Random Dining in Miami (11/20/11 Update - Burgie Awards)

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MiamiDon
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2011/11/09 11:12:03 (permalink)

Random Dining in Miami (11/20/11 Update - Burgie Awards)

)I'm sharing several small reports together in this thread, and will add more in the future.  The only thing they mostly have in common is that the are in the greater Miami area, i.e. Miami-Dade county.
 
HARVEY'S SMOKEHOUSE BBQ
 
Harvey's is a small place in a new strip shopping center in Cutler Bay on Old Cutler Road.  Although it looks nothing like a traditional rural Southern BBQ joint, they put out a pretty good product with what I believe is a gas fired pit that uses pellets or sawdust to infuse a smokey flavor, plus a char-grill for finishing some items.


The interior is pretty stark, with a small number of tables for dining-in.  Most of their business is take-out.


I've had many things on the menu, and liked all of them, although the brisket was not what I expected, in that it is chopped, rather than sliced.  It was well-flavored though, and is great for a sandwich.
I got the lunch special one day, a pulled-pork "Cuban" sandwich.  It substituted BBQ pulled-pork for the traditional mojo-scented roast pork, and was on a nice roll instead of a length of Cuban bread.  It was great!  With fries and some house-made slaw, it was only $5.99.  The slaw was unusual in that it included what I think was carraway.  Included was the customer's choice of BBQ sauce, but I loved the sandwich by itself.  Now that I think of it, I should have chosen the mustard-based BBQ sauce, which would have approximated the mustard on a traditional Cuban.
 
Pulled-Pork Cuban Sandwich


I did remember to take a photo of a half-rack of ribs the other week.  It is plated up here at my house, and my wife had already spread some BBQ sauce on them (they don't come that way).  These were tender, smokey and flavorful.  Recommended!
 
Pork Spare Ribs

 
Harvey's Smokehouse BBQ
20218 Old Cutler Road
Cutler Bay, FL 33189-1919
305-233-1227
http://www.harveysmokehousebbq.com/
post edited by MiamiDon - 2011/11/20 09:16:03
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    MiamiDon
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    Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 12:04:07 (permalink)
    BURGER AND BEER JOINT
     
    Like a lot of the rest of the country, Miami has had a boom in the number of hamburger restaurants in the past few years.  There was a time when I would have been hard pressed to come up with many burger joints in town, other than local bars, but now there are more than I can possible eat at.  Some have even closed before I could get a chance to try them!
     
    One that has received acclaim from reliable sources is Burger and Beer Joint.  There are two here, one in the Brickell area of downtown south of the Miami river, and one in the northwest corner of South Beach.  A restaurateur friend told me that the South Beach one was better, so I met with an out-of-town Roadfood friend there last Saturday.

    It's in an area that I thought was residential, but actually has a couple of auto body shops and a couple of well thought-of restaurants about a block from the bay and a public boat ramp.  It looks pretty plain during the day, but night photos show some neat red lighting below the illuminated logo.
     
    Burger and Beer Joint


    We sat outside to enjoy the beautiful autumn South Florida day.
     
    Roadfoodie Ellen Fried and Menus
     
     
    We split some tempura-beer battered onion rings and some Hebrew National mini corn dogs.  The rings came with a jalapeno-cheddar sauce, and the corn dogs came with some conventional mustard.
     
    Onion Rings & Mini Corn Dogs


    Thumbs up on both of them!

    They offer burger patties from prime angus beef, wagyu beef, turkey, chicken patty or ahi tuna patty.  There are several kinds of rolls, toppings and sauces.  You can "Pimp your Burger" (design your own), or select from several "Signature" combinations that come with  a pickle and fries.
     
    We both chose the fairly conventional Thunder Road burger, which is a 10 oz. prime angus beef, hickory smoked bacon, american cheese, sesame bun, bourbon BBQ sauce served with skinny fries and housemade pickled cucumber relish.

    Thunder Road Burger

     
    I loved it!  Very good quality meat, cooked and seasoned perfectly.  I actually ate most of it without the BBQ sauce, which is served on the side.  The bacon was smokey and slightly sweet, and cooked so that it was chewy, not greasy or rubber, nor crumbly/burnt.  Nicely -toasted bun, too.  The pickle was good, too, but looking back at the photos I realized that I forgot to try the house-made relish.
     
     
    Halved burger, showing plenty of pink:

     
    This was one of the better burgers that I've had anywhere.  Ellen liked hers a lot, which she ate without the bacon.
     
    The "skinny fries" were frozen food-service fries.  They had some sort of thin coating on them (starch?) that I believe is there to keep them crispy.  I found them tolerable, although Ellen was disappointed.  They do offer fresh-cut truffle fries.  They were good for dipping in the extra selection of sauces we ordered, though!  The garlic-parsley sauce was particularly good.
     
    There are a lot of interesting things on the menu, so if you are in South Beach with the hankering for a fancy, large burger (they also offer one-pounders), I recommend Burger and Beer Joint.  Oh, I forgot to mention - they have 99 beers! 

    Burger and Beer Joint
    1766 Bay Road
    Miami Beach, FL 33139
    http://www.burgernbeerjoint.com/
     
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2011/11/09 12:28:01
    #2
    sk bob
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 12:10:30 (permalink)
    nice report Don. great looking burger.
    good to see Ellen again.
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    Glenn1234
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 14:41:42 (permalink)
     
    When in South Beach, we've always wondered about Burger and Beer Joint, but haven't tried it yet.  We used to see it when going to the nearby Joe Allen restaurant.  (Too bad Joe Allen closed.  We thought it was good.).
     
     
    Glenn and Janet
     
     
    #4
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 15:41:30 (permalink)
    I've heard good things about Morgan's on the Beach that replaced it, especially for brunch.
     
    #5
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 17:15:28 (permalink)
    Great report, the crinkle fries in that Pork sandwich pic, IMHO are the nastiest thing you can serve anywhere, even Fast Food joints don't serve them, The sandwich looked great, same wiyj the Burger!
     
    #6
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 17:17:19 (permalink)
    Oh yeah, Chewie, those fries at the BBQ place were nothing - just filler.
    #7
    ann peeples
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/09 19:53:33 (permalink)
    You know its funny-I like crinkle cut fries for some reason.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/10 12:11:45 (permalink)
    ann peeples

    You know its funny-I like crinkle cut fries for some reason.

    LOL, that is funny!

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    mar52
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/10 14:35:09 (permalink)
    Crinkle cut fries that are overcooked and crispy are a wonderful thing.
     
    Good report as always, Don.
     
    Hello to Ellen.... looking good!
    #10
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/10 19:52:34 (permalink)
    Thanks Don.  Wish I was down there for the foodie weekend.
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    Glenn1234
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/10 20:49:39 (permalink)
    Put me in the  "I (occaisionally) like crinkle cut fries"  category.  What I really can't stand is that coating stuff that some fries have.
      
    I've had some crinkle cuts that were pretty good, depending how they were cooked.   As mar52 indicated, the "overcooked" ones can be good.    Pierce's Pitt BBQ in Lightfoot, VA (near Williamsburg) has good crinkle cuts, in my opinion.  I'm guessing they are fried in pork fat / lard, but have not confirmed it.    
      
     
    Glenn
     
      
    post edited by Glenn1234 - 2011/11/10 20:52:24
    #12
    MiamiDon
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    Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 05:41:06 (permalink)
    Last month I ate at another urban BBQ. 
    Smoke't


    This one was across from the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, and sported a full bar and lots of flat screen tv's.
     
    ]

    We started with the pulled-brisket sliders with cheddar and fried-onion "tangles."  Really good!  They were served with excellent fresh-cut fries.

    Pulled-Brisket Sliders


    I had the pulled-brisket "Reuben"


    That was darn good, too.

    My dining companion had a burger which he enjoyed.
     
    Cheeseburger on Texas Toast with Fried Onions

     
     
    We split an order of onion rings.  I was surprised when they arrived in such a fancy presentation, and that they turned out to be hand-dipped.  I have no idea why they were served with sliced jalapenos.

     
    #13
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 07:47:38 (permalink)
    Don, are the "urban 'cue" places in Miami able to smoke on-site or is it usually brought in from another location?
     
    I'm another fan of crinkle-cut fries that are cooked until they're crispy and dark.  The crinkles are great for increasing the ketchup-to-fry ratio!
     
    Brad
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 08:22:00 (permalink)
    Brad, I don't know about Smoke't.  They had a closed kitchen, and were not very approachable.
     
    Harvey's is a mom & pop, and they were delighted to answer questions.  They smoke on site, and one could tell by the smell.
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    DawnT
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 09:24:09 (permalink)
    Don, did Smoke't suddenly reopen? I thought they closed down a month ago.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 11:23:13 (permalink)
    Don, what is a pulled brisket ruben?
    #17
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 12:09:45 (permalink)
    DawnT

    Don, did Smoke't suddenly reopen? I thought they closed down a month ago.

     
    Did they?  I took those photos on September 24th.  I heard rumors that they were moving, and a Shake Shack would go to that location.
     
    [checking.....]
     
    Damn, that was fast.  They were owned by the same people as Town in South Miami, and this is on the Town website:   http://www.townkitchenbar.com/bbq-restaurant-miami#bbq-restaurant-miami
     
    Well, that was fast.

    #18
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 12:15:05 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    Don, what is a pulled brisket ruben?

    In this case it was pulled (chopped?) brisket on toasted rye bread with the house non-creamy cole slaw, swiss cheese and thousand island dressing.  It worked for me.  Smoked brisket instead of corned, and the vinegary slaw cabbage instead of sauerkraut cabbage.
     
    If I recall correctly, you do a lot if creative things with your 'que.  Have you ever done anything like that?
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    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Smoke't BBQ 2011/11/11 15:28:46 (permalink)
    Nice report and great pictures.  Glad to see more of Ellen's adventures in Florida and your visits to some great places.
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    MiamiDon
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    Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/13 08:24:43 (permalink)
    On our yearly get-together with some out-of-town in-laws, the Hollywood, Florida branch requested that we go to the Islamorada Fish Company in Dania Beach.
     

    It was a lovely day, so we sat outside over the water.
     
    I had the Dolphin Chardonnay, which was surprisingly good.  The fish was properly cooked, to my taste, and  I liked the sauce so much that I used the wild rice to mop up as much as I could!  The accompanying broccoli was sadly oversteamed, though.
     
    Chardonnay Mahi-Mahi


    My wife was in the mood for something like fish and chips, so she ordered the fried grouper basket which comes with fries.
     
    Fried Grouper Basket


    She enjoyed it.  The fries were some sort of frozen-seasoned ones.

    The vegetarian in the group enjoyed her Greek salad, which had all the usual ingredients, and seemed fresh.
     
    Greek Salad

     
    The oysters were fresh and briney.

     
     
    The budding artist in the family

     
    ...didn't want any fish, but gave two thumbs up to her mac 'n cheese.

     
    While I enjoyed my meal, what made the location memorable was the participation by the wildlife.  When my brother-in-law gestured expansively with a french fry, a gull snatched it out of his hand.  Later, when the neighboring diners left, this ibis swooped in to sample the conch chowder.

     
    I have since found out that this is a chain of restaurants operated by Bass Pro Shops, one of which is next door to the restaurant.  While nothing was outstanding except for my dolphin, it was very kid-friendly, which was valuable to us.  The service was fine.
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    mar52
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/13 15:11:36 (permalink)
    I love the ibis!  WHat a great shot.
     
    I'd love to try every one of your choices.  I haven't been to South Florida since the late '80s. 
     
    Is there still a wood carver set up on the highway in Islamagorda selling handmade egrets and flamingos out of wood?
     
    I had an egret and it seemed to have flown away after being next to my garage door for 15 years or so.
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    ces1948
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/14 13:04:32 (permalink)
    Don, I remember you recommended Smoke T's a few months ago. We weren't able to make it there and the menu looked pretty good but I thought it was overpriced, seem to remember around $20 -25 for a bbq plate during dinner hours. Wonder if that had anything to do with their demise?
    #23
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/15 05:06:36 (permalink)
    Could be!  It was in a new building that has had three restaurants close in the past several years.
     
    1.) The Diner
    2.) J.J.'s All-American Diner
    3.) Smoke't
     
    Next up (allegedly) is Shake Shack. 
    #24
    DawnT
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/15 07:38:24 (permalink)
    0.) Fishbone Grill
     
    Wasn't it a HoJo's for decades b4 that Don?
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    ellen4641
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    Re:Burger and Beer Joint 2011/11/16 00:17:52 (permalink)
    mar52

    Crinkle cut fries that are overcooked and crispy are a wonderful thing.
    Good report as always, Don.

    Hello to Ellen.... looking good!

    Hello & hugs to u , Mar52  !!!  And tnx for the kind words !!  (I look good with a little color, huh ?!?  A little Miami Beach "GLOW "  :)  !!!

    More hugs going out to   GREGG,  Buffalo Tarheel,   SK Bob, Dawn,  and of course, to U,  MIAMI DON !!   Nice seeing my "old" Roadfood buddies on here.  Been too long  !!     Very nice report, DON  !!  
    I just noticed your report a few minutes ago.   I'm glad I took a break from FACEBOOK today !!  (about time, right ?!?) .  
     
    I also remember our burger waiter telling us that their "duck fries" were handcut, as well, as those truffle fries.  Yep, I was disappointed in their regular "skinny" fries,  very "generic"..
    but, yes, fun for dipping,  & I'm a BIG dipper !!!
     
    Hard to believe it's been 3 years since we saw each other Miami Don !!
    Hopefully, we'll start getting into the "same time, next year" mode, tho.
    Cuz, 3 years is too long :(     !
     
    Tnx for the real nice lunch, Don !   It was a lesiurely 2 hours, including a walk by the bay,  looking & dreaming  at the yachts . 
     
     
     



    #26
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/16 05:07:54 (permalink)
    DawnT

    0.) Fishbone Grill

    Wasn't it a HoJo's for decades b4 that Don?


    You're right, it's where the HoJo's was, but this is a new building put up by (or for) The Diner.
    #27
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/16 16:03:56 (permalink)
    This is a two-ibis review!  :)
    #28
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Islamorada Fish Company 2011/11/20 09:14:48 (permalink)
    Last night Burger & Beer Joint won both the judges' and the People's Choice awards for Best Burger in South Florida at the 3rd Annual Burgies Awards  ceremony.  They also won in the onion rings category.  I totally agree!
    #29
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