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.]
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.