It’s my lunch break. That one hour that everyone craves during their 9 to 5. It’s not just your taste buds and rumbling stomach that are churning and salivating for nourishment, your mind needs it too. It’s tempting to try and get ahead of the herd and skip lunch but studies conducted by Linkedin and Right Management show that taking an hour midday actually improves your productivity. Well I am all for increasing productivity and after spending four hours staring and pixels forming letters on a bright computer screen my eyes need a break. I can feel my energy decline with every rumble of my stomach, and as someone who was nicknamed “Bubbly” in high school for her perkiness it’s an obvious shift change. It’s only my second week on the job in trendy midtown and I still yet to find a lunch spot I like. Montaditos is popular but it’s normally packed and service is slow. La Salumeria was one of my favorite restaurants a few years back but after two visits with two different entrees I’ve sworn off the place, just thinking about it makes my stomach cringe. At Ocean Pizza and Juice Bar got two tasteless taquitos for a chaply 5 bucks.
I’m a creature of habit and I still haven’t found my spot to relax, not worry about how long the time would take and be able to actually enjoy the taste of my lunch. A couple blocks away from the office I find Louie’s, an American bar with oak wood and dark lighting. I walked inside and saw that there were probably a total of 5 tables with customers. Back in my waitressing days that was a normal amount for one server at a time but I get it; it’s lunchtime on a weekday and business is slow. What I didn’t get? How it took 1 bartender, 3 servers and 1 manager five minutes to even acknowledge my existence and another 2 minutes to sit me. I was standing in the glowing light of the doorway amongst the dim lights and charcoal flooring. I should of stood out like an angel...or at least as a potential customer!
I finally get to sit down in the outside patio which isn’t particularly charming but at least my eyes get some refreshing sunlight. A peppy and attractive young girl comes to my table shortly after to get my drink order. I ask for water and some hot tea....she asks if I want English tea. I’m assuming she means English Breakfast tea or maybe the branded English afternoon tea but as a frequent visitor to the U.K I know Earl Grey is the common standard. The girl obviously doesn’t drink tea, but I’m not too bothered by it and say “Sure” and await the surprise.
I review the menu and it looks pretty good, a typical American bar with a chic twist. They have an expansive, creative cocktail list and good happy hour deals that I’m tempted to try but alas it is a work day. My mystery beverage arrives and as expected is English Breakfast tea. I order the fried shrimp po’boy with a remoulade sauce and enjoy the Miami sun hitting my skin.
Beside a slow start and a little tea ignorance I’m starting to like the vibe of this place. Singing along to the music my meal arrives in about a song and half giving me a good 35 minutes to take eat, relax and call some friends. The sandwich is enormous, golden fried shrimp with a beer batter bite are pouring out of a fluffy hoagie roll. My remoulade sauce is missing but the shrimp has enough flavor to carry the sandwich on its own. The crunch of the shrimp against the soft bread is just what I need to revive my creative mind.
My peppy waitress is a little absent minded but she’s quick. I ask for a box since I can’t finish the oversized sub in one sitting. She’s quick with the bill and the box giving me more than enough time to walk back to the office. I even have time for a game of scramble with friends before my time is up. With a 17 dollar tab and shaky service Louie’s probably won’t become my regular lunchtime hang out but I’ll be giving this place a few more shots.
3201 N Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33127