When I first graduated college I worked at a PR firm on Lincoln Road and there was only a finite amount of ‘good’ that came from those very long 8 months of my first gig. Amongst them, was that I met my partner in crime, Mitch, and the second was discovering Lime, a then a small shack on the infamous Alton Road with really damn good (and fast) Mexican food. Of course, we all know Lime now for its ubiquitous locations across Miami, but its original home still brings back fond memories.
When I heard that the original Lime space was being transformed by restaurant extraordinaires, 50 Eggs (also the group that brought Lime to franchise fame,) I was nostalgic, a tad bit hesitant but overall curiously receptive.
By now we all know said restaurant as BTW, an acronym for Burger, Tacos and Whiskey, and not to be confused by modern-day vernacular of “by the way.” The concept? Laid-back American street food that is easily accessible and right in the heart of South Beach. I tend to sway for the simple things in life and in the kitchen, so I was pleasantly surprised by the spot and as soon as I stepped in my hope was that the ambience would be a good preface to the menu.
The menu, as I mentioned, is simple but good. You’ll find American classic cuisine with a sprinkle of Mexican fare. Think burgers, fries, and hotdogs. You’ll also find tacos, nachos, and burritos amongst other Mexican favorites. A dichotomous menu that seems a little off but comes together nicely in terms of easy-to-order items.
I wanted to try a bit of everything so I dove into the tacos (since they seem to be a favorite) and indulged in their Taco Tuesday special (2 for 1.) Amongst the tacos order we tried were the following:
Pollo Al Mojo – guacamole, scallion, cilantro, mojo rojo
Roasted & Pulled Pork – pickled red onions, cotija cheese , salsa verde, scallion, cilantro
Mahi Mahi – green cabbage, radish, scallion , cilantro, chipotle mayo
Duroc Pork Belly – pearl onion escabeche, _crispy sweet potato, scallion, cilantro
All were good, but my favorite was the Duroc Pork Belly with just the right amount of seasoning, which we messily dipped into with BTW’s homemade bbq sauce (finger-licking good!) The tacos were then followed by the Double Cheeseburger with a house blend, dill pickles and American cheese, a wholesome American meal that was so damn good but makes me want to run to the gym at this very second.
I personally think I left the best for last, but the Tijuana Dog (a favorite at BTW) is the kind of meal that puts every other menu item to serious shame. A bacon-wrapped hot dog with guacamole, cotija cheese, pickled red onion and chipotle mayo to bring all the delicious, fatty flavors together for the ultimate dog.
Salads are also on the menu, but I’m not watching what I eat, so I opted to try those next time I’m beach bound. However, if you’re looking for a more conservative option and want to try BTW for a weekday lunch, we think these might be worth checking out.
Last but not least, the small restaurant has a large impressive drink menu. I’m going to assume the W in BTW may have something to do with this. I visited BTW on a Tuesday so unfortunately I didn’t indulge in whiskey oblivion. However, the drink I did try was the Spicy Serrano-Rita, an inventive take on the Margarita that’s a concoction of Serrano pepper, Peligroso reposado tequila, watermelon, lime juice, and agave nectar making this a drink of summer bliss with its refreshing and light taste. The bartender also spruced up a cucumber-vodka inspired drink. It wasn’t on the menu and we were told it was inspired on the spot, so don’t expect to get our signature cocktail any time soon.
What you can look forward to is very good service (enough to have a hand crafted cocktail at your disposal,) awesome bar food that will put neighboring fast food joints to shame, and a plethora of libations that remind you that you are after all in the heart of Miami Beach.
Mel’s Take: I’m not going to lie and say that visiting BTW didn’t remind me of the Lime of yesteryear. However, the place seems to have really settled into a groove of its own and I dig it. I think it would be particularly good after a night out since the options are pretty heavy plates, but in either case, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to cheat a bit on your diet and you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Standout dishes: If you’re going to go to BTW, go big. Get the Tijuana Dog because the bacon –hotdog combo is a total win and worth every single calorie. Btw, double that with the Spicy Serrano Rita and you’ve got yourself a kick-ass combo.