Where to Eat in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil… Part 1

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I recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro for what turned out to be a glorious vacation. Every day was spent walking along the beach, day drinking and taking in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Of course, I ate some amazing food. Here are just a few of the spots that I recommend for you:

Galitos Grill (Ipanema)
Galitos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  This was intentionally my first stop! We didn’t get to our apartment in Ipanema until roughly 10pm BST. After we dropped our bags, we ran down the block to a closing Galitos, they were wiping things down and putting the chairs away. We told them we just arrived from America and had been dreaming about the food. So, to our delight, they prepared us a large feast to-go. If you are a Brazilian food beginner, someone who has never had Brazilian food or has limited experience with it– this is the perfect place to begin. Solid! Legit! My recommended meal (and what I ate every time i ate there): Galito ao molho picante forte (a whole chicken with spicy sauce– its really not spicy at all), Arroz com Brocolis (rice with broccoli shreds– it looks like green rice), Feijao (black beans- get one per person) and Farofa com Bacon (toasted coarse ground tapioca flour– trust me it is delicious on your beans). There are so many great things on the menu, but this is a great start.

Restaurant e Bistro Aquelas Coisas (Madureira)
Aquelas Coisas is so far off the beaten path that they aren’t even listed on most travel sites. This minority-owned bar is an unofficial hangout for the Portelense of Madureira (the supporters of the Portela Samba School in the neighborhood of Madureira). And they are a very warm and welcoming group. Aquelas Coisas makes this list, not because of the food, but for the atmosphere and events. You’ll find mostly outdoor seating, with live music and fresh churrasco (they actually place the grill in front of the restaurant sometimes). Anyway, if you find yourself all the way in the north zone, this place is worth a visit. Recommendation: Visit their facebook to find out what events are happening. You could happen upon a samba de raiz, pagode or block party.

 

Bibi Sucos (Copacabana 2)
Bibi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Bibi Sucos is a chain of juice bars in Rio de Janeiro. They serve items you can get pretty much anywhere, BUT the atmosphere is super cool. My love described the decor as “so-cal”– southern California surfer style. I recommend this location because they are one of the few locations with indoor seating. The other locations have bistro tables on the street and their menus are very limited to only juices and acai, while this Copacabana location has sandwiches and more. Recommendation: Acai (ah-sah-EE) or a Suco Verde (SUE-coh VEH-jee).

 

Bar 48 (Rua Teixeira de Melo, Ipanema)
48 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato This bar was just over a block from my airbnb in Ipanema, but I only discovered it in my last week. I missed out on so many cool events. To start: this bar is woman-owned, LGBTQ friendly and multicultural. The space stands out with graffiti’d walls, oil drums for tables, loud, live music and strong drinks! In the grand scheme of upscale and exclusive Ipanema, Bar 48 is a laid back and inclusive environment with patrons of all backgrounds– from the favelas to the luxury high rises. I enjoyed getting to know the staff, the owner and dancing with its regulars. And I definitely plan to return! Recommendation: Get to the “Happy Hour” early and get your check before the happy hour time ends.

 

Lapamaki (Ipanema)
Lapamaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For me, the best review a restaurant can have is being packed out every night. I never saw this restaurant on any lists. I just walked by it EVERY day and saw it full of people– inside and out. So on one drunken evening, we decided to check out our local sushi joint. They did not disappoint. The food was visually appealing, fresh and delicious. I really can’t say more. If you are in Ipanema, it is worth the wait for a table. Recommendation: Get one of the “combinados”, which are varietal platters appropriate for groups.

 

Pop Sucos
My airbnb was less than a block away from this burger joint. Yes, I know its called “sucos”, which is juices, but they also served burgers! So after reading the menu a few times, we decided to check it out. My experience with hamburgers in Rio was not stellar, but in watching the food go out to other tables, I realized that these weren’t your average Rio hamburgers. They were actually delicious. Pretty much US/ American quality! While on vacation in Rio, I didn’t really have any cravings for American foods, BUT this was a nice departure from the Brazlian fare that I’d been eating every day. I probably wouldn’t return only because legit hamburger places are popping up all over the city and I’ll want to try them too. But this one is pretty dayum good!  And I dig the pop-art decor. PS– they deliver!

 

Zaza Bistro
Zazá Bistrô Tropical Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato At the time of my visit, Zaza Bistro had the best reviews of any restaurant in my neighborhood. As I learned that night, it was for good reason. Zaza is located on a corner in what looks like an old house. It reminded me of restaurants in the Poncey-Highland area of Atlanta with bright color paint, wrought iron fence/art and fresh vegetation. The low lighting and middle eastern music actually made the vibe extremely sexy. The drinks, featuring niche ingredients, were delicious. The entrees were small but extremely flavorful and surprisingly filling. Recommendation: Order anything with octopus. You will NOT be disappointed. Its tender, juicy and well seasoned.

 

Casa de Feijoada
Casa da Feijoada Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato This had to be the most decadent and indulgent meal of my life to date. For some reason my love and I had the entire restaurant to ourselves– so the service seemed almost over the top. Here, there is no need for a menu. You came for the feijoada (fay-jo-AH-dah) completa: black beans, meat, rice, couve (collards), aipim (fried yuca), torresmo fritas (cracklin or chicharrones) and laranjas (oranges). This is basically an all-you-can-eat restaurant. The server replenishes everything as you go. Ours also kept our glasses full of my favorite brazilian drink: batida de maracuja (ba-CHEE-dah jee mah-dah-coo-JAH). This is a mixture of sweet passion fruit nectar and cachaca. I nearly had to be ROLLED out of this restaurant. And I fell asleep as soon as I got back to the apartment. Recommendation: Go early. Pace yourself. Walk home if you can– you’ll need the workout. LOL.

 

Look out for a second post with more recommendations. Let me know on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook what you think. Much love. Remember, life is good. Eat it up!

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Healthy Living| Kicking the Sugar Habit in 2017

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I decided to cut sugar from my diet in 2017. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard and its even harder when you have a sweet tooth. But even for those of us who don’t, cutting sugar can be difficult because nearly everything we eat has sugar! And LOADS of it! You can find sugar in the most unexpected places. And even if its natural, that doesn’t mean the glycemic load will work in your favor. Certain natural sugars are just as bad as high fructose corn syrup. So watch the video below to talk learn what steps I’m taking in 2017.

I’m posting my videos hella late, but I’ll be keeping you guys in the loop. I fell off the wagon recently, but I’m doing better! Lets talk on social media!

Purchase your monkfruit sweetener using the link below to keep this site running. This is the best price you’ll find for this brand! I put it in my black coffee every morning now.

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Recipe| How-To Make a Yummy Pressed Sandwich

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Sandwiches don’t have to be boring. With the right tools and ingredients, you can make something yummy! Like a panini!

A panini is a pressed/grilled sandwich. The name is of Italian origin, like the sandwiches. So using italian breads like ciabatta (chee-BAH-tah) and focaccia (foh-KAH-chah) makes sense, but I used regular sandwich bread though. I have more tips below.

This is a simple recipe that you can follow. I hope you’re inspired to upgrade your regular sandwich to something warm and melty.

What you’ll need:
– George Foreman Grill (or electronic grill) OR cast iron grill pan and press tool
– chicken (sliced)
– roasted red peppers (picked red peppers)
– pesto sauce
– mozzarella cheese slices
– hummus (optional)

See below for MORE tips, not seen in the video. (more…)

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How-To Make Caprese Skewers

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If you’re hosting or headed to a party, a great no-cook option for an appetizer or starter is caprese skewers with prosciutto.

Caprese (Cah-PRAY-zee) skewers (sk-YOO-werz) are inspired by the caprese salad– an italian salad popularized in the Mediterranean city of Capri. It is historically buffalo mozerella, fresh basil leaves and tomatoes topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Turning it into a skewer makes it a salad in one bite. I decided to add to prosciutto for a little more flavor, protein and heartiness.

Below is my video with tips and tricks for making the assembly go quickly. I took the platter shown at the end of the video to the birthday party of my good friend Chef Nadia and her twin sister Elon. The skewers disappeared REALLY quickly. I know your friends will enjoy them too.

ingredients:
mozzarella (balls in olive oil)
fresh whole basil leaves
cherry tomatoes
prosciutto di parma
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
black pepper

Click for tips:
(more…)

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Salgueiro Samba School in Rio de Janeiro (2014)

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In August 2014, I visited the Salgueiro Samba School (Academicos do Salgueiro) for their weekly public rehearsal (ensaio), which basically turns into a big party! It was an amazing experience. That night I made new memories and new friends.

While we got there before 11pm, the show doesn’t really kick off until 1am. There was live pagode music, followed by a mini parade through the quadra set to the most recent carnaval enredo. From what I understand, there is a passista show after the parade. Those are the videos that I love to watch online. This is apparently when the party really starts. They go all night! I can’t wait to return so that I can experience this portion of the party. But I enjoyed what I experienced.

I filmed as much as I could while still staying in the moment. And upon my return to the US, the first thing I did was splice all the footage together to an amazing song about Salgueiro. Below is an abridged version of the original video.

I’m annoyed and flattered by all the people who have posted the original video as their own. So, thanks and you’re welcome. LOL. #watermarkednow

TIP: Take a nap before you head out and wear cute but comfortable shoes. Even my comfortable heels hurt after standing on the concrete for 3 hours. And if you’re a person who sweats, take a rag. Its one of those types of parties!

Subscribe to my YouTube channels today! DineWithDani and The D. Styles Experiment

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How-to Prepare for Snow in Atlanta

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While there are many jokes to be made about Atlanta’s reaction to snow– there are a few misconceptions that I want to clear up this year.

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Safety Tips for Travel to Rio de Janeiro

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Praia Leme Aug 2014

Rio de Janeiro has a reputation for being a dangerous city. There are steps you can take to increase your changes of staying safe. |DineWithDani

Before I went to Rio de Janeiro for the first time, just after the World Cup, many people warned me about the dangers of traveling there. I was told all about the “street kids” who will rob you blind and the cab drivers who will rip you off.

Recently, a video surfaced of street kids picking pockets and snatching items from random passersby. It has a lot of people rattled. Admittedly, I was taken aback as well because all 27 incidents happened at the same intersection.

I’m grateful that founder and editor of Brazil Magazine, Bruce Jones, and Miriam Silva of Sweaty Sexy Samba, personally gave me some safety tips that I want to share with you.

Carry a copy of your passport. You don’t need to walk around with your passport. Unless you’re dealing in banks, you probably won’t need actual ID all day. To get into the clubs, the copy will suffice. And of course if you’re robbed, you won’t have lost your most valuable asset.

Invest in a money belt. Money belts are basically fanny packs you wear under your pants or an actual belt with a secret compartment. This is a way for you to store emergency cash, cards and identification in case you are robbed. The trick is to NOT go into the money belt in public. Only do so in a restroom if you must.

money belt options

Avoid the city bus and the train if possible. Your chance of being robbed increase on the bus. There are comedy sketches on youtube and Brazilian TV about it. Cabs, walking in your neighborhood or taking the metro to your destination are preferable. The metro and the train are different. The metro goes through a lot of the popular areas in Rio. The train will take you to the west zone and north zone—poorer suburbs compared to the south zone, which include copacabana and ipanema.

Walk on the beach side of the road. If you want to walk along Avenida Atlantica (the beach road in Copacabana), or any beach road– be sure you walk on the beach side. If you walk on the city side, it is very easy for someone to rob you and disappear down an alley.

Don’t use your smart phone on the street. If you need to look something up, map your location, etc.—do NOT do so while walking the streets. Duck into a store (not just the entry way) to use your phone. Keep your phone in your front pocket or purse.

Don’t carry a lot in public. Large backpacks, big shoulder bag purses, lots of jewelry, big wallets, loads of electronic devices—all of these things can make you a target. If you’re doing video, have an entourage to keep watch.

 

Don’t give cash to the street kids. I know this sounds heartless, but you kind of open yourself up to being robbed later. If you give cash to one (or two), they may come back with their friends to rob you later because they know you have cash.

Beach kiosk/barraco workers are good resources. Along the beach road in Copacabana and Ipanema, there are covered kiosks where you can buy food and drinks. In the sand, you’ll find a tent pitched that rents chairs and umbrellas to beachgoers– those are the barracos. Typically, the workers speak decent English and are on the beach all day every day. They can be a wealth of information. And if they aren’t in on the petty theivery, they are witness to them and can help you avoid bad situations. PS– don’t eat at the kiosks. Just drink.

Stylized and standardized Kiosk named "Posto 6" with restaurant and bar at Copacabana beach sidewalk. The promenade is a pavement landscape in large scale ( 4 kilometres long ) having a black and white Portuguese pavement design by Roberto Burle Marx, a geometric wave. Sugar Loaf mountain in background.

Don’t chase your robber. Your pocket can be picked at any time of day. And the strangers around you are not likely to help. In fact, they will get out of the way and keep moving. If you chase the robber, you may find yourself alone somewhere.

Don’t expect the military police to help. The police are everywhere in Rio, but keep in mind they are not there to help you. Do not talk to them, do not take pictures of them, just ignore them—like the Brazilians. There are Tourist Police in Rio, but you may not see them as frequently as you like.

Keep a small amount of cash in your front pocket. If you are robbed, you can hand this to robber and say that’s all you have. If you open a wallet or purse–they will take the whole thing.

favelaKnow where you’re going. There are neighborhoods that one should not enter without a Brazilian friend or guide. Some people will say to avoid the favelas all together, but I personally had a great experience in Rocinha. It was a guided walking tour– not a safari trip on truck. I won’t pretend that all favelas are created equal. So just make sure you’re aware of your destination and surroundings.

Petty crime is almost inevitable in a country where the wealth disparity is staggering and virtually ignored by the government. Keeping these things in mind, can decrease your chances of victimization. And none of these tips should impede upon you having a fun time in the marvelous city.

rio safety

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Richards Southern Fried

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by Christopher A. Daniel

WP_20160713_16_51_07_ProWhen I initially sat to conduct my exclusive interview with the renowned Chef Todd Richards to develop a feature story for The Burton Wire, I was immediately impressed by his extraordinary use and understanding of food as a community connector. “I really want to do something that represents the neighborhood that I live in,” he told me during this year’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival immediately following a weekend class he was instructing on grilling vegetables.

“Fried chicken is the most community-driven food in the world,” the former partner in Atlanta eateries The Shed at Glenwood and The Pig & the Pearl continues. “You cannot communicate if you don’t have something in common, and fried chicken is that thing that brings people together.”

WP_20160713_16_07_36_ProFast forward about a month-and- a-week after that conversation. Chef Richards, a multiple James Beard Foundation “Best Chef” Southeast semifinalist, former culinary master at numerous Ritz-Carlton Hotels and reigning executive chef at downtown Atlanta’s White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails, debuted his own concept restaurant after a year of planning and erection based around fried chicken, Richards’ Southern Fried, in the refurbished Krog Street Market in the Inman Park area. I was able to sit and enjoy my own intimate menu tasting the Wednesday following its Monday, July 11 grand opening along with my colleague, The Burton Wire’s founder/Editor-in- Chief Nsenga Burton.

WP_20160713_17_24_43_ProUpon Chef Richards offering us seats at his 400-square- foot brick-and- mortar eatery, I immediately noticed how Richards’ Southern Fried possesses its own classic, diner-influenced-meets- theatrical ambiance: angelic marble countertops, platinum-colored steel parts and its sibling refined stools. The restaurant’s marquee, bolted parallel to the left of the kitchen and dining area, Chef Richards shares, is inspired by the Fox Theatre’s signage. “I wanted to show things in the best light and detail,” says the former contestant on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. “I wanted a counter so that people could sit together.”

I insisted that Chef Richards, wearing a light gray chef jacket, and company select all of the menu items for us to sample (I’d been exchanging texts via Facebook Messenger and emails with various members of his staff forewarning me to be prepared to get my grub on). And boy, did we end up with a nice a la carte in front of us.

WP_20160713_17_24_57_ProIn the meantime, I quenched my thirst on a few rounds of strawberry rhubarb lemonade, a refreshing beverage with a quite satiating sour aftertaste. Four beverages in, I decided to turn that lemonade into a “Todd Richards,” Chef Richards’ equivalent to an Arnold Palmer, adding sweet tea into the mix. It was dope having various members of his diverse, 11-member team offer to refill the beverage consistently once the ice eclipsed the pink-toned liquid.

A man with immense knowledge, Chef Richards, a Chicago native and Five Diamond Restaurant Award recipient, dialogued and fellowshipped with us about a variety of subjects. We discussed our favorite works (cinema and literature) by legendary photographer Gordon Parks, his fascination with writers and (good) journalists’ abilities to articulate moments in time, his relationship with his father (who left right before we dined), his obsession with singer Phoebe Snow’s 1976 LP Second Childhood and several historic moments in the culinary industry. Bypassing us were a slew of customers of all ages and ethnicities, mirroring Richards’ Southern Fried’s team, stopping to get that helping of mouth-watering fried chicken.

WP_20160713_17_26_29_ProThen, out came our family-styled meal. The container closest to me contained a classic leg and thigh (Nsenga and her soror in town for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Boule festivities feasted on that because I’m not really a fan of dark meat). Further down was a four- piece classic wings (not them scrawny pieces of chicken but the well-fed pieces you can pull apart with multiple napkins on deck because it’s THAT good). I, on the other hand, planted my teeth firmly into that Richards’ hot (Chef Richards likes his cold) breast and wing, swimming in not even a small puddle of orange-tinted sauce zested up with garlic and paprika, giving the chicken a very clean (almost exotic) spicy aftertaste. That hit of high octane ghost pepper hot sauce mixed with that bourbon hot sauce though….is for the big boys! Throwing in a few cornbread muffins and pickle slices in each chicken box was a nice touch, too.

Side dishes are on point! The hot chicken macaroni & cheese includes nice chunks of the Richards’ hot decorated (and well-proportioned) with scallions and a creamy cheese sauce throughout the congealed concoction (have some water on deck though). The full-bodied jalapeno cream corn is loaded with fresh garden peppers. Thank goodness the consistency isn’t too watery and running like Jackie Joyner-Kersee!

WP_20160713_18_12_33_ProThose hearty potato wedges (oh my goodness!) came out piping hot, made to order with a side of remoulade (damn!). Of course, I can never go wrong with cucumber, tomato and onion salad by itself (one of my favorite side dishes since childhood). The golden orange vegetable slaw, fermented in salt water, was served freshly drizzled with a light vinaigrette. Think of the vegetable medley as springtime in a cup. Between three people, we went home a nice helping of leftovers and full bellies…considering we were told to make some room for dessert.

Richards’ Southern Fried’s rice pudding is full of sliced peaches, peach puree and cream topped with pecans. Yet, it’s surprisingly not overwhelmingly sweet. Its distant relative, the strawberry rhubarb cobbler, is also not overpowered with sugar but does come with one hell of a crust. I highly suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Pleasant as always, Chef Richards even ran to grab some coffee to pair with the desserts.

WP_20160713_17_26_40_ProClocking in close to two hours, the dining experience at Richards’ Southern Fried, at least for me, was a very savory, thought-provoking and welcoming time. It’s the type of establishment that could easy become something like Cheers (well, minus the booze). On the next visit, I intend on sinking my teeth into one of those fried chicken sandwiches smothered in pimento cheese and chow chow on the bun (rubs stomach and licks lips). Daily specials like the red beans & rice, fried catfish sandwich and the weekend chicken & waffles are on my to-do list as well (keep in mind my visit was on a Wednesday evening just before the dinner rush).

Richards’ Southern Fried, to quote Chef Richards, isn’t just another fried chicken joint. It’s an intimate space that invites everyone in for a good vibe and a spice of life. Give it a try; you’ll never look at fried chicken the same indeed.

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Live Nation’s VIP Preview at Lakewood Amphitheatre

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by Christopher A. Daniel

Just before dusk on Jun. 8, a euphoric audience at Lakewood Amphitheatre anticipated the classic sounds of veteran pop/rock acts Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. Live Nation Atlanta, on the other hand, opened Lakewood’s gates in advance to some of us VIPs for an intimate preview under its new outdoor venue, Cellar 89.

The gray-painted structure named to commemorate the performance venue’s opening year hosted a light tasting menu consisting of some of its local eateries’ signature dishes. The incredibly hospitable, hour-long reception, allowed each of us to converse with a few other journalists/colleagues as well as Live Nation Atlanta staff. Lakewood’s general manager and marketing director Akeasha Branch was quite welcoming, ensuring that I kept a drink in my hand the entire time (three 24 oz. Dos Equis precisely).

The spread to the right of the wine bar was pretty cool. There was the standard cheese and cracker tray alongside Zora’s Fresh Market’s veggie crudité on both a tray and in really cute miniature martini glasses. The guests raved over the craft dogs courtesy of Craft House Draft House until the tray was wiped clean. Those mini smoked sausage dogs were topped with melted cheese, grilled peppers and onions. I must say they paired well with the Dos Equis nestled nice and chilled by my plate(s).

A flatbread topped with chicken, pesto, feta cheese, grilled peppers, caramelized onions and garnished with fresh arugula leaves instantly became one of my favorite dishes. I went stir crazy with the tongs piling the smoked chicken wings from Doc & Roc Henderson BBQ on a plate (ok, three plates). Again, considering I had a few Dos Equis to wash the chicken down with, something about that sweet & spicy sauce drizzled and smothering over the blackened flats sent that flavor into a whole ‘nother stratosphere. Needless to say, I made quite a few trips to that aluminum pan the entire hour we were under that small pavilion, but I digress.

The winner in the heavy appetizer category was the round salted caramel brownies. Talk about a good mesh of scattered sour crystals with gooey, decadent goodness. I had no shame stacking those moist, round treats and pulling them off one-at- a-time. I made sure to snatch a few before everything was taken away so that we could enjoy the performances.

The cool thing about experiencing legendary bands like The Doobie Brothers and Journey is how their repertoire on-stage closely resembles the original recordings. They clearly don’t make ‘em like they used to. Yes, I was waiting to hear timeless cuts from the Doobies like “Listen to the Music” and “Black Water.” I stretched out comfortably on one of the comfy brown chairs in the VIP lounge, continuing to drink my tall brews.

Once Journey took center stage, I put those two drink tickets to good use. I started with a little boring Tito’s Vodka and Sprite with a twist of lime but quickly migrated to partake in the specialty cocktail option us VIPs had. A sucker for a stiff drink, I experienced Americus, GA’s-based Thirteenth Colony’s Southern Rye Whiskey for the first time.

One of the bartenders on the patio mixed an Americus Mule with ginger beer and lime juice. For the serving to be as small as it was, the bite from the flavor was something serious. Well-balanced in volume, the drink definitely helped to enhance the sing-along flash mob the audience and I had with classics like “Anyway You Want It,” “Open Arms” and “Who’s Crying Now?”

All in all, I’ve been to Lakewood quite a few times over the years for a variety of showsspanning genres, but it was cool to have just a chilled night as a special guest. It felt good to shake Live Nation Atlanta president and iconic concert promoter Peter Conlon’s hand and to switch from indulging in posh, high-brow menus for some comfort food. Not to mention, it’s always fun to revisit something nostalgic while getting a taste of what some of my favorite live venues have to offer.

 

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Where To Eat in Miami

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I recently traveled to Florida to celebrate my birthday. I checked out a few spots based on recommendations of TV personalities, friends and locals. Here is my round up of faves. Check them out when you’re there.

Boteco
IMG_2365[1]Legit, the most Carioca place I’ve ever been in the U.S. I’ve been to Brazilian spots in Atlanta, DC, Los Angeles and New York. This was very special. I only wish I had my samba sisters with me. The DJ played all of my faves from Timbalada to Zeca Pagodinho. And the live band played all the latest and greatest in pagode. We went on Saturday (my actual birthday) which is their weekly feijoada (a dinner centered around black bean stew). The caipirinhas were on point, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was lively and colorful. It was a great time.
DineWithDani recommends: The caipirinhas are perfect.
Boteco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Camoronera Seafood Joint & Fish Market
This spot is tucked in Little Havana, which is not exactly a neighborhood that most tourists venture to. I didn’t feel unsafe when I got there, but we did drive through some areas that looked bombed out, abandoned and forgotten. The restaurant is small, but the service is fast and pleasant. Locals know and respect this place with good reason.
DineWithDani recommends: Anything involving shrimp is the reason you go. Period. 
La Camaronera Seafood Joint & Fish Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rusty Pelican
IMG_2364[1]This is a classic upscale seafood restaurant. Every Floridian knows, has been or recommends this place. Located on Key Biscayne, it offers a stellar waterfront view of Downtown Miami. The menu hits all the marks: oyster, lobsters, fresh fish and delicious sides. This was a surprise dinner for me and it didn’t disappoint. Tip: Sit outside at night and enjoy the view. Its very romantic. The couple across from us couldn’t stop making out. They felt it! You will too.
DineWithDani recommends: The oysters and lobsters are actually not over priced.

Rusty Pelican Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flanigans Seafood Bar
This spot may be the opposite of the Rusty Pelican– a local chain of hole-in-the wall bars serving up seafood classics. One thing I noticed: almost nothing on the menu is fried. But you can get a whole fish with two sides for a nominal price. You’ll find lots of beers to choose from, a full bar and loads of TVs tuned to sports. This is paradise for my man. Beer, sports, seafood, flip-flops-level casual attire and loud music. No wonder he was excited to show me this spot.
DineWithDani recommends: The clam chowder surprised me, as did the shrimp alfredo and smoked fish dip!
Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
IMG_2363[1]This southern restaurant in South Beach rivals some of the top spots in Atlanta. The server (who was from Atlanta) said they were known for their Chicken & Waffles & Watermelon. Girl, what? I mentally moved past the addition of watermelon and ordered the entree which is meant to be shared. It was perfection. The music is retro. The cocktails are hand crafted and strong. And the guests are a hodgepodge of locals, tourists, celebrities and notables. I sat next to someone from the cast of Empire (who was on a date). That’s all I’m going to say. LOL. The tables are so tight together, however, that I could have eaten off their plates. But instead I talked to the couples on the other side of me about all kinds of shenanigans and we shut the restaurant down with raucous laughter. All in all one of my favorite nights in Miami. I can’t wait to go back.
DineWithDani recommends: Obviously the Chicken & Waffles and & Watermelon are worth ordering, but also the charred okra is a great addition.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Touch of Cuba
On our last day, we went on an adventure looking for something obscure I’d heard about. This worked up an appetite and we thought back to the Cuban spot that looked packed out at 9am. Around 11am we stopped there for an early lunch. This teeny spot in Hallandale serves Cuban classics with a smile. And much like the rest of Hallendale: no muss, no fuss. And it’s all good in the hood.
DineWithDani recommends: The coffee. I’d never go to starbucks again if I lived near this place.
A Touch of Cuba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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