South Beach Redux: An NYC Foodie Revisits Miami

Posted by
Andrew Kaplan
A traditional Cuban sandwich from <br>Café Versailles

rachaelray.com contributing writer Andrew Kaplan recently traveled from New York City back to his old stomping grounds of Miami for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, where he tried some of his old local favorites. 

Like most other food lovers, when I travel back to a place I used to live, there are always a number of spots I must go back to. They're not always blow-me-out-of-the-water amazing places, but rather are sometimes places that were my good ol’ stand-bys. When I headed back to Miami, I had to be sure to hit up a few of them.

On my first day in Miami, I headed to La Sandwicherie for lunch. A twenty - something - year - old French Deli located on 14th Street, you place your order at an outdoor counter and sit on a stool to eat – that is, if you can find one! The sandwiches are French-themed but uncomplicated and served on good bread. I ordered the turkey sandwich with cucumber, lettuce, provolone and hot peppers. It was affordable and as delicious as I remembered – but don’t forget to get the authentic French Dijon vinaigrette drizzled on this sandwich! 

(La Sandwicherie, 229 14th Street, between Collins & Washington Avenues, 305-532-8934, www.lasandwicherie.com


That night, I made my way to Pizza Rustica (no relation to the one in NYC) for a square Roman-style slice of pizza. I split a slice of NY Steak and a slice of Smokey Cajun Chicken with a friend. This pizza is one of the best in Miami and is also open 24 hours. Don’t miss the Spinach Blue Cheese pizza if they have it available. 

(Pizza Rustica, 863 Washington Avenue, between 8th and 9th Streets, 305-674-8244, www.pizza-rustica.com


The next night we were all wiped out. I ordered a feast for the crew from Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. Lime is my go-to taco joint in Miami. It’s located on the other side of South Beach, but is well worth the journey. I ordered a huge variety of food, from fish tacos to steak quesadillas to chicken tacos and more and added a variety of salsas, guacamole and queso dip. If you want some good down-home fresh Mexican in Miami, this is your place. 

(Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, 1439 Alton Road, between 14th Court and 15th Street, 305-532-5463, www.limefreshmexicangrill.com


For breakfast, I headed to one of the best, and only, French bakeries in Miami, La Provence. La Provence is a quaint little French bakery with a variety of offerings, from quiches to pastries to breads and more. I ordered a pear Danish and a bran muffin – both were fresh from the oven and a great start to the morning.

(La Provence Bakery, 1629 Collins Avenue, 305-538-2406, www.laprovencemiami.com


The night before I left, I kept a grand old tradition with my friends of ordering in Thai food for about 20 people from Thai House. This will turn into a novel if I write about the 20+ dishes I ordered, but I will say that you can’t miss the Basil Chicken, the Kee Mao Noodles, the Thai Pork Jerky and the Thai Beef Jerky. This restaurant has been around for a while and does Thai right. 

(Thai House, 1137 Washington Avenue, between 11th and 12th Streets, 305-531-4841, www.thaihousesobe.com)  

Leaving Miami without having a Cuban sandwich just feels weird to me. So I made sure I left some time to get to the airport a little early so that I could stop at my last-minute go-to spot for a Cuban: Café Versailles, located in the American Airlines terminal. I ordered the traditional Cuban with ham, roast pork, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese – all pressed until crisp and delicious. It was hasta luego to Miami for now, but with a sandwich like that, I won’t be forgetting my South Beach favorites anytime soon! 

(Café Versailles, Miami International Airport)