Pardon The Punctuation...Miami..my home town..the place known for pastel suits and half naked ladies, wasn't exactly the kind of place that had a lot of variety of food while growing up in the 80's. As the the son of of Cuban immigrants I had my fare share of rice, beans, plantains, meat, pork, shrimp, and espresso growing up. Unfortunately Little else was on the menu. Yeah sure there were Miami staples like Frankie's Pizza and Tropical Chinese, but Miami food lacked an identity. Besides food from Latin America we had nothing that made it special. After moving to Los Angeles 8 years ago a whole new food world opened up to me. Miami always seems playing catch up. I'm proud to say that after spending some time in the 305 last week, I'm pleasantly surprised in where my town is heading. A new trendy neighborhood "Wynwood" which is basically a fancy name they gave to a formerly dangerous part of town to try to get people to venture into it...has got some great spots that would have stuck out like a sore thumb in the Miami I knew as a teenager. A place like "Panther Coffee" put a smile on my face. We all know that Miami has the best Cuban coffee in huge USA but that was about it. Panther coffee brings things like in house roasting and the Chemex to a town where hipsters had practically no refuge. Alright I'm done making fun of hipsters. I loved Panther Coffee. It's the kind of coffee house you'll find walking down the street in San Francisco except your not in chilly SF, your in humid muggy MIA and let me tell you SoFla needed a place like this. The menu is also riddled with single origin coffees that rock.
The food truck phenomenon has also made its way into town. Ms. Cheezious truck is one that kicks ass in my book. Fresh ingredients grilled with cheese between two pieces of bread can put a smile on your face. I inhaled the prosciutto with goat cheese and it was spectacular. They weren't stingy with the ham either. It was falling out of the bread. Follow them on twitter so you know where they're setting up shop for the day. I'd say wait for them to park in front of Panther coffee like I did and you can knock out two birds with one stone.
This trip home gave me hope for the Miami's future. A peek into the realm of what's possible for my hometown. I'm heading back in home next couple of weeks with a rejuvenated sense of excitement to taste something creative and new. If you're into not living in the past and want to see the evolution of one of the most amazing cities in the U.S. Give these two spots a try.