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Introductions: Food Bloggers, Jimmy’Z Kitchen, and the Wynwood Arts District of Miami

March 4, 2012 by Joan Nova in "Foodie" Activities, Blogging, Florida, Meandering Meals, Restaurant Reviews | 25 Comments

I can’t think of a better way to pass the time on a lazy, breezy, 80+ degree Saturday afternoon than to enjoy a leisurely 7-course tasting lunch with 3 passionate food bloggers in an exciting area of Miami. Come, let me introduce you to all.

Meet the bloggers who joined me for lunch on Saturday in Miami.

My long-time personal friend, Norma, who is the publisher of Platanos, Mangoes and Me!; Jorge (front), the creator and curator of Hispanic Kitchen, a treasure trove of hispanic dishes; and the irreverent, Laz (rear), “kitchen hack” (his words) of Lazaro Cooks and the co-host of 5 Star Culinary Makeover Cooking Group.

Norma lives in NY and visits her family (and me) in FL frequently. When she was planning her most recent trip, she suggested we get together with a couple of local food bloggers and asked me to choose a place in Miami for us to meet up. Wow…the pressure was on. I tried for a reservation at the hottest new spot in town and they weren’t open yet for lunch on Saturdays. I also tried a couple of other popular spots and came up with the same result. Really? What’s that about, Miami?

And then I thought about Jimmy’Z.

Frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t think about it first. It’s the perfect place for  lunch and I have an ‘in’ there. :) My friend, Natasha, does their public relations/marketing, and was excited to arrange a tasting lunch for us.

Jimmy’Z Kitchen, Wynwood advertises “healthy, hearty food that’ll make you smile”. The menu features paninis, salads, entrees and desserts … but the real draw for me (and a lot of others) is the blackboard specials of Puerto Rican food. I first discovered Jimmy’Z more than 3 years ago when it was in a little storefront in South Beach and fell in love with his mofongo. (see post)

bolita de queso with guava sauce (cheese ball); vegetarian soup

Jimmy was in Puerto Rico on Saturday, but Chef  Jose Pinot regaled us with a 7-course tasting. Each dish was beautifully presented with a very refined hand. But it wasn’t just artful; each bite had a depth of flavor that spoke to the heart and soul of Puerto Rican cuisine.

mussels in creole sauce; mofongo with seafood in fish broth;
arroz con pollo with plantain fries; pastelón (Puerto Rican lasagna)

Jimmy opened this second location a year ago and while still casual, it’s infinitely larger than the first one with full wine and craft beer service and a lively night scene. Saturday nights feature music outside in the placita, reminiscent of San Juan.

What’s a tasting without wine?
pernil  (pork) in mojo sauce, rice + plantain; ceviche ‘palate cleanser’

The chef presenting our desserts: guava cheesecake and the best flan de coco ever!

P.S. Not another morsel of food passed these lips until 8:30 a.m. the next day!

[15 full size photos on flickr.]

About Wynwood

Wynwood used to be referred to as “Little San Juan” or “El Barrio” because of its large migrant Puerto Rican population. And, then, less than 10 years ago, it began to gentrify into a haven for artists.

This heart of this area is 2 blocks from Jimmy’Z so although our lunch lasted 4 hours, I couldn’t resist a quick visit to see what the area was all about. I totally loved it and look forward to going back and exploring the full area — and taking some really good photos.

[Slideshow of 26 photos on flickr.]

This is a great way to spend an afternoon! I highly recommend it to visitors and locals alike.

 

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

25 Comments

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  1. What a grand time and to be able to meet two of my favorite people in our community. Thanks for fixing us up at at Jimy’Z and introducing me to Natasha…

    I say that if you are in the area its a must to visit…my next trip we will go to listen to nusic.
    Platanos, Mangoes & Me! recently posted..Arroz con Gandules y Chorizo – Rice with Pigeon Peas + Spanish SausageMy Profile

  2. I’m insanely jealous of those bloggers who got to have lunch with you!! There’s a chance I may be in Miami in May and we’ll definitely have to meet up. I’ll keep you posted.
    Looks like a fabulous lunch!
    the wicked noodle recently posted..breakfast quinoaMy Profile

  3. Laz says:

    Great photos of Wynwood Joan. Had a blast meeting you and Norma. Thanks again.

  4. How fun. Norma is a lucky lady to visit Florida with you Joan. You sure know how to have a good time.
    Sam
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Short Ribs Provencale – an excellent dish for entertainingMy Profile

  5. Lori Lynn says:

    Oh how fun! Love the group shot.
    LL
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Brunch. Manhattan. Beach.My Profile

  6. bellini says:

    Sounds like a special place Joan. It is so much fun to meet up with other bloggers.

  7. The food looks fantastic and very nicely presented. The area is definitely on my list to visit and maybe I’ll just stop in to Jimmy’Z to see what it is all about. Great shots!
    Patricia Durr recently posted..Marky’s – International Food EmporiumMy Profile

  8. Jorge says:

    It was a wonderful experience and delicious too. Your photos look fantastic, Joan!

  9. Eleanor Hoh says:

    All looks delightful, 7 courses?! I really must drop in for some nosh soon after seeing this, thanks for sharing. Nice wall mural shots of Wynwood, love that area too.

  10. Oh Joan, a four-hour lunch with Norma, Laz and company. What a great Saturday. Art included.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Best Southern Flakey Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe from a Biscuit QueenMy Profile

  11. What beautifully presented food. Sophisticated, yet comforting at once. And the photos of the Wynwood Walls were fantastic. Makes me realize how little I know the Florida of my youth–how much it has changed. What a food scene! Exciting stuff. Looks like a great day for all–friends and fellow foodies. A glorious combination.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Chicken Tikka Masala–a Classic British Dish?My Profile

  12. Deanne35 says:

    It looks like you had a great time in visiting Miami. It’s nice to see some food bloggers meeting together. Kudos to you all!
    Deanne35 recently posted..How to Design a Chicken Coop To Build A Complete Chicken CoopMy Profile

  13. This looks like such a fantastic afternoon…so fun that you got to meet up with Laz :) I have wanted to see Wynwood for a long time now, thanks for the peak :)

  14. What an absolute fantastic time – great company to share great food with in such an inspiring neighborhood. The art is amazing :) What fun! Wish we lived closer to each other!

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors recently posted..‘The Terlingua Red’ Chili ~ Corn bread’s love matchMy Profile

  15. Thank you for sharing your dining experience with this fun crowd Joan…looks like a lot of fun!
    Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Lemon infused Olive OilMy Profile

  16. Maureen says:

    I moved from Florida to Australia but I have such a fondness for the atmosphere and food. What a lucky group!

  17. Katie says:

    I would have loved a seat at that table! Great food, and without a doubt, great company. The street art is particularly cool, as well. Thanks for showing us a bit of the area.
    Katie recently posted..On Being Fat in ArgentinaMy Profile

  18. Kelsey87 says:

    Hi Joan!Combining food and art is really a perfect idea. I love all the photos that you shared with us here and the food looks delicious too. I know that you had a great time in visiting Miami. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience to us.

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  1. [...] 5 Star Culinary Makeover Cooking Group which he co-hosts … then, we met in person for a 3-hour fab tasting lunch in Miami … and, now, we’re collaborating as teammates for our next cooking club challenge. But, [...]

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