Last night my team threw a happy hour right below our offices at the new World of Beer in Midtown. They’re in Midblock next to Machiya and across the breezeway from Muscle Maker Grill. They built their space with a lot of glass walls that can open to the outside, which make it a great space. Each day they put tables outside in the breezeway and then have a great long bar inside with a huge selection of beer as their name makes pretty obvious. What’s great is that they also have quite a number of ciders, including several on draft.
One downside of World of Beer is that they don’t have a kitchen so there isn’t any food (but I don’t think other locations have food so it must be deliberate). For this happy hour they were able to order catering from a neighboring restaurant (this time Bar Louie- blog post here) and set it up on tables in the back. Very easy an no-life on our part. There was then a huge menu for people to pick drinks from. The draft menu itself was a whole front and back. On draft they have Woodchuck Amber and Pear, plus Original Sin Cider. They then have an entire wall of cases with bottles and behind that a refrigerator with even more. At the happy hour People at the happy hour really enjoyed sampling so many different options. For one person who wasn’t much of a beer drinker they got a great crash course/tutorial from one of the bartenders, who helped figure out the best beer for her given her preferences. All the bartenders were super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Everyone really seemed to be enjoying their time!
Even without food World of Beer is still a great space. The long bar makes it great for some one-on-one hangouts with a friend and then the tables inside the opened walls or outside in the breezeway are great places to sit and drink with a group. The breezeway captures a great breeze even in the summer heat. It’s definitely a place I plan to visit after a long day of work in the summer when all I’ll want is a cold drink and a cool breeze. World of Beer offers both!
World of Beer also offers a number of specials such as half-off drafts for students and educators on Wednesday (with a cool WOB U card and showing your ID) and a $1 off for when owners bring their dogs on Tuesday.
There are also locations in Kendall, Dadeland, and Coconut Creek, plus many across Florida and the country. I can’t speak to the space of the other locations (which for Midtown is pretty awesome!), but the selection will be similar and I’m assuming the expertise and friendliness of the bartenders at other locations is similar to the ones at the Midtown location.
If you’re a beer (or cider drinker) and are looking for a relaxing space in Midtown World of Beer is a great option. There are tons of restaurants nearby to grab food before and after (and they might even let you bring your food in since they don’t have a kitchen). Despite the conundrum in it’s name this gluten-free will definitely be back to World of Beer!
Bar Louie- 3252 NE 1st Ave (plus locations in Kendall, Dadeland, Pembroke Pines, around Florida and U.S.)
One of my goals originally of my blog was to blog about organizations in Miami, as well as restaurants, sights, etc. One organization that I volunteer with is Big Brothers Big Sisters, which matches mentors and youth together (bigs and littles). My little brother is in the fifth grade and it’s a blast. He’s an awesome kid and we have a great time exploring Miami and hanging out!
There are two options in Big Brothers Big Sisters- the school-based or community-based programs. In the school-based program mentors work with their littles during the school day at school. I’m a part of the community-based program and I hang out with him outside of school about every two weeks. We then talk about every week, sometime more often, on the phone and he also knows he can call me whenever. What we do when we hangout really is limitless. In general bigs and littles can do anything that interests them. I’ll talk a bit more below about what I’ve done with my little.
I signed up to be a Big Brother first by submitting a volunteer inquiry form online. For Miami-Dade their website is- http://www.wementor.org/ and everyone else should just Google “Big Brothers Big Sisters” to find their local branch. After I submitted the online form Big Brothers Big Sisters gave me a call and I went in for an interview with a social worker- the relationship development specialist. During the interview they asked me a lot of questions about my work, daily life, and also preferences about my little (age/grade, if they are more outgoing or more reserved, etc). I also filled out an application for them to do a background and driving check. It took about an hour and was easy to do.
A week or two later the relationship development specialist called about a match with my little brother. We had an original meeting with the relationship development specialist, my little brother, and his mom at their house. We talked all together about some of my little brother’s goals, things he likes to do, and got to know each other a little bit. After that meeting the match support specialist, another social worker, takes over by checking in every so often with both myself and my little brother and helping us with anything we need.
My little brother and I have done all sorts of things on our bi-weekly hangouts. Since my little brother hasn’t been to a lot of places outside Liberty City we’ve spent a lot of time exploring different parts of Miami. We walked around and explored places like South Beach and Coconut Grove. We’ve gone to the Science Museum (blog post here) and the Fair (blog post here) and swam at Matheson Hammock Park (blog post here). We also have biked around Pinecrest and got to the Farmer’s Market (blog post here) and also gone on a tour of the University of Miami. Regardless of what we do I have a great time hanging out with my little brother. He’s an awesome kid that’s super perceptive, polite, funny and a great friend!
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an awesome program that’s a lot of fun and I’d highly recommend it to anyone that wants to make a difference, while having a great time. If you’re interested in being a mentor you should definitely sign up for Big Brothers Big Sisters. You need to be able to make at least a one year commitment to the program, although of course they hope that it goes for longer. I have loved my time in the program and always have a great time with my little brother!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami-Dade- http://www.wementor.org/
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals! Well actually all meals are my favorite meals (this makes me think of It’s A Wonderful Life when Uncle Billy said the three best sounds in the world are “breakfast is served, lunch is served, and dinner is served.” I relate!), but I do really love breakfast food especially! I can do traditional breakfast (eggs, hash browns, sausages/bacon, etc) any day with a smile and “mmm”, but I also love some creativity or variety in breakfast.
A favorite breakfast spot that has delicious breakfast (and other food), creativity, and a great atmosphere is Deli Lane Cafe in Brickell. Unfortunately I only “discovered” it (emphasized because I had heard of it for awhile but delayed in visiting) in my last few months of living in Brickell.
Deli Lane is in the plaza on the eastside of Brickell Ave between 8th and 10th streets next to the aptly named Plaza on Brickell condo building along with Sushi Siam and down from El Gran Inka. Deli Lane’s corner of the plaza is well-shaded and despite being on Brickell Ave is set back enough to feel quite calm and quiet. It has a lot of outdoor seating, which takes advantage of the space’s best qualities.
Deli Lane has a pretty ridiculous menu in terms of options. It has a wide amount of breakfast food served all day (which I’ll explain more in detail in a sec), appetizers (like nachos, wings, and chicken fingers), several kinds of quesadillas, salads, soups, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, entrees, and pizza. The imaginary mouth in my head just got tired saying that all in my mind! I can personally only speak to a few breakfast items, but given the quality of the breakfast food I’d wager the rest of their menu is delicious and great quality!
The first time I visited for breakfast I got the brunch enchiladas. I”m a huge fan of huevos rancheros (and of enchiladas in general) so this seemed up my alley. It’s corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, salsa, cheddar cheese, and beans. The tortillas are flaky and it’s not too saucy (how I like my enchiladas) and is filling with the eggs and beans and then all cheesy to wrap it all up. It also came with house potatoes that were a combination of flaky, fluffy, and crispy (depending on the piece) and texture-wise complemented the brunch enchiladas very well. All together it was delicious and filling dish to start off the day (though if I remember correctly it was a bit of a late start!).
On that first visit my friend got the lo-carb Benedict, which was delicious and with a side of tomatoes met her Paleo challenge at the time. There are a lot of similarly healthier options available on the menu including buckwheat pancakes and lo-cal French toast. Besides my brunch enchiladas there also are the usual eggs with sides, omelettes, an egg sandwich, Southwestern huevos, a frittata, French toasts, pancakes, and quite a number more options! A long list of more traditional breakfast items with some more unique and creative.
The second time I visited I got the Kitty’s Hash- corned beef, potatoes, and onions with poached eggs on top. I love me a good hash and this was definitely one of them. The corned beef and onions were crispy like many hashes, but the difference was that the potatoes came as slices instead of small chunks. Didn’t make too much of a difference overall, but the potatoes were really delicious and so it was nice to have the potatoes stick out more (while not having it overwhelm the crispy corned beef aspect). Since this was breakfast before Ultra Sunday I knew I had to fuel up for the long day so I also got an order of potato skins (my appetizer guilty pleasure). It ended up being a pretty big platter- crispy with sprinkled cheese and sides of sour cream and nacho-like cheese to dip them in. It was quite too much food for one sitting, but it was some great leftovers later!
Deli Lane Cafe has a very extensive menu of delicious classics and creative options for every meal. The Brickell location (the original location is in South Miami) is a great space that’s perfect on a beautiful weekend morning (and I’m sure any other time it’s a beautiful day!). For the atmosphere and the wide selection it’s my definitive top pick for breakfast in Brickell!
Deli Lane Cafe (921 Brickell Ave Miami, FL and the original location in South Miami)
After visiting the Rubell Family Collection (blog post here) we picked up my friend from her old school and before lunch headed to check out one more of the galleries- the de la Cruz Collection (unfortunately the Margulies Collection, which is the third of the major galleries in the Arts District, had just closed at the end of April for re-installation until October). The de la Cruz instantly became a favorite Miami spot- it has a ton of variety in terms of the art, it’s in a beautiful space, and it’s FREE!
Rose and Carlos de la Cruz used to keep their collection in their home on Key Biscayne and invite people to view it, but in 2009 they built the current space in the Design District to house their collection. Perhaps keeping with its beginning the space is very Miami house-like! You enter and it’s a gigantic white room with tall ceilings and a wall of windows just like the great room of a modern Miami mansion. The collection continues on a 2nd and 3rd floor that similarly is a bright and airy space.
The collection has a wide variety of pieces and mediums- sculpture (traditional and more abstract), painting, photography, and some that are hard to even define! The artwork is much more up my alley in terms of my interest. It’s modern and contemporary (more my definitions than the actual art definitions!) and while many pieces can be quite interpretive, it’s not too abstract in my opinion. It fits much more with my more traditional view of art or at least what I like (nothing like big splotches of paint that looks random on a canvas no offense !).
For each floor the collection has little booklets that list all the pieces and has a floor map, plus has information about the artists and their work. Since we were one of the few people at the collection we had a museum guide close by the entire time who was very knowledgeable about all the pieces and shared some great info and insight!
The de la Cruz Collection is a beautiful space with a lot of beautiful artwork of many different types. And since it’s free you have nothing to lose in visiting! But I highly recommend it and think you’ll find it worth a visit! I’ll definitely plan on a return trip to the de la Cruz Collection and it’ll be a go-to spot for a place to bring visitors from out of town.
Check out pics from my visit below! Also check out a video posted on Vine of Alex Israel’s “Untitled” piece (link here). It’s best viewed while moving! It starts “cold” and then becomes “warm”
On Friday we dropped off my friend who was visiting at her old school so she could see her students and the rest of us went to check out some of the large galleries in Wynwood close by. Most articles in my travel magazines about Miami talk about Wynwood and the murals/public art and the many galleries there. A lot of articles mention the large galleries- the Margulies Collection, Rubell Family Collection, and the Dela Cruz Collection- and I had always wanted to check them out. Previously I had only been to small galleries during Art Walk.
We started at the Rubell Family Collection since that was closest and I had noticed it often when driving down 29th St. The collection is in a warehouse that used to store DEA confiscated goods. It’s the private collection of the Rubell Family and is now one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections. It’s been in it’s present location since 1993. The Collection and its associated Foundation were one of the earlier contributors to what is known as the “Miami model,” where private collectors create a space that becomes like a public institution.
The Rubell Family Collection has a lot of abstract and interpretive pieces in a variety of mediums- painting, sculpture, photography, and video. On the first floor is a number of large warehouse like rooms with high ceilings (but well lit) and a sculpture garden. On the second floor has rooms that are smaller and lower ceilings. Take a look at the pics below to see some of my favorites and get an idea of what the collection is like. Admission to the Collection is $10. We spent about 45 minutes there but could have spent some time longer looking closer at each piece. If you’re looking to explore Wynwood the Rubell Family Collection is a great place to check out and start because of its large collection!
Many months ago Thrillist did an article on Whiskey Joe’s and it immediately peaked my interest! It was described as a bar on Key Biscayne on the marina near Rusty Pelican, with views of downtown. I love bars on the water, especially along marinas, and think they are unfortunately severely lacking in Miami. There’s Finnegan’s on the River (post here), which is decent and convenient to Brickell, but since it’s in the middle of the city it doesn’t have that tropical feel I love (and that reminds me of one of my favorite places- Key West). My favorite so far in Miami is Monty’s on the marina in Coconut Grove (post here) and then I love Pirate Republic in Fort Lauderdale (post about the Fort Lauderdale water taxi bar crawl here).
Despite it being high on my list to visit and living just across the Rickenbacker at the time I hadn’t visited. Then my friend went and thought it was great and it sounded like it was exactly what I was expecting. Finally this past weekend my friends and I had some time to kill after brunch at Perricone’s (post here) before I drove them to the airport so we made a stop!
Whiskey Joe’s has the tropical/Tiki bar look going right away from the outside. You walk up a set of steps to a large covered deck with a bar in the middle and tables lining the outside. One side faces the Rickenbacker marina and has pretty stunning views of the downtown skyline. Exactly what I love- open to the breeze, relaxed and rustic feel, on the water!
My friends and I grabbed some drinks- they have beer, wine, and a lot of tropical mixed drinks. We started with loopy lemonades, which were Three Olives Loopy vodka, cranberry juice, and sour mix. We then got their mojitos with Black Razz Bacardi. Pretty delicious and they actually were pretty strong for sugary mixed drinks like that!
Since we just had that huge breakfast at Perricone’s we weren’t super hungry, but we did get an order of chips and queso. In addition to that they have a lot of typical bar food with a seafood twist. They have appetizers like wings, cheesy fries, quesadillas, and nachos. They also have salads, soups, tacos, sandwiches, sliders, and a lot of seafood specialties. From my friend’s earlier recommendation and the queso I’d bet this food is pretty solid and will try it next time for sure.
Whiskey Joe’s Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4-7 PM. They have $2 off specialty drinks, $3 domestic draft, $4 import and craft beers, $3.50 well drinks, $5 house wine, and discounted appetizers!
A cool feature of Whisky Joe’s (to me) is that the marina was dropping boats on forklifts from storage into the water. This was really cool to see for my friend Michael and I (especially a sick silver Porsche boat), but it did come with some beeping when the forklifts backed up. It didn’t bother me at all or interrupt the relaxfulness of the place, but it might for some people.
Whiskey Joe’s definitely ranks up there with Monty’s as a top waterside bar. Since it’s much smaller than Monty’s it is even more relaxed and laidback, although Whiskey Joe’s probably would be more busy during Happy Hour (which are the only times I’ve been to Monty’s). They both have great marina/water views and a great vibe! I need to visit both more often!
Whiskey Joe’s has a convenient location close to downtown, but still a bit removed. It’s relaxed, laidback, and has amazing views of the water and the downtown skyline. Looking for a waterside bar, especially with that tropical feel? Check out Whiskey Joe’s!
Whiskey Joe’s- 3301 Rickenbacker Causeway Key Biscayne, FL 33149
This weekend my best friends who had lived in Miami up until this year were in town from California! My friend Michael loves to eat a lot like me and my friend Jess loves Perricone’s (especially their $10 pasta special on Thursday). Perricone’s Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch? Perfect combo!
Perricone’s is a great space right in the heart of Brickell on the edge of Allen Morris Park. Allen Morris is a little park with a lot of foliage that Perricone’s incorporates into it’s space. When you enter there is a little Italian market and then only about one indoor room of seating. The restaurant however extends into several rooms in a permanent white “tent” with windows to the outside and views of the trees and the park. When the weather is nice there is also outside seating surrounded by the dense foliage. At night this is all lit up by white lights and it looks beautiful!
Perricone’s has a lot of great Italian food and pasta. Their $10 pasta Thursdays are quite well-known and a favorite of many Miamians. Given the focus on pasta I don’t frequent Perricone’s too often but have been on occasion, usually for friends’ birthdays. For gluten-frees they have antipasto plate, many salads, and salmon, chicken, and steak entrees! Some gluten favorites of my friends include the baked brie (wrapped in a crispy pastry), gnocci, and fiocchi (stuffed with pear)!
Sunday’s brunch is much more gluten-free friendly however! The brunch is $19.99 and has a long buffet line of breads and muffins, salads (fruit, pasta, burrata, and antipasto), pancakes, sausage, bacon, roasted potatoes, and a pasta dish. They then have a custom omelette station you can order from with ham, cheese, onions, peppers, and spinach. With your brunch you get a glass of orange juice and coffee (plus I think they mentioned soda as an option).
The brunch has variety and is solid quality. The fruit and salads were fresh, the sausage and bacon were quality, the roasted potatoes were delicious (fluffy but filling with some shredded cheese on top), and the omelets were a great ratio of egg to stuffings. It’s definitely something worth going to on an empty stomach and if you’re a big breakfast fan it all makes the buffet worth it! Topping it off was a flute musician playing from the balcony! Perricone’s is a great Sunday brunch buffet for a reasonable price in a great location! Especially if you’re in Brickell check it out Sundays 9:00 am-3:00 pm.
Perricone’s- 15 SE 10th St Miami, FL