Monday, March 12, 2012

Hot Lunch Spots in the Downtown/Brickell Area Part Deux

So many of you have asked me for some more great places in the Downtown/Brickell area to go to for lunch, that I thought I'd do a "Part Deux" before moving on to another part of town.  Although the area is really beaming right now with excellent places to go unwind from work during the much coveted lunch hour, these three were my favorites- hands down. Whether you're in the mood for a gourmet sandwich or for some fresh, tasty sushi, I've had an amazing experience each time I've visited these hot lunch spots. My first adventure begins at Sushi Sake Brickell located at 261 S.W. 8th Street.

Sushi Sake Brickell
While there are several Sushi Sakes all around Miami, I love the ambiance and decoration here the most. I've visited several times for both lunch and dinner, with friends and by myself, and both the service and the food have always been extraordinary. I kind of already expect the manager, Carlos, to come by our table and say hello, since he's done it every single time I've been here. Personally, I believe that is a sign of dedicated customer service. There are also so many dishes that are amazing here, I could go on forever, but I'll talk about a few of my top choices, and I'll let you come here and try the rest on your own.

Angel Roll
Miami Heat and Kendall Rolls
The sushi roll that absolutely blows my mind is the Angel Roll.  The Angel Roll is made with shrimp tempura, crab salad, masago, and cream cheese, and topped with avocado, spicy mayo, eel sauce and crunch. This is a masterpiece! The avocado is creamy and combines perfectly with the sauces and the crunch, making it stand out between the delicious bites of shrimp. It not only looks amazing on the plate, but tastes incredible as well. Another roll I love is the Miami Heat roll. Similar to the Angel Roll, it is also made with shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and crab salad, but it is topped with salmon, spicy mayo and crunch. Their spicy mayo is so tasty and blends so well with the crunchy bits and the salmon, that you don't want to see it end. By the way, if you come here during a Heat Game, they have a special where the roll is only 8 dollars. Although their menu of creative sushi rolls is so extensive, I'll only tell you about one more I love: the Kendall Roll. The Kendall Roll has tuna, hamachi, salmon, white fish, crabstick, masago and avocado. It's a great fix of raw fish prepared in their traditional tasty fashion that makes my sushi glands salivate. What I love about Sushi Sake, is that if someone in your group doesn't eat sushi or raw food, their menu also includes a large selection of Hibachi specialties, Teriyaki and Katsu dishes, Fried Rice Specials (the Crab Fried Rice gives me chills) and other cooked appetizers.

Thai Donuts
Me being bad
To finish your meal, don't forget to order their Thai Donuts. They come ready to be dipped in some decadent condensed milk. Oh, and leave room for some good old fashioned, complimentary cotton candy. Everyone gets to enjoy this treat when they bring the bill. I'll let you in on a little secret. If I have condensed milk left over after I inhale my Thai Donuts, I dip the cotton candy into whatever's left. I know, it's wrong, but it's so incredibly good, I can't help myself. For  more information, visit their website at or call them at 305-385-3232.

The Cheese  Course
My next lunch adventure takes me to The Cheese Course, located at 3451 NE 1 Ave, Unit 100.  The Cheese Course is a European-style cheese shop which offers over 150 artisanal cheeses imported from different parts of the world, as well as jams, spreads, honey, olives and sausages. The place is quaint, and the decor very charming. They have books and wine everywhere, along with cheese samples to try and accompaniment suggestions for the different types of cheeses. Their staff is cheerful and friendly and excited to answer questions or offer suggestions.  Along with these selections, The Cheese Course offers a menu of warm or cold sandwiches, salads, soups and cheese platters that if you're a cheese lover like I am, will leave you breathless. Everything is fresh, and perfectly crafted to achieve a balance of flavors that will definitely keep you coming back.

Prosciutto di Parma
Grilled Chicken Breast
My favorite sandwich at The Cheese Course is the Prosciutto di Parma. It comes with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, basil pesto, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar on your choice of a white or whole wheat baguette. No matter how many times I have it, I always find it as delicious as the first time. The prosciutto is amazing; always delicate and sweet, slightly salty, and deliciously fragrant. Paired with the basil pesto, oil and cheese, it creates harmony for the tastebuds. Another sandwich I enjoy is the Grilled Chicken Breast. This treat comes with Fontina cheese, tomatoes, basil pesto, roasted red onions, rosemary aioli, and greens. As opposed to the Prosciutto di Parma, it is a warm sandwich, but just like it, it is a savory delight. The chicken is tastefully seasoned and juicy, and the pesto, onions, and aioli give the sandwich a flavorful kick. Truly a remarkable experience! Another fun tid bit of information on this charming place is that they have a great array of classes on topics such as "Hands on Mozzarella Making" along with cheese and champagne tastings, so keep on the look out for these great opportunities. It's easy to see why this place makes such a fabulous lunch spot.  Visit their website at or call them at 786 220-6681.

The Daily Creative Food Co.
Finally, my third adventure took me to The Daily Creative Food Co., located at 2001 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 109. This New York style diner is just as its name suggests, very creative with a journalistic theme and catchy names for their sandwiches. Imagine eating The Miami Herald Chicken or The Newsday Badabing. in a casually upscale cafe. Catchy right? Well, the taste is even  better, and the portions - huge! You will definitely walk out of there extremely satisfied and ready to go back to put another few hours in the office.  Their menu offers salads, sandwiches and wraps, and they also serve a pretty amazing breakfast as well.

Wall Street Journal Smoked Salmon
The Biscayne Times Tuna Salad
My all-time favorite sandwich is the Wall Street Journal Smoked Salmon. Extra! Extra! Eat all about is one-of-a-kind. It is made with smoked salmon, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and cucumber-wasabi dressing, all spread on a Pumpernickel bread. Hungry yet? I thought so. Another delight I love to have is The Biscayne Times Tuna Salad. It is a tuna salad, with hummus, cucumbers, arugula, roasted red peppers and alfalfa sprouts, on a multigrain bread. I must say I don't let any salad that drips out of sandwich and into my plate, stay there very long before I scoop it up with my fork. The tuna is extremely fresh and always prepared with the healthiest of ingredients.

Hand Cut French Fries of the Day
Hand Cut Sweet Potato Fries
The Daily also features a nice variety of side dishes, including the Hand Cut French Fries of the Day which is usually amazing. On this visit, I had the Cottage Fries, which were potato wedges, sprinkled with hot sauce and  blue cheese. It had some punch to it and left the tongue nice and hot. I also tried the Hand Cut Sweet Potato Fries, which came with maple syrup and cinammon. Felt like it was a little breakfast with a little lunch. Yummy! You definitely want to try this spectacular place next time you get a craving for a sandwich, or a salad, or perhaps a wrap. You'll be glad you did. For more information, check out their website at or contact them at 305 573-4535.

I hope you get to try and enjoy these hot lunch spots in the Downtown/Brickell area and look forward to hearing all about it. Bon Apetit!

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