south beach: fifty again.

Well, after all was said, done, eaten, drank, etc., I don't have anything nicer to say about anywhere in South Beach than Fifty.

It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The bar area is frankly, ah...quite awful aesthetically; in fact, the whole interior is pretty bad. Kind of like a repurposed bank branch or something. The porch can be really pleasant, but there's a Thinsulate sheet that is usually rolled down to protect the diners from....what? Who knows. The service is well-intentioned but thoroughly underprepared, like having a good friend wait on you who's never waited tables before. I ended up with three napkins on my lap tonight because every time she brought a new one I didn't have the heart to remind her that I already had one. Where did she think they were going?

But, but, but: if you're sitting outside at a table on a warm night (and the pedestrian protector is rolled up out of the way) and you feel like eating smartly conceived, well-executed apps at normal human prices, TGI Friday's prices, for fuck's sake, you can't do any better in South Beach than Fifty.

Here's what I ate:


Butter Head Lettuce, Sunny Side Up Egg, Crispy Bacon, Maytag Blue Cheese, Toasted Pinenuts & Warm Horseradish Vinaigrette $9

Steamed White Water Clams & our own Tasso Ham (Spicy Cajun Ham) $9

Pecan Pie with Sweet Potato Ice Cream & Caramel $7


It was all great, but the best spoonful of food I've had in my mouth over the last two weeks was the Warm Pecan Pie with Sweet Potato Ice Cream. Well, that spoonful is honestly tied with Joe's Grilled Lobster Reuben, chicken empanadas from Charlotte Bakery (actually three different chicken empanadas, pictured above and below, from Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela, left to right), Mark's South Beach's Foie Gras Peach Cobbler, El Chalan on the Beach's Green Salsa, Clarke's' blue cheeseburger, Talula's Scallop and Corn Chowder, Taste Bakery's Pistachio Muffin (I have no idea why I didn't take a picture of this huge, beautiful creature), and actually, Fifty's Plantain-wrapped Crab Cake in Avocado Oil as well. Honorable mention goes to Big Pink, where we ate 10 times, I'm not even exaggerating.

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