Restaurant News & Reviews

Munch Madness bracket Day 13: Elite Eight play today!

UPDATE: Voting for the Elite Eight is now closed. Check back at MiamiHerald.com/restaurants Friday at 8 a.m. to vote in the Final Four!

It’s as simple as this: One of these eight restaurants will be crowned the Miami Herald Munch Madness champion.

Two weeks of voting has narrowed the field from 64 of Miami-Dade county's favorite restaurants to our Elite Eight. Your votes today will determine who will be in Friday's Final Four.

 

If you want to see how the tough field the restaurants fought their way through, check the bracket.

READ MORE: See how we selected the 64 competitors for our inaugural Munch Madness

Here are our matchups. Voting closes at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 30. We’ll resume with the Final Four round at MiamiHerald.com/restaurants on Friday. Good luck to the restaurants still alive.

(1) Beaker and Gray vs. (11) Pincho Factory

Chef Brian Nasajon turned the year-old Diaper Dandy Beaker and Gray into a go-to Wynwood spot for delicious small bites, from savory chorizo “churros” to fresh cobia filleted raw over a light and creamy butter of roasted cashew, cucumber juice, vinegar and salt, blended and drizzled. Pincho Factory took off in Miami with amazing burgers on pillowy potato bread, sweet potato tater tots with apple butter and a Cartel hot dog with shaved potato sticks that might be Miami’s best.

(16) Mignonette vs. (10) La Mar

Mignonette’s Danny Serfer, when he isn’t creating comfort food at his nearby Blue Collar, has created the go-to spot (that has sparked a second location) for a raw bar and flavorful seafood, including oysters flown in fresh from all over the country. Diego Oka executes Gaston Acurio’s take on upscale Peruvian at La Mar in the Mandarin Oriental with flair, from glorious ceviches to homey potatoes drenched in huancaina sauce and a host of grilled anticuchos and rice dishes served in a gorgeous, modern setting.

(1) KYU vs. (3) NaiYaRa

Michael Lewis made this a James Beard Best New Restaurant nominee with the help of a fall-apart smoked brisket that might be the best in Miami, though other wood-fired dishes such as cauliflower and mushroom are worth an altar all their own. Every dish that comes out of NaiYaRa’s kitchen is a bright, flavorful and loving ode to Thai street food, turned up with Chef Bee’s skill with ingredients, in a lively South Beach setting.

(4) Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market vs. (10) Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill

Garcia’s became a national destination by first being a favorite local spot, serving just-caught seafood by its own fleet of boats at its location along the Miami River. Who doesn’t have one of those green Flanigan’s cups in their cupboard? No one, that’s who, because Flanigan’s has been the South Florida-based sports bar with cold beer and hot wings (though others prefer the baby back ribs) that has been a natural for Dolphins watch parties.

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