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Make 2020 the Year of Healthy(ish) Eating PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin-Anderson, BT Contributors   
January 2020

Food news we know you can use

TPix_Dish_1-20he New Year is here, and if you’re like most people, you’ve likely resolved to be a little bit healthier this year. That likely means less eating out. But what if we told you that dining out can still be a part of your regular routine? Many Miami restaurants understand that variety is the spice of life, and healthier options are a common sight on menus throughout the city these days. You don’t have to order salads or other bland fare either.

Take a look at Balloo’s (19 SE 2nd Ave., Suite #4, 786-534-2768) menu, for instance. The new downtown spot from Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill’s Timon Balloo is an homage to his diverse background. Caribbean, Indian, and other international influences are present across the menu, which features a range of tasty (and occasionally spicy) vegetables and proteins. Pickled celery, chili marinated cucumber, roasted curry calabaza, curry goat…the short-and-sweet menu is home to flavorful, filling food that won’t do too much damage to your diet or wallet.

If you want to double down on the vegetables, The Vegan Choice (3301 NE 1st Ave., Suite 103-1, 305-713-3378) in Midtown should be on your radar. TVC takes comfort food classics and puts a plant-based spin on them. You’ll find burritos, pastas, ramen, and burgers, plus much more on the menu -- all without meat, of course. But unless you knew this was a vegan spot, you’d hardly be able to taste the difference. Many selections, like the Texas Beyond Smokehouse Burger and Burritos al “Presidente,” use Beyond Meat to maintain the familiar texture of its animal counterpart, and it’s pretty darn close to the real thing.

Wabi Sabi by Shuji (851 NE 79th St., 305-890-7228) continues to be one of our go-to spots for clean eating. Its healthy bowls set the bar for a quality fast-casual meal; when you bite into the tuna, salmon, and other super-fresh fish found in the signature selections, you know your money was well spent. The 79th Street location also serves sushi rolls as well as omakase specials -- there’s always something new to try. In a nutshell, chef Shuji makes healthy eating fun.

For years, Miami Juice (18660 Collins Ave., #101, 305-945-0444) in Sunny Isles Beach has been helping locals achieve their beach bodies, and they’re not stopping any time soon. The neighborhood favorite is beloved for its delicious sandwiches, like mozzarella caprese and kosher grilled chicken. But their real claim to fame: the namesake fresh-squeezed juices. Papaya, watermelon, pineapple…you name it and they probably have it. There’s good reason they’ve been around so long.

 

OPENINGS

Diners not on a diet have a lot of new restaurants to check out; the South Florida food scene is growing and shows no signs of slowing. The aforementioned Balloo was only one of many eateries to set up shop recently.

Another notable addition in the scene: Grails Sports Bar (2800 N. Miami Ave., 786-870-4313). The long-vacant Pride & Joy location in Wynwood now houses an ode to sneakers and elevated bar fare. The food menu was created by Giorgio Rapicavoli, a Chopped winner and owner of Eating House in Coral Gables. Among his offerings are black loaded truffle fries, buffalo cauliflower, and a hefty hot chicken sandwich. Complementing the bites is a 100 percent local beer list alongside fun cocktails like the Satisfy Your Sole, a vodka-based creation that can be ordered in a ceramic Nike Air Jordan 3 shoe. Prepare to blow up your Instagram feed.

CHICA Miami (5556 NE Fourth Ct., 786-632-7725) also opened to much fanfare. This latest concept from the 50 Eggs Hospitality Group (Yardbird, Spring Chicken) boasts an extensive menu of Latin selections like arepas, ceviches, and tacos. Bring a big party to enjoy the restaurant’s signature parrillada, a platter full of lamb chops, skirt steak, pork belly, chorizo, and…pretty much the kitchen sink. Flying solo? Dig into the sea bass, grilled shrimp and quinoa, or another of CHICA’s delectable lighter options.

 

CLOSINGS

Thankfully, mainland restaurant closures continue to be few and far between. Alfredo Patino’s Firito Taco recently called it quits after four years in business. A more traditional Mexican restaurant from the same team may soon be taking its place.

 

Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin-Anderson are co-founders of Miami Food Pug, an award-winning South Florida food blog that fuses the couple’s love of dogs and food.

 

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