This week I went to the brand new Khong River House , I took a good friend of mine on a 6 hour Miami Layover and I finally made it to Pincho Factory.
If there is such a thing as the goose of the golden eggs, the 50 Eggs group seems to have found it, or a chicken rather. Love it, hate it, label it a hispter joint or whatever you want but the success of Yardbird is undeniable, and the group behind it seems to want more of that success, in different genres of food. Yardbird gets a lot of bad press from local food bloggers, but good press from visitors, was even short listed for a James Beard Foundation award and is apparently expanding to New York City. I personally was there last week and I had a braised short rib sandwich that was really good and the service was great so what else matters? So the expectations riding on their brand new Thai place on Meridian Avenue, Khong River House’s
shoulders had to be heavy no doubt, but judging by my first trip there I believe they have been met. I took some friends from out of town, a risk not worth taking specially on your first visit to a restaurant, and it paid off. Khong’s menu is not your typical Thai menu, as you would find in places like Oishi Thai and Panya Thai, of which I wrote last week. The menu is inspired on Northern Thailand, and the entire concept actually draws inspiration from the places where 50 Eggs’s founder spent time living at in his twenties. There are small plates, salads, noodles, traditional dishes, rice and vegetables. We managed to share and taste most of the Traditional main courses, the Vietnamese Style Crispy Prawns, the Thai Crispy duck, the All Natural Rotisserie Chicken which is marinated for two days in coconut milk, and the Pork Belly Curry. All of them had great taste and individuality, something that is sometimes a struggle in traditional thai places between curries that share the same base. The pork belly was perhaps the least favorite, since it contained a large ratio of fat to meat and actually seemed a pork fat curry rather than a pork belly curry. The two noodle dishes we tried where spot on, the wide noodle with marinated pork resembling a pad thai and the chicken noodle curry sweet and creamy, quite delicious. We challenged our waitress to bring us something really spicy and we were all brought to tears by a few Thai Bird chilies that came inside the green papaya salad. Try this only if you do have a high tolerance for really hot food. Desserts where are good, we tried the coconut cake, the mango napolean, the passion fruit panna cotta and the chocolate triffle. There is something there for everyone, the coconut cake being probably the best. Everyone was happy and the environment was great, full house with impeccable service. A great addition to the beach and a welcome diversification from 50 Eggs.
So where do you take a friend who lives in London and has a 6 hour layover in Miami
? Of course one would be inclined to showcase the best the city has to offer, so I would go for the two best places in town, one from my “locals
” list and one from my “imports”
list. The fact that it was short notice and that it was 1st of January made my top 2 number ones no-gos, so he had to settle for the silver medal winners, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink and The Dutch. Lunch at the latter was great as always with the added ingredient of the Belon oysters, tip I had received from Miami Power Rankings
a few days earlier. Staples such as the cornbread and the whipped ricotta made for great companions. Dinner at MGFD was equally delicious; I ordered for him my two favorite dishes from there, the fall of the bone duck confit and the smoky, ridiculously tender short rib. A cafecito in between stops at Cafe Versailles on 8th street provided the perfect glue. He left for London a happy bloke and was looking forward to a possible next one in a few months.
Lastly this week I finally made my way over to Pinch Factory
. The cult-like following this place has, evidenced by the figures and likeability ratios on various social media sites is well deserved. Their main Pincho burger was moist , tender, crispy and tasty with every bite, something many expensive high end steakhouses just cannot achieve and comprehend!
I took a couple of risks for the sake of getting more to the bottom of the rave surrounding Pincho Factory
so I also ordered the Toston burger and the Fritanga burger. Something has to be said here about the moment you bite into a juicy burger patty that had been placed between two crispy tostones. Talk about a foodgasm, damn! This is one food item in Miami I am looking forward to go back for. The Fritanga burger was also great, but I made the mistake of ordering them all at the same time, by the time I bit into it the giant block of fried white cheese had lost some temperature and I was expecting it to be softer. The fries where great, you can’t go wrong with melted cheese and bacon on fries now can you? I’m glad to see Pincho expanding into the Gables, good for them
That’s it see you next week,