After having a blast at Medianoches & Mixology Friday night, I was even more excited to close out the South Beach Wine & Food Festival at Best of The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards presented by PepsiCo hosted by Andrew Zimmern on Sunday. While the the majority of the weekend’s events had a culinary theme (i.e. Burger Bash, Chicken Coupe, Swine & Wine), this night featured a variety of flavors all tied together by one thing: the people’s vote. Located at 1 Lincoln Road right on the beach, we dug our toes in the sand while indulging in both food and spirits.

Underneath a large festival tent on a beautiful South Florida night, both local restaurants and visitors set up shop to serve a signature dish. In order to try a little of each and not miss a bite, we did a full circle, grabbing glasses of wine or Tito’s Vodka mixed cocktails along the way. There were over twenty bites to try but my favorites included:

  • Chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery (New York)
  • Tamarind glazed lamb ribs with pickled cabbage on a roll from South Miami’s newest restaurant Buns & Buns
  • Sweet potato pancakes topped with slow roasted pork, pineapple BBQ sauce and smoked maple syrup from ChefRLI
  • Freshly baked pizza margherita from Luzzo’s (New York)
  • Quality Meats’ Horseshoe Sandwich featuring sliced filet mignon, caramelized onions and aged gouda (New York)

A couple of the longest lines of the night were for Shake Shack and Huahua’s Taqueria. They were fan favorites but we didn’t bother to wait since we can (thankfully) visit these restaurants on the beach any time we want. The focus was on trying food we cannot get every day and we ate ourselves into a food coma.

Overall, this event made me appreciate all the amazing chefs that we have right here in Miami, while also getting to taste some of the country’s best ice cream, food truck grub, late night eats and more. Getting to see celeb chefs like Andrew Zimmern in person was also a treat that I won’t soon forget. I’m already beginning to countdown to next year’s big bash.

By Cassie Glenn

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