One of the East Coast's best-known members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's Wholesale Club serves more than six million members in 201 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, savvy shoppers knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, members can stock up on economy-sized groceries–including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials–grab name-brand electronics, get their vision checked at BJ's Optical, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of the club's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's Wholesale Club's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $3.2 million to charitable organizations.
Mers Optical's locations in Hialeah West is chock-full of designer frames well suited for all manner of face shapes and personal styles. Independent doctors of optometry administer thorough eye exams, passing the results off to lens grinders who churn out single-vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses and fit them into frames from the likes of Lacoste, Ray-Ban, Fendi, and Mr. Potato Head.
Back in the day, as customers trudged out of Home Depot—arms laden with buckets of paint for repainting the dining room or wooden planks for transforming their bike into a pirate ship—they would catch a whiff of sizzling steak. The source of the enticing aroma was the Kendall Latin Food stand, a cheerful little shack that sat directly adjacent to the Home Depot front entrance. Inside, servers whipped up Cuban-style sandwiches—delicious towers of crunchy bread and tender steak.
As word of the food stand spread across town, the demand for these sandwiches became too much for the tiny kitchen to handle. The chefs packed up their pans and moved to their own restaurant location, where they continue to whip up Cuban sandwiches and Latin specialties to this day. Each day, they pack their front counter with a colorful array of more than two dozen dishes, such as juicy ropa vieja beef, tangy imperial rice, and sweet bread pudding. Diners can pick out freshly made items by the pound, or opt for a daily meal plan to sample a new dish each day of the week.
Slow down and watch the world go by with today's Groupon: $10 buys you $20 worth of lunch, dinner, and/or drinks at GreenStreet Cafe, the outdoor lounge and catch-all restaurant in Coconut Grove. Owners Sylvano and Maida Bignon have created a relaxed haven where folks of all stripes (and occasionally plaids) stop for food, libations, and conversation from early morning until the wee hours; GreenStreet's lively European patio is open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, drawing diners all day long as well as those just stopping in for a mango martini or pama mojito. This deal is only valid at the Miami location and for food and libations from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., the 12-hour period known to the ancient Greeks as The Nap of Sophrosyne. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
It took a decade of setbacks and toil, but "Farmer Bob" Petrucci and his family diligently transformed a mundane cornfield in the Redland growing region into a rich cornucopia of exotic tropical produce from equatorial lands ranging from Thailand to Brazil. The farm's bounty includes the arrestingly colorful yet surprisingly mild dragon fruit, sweet lychees, and tart kumquats, as well as rarer fruits such as canistel and tamarind, which launch culinary odysseys free of Poseidon–related detours. Fresh Gardens offers tours of its spacious grounds replete with fruit trees as well as seasonal U-pick opportunities throughout the year.