Lagniappe is a refreshing new bar in midtown Miami with nightly live music and informal service offering wine, cheese, and meats. I love live music and Miami seems to be lacking hot spots with daily performances (and now even less with the closure of Van Dyke’s on Lincoln). The live music here is always pretty great but the only place you can enjoy it is in their tiny cramped front room. The front room is decorated with ‘found’ furniture. Bare concrete walls add to the minimalism. Guests choose their wine and beer from the bottles lined up from the wall and take them to the bar where the cashier will open your bottle and provide you with glasses. Since it is ‘help yourself’ service is minimal here. The refrigerators nestled amongst the bottles have cheese and salamis to make an impromptu charcuterie board for you and your friends. The cashier will give you a plate and instruct you to go outside to the right where the cheese is plated with freshly toasted bread, olives, and some delicious jellies. I believe they also sell proteins off the grill and sandwiches, but I have only enjoyed cheese and prosciutto or dark chocolate and a syrah.
If you are coming on a Thursday through Saturday night you can count on this spot teeming with large groups, couples, families, the wino, or the avid music listener. Finding a table in the back can be difficult here at times, but I haven’t been in a bit so maybe their business has slowed down. I like to sit in the front little room the best and snag a seat right next to the loud music. I like to be up close and personal. I don’t mind small spaces either.
Lagniappe’s has a lot of room for improvement. I’ve had a great time on days where it wasn’t so packed- and was a little annoyed on days where it was bursting at the seams. On the busy night it would have been nice to have had someone bus the sprawling sea of outdoor tables and chairs littered with glassware, bottles, and dirty plates.
On my most recent visit, I bought several cheeses and meats, but when I asked for extra bread I didn’t get any- just the same amount you get with a cheese. I’m pretty sure the bottle I bought was also corked, the cork seemed to be molded over but the cashier tossed out quickly before I got a look. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve had great times here- but this place could seriously be a gem with some improvements. Might I suggest putting outdoors playing the live music from the inside?
3425 NE 2nd Ave • Miami, FL• 33137 • (305) 576-0108
Blue Collar Restaurant in Miami is a small restaurant located on busy Biscayne Boulevard has been worth the drive from the gables. I have been to Blue Collar twice so far and the service definitely was faltering, unrefined, and slow, but I will come back in spite of this. Our greet and first round drinks took a pretty decent amount of time maybe 5+ minutes for the greet and 8-10 minutes for our drinks. aaaaaaaannnnnnd it took a while for a server to come by and take our order (shocker!).* In spite of this everything came out pretty quickly after the opportunity to order.
Blue Collar serves a large variety of side dishes, has rotating seasonal menus, great beer, and South Florida charm.The food here is actually great & the price point is solid. I got the double chicken breast with beets and brussel sprouts. I initially was disappointed with myself for ordering something so boring and blah off their lengthy menu, but the chicken was well-seasoned, perfectly grilled, and the portion was generous to boot. Their sprouts are seriously delish- nice and caramelized, with enough oil to remind me that vegetables at restaurants are never healthy. My boyfriend had the NY strip burger with fries. Last time we tried the vaca frita tostones, braised lamb necks, roasted artichoke hearts, and the bread pudding. I really did not enjoy their bread pudding. It was dense and sugary- nothing stand-out or remotely special. I’ll have to give their other desserts a try next time.
That being said- I can’t wait to come back here and try more menu items. Really though, so many things sounded amazing, but when you’re just two people its hard to try a variety of menu items. Ideally when writing a review you would go with more people, but alas, I am but a team of two! I would give this place 4 stars if their service could improve. In the current highly saturated restaurant market, poor service is considered inexcusable by the guest. Securing loyal customers should be the objective of businesses, but sometimes they don’t realize that their quality of service is also what they are selling as part of the product.
*I have been working in restaurants for the past 7 years. Unfortunately being a server in a high-volume expensive restaurant has ruined most of my dining out experiences. My knowledge of ‘spec’ American dining service has tarnished me as a diner! I must disclose I can be hyper-critical- BUT I often like to imagine myself as the business owner, and think about how I would react if I knew how my staff was performing.
Blue Collar Miami
6730 Biscayne Blvd • Miami, FL • 33138 • (305) 756-0366
My boyfriend has been raving about Latin Burger & Taco on Miracle Mile in my neighborhood, and he finally took me to try their burgers. The bright electric pink interior has prints of celebs like Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe eating burgers on the walls. Latin Burger & Taco originally started out as a food truck and in a way the design of their open kitchen resembles a food truck still. I had the machito burger and let me tell you- it was crazy delicious! The bun was steamed super soft à la Shake Shack and the burger patty was a delicious combination of beef and chorizo with faint hints of chili and cumin.
I argued that my boyfriend loved it so much because the patty in essence tasted like taco beef- even the subtle smokey seasoning added to that taco-like quality. The patty was topped with what seemed like white American cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and the bun had a light pimiento mayo. It was juicy and irresistible! I would def come back here. I give this place 4 stars simply because the service was well- meh, but the burger tasted SO good I won’t nitpick.
omggg- wow- I didn’t even mention the fries…the ADOBE (or adobo?) seasoned fries that blew my mind! The fries look like they will be crazy salty, but the seasoning is very subtle and adds ‘oomph’ to the fries. We tried to analyze its contents we decided it contains: dried garlic, parsley, sugar, paprika, chili powder, and who knows what else. They were seriously crispy and seasoned to perfection. The cashier accidentally gave my boyfriend a smaller burger than he ordered so they gave him another burger to go! I was impressed to say the least. Nom, nom, nom…
Latin Burger & Taco
232 Miracle Mile • Coral Gables, FL • 33134 • (305) 917-5963