I took a quick 4 night trip to Miami from July 7th-11th.
Flew from Philly to Miami on American Airlines.
The first 2 nights I stayed at the Homestead Studio Suites/Doral near Miami Airport ($40 a night thru priceline.com, 2 star category)
Next 2 nights I stayed at the Ramada Plaza in Hollywood ($50 a night thru priceline, 2 star)
I was very satisfied with both places; no major complaints.
Now, for the pics...
My plane landed at 10 pm. After I finally got my rental car, I found a happening Cuban restaurant on LeJeune Road near the airport.
here's my 1/2 roasted chicken. (only about $8.00) .(had some good plantain soup with it.)
It came with that nice garlicky natural tasting juices underneath, along with tostones (with that yummy green garlic mojo sauce) and juicy rice . I'm starting to really develop a taste for those fried green plantains. I still like the sweet version, too, but they can often be SO greasy.
Latin Cafe 2000 (www.latincafe2000.com) There are about 4 other locations.
I don't think the chicken came out looking that great in the pic, but it sure tasted good! (espescially at 11:30 pm; I was grateful to get such a good meal at that hour!)
Time to check into my room now. Can't beat this place for $40
In the morning, I took a dip in the attractive enough pool before heading out for the day.
I was very impressed with the architecture at my first stop, the Dolphin Mall. It is located about 7 miles west of Miami Airport. 240 stores!
I spent at least 1/2 an hour in the Borders book store, looking at Miami and other travel books. And I bought about 5 maps of Miami to add to my collection.
There were plenty of entertainment choices for adults and children alike. This next pic shows the signage for the hip bowling alley "Strike" (neon pins, plasma tvs on top of the lanes), Dave and Busters, the Movie theatre, and "Let's Make a Daiquiri".
I could'nt resist getting a "Miami Vice" drink from the Daiquiri place before I went in the mall. It was half pina colada and half strawberry daiquiri (with fresh fruit). Delicious. It was a partial open air setting.
This was not your typical looking mall. Definitely cutting edge...
reminded me of the arhictecture of the Desert Passage shopping mall in Vegas (former Aladdin, now Planet Hollywood casino)
Great southwest motiff!
We'll throw a human being in a pic now (me!) , in case you are starting to get restless!
It would be a good pic, if it was'nt so blurry...
time for lunch now. Here's my pork on left (she had told me it was beef, but my pork suspicions were right. It was too white inside)
In the front left are the slightly burnt but tasty plantains.
On the right is a chicken dish
Lunch was from the Latin Grill in the food court. (it's on the right)
I would say it was pretty good and tasty for a food court place.
For me, it was an accidental pork serving, as I am usually a beef and chicken girl. (I had a few bites or so of the pork; 1st time I ever really had pork, and I do have to admit, it was tasty.)
Can you handle one more mall pic ?!?
As you can see, I was pretty fascinated ..
next stop was Miami International Mall, only about a few miles away.
This mall was pretty , too, but had more of a traditional look.
The food court had a Tony Roma's take out stand among their offerings.
Did'nt end up eating or buying anything in this mall, just walking around a little. So we'll give you a break on the mall pics!
Not for long, though! Here's the 1/4 cuban roasted chicken from my next stop, the Dadeland Mall in Kendall. (south of Miami)
It was a steal for about $6.00! And it was delicious! It was served with the requisite plantians and rice, along with some black beans
It was from Cafe Enrique in this food court
Went back to the hotel room to relax and little and watch the news, then it was off to South Beach to take in the nightlife!
And I walked around the infamous Lincoln Road mall
I really enjoyed the "Books and Books" store, where I bought yet another good map. Plus the owner behind the counter was so pleasant.
Now it's Monday morning, July 9th. I check out of my room at the Homewood Suites, and drive practically across the street to the Doral Ale House...(it's a florida small chain of "ale house" restaurants, like the "hollywood ale house", "davie ale house", etc. Started about 20 years ago in jupiter, florida
Here's my buffalo wings, charbroiled burger, and chicken tenders in the back
I'm a real tough buffalo wing connoisseur; these were "servicable", there was nothing wrong with them, so to speak, but they just did'nt really wow me over. I like when the mild sauce has a little more of a buttery flavor to go along with that "zing", etc.
Same with the burger; decent but not "WOW"! I like even MORE of a charred/crusty taste, maybe a little thicker, and a little juicier
Please stay tuned for Miami, ETC , part 2.
That's when I finally hit the beach !
I think you'll enjoy it more than this one... more outdoor pics, etc, and less mall pics! ( I've already cut some pics out of this Part 1;
a little editing can be a good thing !)