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Gables Bites: Eating Everyday Ethnic in Coral Gables

2/25/14

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By: Patricia Guarch Wise of Miami Nice

Coral Gables has long been known as a destination neighborhood for good eating; it’s got this inimitable family-friendly neighborhood vibe that comes only with decades and decades of history. For me though, Coral Gables eating means more than just a comfortable ambiance, it’s the best neighborhood for eating around the world without having to leave the Downtown Coral Gables area.

Sure, our winters don’t get very cold around here, but when the temperature drops even just a few degrees, I love a good bowl of warm pho from Miss Saigon. Pho, the Vietnamese’s staple noodle soup is served with your protein of choice, and some toppings including cilantro, bean sprouts and some sauces to spice it up a bit. Think of it as a Vietnamese fajita soup, you get to add as much or as little to the base noodle and broth as you’d like. A bowl is big enough for two, so come hungry or bring someone to share it with.

Italian food has a bad rep for being heavy and carby, but I find myself craving the light tricolore salad from Anacapri. The colorful medley of peppery arugula, radicchio and endive in a citrus dressing is such a natural pairing; it’s surprising to me that it’s not on more menus. If you’re still hungry, I recommend the pasta alle vongole or pasta with clams in a white wine and garlic sauce.

For a quick pick up order, it’s lovely to have options like Graziano’s Market where you don’t have to resort to some greasy sub-par food just because you don’t have time for a full restaurant experience. This Argentine restaurant has everything you might want for a satisfying lunch from a sandwich to specialty empanadas. Pick up some elevated pantry items like imported olive oil and novelty mustards – not to mention Argentine wines.

Recently, I roped a Peruvian friend into giving me a quick education in what to order at a Peruvian restaurant and he took me to Pardo’s. There’s no better way to get to know an unfamiliar culinary culture than with a friend who grew up eating it. Luckily, I had one available to me who works right in the area. We tried a few kinds of ceviche. If you’re unfamiliar with the Peruvian ceviche, it comes in a creamy sauce instead of just a citrus lime base. We also had lomo saltado, something I would normally never order because I try not to each much red meat, but when in Lima, you know? I’m glad I agreed to it, because I’ve been back since and ordered this marinated meat and French fried dish again.

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