As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, readers and all-around food lovers. Throughout the week we will cover Top Restaurant Newcomers, Best Dining Neighborhood, 2013 in One Word, Biggest Dining Surprises, Best Meals, Restaurant Breakups, and Predictions for 2014. Now to begin with, our Standbys for 2013, the restaurants we returned to most and left happily satisfied. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
Q: What was your restaurant standby this year?
Laine Doss of Miami New Times: LoKal in Coconut Grove has to be my hands down neighborhood place. I live in the Grove and find myself walking there on auto-pilot at least a few times a month for their Miami Heat burger. I like to substitute their own house-made veggie burger, made with beets for the beef. The sweet beets are a wonderful foil for the jalapenos and sriracha on the burger. To wash it all down, I'll order a few pints of Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA. Plus, since I'm a Grovite, with my "code 33" card, my second pint is on the house on weeknights. Can't beat that.
Matthew Meltzer of Thrillist: Sakaya – If you are what you eat, I'm basically a giant ginger garlic chicken with white rice and hot sauce form Sakaya, maybe with some Froot Loops thrown in. My only complaint is they got rid of the soda fountain and now I have to walk over to 5 Guys to get my 48oz Diet Coke. Those cookies, though…..
Ryan of Miami Power Rankings: Blue Collar. For Christmas this year Chef Danny Serfer got me a restraining order. I think he was kidding. I am in jail right now. Please help.
Zachary Fagenson of Clean Plate Charlie: Late lunch at Sushi Deli. Are we allowed to talk about this place again? If not I'm sorry. I have the good fortune to be my own boss and set my own schedule. A few times a month you can find me at Sushi Deli's counter around 3pm (when no one else is there) reading a book or magazine with a few pieces of omakase, a ceviche roll and a kanpyo roll.
Lesley Abravanel of Miami.com: I had a reservation at Prime 112 on January 2, 2013 and I'm still standing by for my table.
David Rosendorf (aka Frodnesor) of Food For Thought: I can never have just one: Yakko-San, Sushi Deli, Michael's Genuine, Makoto, Oak Tavern, Harry's Pizzeria, Su Shin Izakaya are all more or less part of my regular rotation.
Evan Benn of Miami.com: Pubbelly Row in Miami Beach. Whenever we don't feel like cooking, my wife and I pedal Deco Bikes up to Sunset Harbour and pick whatever Pubbelly restaurant we're in the mood for. We usually wind up at the original or Pubbelly Sushi.
Steven of The Chowfather: Yakko San and Kings County Pizza
Ashley Brozic, Eater Contributor: I stand by Whisk through thick and thin. It's the kind of restaurant you'll only know about from someone who's already been, since it's tucked away on a quiet side street in South Miami. I'll admit, finding parking is a mission and a half, but the simple southern inspired dishes coupled with Whisk's warm and welcoming vibe make it all worth it. Oh, and don't even get me started on the cornbread; you'd be reading about it for days!