Can you believe that up until my birthday trip this year I had never even set a pinkie toe in the beautiful state of Florida? From Georgia, we drove seven hours to South Beach Miami.
During our drive I was a little over excited about small things like palm trees and city names written in grass. Don’t judge me. Remember, I’ve never been to Florida before.
I have heard enough about Florida to know not to be surprised by the evening showers we hit in our final hours of travel. I don’t know about the Floridians, but if I lived somewhere that was hot and humid all the time, I would welcome the rain with open arms.
We made it to Miami a little after eight o’clock and of course the first thing I wanted to do was eat. Wanted might not actually be the correct word choice there. Needed. I definitely needed to eat. For Lance’s sake, and mine.
Both places Lance had chosen for dinner were over a twenty minute drive from our hotel, so we decided to give Taquiza around the corner from us a try.
I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures. That’s all I can say. I can’t go back and fix it, so you’ll just have to forgive me and then believe me when I say that I had the most unusual and most delicious nachos of my life at Taquiza.
They use blue masa to create their totopos: hand-torn masa chips. They are blue. They are thick. They are fried. And they are naturally delicious. We enjoyed them with salsa and guacamole and if a million other restaurants weren’t calling us for dinner the next night, I could have easily eaten lunch and dinner there again. This is actually the reason I didn’t take a picture of them. They were served on a quarter-sized baking sheet (I absolutely love using baking sheets as serving plates and have seen it done in a few other restaurants) with the guac and salsa on the side.
As I looked at the beauty before me and tried my first bite I thought: I need to take a picture.
Then I thought: But I only have my cell phone on me.
Then I thought: This is so yummy.
Then I thought: I really should take a picture.
Then I thought: This is so yummy, it must be the only place that serves food in Miami. I have no doubt we’ll be back again.
And then we went for a walk and discovered shopping and ice cream.
That was when I realized I might not see those nachos again…on this trip at least.
I quickly learned during my time in Georgia and then in Florida that though New Jersey has humidity, it doesn’t have anything on the humidity down south.
Every time I pulled my camera out to take a picture, the lense was immediately fogged up…and I mean fogged up to a point where I simply had to wait for it to be ready. There was no amount of wiping the lens that could clear it.
I feel like these might have been incredible pictures.
Let’s just call them artistic and say that I meant for them to look like this.
Ah, much better.
Much much better.
Lance and I were surprised with how incredibly warm the ocean was in Miami. It was almost to a point of bath water temperature. We Jersey folk aren’t used to ocean water ever being that warm.
While on vacation I couldn’t help but eat all the carbs in the room during breakfast. Our Miami style breakfast was eaten at The Social Club which, like most things in Miami, is Cuban inspired.
To start–because who ever said breakfast can’t have appetizers?–we shared doughnuts with chocolate hazelnut sauce. I was contemplating asking them to send me a saucer of the sauce so I could drink it like hot chocolate. But then my drink order came.
I couldn’t pass on ordering a “Babaloo”: dark rum, cafecito, vanilla simple, and–are you ready?– vanilla gelato! Yum!
Following my doughnuts and gelato drink, I enjoyed Challah French Toast.
Don’t forget, I was on vacation. Anything goes.
For lunch we ventured out to Sweet Dogs. What I’m loving about food these days are places that specialize in one food item such as hot dogs and they do everything to make that item awesome. One popular hot dog place you may or may not have heard of is Pink’s in LA and Vegas. I went to Pink’s and was overwhelmed by their menu. The options felt endless. At Sweet Dogs they have a handful of signature dogs, some which are named for Miami sports teams, or you can make your own combination. They also use the Nathan’s quarter pound dog–this, believe it or not, is extremely important to do!
Lance ordered The Mac which had mac and cheese, Parmesan, and croutons on it.
I ordered my mother and father in law’s favorite team: The Miami Dolphins. My dog was topped with grilled ham, smoked bacon, melted mozzarella, pineapple, home sauce, and papitas.
They came out piping hot, and have changed the way I see hot dogs now and forever. Everything about my hot dog was delicious from the bubbly mozzarella to even the bits of pineapple. When we finished we had the opportunity to chat with the owner and to let him know he’s beating out Pink’s with the quality of food and service he has created.
I did not expect to enjoy Miami as much as I did. I’m sure many will disagree, but for me, it felt like New York City on the beach. There was a definite hustle and bustling city vibe that somehow beautifully meshed with a beach mentality.
PS. Can you tell that Hubby and I bought new Ray Bans during our trip?