It's time for the Food page! I went to South Beach earlier this week to explore what people were offering for the Super Bowl. This is Chocolate which is on Espanola Way in South Beach's Art Deco district. They are offering a couple of specials - all their things include chocolate, hence the name - inlcuding a chocolate crab-lobster mix where the chocolate is in the sauce. I know my wife will want to put this place on the agenda.
I talked to the assistant manager of this place and he said that they were planning a big street blowout for the game. He might get rained on. (It's raining right now and the forecast is for rain the rest of the day). If it is soggy, their street party will be qa washout, which is a shame because the same guy owns Chocolate, Oh Mexico and Cafe Nuvo, which is right down the street. It features waht they call a Mediterranean cuisine, but I sampled their Mojitos. See the owner is Cuban, and he specializes in making Mojitos.
This is him, Angel, and he has been in the United States for about six years. He is originally from Havana. There weren't any beautiful people dancing to a funky beat as he made the drink. Just the "Chink, Chink, Chink" of the pestle against the glass as he ground the spearmint.
The smell of spearmint and lime juice filled the bar and the drink was one of those dangerous ones that you could drink a lot of and not realize how much alcohol you are consuming. And because I was also doing a story on his bar for VOA, he comped me the drink, which normally costs $9.00.
The vibe of the place is really laid back and relaxing. It features wicker and high-back chairs at the tables and the sidewalk dining appeared to be the most appealing. Cafe Nuvo is definitely on the list of places I'd like to visit again. I didn't get to try the food, but if it's as good as the Mojito, look out.
I also stopped by Miami Ink - I know that has nothing to do with eating, but it was on the way and I wanted to see who was there - and met Morgan Pennypacker. He had designed a special Super Bowl tattoo, but no one was buying when I was there. My wife said "who would want a Super Bowl tattoo? I mean what if you don't like the game?" And it made a lot of sense. I mean why put something permanent on your body if you aren't really devoted to what's going on there. But there weren't even any fans getting team stuff. Nothing. Just a bunch of artists hanging around waiting for customers. No action and it was a Friday night.
I walked down to Ocean Drive and it was packed with people. Lots of people. Lots of beautiful people, lots of tourists, lots of Super Bowl partiers. Lots of loud music. Lots of breasts. Lots of tans and gold and expensive cars. I saw a couple of Ferraris (or they could have been Mazerattis, I didn't get a chance to get the brand. They were just low to the ground and expensive looking). While Ocean was closed to traffic, Collins and Washington Avenues had traffic out that wazoo. Lots of long vehicles - Hummer limos, Dodge 300 Limos, Lincoln Limos. Lots of big wigs cars.
But all that excess was in sharp contrast to the homeless woman pushing her cart full of stuff or the guy who was so drunk he was clinging to the wall as he walked, his eyes bloodshot and his face sunburned.
That was my excursion to South Beach. Would I come back, maybe but probably not. I prefer quieter climes, like relaxing on the beach with my wife. That's more my speed. But South Beach has a lot to offer. Just bring your money and don't expect to go home with any of it.