Re:Must eat and must watch in Miami?
you owe it to yourself to try a Nicaraguan steak while in Miami. the places that i patronized in the 1980's, however, are out of business. Might check Urbanspoon for more recent information.
also, Argentine. you need to try the mixed meat grill cooked at your table, sauteed spinach, and spinach stuffed ravioli. one place in North Miami Beach accomodated me by allowing me a sauteed mix of spinach and broccoli and it was WONDERFUL
also, Cuban arroz con polo, different from Mexican. i prefer La Caretta but this can be busy out of its mind so once again check Urbanspoon. i spent one South Florida weekend eating every meal at La Caretta, most of the time at their original/main location, and they have Criole breakfast with a high powered coffee (no, not espresso) that will get you going.
what you missed out on was breakfast at the Steak n' Egger chain, presumed to be gone now. in the 1980's their breakfast was really good and reminded me of today's Awful House (Waffle House). there used to be some shells of former Steak n' Eggers but believe that these are even gone now.
if you can, try to find a Royal Castle in south Florida. i call it "the Third of the Whites" - with WHite Castle and White Tower - similar in concept but rare, and i had a hard time tracking done the name.
last food item, you owe it to yourself to try the Original Pancake House if you can. Recommended in Michigan. ca. 1987 as one of the Ten Best Breakfasts of metro Dearborn. i tried it and fell in love with the place and ALWAYS eat there when i can. This past July 4th i did a road trip to metro St. Louis just to eat at one. they have a few locations in South Florida but the keep closing the ones that I patronize. there used to be on 36th (?) - the northern perimeter of Miami airport. check their web site and pay attention to their hours, some close down around 2 p.m.
hotels, i go for as cheap as possible. most unusual is that 5 star on downtown on the north side of the Miami River, it's built on top of an archeological dig. that's an old Indian mound from Indians that pre-dates the Seminoles, yes, the sEMINoles are NOT native to Florida regardless of the non-sense that they install in their children, and Miami was occupied ca. 1000 AD by earlier Indian peoples. At some point in time a mound was built. this later became the base for Fort Dade (2nd Seminole War). even later, the great Flagler built his first Miami hotel on said mound and remains of said fort (should anything be left by that time). in time, we've gotten a better appreciation for native American places.
most unique hotel to me was the Yankee Clipper. opened ca. 1970 and supposed to imitate a sailing ship. It's in Fort lauderdale and the name has changed somewhat.