Make it Spicy
If you are a fan of curry there is no better use of that Asian spice than the mango curry at Namaste on Navarre Avenue. While their menu has a wide selection of traditional Indian dishes, from Tandoori to Tikka to Biryani, the mango curry ($16) delivers both spice and sweetness in a dish appropriate for South Florida. Namaste (“I bow to you” in Sanskrit) is also the last Indian restaurant in the Gables; both Mint and Taste Buds of India closed last year.
Like Germany itself, Fritz & Franz Bierhaus on Merrick Way is not known for fine cuisine. What it is known for is their amazing selection of great German beer. But, yes, they do serve traditional German dishes, like chicken schnitzel, sauerkraut, and apple strudel. For our money, the thing to try is their currywurst, a popular fast food in Berlin – basically sausage with tomato curry sauce. Good for soaking up the suds. $14, with fries.
Fly Me to the Moon
Duck is a dish typically associated with French cuisine, perhaps Chinese. But nobody does it better than Moon Thai & Japanese restaurant on US1 across from UM. Their “Spring Break” duck ($23) is roasted and then fried to make it crispy. It’s served on a bed of vegetables (including pineapple) with a special house sauce. If you don’t want the whole bird, you can also order a smaller lunch special ($13).
Of all the lunch specials available in the Gables, none beats those at La Taberna Giralda (on Giralda Avenue). For just $13, you get two courses, with a choice of two in each category. Every weekday is different, with excellent soup, fish, and meat dishes. We went on a Thursday and ordered the calamares fritos and the grilled salmon in light lemon sauce with crisp potatoes, which we consumed in their delightful courtyard.
A Salad with Substance
Hillstone on Miracle Mile needs no boost from us. It remains one of the only restaurants in The Gables where diners will actually line up outside to wait for a seat. One reason is their consistently good food, served in a tony setting with lots of cozy booths. One of our favorite dishes is their grilled chicken salad, with mixed greens, honey-lime vinaigrette, and peanut sauce. Pricey for a salad at $22, but oh so good.