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Enough With the Pork, Miami: Here's a Case for Vegetables

Categories: The Critic

greens_codik.jpg
Codik
Greens: It's not such a crazy idea.
How do you know you're in a cool Miami restaurant?

The setting is festooned with Edison bulbs. The menu includes an heirloom tomato and burrata salad, perhaps year-round. The chef relishes pork belly. There's charcuterie, pickles, free-range chicken, beets paired with goat cheese, and servers who recite, "Dishes come out as they're ready." There are no tablecloths. There are shared plates. And there most certainly aren't too many vegetables.

In a city where local produce should be prized for its scarcity, chefs still banish greens to the beginning of the meal or the side of the plate. Which is why I've gotta say: Enough with the pork, Miami.

See also: In 2013, Miami's Food Scene Finally Blossomed

The Magic City has come a long way in 2013. We've got a brewery, a yakitori joint, and two vegan bakeries. We're finally a fine-food town. But that doesn't mean there isn't more work to be done.

Nationally, the age of pork belly has come and gone. While Food & Wine Magazine and Bon Appétit announce the vegetable revolution like it's the second coming of Jesus, Miami is still oohing and aahing about short-rib sliders and bacon-wrapped dates. Kale has finally arrived in the 305. But others are wondering whether kohlrabi will be the next darling of Brooklyn.

We don't need a vegetarian restaurant. (Although it wouldn't hurt.) I'm just saying pork has been in the spotlight for too long here. It's restricting our creativity. Miami's menus are beginning to resemble checklists: poultry, short ribs, local fish, and the mandatory vegetarian pasta.

Vegetables are versatile. They're tough to mess up, and perhaps most important, José Andrés thinks they're sexy.

Right now, Miami is at its prime. Farmers are at the market. Foragers are frolicking through the Redland. And chefs should be flipping out over scoring the best radishes in town. So sauté those green beans with sauerkraut and smoked pork, but let the beans shine.

They deserve a moment of their own too.

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.

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20 comments
Christine Joelle Pardo
Christine Joelle Pardo

While I would love more veggie restaurants here (being a veg-head myself...and Cuban to boot), I wouldn't want to see the disappearance of cuisine that makes Miami so unique from the rest of the country. I think a combination of the two food scenes would be awesome.

rk2005
rk2005

Great article. Who knows, if enough people listen we could lose our title as "fattest city".

misterflorida2000
misterflorida2000

"Nationally, the age of pork belly has come and gone."

Okay, nobody eats bacon anymore?

Pedro M Ross
Pedro M Ross

The only vegetable that Miami Cubans acknowledge is an onion.

Chard Beauregarde
Chard Beauregarde

Vegetables are great, give them to pigs and they magically turn them into bacon.

vicequeenmaria
vicequeenmaria

I'm all for more veggies, but you're talking about what? 10 % of the population or less who can afford swanky eateries?  Pork will never go away with our Latino population here and the thousands of mom-and-pop eateries that stick to traditional menus.  You also wouldn't ask a Haitian to not eat goat.  And after all, variety is the spice of life.

Mary Lezcano
Mary Lezcano

Agreed, im all in for the veg revolution!

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

i hate pork, thats all the cubans eat, cuban food sucks

Jon Wasielewski
Jon Wasielewski

You'd have a revolution on your hands if you took away the Chi-cha-rrrones....:)

Cameron Douglas
Cameron Douglas

So first you guys post a poorly researched article about how the new soccer stadium might actually be a bad idea (new tunnel to the port... duh) and now you post some crap about how I shouldn't eat pork. You guys suck today.

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