Quick Bites Coral Gables

Okra Please 

Quick Bites Coral Gables

One of the best reasons to eat at Maroosh (223 Valencia Ave.) is their tea service – small glasses held in a brace of brass with a handle, a hot pot of dark tea for refills. Another is the rare appearance of okra on their (or any) menu. An underrated green seen mostly in Louisiana cooking (seafood gumbo!), they serve a lovely dish of bamia at Maroosh – baby okra in a tomato-based sauce with garlic, cilantro, and other seasonings. ($8.75). maroosh.com

A Meal in Itself 

Quick Bites Coral Gables

We love Ichimi (2330 Salzedo St.) for a host of reasons, not the least of which is their superb offering of ramen bowls. Among them are curry, veggie, and seafood options, but our favorite is their signature Ichimi Ramen, where the noodles are mixed with Kikurage mushrooms, Hanjuku eggs, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and sliced pork belly, all in their “famous” tonkatsu soup with black garlic oil. For $15.95, it may be all you need to eat for the day. www.ichimiramenbar.com

Crispy and Cold 

Connoisseurs of Caesar salad, that mix of chopped romaine lettuce, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and croutons, may swear by the anchovy-rich version at Christy’s. But for those not into a salty-fish enhancement, it’s hard to beat the crispy chilled version at the Biltmore’s Fontana (1200 Anastasia). They also slice the Parmesan on top, rather than mixing it in as cheese strings. Always refreshing – and you can order the smaller appetizer version seen here. ($7 small, $14 full) www.biltmorehotel.com

Basque Comfort Food 

Quick Bites Coral Gables

When Mara Basque Cuisine changed to a tapas format and rebranded itself as Tapeo (112 Giralda Ave.), it thankfully kept a selection of its Basque dishes. Yes, it serves tapas from other regions in Spain – notably Catalonia, where tapas originated – but for our taste, nothing is more earthy and delicious than their soft egg, prosciutto, and fried potato dish ($15). Throw in a Stubborn Mule at happy hour (can’t call it a Moscow Mule anymore) and you’re done. tapeomiami.squarespace.com

Egyptian Lamb 

Isn’t there an old expression that you should never eat anything larger than your head? Maybe. But in the case of the over-sized lamb shank that Chef Christian prepares at TUR (259 Giralda Ave.), forget about it. Or just share. If you do, you will savor the results of slow cooking with dukkah, a traditional Egyptian blend of spices with a distinctly nutty taste. Throw in a tzatziki yogurt and cucumber sauce, along with flat bread, and you are in Eastern Med food heaven ($52 dinner). www.turkitchen.com