Restaurant Michael Schwartz & Coffee Bar

1775 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139 • (305) 534-6300 raleighhotel.com

RMS Octopus 2

The Raleigh Hotel is such a find in the heart of the deco district. Not as pricey as its neighbors and more low key, but sporting one of the best pools on Collins Avenue.

And while the restaurant may not be a destination unto itself like the headliners at so many other hotels, including its SBE Hotel siblings the SLS (The Bazaar) and The Redbury (Cleo), it still manages to serve up some pleasers.

Going by day part, they do quite well for breakfast. Either at the sit down tables outside by the pool or even at the grab and go Coffee Bar near the front. So if you’re aiming for a quick bite I definitely recommend the honey bran muffin and a glass of the freshly blended Rejuvenator. It’s carrot, ginger and apple and orange I believe. It’s also quite rejuvenating. After three of them I’m now in my twenties.

And as for the muffin, it has that perfect balance of sweetness and earthiness, a little on the sticky side, but moist as can be, speckled with juicy, plump raisins. On the downside, do not take the bait on the apple muffin. It is the Danny DeVito to the honey bran’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s a Twins reference, in case my pop culture illustration is going completely lost on you.

As for sit down options, the Greek yogurt and honey with granola is surprisingly good. Having recently been in Greece I can attest with some modicum of experience that this yogurt is the closest thing I’ve had in the states to the way it is in mother Greece.

The other breakfast pleaser was the brioche French toast with caramelized bananas. It’s a very tough dish to screw up in all fairness, but if there was one surefire way to do it, it’s not soaking the bread through and through. Well, I’m happy to report that there is no infraction here. Dish nailed.

As for lunch, I found the food to be a little weaker. The grilled fish tacos are simple and fresh, which is enough to make them worthy of ordering, but there was nothing inventive or memorable about them. I would say the same about the tuna sandwich, although it did need a little Dijon as a kick in the ass. The only out and out miss was the swordfish sandwich. A bit too dry and a lotta bit too blah. But all in all, solid pool food if you happen to be staying in the hotel, which is nice, not having to make a special trip just for lunch.

Never had dinner there, but considering how friggin’ awesome that octopus looks, maybe that’ll be an amendment to this post the next time I visit Miami.

3 teeth

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Court Street Grocers

600 11th Ave. New York, NY 10036(718) 722-7229 • courtstreetgrocers.com
brooklyns-court-st-grocers-makes-the-best-unique-and-creative-sandwiches

Okay, yet another trycaviar.com joint and yet another happy customer, although this one took a little longer than a feature length film to arrive, so a little upset about that, but the sandwiches were on point.

I went splitsies with a friend on the tuna and the Italian and while tuna sounds amazing, with its pimento aioli and white anchovies, it ultimately tasted like a pretty normal tuna sandwich. Not bad, but nowhere near as special as it sounds on paper.

As for the Italian, well, it’s every Italian cold cut in existence crammed onto hoagie with giardinera on top. How bad could it be? Or rather, how awesome? Very. Can’t say it was an Ultimate, but let’s just say that even though it probably took a month off of my life, there are no regrets.

Oh, and I definitely recommend the spicy Blenheim ginger ale to go with. It’s got some nice kick and takes me back to old school New York delis back when they used to make the ginger ale themselves at the fountain.

3 teeth

 

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop

174 5th Ave. New York, NY 10010(212) 675-5096 • eisenbergsnyc.com
20130220-eisenbergs-reuben-sandwich

I feel like such a curmudgeon shitting on the likes of this iconic New York deli, but the way I see it, if you open your doors for business, you open them for praise and scrutiny. Unfortunately in this case, it’s scrutiny. From the authentic rude New York service by grumpy career waiters to the grimy, old-school, diner/deli decor this place is right up there with Carnegie, Katz and Second Avenue Delis. But that’s where the similarities end, because the food isn’t even close.

Let’s start with the tomato soup, or more accurately, the watered down ketchup. It is so shamelessly bad they don’t even bother to hide the giant, industrial sized cans of Campbell’s sitting behind the counter.

And as for the tuna salad sandwich- Christ, my wife makes a WAY better tuna sammy. Hell, I even make a better one and I’m borderline retarded.

I know that pastrami pic above looks really good, but that’s more of a testament to the photograph. Not the restaurant. If you want something that tastes as good as that looks, I implore you to get it from Katz or Second Ave. instead. You’ll thank me.

1 tooth