The Joint Bar & Grill

 

Bar food goes gourmet in Pinecest

the joint

Jodi Mailander Farrell

Even though The Joint Bar & Grill offers a takeout menu and delivery through deliveryandtogo.com, it does everything in its power to convince you to stay: Offering amazing craft beers on tap like Jupiter's Monk and Tampa's Cigar City Guava Grove, live bands on Friday and Saturday nights, a massive projection screen for Sunday movie nights.

But the main attraction is the spectacular menu. Billed as a gastro pub, the eight-month-old tavern in the old Hooligan's spot in Pinecrest offers not-so-typical bar food with a gourmet twist. You could spend your whole time sampling the thin brick-oven pizzas, wings and 14 starters, including truffle fries with shredded parmesan and herbs, and our favorite: smoking tacos. (The grilled soft flour tortillas come four to a plate, topped with barbecued pulled pork, cole slaw, melted cheese and jalapenos.)

But then you would miss out on some pretty amazing oversized burgers and sandwiches and a steak and seafood menu that rivals some of Miami's fine dining establishments. The half-pound Angus beef burgers are served on soft pretzel rolls. The Hangover patty is stacked with a fried egg, Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese and potato chips. On the side, ask for sweet potato fries, which come crispy on the outside, warm and mushy on the inside.

While some items sound more like a sixth-grade science experiment (a Sonora-style Mexican hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and topped with salsa, jalapenos, onions, melted cheese and chipotle mayo), most of the traditional dishes, like the cowboy rib eye and New York sirloin strip, will impress. When available, the blue cheese steamed mussels, with toasted garlic bread for dipping, are a hearty treat. The 12-ounce grilled churrasco, with house-made chimichurri sauce, was cooked perfectly to order, still pink on the inside.

Because this is Miami, guava dominates the dessert menu, with wacky concoctions like Latin-Thai donuts, served with guava and sweet condensed milk, and guava and cream cheese pizza, which was surprisingly not a total turn-off. Let's hope this joint, owned by the father-son team of Jorge Ramos Sr. and Jorge Jr., sticks around.

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