Monday, June 9, 2014

Meat Market Miami

As I made my way into Meat Market, I knew I wasn’t at your average steakhouse. It gave me the impression of a New York steakhouse, but with a Miami twist: sexy, modern, sleek, were just some of the words that came to mind as I made my way to the bar which also doubled as a Crudo bar. I couldn’t take my eyes off the beautiful wine closet they had and the intimate dining area. Just seconds after sitting down at the bar we were pleasantly greeted by the bartender and she suggested some house creations from the drink menu. I complicated her life a bit by ordering the "Highland Sandia" and later "Some Like it Hot," while my friend kept it simple with a Captain Morgan and Coke. 

Since the young age of 14, now executive Chef, Sean Brasel, has had a deep passion for food. Growing up with a family who enjoyed great food, Chef Sean learned different cooking techniques working in kitchens throughout his high school and college years. By the age of 20 and already a chef, he went to the Madeleine Kamman School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards. After mastering the kitchen, Chef Sean refined his techniques by self-training and seeing different type of dishes working in New York, San Francisco, and New Mexico. The freshness of ingredients and knowing where they came from is at the top of his list. When Chef Sean landed in Miami 13 years ago he started Touch restaurant. After 10 years and plenty of success he began his work at Meat Market. Chef Sean gave me a behind the scenes look at how they make their wagyu and daily special burger.

Before we get to the burger, we started our lunch with the slow braised BBQ short rib empanadas. These aren't ordinary empanadas you’ll find in some rinky-dinky bakery. These came with Fontana cheese, apple blue cheese salad, and a delicious honey chipotle BBQ. A great choice to start off a meal or if you're looking for a quick lunch. These empanadas are also great with their homemade touch of fire mango and scotch bonnet sauce.
At Meat Market they grind different items based on products available in their in-house butchery. The wagyu burger is made from scraps left from wagyu skirt steak, ribeye, shoulder, and prime ribeye. When grinding the meat they keep it as cold as possible, not only preserving flavor and freshness, but maintaining food safety standards and regulations. They chop up the mixed cuts and chop up the fat and mix it all together frozen. By the time it gets ground, its only semi frozen which keeps the fat from emulsifying in with the proteins.

Their special daily burger can vary based on scrap production. For example, if they save up smoked short ribs they grind that, or the bison scarps. They have made a combination of meats to grind for the special burger. Saving all the wagyu and Kobe fat and mix it in with their grinds at a 30% fat to meat ratio. All this making a delicious burger at the end trust me! 

Meat Market's sexy vibe, intimate atmosphere, bartenders who should be modeling and decadent menu makes it, in my opinion the hottest restaurant on Lincoln Road. I believe you get what you pay for. In all honesty after a trip to Meat Market if you aren't completely satisfied you really need to look yourself in the mirror.
                                                               "Highland Sandia"

Visit Meat Market

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Taste of Key West

The 19th Annual Taste of Key West will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, April 14, 2014 on the Truman Waterfront Pier at the end of Southard Street as a benefit for AIDS Help. Every year the event has grown by leaps and bounds and this year promises to be another block buster!

More than 50 local restaurants and 100 wineries and vineyards, provided by Republic National Distributing Company will be on hand to provide culinary delights and fine wine tastes. Admission is free…food and wine tickets cost $1 each with “tastes” ranging from $3 to $8. The 2014 Commemorative Wine Glasses sell for $6 each. Participants can begin arriving at 5:00 p.m. to purchase their glasses and tickets prior to the gates opening promptly at 6:00 p.m. Get advance tickets here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Peppers of Key West

Looking for something hot and spicy? Well the next time you visit Key West, be sure to stop by Peppers of Key West! It’s a small, fun shop that’s set up as a "bar," but you won’t find any beer or liquor here... just plenty of hot sauce and tortilla chips. At Peppers of Key West they carry some of the world’s best hot sauces, and as I came to find out, some of world’s hottest hot sauces. If you’re looking for a personal favorite, a hard-to-find hot sauce, or simply want to try something new, you are definitely at the right spot. In addition to hot sauces, Peppers of Key West also has a large selection of pepper related food items. Everything from exotic fruit sauces to snack dips.

My favorite place at Peppers is the tasting bar. Here, the friendly and knowledgeable staff will allow you to taste endless samples. You simply sit at the "bar," and they immediately provide you with tortilla chips and begin inquiring about what you're looking for or what you want to try. I tried various samples with very distinct and unexpected flavors: mango, coconut, pineapple, banana, jalapeƱos, habaneros, etc. Aside from allowing me to try all these incredible varieties of hot sauce, the "bartender" gave me suggestions for what I could pair each particular sauce with. 

The sauces available range in price, intensity, and heat. The unit of measurement for hot sauce is the Scoville. This scale was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. In the interest of not boring you to tears with the logistics of the test, it is easier to say it measures the amount of capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, found within a particular pepper or sauce. As an example, bell peppers, because they are not spicy at all, have a Scoville rating of 0. Pure capsaicin has measurement of 15,000,000 Scoville units. Ouch!!! Average (not extremely spicy) hot sauces do not indicate their particular measurement, but the hotter ones surely advertise it and brag about the Scoville units found within. If you would like to find out more information or details about this scale, you can always visit the Peppers website at Pepper Central I am also providing a table where all of you can compare different common spices by their Scoville measurement.

So do you think you can take the heat? Take some time on your next visit to Key West and go sample all the hot sauces. The staff makes it fun and you will be amazed how hot sauces can be so different and flavorful!