Travelling to Miami: I’m in South Beach, bitch!

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I went down with a friend of mine whom we will call Rosebud. After checking into the hotel, we had dinner at one of my favorite haunts on Lincoln Road, Rosinella. It’s a great little trattoria with good, hearty food not at “bend over this is South Beach” prices. We had spaghetti Bolognese, chicken Milanese and two glasses of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo all for $42.90 not including tax and gratuity. A good Bolognese sauce always makes me happy so we sat outside, enjoyed the beautiful weather and contemplated the rest of the evening.

A couple of hours later, while indulging in spirits elsewhere on the beach, we decided we were going to take a beer break and check out some of the local beer joints South Beach has to offer. Our first stop was The Abbey Brewing Company, opened in late June 1995 by Raymond Rigazio. Now normally I don’t like fruity beers but I’m a sucker for an apricot ale so we got two pints of Lost Coast Apricot Wheat Ale from Dave the pourmaster. It had beautiful color, great apricot flavor and was crisp and delicious. After a call to Lost Coast in California, I found out it’s only available by the keg to pubs, but the nice lady helpfully suggested their Tangerine Wheat Ale as an alternative.

Four of the fourteen beers The Abbey Brewing Company has on draft are their own recipes and are brewed up the way at the Indian River Brewing Company in Melbourne. It’s in an older strip a little off the beaten path; blink and you’ll miss it. Inside the dark wood paneled bar, the requisite dart board is on your right immediately as you enter. The two televisions, one above the door and the other catty-corner above the bar had a hockey game going. It was a little dark, a little worn, a little dive-y and a little smoky and I loved it; my kind of bar. I highly recommend it if you’re going to be in Miami Beach anytime soon. That’s it for now, more to follow soon.

That was one of my favorite t-shirt slogans among the many hanging in windows along Collins Avenue. I just got back from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and, along with my birthday, am glad that I only celebrate it once a year. What with all the weapons of mass cirrhotic destruction leading to subsequent losses of brain cells, once a year is about all I can take.

Instead of regaling you with four days worth of stories in one fell swoop, leading I’m sure to a catatonic stupor, I’ll break down my experience into more manageable nibbly bits.

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