Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Miami eats

I'm an obsessive researcher when it comes to figuring out where to eat on a vacation. I'm off to Miami this weekend for my joint birthday with the boyfriend. Yes, we do have the same birthday - it's Friday...weird, right?

Anyway, in New Orleans I lamented that we ate so much we had little energy for nightlife, so I swore that on this trip, we wouldn't stuff ourselves. And yet, here I am reading endlessly on chowhound, urbanspoon, citysearch, NY Times, concierge.com...the list goes on and on.

For what it's worth, I always check concierge.com first for ideas, then I scope out articles on NY Times Travel, and I triangulate on the user-generated content sites like urbanspoon and chowhound. It's pot calling the kettle black, but sometimes it's faster to read one trusted reviewers take on a place than sift through a zillion stranger's reviews. Hopefully you know by now you can trust me to have good taste!

Miami is a tough town to plan dining for. We're staying in South Beach, which is far enough away from areas like the design district, where hot restaurants like Michael's Genuine and Michelle Bernstein's new Sra Martinez are, that it'll be 40 bucks roundtrip in taxis minimum to get out there. That makes restaurants in the South Beach area, even pricey ones, suddenly seem more affordable.

In the end, we've made double reservations to leave ourselves some flexibility. After way too many hours of reading other people's take on Miami restaurants, I opted for Sra Martinez if it's cool out and we spend the whole day in the design district and Sardinia if it's warm and we laze the day away in Sobe. We'll make a day-of decision as to where we'll be celebrating our births!

We're also looking to check out the unfortunately named Dilido Beach Club, home of Top Chef's hottie reject Jeff, and a grungy Argentine el cheapo parilla called Liberty. Somewhere along the line, I'd like a Cuban sandwich and a whole lot of cocktails, too.

I've tried my hand at creating a map to use as reference while I'm in Miami. It plots out all of the restaurants I might want to eat at so I can leave some decisions til the last second. Kind of handy...Google thinks of everything!

Check it out here.

Find out how it all went down starting Monday next week...

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