Friday, April 24, 2015

Miami's Top 5 Chicken Wings 2015

5) Titanic Brewery & Restaurant Oh yes Titanic. Live music, beer, karaoke, beer, jazz and blues, more beer, and a bucket full of wings! Located in Coral Gables right next to the University of Miami, Titanic is the perfect hangout spot. Whether you’re watching the big game or just enjoying a few signature drafts during happy hour with friends, Titanic as yet to disappoint me. The food is good and inexpensive and the service is always above average. But let’s talk wings… Bucket O' Wings! There’s just no way to be civilized when eating these wings! I mean unless you’re one of those sophisticated people that uses a knife and fork to eat wings, HA! Crispy oil fried wings piled high in a bucket and covered with Sriracha and Frank's Red Hot ohhhhh! What’s not to love?

4) Bulldog BBQ It’s hard to find decent BBQ in Miami, let along great BBQ. But there’s a hidden gem located on Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami called Bulldog Barbecue. Former Top Chef season 3 contestant and barbecue master, Chef Howard Kleinberg, has made me a true believer. The biscuits are great, the pulled pork is so good I wish I could sleep with it, and “The Heat” burger is one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. With that being said, these smokehouse wings served with their house made buttermilk blue cheese dressing are out-of-this-world good! The skin was crisp, they weren't too hot, and covered with a bold BBQ flavor that I really enjoyed. Yes, the food is a little pricey, but I feel both the quality and quantity of food offered a great value.

3) Barley: An American Brasserie Another name change but same great food. Owner and Executive Chef Jorgie Ramos is a master or as I like to call him a “mad scientist” when he’s in the kitchen. Located under the Metropolis Condo in Downtown Dadeland everything on the menu you can say yes to! Lechón Hash, the mahi tacos or the fried bone marrow are all excellent, but let’s talk wings. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to try these fabulous wings. These chicken wings are dressed with a pimiento pepper marmalade, serrano peppers, crushed peanuts, cotija cheese and cilantro. The exterior skin of these wings were crisp, moist and juicy with a distinct fattiness, and the sauce was perfectly emulsified coating the wings. Always-fresh, big and messy, hot and meaty, flavorful wings! Take my word next time you visit Barley have these wings!

2) Blackbrick Chinese I ask this question, is there anything that Chef Richard Hales does that isn't extraordinarily good? I mean, everything at Sakaya Kitchen is amazing. And who doesn't remember the Dim Ssam food truck? One of my favorites. When you think Chinese food you think dim sum, egg rolls, dumplings, duck neck, but you definitely don’t think chicken wings. Well think again! The explosive chili chicken wings at Blackbrick are fire! The best way to describe them is sticky and sweet, deliciously crispy, with a made-from-scratch Thai sweet-chili sauce covered by a mountain of fresh veggies. Juicy and full of flavor and especially spicy, just the way I like it! Believe me, you’ll be licking your fingers.

1) Sports Grill If you couldn't tell, I take wings very seriously and third times a charm for Sports Grill. Home of Miami’s Best Chicken Wings! Sports Grill never fails to mention they have the best wings but they can back up the talk. If you’re a big time sports fan coming to cheer your favorite team or just stopping by to enjoy some cold drinks, I promise that their wings will be delicious! They get fresh wings delivered 3-4 times a week. They’re first deep-fried in non-trans-fat oil to get the crispiness, tossed in one of their sauces or rubs and grilled, before making it to your table! Whether you like Buffalo Style, BBQ or garlic wings, DALE wings and the seriously hot “Miami Heat” or my favorite and perfectly charbroiled, special grilled wings. All the wings are crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, fall-off-the-bone, and full of flavor. Celery and blue cheese are optional because these wings are perfect just as they come.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Smoke BBQ

Wonderful news for everyone who loves authentic barbecue! I found it! It isn’t in Miami or Wynwood, it’s in Delray Beach! Smoke BBQ! Executive Chef and Pitmaster Bryan Tyrell brings authentic Kansas City style smokehouse barbecue, including pulled pork and a wide variety of craft-beer to put down your gullet! In addition, Smoke offers cocktails made with quality purées and in-house simple syrups. Which is wonderful because I love syrups!

As my friend Cari and I made our way out of the parking garage the smell of bbq filled the air. After a short walk we found ourselves at Smoke BBQ. As we made our way in I felt like a small part of Kansas City or Texas made its way to sunny South Florida. One of the first things that caught my attention besides the décor was the massive screen towards the back of the restaurant and the two additional over-sized projector screens to watch NFL or college games. FYI Florida Gator fans, Smoke is your official Gator watch party headquarters. The restaurant also features live music weekly. But beware folks, the kitchen shuts down at 10:00 p.m. Food is available after 10, based as part of their late night menu. 

As we sat down, we were quickly greeted and promptly ordered our drinks. We started our meal with the Texas Caviar Bean Dip. This isn’t your traditional bean dip. The black beans are served with yellow corn, green and red peppers, red onion, celery, fresh roma tomatoes, and jalapeños. The tortilla chips are made in house and come with a little kick. A perfect starter for 2-3 people.

The main course was heavenly! I went with the smoke burger and told them to pile their Carolina pulled pork on it! This burger doesn’t mess around. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare and piled high, just the way I like it! For sides, I went with tots and State Fair-winning coleslaw. The coleslaw was just right and the tots were crunchy and a bit on the greasy side, but what are you going to do? They’re tots. When it came time for Fatgirlhedonist to order, she definitely didn't skip a beat! She got a winning combo of their smoked half rack of ribs and Smoke’s 16 hour beef brisket! We couldn’t believe the huge portions and certainly weren't able to finish our meal! The half rack is huge and more importantly, delicious! By far the BEST ribs in South Florida. I’ll say this, you want the best ribs in South Florida, these three places are your best bet, in order; Smoke BBQ, Shiver's BBQ, and good ole Flanigan's. The corn was very good and it comes with a small side of cinnamon butter. Be sure to order two! As a kid I ate macaroni and cheese on what seemed to be a daily basis, and to this day I still indulge on regular basis. Grandma’s mac n’ cheese was perfect. Cheesy and creamy. Great side dish but at Smoke you’ll want to eat a whole plate of it!

For dessert we tore up their “Mud in a Jar”. Warm Chocolate flourless cake at the bottom and topped with ice cream and house made caramel sauce. And it gets your attention making its way to the table with two massive marshmallows hovering atop of everything. I know you were wondering, and yes, it’s definitely looks as good as it tastes. To be honest I almost wish I had two stomachs because their dessert menu is just crazy! In a good way.

I’m definitely planning a return visit to Smoke. I don’t care that it’s an hour and 18 minutes from where I live. It’s worth the trip! There’s just too many items on that menu I want to try. Like their steamed or fried parmesan brussel sprouts or the banana coconut cream pudding. Good old Southern Hospitality here. The staff and management were very attentive and I noticed the manager made his way to visit each table. If you love BBQ I highly recommend you give Smoke a try. It is a real BBQ experience prepared by a recognized national champion pit master. But hey, like some say, “what do I know?” Right?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mmmlicious: Home Made Baked Goods and Catering

I love eating out but also enjoy cooking up a storm at home. Home-prepared meals provide a opportunity for a more balanced and better-portioned meals with fewer calories, sodium and less saturated fat. They can also help you incorporate healthier whole and unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats, into your daily diet. And more often than not they save you a few extra dollars. 

Forget Halloween. The scariest season has begun, “the holidays”. It can be stressful, at times, but it's also a chance to show your loved ones and friends how much you appreciate them. One way to do this is without spending tons of money and bypassing restaurants in favor of good home cooked meal. That's where my friend Gina comes in. Whether you're too busy or just too lazy to do it yourself she’s got you covered. She specializes in home baked goods stretching from cakes to cookies. As for catering, they’ll customize to fit any of your desires. Some of their specialties include Jamaican, Asian, American, and other cuisines. I make it a point just before Thanksgiving to pick up their delicious pumpkin cupcakes and banana bread. 

With a variety of offerings to choose from be sure to visit Mmm...Licious.

Mmmlicious on Facebook.