Summer may be endless in Miami, but Miami Spice is not.
There are three weeks left to get your Spice on and despite my best intentions (paving the way to hell) I’ve only been to ONE Miami Spice. That was Beauty & the Butcher in South Miami at the very beginning of August with friends. I am running out of time, but determined to do at least one or two more, before Miami Spice is over! Eating House is on the top of my Miami Spice Wish List.
The reason I haven’t tried more is being out of town- to D.C. for a lovely wedding and San Antonio for a long-delayed trip from 2019 to see the Alamo. Throw in a couple Girl’s Weekends in the Keys and U.M. football games and time is running out. I did have the most delicious dessert at a restaurant named Lutece in Georgetown, which I tried to replicate at home for dinner guests. Below is the original and my attempt at home.
Our server recommended it, with the caveat that it sounds weird but works and he was so right! It was a semi-fredo (like soft-serve) vanilla ice cream with Honeycomb crumbles and shaved Comte cheese on top. It does sound weird, but it was darned delicious, one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten! The smooth, creamy ice cream, was topped with crunchy, gold honeycomb, which shattered into sticky shards; the silky and nutty shavings of the cheese added a bit of unexpected lusciousness and funk.
My attempt to re-create it at home was quite successful. This is a dessert I could eat all day. The ice cream I made was a simple vanilla custard (with vanilla bean) and my husband proclaimed it his favorite of all the ice creams I’ve made, but he is a vanilla guy.
Speaking of ice cream, Salt + Straw is coming to Miami Beach with a special ice cream served at the opening called Pistachio Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich! It’s pistachio gelato and dark cherry buttercream with an olive oil and chocolate pistachio cookie. To gild the lily, it’s topped with truffle fudge and gold leaf bourbon caramel. It’s a limited edition.
I’m also on the mailing list for Sweet Melody Ice Cream in Coral Gables, which has amazing-sounding rotating flavors, such as “I’ll Be Baklava“- a Rose Water and Marscapone Ice Cream with brown butter, toasted phyllo dough and honey-covered pistachios and almonds. Wowza! Azucar is another Ice Cream option with a new location in Pinecrest. Gourmet Ice Cream shops are flourishing in South Florida, while good old Dairy Queen on US-1 just closed. Whip ‘N Dip is hanging in there.
In other restaurant news, Harry’s Pizzeria in Coconut Grove is back with their Cuban Sandwich Pizza. This was a special pizza which Harry’s owner Michael Schwartz teamed up with Versailles in January 2019 to create; it was only available for one month. It was so popular, they are bringing it back. It’s a white pizza topped with Roasted Pork, glazed Ham, Bread and Butter Pickles, Fontina and Gruyere cheeses and mustard sauce. It’s topped with a croquetta and is quite delicious. It’s available September 1st through September 30th. Maybe, if it’s a hit, they’ll put it on the regular menu.
We attended the first U.M. Game against Miami, Ohio last Saturday. Luckily, we won and I always love the excitement of the first game. We took Subby’s Subs to eat in the car before the game at 7. Subby’s is a new Sub shop, with Hot & Cold Subs, located in South Miami. They have Chicken Subs, Steak Subs, Hot Subs and you can make any small sub a wrap, which I did with my Roast Beef and Cheese Sub. You can also customize your sub, order online and they deliver. My wrap was very good and they don’t skimp on the meat. Served daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We finally went to check out a house for sale in Pinecrest, near my friend Christian. It was a two-story that reminded me of the Brady Bunch house, down to the lack of bathrooms and a major need of an update. The yard and pool were nice but the Master Bedroom was tiny, with a miniscule closet and a one-sink bathroom. I can’t see myself living there. Even Mike and Carol Brady might object.
I, like most of the rest of the world, was shocked to hear Jimmy Buffet died. A speaker at a meeting for South Florida Writers I attended Saturday blasely mentioned it and I was like: “What? I didn’t even know he was sick.”
But I think that is quite like Jimmy Buffet to not want people to treat him differently because he was ill. He always wanted to keep the party going, not end it, so he dealt with his diagnosis privately. Jimmy Buffet’s music is synonymous with the Florida Keys, so of course, we often turned our Pandora in our condo to Margaritaville. And most any restaurant in the Keys that has music will feature some Jimmy Buffet tunes.
While best known for his music, he was quite the Renaissance Man. A pilot, boater, writer, philanthropist, poet and businessman, he was that lucky guy who was blessed with creative and business smarts, a combo not easy to find. He turned his “laid-back” persona and extensive song list into an enterprise that made a boatload of dinero. But, it was his fun-loving, optimistic & generous vibe that came through on stage. With all the tributes from fellow musicians and regular people flowing in, he was truly loved and not just by Parrot Heads. He was, in the end, a person who valued his family and friends above all the rest.
I gave my parents tickets to one of his concerts in the ’80’s at Miami Marine Stadium for their anniversary. They had a great time. There were Parrot Heads galor, in the stands, on boats and in the water at this concert by the bay, singing along to his songs. Nine years ago, Zeke and I attended a Fundraiser for that very Miami Marine Stadium at the Coral Gables Museum. Jimmy Buffet played a private mini-concert there with a couple tunes and it was a blast. Gloria Estephan joined him to sing Margaritaville as his last song. Pictured below is a photo of his daughter at the Fundraiser, with me behind her a friend sent. And a Margarita!
It still doesn’t seem like he’s gone, but I guess as long as we have his music he’s never really far away. As for me, I can’t wait for my travels to end so I can go to my “happy place” in Key Largo, make myself a Margarita, look out at the bay and listen to some Jimmy Buffet tunes. Dear Jimmy: “I hope you’re enjoying the scenery, I know that it’s pretty up there.”
And now I must confess I could use some rest I can’t run at this pace very long Yes, it’s quite insane Think I hurt my brain But it cleans me out, then I can go on.Jimmy Buffet, Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season
Up Next: Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart