Showing posts with label Coral Gables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coral Gables. Show all posts

Monday, July 14, 2014

El Rinconcito El Chele - Coral Gables, FL

Dining at El Rinconcito El Chele makes me feel like I am back home in Cuba (at least that I want I imagine it would feel like). I am not Cuban and I have never even been to Cuba, but if I did, this is how I would want it to be. Despite the lack of parking and the crowded atmosphere during the lunch hour, I keep going back.
The food is really good, fairly priced, and huge (you can share). I typically get the Pork Chops (it comes with two), moro and tostones (big but not crispy).
After eating all of that, at this point, I am stuffed, but I always have to finish off lunch with bunelos cubanos, which is like sweet heaven.
El Rinconcito El Chele
3791 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33146
(305) 444-0700
Rinconcito El Chele on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Talavera Cocina Mexicana Restaurant - Coral Gables, FL

A Mexican meal should not commence without some tequila so first things first I started with a Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita that was simply exquisite.

My fiancé kept things simple and for his meal had the Tacos de Carnitas. It may have been simple, but they were really really good.

I went more traditional and had the Mole Coloradito from Oaxaca. The meat was so tender! The sauce was savory with a hint of cinnamon for slight sweetness. It was delicious!!

Then came dessert and I had the best flan I have ever had in my life. I don't eat flan, so that statement doesn't mean much, but it renewed my faith in a dessert I typically pass on and once thought that I didn't like.

Mexican food is everywhere so it's sometimes hard to find places that are really worth it and this place is worth it.
Talavera Cocina Mexicana Restaurant
2299 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 444-2955
Talavera on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tarpon Bend: Happy Hour Hot Spot in Coral Gables

If you want to get it popping on a Friday night, Tarpon Bend has got you. When I arrived around 6/7 I was thinking, happy hour, lowkey, drinks by the bar. However, I approached what appeared to be a club scene; long line, packed wall to wall and scantily clad girls, who I hope don't go to work dressed like that. I almost had the urge to turn back but realized people were just outside enjoying their festivities since the restaurant was already so full. After making up our minds to stay, we were going to just get in where we fit in, but my friend was starving and wanted to eat something so we put our name on the list to be seated and then made our way to the bar to partake in the happy hour 2-for-1 drink special (M-F from 3-9pm, Sat 3-7pm).

We ordered a few round of drinks during our time there and I have to say that considering the deal, they were really good drinks especially the mojito but the wine not so much. I hate when you go someplace and because they are discounting you, they just water down the drinks to stretch their dollar. They don't do that here.

After a not so long of a wait (considering the ridiculous amount of people), we were called to our table. Our server isn't worth noting as was the service because it was so busy, but he was efficient despite the scene. He just really didn't have too much time for pleasantries but at least he had a smile on his face while serving us and I can't say that for many others servers I have had. Anyways, my friend ended up ordering the Key West Shrimp Sandwich. It was good but nothing to rave about.

After finishing her sandwich, she was craving sweets so we ended up ordering the Warm Pecan Brownie. I didn't find it to be great, the brownie was a little too dry.

Happy Hour at Tarpon Bend was definitely legendary yet I have a hard time placing my opinion of this place. As a happy hour spot, I felt more like I was in a night club then having drink by the bar which throws me off. Yet, if I look at it from a night club stand point, the music isn't there and the atmosphere seems lackluster. However, the drinks were good and I had a good time, so I definitely want to come again but more for happy hour than lunch or dinner. 

Worth noting is Mojito Madness Thursdays with $3.50 fresh mojitos all day long! That might be a better time for someone like to to stop by. Also, they have an additional location in Fort Lauderdale.

Tarpon Bend - Coral Gables
65 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 444-3210

Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Local Craft Food and Drink - Coral Gables, FL

The Local Craft Food and Drink is definitely a locals spot. Not overly small but a cozy establishment where most of the people seem to know one another, which made me, the newbie, feel a little out of place but still, I liked the atmosphere. The downfall of not being a regular, our waiter who was nice and helpful at the start, stopped giving us much attention once the place began to fill up.

The Local is a gastropub with a great selection of craft beers (bottled and on tap). Instead of having all the drinks displayed on a typical paper menu, they have huge chalkboards on the wall with their daily drink specials and beer options. It's pretty cool but also a hassle since depending on your seating, you have to get up and read the board, but why not work off at least 1 of those calories you are going to gain from the beer/drink you finally decide on.

Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale
Brooklyn Stout
Hunahpu Imperial Stout

To complement the great beers is a well thought out menu of food. The Local doesn't offer your ordinary bar food but delicious gourmet dishes. I am Mussels obsessed, so I ordered the Steamed Mussel. Sounds boring right but actually these are steamed in a broth made of house-cured pork belly/mushroom/shiro miso beurre fondue. This was by far some of the best mussels I've ever had in my life. The broth was superduper amazingly delicious! 

My friend decided to order the Fish and Chips. The dish wasn't bad but like most fish and chips it was pretty bland, lacked flavor and was an overall boring dish even with it being beer battered. However, the batter was light and crispy with a nice crunch on the bite. The hand cut fries were a bit overcooked.

The Coral Gables area has quite a bit of bars/pubs/restaurants that are suitable for food and drinks, but the allure of The Local is that it offers a more low-key around the corner atmosphere and of course an awesome beer selection.

The Local Craft Food and Drink
150 Giralda Avenue  Coral Gables, FL 33134  
(305) 648-5687

The Local Craft Food & Drink on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cibo Wine Bar Celebrates One-Year Anniversary


Cibo Wine Bar in Coral Gables is celebrating their one-year anniversary party on October 25 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Join in the fun with wine, cheese, and more. To  RSVP call 305-442-4925 or email
I am a fan of the eatery! You can check out my review here.
Cibo Wine Bar
45 Miracle Mile Miami, FL 33134
(305) 442-4925

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cibo Wine Bar - Coral Gables, FL

To sum up Cibo Wine Bar, I would dub it as an Italian sports bar for the sophisticated. Although elegantly decorated, it still remained rustic at heart. The ambiance is sophisticated yet warm and inviting with stone and glass walls, wood finishes, exposed brick and butcher block table tops. This is also reflected in the service. The manager/owner personally comes to the table to check on you like most fine dining establishments, yet the staff is dressed in T-shirts and jeans. Cibo Wine Bar is the best of both worlds. It offers you a nice dining experience yet it allows you to be comfortable. Plus, with a nice bar and TV's, I can feel sophisticated drinking a glass of wine from their extensive wine list while my boyfriend can kick back and watch the game. But really, the main draw to come to Cibo Wine Bar was to witness the wine angel.

Like the restaurant decor, the food is also rustic but elegant. The menu offers guests a true taste of Italian cuisine, from fine dining dishes to pizza. They also bring the Italian by present you with a fresh Italian loaf and olives. We started off our meal with Polenta Fries. I've never had them before so I didn't know what to expect and pictured something crispy like French fries. They were fresh out the fryer and super steaming hot! They were basically just polenta served with marinara sauce and gorgonzola dip. There were nothing special to me but I assume if you really like polenta you would like it more than I did.

There were three of us so we ordered pasta and two pizza pies. The pasta was delicious. It was fettuccine with shrimp, pesto and mascarpone cheese in a touch of tomato sauce. It was very fresh, beautifully flavored, and perfectly cooked. It was rich in flavor but remained light.

The patata + salsiccia pizza was fabulous. The salty and spicy from the sausage, the sweet from the potatoes and the rich flavors of the gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese all combined to make a scrumptious pizza. It was the perfect combo and so deliciously amazing. The diavola pizza was good too but with all the original and interesting pizzas they have, I wasn't as impressive but it was good quality pizza for those with less adventurous taste.
Cibo Wine Bar provides good food, large portions that you can share, good prices and a vibrant bar scene. I am in!

Cibo Wine Bar
45 Miracle Mile Miami, FL 33134
(305) 442-4925

Cibo Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday Dollar-Mania at 100 Montaditos

100 Montaditos, the chain imported from Spain, is slowing taking over South Florida with several locations in the area with many more to come. What makes 100 Montaditos so special are its 100 mini-sandwiches & Spanish beer offerings. But, in addition to that, the highlights of the week at 100 Montaditos is the Wednesday Dollar-Mania, where booze, montaditos and everything else on the menu except platters and salads are just a $1, and Thursdays where beers and sangria are $1.
For more info and to view the full menu, visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yuga Restaurant - Coral Gables, FL

Being a former University of Miami student, I was excited to spend the day in Coral Gables visiting the Kampong, Deering Estates, and The Shoppes at Sunset. Well, after a full day of hitting the streets hard, my boyfriend and I were starving and in need of a good dinner. I really wasn't in the mood for mall food and really wanted to have sushi and knew of Yuga Restaurant in the area so we headed there for dinner. On Saturday, the restaurant opens at 6pm and we knew when we were heading there that we would arrive right around the time they open so we thought we were going to be the first ones there, but once we pulled up to the front, we saw that there was already two tables with diners. In addition that that, we also arrived at the same time as another couple and half way through our meal, the restaurant was almost already packed, so you know this is a really popular spot.

It is a cute little restaurant. The decor is nothing too fancy but the size and earthy colors make it feel cozy. Despite its small size, the setup allows for couples to large groups to dine comfortably.

The service was a little lackluster. We were greeted and seated promptly, but it did take a little while to get service. A couple came in after us and was taken care of before we were so that annoyed me a little bit. Once we were finally acknowledged though everything was prompt and went smoothly. Our waiter just was not all that friendly but if we needed anything, he was helpful, though he did not explain the menu, but honestly, he was the only one assisting customers so I can kind of understood.

Now, the food though, it was off the chain! The Asian Nachos were so mouthwateringly good; so amazing. The chips were so light, the avocado was ripe and fresh, the pork was tender, and the sauce was so refreshing. It is just an all around beautiful dish so if you ever decide to go here, you have to get at least this.

My gage tester for sushi at every Asian/Japanese restaurant I go to is the Spicy Tuna Roll. At Yuga, their spicy Tuna Roll is prepared with fresh tuna (of course), scallion, and garlic-chile rolled in rice and sesame. We ended up getting three different roll and this was by far my favorite. The tuna was fresh, it had a nice spice to it and the flavors added from the garlic-chile gave it a really nice taste.

The next roll we got was the Rising Sun Roll which comprised of tuna, salmon, avocado, and spicy mayonnaise rolled in rice and masago. Again this was another delicious roll. No complaints here, the ingredients were fresh and it had a nice spice and flavor to it.

Finally, we had the Miami Heat Roll which is made up of conch fritter, cream cheese, mango, lettuce, cucumber, and spicy mayo rolled in rice and sesame and topped with mango sauce. It was good but I have come to the realization that when I eat sushi simple flavors are often better for me. It was good and I could eat it again; it just was not my favorite.

All in all the sushi was delectable. The right rice is what makes all the different. I like rice that isn't too sticky or dense but is light and fluffy and the sushi here definitely fit the bill.

Now you know I couldn’t leave without my dessert. For dessert we got the Thai Donuts which are served warm with 3 sauces: chocolate, strawberry, and condensed milk. They were so good. I appreciate that they were freshly fried and light (which they should be at all restaurants). I hate when they are dense and full of grease. The three sauce were good (condensed milk was my favorite) but I wonder how much sauce other people use since they give you like 1/2 cup of each and we barely put a dent in each. I just found that to be wasteful but really I shouldn't complaint because if I didn’t have enough sauce that would be a huge turnoff.

I don't know if I should say it and don't quote me on it, but I am going to list Yuga Restaurant in my top 5 Asian restaurants (at least in South Florida). I highly recommend it and besides not having the best service, the food is so good that I don't even care.

Yuga Restaurant
357 Alcazar Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 442-8600

Yuga on Urbanspoon