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Deals & Squeals: Salsa Fiesta, Sushi Maki, Coral Gables Thursdays

Categories: The Critic
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Salsa Fiesta Debuts Today
Owners Cesar Olivo and Adriana Pérez Benatar are hosting the grand opening of their Salsa Fiesta Urban Mexican Grill today. The fast casual eatery is located on 29th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, just a block north of the New Times offices. The modern industrial-style restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and "a mostly muted color scheme differentiating this innovative eatery from the traditional Mexican greasy spoon".

Other differentiating factors might include the plantains and  tostones that will accompany various dishes, "institutional lab barstools", and original artwork by "well-known Venezuelan artist" Nadia Benatar (what a coincidence -- she's got the same last name as one of the owners).

Specialties range from "salsalicious burritos, soft grilled flour or whole wheat tortilla, served with a side of glorious chips and yummy pico de gallo" to  "the Mariachi Mix, a terrific combination of almost everything on the menu that's great to share."

"We are excited to bring the Salsa Fiesta brand to Miami, especially to this emerging neighborhood with so much vitality and growth," states Olivo.

Not saying that this won't be a welcome addition to the 'hood, but all in all I'd rather eat at a "greasy spoon" than at a "brand."

Salsa Fiesta Urban Mexican Grill is located at 2929 Biscayne Boulevard. For more information call 305-400-8390.

Sushi Maki On A Roll
Local Asian eatery Sushi Maki has opened restaurants on the main campuses of Florida International University (FIU) and University of Miami (UM). In addition to providing students with fresh, sustainably raised, hormone-free fish, Sushi Maki is also dishing special promotional sushi rolls in homage to each campus: UM's U Roll celebrates the school's green and orange colors with a mix of salmon and avocado, topped off with sesame seeds, while FIU's University Roll combines tuna and avocado. The on-campus experience also introduces Bubble Tea in eight flavors: Thai Iced Tea; Thai Iced Coffee; Green Tea; Milk Tea; Mango; Peach; Lychee; and Strawberry.

Sushi Maki has locations in Coral Gables, South Miami and Palmetto Bay. It's got sushi stations in Whole Foods supermarkets. It has been serving sushi boxes at campuses such as Barry University, Nova Southeastern University, Miami Dade College, and Kellogg University. Next up: A Sushi Maki branch is moving into the Miami International Airport. Maybe an appropriate name for the fast-growing chain's signature roll should be the "Big Maki".

And Now, A Word From Coral Gables...
Four words, actually: "Get Your Gables On", which makes it clear that PR folks are running out of names for promotional events. Be that as it may, this particular happening involves restaurant and bar specials in Downtown Coral Gables every Thursday -- beginnning this week, as in tomorrow evening. There are some 70 restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, and, as always, some are stingier than others when it comes to offering deals. Here is a sampling of what appear to be the more generous specials:

Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill
THE DEAL: Fresh fruit mojitos for $3.50 (choose from pineapple, watermelon, blackberry, grapefruit and blackberry); $1 soft tacos.
3:00 to 9:00 p.m. 65 Miracle Mile; 305-444-3210.

Novecento
THE DEAL: $10 gets you a glass of sangria and two beef empanadas.
5:00 to 10:00 p.m. 121 Alahambra Plaza; 305-444-7701.

Red Koi Sushi Bar and Lounge
THE DEAL: 2 for 1 lobster bites, sunkist mojitos and Singha bombs
6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. 317 Miracle Mile; 305-446-2690.

Bangkok Bangkok II
THE DEAL: Purchase one dinner entrée and receive the second half off; 2 for 1 Thai beer.
4:00 to 10:30 p.m. 157 Giralda Ave.;305-444-2397.

Morton's The Steakhouse
THE DEAL: $5 bar bites including petite filet sandwiches, chicken goujonettes and jumbo lump crab, spinach and artichoke dip; $4 - $7 select wines by the glass, beers and cocktails
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. 2333 Ponce De Leon Blvd.;305-442-1662.

Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge
THE DEAL: 50 percent off red or white sangria; $5 appetizers
6:00 to 10:00 p.m. 2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd.; 305-441-0107

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