By Hamilton Barkley*
I need to start off by stating the obvious. Yes, I am a dog and yes, I have a fabulous beard and a wicked sense of style. My name is Hamilton Barkley of HamiInMiami.com and I’m here to share with you my love of food. I’m recently got my paws dirty and am excited to be contributing to Mitch and Mel’s fabulous blog by reviewing DIRT’s new Fall Seasonal Menu. Remember how amazing everything looked the last time MMTM visited DIRT? I had to go check it out for myself.
On a particularly crisp morning, I headed to DIRT with my human. If the lack of humidity in the air was any indication of how the day’s meal was going to be, I was in for a treat. A fall menu tasting on an 86˚ Miami fall day…. Pawesome!
First up, a Pumpkin Almond Smoothie. Pumpkin smoothie, you ask? Hellz-to-the-yeah! You know how people go nuts during this time of year for #PumpkinSpiceEverything? Well, this is the only pumpkin beverage people should be going crazy over. A definite must try. What’s in this cold concoction? Pumpkin, banana, mango, local wildflower honey, almond butter, house-made almond + Brasil nut mylk, fresh ginger, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It was smooth, creamy, and refreshing with just enough hints of fall spices. Only in Miami do we have the luxury of enjoying a frozen smoothie in the fall.
Up next? Butternut Squash + Goat Cheese Toast. Don’t worry, I will repeat that for you. Ready? Butternut Squash + Goat Cheese Toast. Oh. My. Dog! Just writing about it makes me drool. What made this toast a piece of heaven? Caramelized butternut squash, whipped goat cheese, spicy mustard greens, local wildflower honey, toasted pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and Maldon sea salt all beautifully presented on Zak the Baker toast. Let’s take a closer look at this deliciousness.
Do you SEE what I am talking about? Trust me when I tell you that it tasted even better than it looked! The toast, in true Zak the Baker fashion, was crunchy on the outside but sufficiently tender on the inside. The whipped goat cheese… Oh, that whipped goat cheese! Smeared so thickly on the toast that a goat cheese mustache is inevitable as you bite in. Absolutely divine. Then, on top of it all, a plethora of textures, colors and flavors that combine to create a true palate party.
I’d like to think of myself a rather macho dog. I have a beard and some intense chest hair. And in true macho form, I always go for a big juicy piece of steak if given the option. Or some bacon. Or a rack of lamb. Or some fatty oxtail. So when I tell you that the DIRT x Little Haiti Community Garden Bowl topped with a house-made veggie burger was as good as a piece of steak, you will understand the levels of delicious that this farro and vegetable bowl was.
Farro, an ancient grain that is gaining popularity among gourmet specialty foods, was the base for this delicious garden bowl. It was topped with spiced lentils, sweet potato, wild arugula, extra virgin olive oil, roasted carrot puree, fresh herbs, and shaved veggies. I added the meatless burger (aka: the BEST veggie burger I have ever tasted) because, why not? I wanted to attempt to be a vegetarian for a meal and I have to admit… Not bad at all! If this is what it is like to be a vegetarian, then sign me up. You can keep the steak, bacon, lamb, and oxtail. Just give me all the house-made veggie burgers and garden bowls from DIRT!
Something totally worth noting: I had gone to DIRT with the pre-conceived notion that it was a vegan/vegetarian/gluten free/granola hippie haven. But I was actually surprised to find out that the most ordered food item on the menu is the Dirty Steak & Cheese sandwich. I will have to go back and see how DIRT can handle the meats!
Another super cool thing about Dirt? In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, DIRT will donate $1 from each sale of the restaurants new Rosewater Greek Yogurt parfait and BLUSH juice – a refreshing pink blend of watermelon, pineapple, lemon and mint – to Susan G. Komen, the charitable organization.
Hami’s take: Yes, the food at DIRT might fall more on the healthy spectrum, but it’s absolutely amazing and does not compromise on taste. You’ll never feel like you’re giving up a good meal for a healthy one and isn’t that the point anyway? Furry and foodie friends alike should hurry over to DIRT to try the Autumn menu, which will be available through the end of December. Don’t miss it!
Standout dish: Paws down, my favorite thing at DIRT was the Butternut Squash + Goat Cheese Toast. Trust me. Stop what you are doing right now and go. Go right away to DIRT and try this toast. You’ll thank me later.
Signing out. Paws & Love. Hami.