Food Trucks barred from Art Walk, again [updated]

By | May 7th, 2012 | 3 Comments

There may be Storm Troopers but there reportedly won't be an official food truck gathering in Wynwood Saturday night. -- photo by Robby Campbell

The food truck roundup that typically accompanies Second Saturdays Art Walk in Wynwood will not happen this month, according to its organizer. Shortly after noon today, the manager of Sakaya Kitchen — whose owner, Richard Hales, organizes the roundup — sent the following message to the food truck community via email: “Unfortunately the Wynwood event is not going to happen this month on the lot; the City will not give the permission … See you hopefully next month.”

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Art Walk food truck roundup back on this month

By | April 13th, 2012 | 2 Comments

After being shut down last month, the food truck roundup is back on for Saturday's Art Walk in Wynwood. -- photo by Robby Campbell

Love ‘em or lament ‘em, the food trucks are going to be back in full force at Art Walk Saturday night. The organizer of the food truck roundup, which sets up in a lot west of N.W. Second Avenue, between 22nd Street and 23rd Street, just sent out an email to all the trucks eligible for the event proclaiming, “WE HAVE A PERMIT AND THE EVENT IS OFFICIALLY ON! START TWEETING AND GET THE WORD OUT!”

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Art Walk food truck roundup cancelled amid controversy

By | March 8th, 2012 | 13 Comments

The Wynwood Market, the usual gathering space for food trucks during Second Saturdays Art Walk, will be closed this Saturday. -- photo by Robby Campbell

The food truck roundup that accompanies Art Walk in Wynwood on the second Saturday of every month has been cancelled amid a storm of accusations between the food trucks operators and Brad Knoefler, the neighborhood activist who spearheaded the creation of Grand Central Park in downtown.

Art Walk itself will go on as usual (see our exhibition guide).

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Finally, The Abbey Brewing Company Reopens

By | February 21st, 2012 | No Comments
"The Abbey Brewing Company" by Robby Campbell

The Abbey Brewing Company, at 1115 16th Street in South Beach, has reopened. -- photo by Robby Campbell

Many was the night in the last what-feels-like-forever that I wished The Abbey Brewing Company, located in South Beach, would finish its expansion and reopen. Finally, according to Thrillist, it has: “… the formerly minuscule beer haven has returned as a whole new Abbey after the owners tore apart the former digs, then carefully pieced them back together to create a much roomier, refurbished wood-lined interior they claim ‘brings it up to the 21st century’.” The building expansion is welcome news, as is the menu expansion to include whiskey at the previously beer-only watering hole. To learn more about the Abbey’s intoxicating return, check out the Thrillist post.

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Throwing pizza with Chef Ivo

By | June 30th, 2011 | 8 Comments

As you may know, tonight is our Sketchy Party at Lester’s cafe in Wynwood to celebrate the launch of Sketchy Miami and So far, we’ve introduced you to several of the artists who will be banging out flash portraits at the party (Annie Blazejack, Brian Butler, Carrie Sieh) and singer-songwriter Sam Friend, who will be on hand to test the structural integrity of Lester’s ceramicware with a rollicking acoustic performance.

Now we introduce you to Chef Ivo Mazzon, the culinary saint behind the divine pizza at Joey’s, which will be served free and hot at Lester’s tonight. Chef Mazzon hails from outside of Venice and has been tossing pizza since he was a teenager. Earlier this week, I stopped into Joey’s kitchen to get a lesson from the master on how to make his signature pie, the Dolce e Piccante. Roll video.

If that wasn’t enough to entice you out to Lester’s tonight, then you are strange. Even so, you’re invited to our Sketchy Party. Come enjoy the music, the food, the beer (25% off for the first hour), and get your beautiful face sketchy’d by some of Miami’s most talented artists. You can get full details about the party on Facebook. A presto!

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Bye-Bye BAR

By | June 22nd, 2011 | 12 Comments

Two dudes take in the photography at the Vice Magazine Full Bleed party at BAR on Oct. 2.

BAR is closing. Not a bar. BAR. You know, the downtown drinking establishment commonly referred to as “Formerly PS14″ with the continually-changing decor, the never-changing grime, the toilet from Trainspotting, and the surprisingly pleasant back patio.

According to the New Times, BAR’s landlords (also the owners of its next door neighbor, the Vagabond) want another tenant at N.E. 14th Street and have asked BAR owner Al Moran to vacate after the July 4 weekend. For his part, Moran says he intends to reopen BAR in another Miami location because “[t]his city needs it.”

Only a fool gets attached to a Miami hangout. Another one either goes under or undergoes a rechristening every week. Nonetheless, I will miss BAR in its absence. It hosted several memorable events we covered over the last nine months and served as the backdrop to some choice photographs. It has also graciously welcomed hundreds of stinking Critical Mass cyclists with cheap beer and barbecue since I’ve been doing the ride.

For these reasons and more, we toast BAR’s 14th Street tenancy and its eventual resurrection with a handful of photographs taken in and around the joint. Cheers. (More photos after the jump.)

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Wynwood would be stupid to drive food trucks away

By | March 7th, 2011 | 19 Comments

Wynwood property owner David Lombardi wants food trucks to trade in the curb for his field ... at a fee.

Much has been made (including by me) about the rise of the Miami food truck. For a while now, it seems you can spot at least one of the city’s ever-growing number of mobile kitchens parked off of the side of the road anywhere you go, and many have celebrated this roving addition to the local culinary scene.

But another, somewhat dramatic narrative has been riding shotgun with the success story from the beginning. Not long after everyone found about the Biscayne Triangle Truck Roundup (BTTR), a gathering of almost the entire fleet of local trucks off of 109th and Biscayne, complaints from within the adjoining neighborhood forced the event to relocate (to Johnson & Wales, last I heard).

Then there was the public split – melodramatically played out on Twitter – between the trucks and their would-be organizing body, the Gourmet Food Truck Association, which reportedly had an accused child-molester as a volunteer.

Now there is a dust-up between Wynwood property owner David Lombardi and Jack Garabedian, owner of Jefe’s Original food truck. Lombardi and several Wynwood gallery owners have a problem with Jefe’s and other food trucks lining the streets during Miami’s Second Saturday Art Walk. “Some businesses have complained that the trucks block the sidewalk, crowd their entrances, and leave a mess at the end of the night,” according to the Herald.

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Fear & Loathing at the Sobe Wine & Food Festival

By | February 27th, 2011 | 10 Comments

Beware: Marauding foodie terrorists abound at the Sobe Wine & Food Festival.

I had reservations about getting press passes to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. First of all, if you listened to Podcast #7, you know my opinion of the festival’s douche-bag-in-chief, Guy Fieri (pictured below looking quite the DB). Secondly, an event of this magnitude and tailored to the faux-foodie-with-hundreds-to-burn-on-a-day-pass set seemed like exactly the kind of event we could pretend doesn’t exist on Beached Miami. Thirdly, it seemed inevitable that the spectacle of thousands of yuppie satyrs stuffing face was going to quickly activate my fear-and-loathing gland, and that, lacking David Foster Wallace’s genius to turn the experience into a timeless piece of writing (“Consider the Sand Flea”?), I’d end up simply complaining about it and inciting a few such yuppie satyrs to reply with mildly indignant comments.

So I went. And boy was I wrong! Kidding of course. Exactly as expected. In fact, the only surprise was how bad the food was. I tried about every vendor in Grand Tasting Village and nothing registered above “demi-divine” in the Official Foodie’s Guide to Verbal Food Appraisal (a must-read for all who aspire to the Iron Chef judge’s table). Seriously, I wouldn’t regurgitate a single hors d’oeuvre and say “Try that.”

Not more than a few sandy steps into one of the two main tents, I was about to try my first bite — a rum-soaked brownie — when a woman with a lecherous eye gasped, “Isn’t it fantastic?” in blatant disregard to the fact that the brownie had yet to cross my lips and in a way that made me wonder if Lee Schrager had boosters planted around GT Village. I should have turned back there, my friends, but I went forward, into the munching masses, the red-toothed swishing swarm. Somehow I have lived to tell about it, and, no matter the appeal of sobewff’s siren song (“Mambo No. 5″ with kettle drum accompaniment), I almost certainly wouldn’t tempt fate again. For staged debauchery is a step away from chaos, and I will not have my obituary read: “Husband, brother, beloved son. Trampled under sandal by a live audience of Guy’s Big Bite.” On to the pictures.

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A Happy Birthday at Yakko-San

By | February 7th, 2011 | 12 Comments

The birthday boy gives new meaning to the words 'smoked fish' at Yakko-San.

I’m not the first blogger to write about Hiro’s Yakko-San (not to be confused with its neighbor, Hiro’s Sushi Express). But after an eating spree there Saturday night, I might be the most enamored. It was a friend’s birthday and we split a selection of the extensive menu to celebrate the occasion. It turned out to be the best meal I’ve had in Miami since moving home in February.

Yakko-San is a mid-sized Japanese “tapas” eatery in an ugly North Miami Beach strip mall. Its decor is unremarkable, lacking even the hole-in-the-wall charm of many a diamond in the rough. TVs hang from the walls of the restaurant’s two rooms, which contain about 15 tables and two bars between them. If you usually don’t fancy eating in Dolby Surround Sound, you may want to make an exception for Yakko-San, perhaps the lone samurai among Miami’s Japanese joints.

My meal started off with a 27-piece sashimi platter ($30) and an order of dried kawahagi, or trigger fish jerky ($4). The two dishes set each other off perfectly, with the fresh, clean bite of the sashimi cleansing the palate after the tough, spiced trigger fish.

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Photos from first Culinarium at Villa 221

By | January 21st, 2011 | No Comments
Villa 221

Villa 221's posh back patio

Last night, the first Culinarium food truck round-up convened at the corner of N.E. 2nd Avenue and 17th Street downtown. Boasting many stalwarts of Miami’s food truck scene (Jefe’s, Dim Ssam a Gogo, Fish Box, Latin Burger, CheeseMe, Ms. Cheezious), Culinarium distinguished itself from BTTR and other mobile-kitchen meetups around town with two full bars and live music in Villa 221’s wedding-worthy backyard. Attendance was sparse early on and the lines short compared to BTTR, where I waited 45 minutes at a single truck. But the rainishness probably kept some folks away and, with the event scheduled to run until midnight, the crowd might have picked up as the night wore on. I’m not sure if Culinarium will become a weekly event (it’s apparently up in the air), but I suspect its combo of booze, grub, and style would eventually draw Miami’s bao-bun addicts downtown on a regular basis (at least this one).

Here are some photos from the event.

Sleeping off a portobello patty

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