Sip and Serve: H.O.P.E Homeless Event and #MiamiSpice at De Luca Wine and Food

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This weekend ended up being a comedy of errors, all my best laid plans went to pot. I didn’t make it on the Bimini cruise with my girls or to the super amazing Pridelines Youth Gala benefiting Youth LGBT in Miami. The only shining star in my whole weekend was being able to get together with my girls and attend the H.O.P.E. Homeless event.

Every other month on the second Saturday, the parishioners of Miami Beach Community Church and other civic groups get together to benefit the area homeless population. There are areas where they can pick out clothing, toiletries, and shoes. Volunteers cut hair, medical and legal professionals donate their time, and hot meals are served.

We laughed and joked with them, even though Kimmy had to slap one’s hand (don’t ask!). We were blessed by them much more than they were blessed by us. I know I spoke with some people that are interested in coming next time. See you in October!!!

Miami Beach Community Church 
500 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(Entrance on the alley on Pennsylvania Avenue between 16 Street and Lincoln Road)
7:00 AM – 10:30 AM
If you are interested in donating or volunteering your time, you can contact them directly or hit me kristi at thekword dot com.

De Luca Wine and Food

530 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Menu Choices:

BRUSCHETTA (pictured) Tomato, basil, X-VOO
GRILLED CHICKEN PANINO (pictured) Prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted peppers, basil
CREME BRULEE (pictured)

Food: Bruschetta is hard to mess up. My grilled chicken panino was really good. The girls had all positives about their menu picks as well…

Service: Slow. Horribly slow. We were the first people there and it took forever for everything! Slow for drinks. Slow for appetizers. Slow for entree. Slow for Dessert… get the picture.

Environment: Inside and outside seating. Everyone sits outside. You have prime people watching real estate as you are on Lincoln Road mall.

What to Wear: It is really up to you. You are on South Beach. You will see everything from swimsuits to stilettos.. and in most cases at the same time.

Overall: … Sigh 3 with extreme reservation.

Would I go again?: Meh.

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Out and About: #TheButler Screening and #MiamiSpice at Jaguar

butler

So last night Jojo, Naty and I went to see the Butler Screening in Coconut Grove. We allllllllllmost didn’t make it, well they allllllllmost didn’t make it for being SLOW but luckily they showed up before the doors closed. For those who have been living under a rock, here is a quick synopsis of the movie that I didn’t write.

Director Lee Daniels (Precious) teams up with Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong to tell the remarkable story of White House butler Eugene Allen (played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker), who served eight U.S. presidents over the course of 30 years, and witnessed sweeping social change during his three decades of service at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. ~ From Fandango

I usually evaluate a movie on the feeling that I have when leaving… Unfortunately the lasting impression 2 hours later was “Oprah, you looked good girl”.

This was a star studded cast of African American actors (and non-African Americans too #noshade) that I was very happy to see. It is a movie that I would support and encourage others to see solely on those attached to it (I’m being honest). BUT critically I am not here for it (as the kids say). It was a over simplified portrayal of what I am sure were dynamic people. The characters were extremely two dimensional, as if the audience would be too ignorant to appreciate any nuisances. It took what could have been a more powerful piece and maybe it “just another civil rights movie with a bigger budget”.

It has done one thing, which is make me want to read on the actual man… his actual family… and actual circumstances. If he upon more research is as linear as his character makes him out to be then I will amend my review.

But you sure looked good Madam Oprah.

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured) Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured)
Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm

Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Latam Grill 

3067 Grand Ave

Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Menu Choices:

SCALLOP NORMA (pictured) Served over sweet potato, corn, spinach and hearts of palm
SHRIMP MANGO VERDE (pictured) With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers
BRASILIAN VATAPA (pictured) Brazilian style seafood stew with mahi mahi, shrimp, calamari and coconut milk
PALOMAS DE CAJETA (pictured) Walnuts, bananas and mascarpone cheese wrapped in a crepe and topped with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche
FLAN DE QUESO (pictured) Topped with rich caramel

Food: Swoooooon inducing. My eyes literally rolled in the back of my head as I tasted the Scallop Norma. The citrus flavor of the Shrimp Mango Verde was also very good (Of course I had to nibble off one of my girls’ plates).  But beware my sensitive loves, the vatapa will burn your mouth off… in a good way… if you are into that kind of thing *gulp*. I only wish they had made mention of that before I ordered it because it was a bit too much for me.

SHRIMP MANGO VERDE  With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers

SHRIMP MANGO VERDE
With cilantro, lime, celery and serrano peppers

Here’s a bonus: For those of us who enjoy and little sip sip, you receive a complimentary signature cocktail with your Miami Spice dinner. Score!

Service: Tim was amazing and so was the tall bald guy whose name we missed. They were a joy and extremely enhanced the WHOLE dining experience. A great contrast to the abysmal service we received at De Luca.

Environment: Nice sized venue, with seating inside and out. On the outskirts of Cocowalk which allows for pleasant people watching without too much noise.

What to Wear: It is really up to you. You will see those in the shorts and sandals, you will see others celebrating their anniversaries. This is the Grove, get it how you feel

Overall: Super Strong 4.75 

Would I go again?: Yes!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to @kristiweb – 28/28+3 Progressive Dinner

First let me say thank you for the birthday wishes. I was happy to turn 28 for another year. I normally don’t talk about my birthdays on here (I’m pretty sure I am not lying… might have to rewind to last year to be sure) but I just had to let you know that I finally did the progressive dinner party that I have been talking about forEVER. It was one of my LGTBSide suggestions from the new year.

For those who don’t know, and didn’t want to click the link to see my original post, a progressive dinner party is one where you go between several houses having different courses along the way.  How cute is that!  Now I knew second one that I wouldn’t be able to do the party like that. Miami is a large city and none of us live within walking distance of each other, barely driving distance. So I decided to do it in the Wynwood area’s restaurant row.

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First stop was Bar Louie

3201 N Miami Ave #106 Miami, FL 33127

Menu Choices:

To be honest all we had there were cocktails but it was definitely a great place to start. I had the DIVA (of course!). It tasted like Snapple but after 2… or was it 3… we were all on board.

Service: The waiter was very nice and snapped the first of many pictures of the night.

Environment: It’s a bar… a fancy sports bar but a bar nonetheless. It was perfect as a night-starter, and would serve as a cool place to unwind or catch “the game”.

What to Wear: I did mention it’s a bar right… use your own judgement.

Overall: I want to say 3 1/2 … but I’m not sure why

Would I go again?: Yes… o_O

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Next stop was to 100 Montaditos

3252 NE 1st Ave #104 Miami, FL 33127

Menu Choices:

In case the name didn’t tip you off there are literally 100 small sandwiches to choose from. You pick 1 or  2 (or 4 like my greedy butt) and they make them to order.

Food: Really good. Don’t over-order though. There is a lot of bread going on. I ended up picking out the meat toward the end. Oh but don’t waste your time with the Sangria… it was meh at best.

Service: No service to be honest. You place your order and pick it up at the window.

Environment: Small venue.  It is kinda of cramped to be honest but I guess they are banking on the fact that you won’t be there very long.

What to Wear: Very Wynwood… very do your own thing.

Overall: Eh. It’s coolish. I’ll give it a 3 for what it is

Would I go again?: Sure why not…

20130727_220047Then on to Machiya.

3252 NE 1st Ave #116 Miami, FL 33127

Menu Choices:

Asian inspired

Food: Freaking amazing. We ordered a table full of food and picked at each other’s plate. Highlights for sure were yummy duck spring rolls (pictured), Crispy Gyoza (if you eat pork) and any of the sushi rolls. Did I mention the drinks are delicious? Chiiiiiiiile I had Red Lotus. Get into it!

Service:  Stevi was really sweet and helpful. No complaints at all

Environment: Minimalist decor. Gorgeous.

What to Wear: You can really wear whatever you want in Wynwood but this place does allow for a bit of fabulous.

Overall: Super strong 4.

Would I go again?: We all kind of love it! We will be back.

New ImageAnd last but certainly not least, Feverish Pops

3252 NE 1st Ave Miami, FL 33127

Menu Choices:

It’s not your mama’s popsicle. Natural, gluten free and DELICIOSO. They even have adult flavored beverage.

Service: Since they let us try almost every flavor they are A+ in my book

Environment: Cute. Love the pops of art on the wall.

What to Wear: Really *blank stare*

Overall: I want to say 3 1/2. Love the concept. Love that it is a Black owned Woman owned business but by the time we got there they didn’t have any “adult beverage” pops left.

Would I go again?: Yes, I want my mojito pop!

 

20130727_183323So that’s it. I want to say a special thank you to my besties for always supporting my birthday plan whims. Some I’ve known for almost a decade, others I’ve known barely a year. All have blessed me in their own way.

I want to thank Lynn and iCandee for the amazing party at Eros Lounge that ushered in my 28th (again) birthday.

I want to thank my lezzie loves who came out to show out. Besitos to my Mila and her girls for having me acting ALL OUT OF CHARACTER

I would be remiss not to say thank the very hot, VERY MARRIED woman who was on in town for business and almost got the business before I saw the ring… yeah that’s it.

Until next year…. here’s a hint… it will be Love Boat themed.

 

Do We Love It: Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant

20130711_222307Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant

819 5th St

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Menu Choices:

Wide-range of selections from the Tap Tap salad to Legumes to Fish to Goat.

Food: Yes Lawd! If you know me you know I have an affinity for goat. Every time I see that on the menu at a Caribbean restaurant it is my “when in doubt” meal.  They didn’t have the stewed goat that I had my last visit so I had the Taso Kabrit (fried goat tidbit with spicy creole dipping sauce). I was going to save this as a “tip” BUT by fried they don’t mean “southern fried”. You are not going to get a crispy layer, so if that’s what you are looking for you might be disappointed. It was definitely a homemade taste, which I can appreciate. Is is the height of culinary mastery? Not so much.

Service: I wasn’t fall awed by the service, but we really didn’t give him much to do. The orders were taken well, and came out promptly. That’s good in my book.

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Love the wall art pieces

Environment: I can go on and on about the environment. From the outside you have no idea about the rich vibrant world you are going to embark on. From the painted chairs, to the beautiful wall murals (that I could have stared at all day), it is a great space. The band was great and definitely made you swear you are on the short of Port-au-Prince.

What to Wear: Whatever your heart desires but you can really leave the body cons in the closet (it’s not that kind of party)

Overall: Strong 4.

Would I go again?: It is definitely on my Miami recommendations for friends, because the locals already know about it.

A couple of tips:

1. There is a live band on Thursday that definitely heightens the whole experience.

2. They are known for their Mojitos…. kinda sweet but does that dang thing.

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Taso Kabrit (fried goat tidbit with spicy creol dipping sauce)

All pictures were taken by my trusty iphone Samsung. No they didn’t compensate me for the post and… yeah that’s it.

Do We Love It: Restaurant Orsay @orsayjax

ESCARGOTS Mushrooms, lemon, garlic, butter

ESCARGOTS
Mushrooms, lemon, garlic, butter

Restaurant Orsay

3630 Park Street

Jacksonville FL 32205 (In the Avondale Area)

Menu Choices:

Amazing… let me say that again amazing french cuisine. For you healthy foodies, they also have a gluten-free menu which my date was very pumped about.

Food: Drool-inducing. No really. After we had the escargots, we actually had them bring us an order of just the mushrooms in the lemon, garlic butter sauce. It appears we were the first to ever ask for that (maybe they will call it the K Word special… no? Oh.) The entrees didn’t disappoint either my seared sea scallops were divine.

Literally the whole night, my date kept saying “Wow! Wow! Wow!” and she wasn’t even talking about me for most of them. *POW*

SEARED SEA SCALLOPS Artichoke puree, pickled fresno peppers, fresh herb salad, roasted hazelnuts

SEARED SEA SCALLOPS
Artichoke puree, pickled fresno peppers, fresh herb salad, roasted hazelnuts

Service: From the host to the bartender to the wait service to the dishwasher, everyone was great (No, I don’t really know if the dishwasher was great but I’m sure they are). Extremely attentive, personable, accommodating. This was the best service I have received in a quite a long time.

Environment: You feel like you are in a well-kept secret. The decor is not imposing and welcomes an intimate conversation. This is not a place for the kiddies (even though there was one or two children with their families). It is definitely perfect for date night, or even dinner with the girls. And yes they are very LGBT friendly – or at they least they were to these two Ls.

What to Wear: No explicit dress code but it’s always nice to turn it up a notch. If you are going to be casual chic, no worries there is outside seating. (Yes I put you outside ha!)

Overall: Super Strong 4.5

Would I go again?: If I’m nice maybe I’ll get taken back… If I’m naughty I guess I will take myself back.

VANILLA BEAN CRÈME BRULEE Traditional garniture

VANILLA BEAN CRÈME BRULEE
Traditional garniture

A couple of tips:

1. Make sure to call (or go on opentable) for a reservation. All the foodies of Jacksonville know about this place so you might be left in the cold if you try to walk in without one.

2. Tell them how you feel. They have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter. You can also get info, see the menus and all that good stuff on their website.

All pictures were taken by my trusty iphone. No they didn’t compensate me for the post and… yeah that’s it.

My Experience on South Street…. I obviously wasn’t on the Sunday Side of the Street

Here is the context of the my experience: At least twice a month a small group of my girlfriends and I, like to try out a new restaurant, a new gallery opening…a new SOMETHING we haven’t attended before.This weekend we decided to do a mix of the Johnnie Walker event on the beach and Second Saturdays in Wynwood.

While getting dressed to go to House of Walker, I had the novel (though in retrospect, failed) idea of trying out South Street restaurant. As it was a Saturday night, and we were reservation-less I knew we were in for a long wait (rightfully so), but what I wasn’t prepared for was the dismissive hostess, the empty tables while we stood on the steps and the edible but uninteresting food. I can make shrimp and grits at home for the half the price, twice the portion, and quarter of the aggravation.