with a
40 percent chance
of afternoon oil
slicks State."
But it doesn't
have to happen that
way. Many people Gulf drilling
are speaking up for long.
common decency
and common sense:
Florida didn't need oil drilling befo
we don't need it now.
Thousands of Floridians ma
this point by drawing a human 1
the sand. On February 13 at bea
across the state, including in So
Beach, protesters linked up in w
was billed as "Hands Across the
The protest was organized state
by Dave Rauschkolb and coordi
in Miami by my friend Mike Gi
chairman of the Surfrider Foun
South Florida Chapter.
That Saturday afternoon on tl
in South Beach, I joined hands be
a couple from Montreal and high
students from MAST Academy.
ing dark colors to represent an oil
hundreds of us stood with our ba
the ocean on that cool, clear, oil-r
day. Dozens of surfers in black w

Sa ( MOCw I OO 01 DOII U Wo U

g stops at the Florida border, but not for

kept us entertained, bobbing like giant
ire, and tar balls in the surf.
At the other end of the state, in
de Tallahassee, the oil industry had been
ine in laying it on thick. They even seduced the
ches Florida Solar Energy Industries Associa-
uth tion into their coalition of tar, and they
ihat seem very close to sealing the deal.
Sand." Spill, baby, spill!
wide The main argument for oil drilling is
nated economic activity and job growth. But
baldi, putting money into the oil industry takes
nation it away from the faster-growing sector
of alternative energy. Why not stimulate
he sand energy companies to create the power
tween plants of the future? Why are we even
school having this discussion?
Vear- Take a look at the situation from
slick, above from the Google Earth
cks to perspective. The Gulf of Mexico
ig-free coastlines along Texas and bordering
etsuits states are full of dots representing

thousands of offshore platforms. Dots,
dots everywhere. Moving east, the dots
simply vanish at Florida's coastline. It
is protected.
The coastlines of those other states
didn't fare so well during Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita. More than 100 rigs,
platforms, and pipelines had spills.
Take a look at another recent and
more severe situation in Australia, which
experienced a major offshore oil spill
in 2009 at the Montara platform. The
technology used there would be the same
as the technology proposed for offshore
drilling in Florida.
By superimposing an image of this
recent oil spill onto a map of Florida, as
was created by SkyTruth.org, it looks
like an oil slick has taken a giant bite out
of Florida's west coast. The damage ap-
pears devastating even though the oil rig
is placed 80 miles away from the coast.
Miami Beach is not going to stand
for it, and neither are dozens of other
coastal communities. They have passed
resolutions to oppose offshore drilling.
One of them cites the forecast of the U.S.
Department of Energy that such "drilling
would not have a significant impact on
domestic crude oil and natural gas pro-
duction or prices before the year 2030."
In other words, gas prices at the
pump are not going down when the oil
rigs go up. Florida residents are not
going to save money. Quite the contrary,
they are going to lose their dignity. It's a
lose-lose situation all around.
This is not Alaska, or Venezuela, or
Saudi Arabia. Drilling for oil is not our
history, and it shouldn't be our future.

Feedback: letters@ibbiscaynetimes.com

James "Dr. Jamie" Huysman
PsyD, LCSW, CAP, & Co author
of Take Your Oxygen First

James D. Huysman, PsyD, LCSWCAP

is back on Biscayne!
area for the past 20 years serving all of your behavioral needs.

of all chronic illnesses and addictions

ALL INSURANCES taken including Medicare,
Sliding Scale discussed. Sorry No HMO's.
Partners in Health Wellness Center.

CaIEi)JYESh!iBS ll (305) [19 for is and mentSBBBiI
300 isan Bld Suie 60 SimF 3171Oln at ww .drai.com

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May 2010

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Your Little Bundles of Joy

- They may be furry and have four legs, but they're stillyour kids -

By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor

L We have brunch
every Sunday at
Coconuts. I order an
omelet and Dillon gets a
bowl of scrambled eggs -
no salt or pepper."
"He's such a good
baby. He's almost sleeping
through the night."
"Max did really great
in class today. I'm taking
him to McDonald's to I
"Chester likes to sleep
with a light on."
No, these quotes
aren't from parents
talking about their chil-
dren. They are actual
dog owners talking
about the furry animal "kids" that
inhabit their lives.
It's funny how, when we talk about
our pets, it can sound exactly like we're
talking about little human people. How
could it not? Pets have become so im-
portant to us and such an integral part of
the family their lives practically mirror
a child's. Pets go to school, daycare,
summer camp. They have play dates
with friends in the park. We ponder their
diets. We make them appointments to see
the dentist. We shop for winter coats and
clothing so they are warm enough in bad
weather. We, their doting mommies and
daddies, plan our vacations around them.
We buy cars big enough to accommodate
our growing furry family. We call their

r .

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.'* ,

- JL

"nanny" or a neighbor to look after them
if we're going to be home late from work.
And of course many owners have
given their pets human names. In the
past, Buster, Ranger, and Sparky were
very common names. At the dog park
today, you're as likely to hear Max,
Mark, Madison, or Grace.
For some of us, our pets really are
like our children, whether you're a single
empty-nester type like me or still have
human kids at home. There is something
about having a warm furry body that
needs you, and can't talk. You can look
at them and imagine they are saying
the most wonderful things about you.
"I'm so thankful you rescued me from
the shelter!" "I love you so much I'll

always be there when you need me."
Even better, most dogs don't talk
back. (Mine does, but that's a Dalmatian
for you!) As I write this, I'm listening
to Dave Correale, a comedian on the
Comedy Central network, in the back-
ground. He just started a bit on dogs, and
someone asked him: "Wouldn't it be great
if our dogs could talk and we knew what
they're thinking?" His reply: "No! My
whole wonderful relationship with my dog
is based on the fact that he can't talk!"
It's probably true. The fact that they
can't talk keeps them out of a lot of
trouble with us. Several of my friends
and clients with human children have
commented that no matter how much
they do for their kids, they still talk back.




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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

It can be detrimental to a pet's
well-being if you really believe they
possess human reasoning. That's
called anthropomorphizing as-
signing human behaviors, charac-
teristics, and emotions to animals. It
certainly doesn't help in dog training
to believe your dog "knows" some-
thing or does something out of spite.
Nor is it wise to baby your pets and
spoil them. But for normal day-to-
day chitchat with our friends about
how many Frisbees Billy caught
today or who has a bellyache from
the cake they ate off the counter, it
can be lighthearted fun.
A few years ago a friend and
her husband wanted a new dog. She
told him that if they got a puppy, she
would have to take a year off from
work so she could properly raise and
train the dog. She'd need to be a stay-
at-home mom! I thought it was hilari-
ous, though I did applaud her for making
sure that her dog was well socialized.
You pet obsessives are not alone. I too
talk about my dogs and their antics on the
phone with friends and with anyone else
who will listen. Their photographs and
my boasts about them are always featured
on my Facebook page. I blog about them
more than I do my own life. Certainly my
pets work for me and are trained while I
have my dog-trainer hat on, but at home I
am just "mom" to my furry kids Jay-J and
Saffron Monsoon. A few favorites about
my own dogs that make friends chuckle:
"Jay-J likes to spoon under the covers."
"Jay-J goes to bed at 6:00 p.m." (He
really does, like clockwork! He sends
Continued on page 57


Continued from page 56
himself to bed.)
"I hope they are all right. I forgot to
leave a light on!"
I and others rock our little dogs or cats
in our arms like a baby. I carry Saffy on
my hip sometimes while I am walking
around the kitchen. She even falls asleep
with her head on my shoulder. Right now it
is 3:00 p.m. and Jay-J is doing a lot of silly
things to alert me to the fact it is almost

time for dinner time to rally the troops!
He is standing with his head in my lap,
giving me his best "woe is me" expression.
Next he picks up Saffy's sweater and
wiggles around in front of me, moaning.
If I get up, he will "herd" me liter-
ally steer me to the kitchen. His personal
favorite move is a kind of reprimand: If
I don't move quickly enough, including
getting out of bed in the morning to feed
The Prince his breakfast, he will beat me
with his wagging tail. He literally twists
himself around to hit me with it!

And so it goes at Pawsitively Petsville.
We talk about our pets' behaviors
just as moms talk about their kids at the
playground. A bit silly-sounding maybe.
But in this age of electronic media, our
pets are the "people" we see most often.
We can only hope our animals won't be
"texting" us their requests anytime soon.
I was talking to my cousin Jamie
about this article as she was cooking
salmon with green beans and lentils for
her pug. Jamie said she was looking into
ways to get to Florida other than flying so

the "whole family" could come. Sheesh!
It may not be smart to treat dogs like
humans, but it sure can be fun!

Lisa Hartman is head dog trainer and
founder ofPawsitively Pets. You can
reach her at pawsitivelypetsonline@
yahoo.corn or www.pawsitivelypetson-
line.com. You can also keep up with
her and her dogs on Facebook at www.

Feedback: letters biscaynetimes.com


h'. ...........-..... -Am t Ca ix
...o... ming
are en.. alis

hetic) ur a an ie xoics
:30 am to 7:00 pm
7904 West Drive, North Bay Village

25% OFF 25% OFF
First time customers only. imlt we mupon per customer Must surrender upon atylme of visit. First me customers ony. Llmit e mupn per customer. Must surrender upon atlme of visit.
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May 2010

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Continued from page 6

Hidden Economic Resource
Laid Bare
I read Jack King's column on how the
sailing industry is helping tourism
("Sailors, Senators, and Slaves," April
2009). I would like to suggest another
hidden area where tourism is flourishing
with little publicity. Maybe worthy of
another Jack King column?

That hidden area is the designated
naturist beach at Haulover Beach Park.
More than one million visitors each year.
And growing each year.
See these websites: South Florida Free
Beaches (www.sffb.com), and the Beaches
Foundation (www.beachesfoundation.org).
Richard Mason, president
South Florida Free Beaches
Miami Shores

Welcome to the Hood, Gaspar!
Regarding Gaspar Gonzilez's debut as
the new Biscayne Times correspondent

for Biscayne Park ("Amped Up," April
2009), as residents of Biscayne Park for
45 years, we are so delighted and lucky
to have a new resident like him take an
active and informative role in our village.
Audrey Ehrhardt
Biscayne Park

Another Superlative for
I recently started work on N. Bayshore
Drive and picked up Biscayne Times the
other day. I was amazed after reading an

article by Wendy Doscher-Smith called
"My So-Called Cotel Life" (March 2009).
It was quite possibly the worst
article I've ever read. No flow, no point,
and at times it appeared to have whole
parts missing from it. It seemed to have
been thrown together quickly before a
deadline. It was just plain bad.
I'm not a critic, and I don't claim to
be able to do better, but that was crap, and
quite frankly it shouldn't have been pub-
lished. I would put that writer on probation.
Jon ,il -i ... ii


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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

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May 2010


The Biscayne Corridor's most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 226.

Brickell / Downtown

900 S. Miami Ave., 305-347-3700
Hamachi chiles rellenos? Shiso leaf nachos" topped
with raw spicy tuna, kaiware sprouts, and other Asian
ingredients? The Viva, a sushi roll that starts with stan-
dard Japanese (spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado), adds
Latin sabor (Jalapeno, cilantro), wraps it in a flour tortilla,
and garnishes it with heat (spicy snow crab mix)? Miami
hasn't tended to initiate too many food firsts," but this
Japanese/Pan-Latin fusion place is surely one Prices are
higher than at neighborhood sushi spots, but in keeping
with Abokado's Mary Brickell Village neighbors $$$$

1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190
Four Seasons Hotel
Originally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this com-
fortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006,
resulting in a complete menu renovation Thailand's
famed sense of culinary balance is now evident through-
out the global (though primarily Asian or Latin American-
inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed
salad of shrimp tempura, a tender pork shank glazed with
spicy Szechuan citrus sauce, or lunchtime's rare tuna
burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad For des-
sert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled
with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard $$$$$

Area 31
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-524-5234
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 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 It's 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
The cocktails are genuinely creative Luckily you don't
have to choose one or the other $$$-$$$$

500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254
Floor-to-ceiling picture windows showcase Biscayne Bay
But diners are more likely to focus on the sparkling raw
bar and open kitchen, where chef Clay Conley crafts imag-
inative global 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, harlssa-man-
nated loin, and bastilla, the famed savory-sweet Middle
Eastern pastry, stuffed with braised shank $$$$$

901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191
Open until 4 00 a m on weekends, this London import
(Miami's second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its
perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same
simple yet sophisticated global menu The indoor space
can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly out-
door terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes
with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a
lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian
fusion Items, and a cocktail is one of Miami's more relax-
ing experiences $$-$$$

Bali Caf6
109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751
While Indonesian food isn't easy to find in Miami, downtown
has secretstashes- small joints catering to cruise-ship and
construction workers This cute, exotically decorated cafe
has survived and thrived for good reason The homey cook-
ing is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even
the timid 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 Note
bring cash No plastic accepted here $-$$

The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel)
1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500
On the Conrad's 25th floor, The Bar's picture-windowed space
is notjust a watering hole with panoramic views At lunch it's
an elegant sandwich bar, at night its a raw bar (with pristine
coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos
That's just the Basque word for tapas, but here there's
nothing mere about the generously portoned small plates
They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and
saffron-sauteed Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations
like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas $$$

Botequim Carioca
900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-675-1876
If Brazil's cuisine were defined by the USA's Brazilian
restaurants, the conclusion would be that Brazilian people
eat nothing but rodizlo (all-you-can-eat meat), and weigh,
on average, 400 pounds This Brazilian pub broadens
the picture, with a menu that offers entrees, especially at
lunch, but highlights Brazilian tapas -- mega-mini plates
meant for sharing Must-not-misses include pasteles
filled with shrimp and creamy catupiry cheese, beautifully
seasoned bolinho de bacalau (fried salt cod dumplings),
and alpim frlto (house-special yuca fries, the best in
town) $$$

297 NW 23rd St., 305438-0792
This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor
venue is described as an art gallery/lounge," and some
do come just for cocktails like the hefty cafe con leche
martinis But don't overlook chef Guily Booth's 12-item
menu of very tasty tapas The signature item is a truly
jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder At
one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart
proclaimed it the best she'd ever had Our own prime
pick melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos,
so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure $$

Caf6 Sambal
500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358
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 For the health-con-
scious, the menu includes low-cal choices For hedonists
there's a big selection of artisan sakes $$$-$$$$$

The Democratic Republic of Beer
255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161
The food here? Beer is food The DRB serves 400 beers from
55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40
DeuS (an 115% alcohol Belgian method Champenoise
brew) But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global small-
ish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recom-
mended), chorizo with homemade cilantro mayo, or steak
tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy



Cvi.che 105
105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454
Fusion food -- a modern invention? Not in Peru, where
native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more
than a century But chef Juan Chipoco gives the cevich-
es and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique
spin Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood
creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced
fish in citrus-spiked chill/cream sauce) But traditional
fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice
(packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are
also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable $$


Buena Vista Deli
4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945
At this casual cafe/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista
Bistro's Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic
French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, choco-
late almond croissants, and other delights At lunch
cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing
housemade pates, sinfully rich pork rlllettes, superb
salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible,
and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly
dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo
meal As for Postel's homemade French sweets, if you
grab the last Parls-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled
puff pastry, we may have to kill you $-$$

Mercadito Midtown
3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423
Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge,
festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a
bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously
smooth margaritas But the main must-haves here are
tacos encased in a rarity genuinely made-from-scratch
corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed Of 11 varieties, our
favorite is the carnitas (Juicy braised pork, spicy chill
de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts) A close second the

salsa Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isn't
open that early But t is open late -- till 5 00 a m $$

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103
From the stylish setting in Miami's historic Firehouse No
4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal But entrees,
which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed
pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost
either $18 or $23 And the price 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 The best
seats are on the glam rooftop patio $$$

hongos, intensely flavorful hultlacoche and wild mush-
rooms, with manchego and salsa verde -- a reminder
that vegetarian food need not be bland $$-$$$

3507 NE 163rd St., 305-956-5556
When a cup of regular American joe is as complex and
boldly flavored as a gourmet coffeehouse's priciest
brews -- but cheaper -- the creator deserves support,
especially when the coffee is organic and the company
supports fair trade and sustainable production To
accompany the admirable coffees and teas, G serves
paninis plus sweets ranging from guava-stuffed crois-
sants to gelato Service is speedy, but a relaxed ambi-
ance, comfortable contemporary decor, and free WiFi all
encourage luxuriant lingering $

The Grill on the Alley
19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall),
Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood every-
where and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks,
you'd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -- or
in the new millennium This upscale mini chain salutes
America's great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with pro-
digious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus
classics like creamy chicken pot pie New retro dishes are
added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday night's
prime rib special a $32 hunk of juicy beef that II take
care of Mondays meals too $$$$$

Peppermill on the Waterway
3595 NE 207th St., 305466-2016
Charming Alpine decor and elegant yet accessible tradi-
tional Continental comfort foods make this indoor/out-
door restaurant a perennially popular special-occasion
place to take the parents Definitely don't tell the folks'
cardiologist about indulging in fine-dining fare from
the precholesterol-obsession era trout almondine with
beurre blanc, salmon with hollandaise and creamed
spinach or for super-splurgers, lobster thermidor While
seafood is a specialty, butter-sauteed breaded schnit-
zels like the chicken Holstelner (topped with capers,
anchovies, and an egg) are a treat $$$-$$$$

Ecco Pizzateca & Lounge
168 SE 1st St
Masterminded byAramis Lone (of PS14) and partner
Brian Basti, this hip hangout was designed to entice
downtown workers to linger after office hours And even
without the expansive, casual-chic space as bait, interna-
tionally award-winning Italian pizza chef Massimo Fablo
Bruni's exquisitely airy, burn-blistered pies, made from
homemade dough, could do the trick The rest of the
organically oriented menu may also great, but with pizzas
like the cream/mushroom-topped Bianca beckoning, we'll
never know $-$$$

Continued on page 60

May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 59

485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373
Unlike their Michelln-starred New Adriatic restaurant
Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael
Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences
ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean
region, and even Latin America Unchanged is Psilakis'
solid creativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that
makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste acces-
sible So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly
custardy, egg yolk-enriched lobster and sea urchin risotto,
or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with
pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck $$$-$$$$

Fratelli Milano
213 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-2300
Downtown isn't yet a 24/7 urban center, but it's experi-
encing a mini explosion of eateries open at night That
includes this family-owned rlstorante, where even new-
comers feel at home At lunch it's almost impossible to
resist paninl, served on foccacla or crunchy clabatta, even
the vegetarian version bursts with complex and comple-
mentary flavors During weekday dinners, try generous
plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus, home-
made pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio, or
delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula $$-$$$

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 To the familiar Latin American/Italian equa-
tion, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but
more health conscious) Menu offerings range from design-
er 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 worries
about the seafood's freshness, on their way to the dining
deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail
fish market Best preparations 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 popu-
lar grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahl mahl $-$$

Giovana Caffe
154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024
If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway
contained only one item -- pear and gorgonzola ravioli
dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -- we'd
be happy But the cafe, formerly lunch-only but now serv-
ing weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size
salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-
dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-
boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially
lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins,
apples, and basil, an Italian twist $$

Grimpa Steakhouse
901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757
This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly
contemporary, but no worries The classic sword-wielding
gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of
skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish
And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the
traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared
foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses A pleasant, nontra-
dltlonal surprise unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion
fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney,
along with the ubiquitous chimichurrl $$$$-$$$$$

II Gabbiano
335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063
Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this
ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace)
the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative
to 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 Gabblanos owners The rest
of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth And the
champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black
truffles? Worth every penny $$$$$

638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1525
Indochine has succeeded by morphing from mere restau-
rant into hip hangout Copious special events draw every-
one from downtown business types to the counterculture
crowd Not that there's anything mere" about the range
of food served from three Asian nations Light eaters can
snack on Vietnamese summer rolls or Japanese sushi
rolls For bigger appetites, there are Thai curries and
Vietnamese specialties like pho, richly flavored beef soup
with meatballs, steak slices, rice noodles, and add-in
Asian herbs and sprouts $$-$$$

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

La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge
68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant
was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown
With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti
in sage butter sauce and cllantro-spiced white bean/veg-
etable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer
Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch
crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on
through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyer's Liquid Lunch,
a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso $$$

La Moon
144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209
At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like
a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a trucker's burger
beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and
a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun While this
tiny place's late hours (till 6 00 a m Friday and Saturday)
are surprising, the daytime menu is more so In addition
to Colombian classics, there's a salad Nicoise with grilled
fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other
yuppie favorites $-$$

La Provence
1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003
Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate
a great meal to come But when Miamians encounter such
bread -- crackling crust outside, moist, aromatic, aerated
interior -- its likely not from a restaurant's own kitchen, but
from La Provence Buttery croissants and party-perfect pas-
tries are legend too Not so familiar is the bakers cafe com-
ponent, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic
tastes But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade
Nicoise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-
owner David Thau's Provencal homeland $$

Le Boudoir Brickell
188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233
At this French bakery/cafe, mornings start seriously, with
choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterle/pate, or
smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete
American breakfasts At lunch, generously salad-garnished,
open-faced tartines are irresistible But sophisticated
salads and homemade soups make the choice tough And
do not skip dessert Superb sweets include rich almond/
fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional
Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-mac-
aroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings $-$$

Martini 28
146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414
This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from
a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be
the most impressive meal deal in town From an ambi-
tious, daily-changing menu of fare that's geographically
eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners
get a choice of about ten entrees (substantial stuff like
steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted
potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard
sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and
housemade dessert For just $9 99 Told ya $

MIA at Biscayne
20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-642-0032
At this expansive, ultra-glam restolounge, the eclectic,
mostly small-plate menu ranges from the expected
(grilled skirt steak with chimichurr, new-style ceviches,
and luxe sushi rolls) to a small but tantalizing selection
of chef Gerdy Rodriguez's signature creations Lunch fare
includes modernized Minuta" fish sandwiches (avocado/
habanero vinalgrette-dressed hamachl on non Kaiser
rolls), while dinner offers edgier inventions like confit
pork belly with a panko-crusted egg yolk capsula, the yolk
nitrogen-frozen before frying to achieve a crisp crust and
delightfully improbable oozing interior $$$

Miami's Chophouse
300 S. Biscayne Blvd.,305-938-9000
Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miami's Chophouse
retains basically everything but the famed name (from
the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains
Miami's most intentionally masculine steakhouse
Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything
is humongous dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the
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 swal-
low the Loch Ness monster whole, two-fisted cocktails
that would fell a T-Rex Not for the frail $$$$$

Miami's Finest Caribbean Restaurant
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been
serving her traditional homemade island specialties to
downtown office workers and college students since the
early 1990s Most popular Item here might be the week-
day 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 hungry $

Morgans Restaurant
28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678
Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home,
Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced
contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract
hordes Dishes are basically comfortfood, but ultimate comfort
food the most custardy fluffy French toast imagnable, shoe-
string frites that rival Belgum's best, mouthwatering maplebast-
ed bacon, miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and
apricotsoy-glazed), even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich"
- definitely a don't ask, don't tell your cardiologist item $$-$$$

1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900
For those who think Argentine cuisine" is a synonym for
beef and more beef," this popular eatery's wide range of
more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a
revelation Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for 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 ravi-
ohi with creamy saffron sauce Especially notable are the
entree salads $$-$$$

Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862
With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire may seem
more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish
shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional
tastes and fish Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supple-
ments 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., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly
popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food
is served at several newer outlets The prices are low
enough that you might suspect Pasha's was a tax write-off
rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it
was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes Dishes
range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like
muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh
yogurt cheese Everything from pltas 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 sever-
al generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution
But the chicken is also a winner, plus there a full menu of
soul food entrees, including what many aficionados consider
our town's tastiest souse And it would be unthinkable to call it
quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding,
plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade $-$$

15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449
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 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's $15 95 brunch buffet ($9 95 for kids) fea-
turing an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and
bagels, salads, and more remains one of our town's
most civilized all-you-can-eat deals $$

Adrienne Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722
Though the opening of Barton G s elegant performing arts
center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the food's actually
more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot The concept
is prlx fixe Any three courses on the menu (meaning three
entrees if you want) for $39 Highlights include silky, tarra-
gon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef
carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil
dipping sauces, and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one
with a luscious creme fralche ice cream pop $$$$

Puntino Downtown
353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661
The first U S venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish
little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner
as well as lunch Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese
rather than effusively warm Neapolitan The food too is
mostly contemporary rather than traditional But in true
Italian style, the best stuff stays simple an antipasto plat-
ter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade
marinated veggies, crisp-fried calamari and shrimp, airy
gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted
bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil $$-$$$

4029 N. Miami Ave., 305-227-2378
Unlike most urban barbecuejoints, this neo-rustic road-
house uses a genuine wood/charcoal-fired Bewley pit from
Texas to flavor its subtly smoky slow-cooked barbecue And
anyone with working taste buds will discern the difference
in chef/owner Jonathan Eismann's vinegar-basted North
Carolina-style pulled pork, his tender-firm (rather than inau-
thenticallyfalling-off-the-bone) dry-rubbed spareribs, succu-
lently fatty briskets, and juicy chickens Tabletop housemade
sauces (particularly a piquant mustard-cider St Louis potion)
are enhancers, not essentials $$-$$$

The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool 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 din-
ers, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese But oyster
fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on
the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are
served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito but-
ter, chorizo, and manchego There's also a thoughtful wine
list and numerous artisan beers on tap $$$

Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining expe-
rience 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-habane-
ro-pepper cream sauce), or Rosa's signature guacamole
en molcajete, made tableside A few pomegranate mar-
garitas ensure no worries $$$

315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-371-3421
Housed in the stunning space with great water views
originally occupied by Prime Blue Grille, Solymar similarly
pursues the power lunch crowd with steaks and seafood,
but with a stronger Latin accent There's more emphasis
on snacks, too, making happy hour a great time to sample
$2 50 tapas like conch fritters with spicy Argentine pink
sauce and palmito salad, sparkling-fresh Amarillo chili-
spiked Peruvian shrimp ceviche, or festive fish/lump crab
sliders, along with half-off drinks $$$-$$$$

Soya & Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511
Life is complicated Food should be simple That's owner
Armando Alfano's philosophy, which is stated above the
entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery And since
Its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food

Continued on page 61

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 60

(Alfano hails from Pompeii), it's fitting that the menu is
dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisti-
cated Italian entrees There are salads and sandwiches,
too The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-
air courtyard Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to
accompany local musicians and artists $-$$

Thai Angel
152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748
Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles
Munchkinland, this downtown insider's secret" serves seri-
ous Thai food till 9 00 p m daily Tasty classics like the four
curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come custom-
spiced -- mild to authentically brain-searing -- and are so
affordable there's no guilt in splurging on superb house
specials like crisp-coated duck or fresh snapper (whole or
filleted) in tamarind sauce The young chef has a heavenly
hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served $$

Tobacco Road
626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198
Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone),
gay bar, strip club Previously all these, this gritty spot has
been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music,
primarily blues But it also offers food from lunchtime
to late night (on weekends till 4 00 a m ) The kitchen is
especially known for its chill, budget-priced steaks, and
burgers There's also surprisingly elegant fare, though,
like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aloli A meat-
smoker in back turns out tasty ribs $$

Tre Italian Bistro
270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303
"Bistro" actually sounds too Old World for this cool hang-
out, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but
restolounge" sounds too glitzy Think of It as a neighbor-
hood "bistrolounge" The food is mostly modernized Italian,
with Latin and Asian accents a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with
Brazilian catupiry cheese, gnocchi served either as finger
food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aloli), or plated with
orange-ginger sauce But there are tomato-sauced meat-
balls with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too $$-$$$

Urbanite Bistro
62 NE 14th St., 305-374-0662
Ambitious but neither pretentious nor pricey, this multi-
room, indoor/outdoor bistro is just the sort of friendly
hangout the neighborhood needs Chef Frank Imbarlina's
menu features hip contemporary fare like natural boar
chops with a savory-sweet soy/chopped pecan crust Fish
fans and vegetarians will find equally enjoyable large and
small plates potato-wrapped local pompano, beautifully
seasoned vegslu mai, shrimp corndogs with mustard and
mango dips Other pluses include an imaginative late-
night menu and free valet parking $$-$$$

Waxy O'Connor's
690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660
While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun")
Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys,
the location is far superior -- on the Miami River, with
waterfront deck And none of Miami's Irish eateries offers
as much authentic traditional fare Especially evocative
imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown
bread, puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls, lunchtime's
imported Irish bacon or banger "butty" sandwiches on
crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter par-
ticularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce $$

Wok Town
119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993
Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist decor
(with communal seating), and predominance of American
veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by
Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) may
initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables
Wrong Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like
soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way
stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh
flavor The proof a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with
sesame/ginger/scallion dressing Bubble tea, tool $$

Midtown / Wynwood / Design District

Adelita's Caf6
2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262
From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne)
this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside

it's bigger, better, and busier than it looks Unlike many
Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the
source and proves a crowd-pleaser On weekends espe-
cially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying
authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas
(Honduras's take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups
packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more $

Bay View Grille
1633 N. Bayshore Dr. (Marriott Hotel)
This expansive restaurant has no outdoor component, but
floor-to-ceiling windows and a multi-level layout means every
table has a Biscayne Bay view, which we find particularly
enjoyable in the morning, over a fresh asparagus and
Boursin cheese omelet or huevos a la cubana (fried eggs
and cheese on black beans) Lunch and dinner menus are
a greatest hits" mix (steaks, pasta, Caesar salad), featuring
appealing local accents like a hefty fried or blackened grou-
per sandwich on clabatta roll, with remoulade sauce $$-$$$

2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976
At this Indian eatery the decor is cool and contemporary
muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy ban-
quettes And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine"
to match the look Classicists, however, needn't worry
America's favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here,
though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and pre-
sented with modern flair All meats are certified halal,
Islam's version of kosher which doesn't mean that obser-
vant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can $$$

Bin No. 18
1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575
At this wine bar/cafe, the decor is a stylish mix of contempo-
rary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine
barrels) Cuisine is similarly geared to the area's smart new
residents 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, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated
snacks like the figciutto arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramel-
ized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto Free park-
ing behind the building $$

Buena Vista Bistro
4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909
If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves
supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking
distance of every Miami resident, we'd be a helluva hip
food town Like true Parisian bistros, it's open continu-
ously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in
anytime for authentic rllettes (a rustic pate) with a crusty
baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop rata-
touille, or many changing blackboard specials Portions
are plentiful So is free parking $$

The Cheese Course
3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681
Notso much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with
complimentary prepared foods, this place's self-service cafe
component nevertheless became an instant hit Impeccable
ingredients and inspired combinations make even the
simplest salads and sandwiches unique like bacon and
egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red
peppers, avocado, and chipotle mayo Cheese platters are
exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild
to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies,
nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads $$

Clive's Caf6
2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277
Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American
breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall
has served for more than 30 years Since about 1990,
though, when owner Pearline Murray ("Ms Pearl" to regu-
lars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native
Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk
chicken has been the main item here Other favorites
savory rice and pigeon peas, eye-opening onion/vinegar-
flavored escovitch fish, sweet plantains, and cabbage that
redefines the vegetable $

The Daily Creative Food Co.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535
While the food formula of this contemporary cafe is
familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and
pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept
differentiates the place Signature sandwiches are named
after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne

Continued on page 62

ArtiBanj French Bakery & Caf

Miami's best breads

Made in the

traditional French way!

With 5 locations including

2200 Biscayne Blvd and

1064 Brickell Ave

FREE dedicated parking for our Biscayne location on 22nd Street

See why Miami's top restaurants choose

La Provence as their bakery.

As always, all our sandwiches are made

on our daily baked breads.


May2010 Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 61

Times, giving diners something to chat about Sandwiches
and salads can also 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 nearby original Delicias, run by members of
the same family 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
As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion
cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle
dishes tallerin saltado and tallerin verde $$

18th Street Caf6
210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006
Most of 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 expansive This pioneer-
ing 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 Other culinary
highlights include a turkey/pear/cheddar melt sandwich,
and really sinful marshmallow-topped brownies $

Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries
Shops at Midtown Miami
Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-8341
No green-leaf faux health food here You get what the name
says, period, with three adds kosher dogs, veggie burgers,
and free peanuts while you wait Which you will, just a bit,
since burgers are made fresh upon order Available in double
or one-patty sizes, they re well-done butspurtinglyjuicy, and
after loading with your choice of 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 $

Fratelli Lyon
4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901
This Italian cafe has been packed since the moment it
opened No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyon's
pioneering Lyon Freres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (1992-
97), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood
needed The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful
boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you can't
help wishing it also had a retail component Entrees include
properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like
Venetian-style calves liver, rarely found outside Italy $$$

28 NE 40th St., 305-573-3355
Chef Michael Jacobs's menu travels beyond pan-Asian
and Mediterranean influences into the Americas Entrees
range from comfort food (cunningly reinvented mini pot
pies) to high-status extravagance (stone-seared, authen-
tic Kobe steak) For healthy grazers, raw-bar selections
include ceviches and a large seafood platter 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
alternative to the Boulevard's fast food chains $$-$$$$$
The Girrrlz of Sandwich
555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo)
Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups,
sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette
sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed
with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed cafe,
hidden on the Venetia condo's mezzanine Owners Ana
Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the
freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crust-
ed empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are
all baked in-house On Saturdays the grrrls'll even deliver
you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed $

Joey's Italian Caf6
2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488
The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Cafe District, this
stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as
one would hope and as affordable 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 or orgasmic
Carbonara Pastas are fresh, produce is largely local, the
mosaic-centered decor is minimalist but inviting And no need
to be wary of the warehouse district at night Valet parking is
free $$-$$$

La Provence
2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002
(See Brickell / Downtown listing)

Latin Caf6 2000
2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838
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 Whatjustifles the new millennium
moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafled ambiance,
encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck $$

Lemoni Caf6
4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080
The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/
starters primer What it doesn't convey is the freshness of
the ingredients and the care that goes into their use Entree-
size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese,
pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad
on a bed of mixed greens Sandwiches (cold baguette subs,
hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side sal-
ads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a
deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream $-$$

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
Shops at Midtown Miami
Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463
Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an
instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout
as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food The concept
is fast casual" rather than fast food meaning nice
enough for a night out It also means ingredients are
always fresh Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the

menu gets, but the mahl mahl for fish tacos comes from
a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily Niceties
include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers $
Lost & Found Saloon
185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008
There's an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friend-
ly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-
only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its
neighborhood It's now open for dinner six nights a week,
serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices
Dishes like pfion 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., 305-571-9044
This very upscale Brazilian steakhouse has all the features
you expect, including all-you-can-eat meats carved tableside
and a lavish buffet What sets Maino apart from typical rodizio
palaces is its family-run feel, intimate rather than intimidating,
plus its attention to every detail While its rare at most rodizio
joints to get meat done less than medium, Maino will cook
to order One other welcome difference There are a la carte
starters and pastas for lighter eaters and noncarnivores, and
some lunch specials Free parking, too $$-$$$$$

163 NE 39th St., 305-572-1400
Though we admired the ambitious approach of Oak Plaza's
original tenant, Brosia, this more informal, inexpensive, and
straightforwardly Italian concept of veteran Lincoln Road
restaurateur Grazlano Sbrogglo seems a more universal
lure for the Design District's central town square" The
mostly outdoor space remains unaltered save a wood-burn-
Ing oven producing flavorfully char-bubbled pizza creations,
plus a vintage meat slicer dispensing wild boar salamino,
bresaola (cured beef), and other artisan salumi Other
irresistibles fried artichokes with lemony aioli, seafood
lasagna with heavenly dill-lobster sauce $$-$$$

Continued on page 63

4 ka rma

car wash







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WESTON 2320 WESTON RD FL 33326 954.389.1880 I

* Metro
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H,~ meuoorganlc


bistro corn


Grass-Fed Organic Beef
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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.comMay2010

Window Tinting*

Dent Repair*

High Speed Buffing

Concrete Removal

Scratch Removal

Headlight Restoration

Paint Restoration

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTi mes.com

May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 62

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066
Inside this converted 1940s home's blue-and-white dining
room -- or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered gar-
den -- diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece
and Turkey Make a meal of multinational mezes a Greek
sampler of creamy tzatzilk yogurt dip, smoky eggplant puree,
and airy tarama caviar spread, and a Turkish sampler of
hummus, fava puree, and rich tomato-walnut dip The meze
of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolin's fresh-
baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself $$-$$$

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

Michael's Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented res-
taurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth
fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor
setting 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 to
encourage frequent visits Michael's Genuine also features
an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar $$-$$$$

Mike's at Venetia
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetla
condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and
dinner hang-outfor local journalists and others who appreciate
honest cheap eats and drinks Regulars know daily specials are
thewaytogo Depending on the day fish, churrasco, or roast
turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh Big burgers
and steak dinners are always good A limited late-night menu
provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3 00 a m $-$$

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, manchego cheese, baby spinach,
and basil on a crusty baguette Other artfully named and
crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas
(like the Matisse, 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
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 pleasant place to hang out $

Pacific Time
35 NE 40th St.
Everyone knew Jonathan Eismann's original Pacific Time,
for many years Lincoln Road's only serious restaurant
How different is its new incarnation? Very, and it's all
good, starting with far superior acoustics, an admirably
green ecological policy, and a neighborhood-friendly
attitude While the addition of Mediterranean influences
to the Pacific Rim menu may sound confusing, trust us
A meal that includes a butter-grilled asparagus with pro-
sciutto, 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 $$-$$$$

3918 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-5325
At this tiny pizza/mozzarella bar, Jonathan Eismann's
inspired topping combos and astonishingly high-quality
ingredients prove that star-chef skills are not wasted on
humble fare Carnivores must try the Cacciatorin, an
ultra-thin and crispy crust with indescribably rich guancia-
le (cured, unsmoked pork cheek bacon), pungent artisan
pepperoni, grana padano, locally made mozzarella, and
Italian tomatoes For meatless pies, we recommend the
Bianca, a thyme-seasoned pizza whose plentiful cheeses
are beautifully balanced by bitter arugula Bring a crowd
and taste half-a-dozen different mozzarellas $$

1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055
The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesn't have
that "do drop in" locals' hangout vibe Butthis lively Italian
spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood The
pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings rang-
ing from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would
be draw enough But pastas also please diners' choice
of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras And the
price is right, with few entrees topping $20 The capper It's
open past midnight every day but Sunday $$

Primo Pizza Miami
3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555
Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant
most everywhere Today many places now offer authentic
Italian or delicate designer pizzas But a satisfying Brookyn-
style street slice? Fuhgedit Thankfully that's the speciality
of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria big slices with chewy crusts
(made from imported NY tap water) that aren't ultra-thin
and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medi-
um-thick -- sturdy enough to support toppings applied with
generous all-American abandon Take-out warning Picking
up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini

Sakaya Kitchen

Shops at Midtown Miami
Pasha's Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-8096
3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201 This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an iza-
(See Brickell/Downtown listing) kaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop)

But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing
things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on
street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily
from quality fresh ingredients French Culinary Institute-
trained Richard Hales does change his menu, so we'd
advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken
wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns
with sweet chill sauce and homemade pickles $$

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 Among the
seafood offerings, you won't find exotica or local catches,
but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in
more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond
standard soy spicy srlracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many
more Especially recommended the yuzu hamachi roll,
the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp
with hot-and-sour mayo and a salad $$-$$$

Salsa Fiesta
2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245
The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini
chain, this "urban Mexican grill" serves health-conscious,
made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-
casual competitors But there are indeed differences
here, notably pan-Latin options black beans as well as
red, thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a
side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal
nachos) Other pluses include weekday happy hours with
two-for-one beers -- and free parking $-$$

S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291
Some things never change, or so It seems at this classic
diner Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday
mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enor-
mous 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 The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual

Continued on page 64



- .0


Specializing in regional

Japanese Cuisine,

focusing on small tapas- like

plates you will not find on menus

anywhere else.



Open 6 p.m. till 2 a.m.

Fri. & Sat. Open till 3 a.m.

After Hours Dining

25yrs. In Business

in North Miami Beach

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com


May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 63

suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for
the daily blackboard specials $-$$

Sra. Martinez
4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474
No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this
lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper
Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the
area But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig Bernsteln
is hands-on at both places Her exuberant yet firmly
controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen
hot and cold tapas on the menu Items are frequently
reinvented Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego
croquetas with fig jam, white bean stew, crisp-coated
artichokes with lemon/coriander dip, and buttery bone
marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced
by tiny pickled salads $$$

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353
This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln
Road's SushlSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane
lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than
the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as
three kitchens -- normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill
-- make clear Chef Timon Balloo's LatAsian small plates
range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo
to intensely smoky-rich short ribs At the daily happy hour,
select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple klmchl)
are discounted $$-$$$

Tony Chan's Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888
The decor at this upscale place, located in the Grand,
looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized
Chinese food But the American dumbing-down is minimal
Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared
than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but
flavorful yu pan quail 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 tra-
ditional courses crepe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauteed
with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish $$-$$$

W Wine Bistro
3622 NE 2nd Ave.
Both bistro and retail wine shop, this Design District spot
is run by Florent Blanchet, an energetic young Frenchman
who was previously a wine distributor His former gig led
to connections that mean if wine lovers don't find the
bottle they want, Blanchet can probably get it within 24
hours Food is sophisticated light bites like a shrimp club
sandwich with pancetta and sun-dried tomato aloli, and
smoked duck salad with goat cheese croutons and a
poached egg At night there are tapas $-$$

Upper Eastside

5600 Biscayne Blvd.
Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside
car wash, Andlamo 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, along with
executive chef Frank Crupi's famed Philly cheese steak
sandwiches Also available are salads and panini plus rea-
sonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually
sophisticated selections like Belgium's Hoegaarden $$

Anise Taverna
620 NE 78th St.
The new owners of this river shack are banking on Greek
food and festivity for success a good bet, judging from
their wildly popular previous eatery, Ouzo The mainly mezze
menu ranges from traditional Greek small plates to creative
Mediterranean-inspired dishes like anise-scented fish cro-
quettes with spicy aloli But don't neglect large plates like

whole grilled Mediterranean fish (dorade or branzino), filleted
tableside The interior 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 is rapidly becoming a cool alt-
culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts Ilke this rustic
indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar Especially
bustling on nights featuring live music, it's even more fun
on Sunday, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal
fair and the menu Includes Brazil's national dish, feijoada,
a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats
But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like
pastels to hefty Brazilian entrees, is also appealing and
budget-priced $$

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

Casa Toscana
7001 Biscayne Blvd.
Tuscan-born chef/owner Sandra Stefani cooked at
Norman's before opening this Upper Eastsidejewel,
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 specials
with honest, authentic flavors, such as grilled wild boar
sausages with lentil croquettes Menu favorites include
pear and ricotta raviolini, grilled eggplant slices rolled
around herbed goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and
a light ricotta tart with lemon and rosemary $$$

Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223
Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner
Wilkinson Sejour's two tiny but popular establishments
While some meatier Haitian classics like grlot (fried pork
chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3 99
roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here
crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter
sauce), lambl frl (perfectly tenderized fried conch), pois-
son gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic
or Creole crabs The Miami branch has outdoor tlkl-hut
dining $-$$

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

Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3433
What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the
Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just
feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened,
people have been lining up for this stand's sauce-gar-
nished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs
The 22 varieties range from simple 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 New addition thick, juicy burgers $

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

Continued on page 65

k ndolin

HImqnml Lum~n,

rustic. simple. authentic ccooinq

lunch and dinner / mondaq -saturday

4312 ne 2nd ave 305-576-6066 ,

www. mandolinmiami. com

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May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 64

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,
including imported Peroni beer As for the pizza, they are
classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with
fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (con-
sidered the top American pizza cheese) Best seating for
eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables $

La Q-Bana
8650 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-2550
In case you were wondering if it's too good to be true
-- it isn't El Q-Bano s owners are indeed related to the
family that operates the original three Palacios de los
Jugos -- which means no more schlepping way out west
Recommended are moist tamales, tasty sandwiches
(especially the drippingly wonderful pan con lechon), rich
flan, and the fresh tropical juices thatjustify the afore-
mentioned excesses For even heartier eaters, there's a
changing buffet of daily specials and sides $-$$

Europa Car Wash and Caf6
6075 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-2357
Giving new meaning to the food term "fusion," Europa
serves up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with crois-
sants, and Chevron with Techron Snacks match the casual
chicness sandwiches like the Renato prosciuttoo, hot capplc-
ola, pepper jack cheese, red peppers, and Romano cheese
dressing), an elaborate almond-garnished Chinese chicken
salad, H&H bagels, the world's best, flown in from NYC
And the car cleaning are equally gentrlfled, especially on
Wednesday, when ladies are pampered with $10 washes
and glasses of sparkling wine while they wait $

Garden of Eatin'
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Housed in a yellow building that's nearly invisible from the
street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach
bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean
vegan food Large or small plates, with salad and fried

sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are
served for five or seven bucks Also available are snacks
like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato
pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry
waffles with soy sausage patties $

Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229
Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with
no time to cook, has been popular for years But the
Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition
Main reason deceptive 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 comfort food Food is
available a la carte or grouped in multimeal plans custom-
ized for individual diner's nutritional needs $$

Go To Sushi
5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914
This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers
original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green
parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avo-
cado, sweet plantain, and spicy mayo), or a wonderfully
healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach,
rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry Health ensured,
you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs fried
dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with
quills -- really a delectable crunchy noodle mix $

Jimmy's East Side Diner
7201 Biscayne Blvd.
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, eggs
any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas, and
a full range of sides biscuits and sausage gravy, grits,
hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal Also available are
traditional diner entrees (meat loaf, roast turkey, liver
and onions), plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade
chicken soup $-$$

6708 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-0074
This indoor/outdoor sports bar serves low-priced but high-
qualitysteaks, plus more typical bar food that's actually far
from the usual processed stuff Philly cheese steak sand-
wiches, 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, particu-
larly the Doomsday a cheese/bacon/mushroom-topped two-
pound monster that turns dinner into a competitive sport No
hard liquor, but the beer list makes up for it $$

Luna Caf6
4770 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-5862
The ground floor of the Wachovia Bank building may not
seem a particularly evocative locale for an Italian eatery,
but once inside, the charming decor and the staff's ebul-
lient welcome indeed are reminiscent of a cafe in Italy
The kitchen's outstanding feature is a brick oven, which
turns out designer pizzas and crisp-skinned roast chick-
ens Otherwise the menu holds few surprises except
the prices, unusually low for such a stylish place No dish
exceeds $22 $$-$$$

Luna Corner Pizza
6815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-507-9209
At this cheerful takeout/delivery place (masterminded by
the Amatruda family, pizza-makers in Italy since 1968), the
concept is fast but high-quality whole pies or single slices
Sauce is from flavorful San Marzano tomatoes, and toppings
include imported salami plcante, pleasantly spicier than
American pepperoni Proprietary electric ovens, designed
to transform Luna's secret 24-flour formula into perfectly
pliable/foldable crusts in under five minutes, ensure consis-
tently street-neat eats despite the slices' massive size (big
pies are 20-inchers) $

Magnum Lounge
709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368
Its a restaurant Its a lounge But its decidedly nota typical
Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami Forbidding
from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret
in pre-WWII Berlin bordello-red decor, romantically dim light-
ing, show-tune live piano bar entertainment and to match the

ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and
a smile For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken isjust
like mom used to make in her wildest dreams $$$

Metro Organic Bistro
7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756
Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first
being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant
Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant
where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural
flavors An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled
organic meat and fish dishes Try the steak frites -
organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurrl and
fresh-cut fries Vegetarians will love the organic portabella
foccacia Dine either inside the architect-designed restau-
rant or outdoors on the patio Beer and wine $-$$$

6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don't even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef
resume, not to mention regular Food Network appearanc-
es, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from
fully gentrlfled neighborhood Just be glad she did, as you
dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham
and blue cheese croquetas Though most full entrees also
come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab
can add up fast The star herself is usually in the kitchen
Parking in the rear off 69th Street $$$-$$$$

7100 Biscayne Blvd.
Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian
bistro serves 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 it also carves out its
own identity with original creations, including yellow cur-
ry-spiced fried rice Nearly everything is low in sodium,
fat, and calories A large rear patio is inviting for dining
and entertainment $$-$$$

Continued on page 66

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 65

Moshi Moshi
7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404
This offspring of South Beach old-timer 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 Sushi ranges from
pristine individual nigirl to over-the-top maki rolls Tapas
are intriguing, like arablki sausage, a sweet-savory pork
fingerling frank, 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
Mark Soyka's new News is, as its name suggests, more a
friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a
full-fledged eatery Nevertheless the menu of light bites
is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio
and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part
of the reason visitors stay for hours Especially recom-
mended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup, a brie,
turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette,
and what many feel is the original cafe's Greatest Hit
creamy hummus with warm pita $

Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-7773
From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Krls Wessel's
intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront
restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees
while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from
cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked
Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-
breaded Old South fried green tomatoes) Not surpris-
ingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signa-
ture specialties, if 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 $$-$$$

Revales Italian Ristorante
8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010
Owned by two couples (including former Village Cafe chef
Marion Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former
space of Frankle's Big City Grill, and fulfills much the
same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-
friendly place with affordable prices The menu includes
wraps and elaborate salads of all nations But simple
yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai
flume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of
cream) or yellowtail frangalse (egg-battered, with lemon-
caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here $$-$$$

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 res-
taurant is owner Alex Richter's oneman gentrification project
transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one
pils at a time The fare includes housemade sausages (mild
veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy
garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup, savory yet
near-greaseless potato pancakes, and, naturally schnitzels,
a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties
served with a half-dozen different sauces $$-$$$

5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117
This expansive, contemporary hangout was often credited
with almost single-handedly sparking the revitalization of
the Biscayne Corridor's Upper Eastside Soyka remains
a solid neighborhood restaurant that is a perfect fit for
its area Comfortably priced yuppie comfort food like
meatloaf with mashed potatoes, crab cakes with spicy-
sweet slaw, a wild mushroom/smoked mozzarella pizza,
or a Cobb salad may not be revolutionary fare, but Soyka
continues to thrive while more ambitious, nationally pub-
licized restaurants have come and gone Take-out orders
and breakfast are now available $$-$$$

Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818
On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selec-
tion 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 sauc-
es 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 unconventional honey sauce $$$

UVA 69
6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022
Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuhe
Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-cafe and lounge has
helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang
out Lunch includes a variety of salads and elegant sand-
wiches like La Minuta (beer-battered mahl-mahl with cilan-
tro aioli 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 boniato mash and
Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach $$-$$$

Yiya's Gourmet Cuban Bakery
646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337
A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most wel-
coming cafe, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa
Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abble
Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs
grown on the bakery's window sills Bernardo's pan con
lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are
legend But she also crafts treats not found at average
Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan
bread Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats pro-
duced by a few friends candies, cupcakes, and exotically
flavored flans $

Bocados Ricos
1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889
Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge,
this little luncheonette services big appetites Along with the
usual grilled churrascos, there's bandeja paisa, Colombia's
sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried

egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans Don't miss margin-
ally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib
bowl is among the daily homemade soups Arepas include
our favorite corn cake the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo,
chicharron, came desmechada (shredded flank steak), plan-
tains, rice, beans, and cheese $-$$

The Crab House
1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085
Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired
by Landry's in 1996 and is now part of a chain But
the classic decor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths,
outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days
Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20
lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics
will be happiest sticking to a la carte favorites like the
All-American fisherman's platters, or global specials like
Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally $$$-$$$$

Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143
Inside a small market that is widely considered Miami's
premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli"
restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch coun-
ter But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found
nowhere else in town Example traditional Osaka-style
sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated
fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into
lovely one-bite sandwich squares While raw fish is always
impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi cre-
ations also tempt, as do daily entrees $

Mario the Baker
1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882
(See North Miami listing)

Oggi Caffe
1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238
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

Continued on page 67

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Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com May2010

Biscayne Times www.BiscayneTimes.com

May 2010



Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 66

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 $$-$$$

Shuckers Bar & Grill
1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570
"Cheap eats and a million-dollar view" is the sound bite
manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach
bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel The joint dates from
South Beach's late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes
vibe 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 $-$$

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


Caf6 Prima Pasta
414 71st St., 305-867-0106
Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark
has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace
and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of
photos of their clientele, including national and local
celebs Particularly popular are homemade pastas,
sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than
Italian simplicity crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream
sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood
Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-
friendly- and on the terrace, they'll even feed Fido $$$

cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, you'd expect
major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy
SoBe address Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day
Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal who'd moved to
Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neigh-
borhood place Some standout dishes here are featured
in the chef's latest tome, but with Tamarind's very afford-
able prices, you might as well let the man's impeccably
trained kitchen staff do the work for you $$-$$$

Iron Sushi
9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311
With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branch-
es elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is
fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami And why do
Miamians eat here? Not ambiance There isn't any But
when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies
know their fish, tout the seafood's freshness, we listen
There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the
Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry
mayo And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five
assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$

CBte Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012
If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighbor-
hood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel The
menu is mostly simple stuff breakfast croissants, crepe,
soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more sub-
stantial 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 impeccable ingre-
dients, classic French technique, and meticulous atten-
tion to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold
together the cafe's baguette sandwiches $-$$

Village Caf6
Tamarind Thai 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-759-2211
946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222 After closing for several months in early 2009, this
When an eaters executive chef is best-selling Thai cafe, spruced up to look like a bistro rather than a

luncheonette (but with the same bargain prices), has
been reopened The kitchen has also been rejuvenated,
with head honcho Adam Holm (Whitticar's original sous
chef) serving up new, globally influenced dishes like mint/
pistachio-crusted lamb or tuna tartare with srlracha atoli,
plus reviving old favorites like pork tenderloin with ginger-
caramel sauce $$-$$$

Los Antojos
11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411
If its Sunday, it must besancocho de gallina, Colombia's
national dish If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco Both are thick
chicken soups, full meals in a bowl For Colombian-cuisine
novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans,
came asada, chicharron, eggs, sauteed sweet plantains, and
an arepa corn cake) is available every day as are antojitos -
"little whims," smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn
cake with Colombian sausage) And for noncarnivores there
are several hefty seafood platters, made to order $$

Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels,
one can't actually buy a gun here The nickname refers
to its location 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 $

Bocca Ristorante Italiano
1699 NE 123rd St., 305-891-4899
One word Spaghetti chitarra alla carbonara Okay, four
words But this one dish alone (housemade pasta whose
square-cut, irregular texture perfectly traps maximum
amounts of a luscious pancetta/egg yolk/cream sauce)
is reason enough to return many times to this friendly
little trattoria Owing to a low-visibility location, Bocca
is one of those "best kept secret" spots But an $18 95

three-course prlx fixe menu should convince even the
jaded that this easy-to-miss place is a must-not-miss $$

Bulldog Barbecue
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655
The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious
Top Chef contender Howie Klenberg, whose indoor electric
smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the
expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hot-
smoked salmon and veggie plates There are also creative
comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads,
and sweets Sides include refreshing slaw, beans studded
with "burnt ends" (the most intensely flavored outer barbe-
cue chunks), and sweet potato or chipotle-spiced fries The
cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame

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, Marlo and Karma Manzanero's cafe is now In
more sizable and atmospheric quarters But the friendly,
family-run (and kid-friendly) ambiance remains, as do the
authentic Yucatan-style specialties Standouts include poc-
chuc, a marinated pork loin, tacos al pastor, stuffed with
subtly smoky steak, onion, cilantro, and pineapple, sinful
deep-fried tacos dorados, and signature burritos, including
the Maya, filled with juicy cochinlta pibil, refried beans, and
pickled onions $$

Canton Caf6
12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882
Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly
Cantonese-based dishes However, there are also about
two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po
shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tso's chicken And there
are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly
christened "Shrimp Lost in the Forest," Singapore curried
rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts,
and Mongolian beef (with raw chills and fresh Oriental
basil) Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner $$

Continued on page 68

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May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 67

Captain Jim's Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even
when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in
front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its sea-
food, much of it from Capt Jim Hanson's own fishing boats,
which supply manytop restaurants Now there's a casual but
pleasantly nautcal side dining room with booths Whether it's
garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or
mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch
fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced $$

Casa Mia Trattoria
1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770
Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad
Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor
trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars.
But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes,
thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience Menu offerings
are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary
items as well Housemade pastas are good enough that
low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the
tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini -
beggar's purses" stuffed with pears and cheese. $$

15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must.
But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine So why
blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean
Mexico's most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Cheen's authen-
tically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinat-
ed pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from
bitter oranges, and 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)

D.J.'s Diner
12210 Biscayne Blvd., 305-893-5250
Located in a Best Western motel, this place, run by a
Chinese-American family, serves mostly basic American
diner fare burgers, sandwiches, about a dozen dinner
entrees, fresh-baked apple pie, and, oddly, a whole section
of Caesar salad variations But 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 $-$$

Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St, 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of
Miami's first, there's a full stock of vitamins and nutritional
supplements But the place's hearty soups, large variety
of entrees (including fresh fish and chicken as well as
vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with
secret sun sauce" (which would probably make old sneak-
ers 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 smoothies complete the menu. $-$$

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

Little Havana
12727 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-9069
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features
live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good
choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal It's
also a good choice for diners who don't speak Spanish, but
don't worry about authenticity Classic Cuban home-style
dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with
onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu,
not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy
tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$

Mama Jennie's
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been
drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with
prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the
latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a
mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-
busters All pasta or meat entrees come with oil-drenched gar-
lic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed
greens, tomatoes, cukes, 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
13695 W. Dixie Highway, 305-891-7641
At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is
Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meat-
balls, 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 top-
ping here is the savory housemade sausage And no one
leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and
smashed garlic New branches are now open in Miami's
Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $

Petit Rouge
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676
From the mid-1990s (with Neal's Restaurant and later with
II Migliore), local chef Neal Cooper's neighborhood-oriented
Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers While this cute
32-seat charmer is French, it's no exception, avoiding pre-
tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bis-
tro fare frisee salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon
vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper
sauce); consomme with black truffles and foie gras, cov-
ered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites,
and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$

2214 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312
While this mainly vegetarian kosher place is best known for its
pizza (New York-style medium crust or thick-crusted Sicilian,
topped with veggies and/or meat buster" imitation meats),
its also offers a full range of breakfast/lunch/dinner vegetar-
ian cuisine of all nations, with many dairy and seafood items

too Admittedly the cutesie names of many items baygels,
bergerrbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meat-a-ball, schmopperrr
- may cause queasiness But the schmopperrr itself is one
helluva high-octane veggie burger. $-$$

Steve's Pizza
12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin
designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff)
doesn't do the trick Open till 3:00 or 4:00 am., 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. $

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

Venezia Pizza and Caf6
13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808
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 salads, and a few new protein adds grilled
chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$

Wong's Chinese Restaurant
12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313
The 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 New Yorkers will
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. $$

Woody's Famous Steak Sandwich
13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451
The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie
fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change
the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours
into the night and expand its classic 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 Drippin'
good burgers, too And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons
here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$

Bamboo Garden
1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722
Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran

is many diners' favorite on the 163rd/167th Street
Chinatown" strip because of its superior decor But the
menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like
peppery black bean clams, sauteed mustard greens,
and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus
Chinese-American egg foo young Default spicing is mild
even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but
don't worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will cus-
tomize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request $$

Blue Marlin Fish House
2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822
Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor
eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers The featured item is
still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began produc-
ing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi,
and the signature blue marlin But the smokehouse now also
turns out ribs and delectable brisket Other new additions
include weekend fish fries Entry is directly from 163rd Street,
not through the main park entrance No admission fee $

Cafe Boogalu
14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-1900
This fast-casual Brazilian eatery is the first U.S. branch of a
chain from Recife, where, legend has it, the food is unusu-
ally tasty owing to the magical influence of a sacred African
rhinoceros named Boogalu, who escaped from a private
zoo into the region's jungles some 150 years ago Judge for
yourself by sampling our more modern pick, the Boogalu
salad (sesame-topped shrimp, mixed greens, sun-dried
tomato, and mozzarella, with an unusual sweet peach dress-
ing) For heavier eaters there are rhino-size steak, chicken,
seafood, and pasta entrees for mouse-size prices $$

China Restaurant
178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549
When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion
dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese
cuisine in the world won't scratch the itch So the menu
here, containing every authentically 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) $-$$

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 But these bites contain no evil ingredients
(transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hor-
mones) And the food, while not the authentic Mex street
stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too $

Christine's Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave., 305-770-0434
Wraps are for wimps Atthis small shop run by Christine
Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far
more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe
made from chickpea flour Most popular filling for the flat-
bread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew
of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas
But there are about a dozen other curries from which to

Continued on page 69

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Bisayn Time www.Biscaneimesc May201

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May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 68

choose Take-out packages of plain rotl are also available,
theytransform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches $

Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse
3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall)
The rodlzlo formula is familiar Pay one price ($39 90 for
dinner, $29 90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop
from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selec-
tion of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 vari-
eties at dinner, 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed
waiters What spectacularly differentiates Flamma its set-
ting on the Intracoastal Waterway But also spectacular is
a Monday-Thursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon
available at Flamma Unbelievable but true $$$$

El Gran Inka
3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910
Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find
ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Peru's other
expected traditional specialties, all presented far more
elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian
fusion creations are unique Especially recommended are
two dishes adapted from recipes by Peru's influential nik-
kei (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) $$$-$$$$

Hanna's Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner
from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late
1990s, they added Hanna's" to the name, but changed
little else about this retro-looking French/American diner,
a north Mlami-Dade institution since 1983 Customers
can get a cheeseburger 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 $$-$$$

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 after-hours snack stop The sushi
menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable Most
exceptional are the nicely priced yakiton, skewers of suc-
culently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables,
the unusually large variety available of the last makes this
place a good choice for vegetarians $$

Hiro's Sushi Express
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776
Tiny, true, but there's more than just sushi at this mostly
take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro Maks are the
mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex
creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected
treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available a la
carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters
But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori
skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles
Another branch is now open in Miami's Upper Eastside $

Hiro's Yakko-San
17040 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-947-0064
After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the
night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home
cooking, served in grazing portions Try glistening-fresh
strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed
with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso
mustard sauce Other favorites include goma ae (wilted
spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic
stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender
steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/
sweet/tangy chill sauce Open till around 3 00 a m $$

1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393
If unusual 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 menu's mix-and-match option allows diners to pair
their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more
than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles
to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus
reminiscent of sour orange $$-$$$

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

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

3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484
This place makes a very good tahini sauce In fact that
alone is reason enough to visit We prefer ours with this
bright, cheery eaters delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-
garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma
They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-
tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare) It's
hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters
and wraps, but there's also a roster of full entrees (with
soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian
and seafood meals for noncarnivores $$

Kebab Indian Restaurant
514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309
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 Palace
330 NE 167th St., 305-949-2339
The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbe-
cue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed
in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes,
the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks
by the dining room entrance There's also a better-than-
average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies The menu
is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the
place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks
good on nearby tables, and point $$

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800
(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)

Laurenzo's Market Caf6
16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381
Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge
counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this
cafeteria-style space But when negotiating this 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, housemade
from old family recipes Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays
hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could
keep a person shopping for hours And now that pizza mas-
ter Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample
the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli $-$$

Little Saigon
16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377
This is Miami's oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant,
but it's still packed most weekend nights So even the
place's biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere,

Continued on page 70

Sakaya Kitchen

A ll ,' l

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May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 69

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 noo-
dle 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 humongous $-$$

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

The Melting Pot
15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228
For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were
standard dorm accessories These days, however, branches
of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating
experience Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue,
proceed to an entree with meat or seafood, plus choice of
cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil), finish with fruits
and cakes dipped in melted chocolate Fondue etiquette
dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all
other table companions, so go with those you love $$$

Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338
At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials,
many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical
devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in
the kitchen of Knob broiled miso-marinated black cod,
rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce, even Nobu
Matsuhisa's new style sashimi" (slightly surface-seared
by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil) The specials
menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as
veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling
filet mignon with basil sauce $$$-$$$$

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

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

Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations
like albondigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs $$-$$$

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

Paul Bakery Caf6
14861 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-4443
From one rural shop in 1889, the French bakery known
simply as Paul has grown to a worldwide chain, which fortu-
nately 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 boulangerle breads are,
the patisserie items like flan normande arejust as evocative
For eat-in diners, quite continental soups, salads, and sand-
wiches are equally and dependably French $$

Pizza Fusion
14815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-405-6700
Saving the earth one pizza at a time" is the motto at this
franchise of the only pizza chain to require third-party
organic restaurant certification at all locations Their
gluten-free crusts make it mighty friendly to pizza fanatics
with food allergies Starters, salads, desserts, and organic
wines/beers are also served And delivery is available in
hybrid cars, of course Specials unique to this NMB fran-
chise include Sunday-Thursday happy hours, a free Kids
Organic Club class on Saturdays, 10 00-1100 a m, and
varied Monday-Wednesday freebies $-$$

PK Oriental Mart
255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646
Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between 1-95 and
Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter,
serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate
dipping sauces included Weekends bring the biggest
selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pet 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, beaks and all But no
worries, a counterperson will chop your purchase into
bite-size, beakless pieces $

Racks Italian Kitchen
3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall)
The complexity of the Racks concept makes a sound-
bite description impossible It's part Italian market, with
salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out
prepared foods, part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks
like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially
enjoyable on the waterfront deck), part rlstorante (pastas
and other Big Food), part pizzeria What's important All
components feel and taste authentically Italian Just don't
miss the coal-oven pizza Superior toppings (including
unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light
yet chewy crust make Racks' pies a revelation $$

Roasters & Toasters
18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354
Attention ex-New Yorkers Is your idea of food porn one of
the Carnegie Dell's mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well,
Roasters will dwarf them Consider the Carnegie-style"
monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound
of succulent meat (really 1 4 pounds, we weighed it), for
a mere 15 bucks All the other Jewish deli classics are

here too, including perfectly sour pickles, 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 $$

Salsa Fiesta
2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245
The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini
chain, this urban Mexican grill" serves health-conscious,
made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-
casual competitors But there are indeed differences
here, notably pan-Latin options black beans as well as
red, thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a
side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal
nachos) Other pluses include weekday happy hours with
two-for-one beers -- and free parking $-$$

Sang's Chinese Restaurant
1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076
Sang's has 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 cas-
serole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like aba-
lone with sea cucumber The extensive third menu offers
dim sum, served until 4 00 p m A live tank allows seasonal
seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion
Recently installed a Chinese barbecue case, displaying
savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached $$$

Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House
237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008
At this unique Taiwanese eatery, run by a trio of Taipei-
trained female chefs, all seafood, poultry, and meats in the
budget-priced entrees ($6 95) are mock imitations made
from wheat gluten, tofu, and vegetables But don't mock it
till you try the quite beefy pepper steak, or smoking duck,
with slices that mimic the charcuterie item down to convinc-
ing faux fat Other main dishes feature recognizable veggies
or noodles 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, the cold, refreshing boba comes in
numerous flavors (mango, taro, even actual tea), all supple-
mented with signature black tapioca balls that, slurped
through large-diameter straws, are a guaranteed giggle $

Siam Square
54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697
Open until 100 a m every day except Sunday (when is
closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North
Miami Beachs "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 $-$$

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar
13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588
Though some food folks were initially exasperated when
yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our area's
few Vietnamese restaurants, 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 $-$$

Sushi House
15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002
In terms of decor drama, this sushi spot seems to have
taken its cue from Philippe Starck sheer floor-to-ceiling
drapes, for starters The sushi list, too, is over the top, fea-
turing monster makis like 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 Hawaiian King Crab con-
tains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green pep-
pers, and pineapple Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and
cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine $$$-$$$$

Sushi Sake
13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242
Chic Asian-accented decor, video screens, 99-cent drink
deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not
just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too That
said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood
is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not
frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places) Also
notable All sauces are housemade Cooked makis like a
crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as
sashimi that the fish's freshness truly shines $$-$$$

Tuna's Raw Bar and Grille
17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630
The reincarnated Tuna's 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 oys-
ters 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 kitchen is open till closing, Tuna's
draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too $$-$$$

Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza
17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625
Coal is what its all about here a coal-fired oven (like that
at Lombardi's, Patsys, John's, or Grimaldi's in New York)
producing the intense 800-degree heat to turn out, in mere
minutes, a pie with the classic thin, crisp-bottomed, beauti-
fully char-bubbled crust that fans of the above legendary
pizzerias crave Expect neither bargain-chain prices, a
huge selection of toppings, nor much else on the menu
Anthonys does just a few things, and does them right $$

Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli
19003 Biscayne Blvd.,
One word flagels And no, that's not a typo Rather these
crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed)
are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -- and a special-
ty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988,
opens at 6 30 a m -- typically selling out of flagels in a
couple of hours Since you're up early anyway, sample
elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusu-
ally flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs For
the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every
other delectable deli specialty known to humankind $$

Continued on page 71

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

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


20% OFF


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May 2010


Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 70

Bella Luna
19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330
If the menu here looks familiar, it should Its nearly identical
to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Cafe and, with minor
variations, at all the rest of Tom Bllante's eateries (Rosalia,
Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface But no argu-
ment from here In a mall a setting more accustomed to
food court dishes like carpaccio al salmon (crudo, with por-
tobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dress-
ing) 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), 786-279-0658
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 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
butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection $$$$$

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

II Migliore
2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-792-2902
Chef Neal Cooper's attractive trattoria gets the food right,
as well as the ambiance As in Italy, dishes rely on impec-
cable 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 And even low-carb dieters happily go
to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of pota-
toes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries $$-$$$

Fuji Hana
2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080
A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese
dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like
the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/
tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a
luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a
longtime favorite But vegetarians -- for whom seafood-
based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield
-- might want to add the place to their worth a special
drive" list, thanks to chefs' winning ways with tofu and all-
around accommodation to veg-only diets $$-$$$


asuchckaahcI I

Taste Real Beef!

May 2010

Mahogany Grille
2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100
Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an interna-
tional clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre
Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007
Today it's white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany
The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of
food 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 $$-$$$

Mo's Bagels & Deli
2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555
While the term old school" is used a lot to describe this
spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in
1995 It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind
that it seems to have been here forever Example Lox and
nova aren't pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced
from whole slabs And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy cham-
pions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs As compli-
mentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the
succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm,
generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here $$

20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-2777
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 Hemingway's boat) aiming to
prove that top restaurants can be affordable Consider
it proven Florlbbean-style seafood is the specialty fresh
hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock
shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snap-
per with tomato-herb vinaigrette Forget its strip-mall loca-
tion The restaurant itself is elegant $$-$$$

Pizza Roma
19090 NE 29th Ave., 305-937-4884
Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not
Rome's wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-
style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in
half for neat street eating Unlike chains, though, this indie is
accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just
ask Also featured are Italian-American entrees like baked
manicotti that'ss mani-goat", for those not from NJ) big
enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets,"
to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind $$

The Soup Man
20475 Biscayne Blvd. #G-8,
The real soup man behind this franchise is Al Yeganeh, an
antisocial Manhattan restaurant proprietor made notori-
ous, on a Seinfeld episode, as the soup Nazi" On the
menu ten different premium soups each day The selec-
tion 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 $-$$

Sushi Siam
19575 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-8955
(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

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MARGHERITA + 20oz Soda

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Must mention specials when ordering.
Promotions valid until 05.18.10.


6815 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL, 33138 I 305.507.9209 I www.lunacornerpizza.com


* Must present coupon when ordering; delivery fees and minimums still apply. Cannot Must present coupon when ordering; delivery fees and minimums still apply. Cannot
be combined with any other coupons or specials. No cash value. Expires 05/31/10. be combined with any other coupons or specials. No cash value. Expires 05/31/10.
BT 04.19.10 BT04.19.1
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