So much going on, where to start?

I’m write now on my faithful laptop. That which we all never want to happen, happened. Two days ago, my formerly faithful pc crashed! I have a backup unlike the time of the last fall. Tomorrow, off to buy a new one, then to wait for David computer guy to arrive to make it all work! Ok, tmi, enough complaints.

In the meantime, yesterday we went to South Beach Seafood Festival. We’ve never attended before. My husband snagged free tickets offered to residents. Off we went, first in search of the rare parking on a beach day. Next, to wait out the sudden downpour! We still have one more month of rainy season and suspense at the hand of Mother Nature. Our wait was not overly long.

As we approached the beach site of the festival, we were greeted by loud music. Uh oh, a sign of impending discomfort. A security person guided us to the line for tickets – it moved along pretty quickly and everyone was in great spirits. Well, except the guy who with his friends tried to cut into the line ahead of us.

The site, a several block long fenced-in area filled of stands with different restaurants and lots and lots and lots of bars! I did not realize this was a drink fest … and I did enjoy. I started with a William Hill Chardonnay. Much later I had their Sauvignon Blanc. In my sophisticated wine rating system (see Sept 26 post), I judged then as “nice.” We both enjoyed Finlandia’s punch made with vodka, elderflower gin, and peach and blood orange juices – just right for a hot and sunny day.

MY constant companion*

We strolled down the long line of food booths. First stop was Stiltsville Fish Bar where I got my once-every-few-years greeting from Top Chef Jeff McIniss. We shared our “hellos” and he offered me one of his “coconut shrimps,” not a usual favorite. This was exceptional (why didn’t I take a photo?). The shrimp was huge. Instead of a deep fried batter coating, this had a crust of shreds of coconut, which did not overpower the sweetness of the shrimp. The best I’ve ever eaten.

Stiltsville Coconut Shrimp

Our stroll continued, as we read menus and looked at the offerings. Some regular Miami restaurants were represented – A Fish Called Avalon, Rusty Pelican, Cafe Avanti (up the street from our house), Red the Steakhouse. Also present was a nice display from Hungry Harvest, one of our local community service agriculture organizations. They had crates of beets, haas avocados, zucchini squash, and kale which everyone took from. I look forward cooking a light, tasty zucchini soup later in the week.

Where did we end up eating? Poseidon (a Greek place we’ve eaten at) offered their grilled octopus which my husband has enjoyed at the restaurant; try their lentil soup if you go. It was served with a yummy chick pea salad. He preferred the octopus prepared by the Lobster Bar and Sea Grille. Though their kitchen is now headed by another chef, the restaurant was originally created in Atlanta by Pano Karatassos, another Greek. Products offered for sale in-house or on-line are olive oil from Crete and a Greek cookbook. Can you ever have too many Greek cookbooks?

Lobster Bar and Sea Grill, octopus and lobster morsels
Poseidon, Octopus on the grill

After looking at lots of food and menus, I chose Maska Indian Kitchen’s Goa Fish Curry – a mild curry made with mahi mahi (not a favorite fish of mine). Nevertheless, served with perfect basmati rice, this was a good choice. Maska also served tandoori shrimp and a chicken dish for the seafood non-lovers. And, mango lassi. Many years ago, we were spoiled by at the Indian restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma which served wonderful mango lassis. Then we moved to South Florida and made our own (plain yogurt with fresh mango in the blender or food processor). Maskas’ is just right.

Goa Fish Curry

All-in-all it was a really fun afternoon. We were introduced to some local restaurants we’ve never tried. Later in the day, an acquaintance told me a friend had not enjoyed this festival; her complaint was the heat. It may be the end of October, but it’s South Beach, of course it’s hot!

She’s enjoying the baby octopus from Dragonfly

Please join me in hoping I’m up and running on a new pc soon and that all my data, including a couple of posts in preparation are safely restored. If not, I’ll have to invoke my creative spirit and keep writing!

*Constant Companion – a term borrowed from Marilyn Hagerty’s delightful book – Grand Forks, A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews. If you are a foodie, I wholeheartedly recommend this read. And thanks Ms Hagerty

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