Amazing Arepas at Amaize

There are a ton of sit-down Latin American restaurants in Miami, but I can only think of a handful of fast casual joints.

The flavor of the day was Amaize*, a relatively new fast casual Latin American restaurant that opened in town just a couple months ago.  The restaurant’s known for its arepas, or corn pancakes, and cachapas — think of these as sweet yellow corn pancakes.  Both are prominent in Venezuela and Colombia.

010915_amaize_arepaFor lunch, I ordered the Beauty Queen — avocado chicken salad (with peas) stuffed into an arepa — and made it a combo (for an extra $1) by adding a roasted pepper and gouda soup!  I enjoyed the stuffing, but wouldn’t necessarily say it wowed my taste buds, so I’m going to have to give it an okay.  On the other hand, the arepa itself was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, so despite it’s inherently bland nature, I must say I enjoyed eating it and if I had to rate that by itself, I’d give it a fine.

Onto the soup!  Roasted pepper and gouda.  Pretty bold flavor I have to say, but at first I was unexcited about it.  After a couple spoonfuls of the roasted pepper soup, I got to the cheese.  OMG, the cheese was melted just the right amount and became all stringy when I tried to separate it from the rest of the soup — just like that hot stringy cheese on the pizza that came right out of the oven!  The amazing part was that the cheese was still melty 20 minutes — or more — into the meal!  Overall, gotta give this soup a fine-good.  Thumbs up, I’d definitely order it again.

The best part of the meal?  The $5 voucher I got after I filled out the customer survey at the bottom of my receipt — and the survey was short enough to fill out as I waited for my meal to arrive at the table!  Guess I’ll be coming back here soon…

Here’s their menu in case you’re in town and interested in checking it out.

*Location:
3887 Northwest 107th Avenue #101
Doral, FL 33178

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Craving Modern Colombian? Check Out Bazzura Cafe!

Today I lunched at Bazzura Cafe*, a modern Colombian establishment in Miami, Florida.  Did you know… that “basura” (same pronunciation as “bazzura”) translates to “trash” in Spanish?  The restaurant even had trash can parts hanging up on its walls inside!

Contrary to what one would think from its namesake, the entire Bazzura menu looked pretty tasty — and I don’t actually say that often, so needless to say, I was pretty excited to order and eat!

I decided on the Pollo Bazzura Bowl, which was served with rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, potato sticks, and garlic sauce.  The ingredients were layered in the bowl and the contrasting colors added to overall visual appeal.  Potato sticks weren’t new for me, but potato sticks with rice and lettuce was.  Not a problem though.  I’m ALWAYS up for a culinary adventure.

bazzura_pollo_bowl_062014

Anyone drooling yet?

I’m a pretty big fan of garlic in general, so you can probably guess I was super excited for the garlic sauce.  I actually ended up adding more about halfway through the meal.  Of course, I made sure to pop some mint gum into my mouth afterwards before running to my afternoon meetings.

Overall rating of the Pollo Bowl, you ask?  Just fine!  I’d likely eat it again, but probably after I try some other items on the menu!

*Location:
10437 NW 41st Street
Doral, FL 33178