At the beginning of the year, we set out on a mission to introduce you to some of the food bloggers/writers/lovers that we’ve been lucky enough to meet at different restaurant tastings and food-related events around town. After months of bringing you insights into the origins of their foodie favorites and fanaticism, we realized that we haven’t really given you the opportunity to get to know us like you’ve gotten to know them. So, for our final #foodiefriends post of the year, we bring you Mitch & Mel: #BFFs (Best Foodie Friends).
How did you get into blogging?
Mitch: It’s all Mel’s fault. She’s always been the more adventurous friend, and after contributing to another blog for a while, she convinced me to give it a try. After a few months of writing for the Great Food List, we decided to go out on our own and launch MMTM.
Mel: If there is one person I love working with it’s Mitch. We had been writing for Great Food List as mentioned above, and I knew that if I ever took the plunge to start my own blog, I’d want Mitch to be my partner in crime! I may have pushed him at the beginning, but he’s been the one that’s kept me motivated.
Describe your blog in three words.
Mitch: Collaborative. Consistent. Well-written.
Mel: Reliable. Fun. Authentic.
Which Miami neighborhood best personifies you?
Mitch: I would say the neighborhood where I live. I don’t think it has an official name, but it’s right on the border of Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and Little Havana. Just like me, it’s a mix of a laid-back attitude, aspirational desire, and chusmero cubano.
Mel: I didn’t realize how hard these questions were! I recently bought my first home with my fiance in Miami Springs and I can’t tell you how much I love this little hidden neighborhood. So I’m going to copy Mitch on this one and pick my own hood. It’s totally under the radar, but it manages to have the quaintest restaurants and even a big timer (JR’s Burger, voted one of the best in Miami.) I’ve always said I’m an ambivert (introvert/extrovert hybrid and an actual “thing”) and I think this little neighborhood is exactly that.
What are your top 3 Miami restaurant/bar picks?
Mitch: Lekoke Wine & Bites (my home away from home), Tropical Chinese (an oldie, but goodie), and Cardon y el Tirano (a new fave).
Mel: I’ve always loved Eating House; Loba has a special place in my heart because the chef is a close college friend of mine; and we just recently went to Driftwood Room (review coming soon) and I was blown away! Also, Wood and The Shaker are always a safe spot to grab a drink. That was way more than three, but math has never been my forte.
How do you stay informed about the Miami food scene?
Mitch: From my #foodiefriends!
Mel: Mitch. I’m not kidding.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Mitch: I wish I had more artistic inclinations. It would be cool if I could draw or paint or something. It seems like that would be a relaxing hobby to have.
Mel: Sing. I’m one of those crazies that fought for an Adele ticket last week (I was successful!) I really love music (and my 9-5 is a gig at the Latin GRAMMYs,) so if I could pop a tune, that would be pretty cool. Also, I try to sing all the time and my fiance puts up with it which is one of the many reasons why I’m marrying him.
Who is your favorite chef and why?
Mitch: Locally, it would have to be Chef Antonio Puertas from KeBo Restaurant on Key Biscayne. Besides the fact that he’s become a friend, I love the way he mixes traditional Spanish flavors with modern cooking techniques and creative plating presentations. On a grander scale, I’ve been a José Andrés super fan for a long time.
Mel: I’ve always loved Michelle Bernstein. I think she helped Miami get on the foodie map and she’s synonymous with our city.
Other than Miami, what foodie city would you like to live in?
Mitch: Washington, DC: I grew up in the Maryland suburbs and my parents still live there. In the 10 years I’ve been away, the food scene has exploded and I never get enough time to explore it fully when I go back to visit.
Mel: Any city in Colombia. It’s where I grew up and where I left a little piece of my heart.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Mitch: Netflix and chill.
Mel: Friends, family, food, eating, drinking, traveling – sounds like my soon-to-be wedding in Cartagena.
If you only could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mitch: As much as I’d like to say something fancy and sophisticated like foie gras or langoustines, I would be more than happy to eat warm brownie sundaes for the rest of my days.
Mel: Bread. Give me carbs.
What food trend are you most into right now and what food trend would you most like to go away?
Mitch: I love the local food trend. Not only is it smarter and healthier to eat fresh, seasonal foods, but it has also fostered a sense of camaraderie and support amongst local chefs, restaurateurs, and vendors. On the flip side, stop trying to make everything tapas! Not all cuisines are condusive to the small plates style.
Mel: Much like Mitch, I love that chefs are using locally-grown produce for their dishes. You honestly taste the freshness in the food and it makes all the difference. The one thing I can’t stand (not sure if it’s a trend) is a restaurant asking you if you’d like to pay $5 for water. No, thank you. Give me Miami’s finest, we live a developed country with safe drinking water. I’m going to be ok.
What is your foodie motto?
Mitch: In the wise words of Weird Al Yankovic… “Just eat it!”
Mel: “People who love to eat are always the best people.” I’m not kidding, try this motto out in your life. I don’t trust people who don’t genuinely enjoy a meal.
What is your favorite thing about Miami?
Mitch: Where else could a white Jew from Maryland speak more Spanish than English, pretend to be Cuban, eat authentic tapas to his heart’s content, co-manage a food blog, and still be taken seriously?
Mel: It’s home. I love to talk sh*t about the lack of culture, the humidity, the terrible driving – but this is home. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.