Animal Safari or Bowling for Valentine's Day?

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Valentine's Day is rearing its capitalistic head up, yet again. What to do? Where to celebrate? How much is dinner, drinks, flowers and chocolates going to cost? And frankly, will your main squeeze appreciate your efforts? Here's some fun stuff that will make you fork up a few bucks but ... it will be memorable.

Head over to Strike Miami at the Dolphin Mall on Valentine's Day. Order a bottle of champagne (different prices are available starting at $40), and for the special evening you'll get to bowl for free. The Dolphin Mall is a fun place for shopping. When you've purchased your items, go to the second level, pick a lovers lane, clink a few flutes of champagne and throw some balls.

Chef David Burke prepares the dishes at the bowling alley which include barbecue chicken pizza, topped with cheddar and red onions, filet mignon, pulled pork, crispy fish, spicy tempura shrimp, pork ribs and cheesecake lollipops. I've tasted the food and it's delicious. The champagne special is only available on the 14th for walk-ins and includes two free games per person. Open daily from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Parking is free.

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Sex, Drugs, and Waiting Tables on South Beach UPDATED

Categories: Behind the Line
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Jim Heins
Working on the Latin Burger truck.
Here at Short Order, we take readers behind the scenes into kitchens, restaurants yet to open, and even farms and markets. But we don't talk much about the servers and front-of-house staff who really drive a restaurant's day-to-day operations.

So for the past few months, I went behind the scenes, working undercover at three local restaurants and a food truck, shadowing and interviewing servers. Here's a taste of what I learned:

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The Forge Miami Beach In Pictures

Categories: Behind the Line
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A laugh in the kitchen at The Forge
There aren't many restaurants on Miami Beach that have been around since 1920. The Forge is one of em', and its storied past swims in local history like a mangrove snapper in the salty waters off the south coast. Owner Shareef Malnik's steady hand on the tiller, and Chef Dewey LoSasso's culinary character hold fast to the traditions of The Forge, and maintain a vision for the future. Plus, the joint's so classy it could impress the shoes off Elvis, Steve Buscemi, or Beyoncé. Here's a look into the kitchen.

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Art Basel: $8 for Four Chocolate-Covered Strawberries!

Categories: Behind the Line
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Ben Guzman
Basel Grub for a pretty penny.
Art Basel opened the flood gates to the public yesterday and all eyes are on Miami Beach. But what happens once you're inside the Convention Center and feeling a little peckish? You get slammed with inflated prices for food and drink..

For those of us not holding VIP or press passes, tickets aren't cheap. And once you're inside walking around and getting thirsty, you must pay for $7 beers, and even a $20 glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc champagne. Say you want four chocolate-covered strawberries? It'll cost you $8!

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Art Basel

Burr's Berry Farm Open for Its 46th Season

Categories: Behind the Line
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Anais Alexandre
Strawberries awaiting the masses
Burr's Berry Farm,opened yesterday (Nov. 28) for its 46th season with delicious farm fresh produce and baked goodies! As we shot some behind-the-scenes pics yesterday, we enjoyed the heavenly smell of homemade banana breads fresh out of the oven.

Besides produce and baked goods, Burr's sells hand-canned jams made from their fruit.

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Edge, Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Open For Business

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Lesley Elliott
Edge, Steak & Bar invited us into the kitchen yesterday to spy on opening day behind the line, which we have to say, was pretty damn efficient for a first-time at bat. The steakhouse menu is a collaboration between Executive Chef Aaron Brooks, who has worked at Four Seasons properties from Boston to Vancouver, and Restaurant Chef James King, who recently left Verdea in Palm Beach.

Brooks says that "my time in Boston gave me a massive appreciation for East-coast seafood. We are bringing down a lot of product from New England and pulling from some great local fish and seafood as well. Cod and Capers for our seafood, Bush Brothers for meat, fantastic companies, both family companies. Creekstone Farms, which are some of the best meats I've eaten, all grain fed, a very consistent product. James has a fantastic knowledge of local purveyors, local farms that we are really trying to attach on to for our farm-to-table concept. We trying to mix fresh vegetables and salads with meats, to bring a lighter style to the steakhouse."

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The Villa by Barton G at the Versace Mansion In Pictures

Categories: Behind the Line
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Jacob Katel
Here's a flavor punch to get you started
You won't be running into any of your friends from Occupy Miami at the Villa by Barton G. The one-percenter stronghold is heavily secured, full of Versace's original designs, and marked in more gold, mosaic, and fresco than the palace of a Russian Czar. If anybody in Miami could take the house Gianni built, and make it moreso, it's Barton G. The dude has polished the Ocean Drive mansion till it shines brighter than a gold brick in the sunshine. Executive Chef Jeff O'Neill takes that gold and uses it to plate some of the best food in Miami. Here's what we saw in the kitchens and on the property.

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Homestead al Gusto: The First-Ever Food Truck Chef's Challenge (Photos)

Categories: Behind the Line
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All Images by Anais Alexandre
Chef Challenge winning plate by Palate Party.
Homestead Main Street organized Homestead al Gusto, a food truck festival this past weekend that included a chef's challenge. Local farmer's donated veggies from their first crop and the food truck chefs picked out which ones they wanted. Then they had exactly one hour to prepare a dish worthy of the title Homestead al Gusto Champion. The winner would receive a plaque from the Mayor of Homestead himself.

Short Order was there to take it all in and describe it in pictures.

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Locavores Unite! Earth Learnings 2nd Annual Greater Everglades Food Summit

Categories: Behind the Line
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By Anais Alexandre
Circle Group Activity
You could say this week's Earth Learning's 2nd Annual Greater Everglades Food Summit at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus had a bit of a sci-fi edge.

Among the terms thrown around -- deracinated, food shed, food desert, localization campaigns, and food miles. We even heard discussion about experiments being done to lower CO2 emissions with a certain 'bean pole experiment,' but it was all very secretive.  


Attended by Locavore giants from all across Florida, the summit Tuesday and Wednesday was essentially a gigantic brainstorming/networking opportunity for food enthusiasts and professionals alike to learn how we can all help make sustainability and important local food movements come to fruition. 
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Back to School: Are Miami Culinary Schools Up to Chop?

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Courtesy of SDCI
Dotting his I's and crossing his T's.
You don't have to be a genius to know that Miami is a cultural and culinary Mecca. Just close your eyes and throw a rock and you'll hit 3 to 50 eateries glorifying international cuisines. And let's face it, one thing we know how to do well in Miami is eat.

Some cuisiniers have degrees from elite culinary academies, years of restaurant experience and their own prestigious food establishments. Others simply don't need the razzle dazzle of it all to love to cook. So whether you're on a righteous path to becoming the Next Food Network Star, starting a trend to conquer the food truck, or just want to make some tasty treats in your own kitchen, it doesn't hurt to brush up on your basics.

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