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The Early Word on Pao Town in the Gables

Photo by Justin Namon for Urban Daddy

Opened just a few weeks ago, Pao Town is Coral Gables' newest Asian eatery. From the guys who brought us Sushi Maki, Pao Town is a "fast casual" pan-Asian gastropub. It has the feel and concept of an Asian Shake Shack, where you order at the register and sit with a number at your table or bar stool of choice until it's brought out to you. This newcomer to the Miracle Mile neighborhood seems to fare well across the board, with only a couple isolated complaints. Here's a roundup of what people are saying about Pao Town:

Good News: Zachary Fagenson of Short Order shares his 'First Bites.' Fagenson says that while most fried rice these days is a disappointment, "Pao Town's version is a good variation", and the same goes for the pork belly buns. As far as the Korean Dog goes, "undertaking the creation of a jazzed-up hot dog is serious business in Miami, and Pao Town does it just fine." The only minor infractions: the American Kobe sliders are served too large a bun and "the use of the word Kobe, which seems to be used here as a marketing tool, has largely fallen out of favor." Overall, he bets that Pao Town "will be a popular spot for the Gables crowd." [Short Order]

Impressive News: Over at Yelp, one reviewer was impressed by how quickly the food arrived. "The food came out in as little as 10 minutes." The Pork Belly Buns were "so good" and the Korean Dog was "really good", but the "Bacon Fried Rice was ok- nothing I'd be craving and coming back for." And for some last impressions: "Pao Town, you'll definitely be surviving here in the Gables area. Thanks for your great food, fast service and nice staff. See you soon!" [Yelp]

Debbie-Downer News: One commenter on Eater's Opening Alert had gone after opening day and called the place "a dump". The Korean Dog was said to be "literally a hot dog you can get it from 7-11 with some pickled kimchee. The fries come with it came out cold... Chicken teriyaki came out lukewarm and dry with some piece of dead green." The pork belly buns were "sorry looking... [with a] few sorry azz looking cilantro with some pickled carrot and radish. A total letdown." [Eater Miami]

Great News: A Yelp reviewer said this is "a great concept and a perfect addition to the area." In regards to the Pork Belly Bun: "I could not have been happier. The perfect finger food to accompany a cold beer." The Kimchee Hot Dogs were given praise as "probably the best dish... I could have had about ten of these." [Yelp]

Disappointing News: A Yelper, who was in the minority, had a disappointing experience. The long wait "took us about 25 minutes to get our food" and some of it was soggy from lying around. The french fries "came with no wasabi ketchup" as promised on the menu. [Yelp]

Great News: As another five-star review on Yelp put it: "If Sakaya Kitchen and Momofuku (two of my faves) were to birth a baby, this would be it." Saying the menu does a good job of "bringing familiarity with a side of adventure," this reviewer's top three favorite items seem to follow a pattern with the other: the Kimchee Hot Dogs (Korean Dog) calling it "GENIUS" for adding shoestring fries, the Bacon Fried Rice, and the Pork Belly Buns. [Yelp]

Pao Town

2624 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL

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