Messy Eats – Miami: Part 2

Wynwood 2

Stuffed with donuts and coffee, I wander the streets of Wynwood, taking in the endless wall murals from graffiti artists all over the world. This is an interesting place. The overwhelming graffiti art and dirty streets gives you a sense that something isn’t right. But, I think that’s because my equilibrium is off. I’m not use to this atmosphere. And, as I settle into it, I kind of like it.

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I wander and take pictures as I go. The walls, the streets, and the signs are all adorned with words and images. I round a corner and am greeted with a giant painting of Darth Vader. The Star Wars fan in me is intrigued. “Why Vader?,” I ask myself. There has to be a deeper meaning. I scan the building and I see a sign which reads: J.Wakefield Brewing. “Yes! This is exactly what I need,” I think to myself as the hot sun beats down on me as I begin to sweat. A black and grey brick building which resembles an old car mechanics building stands before me. People hustle and bustle in front of me, moving kegs and barrels of beer. The parking lot is full of cars and bags-upon-bags of grain.

Wakefield 1

I walk in to a half-full bar, and take a seat. The walls are covered in scenes from Star Wars. I’m excited. I read through the beer list and order their hefeweizen: El Jefe. I am presented with a glass of cloudy orange beer. I take a sip and am greeted with banana, cloves, and coconut! That’s interesting. I look at the menu and realize this is on purpose. It’s an intentional marriage of Germany and South Florida. I love it. A refreshing taste on a hot day.

Beer 2

“I think I’ll have one more,” I tell myself. I scan the list. I want a good, fruity, citrus IPA. My favorite style for the summer. Steady Hoppin it is. New England style with Amarillo, Galaxy, and Mosaic hops. Should do the trick.

Beer 1

As soon as my glass hits the counter I’m welcomed with loads of fruit and citrus aromas. I can’t wait to imbibe. It’s fresh, floral, and bitter, lined with citrus and piney notes. For some reason it reminds me of summers at my grandparents house when I was a kid. Must be the florals. It’s good. It’ll get me good and ready to head back out into the South Florida sunshine. Just one more thing to do, take pictures of the Star Wars adorned walls. Cheers all!

Wakefield 2

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Messy Eats – Miami: Part 1

Wynwood 1

I have always loved food. Since I was a child I have been obsessed with the combination of flavors and how eating is so much more than just providing us sustenance. Food is chemistry. Food is culture. Food is art. Food is amazing.

I’ve been reading Chef Edward Lee’s new memior/autobiography/cookbook, Buttermilk Graffiti, in which he chronicles his travels throughout the States to discover the cultural melting pot of food this great country affords. In the book he has a chapter about Miami. Miami of course is a place full of cultural diversity which is often lived out in its food. I ate up that chapter and the rest of his book like a fine dining meal – slow and with appreciation. And, I was left with the thought: I want to discover food just like Chef Lee, slow and with overindulgence, taking it all in to the point of being beyond full.

So, when my wife booked a business trip to Miami, I decided to join. Two-and-a-half days to explore, learn, and eat. And, that’s what I am doing. Today is the first full day. Upon recommendation, I am starting my day out in Wynwood. A mixture of the hipster and the artist smushed in-between low income housing and adorned with wall murals. I find myself making my first stop at The Salty Donut. A self-acclaimed artisanal donut and coffee shop, it is hidden away in an old industrial complex turned boutique haven. It is small in all natures but flavor. When you enter you are greeted with smells of fresh baked dough and smiles. The staff is friendly and ready to provide recommendations. The counter provides a display of delicious-looking donuts. The walls are adorned with bags of coffee. It’s a constant buzz of activity even at 11am.

I could ask for recommendations but I know what I want. The salt and the sweet is calling. I order two donuts: one brown butter and salt and one peaches. To wash it down I get a 16oz cold brew which has steeped for over 18 hours. Within minutes I have a large brown box and a plastic cup full of rich, dark brew. The worker asks, “Are you from here?” I politely say, “No, I’m actually from Indiana. It’s my first time in.” She responds, “You look so familiar like someone who comes in all the time.” I wonder exactly what that means. Is it my hipster-esque manbun? Is it my towering stature? Is it a good or a bad thing? “Either way, it’s nice to have you here,” she politely continues and goes back to serving other patrons.

Donuts 1

I take my treasure-containing box and cup of coffee and take a seat on a bar stool. I open the box and stair at my two tasty treats. I start with the brown butter and salt donut. It crumbles in my hand. I take a bite to discover the perfect combination of soft and crunch, salt and sweet. It’s a good start. I take a sip of my cold brew and the caffeine quickly rushes through my veins. It’s dark and rich. Perfection. I’m finished with half my first donut when I decide to switch to the peaches donut.

I lift it. It’s a heavy sucker. Now, you must know. I am not a big fan of filled donuts. Most places fill it with fake fruity garbage. I hesitantly take a bite. “Oh, that’s good.” It’s peach cobbler meets a donut. I’m in heaven.

I take my time. One bite. One sip. Surrounded with Hispanic music and the buzz of customers constantly entering and exiting with brown boxes. This has been a worthy stop. But, I have more to see and more to eat. Filled with sugar and caffeine I exit into the hot Florida heat, full and happy.

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Tipple & Text & Table

I created this blog two years ago because of my love for both whiskey and books and my desire to share that love with the world. While it has been an interesting ride, as I posted yesterday, I have had some road blocks along the way which has limited my ability to share this passion with you all.

Well, throughout this time I have also continued stoking the fires of my passion for board games. In fact, for the past year I have been playing board games and drinking beer with a handful of my closest friends nearly every Tuesday.

We have worked our way through Carcassonne, Imperial Assault, T.I.M.E. Stories, Lords of Waterdeep, Roll for the Galaxy, Bang the Dice Game, Love Letter, King of Tokyo, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Mysterium, Terra Mystica, Five Tribes, and countless others while washing them down with hundreds of beers and whiskeys. It has been a respite from the tumult of daily work.

Here is a visual glimpse into just a small snapshot of the experience…