When it comes to Miami Spice, it is irrefutable that Quality Meats wears the crown. Whether it because it is there first year in Miami and they want to get the word out about their restaurant or because this is the type of menu we should expect from them every year, there is no question that Quality Meats is fully embracing the Miami Spice concept. Unfortunately, restaurants that actively embrace Miami Spice as it should be are few and far in between, seeing as most restaurants skimp on portions and options and just use the deal as a way to get people through the door. At Quality Meats, not only are they offering some of their most popular menu items, but they are also giving you from six options to choose from in every single course.
“We didn’t want to have one foot in the door,” said Roger, Quality Meat’s General Manager. “If we’re going to do this, we’re going to bring it. Being the new kids on the block, we wanted to impress everyone. The reception has been huge!” Chef Patrick Rebholz definitely didn’t skimp when it came to providing options, making this dinner a no brainer, especially since this was my first time at Quality Meats.
Let’s take a moment of silence to appreciate the beauty that was the Scallops Appetizer. This dish was an exercise in how to properly sear diver scallops. The excellent crust gave way to a tender, buttery, and barely warm interior that tasted fresh and of the ocean. Complimented by the black garlic schmear, this may have been the best dish of the night. That is not to knock on the Hamachi Crudo, which takes inspiration from a Diner favorite, the Reuben sandwich. Local fish is seasoned with pastrami spices and placed atop pickled fennel to mimic the sauerkraut. The dish is finished with small dollops of Thousand Island-esque sauce and Swiss cheese, making for a near identical representation of a Reuben. One of Quality Meat’s most notorious appetizers is the House Cured Slab Bacon, and it surely doesn’t disappoint. The smoky and substantial pieces of bacon are enhanced by crunchy peanut butter and jalapeno jelly. Yes, I said peanut butter and jalapeno jelly. These untraditional additions to the bacon make for a surprising menagerie of flavors that actually pair better than what I had anticipated. This dish is not just a gimmick; it is a great cohesive production of flavors.
Quality Meats surely lived up to its name when it came to entrees. The Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs were fall of the team, succulent, and extremely flavorful due to a heavy dose of miso. The Asian profiles coming from the ribs were unquestionable, and Quality Meats was able to add a sort of refinement to handheld meat with lime, fresh mint, and Thai basil. The grilled Bavette, which is similar to a skirt steak, was impeccably prepared. Marinated in garlic and citrus similar to a mojo, grilled, and served with a cured orange salad, the bavette was reminiscent of any Cuban churrasco you’ve ever had but prepared with finesse. The Orange salad added sweetness that added a nice balance to a rich and indulgent dish. Lastly, the Everything-Crusted Branzino was everything I could have asked for. Inspired by an everything bagel, the branzino is crusted with traditional toppings such as garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seems, onion powder, and salt. Paired with the smoked cream cheese and pickled onions that the branzino was served with, the dish was a spot-on representation of a bagel and lox sandwich. After trying the branzino and the scallops, it became clear to me that Quality Meat’s kitchen is masterful when it comes to prepared fish and seafood.
Dessert options are reserved for Quality Meat’s unique take on sundaes. You have the choice between classic combinations such as Coffee and Donuts, Burnt Marshmallow (S’mores), and Cookie Monster amongst others. Being a donut lover, there was no way I could overlook the Coffee and Donuts offer. I was blown away by the complexity of the coffee ice cream and denseness of the chocolate donut. Overall, it was an incredible way to end an already decadent meal.
You have until the end of the month to run (not walk) to Quality Meats to try the best Miami Spice menu I’ve tried all summer. Even if you can’t make it out for Miami Spice, just make sure you check them out. This may be my new favorite restaurant in the city.
1501 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
By food editor, Santiago Cardona