Behind the Bar – Josue Gonzalez

Josue Gonzalez, Bartender, Lure Fishbar
Miami’s own Josue Gonzalez has been in the hospitality industry since starting his career as a barback at Zuma Miami back in 2010. Over the past four years he has worked his way up the ranks with varying tenures at some of Miami’s hottest bars, restaurants, and catering and event companies (Truluck’s, Toscana Divino, Bartenura Moscato, Shiraz Events, 50 Eggs, Ball & Chain) before landing at Lure Fishbar, where’s been for the past year-plus. Josue recently competed in the second Botran Rum Mixology Showdown alongside seven of Miami’s best mixologists and emerged victorious with his ‘Guatemalan Flip’ being named Miami’s best original rum cocktail. His prize? Besides bragging rights, Josue will receive an an all-expense-paid trip to the Botran distillery in Guatemala, home of the premium, award-winning rum for more than six decades.

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Foodie Friday

Happy Friday and Happy Birthday Mel! It’s a big day around MMTM, because Mel has said, “au revoir” to her 20s and is newly welcomed in the 30s club. To commemorate the milestone occasion, this Foodie Friday is dedicated to birthday fun. Fun Foodie links from across the web that have everything to do with a birthday bonanza. Enjoy!

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Baby Got Buns

I would admittedly write an 8-page love letter to carbohydrates. My guiltiest of indulgences is food, but my vice is bread. So when Buns & Buns in South Miami opened with rave reviews, I knew going would mean having to be religious about the gym in the days before.

I decided to venture to Buns & Buns for brunch, a meal that I can unapologetically indulge in for a few hours and not feel hurried or rushed.  As any proper brunch would, this meal was kick-started by Sangria. We ordered a pitcher of red Sangria and one of White Sangria which was the perfect ying to our yang. Made with seasonal fruit, we snacked on the red and white wine while our delectable dishes arrived at the table.

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Downtown Decadence

Miami is more of a collection of neighborhoods than a true city. I’m not saying the city is disjointed; we residents know how to navigate our way from area to area and tourists generally stick to one zone at a time. My point is that there’s no real city center, and while Downtown Miami may be considered by some to be the cultural, financial, and commercial center of South Florida, there’s really not an established urban life there. That, however, all seems to be changing as Downtown is currently the fastest-growing area in Miami in terms of both construction and population, but the real litmus test – for me anyway – is when good restaurants and bars start popping up. If people are expected to live Downtown, they need to have nice places to eat and drink Downtown. Mel and I were recently invited to try such a spot, Downtown Bistro, which seems to have realized the same thing, evolving from being a strict “lunch rush” establishment to a full-blown decadent dining experience.

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Foodie Friday

Do you have any fun plans this week? We’re strategizing our Halloween costumes. Game of Thrones is at an all-time-high on the list. Do you have any fun foodie costumes? We’d love to hear about them! Although we will admit that somehow human hotdog doesn’t sound so appetizing. We’re also incredibly excited about the slightly ridiculous (and unnecessary) amount of candy that we’ll be eating as we prepare for Halloween in the coming weeks. While we try to decide what fun-size candy bars will be in full rotation this year, we leave you with a few fun foodie links from around the web.

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P.F. Chang’s: 2 Green Thumbs Up

Right now you’re probably thinking: “Is he really writing a review of P.F. Chang’s???” No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, I know that P.F. Chang’s is a chain. Yes, I know that it’s menu is “Asian-inspired,” whatever that means. And, yes, I know that amongst all of the trendy restaurants opening up across Miami every day, it doesn’t exactly evoke thoughts of excitement and anticipation. But, I also know that P.F. Chang’s offers classic, Asian-American comfort food in a nice, laid back setting. So, just hear me out…

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Chef’s Corner – Vince Navarrete

Vince Navarrete, Executive Chef, Marlins Park (Levy Restaurants)
It’s been just over a week since the baseball season ended for two-thirds of MLB teams, including our hometown Miami Marlins. While the Fish may have fallen short on the field, the fish (and other food) served up in the stands was nothing short of all-star quality. In its short history Marlins Park has wowed fans with its culinary lineup and with the introduction of an updated farm-to-fork sustainability program the season’s MVP has without a doubt been Executive Chef Vince Navarrete.

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Foodie Friday

It’s our first Foodie Friday in October. October is big month around MMTM headquarters. Apart from being Mel’s milestone birthday (the big 3-0) it’s the kick-off to the first hints of fall in Miami. Later this month, we’ll finally get a light breeze and a walk to the car won’t translate into a sweat bath. We’re excited for what lies ahead as the year starts to wind down. With only three months left, our MMTM Journey is really close to reaching it’s first birthday and we get a little nostalgic. So while we celebrate all sorts of birthdays around here, we’ll leave you with what really matters in topics of the heart – food. Enjoy our foodie link pack this week!

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Gulfstream Horse Racing – A Total Win

Every now and then I make it a point to go far beyond my comfort zone and discover something new about our city. Believe it or not, even after living in Miami most of my life, I find that there’s always something I haven’t yet done and jump at the chance to go out and explore. On a shiny warm Sunday, Mitch and I decided to venture to Gulfstream Park and check out the all-you-can-eat brunch. Other than the fact that brunch is my favorite part of Sunday, we were told that we could enjoy horse races, which I’ve never seen before. Intrigued and truth be told, slightly hesitant, I’m always sold on brunch so off we went in hopes of also catching some entertainment.

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