seafood paella

Recently, a couple members of the Hungry Crew joined me in checking out one of Miami’s seafood hotspots, Rincon Escondido Tapas, located at 2697 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. Rincon serves traditional Spanish and Argentinean cuisine in a tapas style and has quite the reputation for their seafood paella.

THE RESTAURANT

Rincon has the classic “hole-in-the-wall” appeal. Everyone knows that hole-in-the-wall restaurants have the best eats. Outside, there is seating on a raised concrete patio. Inside, Rincon is cozy, with small tables clustered about that can be rearranged depending on the size of your party. It also had an eclectic décor. Rincon is perfect for casual dining, no reservation is necessary, unless you want to order Rincon’s most popular dish: the paella. It’s a good idea to call ahead if you want to order that dish. All of their food is made to order and the paella – which comes with either chicken or seafood – takes about an hour to prepare.

THE FOOD

seafood pallea
The paella is a must try at Rincon, but call ahead if you and your party don’t want to wait for this dish. It takes about an hour to prepare. Photo: Rincon 

Rincon’s seafood paella (“Paella de Mariscos”) is a traditional paella with shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams. One order typically feeds two people, but the Hungry Crew and I ate to contentment and had leftovers – which tasted even better the next day. The presentation of the dish was mouthwatering, the aroma was delicious. It was flavorful, but a bit salty. Luckily, we each had a glass of white wine sangria to cleanse our pallets.

While waiting for our seafood paella, we indulged in some tapas. We ordered the grilled squid (Chipirones a la Plancha), cod fish croquettes (Croquetas de Bacalao), and sautéed garlic shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo).

Before the tapas arrived at our table, the owner served us a small bowl of potato salad as a starter. I usually don’t like potato salad that isn’t made by my mother, but Rincon’s potato salad was tasty. It was well seasoned and not overly creamy.

As we were finishing the potato salad, the grilled squid arrived with warm bread on the side. The grilled squid was not big on flavor. However, the oil based sauce that it was served in was delicious with the bread. Next came the codfish croquettes and OMG they were fantastic! The four pieces were just enough to wet our pallets. Shortly before the seafood paella came out, the sautéed garlic shrimp arrived with more warm bread, it was delicious. The shrimp was well seasoned and perfectly cooked with a kick of spice.

 

Grilled squid served in a buttery lemon sauce.

We ended our meal on a sweet note with flan–a creamy custard dessert popular in Spain. It was divine. The flan’s consistency was perfect and was not overly sweet.

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, I would give Rincon Escondido a rating of four out of five shrimp. It’s a great place to enjoy scrumptious seafood in Miami while hanging out with friends or a casual date night.

Share
Los Tacos No. 1 in NYC

New York City is a foodie heaven because of how diverse it is. When it comes to food cuisines you can find a huge amount of options spread along just once city block. Still, most of us have our food favorites and tend to stick to what we know when it’s time to pick a lunch spot or dinner date location. But as a foodie, it’s your duty to venture out and find new places you love. Otherwise, you might miss out on some of these hidden gems right outside your door. Besides, are you a really a foodie if you don’t take advantage of all the great food NYC has to offer?

A plate of tacos from Locos Tacos
Los Tacos No. 1 is perfect for the foodies who loves a good taco. Photo by Los Tacos No. 1

1. Los Tacos No. 1

New York has no shortage of great Mexican spots to fulfill all of your taco needs. However, this hidden gem has sat on top of my best tacos list for two years running. Located inside of Chelsea market, Los Tacos has some of the most authentic Mexican tacos that I’ve tasted in the city. It’s a small shop located in a food hall, which means that if you’ve never ventured into Chelsea market, you probably have never heard of it. The set-up of this spot allows for you to watch your tacos being made and then they’re handed to you for your enjoyment.
Price: $
Location: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue. New York, NY 10011 (Multiple Locations)

2. Verde on Smith

Brooklyn’s restaurant industry has been booming over the last few years, but this cobble hill location has been around for quite some time. If you visit during brunch hours, you can try their thick cut brioche French toast or the rosemary potatoes, wash them down with unlimited mimosas and raspberry, mango, or peach bellinis. Outdoor patio seating means you can soak up some sun and fresh air during NYC’s warmer months. They even have big tables for those group brunches we love so much. If dinner is more your thing, their dinner menu is full of Italian goodness.
Price: $$
Location: 216 Smith St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

Verde on smith bubbly

3. Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar

Delicious Cuban food paired with Cuban inspired drinks? Yes please! Cuba is a quaint restaurant nestled among the busy streets of the west village, which is why many people may overlook it. The name says it all, as Cuba serves up some Cuban favorites such as vaca frita, ropa vieja, and of course mojitos! Upstairs is a bit tight, but no worries, they have another level downstairs with extra seating and its own bar. On some nights, you can enjoy your meal while a live band plays!
Price: $$
Location: 222 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012

4. Lemongrass Grill

I almost didn’t put Lemongrass Grill on this list because I love how low-key and chill even though NYC is always bustling. Located on court street in Downtown BK, Lemongrass Grill has everything that you need in a Thai spot: nice ambience, great appetizers, affordable entrees, and two-for-one cocktails. Yes, TWO-FOR-ONE! The drink special is just one reason you should be visiting Lemongrass Grill soon. The service is always prompt and the appetizers and entrées are delicious. You’re guaranteed to leave full and satisfied. They also have pineapple fried rice that is served inside of a pineapple, so you can eat delicious food in a new way and stunt for the gram (we won’t judge)!
Price: $
Location: 156 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

thai

5. El Jeffe

Have you ever been craving Mexican and Caribbean food, but had to settle on just one of the two? Well fret no more, because El Jeffe has created a menu and dining experience that allows you to enjoy both at the same damn time all without leaving NYC. Fried shrimp tacos, jerk pork nachos, and grilled fish rice bowls are just some of the dishes you can try here. They have frozen margaritas and Mexican beers available to wash down your food too. Don’t forget to order yourself some delicious Mexican corn!
Price: $$
Location: 1483 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11216

 

Mimosaholics Need This List

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

Share
Common Foods Video with Danielle Fontus

If certain words such as chipotle, espresso and acai make you nervous, you are not alone. Some foods are admittedly easier to pronounce than others. And some make you pause every time you read them. But we are here to tell you that there is no shame in needing to take a minute and sound a word out before ordering. You shouldn’t let anything, let alone pronunciation, stop you from enjoying what otherwise could be an unforgettable dining experience filled with good food and laughter.

Have you ever decided to be fancy and hit up a restaurant you’ve never been to? You dress up, fully willing to broaden your food horizons. But the minute you get the menu and eyeball a few of the dishes, you regret it all. You don’t know how to say any of the selections or if you even want to eat any of them. All of a sudden you’re back in elementary school with beads of sweat on your forehead as you sound out syllables at the table. It’s not a good look, but it is a common dilemma we’ve all faced. However, it doesn’t have to be. Ordering delicious meals should truly be the time of your life.

And that’s why we’re here: to help guide you through those awkward restaurant encounters. There’s no better time than the present to improve your food vocabulary by learning the real way to pronounce common dishes. We continue our handy guide with the help of our friend Danielle, Creator of the She Dares community. The next time you see one of these items on a menu, you’ll impress your friends and bae by sounding like an expert.

  • Edamame – A boiled soy bean, which can be a snack or appetizer before the main dish

  • Lychee – A white fleshy fruit

  • Chipotle – A smoke-dried jalapeño

  • Espresso – A coffee brewed by boiling water under pressure

  • Acai – A reddish-purple fruit.

     

Share
Common Foods Video
,

Believe it or not, there are tons of common (and not so common) foods that you have probably been pronouncing incorrectly for years. Is it see-tan or say-tan? Is the ‘g’ in gnocchi silent? Do you pronounce caipirinha like piranha? These are just a few questions you’ve probably had while out dining. Spelling can be a bit deceiving, so it makes sense that we have all fallen victim to butchering our food orders.

Let’s set the scene. You head out for a night on the town with your girls. You take a quick glance at the menu, feeling pretty confident as you ask the waiter for pho. Pronouncing it like a childhood enemy, he or she stares at you in confusion because they haven’t the slightest clue what you are talking about. We have all been there.

Mispronouncing the names of your favorite dishes is one of the biggest food faux pas a blossoming foodie can make. But you shouldn’t feel ashamed. And that shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with new menu items. You never want to be too timid to ask for a platter just because you don’t want to say the wrong thing. Life is all about giving anything a try at least once.

That’s why we have taken the guesswork out for you and tracked down a couple of those tricky foods you just can’t seem to say right. With the help of our friend Malandra, the Vegan Diva, you’ll be able to order any item off of the menu and not feel intimidated. Our common foods guide is setting the record straight once and for all.

Four Foods You’re Pronouncing Incorrectly:

  • Pho – A delicious Vietnamese soup with noodles, cilantro and meat

  • Seitan – A soy-bean based meat for vegetarians and vegans

  • Gnocchi – Soft balls of dough

  • Caipirinha – A sweet Brazilian drink you can order right along with your mojitos and margaritas.

     

Share
Miami Finga Licking Stuffed Lobster
,

In my first attempt to make it to Miami Finga Licking, I failed miserable by driving 25 more minutes out of Miami to Finger Licking Caribbean restaurant. Hello disappointment. Many of you who are avid readers of my travels, know how much I love going to Miami to eat. So if I’m not at my favorite Miami brunch spot or frolicking on the beach, I’m looking for quick eats that can keep the party going.

Determined to eat at the real Miami Finga Licking, I made it my business with the help of my boyfriend, to stop by as soon as I landed. The sun had already set and it was technically on the way to South Beach so it made sense. But let me warn you that when I pulled up, the security gaurds were wearing your latest bullet proof vest which made the place look even more eery and shady than it did. I’m known to risk my life over some chicken so there was no real cause for concern but seriously? Vest? I needed to see what the hype was about.

Miami Finga Licking Mystery Drink

I was also hoping I would run into DJ Khaled since he’s one of the owners but maybe you’ll be luckier than I was on your visit. Though I could use a cocktail, I quickly ordered the mystery drink that was suggested at my table. I really wish it came with vodka but it was delicious and fun to have. It reminded me of my childhood, as the drink is colorful and fruity but didn’t have the loads of sugar I was probably drinking back then, that or I couldn’t tell. Somehow, it lasted through the entire meal and it was refreshing takeaway from the food party my tastebuds like to have.

Miami Finga Licking Wings

Previously, I had heard the chicken here was going to be majestic and although they were, I was upset no one told me how good the sides were going to be. For me, it was about having it all back to back that really made the meal. I love wings that are covered in sauce so, win. It had the perfect crunch you’re always hoping for before the bite and leaves you wanting for more but the fact that you can get two sides is what makes Miami Finga Licking the bomb. I had corn on the side, as well as, macaroni and cheese. May the church say, Amen. Everything was just right and one spoonful after the other, it all started to disappear. We also ordered the shrimp stuffed lobster which they didn’t hold back on portion wise. It’s safe to say everyone was satisfied and I can’t wait to visit Miami Finga Licking again.

Miami Finga Licking Stuffed Lobster

Share
10 Below Mo Mango Ice cream

With an overload of summer food trends and a serious addiction to ice cream, I wasn’t sure how I was gonna go into the Fall trying to live a healthy lifestyle. When I’m in the gym, I often think about the food I regret having over the weekend no matter how great they were. How could you not when you’re melting under your trainers orders?

I’m a huge believer in eating the things that you want, when you want them. When I came across this rant about the five things Sanaa wished she ate this summer, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I did eat. There’s still a few things left on my to eat list before Fall is really here but here are the few things I ate with no regrets.

Don’t mind my new obsession of hands shots. All the cool kids are doing it. 

Morgenstern Buttermilk Balsamic Strawberry ice cream

1. Buttermilk Basil Strawberry Ice cream from Morgenstern’s

I was suppose to be at a speak easy but the sun was blaring! I decided to take a stroll down Bowery to cool off at Morgenstern’s. Well known for their coconut ash ice cream, I was overwhelmed by the other delicious sounding options on their menu. Being the strawberry ice cream lover that I am, I couldn’t resist the words buttermilk and the cashier even let me do a taste test. It was better than the bourbon vanilla so I went for it. Little did I know, that the balsamic wasn’t included in the taste I had and I was in for a treat. This was the best ice cream I had all summer. I ordered it on a cake cone, and they dripped the balsamic liquid over it before serving. This made it tart but sweet and also perfect. Morgenstien’s is worth the line and the ice cream there is more than a summer food trend.

Wowfulls

2. Wowfulls at Smorgasburg

If you haven’t had a egg waffle yet, you should. They’re  fun to look at and you can stuff it with anything! Must be why Wowfulls has the one of the longest lines at Smorgasburg because this is what instagram post are made of. I tried the chocolate Wowfull stuffed with vanilla ice cream, topped with Orea cookie crumbs and banana pocky. Pocky doesn’t taste like much but it’s all for show. Powdered sugar is also sprinkled on top but note that this sweet treat is made for two. The best part of it all is that you can customize your Wowfull and then dig in!

Maven Cocktails

3. Maven Cocktails

Now it’s definitely been on trend this summer to have wine in a box – to go style. I’m not talking about the cheap box wine that your friend decided to bring to the housewarming either. Maven Cocktails has a similar to go style because it’s wine, without the wine glass, and instead, inside a frosted single serve glass bottle. Yes, make it classy. The delight about this wine, is that they add vodka and it’s only offered in a few places around NYC currently. Find out where. Don’t be fooled, you probably can’t walk out of those places with this drink but I was at a special event so I did. The bottle is super resusable and just a stylish new way to get your drink

10 Below Mo Mango Ice cream

4. Mo’ Money Mo’ Mango from 10 Below Ice cream

Perhaps I only cared about ice cream and it was my personal summer trend but 10 below is also making the list. I had already tried rolled ice cream at Vendy Plaza so I wasn’t too crazy about the experience of seeing them make it but I was here for the flavors. The Mo’ Money, Mo’ Mango also has strawberries in the mix, then I topped it with more strawberries and fruity pebbles. Gluttony at it’s finest for my sweet tooth. The entire thing tasted like breakfast cereal. I tried my friend’s who ordered something completely different, with no cereal toppings and felt the same way about his. It was nostalgic and fun to bite into. They were also generous with the toppings and it didn’t take as long as I heard it would.

Sounds like I want to eat ice cream and cocktails forever and I’m okay with that but at least I have no summer food regrets! What did you eat this summer that you don’t regret? Leave me a comment below!

Share