So a few weeks ago, me and my “crazy proud” fam went to Miami to watch my son, Daniel, graduate from his Masters program from the University of Miami.
So crazy proud, I can’t stand it!
Daniel has been living in Miami during his studies (I know, soooo hard to study as a young lad in Miami, right??). And, even though we have been to Florida numerous times since my kids were little, it’s different to experience a place with someone who has lived there.
My son was still in school (he “walked” at graduation with the rest of the under grad students but doesn’t actually graduate until July) and was working part time with a real estate firm as well so he was really busy. But, he took a couple of days on the weekend to take us around his hood. A very cool hood indeed!!
This trip was, of course, about his graduation, but it was also about eating…’cause when isn’t it about eating?
We visited some great places in the city (we’ve been to South Beach before but didn’t explore that area this time). It’s really nice in downtown Miami and there is a rejuvenation going on with lots of construction and lots of new restaurants popping up. We went to a cute place by his apartment called The Golden Fig…such a great little hang out with local seasonal food. We also tried a South American place close by called Coya…spectacular place with a sharing menu!! You have to believe me when I tell you that they were absolutely worth a visit but I have no pictures. I generally don’t take pictures in dark restaurants – partly because they turn out terribly but also because my kids would kill me if I had to use a flashlight to get a good pic!
We stayed at Epic which is a hotel in the city – a really nice place! But, it was extra nice because we went to Zuma (Asian) and Area 31 (rooftop with great vibe!!) – both in the same building as the hotel!!
While we were in Miami, we went for a walk to Wynwood which is a neighbourhood that has 2 major sub-districts…Wynwood Art district and Wynwood fashion district. The area is also known as Little San Juan, as there are many Puerto Rican owned shops and restaurants in the area. It has also been gentrified as of late and is becoming the hot spot to visit. As you walk through the neighbourhood, you’ll see walls upon walls that are wonderfully painted by artists.
Store fronts have colourful walls enticing passer-bys to come on in!
Coyo is a great taco place (we didn’t eat here but heard a lot about it!!)…not to be confused with Coya that I talked about earlier! This place serves up traditional tacos as well as non-traditional ones filled with quinoa and grilled cactus!! At night, it opens it’s secret “back bar” that keeps the party going until the wee hours!!
What I loved was that every inch of Wynwood had its own unique fingerprint…even the sidewalks begged you to stop and look:
This one was my favourite!
Daniel said he was taking us for a local treat, so as we walked I took pictures of the walls that graced mechanic shops and commercial buildings along the way…
And then, in the middle of all the painted madness, we found heaven!
Literally a trailer equipped with a teeny kitchen, this local hangout churns out the BEST donuts ever!!
Can you see the selection??
We opted for Oreo donut holes (gulped too fast to take a pic), this bacon topped caramel donut…
…and this Florida peach topped with bourbon cream and toasted candied walnuts…hooooly!
Can you see the softness??
Then, I had to share so we cut in!
Donuts and coffee…can I just move in??
Next, we went to Wynwood Walls…an incredible array of art, all in one place!!
This former warehouse district of Wynwood, in just a few short years, has become the art hub of South Florida. It started with murals, street art and graffiti (encouraged unconventionally by the neighbourhood’s early developers) and it spawned vibrant spaces with outdoor art.
Today, there are more than 70 galleries and museums, dozens of new restaurants and bars, and hundreds of companies and innovators working in a place that feels “oh so alive”!!
You can see by the artwork here that it is unrivalled in its blend of well known names and up-and-coming artists!
Even some three dimensional art shows up from time to time!!
For more info, visit www.wynwoodwalls.com
There are tons of restaurants to try here (Alter, Beaker and Gray, Dr, Smood, KYU, GK Bistronomie, The Wynwood Yard just to name a few), but we opted for a local diner for some lunch…
Pulled pork sliders to start…
A Cubano…typical sandwich found in Miami.
A burger piled high!!
When your kids have snapchat that they won’t let you on, but mom know how to take a screenshot…
A great cobb salad!
Dam, it was good!
We made a quick stop at the design district (didn’t take pics of any of the stores…yup they are all high end…and, yup, I was totally uninterested!!). On our way out, we saw these cute swings…totally not related to anything but you get to see my cutie son…so there…
Our last stop before heading home was a local smokehouse…a Southern comfort food and smoked meat hangout with an inventive twist in a sleek loft (and a full bar!)
The best “simple greens” salad…mixed baby lettuces, cider braised beets, radish, smoked pecans, bread and butter vinaigrette!
And this!! Swine hash with smoked brisket, sweet potato sticks and fried onions…
Look at that sweet brisket underneath!!
Smoked and pulled pork with red cabbage slaw, fried shoe string onions and carolina mustard bbq!
We were there during brunch and I saw, of course after we ordered, the warm sticky bun (a giant bun with warm maple bourbon toffee syrup, pecan butter, candied smoked bacon and salted caramel ice cream). The waitress was bringing it to another table and, if I didn’t think my kids would tackle me out of embarrassment, I would have totally snagged a picture!!
Definitely coming back for brunch!!
Finished the trip off with a Happy 19th Birthday to my youngest at Komodo (another place that we gave 2 thumbs up to!!) – going out with a bang!
Let me know if you have any places you love to visit when you’re in South Florida!