(My camera battery died so all pics were taken with a cellphone; hence, the low quality.)
The boy and I had a really mellow Labor Day weekend, mostly spent catching up on Season 5 of Dexter (since Season 6 is just around the corner). However, we did get to eat out at two places neither of us had been to previously and both ended up being really good.
On Sunday we had lunch at Otentic Fresh Food Café on Washington Avenue in South Beach. This place is literally around the corner from the boy’s place and I had purchased a Groupon for it almost a year ago. In fact, it was set to expire this coming weekend, so we finally got around to using it.
We didn’t really know what to expect from Otentic, and were thinking it might be too “frou-frou” of a place for us since all we really knew was that the cuisine is French, and we are definitely more burgers-and-Blue Moon type of folk than filet mignon and Pinot Noir. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this cute, little café was more like “French-lite,” very unassuming and casual in ambiance. It appeared to be entirely staffed by one waiter/bartender and one chef (I’d guess both are French, based on their conversations). Their menu consisted of sandwiches, crepes and a few other entrees and desserts.
Upon taking our order, our waiter brought over complimentary champagne (in the cutest little champagne flutes; they were like shot glasses with a stem) and baguette slices with sweet cream butter.
I had the bacon crepe, which contained a filling of sliced bacon, sautéed potatoes, brie and cream, and was complemented with a fresh, spring mix salad topped with tomato and corn, and lightly drizzled with vinaigrette. (Okay, confession time: I had never eaten a crepe in my entire life before this moment. I believe I have now found my new favorite food.) It was sooo delicious. The crepe was light and fluffy and literally melted in my mouth. The bacon and brie made it savory, while the potatoes and cream helped mellow out the stronger flavors and allowed everything to mesh together nicely.
The boy ordered the Farmer’s Steak with a side of ratatouille. This was also complemented with a small salad. His steak was thick and juicy and quite generous for the price. It was a little too pink in the middle for my taste, but he enjoyed it immensely. The blue cheese sauce was really good, too. The ratatouille had a tangy, tomato-ey base and definitely tasted fresh and homemade, like it was prepared by somebody’s mom.
Otentic was definitely a nice experience and I think we will be back. Even without a Groupon!
On Monday, we headed towards Aventura to run a few errands. On the way back to the beach we stopped at Roxy Burger, Wings & Beer on Biscayne Blvd and 126th Street. This place is kind of hard to describe. It kind of looks like the Hell’s Angels opened a sports bar and hired a rap group to install the sound system. It’s a little crazy.
The menu is basic bar food: hot dogs, wings, burgers and sides. The burgers are like something you’d find on an episode of “Man v. Food,” with names like Cha Cha Cha Chili Burger and Super Stack Heart Attack. I played it safe and went with the Just the Cattle burger (regular burger with bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato). It was accompanied by a Tornado. Or as our server described it, “potato chips on a stick.” (Wait, what?) It turned out to be one of those spiral cut potato thingies fried on a skewer.
It’s hard to tell from the picture above but my burger was really thick. Like, REEEALLY thick. I asked for it well done and, miraculously, not only was it cooked all the way through, but it was still juicy. I really liked that it was served on a ciabatta roll instead of a regular bun, as a bun would have fallen apart after one bite of this monster burger. (Okay, this next picture is kind of gross because I had already eaten half of the burger, but it will give you an idea of how thick it was.)
See? I told you. Monster burger. That half was my lunch the following day.
The boy ordered wings and a side of chili cheese fries. I think Roxy needs to reconsider their definition of “side.” The serving of chili cheese fries was ginormous! The good thing is they weren’t skimpy with the chili and cheese toppings. The fries had some kind of crispy coating on them (maybe a batter?) that prevented them from getting all soggy under the toppings. They were really good.
The only thing we didn’t like too much were the wings. The boy ordered them grilled (similar to Shuckers’ wings) and they were kind of overcooked and under-seasoned. They were really dry and bland, even by my standards and I don’t like anything spicy.
The only other negative – aside from the wings – was that the food took a little too long to come out. I could understand if the place had been busy, but at the time we ordered there were only two other occupied tables. Still, the burger and chili cheese fries were good enough to make that a minor point.
I think we’d definitely eat at Roxy again next time we’re in that area. But we’d try different wings. =)
That’s it for now. Peace out, yo!