Last Call Pub Crawls? party-savvy guides steer revelers through lively city neighborhoods, stopping at esteemed watering holes along the way. The guides chart courses by strolling the predetermined route to ensure that bars are conveniently spaced apart and not tended by puritan librarians. Once the path is set, they invite explorers to embark with them on the tours, built around themes such as masquerades and drinking around the world, or set in distinct neighborhoods such as Brickell and Espa?ola Way. Each tour lavishes guests with half-off bar tabs and free shots at every stop on the crawl. Some venues may choose to enforce a dress code, so Last Call recommends that crawlers avoid sandals or shorts. Last Call brings photographers along for the ride to document the happenings of progressively hazy evenings and provide guests with new photos to attach to their resumes.
Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Jorge and Licet Torres aren't new to the Miami dining scene. They've lived and worked in Miami Springs since 1997, operating a duo of Latin-cuisine restaurants?both named Latin Cafe. In April 2014, the Torres's opened an eatery closer to their own neighborhood, on a prime corner just off of Circle Park. They called the spot Sabores Restaurant & Lounge.
At Sabores, the Torreses and their team skillfully prepare Cuban classics such as steak sandwiches, whole fried snapper, and smoked pork chops. A private area hosts special events, and a full bar keeps glasses filled with adult libations such as imported beers, creative cocktails, and blended tax returns. On Fridays nights, guests can take the karaoke stage to croon favorite tunes.
At Ace Bartending's 40-foot bar, ice clinks against glasses and prospective mixologists chatter during hands-on courses. Instructors wax informational about the history and production of liquor before outlining state and municipal legal requirements for serving alcohol or distributing liquor to horses. As students progress, they migrate to eight functional bartending stations that feature working carbon dioxide lines, and lessons feed hungry brains tidbits of information on the use of glassware and garnishes to craft a beverage with fitting aesthetic appeal. The curriculum bounds across a bubbling, colorful rainbow of 200 different drinks and recipes.
In addition to hands-on demonstrations and role-playing exercises, courses hand down lessons on how to land a job as a bartender and give tips for job interviews. The classroom's walls, like those of a real bar, are crowded with colorful bottles, lit by crackling neon beer signs, and held together by flyers for bands seeking bassists.
Though it’s a national brand with locations sprinkled across 14 states, Chevys Fresh Mex doesn’t succumb to shortcuts at any of its restaurants. The expert chefs at each eatery gather together fresh ingredients to prepare the entire menu from scratch, whether they’re infusing chicken enchiladas with chipotles or simmering fragrant cauldrons of their homemade tortilla soup. Even though this hands-on approach harkens back to the foundations of Mexican culinary traditions, chefs also give each dish a contemporary twist—tacos meet flavorful drizzles of chipotle aioli, slow-roasted carnitas mingle with fresh oranges and lemons alongside fajita platters. Meanwhile, bartenders engage in serious agave innovation with top-shelf margaritas in flavors such as prickly pear and spicy mango.
The rhythmic whirring of fruit-annihilating blades, punctuated by the crunching of ice and glugging of poured juices, courses through Smoothie King’s health emporium. Guests select from a bountiful selection of made-to-order beverages in seven categories—including Stay Healthy, Trim Down, and Get Energy—each formulated with specific fruit combos to help bulk up muscle or trim down waistlines. The Raspberry Sunrise balances out its tartness with honey, while the exotic Mangosteen Madness showcases the Southeast Asian fruit along with strawberries and papaya. Guests can augment their fruit flavors with one of 11 enhancers, such as a vitamin and calcium blend to strengthen joints, or a 125 mg Caffeine Charge enhancer to temporarily make mowing the lawn less sleep-inducing.
The breadth of the Atlantic Ocean doesn't impact the reach of Alfredo Patino. As the chef and owner of Bin No. 18, the Miami-based chef draws inspiration from the casual cuisine of European bistros while using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and contemporary technique to lend a bit of New World flair to the ever-changing menus. French, Italian, and Latin American flavors appear throughout Chef Patino's cuisine, adding a global scope to the regionally rooted dishes.
Shareable platters of imported European cheeses and cured meats are served alongside Latin staples, including octopus salad, as well as classic Italian entrees made with homemade pastas. But recreating time-honored classics isn't the only thing that Chef Patino does. He also demonstrates a willingness to experiment by fusing New and Old World influences. This culinary whimsy is evident in the kitchen's modern interpretation of a Cuban sandwich—complete with slow-roasted pork, brie, and fig sauce—which earned a spot on Food & Wine magazine's list of the Best Sandwiches in the U.S.
And much like the European bistros that originally inspired Chef Patino, Bin No. 18 features an extensive wine list. Like his menu, the wine list takes a global approach by including bottles from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, and Austria, as well as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Washington State, California, and Oregon. This variety of options ensures that numerous pairing options are available for diners looking to enjoy a glass with their meal or collection of small plates. CBS Miami was also impressed by the selection, placing Bin No. 18 on its 2011 list of the Best Wine Bars In South Florida.
The Old World inspiration shines through a bit more clearly in the restaurant's décor, which skews more toward a rustic, yet refined ambiance as opposed to a nouveau vibe. Wooden wine barrels sit beside tables with avocado-green chairs, occasionally doubling as small side tables. At the same time, the collection of crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling adds a bit of classical elegance to the space.