Former Makoto Cook Brings Thai Street Food To MiMo

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Zachary Fagenson
Roast duck soup at Cake Thai Kitchen ($12).
The 28-year-old chef and owner of Cake Thai Kitchen, Phuket Thongsodchaveondee, learned to cook in south at his father's hotel in the idyllic southern Thai beach town for which he's named.

"This is just street food, something Thai people would eat quickly on the way to somewhere," he says.

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West Miami Seafood Spot Disco Fish is Revived

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Zachary Fagenson
Grouper soup at Disco Fish.
Unless you've time-traveled straight from the Mad Men era, you may not be too familiar with lobster Thermidor. The out-of-date, insanely rich dish made with diced, cooked lobster meat blended with egg yolks, cream, and brandy first appeared in France prior to the turn of the 20th Century and seemed to have gone out of style around the same time as the Jheri curl.

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At Casola's Pizza, Size Does Matter: Massive Slices and Enormous Wings

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Photos by Carina Ost
A slice so nice.

You don't know pizza slices until you know Casola's. The pizza -- and also the wings at this open-late spot are mouth-dropping and beyond massive.


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Esther's Restaurant: First-Class Chow at Affordable Prices

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Photo by Zachary Fagenson
Fried catfish, okra and tomato stew, and peas and rice from Esther's Restaurant.
At Esther's Restaurant, a decades-old takeout joint in Liberty City, the line snakes around the room as women with thick eyeliner holler out orders that are then packed in Styrofoam containers. People count fistfuls of crinkled bills, or hold their chins and furrow their brows, trying to decide what to order off a mashup menu of soul food and Cuban favorites.

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Fresh Juice King: Fantastic New Juice Joint in North Miami

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Photo by Carina Ost
Citrus boost.
In a shopping plaza in North Miami that features two favorites, Ricky's Thai Bistro and Vega's Burgers, a new star is born. Open for less than two months, Fresh Juice King is your best bet for refreshing juices, smoothies, and friendly service.

Perhaps you tried their healthful slurpable concoctions before at a bevy of farmer's markets across South Florida. Although, at this brick-and-mortar location your fruit and vegetable dreams are made beyond a once a week timetable.

See also: Ten Best Restaurants in North Miami

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Bahamian Pot in Liberty City: Try the Conch and Souse

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Photo by Zachary Fagenson
Fried conch, peas and rice, cabbage and mac-and-cheese at Bahamian Pot.
For more than a decade Trudy Ellis had expected improvements to 54th Street in Miami, where her restaurant Bahamian Pot sat for 26 years.

"For years the politicians told me something was going to change, that there would be lights, but it never happened," she says.

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Pinocchio Italian Deli & Caffe Is Authentically Italian

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Photo by Holly Wachowicz
Pinocchio Italian Deli & Caffe
The perfect cup of cappuccino with quite possibly the best croissant on the Beach, that's what Pinocchio Italian Deli & Caffe is all about.

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Miami's Ten Best Diners: Where Grease Is King

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Photo by Ruhrfisch via Wikimedia Commons
Miami diners are few and far between, though there are some standouts.
Despite the number of Northeastern transplants in Miami, the choice in Miami diners is slim. They are places to get a pizza burger, super crispy French fries hidden under a mound of greasy industrial cheese, or a solid plate of hash browns and over-easy eggs. A few are sprinkled across town, though in many ways they play second fiddle to the cafeterias, fritangas, and endless ventanitas that are nestled into nearly every strip mall.

In some cases, ethnic places are Miami's version of the greasy spoon with similarly comforting, cheap, and hearty food based on a slightly different basket of ingredients. Nevertheless, it is those places where waitresses with wide smiles slam plates of glistening patty melts onto the table. Here are the best.

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Miami's Best Mofongo Hides Near Hialeah

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Photo by Zachary Fagenson
Churrasco and mofongo ($15.50) at El Rinconcito de Santa Bárbara in Hialeah Gardens.
If it weren''t for the blinding sun outside, it would be difficult to tell whether it's lunch on Tuesday or dinner on Friday night inside El Rinconcito de Santa Bárbara.

Nevertheless, people are lined up for a table outside the darkened windows of this Hialeah Gardens Puerto Rican spot. Inside, the staff belts out "Happy Birthday" in Spanish as someone rakes a spoon across a washboard and rainbow-colored club lights splash against the ceiling and walls.

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David's Cafe to Reopen on Alton Road

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Photo by Zachary Fagenson
It's cafecito time again.
Rejoice, South Beach. David's Café is coming back.

In April, the decades-old Cuban institution on Collins Avenue was shuttered because the surrounding construction hurt business, owners said. The closing followed the 2012 darkening of the Lincoln Road location (due to exorbitant rent), a caffeine-and-grease-laced hideaway for locals and tourists alike.

See also: David's Café Closing Sunday After Nearly Four Decades

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