I swear, my four day trip to Miami Beach was only supposed to be a quick little, stress-relieving, relaxing by the water girlfriends’ trip. When booked, I had no intentions of madly researching dining options, jotting down dishes to try and proximities from my hotel and happy hour hours and such. But, I am Dianderthal. Travel and food for me are hitched, liked Jay-Z and Bey (even during those tough elevator, sic-my-sister-on-him-times). So I return from the other coast to state clearly that Miami Beach fed me well. I left a couple pounds heavier. But that’s fine; as I noted in my other MB post, LGB to Miami via FLL, all bodies are loved in Miami Beach. So a bigger belly there was nothing but a few extra grains of sand along the coast – it didn’t matter. And so, I ate! And ate some more.

Breakfast at The Surfcomber Hotel’s the Social Club
We could see the Social Club from our hotel’s rooftop, so it was convenient. But who knew it would become one of my favorites? We went for breakfast our first morning in town, where I fell in love with their breakfast sandwich, thanks especially to the healthy slathering of sweet jam and maple bacon[1] underneath eggs, watercress, and avocado. I also got a little sprung on their décor – it’s a place in which I could sit for hours and read, write, idly drink. The last morning of the trip, we returned for Social Club’s ricotta doughnuts just because we couldn’t leave without trying them (they were still whipping up the batter the first time we tried, flat out from the busy weekend that proceeded). With a frothy latte, it was a yet another delicious morning spent in the city.

Cuban dinner at Havana 1957
It would be a sin to visit Miami and not indulge in a meal that’s all things Cuban. At Havana 1957, I took the waitress’ suggestion of the house special, despite really just wanting a small pre-dinner bite. It instead became dinner, which wasn’t a problem since La Especialidad consisisted of Cuban gravy-topped chicken, rice, salad, and one of the tastiest sides of black beans this girl has ever taken on. And although I’m a bona-fide banana hater, I couldn’t call myself a lover of food without trying the plantains – which were pretty good. If given the chance again, perhaps I might order a set voluntarily. (Although probably not)

Poolside and Beachside with Restaurant at The Raleigh
We left the beach early one day to make it over to the restaurant at the Raleigh (which is actually called The Restaurant at The Raleigh) in time for happy hour near the hotel’s pool. We got a good deal on sliders, fries, and chicken wings. And though I’d had two Raleigh cocktails delivered to me while I rested under my umbrella, I opted for yet another drink at happy hour just because it didn’t seem right to hang at the pool without one.

We also grabbed a dreamy breakfast at The Restaurant one morning. My travel mate Jeannine opted for what would have been my pick – the brioche French toast (sans berries) – had my eyes not popped out of my head upon seeing the crabcake benedict on the menu. Dolloped with a roasted corn hollandaise and sprinkled generously with Old Bay, the dish was a vibrant and tasty wake up for the relaxing day ahead of me.

OLA at the Sanctuary for a Nice Dinner
We chose OLA as our fancy-ish dinner spot, a place where we’d dress a little snazzier and be okay dropping a couple-few more dollars than usual on a dish. OLA is Pan-Latin and then some, curating flavors from Peru, from Mexico, the Caribbean and Spain. Ignoring the issue of seeds stopping up my straw, my watermelon mojito sweetly satisfied – both my thirst and my need to get a wee bit tipsy. With my drink, we started with the salmon ceviche served with a spiced-up sorbet, forming a near perfect mingling of textures, tastes, and temperatures. The combination stands out as one of my favorites of the trip. It made up for the lobster empanada, which underwhelmed, and maybe even disappointed, the hard shell of it a little unwieldy and not adding much in terms of flavor. Dessert, however, redeemed – the chocolate cigar, which got smoked by my fork.

Quick and Easy Eats at Pubbelly Sushi
Dinner was simple at Pubbelly Sushi. Just a plate of stacked with eight sexy pieces of crispy salmon roll. That’s right – sexy. And sultry. And succulent. Served alongside one of my favorite drinks of the trip (something green and refreshing and cucumber-y – so good, I can’t remember its name), my Pubbelly roll matched the awesome service we received while dining there.

Downhome Vittles at Yardbird
This lunch ate a little more like dinner, mostly because I wanted to try a bit of everything. And I wasn’t left wanting. From the slight sweet of my flaky biscuits to the boldly rich macaroni and cheese to my robust and fierce blackberry bourbon lemonade, Yardbird truly met my expectations. It was worth the 0.9-mile walk from the hotel during the hottest part of the day. My only mild critique is that my watermelon was served around room temperature, heading towards warm. Chile, we know watermelon sparkles when it’s chilled.

Kith Treats Cereal Bar for an Evening Stroll
I didn’t expect to enjoy my creamy selection at Kith Treats, going there more for the novelty of the place. But, I fell in ice cream love. Deep in it. The suitor? A concoction called The Witness – a blizzardy mixture of Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch, crushed Oreos, Twix, and whole milk. It had bite and chew and meltiness and yum. Yep, that’s a lot of crap in a bowl, and I downed it before we made it halfway down the block on the walk back to our hotel.

Breakfast at Taquiza
We passed by Taquiza one afternoon on the way walking home (our temporary one) from South Beach, and I thought I recognized it as a spot from my list (really, my booklet full of restaurants I’d wanted to try). I found, however, upon returning that it had not been on my list at all. But it was too late – the breakfast menu I’d checked out as we passed had caught my eye, particularly the plate of chilaquiles listed. So we went. And it was good. I added shredded chicken to my chilaquiles order. Not sure if it was the added pollo or the crema or the salsa or something else, but that shit had me salivating – era muy picante! Pero delicioso. I’d hoped to make it back over to Taquiza for a few of their tacos – but that list/booklet full of other restaurants! Just reason for me to return soon. Very, very soon.

Tequilas and More at La Tequitzlan
So, this was the place I thought I’d found when I bumped into Taquiza. And this is where we spent our last meal in Miami Beach, and wow – what a great way to spend such a delectable trip.

Goodies True Loaf Bakery
Just before Lyfting back to the airport, we stumbled upon the cutest of bakeries where I picked up a hearty whole wheat loaf and one of the most fantastic chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever nibbled wolfed down.

So that was Miami Beach. And I surely did eat it. The biggest regret of the trip is that I couldn’t get MORE! More sun, more water, more drinks, more food.

I probably didn’t need any more drinks.

For more on my Miami Beach trip, check out The LGB to Miami via FLL.

The Social Club at the Beachcomber
1717 Collins Avenue

Havana 1957
1819 Lincoln Road and other locations

The Restaurant at The Raleigh
1775 Collins Avenue

The Yardbird
1600 Lennox

OLA at the Sanctuary
1745 James Avenue

1506 Collins Avenue

1884 Bay Road

Pubelly Sushi
1424 20th Street

Kith Treats
1931 Collins Avenue

True Loaf Bakery
1894 Bay Road

[1] I know don’t eat pork but when on vacation, I don’t say “I don’t.”