Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink (and other Miami eateries) featured on "After Hours with Daniel"

Last week I headed over to Michael's Genuine Food & Drink for dinner with a lady friend of mine, hoping to land a table even though we had no reservation which is risky business if youve ever dined there haha. Luckily the hostess said the wait wouldnt be long so we sat at the bar. As I sipped my Basil Hayden, I noticed a flyer on the bar for one of my favorite shows, "After Hours with Daniel" which is on Sunday nights (and randomly throughout the week) on the MOJO hi-def channel on Comcast. The show follows renowned chef, Daniel Boulud, who picks a restaurant in a given area (up until now I thought it was NY only but apparently theyve expanded to Miami and New Orleans) and joins the chef to cook for an audience "after hours" when the restaurant is closed. Daniel usually invites other chefs in the area along with celebrity friends for a roundtable discussion on food, wine, etc.

Its a pretty cool show and I actually saw the Michaels episode just the other day. Pretty interesting when Daniel shows up with a bag full of an assortment of birds to be plucked and served for dinner. Michael also seems like a "genuinely" cool guy.

Also featured from Miami - Ortanique, The Lido, Sardinia, and Michy's

I enjoyed this show so I figured Id share. For more info on the show, including episode dates/times, visit the show website

Monday, March 10, 2008

Aladdin's Grill, Coconut Grove - Awkwardly good

When I first heard about the opening of Aladdin's Grill on Main Hwy in the Grove, I was happy because I have lunch in the Grove often on weekends and Im tired of all the current options. I also love a good falafel pita, wrap, or sandwich of some sort. So, this past Saturday I headed in to check it out.

As I crossed over Main Hwy, I glanced up the street and saw this kooky looking guy eagerly trying hand out menus to passerbys. "Oh, this has got to be it", I thought. The man really, really wanted to give me a menu but got really excited when he noticed I was headed inside. The whole thing was just really awkward and the getup he and another waiter had on wasnt helping. Call me ignorant if you want but these guys just looked silly. I felt like I was at a bad play and thats probably the best way to put it. Im actually cracking up as I type this because, looking back, it was pretty hilarious. The outfits are just too much hahaha.

The awkwardness continued when I went to order. I really dont think I can explain it properly because anything outside of being there would never do it justice. The waiter was obviously new and probably knew little about the food from what I could gather. I thought this because he would tell me something, then leave, then come back and add a sentence, rinse, lather, repeat. This went on at least 3 times and I just chalked it up to him being new. It was a little annoying though because I simply wanted lunch and to get the hell outta Dodge. The menu had all of the typical Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fare along with a selection of flavored tobaccos to smoke through use of a houka. This screams college and I think its a good business idea. Stupid college kids act like the stuff is weed or something and they will pay for the look.

Naturally, I ordered the falafel wrap. It reminded me a lot of the type of wrap you get at Pasha's but it was much larger. Quite frankly, it was damn good. The falafel were nice and crisp on the outside with a warm middle that wasnt dry at all. The rest of the veggies inside and the tahini sauce did their job to keep things cool as I applied hot sauce to each bite. That was the one setback to the food. Most Middle Eastern restaurants that Ive got a falafel at have a special blend of peppers and spices that pack a mean punch. Hell, this is half the reason that I love the falafel pita at Pita Plus on SoBe. This place didnt have that and the owner said he was going to find someone to make that for him. They also didnt have Tabasco so I had to opt for the inferior "Hot Sauce" brand.

I wont hold it against them though. Like I said, the wrap was damn good and it only came to about $8-$9 with tip included. I'll definitely be back to try the kibbe sometime and knowing that there is a falafel wrap within walking distance is a good thing as well. Plus, the unintentional comedy at this place is off the charts!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ramblin on

Man, its been a long couple of weeks. Seems like I havent been home in awhile, mainly because my condo is in a state of disarray. Actually, I havent been home for a string of more than 2 days in quite some time. Im always torn with the decision of whether or not to get a maid and I think its about time I gave it a shot. I figure the money is worth having more free time to myself. The argument is always that I figure its lazy to have a maid and I should just stay on top of things when Im home. So am I too busy or just lazy? Probably a little of both. Funny thing is that Im lying on the couch drinking a beer and watching TV right now haha. Speaking of TV...

This show Moment of Truth is insane. I cant believe what people will do for a few bucks. Here is a sampling of questions:

Have you ever been paid for sex?

Did you invite anyone to your wedding who you had previously had sex with?

Would you leave your husband for your ex-boyfriend?

Have you ever cheated on your husband?

Funny thing is that the prizes arent worth the trouble in my opinion. You can make $25K easy on Wheel of Fortune without having to destroy your marriage, career, or family.

Spent the past 5 days in my 2nd favorite city in the country - Chicago. It was cold but not dreadfully cold. In fact, I never wore a heavy jacket when I went out at night. I was happy that work was in the city because its usually out by the airport where there is hardly anything to do for fun. I planned to eat well but mainly ended up eating pizza and burgers most of the time, with the exception of the last night when we went for a steak. It was all good though. Met up with some old friends, worked with a new friend, and met someone with the same b-day as me which was funny the way it went down. All in all it was a good time as expected. I just really like the people in Chicago and I always have a good time there.

I dont know if Im going to vote this year and it really all depends on whether or not Obama defeats Hilary. When I woke up this morning, I saw a headline that Hilary had already won the nominee but I guess its still up for grabs. I was confused because I hate politics and dont really follow the whole race thing outside of where each candidate stands on different issues. Strange thing is that I mainly like Obama because of his lack of experience not in spite of it.

Im fired up about a new movie thats coming out that is based on the book, "Bringing Down the House". The story of MIT kids busting Vegas by developing a cunning system to dominate blackjack is an awesome one. In fact, Im going to buy the book to read the story in its entirety (Ive read an abridged version before) for my next road trip. Im a big fan of gambling and the rush you get from it so I imagine this one will be worth reading.

On the flight home today, I was reading the American Way magazine and found out that the Black Crowes just released a new album today which is pretty awesome. Im just hoping its as good as some of their past albums because its been a long time since theyve been together. At least itll be good to hear new Crowes songs again.