A long, long time ago, in a strip mall in Miami, there was a restaurant called Yumbrella that the Miami Dining Examiner went to eat at with her parents and siblings. At this restaurant, sort of the precursor to the food court, there were six different cuisines from around the world, all under one roof (umbrella). While it might have not been so yum, she loved the idea of so many exotic cuisine choices in one location.
Forty years later, Dadeland Plaza strip mall, off US1, across from Shorty’s, offers a similar international array of restaurants- from Jewish to Middle Eastern and Italian. Luckily, the food at these restaurants is a higher quality and taste than the old Yumbrella. At Dadeland Plaza, there’s something for just about every appetite and budget.
Five Guys, the burger chain, is here for those hankering for a good old American meal of burgers and fries. Just make sure to order a small hamburger (as opposed to a regular) if you don’t want a double patty. The Miami Dining Examiner only had to make that mistake once. They also have hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and all topping are free.
If diners want burger and fries without the guilt, there’s EVOS, with organic steakburgers and airbaked fries. Their homemade ketchup is available at the ketchup karma bar, with a variety of flavors. They also have wraps, salads, shakes and a kids menu, but a calorie count on menu items would be helpful to diners trying to track their calories.
Roasters ‘n Toasters New York Deli and Bagels has been around forever (well, since 1984) and breakfast is served all day. The Miami Dining Examiner’s husband loves their corned beef hash, claiming it’s the best in Miami. There are also salads, smoked fish platters, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, wraps and lunch specials.
When Roasters ‘n Toasters closes at 3:30, R & T Signature Diner picks up the slack. Appetizers, soups, wings, salads, gyros and hot and cold subs are available. The mushroom, swiss and onion burger sounds good and there are green smoothies and cold pressed juices, new to the menu for healthy eaters.
Sushi lovers aren’t left out with Miyako Japanese restaurant in Dadeland Plaza. They offer sushi, sashimi, temaki (hand rolls) and lunch and dinner specials. Miss Saigon offers Vietnamese cuisine in a relaxed and inviting setting. The Miami Dining Examiner’s favorite dish there is the Miss Saigon noodle bowl, with rice noodles, sliced spring rolls, chicken and shrimp in a delicious broth. Also recommended are the sky high, homemade desserts.
Giraffa’s Brazilian Grill is a fast food restaurant, for those in a hurry. Established in Brasil in 1981, Giraffa’s offers a variety of steaks, chicken and salmon grilled, accompanied by different sauces. They are served with beans, rice and a third side. There are also salads, burgers, Brazilian wine and beer and a kids menu.
Trattoria Luna has been one of the anchor restaurants at Dadeland Plaza for years, offering consistently good Italian food with excellent service in a delightful atmosphere. Meals are served with bruchetta- sliced bread with garlicy tomatoes. Soups are fresh and delicious and the Miami Dining Examiner loves their spinach salad with goat cheese, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes, in a lemon vinaigrette.
While the prices for entrees like veal scallopine or chicken marsala are in the $20 range, entrees come with a cup of soup and salad. This is one of the Miami Dining Examiner’s great aunt’s favorite restaurants, and she’s 100% Italian. It also makes a nice setting for celebrations.
The other Italian restaurant, A Pizza Brooklyn, is more casual, but also with a nice ambience. Ten different Neopolitan pizzas, made in a wood fired oven are offered, as well as seven New York pizzas and calzone with homemade mozzarella. Other menu items are appetizers, salads, macaroni, risotto, meats, fish and there is a children’s menu.
Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine is a relative newcomer to Dadeland Plaza, but it already has quite a following, with rave reviews online. The kafta, hummus, tabbouleh, lamb and chicken kebabs, lamb tartar and a spicy fish dish were all recommended, with a special shout out to chef Tony. The Miami Dining Examiner can’t wait to try it.
Another recent addition to Dadeland Plaza is Made from Scratch, a vegan and gluten free bakery. If diners are feeling less virtuous, Atelier Monnier French Bakery offers full sugar and gluten filled pastries and artisanal ice creams. The bakery also serves breakfast (eggs benedict!), ham and cheese croissants, sandwiches, croques, quiches and salads.
It’s hard to go anywhere these days without encountering the Spanish appetizers known as tapas. Rincon Espanol Restaurant and Deli offers a boatload of tapas options, including croquettas, tortilla espanola and gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic); sangria is available to wash them down. For heartier diners, there’s paella, seafood entrees, meat, chicken and sandwiches. The zarzuela de mariscos, a seafood bouillabaisse and crema catalona, the Spanish version of crème brulee, were both recommended by reviewers.
Diners with a sweet tooth can check out Yogurtland with flavors such as banana pudding, churro, salted caramel pecan, mojito sorbet, mango tart and pumpkin pie to sample. They also offer gluten free, no sugar and non fat versions of frozen treats.
One major problem with Dadeland Plaza has been the parking situation- hairy at best, suicidal at worst. The last time the Miami Dining Examiner visited, however, she noticed a sign for rooftop parking. Problem solved.
So, if diner’s are hungry and aren’t sure what they’re in the mood for, they can head towards Dadeland Plaza, off of US1, for a wide variety of international options. Yum yum. Hours for restaurants vary, so call or visit their website for more information.
9455-9569 South Dixie Highway
Pinecrest, Florida 33156