Temptations at Every Turn: A Saturday Stroll through Downtown Miami

Just as Gabe and I like to wander around Manhattan when we have a few hours to spare, we enjoy exploring our new neighborhood in downtown Miami. We moved to the Brickell area last summer and, slowly but surely, we’re discovering the area’s hidden gems: restaurants and shops tucked away, hidden between the high-rises; and the shiny new places that come with new development. It’s all good!

Today we took a mid-afternoon trip to Pilo’s Street Tacos, definitely in the hidden gem category, followed by a jaunt over to Brickell City Center and the culinary charms of Casa Tua Cucina. There was even a Lamborghini or two!

Pictures say a thousand words, it’s been said, so I’ll leave you with more of the former than the latter. Enjoy!

Pilo’s Street Tacos

Homemade Mexican-style street tacos made with your choice of meat, fish, or vegetable, sauced with really tasty salsas. We chose the El Miguelita (chargrilled Arrachera skirt steak with cilantro and white onion on a corn tortilla) and the El Carnal (Michoacán style pork carnitas with a dash of smoked salsa verde, chopped white onion, and cilantro on a corn tortilla.) Each order cost $7 – $8 and included two tacos. We washed it all down with an ice-cold Coke, in the green glass bottle. Super-yum! We’ll definitely go back.

Pilos Menu and Skulls
The vibe at Pilo’s Street Tacos: casual, fun, and really good tacos! You can eat on the terrace outside.
Pork Tacos with Green Tomatillo Salsa
El Carnal tacos – that salsa was so damn good!
Beef Tacos
El Miguelito Tacos – another good choice.
Decorations at Pilos
Decor on the terrace: somehow I forgot to snap a pic of the trio of piñatas hanging from the ceiling.

Brickell City Center – Casa Tua Cucina

I needed a bottle of good olive oil so we headed over to Casa Tua in the fancy Brickell City Center. If you’ve never been there, it’s on the first floor of Saks Fifth Avenue and offers a mini-Eataly experience. You can shop for goodies to take home or sit down and order something delicious from the menu. Pretty much everything, from fresh pasta to dry-aged steak is available. And don’t forget dessert: how does espresso and cannoli sound?

Gabe and His Matching Lamborghini
Of course there were Lamborghinis on display in the Brickell City Center. And Gabe found one that matched his outfit!
Aperol
Who’s in the mood for a spritz? 
Arancini
House-made arancini.
Fresh Pasta
Fresh pasta in an array of colors and textures.
Dry Aged Rib Steak
Dry-aged rib steak, ready for the slicing!
Fresh Bread (2)
The daily bread.
Preserved Lemons and Oranges (2)
Preserved lemons and oranges.
Macarons at Casa Tua 1 (2)
Macaron temptations.
Dessert Temptations 1 (2)
If you have a sweet tooth, avoid the dessert case. Or don’t! 🙂
Cappuccino
Gabe succumbed to the cappuccino and . . .
Cannoli
. . . a fresh cannoli!
Fresh Herbs on the Table
Casual table settings include potted fresh herbs – a nice touch, I think.
Gabe and the Lambo SUV
One last temptation: the new Lamborghini SUV. How does one choose?

That’s it for today. I’ll be back with more NYC and Miami stories soon. Hope you’ll tag along with us!

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