After getting way behind on blog posts in general and deciding to first complete posts about “recent” trips (Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Augustine, Chicago), I am now ready to tackle the 20 some Miami posts that have accumulated. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I generally plan to go chronologically from most to least recent (what I remember about the oldest ones really won’t change in the next few weeks), but I might also bounce around a little bit. One recent adventure that I really enjoyed was a work lunch at recently-opened Wynwood Diner.
I had been looking forward to Wynwood Diner opening for quite some time. It’s great to have more options available in Wynwood and descriptions of the food in articles before it opened made me think there would be plenty that I could eat (and several things sounded particularly delicious). I saw the news that it would be opening on a Friday starting with dinner (lunch starting that next Monday) and figured I’d need to check it out for lunch sometime soon since it’s just down the street from work.
That next Friday my team was going out to lunch for my “work anniversary” and they asked me where I wanted go. I wondered if there was a restaurant with a Miami Spice lunch menu close by I’d enjoy, but the Spice menus that have interesting gluten-free options for every course are more limited. Barceloneta and Bulla in South Beach and Coral Gables, respectively, were two on my list, but they were both a little too far away. Instead I thought about the regular menus at old favorites closer to work like Harry’s Pizzeria or Blue Collar. Before committing I tried to think very hard about any restaurants close by that were on my bucket list and Wynwood Diner popped into my mind. The group got excited about that and it seemed like the perfect place.
We got there slightly after 1 PM and it was pretty packed. There weren’t going to be any tables available for 4 for a while, but they could offer us a spot at a few couches in the back (with a big coffee table and a waiter and everything). It wasn’t ideal, but it did give us a chance to admire the decor and vibe of Wynwood Diner. The inside of Wynwood Diner has an industrial base, like a lot of Wynwood, and then the decor is pretty eclectic and deliberately a bit gaudy (bold wallpapers, chandeliers, mirrors, etc.). I was already enjoying it before we even really looked at the menu. We all agreed the space seemed very very cool. After we ordered our food luckily a regular table next to us opened up and we transitioned to that.
Two spoilers about the experience at Wynwood Diner. I really enjoyed the food (#1), however the service left a lot to be desired and the lunch took quite a while (#2). I am chalking it up to the fact that it was their first week and they were packed at lunch. Not concerned at this point in general and it isn’t going to keep me away for now, but it was hard to be happy that lunch took over an hour and a half, that at first we couldn’t really get service, and that then we had to ask for our check from multiple people four times… It did seem like our waiter had quite a number of tables (again it was packed), but a wide variety of issues led to me being a little frustrated and annoyed.
Now that that’s out of the way I can focus on the food! As a breakfast lover, I love that breakfast is served all day. I do think Miami has been lacking a bit on the diner end and I like that Wynwood Diner is a high-end diner in a lot of ways (with more variety of food). They have a solid list of breakfast foods available on the all-day menu (lots of egg dishes, hash browns, waffles, etc.). I was very excited to see them list hash browns. I really hope they are the crispy, golden hash browns that I crave so much and rarely can find in Miami (so much home fries…).
Beyond breakfast they have the usual American categories like appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and main courses (but with quite a number of “twists” in each) . Easily the thing my eyes widened for the most was the truffle cheese fries. This would get my attention regardless, but I also had seen a pic online or in a newspaper review that made them look pretty incredible. Unfortunately it’s made with a mornay sauce, so I couldn’t partake as a gluten-free. If you’re non gluten-free, you should definitely check them out though. Side note: mornay sauce is one of the hardest things to look up (done while we were waiting for the waiter to come by)… The ingredients seem simple enough, but then it contains another kind of sauce that you have to look up, which then that sauce contains a sauce you have to also search for (it generally has flour it in though was the final takeaway).
It’s hard for me to say no to deviled eggs and these had bacon on them, so we went for an order of those. We also went with an order of the buffalo chicharrones (fried pork rinds). I’ve always found fried pork rinds to be a little hard for me to wrap my head around, but I’ve warmed to them since living in Miami and I was intrigued by the reference to buffalo flavor. For my meal I went for the steak frites, one co-worker went for the fried chicken (the Fried Freed Bird), and two co-workers went both for the Cobb salad.
The appetizers came out in a reasonable time (wouldn’t have even thought about it except for the overall issue with service). More recently I’ve begun to debate my obsession with deviled eggs and whether I need to get them almost anytime they are on the menu. Wywnood Diner’s deviled eggs was a good reminder of my love though. I really enjoyed the bacon added (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bacon). It lent enough of its flavor and texture to notice it, but not overpower the other flavors and the essence of a deviled egg itself. I also remembered the yolk and mustard filing to be extra creamy. The chicharrones were just out and were sizzling and still popping a little bit. They were a nice little snack before the meal (I was very hungry), but I didn’t taste too much of the buffalo flavor. Tasted like more general chicharrones (mentally still have issues thinking of them as fried pork rinds), but they were still solid.
The longest lag time was the time between receiving our appetizers and our main course (well waiting for the check took quite a while too…). That aside, the steak part of my steak frites was excellent. It came with a garlic herb butter on top that was mouthwatering. The steak was tender and delicious on it’s own. The fries were also very delicious. They were Idaho cut, so they were hearty, but still had some crisp. They also had a really “pure” French fry taste. My co-worker was similarly happy with his fried chicken and was already talking about wanting to come back that night for dinner after happy hour (a very good sign). My co-workers’ Cobb salads took a little bit longer to come out (which doesn’t make much sense as they’re salads). They visually were quite impressive though when they did come out. Originally the waiter had said they were out of avocados, but the salads ended up coming out with it (which was a good thing). It was a relatively packed salad (again that looked awesome), but my co-workers did mention they wish it had been chopped up more or easier to mix given how much stuff there was (it might have come out differently if they hadn’t ordered the dressing on the side). There unfortunately though was an issue with some of the chicken not being cooked all the way though… Overall though I would say the salad was an anomaly among the other food in not being awesome.
For this first visit Wynwood Diner the food overall gets raves. The service and time of meal we’ll give it a few more chances as it just opened and understandably they’re working out kinks. I certainly want to go back to try brunch (I hope those hash browns deliver!). The atmosphere and decor I think would lend it well to the brunch vibe you find up north. I’ll also be happy to come back for the steak frites again, plus a few of their burgers caught my eye. Other items that look delicious for the regular gluten eaters (besides the heavenly sounding truffle cheese fries of course!) are panko fried heirloom tomatoes, the mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, and the country fried steak. Wynwood Diner is a great option to have in the heart of Wynwood (as long as they figure out their service). It’s open late (1 AM on most nights, 3 AM on weekend) and can work for a full meal, a snack (midday or late night after the bars), or a drink (pretty cool bar you’ll see below in the pics), Leaving I also got some pictures of more the decor and the patio outside. Take a look!
Wynwood Diner- 2601 NW 2nd Avenue Miami, FL