Snackdown Finals: Coconut Grove vs. Coral Gables

Categories: Snackdown
snackdown.jpg
Over the last few weeks, Short Order has been pairing eight Miami-Dade neighborhoods in a "Snackdown." This is the finals entry. Today pits Coconut Grove against Coral Gables. Which of these two is the better neighborhood for dining?


Read our arguments and VOTE! Tweet it. Facebook it. Google+ it. Comment if you don't like it. Comment if you love it. Do whatever it takes to rep your epicurean mecca.

It's D-Day.

Last night, hundreds of you decided that Midtown/Design District/Wynwood does not have what it takes to be crowned the Short Order Snackdown champion. The people of Coral Gables and loyal patrons alike harnessed 69.69 percent of the vote (did you guys plan that?).

Who's the favorite and who's the underdog in this race? At this point it doesn't matter. The point is there will only be one winner.

bouchonedited.jpg
Coconut Grove
First you decided South Beach doesn't have what it takes to compete in the big leagues -- so the Grove came out on top. Then you decided Downtown couldn't compete alongside the Grove. So here we are in the finals.

The Grove has been something of a haven for locals to leave the tourist-saturated beach scene. With old shady trees and meandering walkways and sidewalks, Coconut Grove offers a more peaceful dining setting than most other areas of Miami. In fact, we might even say it's most peaceful here in The Grove.

Grove-ites and visitors alike are crazy about Villa Mayfair - and rightfully so. Despite the pretty penny one spends on dinner for two, you pay for the ambiance and alcohol just as much as you do for the food. Neither of which Mayfair lacks very much in.

For the burger lovers, LoKal has been turned into the new hot spot for a good, clean burger. Have you had those sweet potato fries? Try them, they may sway your judgement in The Grove's favor. The LoKal Burger boasts homemade honey mustard and Homestead avocados. Did we mention the Florida grass-fed beef? Feel good about your meat and eat it too!

Scotty's Landing, the neighborhood place on the marina where you can, as Laine Doss put it, "chill the f**k out." Bombay Darbar and Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill need not be forgotten. (Fresh ceviche and kick-ass spicy paneer makhani? yes, please!)

Its iconic GreenStreet Cafe is a favorite among locals, and just up the road are favorites like Lulu and Le Bouchon du Grove. The area is a favorite amongst students of the nearby campuses like University of Miami and FIU South Campus. A cheap and quick bite is always accessible at casual places like El Taquito taqueria, Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill, and The Last Carrot.

The Grove is the place to be for a hassle-free grub spot whether you're looking to doll up and take a date or have a quiet lunch with friends and family. It's the ideal place to even grab a seat outside of a cafe, nosh a sandwich and read a book.

tartareEH.jpg
Coral Gables
The Gables came out strong against Little Havana. After moving through to the semis, Coral Gables rocked the Midtown/Design District and Wynwood area hard, nabbing 69 percent of readers votes. Clearly, the Gables is in it to win it.

It's really time to pull out the big guns now. We mentioned it first in our Mid Beach vs. Downtown Snackdown, but we're gonna bring it back, and bring it back with vengeance.

Hey, Coconut Grove, do you have a Chopped Champion running around nearby? No need to respond, we all know the answer. 'Tis right folks, Coral Gables is home (albeit temporary) to its most recent addition, Eating House. The bangin' pop-up has pleased just about every lost soul that's strolled in. It's said their dishes are if not comparable, far better than sex. One of our very own from the Short Order team even caught a woman romancing her bone marrow there one night. Excuse us, we think we need a personal break.

Sex aside, there's much more to The Gables than meets the eye. An all-time favorite among many our residents, Randazzo's offers solid, homey Italian food right off of Miracle Mile. With a sizable parking lot across the street and Sunday Gravy Pasta (don't get grossed out, they just mean tomato sauce), we don't mind the longish haul it takes to get to The Gables just for this.

That's not all the Gables brings to the table, though. Commenters left shout outs for favorites like Ortanique on the Mile. The new world Caribbean fare has eaters jumping out of their seats for more of that Hawaiian tuna tartare with bacon butter and West Indian style bouillabaisse. Slightly pricey, sure. But worth it.

Places like Christy's on Ponce de Leon Boulevard hands over the meaty goods of outright deliciousness (how do you like your steak? Rare? Medium?) and Cafe Vialetto on LeJeune Road offers tuna tostones... you just can't beat a sashimi tuna topped toston.

Outstanding [far beyond] notable mentions for The Gables won't stop there, though. Route 9, Patagonia, Pascal's on Ponce, and Caffe Abracci are spots we'd be silly to leave out.

Coral Gables may seem like it's an area for pricier nights out, and while that statement isn't entirely false, who wouldn't want to spend a little extra on spectacular food far off the beaten path of the typical Miami scene?



Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.
My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
What
What

Jaguar and Lokal are the only places I would ever eat at again in the Grove. What a joke

Guest
Guest

I work in the Gables and I feel passionately about these two lunch spots:

(1) Gables Aragon Cuisine. Get the "GAC Lunch" which is not on the printed menu but is available everyday. It is a torta (mexican sandwich) + side salad + soup for only $8.50! They also give you chips and fresh salsa while you wait. You can get steak, chicken or seared tuna on the torta. The bread is awesome and has a tasty bean and guac spread on it. The soup rotates but they always have a good Broken Bean Soup if you don't like the du jour option. In my experience, this lunch plate can not be beat anywhere, Gables or otherwise. I eat it sometimes 3 times per week.

(2) Gustofino Italian Deli, on Le Jeune north of Alhambra. Tastiest sandwiches in town. The dining experience is horrible, however. The owner/operator is very loud and constantly micro-manages his employees. The place is very small, tables close together, on a busy street. Long story short, just pick it up to-go or have it delivered. But the quality of the ingredients is worth it.

Cavalier
Cavalier

Don't forget Angelique Euro Cafe on the mile.  This is a great atmosphere to relax in with friendly and knowledgeable wine and craft beer service and healthy portion food.  They also have the best Pomme Frites (French Fries) you will ever taste.  Giraldo under the Stars is really amazing with multiple bands and eating on the actual street.  Pretty cool.

Ringo's Mummy
Ringo's Mummy

In all honesty, the Gables does have some good, noteworthy restaurants. However, many of the restaurants were good at one point in time but are no longer very good. Caffe Abbraci, for example, hasn't been good in a very long time. Same with Cristy's or Pascal's on Ponce. Le Provencal has lost all its charm since the move and now it just looks like all the other tiny, blink and you'll miss it, "we play lounge music really loud and have chandeliers and IKEA furniture cause we like to pretend we're European, but not too pretentious," eateries that have popped up all over the Mile. Not to mention that the Mile, which was once charming with all the small, independently owned, one of kind restaurants, is now overrun with large chain restaurants that serve mediocre food. Sure the ambiance is nice and we all have our favorites, but isn't this about the food? The Gables has been slowly declining for a long time now. There's not even a decent Japanese restaurant there anymore. Have you ever tried an Alex #2 roll at Akashi? 'Nuff said. My vote goes to the Grove. Oh! And, one more thing...Everyone knows those cute boys from Eating House don't fit in in the Gables. That's probably why they had to set up shop on the outskirts of town. We all know they'd feel right at home in the Grove. 

Deanna
Deanna

If you download the free Shooger app you can find great deals in the Gables, Grove and elsewhere.  

Hildewgardstevens
Hildewgardstevens

I love the wide variety of choices we now have in Coral Gables!  What an improvement over the last couple of years! A variety of  Amazing Dining within walking distance!  Love to live in theGables!!!!! 

Easy Living in the Grove
Easy Living in the Grove

The Grove is the place to eat a wide varity of foods, all with in walking distance and with in reasonable price ranges! 

chuletica
chuletica

Wolfe Wines is a must for all your vino desires.  Educated, informative, owner and staff with the perfect paring for all your indulgences! 

chuletica
chuletica

Route 9 is where we head to support creative, local, husband (sommelier) and wife (chef) team.  Affordable, romantically, delicious, Coral Gables venue. Try it for lunch, weekend brunch or dinner.  Have also attended private parties where the host takes over the dining room for an intimate event; rehearsal dinner, wine tasting pared with Paula's creations.

Coral Gables fan
Coral Gables fan

Also, for those of you who have not tried Charlotte, they serve a chocolate soup dessert!

Guest
Guest

I voted for Coral Gables but ... Randazzo's? Give me a break the inclusion of this place in the article robs it of all credibility.

Mgold4357
Mgold4357

How about some of the BEST Thai in Miami period??? Red Koi! 

I also, second the motion for Pardo's; quick and delicious for lunch or dinner.

One Burger was making the burger 'cool' before it was fashionable.

Talavera also needs some representation for some fantastic south-west of the border food.

Don't forget Merrick Park, no where  better for a quick bite than Yard House!

...that said, Jaguar DOES have to be one of the best restaurants in all of South Florida.

Thomasrusso744
Thomasrusso744

la dorada is one of my all time favorite restaurants and I am a classicaly trainedExecutive Chef

Mp202
Mp202

coconut grove is where businesses go to die. 

Coral Gables fan
Coral Gables fan

For a great value, try Pardos on Ponce de Leon Boulevard!

Jack Thomson
Jack Thomson

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is my favorate in the Gables for lunch or dinner with great salads and unique pizza.

Sanchez
Sanchez

Delusional Grovites 

DumbVote
DumbVote

Wow, so bad that these maybe 6th & 7th best areas are in the finals that I'm not participating in the vote.

All in the family
All in the family

Not every spot in the Gables is especially pricey. Don't forget Spris.

Tarah Rogowski Martos
Tarah Rogowski Martos

If Eating House took up permanent residence in the Grove, there'd be no competition. Eating House was the only thing that made me consider voting for the Gables. I love the Gables, but the Grove is better! 

CHEAP
CHEAP

Not true! At Coral Gables you can get some CHEAP grub if you follow the specials for lunch and dinner. Like at "Gables Aragon Cuisine" $9 gets you a salad, soup of choice and half a torta. Or  OF COURSE the $5 Mortons specials!!!

GoodEats
GoodEats

 California Pizza Kitchen, that's what this contest has devolved to.   Lee Klein, you should be ashamed to be associated with this contest!

DontGetYourPantiesInAWringer
DontGetYourPantiesInAWringer

Surely, DumbVote, no one actually takes any such poll seriously. The only vote that counts is the dollars spent on site.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...