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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mitch's Westside Bagels

     Upon entering Mitch's the scene looks promising. Displays all along the entrance offer a wide variety of New York deli staples. To name just a few, homemade whitefish, tuna, egg and chicken salads, chopped liver and a healthy variety of knishes the size of softballs. I couldn't take my eyes off them! The dishes that paraded in front of me while I waited for my brunch buddy to arrive looked generous and hearty.
     I was determined to break my habit of ordering my usual bagel with cream cheese and Nova lox, but nonetheless I peaked at their bagel selections and counted 22... I kid you not! That alone is worthy of my respect. After much debate, I compromised with myself and ordered the Matzoh Brie with grilled onions and Nova. DJ ordered the Westside Ultimate Omelette.
     My dish turned out to be bland scrambled eggs with crumbled Matzoh crackers and the Brie nowhere to be found. DJ's omelette was tastier but only because of all its components- mushrooms, onions, tomato, bacon, sausage and cheddar. Her side of hash browns was as interesting as my eggs.
We shared an order of almond French toast that was generously covered in nuts but not extraordinary in any other way. They were nice enough to go with our creamy café con leche.
     I can't shake the feeling that my unlucky choices didn't give this place a fighting chance.  Their menu is extensive and includes many of the classics that you expect from a New York deli with the exception of desserts. Not one homemade macaroon, not one piece of  marble cake or cheesecake. Why?
     This mystery must be solved with a second visit.

PS:  I returned to Mitch's a week later and ordered the whitefish salad sandwich on a multi-grain bagel with a side of coleslaw. The whitefish salad was creamy and the taste fresh and salty. The coleslaw was a little sweeter than I'm used to but in a good way.
     Hubby ordered a breakfast platter in spite of my warnings and my disappointing previous experience. I'll say one thing: They were consistent with their eggs. John's were no tastier than mine.
     Finally, I couldn't leave a second time without surrendering to the call of those massive knishes so I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak knish to go. I should've ignored that call. The potato didn't taste fresh and the steak and onions must have stayed back in Philly because I only found a few sorry slivers of some kind of meat buried in the potato mash.
     And about the desserts mystery, I did find a selection of cookies and boxed rugalach sitting on the counter next to the cash register. As if dessert decisions could be made on your way out of a deli. It just doesn't work that way.
     So much for second chances.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Shake Shack

     Hamburger questing is getting harder and harder. John and I believe we have already found the Holy Grail of burgers, at least here in Miami, so the bar has been set very high. We didn't, however, expect to be so thoroughly disappointed.
   The Shack doesn't have a lot of choices for hamburger assembly. They are small and do not constitute a full meal for anyone over the age of seven. We shared an order of their "hand-cut" cheese fries which were soggy with a mixture of melted American and cheddar cheeses that resulted in a slightly antiseptic aftertaste.

     The only tolerable part of the meal were the shakes, the key word being "tolerable". I ordered the peanut butter malted and John the chocolate. He found his no better than the ones at Steak & Shake. Mine couldn't decide whether to be peanut butter or malted. I expected distinct peanut butter with a hint of malt. All I got was lazy peanut butter, hidden malt and a sudden craving for the Summer peach shake at Chik-Fil-A.
     I'm a little worried that this place came so highly recommended because usually my sources are reliable. But eatery-hopping is always a "hit or miss" proposition. Shake Shack was definitely a "miss". Back to Latin House!

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