Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

The first time that I wrote about Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink (in Miami), I focused on the lighting. In fact, I was so focused on the lighting, I didn’t really write about the meal. Instead, I wrote a post called “When You Can’t See Your Food.” It was very dark in there.

Since then, though, I’ve been back to Michael’s twice for lunch and absolutely loved it. This most recent trip was with my mom and sister-in-law, Tali, (seen above) and as you can see lighting isn’t at all an issue when you’re eating outside at lunch. That’s the time to go.

Our meal started, as most healthy lunches do, with pizza and potato chips. This is what I like about my mom: even though pizza as an appetizer was already an indulgence, when she heard that Michael’s was famous for its potato chips and dip she insisted that we order that too. I wasn’t going to stop her!

So here’s our pizza with slow-roasted Berkshire pork, mission figs, grilled onions, fontina cheese and fresh arugula:


Despite heavy elements like pork and fontina, this pizza was surprisingly light. A perfect justification to pair it with house-made potato chips and pan-fried onion dip:


Homemade potato chips are SO good, I can’t believe that I haven’t ever attempted to make them myself. Next dinner party in L.A., I’m doing it.

So after all that, we shifted gears and ate salads. Mom had the Greek salad that came with a block of house-made Feta:


Tali had a chopped salad with Tahini dressing:


And I had a salad of Florida rock shrimp, avocado, papaya, pickled pearl onion, Macadamia nuts and Jade dressing:


My salad was my favorite, so I felt like the big winner. (That’s a good combination: shrimp, papaya, avocado, and Macadamias.)

After all those nourishing salads, of course we had to have dessert. Pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith is the author of a new cookbook called Baking Out Loud. How could we not order two of her desserts? It’s research!

The first dessert that we tried was a pumpkin bread pudding that came with sautéed apples on top:


This was a compelling dessert, autumnal without hitting you over the head with fall flavors (it’s no pumpkin spice latte) but the real dessert dazzler was the maple and Turkish coffee flan with nutmeg meringue and roasted Forelle pear:


So much about this dessert was wonderful, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s begin with the flavor of Turkish coffee and maple together, which is bracing and intense and attention-grabbing in the best possible way. Then there are all those textures: the fluffy meringue, the tart pop of Pomegranate seeds, the almost leathery quality of the roasted pear.

If that’s not reason enough to get Hedy Goldsmith’s book, I don’t know what it is.

So there you have it: my new favorite Florida lunch spot. Sit outside and order a balanced meal of pizza, chips, salad and dessert and you’re bound to feel the same way.

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