Miami Spice Mashup: Swine's Clay Miller Hosts Haven's Todd Erickson for a Down-Home Good Time

All photos by Laine Doss
Deviled egg duel: Chefs Clay Miller and Todd Erickson make eggs, not war.
Miami Spice hasn't even started yet, but its ancillary events and dinners are already in full swing. Of course, there's Miami New Times' Iron Fork event, which takes place this Thursday, July 31 at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami on the eve of Spice. Tickets, by the way, are $50 for general admission and $85 for VIP, but use promo code IF10GAF to take $5 off your VIP tickets and $10 off GA tickets. Visit to get your tickets now.

Another interesting event to "spice things up" involved two of Miami's best chefs, who collaborated on a four-course dinner that gave diners a taste of things to come. Chef Clay Miller of Swine Southern Table & Bar hosted Haven's Todd Erickson for the special Miami Spice Mash-Up dinner. This was the second in a series of special events that pair two chefs from participating "Spice" restaurants. The first "mash-up" saw Chef Brad Kilgore of J&G Grill at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort host Pubbelly's Jose Mendin for an evening of dining. A third mash-up is planned for the future. Short Order was invited to the dinner, which featured a night of down-home goodness.

See also: Five Reasons You Need to Go to New Times' Iron Fork 2014

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Ferris Pop-Up: Hookah, Kabobs, and Brazilian Dancers

All photos by Laine Doss
Ferris: Brazilian dancers and Lebanese food. This could lead to world peace.
It's a Friday night in Sunny Isles and at the top of the glass stairs leading to the Ferris pop-up at Sole on the Ocean, I am greeted by a lovely young woman dressed in an elaborate Brazilian samba costume.

See also: Ralph Pagano's Ferris Pops-Up This Saturday: We Get a Kitchen Preview

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This Week's Best Eats and Drinks: Iron Fork Chefs' Battle and La Latina Goes to Pubbelly

Courtesy of La Mar
Drink up, it's Monday
This week we say hello to August, which happens to mark the commencement of Miami Spice, but we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. It's Monday and things can only get better.

From a Pubbelly and La Latina "arepada" collaboration to the annual Iron Fork showdown and Miami Spice kick off event, there's plenty to do before July leaves us for another year.

Just don't eat or drink too much. August looks equally eventful.

See also: Five Reasons You Need to Go to New Times' Iron Fork 2014

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Juan Valdez Cafe Opens Wednesday: Private Tastings and Single Origin Coffees

All photos by Laine Doss
Juan Valdez Cafe opens in Downtown Miami.
Downtown Miami's first Juan Valdez Cafe opens this Wednesday at 101 NE Second Ave. The coffee shop, which stars the fictional coffee grower in pictures and emblazoned on coffee mugs, features both blended and single origin coffees prepared in a variety of ways.

The cafe, one of which is located in Miami International Airport, is the first in the company's major expansion into the Florida market. Another shop is expected to open in a few weeks at 364 NE 1st Ave., with 60 stores planned for the Sunshine State in the next few years. There are currently 270 Juan Valdez Cafes open in 12 countries including Aruba; Bolivia; Chile; Ecuador; El Salvador; Spain; Kuwait; Malaysia; Mexico; Panama; Peru; South Korea, and the U.S.

See also: Panther Coffee to open in Coconut Grove

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Yelp Celebrates Its Ten-Year Anniversary with the Yelpies (Photos)

Courtesy of Nancy Ortega
Yelpers invaded the Coral Gables Art Museum Saturday night.
No matter how you feel about Yelp, there is one indisputable fact: They throw some kick ass parties. Locals got a taste of the elaborate Yelp bashes this weekend with the Yelpies. Held at the Coral Gables Art Museum, the Yelpies celebrated the company's ten-year anniversary with tons of gratis food, drinks, art, music, and free take-home swag.

Highlights of the night include yellow tail taquitos from SushiSamba, kale smoothies from Robeks, Reese's cupcakes from Cakes and More Store, creme brulee iced coffee from SpecialTEA Lounge, as well as Swine's porchetta with watermelon. It was a bittersweet party as the Yelp Miami's fearless leader Johnny T announced he was heading to Nashville. If there ever was a way to depart with a lasting impression, The Yelpies accomplished it.

See also: Bonefish Grill Unveils New Menu With Mario Lopez, Real Housewives, and Spicy Tuna Bowls

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Bar Lab and Norwegian Cruise Line Expand Boozy Partnership

All photos by Cassie Glenn
The "Get Away" with vodka, watermelon, citrus, herbs, and bitters.
ar Lab's Gabriel Orta may not be an avid cruiser but he is tapping into the minds of those that love to sail at sea by expanding a previously announced partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line. Now, cocktails crafted by Bar Lab will soon be available on board all of Norwegian's ships year-round.

Orta also will train bar managers and bartenders, and collaborating with the Norwegian Corporate Development Team to create new cocktails for Norwegian's shore side Test Bar. Short Order was invited to a kick-off cocktail party at the Broken Shaker to chat with Orta, sip some cruise-inspired drinks, and get more insight into this expanded program.

See also: Norwegian Getaway: Bar Lab Cocktails, Dining by Geoffrey Zakarian on Board

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Miami Grill: Miami Subs Gets Pitbull-Approved Rebranding

Courtesy of Miami Subs
Growing up as an angst-riddled suburban teen in South Florida, no site was more welcome than the Greek diner disguised in neon and palm fronds locales known as Miami Subs. For decades, the Magic City has been a Petri dish for successful fast food franchises to experiment in off-beat concepts to take to mass market. From Burger King to Pollo Tropical, several iconic eateries had their start as local start up chains. However, Miami Subs' time in the collective cultural consciousness was cut short long before it hit its prime.

For awhile, just like the Metro-mover and the Seaquarium, Miami Subs seemed to be going the way of an overbloated remnant of the town's Reaganite boom years. Yet for ardent fans of all things tzatziki, the Miami chain is under new management that plans on injecting some much needed life into a franchise chain that used to supply Madonna and friends with wings and Dom Perignon through a drive thru conveniently open at 3 a.m.

See also: My Ceviche Opens Today in South Miami

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Celebrate Peruvian Independence Day Monday at La Mar

Courtesy of La Mar
Pisco Sours and Peru's independence.
In 1821, Peru became the last colony in South America to gain independence from Spain. How best to celebrate, you ask? Why, with food, music, and Pisco, ¡hermanos!

While we know it's hard to disentangle yourself from the comforting arms of classics like tangy ceviche and aromatic lomo saltado, La Mar will serve up a couple of authentic dishes that are worth branching out for.

See also: La Mar: Peruvian Classics Elevated to Haute Cuisine

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Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: Exotic Staycation Edition

Categories: Weekend Guide

Photo by Laine Doss
Travel to the Bahamas without leaving Miami this weekend.
Have you taken your summer vacation yet? If you've been meaning to travel to far-off exotic places, maybe this weekend is the time to indulge your inner travel-hog -- right here in Miami.

Watch a Bahamian Junkanoo parade while enjoying fresh conch salad; enjoy a delicious Asian brunch; or celebrate Peru's independence -- without that annoying trip through airport security. It's all going down this weekend in Miami.

Weekend starts now! Enjoy your summer "staycation."

See also: Bimini Restaurants: Joe's Conch Shack, Sherri's Beach Bar, and Stuart's

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Bianco Gelato: Organic, Authentic Gelato in Coconut Grove

Courtesy of Bianco Gelato
Bianco Gelato -- organic, authentic gelato comes to Coconut Grove.
Summer in Miami means long sun-scorching days and humid nights. Most of us hibernate in our air conditioned dens, coming out to brave the elements only for something essential -- like freshly made, authentic Italian gelato made with organic ingredients.

Bianco Gelato, opening today in Coconut Grove, is providing a delicious and healthful way to cool off.

See also: Eccolopops Brings Italian Gelato, Pops to Downtown Miami (and Our Dogs Too)

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