Today I needed limes to season chicken, so I went to the market, that was an unusual move as it was devil-hot and air conditioning is always a priority. There was another reason behind this insane excursion – the deep need to take pictures in daylight.
The weather has been atrocious lately- hot, humid, sauna-like. Rain is predicted starting on Tuesday until next weekend, the cameras cannot go out in the rain, so I will be stuck looking out the window, wondering what a sunny day looks like.
I went to Placita Los Girasoles where the produce is always fresh. The limes were perfect – soft and chunky, full of juice: the chicken will love swimming in this pool of sour deliciousness.
On the way out, I had to get a Tamal Criollo, one of the best in this area. This unctuous corn and pork mixture, wrapped in a corn husk, hit the spot in many, many good ways.
And that is how I spent my Sunday. Have a great week!
Placita Los Girasoles
15970 SW 177th Ave, Miami, FL 33187
Indian cuisine is one of my favorites, so when my mother told me about Ghee Indian Kitchen, we could not wait to pay a visit. I had to break my “lunch rule” and go for dinner as they open at 5 pm except for Sundays when they open for Brunch at noon.
The restaurant is beautiful and very modern, a sprinkling of Indian artifacts reminds you of the type of food they serve. One wall was lined with a shelve replete with bottles containing anything from ghee to tomato sauce to lentils, a splendid idea that I wish I could use at home. The venue is also the perfect size, not massive, but not too tiny either. There is also outdoor seating, but the day was too muggy to sit outside.
We started our culinary adventure with Garlic Naan. It was delicious with a pronounced taste of garlic and a little sprinkling of chives.
The Chicken Tikka Masala was also excellent; prepared with heirloom tomatoes and roasted peppers, it was tasty in the extreme and very generous with the sauce. We only wished that it had some more chicken.
As usual, I always have something very specific to order when I go to a new restaurant, and this time it was the Lamb Shank Biryani. This was a real work of art, both to behold and to savor. Slices of perfectly seasoned lamb were sandwiched in a golden tower of rice and topped with brilliantly red pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios, and currants. It was a masterpiece. This dish was served with the best raita ( a yogurt and cucumber condiment) that I have ever had, which had some little balls floating in it that added tons of texture. I forgot to ask what they were.
For dessert, we had the Chocolate Chai Cake, topped with whipped shrikand (sweet strained yogurt), cherries, pumpkin seed brittle. In my book, chocolate + chai = magic, and this piece of cake, dripping with cherries, did not disappoint.
Chef Niven Patel is the driving force behind the collection of delicious food on the menu. He is a true believer in making his guests feel at home by offering traditional Indian dishes made with local ingredients.
Eating at Ghee Indian Kitchen was quite an experience – the food, the service, the ambiance made it an unforgettable place that we will visit again very soon.
I invited my two chickens to have a burger with me, and only the little one accepted the invitation. We went to Five Guys because it was close and not so expensive. The real reason for the date was not just to eat a hamburger – I needed footage to start practicing making videos on my own.
When we got there, it was almost empty, which was a good thing for my purposes. We ordered the burgers, and I went for the healthy option – sautéed mushrooms, green peppers, and mustard. No cheese, no ketchup, no fun. It was good, but a little dry. As I said before, the burger was not the focus, I just wanted to film something, anything, and so I did.
Getting footage for a film is such a different experience from taking still pictures – you are much more noticeable as you have to take more time and be more careful, making it harder to be invisible. I was very self- conscious, often pointing the camera to the wall or the ceiling when I thought someone was watching me film them.
I made the video, and even though it was an overall disaster, I learned a lot in the process of making it. From now on, when I take pictures, I will also have to concentrate on the motion, a challenge that will keep me from ever getting bored.
Our Miami restaurants are great places to celebrate, including Red, the Steakhouse with 500+ wine selections (great for the upscale wine experts), or Essensia Restaurant & Lounge offering happy hour specials on organic & biodynamic wines (for the organic enthusiasts), or Lolo’s Surf Cantina also with happy hour specials and zesty seafood bites for pairing (for the white & rosé fans!).
Those who appreciate fine wines and rare reserves should head to Red, the Steakhouse in South Beach for National Wine Day, as the restaurant is known as one of the best wine restaurants in Miami with 500+ wine selections. Chef Peter Vauthy maintains an impressive collection of high-end reserves from classic Bordeauxs like Petrus and Margaux from France and the California classics, Caymus, Harlan, and Bond, to Frank Baroudi’s Puro Uno – a high-end Malbec from the Mendoza, Argentina region. Ask for Chef Peter’s wine and dish pairing recommendation of the day and you won’t be disappointed. Plus, since it is a Thursday night in South Beach after all, Red leaves you within steps from great SoFi bars & nightclubs like Story, Radio, South Pointe Tavern, etc. for those who want to keep the party going. Visit www.redthesteakhouse.com for more information.
Within the Marriott Stanton South Beach, Lolo’s Surf Cantina is a Mexican restaurant with Chef/Partner Richard Ampudia known as the “Godfather of Mexican Street Food.” Lolo’s is a relaxed, authentic spot with a Baja California inspired menu and awesome Happy Hour specials from 3-7pm available on the wine “holiday” such as Côtes de Provence Rosé by the glass for $6. This crisp wine pairs perfectly with signature seafood dishes like the Pescado Frito (Whole Snapper Platter) or Tostadas de Pulpo (Spanish Octopus). Grab a seat on the outdoor deck for sun and sea breezes to top off the experience. For more information visithttp://loloscantina.com andhttp://stantonsobe.com.
For a more mindful way to imbibe this National Wine Day, head to Miami Beach’s local and farm-to-table mainstay, Essensia Restaurant & Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa. An oceanfront, inspired-by-nature oasis, everything at The Palms is good for you and good for the environment, including Essensia’s extensive list of 100% sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines. Not only do biodynamic wines leave a smaller carbon footprint — the missing chemical additives are the ultimate hangover helper, so you’ll spare yourself the morning headache, too. Essensia offers happy hour everyday from 6:00pm-7:00pm, when you can score 50% off all wines. Pro tip: score yourself a spot on the outdoor lounge terrace, which is surrounded by exotic tropical gardens, for an only-in-Miami ambiance while you sip your vino.