Big food on the Beach- we mean big
7300 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; also South Beach, Pembroke Pines
Hours: 7:30am - midnight daily
Prices: Salads $5.50-$8.75, churros 55-75 cents, pizza $5.50-$18, sandwiches $4.75-$12.75
At Manolo restaurant, the bigger the better. It's easy to get get a bit dizzy at Manolo. The menu bursts with color and choice, and the action at the food counters and kitchen moves quickly. Part cafeteria, part takeout, part bakery, part Argentine-flavored restaurant, Manolo prides itself on big food. And we mean big.
So an egg platter here is a five-egg tortilla with the circumference of a dinner plate and the thickness of a seat cushion. A hamburger is a tower of beef, ham, cheese, bacon and fried egg. About the only items not bigger than life are the thin, chewy churros - sugar-coated pastry tubes filled with luscious vanilla custard, caramel or chocolate.
Start with salad. A house version with spinach, capers, hearts of palm, diced cheese and Manolo sauce (whatever that is, because we didn't detect any) easily serves two or three. Caesar, cobb, caprese and mixed are other options. Then move to the pizza. Manolo's churns out pies that are traditional (olives) and odd (ham and eggs). Not full yet? Time for some fried shrimp, 15 flat-pressed golden nuggets served with tartar and salsa-like sauces. Continue with a platter of pasta with calamari or shrimp sauce; then dig into an egg and potato tortilla.
For your last course: empanadas, served hot, filled with beef, chicken, spinach or cheese and onions. Count on at least a 15-minute wait, with churros and empanadas out first. Then grab some forks and head to a waterside picnic: Manolo is blocks from the ocean.
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