The Current State of Miami Dining with Olee Fowler of EATER Miami

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Gretchen Schmidt

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In this episode...

EATER Miami Food Editor Olee Fowler joins the show today to chat about Miami-Dade’s current dining restrictions, why restaurants are fighting back, how restaurants are coming up with creative and innovative ways to accommodate to our new normal, which menus to look out for to enjoy tropical fruit season while it lasts, what the deal is with Miami Spice 2020, and the inside scoop about the viral sensation that's dominating instagram, Old Greg’s Pizza.

Olee Fowler

Food Editor at EATER Miami


Gretchen Schmidt

Editor and Chief of Edible South Florida


If you like what you hear, please show your support for the podcast by visiting https://anchor.fm/maria-tripodis/support so I can keep Seasonal alive. Any contribution is greatly appreciated!

MT  0:00  
Hey everyone, welcome to seasonal season one, episode nine. I want to just give everyone a quick booch update. As if you all haven't had enough booch content lately. I know. But just really quickly, I told you guys last week that I was going to flavor my kombucha brew with the local tropical fruit that I got in homestead. And it turned out amazingly best batch I've had. So I flavored two of the bottles mango passion fruit. And if you guys remember from last week, Angie from counterculture kombucha, said that passion fruit is just a delicious pairing with kombucha just because the flavors balance each other out very well. And yes, I totally agree with that. The mango can tend to be really sweet in kombucha. I had that problem with my last batch, I did a mango flavor and it was just way too sweet for me. So I did a little less mango. And I put a bunch of passion fruit in it. And it was delicious. It was sweet and sour. And it had this delicious balance of flavors. And that was definitely my favorite flavor that I made. I also flavored two of the bottles with lychee. And that was delicious as well. It was sweet, not too sweet. I loved that very subtle, lychee flavor really, really good. I highly recommend that. And then the last two bottles I flavored ginger lemon. So that's just a classic one that I always do every single batch but very successful brew. It takes a long time to brew so I already started my next batch. So hopefully I'll have kombucha sooner this time rather than having to wait so long. But anyway, very successful. Thank you, Buster, Angie and Natalie for those tips on flavoring and brewing and I can't wait to just learn and experiment more. During my quarantine also, I just want to mention to everybody to please please show your support for the podcast by heading to anchor.fm searching seasonal and clicking support so I can keep this podcast alive and going and I will also have a link up in the show notes so you can access it there too. So okay, today we have eater Miami food editor Olee Fowler joining us. And she is an expert on all things Miami dining. And I can't wait to chat with her today to answer all of my burning questions about what the heck is going on right now. So sit back, relax. And let's talk about the distressing and vulnerable state that our local restaurants are in. But okay, at least try to relax. Alright, let's get to chatting with Olee.

MT  0:00  
So today I have with me, Olee Fowler of eater, Miami. I'm so excited to chat with her. Ali, thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for having me, of course. So can you start by telling us, okay, we're all confused. Just start by telling us what is happening right now with the Miami Dade dining restrictions. And this was kind of like a week ago that this was really getting all the hype. But why are chefs and restaurant employees and restaurant owners in the area kind of fighting back?

OF  0:38  
Yeah, so about actually about a week ago, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Jimenez basically issued a press release via a tweet saying, you know, we're going to close down all dining within restaurants, both indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant industry was very upset by this announcement. There was a there was really no kind of forewarning of this. About 12 hours later, he takes he takes that back and says, Oh no, you know, outdoor dining is still permitted. But he gave some new restrictions. He said that basically there's only four people can dine at the table. That's the maximum, you know, the standard and safety protocols where the tables need to be six feet apart. And he also has a new curfew. So no dining past 10pm in the night of the week, between 10pm and 6am. takeout and delivery is also available. But it does close in room dining for restaurants. So a lot of the restaurants were you know, I interviewed a lot of restaurant owners throughout Miami Dade County last week. And they said that they're just more upset about like the lack of communication that the local government gave them, you know, including the different municipalities. There's 37 municipalities in Miami Dade County alone. So like city of Miami city of Miami Beach, City of Hialeah, city of Miami, like all those are municipalities on so apparently none of those mayors gave any sort of warning, any sort of indication that this kind of regulation was happening. And a lot of the restaurant owners also feel like they're they were unfairly targeted for this because they didn't they weren't given scientific proof that, you know, they're the reason for the uptick in, in the covid cases in South Florida.

MT  2:29  
Oh, I see. That makes sense.

OF  2:30  
Yeah. So there was no proof. And they're like, they were asking for scientific proof. So a lot of 50 restaurant owners got together. Early last week, they wrote a letter to the mayor asking, you know, for certain things, including the scientific proof, among some other things, and then they actually protested in downtown Miami on Friday morning about all these new regulations placed on them. So that is currently where we are. The mayor says that she doesn't want to reopen in room dining until we're under 5% positivity. I don't know the latest numbers, but I believe we're somewhere in the mid to late high 20s. Right now in terms of positivity rates. And just to give you some context, when we closed dining rooms in March, we were at 19% positivity rate, and it took us six weeks, with basically the entire country being shut down for us to get under 5%. positivity. So, so yeah, so it seems like they're gonna have a while to go. Yeah. So I mean, rightfully so a lot of a lot of chefs, a lot of restaurant owners, you know, they said that they just basically takeout and delivery is just too tough and it doesn't, you know, pay the rent, unfortunately. And, and that's kind of where they are. They've had to, to bring on staff just to let them go again, they've a lot of them bought PP E, which is, you know, and said, 10s, of anywhere from 10s to hundreds of thousands of dollars on these products, you know, sanitation methods, training their staff, and you know, and then they basically had to shut their doors a few weeks after reopening.

MT  4:10  
Yeah, because it's kind of I agree with them because it's, there's some workplaces that people are still going into work. And then restaurants if they're following the precautions and they're doing social distancing, and all these things and they're really taking the time to train their staff then yeah, wire restaurants being targeted. And and I'm sure they were looking forward to around this time of year like June, July, and they could start opening things up again, and now kind of targeted not to and, of course, it's restaurants or places that people like to socialize and convene and get together and maybe that they were thinking it would be hard to control people if they're drinking or whatever, but um, it's because these are people's livelihood and restaurant workers. They need, like, they need their needs their paychecks. But it's it's difficult that they're just being singled out like that.

OF  5:07  
Absolutely, absolutely. And that is what a lot of these restaurant owners are saying. I mean, I did talk to a few restaurant workers as well, that did voiced some concern about you know, so working in such enclosed environment. Um, you know, so there are arguments on both sides and I and I see it for both sides. Yeah, um, it's just, it's an unfortunate lay of the land. And I feel like the restaurant industry is so crippled already prior to the second wave of shutdowns. Like I just don't see how a lot of restaurants are going to be able to, to survive. Yeah, the ride this unfortunately.

MT  5:44  
I was thinking to like the area of Wynwood, but also Midtown and kind of the whole, like Buona Vista area where there's like upper Biscayne where all these restaurants are opening up, or they were even some places weren't even open yet. And how are they even able to sustain that rent? They're probably not all these places are probably unable to open up now. Yeah.

OF  6:10  
Yeah. It's unfortunate.

MT  6:11  
So okay, so as it stands, right now, the restaurants are able to accommodate outdoor seating, right? Yeah. So I saw some pictures that some restaurants in wynwood are kind of making these barriers and making these artificially. These are new outdoor seating. Yeah, arrangements that they didn't have before. Yo, on. Yeah. Can you tell? Talk a little bit about that? And what else are restaurants having to do now? To accommodate to them?

OF  6:42  
Yeah, yeah. So you know, that's what's happening and what what a lot of these business development groups like the wind would bid at the Coral Gables bed, downtown Development Association, they're all kind of working with their respective cities and the county to, you know, close down certain roads or partially closed down certain roads. So the restaurants sad, don't have outdoor seating can, you know, put some tables out there, prime example of that is the the closure of Ocean Drive, which actually has kind of been a controversial point, because a lot of restaurant owners are setting and saying that, you know, they're, they're kind of bending the rules, but I haven't witnessed it personally, that is just kind of what I've heard through the grapevine, um, you know, so a lot of a lot of neighborhoods, I feel do feel the pain for these restaurants and they're trying to accommodate wherever they can. And some are doing it you know, like, it's going to be really interesting downtown Miami, they're going to be doing that in the next few weeks. Like I said, when was doing it, I know a few restaurants a Coral Gables, certain certain landlords are letting people use parking lot spaces, if they're if they have parking lot spaces, to set up tents. But then it's then these restaurants that have to go by tense, they need to get, you know, outdoor furniture, they need to get fans, they need to, you know, make it look like give it some atmosphere to which is not a cheap endeavor. Because it's like, do you want it I mean, it's already miserably hot outside, we're having one of the hottest summers ever on record. And then to be sitting outside in July, in Miami, under basic Yeah, in a parking lot under intense like that is, then you and then you pay a premium. So that's, you know, that's a tough, tough position for restaurants are already hurting who have been closed for months to be put in. But it seems like the Unfortunately, the only real solution at the moment.

MT  8:44  
Yeah, I didn't even think about that. Because I love eating out at restaurants. It's it's one of my favorite, I'd rather do that than go out to a bar any day of the week. I just love it. I haven't been able to do it in so long, obviously. But part of the reason why I'm so excited to eat out at a restaurant, again, is to Yeah, like enjoy the atmosphere and kind of have a change of scenery. And so I'm sure that restaurants and restaurant owners are mindful of that. And they don't want their customers who are finally getting out of the house and enjoying their dining experience that their restaurants would be sitting in an ugly sidewalk or parking lot. So I didn't even think like, yeah, they have to account for all that extra costs.

OF  9:29  
Absolutely. And after they've already invested all this time and money into you know, the additional safety measures that they have to abide by. Yeah, in order to open in the first place.

MT  9:40  
So as you were saying that what came to mind was the street in Coral Gables De rol de how they did that. I mean, they've they did this, what was it like three years ago or two years ago where they turn that street into they paved it and now it's like a huge destination and they they have kind of a couple But now people love that. And it's it's an outdoor seating. So I wonder if we're going to start seeing that around Miami Dade in the long term.

OF  10:11  
Yeah, I mean, I can certainly see I think outdoor dining will very much be in demand for the foreseeable future. I mean, you know, we're lucky here in South Florida, where we have kind of year round weather that you can sit outside like, yeah, if you think of other cities like right now, it's beautiful up in, in Chicago, New York, but come a couple months from now. And it's brutal to be sitting outside and you can't, you can't so at least in Miami, you can dine outside year round. So at least we have that for the restaurants that do have that. At least we have that kind of going for us. Yeah, not that I'm saying it's a silver lining, but

MT  10:48  
then we have mosquitoes and all that.

OF  10:51  
Exactly, exactly. And very, very hot, hot, hot weather. Oh, yeah. Extremely. So it's not it's not. It's not conducive to a very enjoyable experience. Yeah, unfortunately.

MT  11:04  
Yeah. So aside from maybe seeing more outdoor dining experiences around here, what do you think? I mean, this is something I've been thinking about, and I can't really wrap my head around it. But do you think we'll be seeing any other long term changes in the way our local restaurants operate around here, like in terms of we mentioned, the outdoor dining, but maybe in terms of putting more resources or emphasis into their takeout and delivery options and kind of thinking about that experience for their customers and refining that experience? I don't know if you all have been talking about it at eater, but if they're What have you guys been kind of thinking in the long term effects of this would be?

OF  11:47  
Yeah, I mean, to your point, I think delivering takeout will certainly be a stronger focus. I was kind of surprised, like, during that about six weeks period where, you know, dining dining kind of fully reopened down here. Well, not fully, we're at 50% capacity, that a lot of restaurants just got rid of their takeout and delivery options. And I was like, just because we'll reopen doesn't mean that we're not in a pandemic, like the numbers are on the on the rise. I personally on either Miami don't feel comfortable promoting indoor dining, or really on site dining right now. It's just like, the numbers are way too high. So I've only been doing takeout and delivery focus maps, I will put a note, you know, like, hey, outdoor dining is available also at this restaurant, stuff like that. But the focus is takeout and delivery. And I think a lot of restaurants have stepped up on the plate to the plate, you know, for instance, and I think some have actually found new like revenue sources like a fanzone. 87. In Brickell, they're doing frozen pizzas now. And so they, they, they basically make their pizzas like, and then freeze them. And they're selling like hotcakes there and they're delicious. And you can have the Yeah, and you know, and I don't think they'll ever get rid of that. I know, to Kiva, which is a popular tech area down here. They're now selling all their meats and veggies and stuff by the pound and their masa by the pound. And they're shipping it to so they're getting, you know, like they can ship their famous masa to someone in California and Megan. So I think certain restaurants have been able to really like pivot and add new lines of revenue. Yeah, obviously, for those are a little more casual concepts, I think, you know, it'll be a little tougher for a fine dining experience to do something like that. But you know, places can make it happen. So I think those things, I think they're going to start building with more, like when we do start kind of reopening restaurants in a normal way, again, I think people are going to be building them out and putting them together with safety in mind. You know, these, I think the days of a crowded restaurant where you can barely pull out your chair are behind us. You know, safety is going to be Yeah, I think safety is going to be number one, moving forward for really years to come. Because even if we do get a vaccine, it's not like it's going to be readily distributed. Right away, either, you know, there's going to be a while between, you know, when the vaccine can really reach the mass, unfortunately. So that's just, that's just how it's, it's gonna we're gonna be in this for

MT  14:33  
Yeah, a long, long time kind of realizing that too. And it's Yeah, so it's just so sad to me, because like i, so I actually first started this podcast at the very beginning of the pandemic and I, I had to kind of change all of my content around and I was like, Okay, I'll just, I'll just be doing this for a few weeks. It'll be fine. And then, as I was doing more and more of my interviews, I think I even said my listeners will remember this. But I said in an episode, I, I want to ask you a quick question about COVID. But I feel like everyone's sick of hearing about it. So I'm just gonna touch on it briefly. And I said that that was like a couple more than I said that. And now to be doing this whole interview is about COVID is like, I'm just beside myself. I can't believe it that I'm doing. But um, yeah, but yeah, when you were mentioning before the the different revenue streams, I thought of grant the bar and when would they have started bottling up their cocktails, and they're selling their, they have these delicious specialty cocktails. And this was kind of the first time they did this early on. And this was kind of the first time I even saw anything like this. But they have these beautiful glass liter bottles, and they go on the sticker, and they, they sell their cocktails and the bottles and then they sell like whatever. Like Rosemary's Baby is one of their famous cocktails. And they're like so with a little sprig of rosemary, and so they have the little fixings with me. I thought that was such a good idea because people were just going and picking up the cocktails and they could have their own little fun night at home. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

And then I saw recently actually on Instagram, I don't know that maybe you would know I don't know the name of it. But it's this sushi restaurant that there to go boxes are. It's like this beautiful, colorful cardboard bento box. And they have it all separated into beautiful little sections. And it was and you just open the box. And it's just shocking how beautiful it is. And it's just got to go sushi bar.

OF  16:49  
Yeah, I think that might be you're either thinking of Oh, MCI, which is almost soccer style restaurant that opened up a few months ago in wynwood. And they're doing basically an oma cafe at home. Yeah. Which I actually had it last week was really good. And it's really well priced. I believe it's $40 for the box. Or there's a there's another place that I've seen a lot on social media as of late. It's called pokey. Oh, gee. And they've been doing the colorful sushi boxes as well. I'm not a proper mocassin. But yeah, exactly. Like restaurants are kind of pivoting. There's so many, like, make your own kits. You can there's a ton of make your own pasta kits, make your own taco kits, figure and keep the kits make your own, you know, you name it. And a lot of people have really gotten into that, you know, make your own Burger King. Yeah.

MT  17:39  
Cuz it's also like a little activity, like a date night or something. Because Lord knows, we were running out of things to do. But, um, but yeah, I think it's such an interesting thought that these restaurants, I mean, if they're smart, they should start pooling their resources into because now they know that most of their dining, most of their customers right now are going to be takeout and delivery, they should really focus on that experience for them. If they open up that special, customized box, and they see how beautiful it is. And that adds to their experience. And that adds to their, their thoughts of that restaurant, how they remember it. And I think instead of just a simple styrofoam takeout box or whatever, that it would be cool if these restaurants could start kind of pooling more resources into that experience instead and really focus on the orders and how just think about how their experience would be while they're eating at home and it still reflects the restaurant dining experience would be

OF  18:45  
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there's a few restaurants I think have done a really fantastic job of like takeout like love for teammates on and Brickell. They come all their delivery and takeout comes in this beautiful like hand painted bag. I've actually been using my bag like all summer, and they give you like a Spotify list to playlists. yeah, it's awesome. And then I'm not sure if you've been to the restaurant, but like, their whole signature thing is, you know, they have like at the table, they have tomatoes and olive oil and all that stuff for you to like cut up at the table. So they give you all those like that and bread like kind of sides that you would get for the experience. You would get it. Oh, and then your delivery guy calm and then they do beautiful like, you know, they'll do all their martinis and stuff to go to

MT  19:38  
See that's what that's exactly what I'm talking about. That's exactly what I'm like. Yeah, like, also great. I mean, that's very, very well done. But just going back to grams because I actually did this. They along with their cocktails just to make the experience to just think it through a little a step further. They had this virtual Dance party with a two hour long DJ and so people could just enjoy their cocktails at home and like a virtual dance party in their living rooms. So that's really taking that extra step and thinking, you know, like just thinking, what, okay, who's our who our customers, what, what do we want their home experiences to be like, and and it just, you could still have that relationship with your favorite restaurant or your favorite bar, even without having to physically go in. So I think that's super important for restaurants to keep in mind. Okay, so now for what I really am excited to talk about. Um, alright, so as you probably know, by now, this podcast is about, you know, highlighting the food seasons and really celebrating them. And so I kind of hated that this whole pandemic occurred during tropical fruit season, which is such an exciting time to be living in Miami. And I just, I've talked about this before on other episodes, but I just really didn't want this tropical fruit season to come and go people to not even experience it, or even think about it, you know, so I just want you to kind of talk about, like, I know, there's chefs in the area who, like I do, who look forward to this season, all year, a year, and they really do a good job of incorporating that tropical fruit and stone fruit into their dishes and into their cocktails. So which restaurants are really good about doing that and kind of shifting their menu to reflect the seasonality and if people in the area want to experience that, where should they be looking?

OF  21:50  
Yeah, so I mean, like anything that's this year has been a different one. I think restaurants that are still open and full serving aren't doing as extensive of menus right now. Because it's just like, it's food costs unfortunately. So you know, they don't have as much wiggle room to kind of play around with specials and stuff like that. So I will say, you know, like I actually like way way way way back when I used to actually do like high end produce sales. Oh, wow, I know this. I know this this world pretty well. And and yeah, so Miami's season unfortunately is really like the peak of season is I say, like February March down here for us in terms of produce and then you know, everything was shutting down, right around that time, unfortunately. But there are a few places still doing some interesting stuff on for instance, gi I'm not sure if you've ever been there the Ghee Indian

MT  22:53  
Yeah, it's one of my favorites.

OF  22:54  
Yeah, I can't so even has actually a farm down in homestead that I've had to the the pleasure of visiting. It's super impressive. And he he's really big on like local fruits, but he also brings in different produce from you know, that are indigenous to other parts of the world that are kind of hard to come by here. I was perusing his menu he so he he changes his menu all the time. That's kind of his thing. But right now he has a star fruit salad on the menu, the the current menu, and I say I say he changes this menu a lot. So in case anyone's listening to this, please go online.

MT  23:32  
Yeah and it's gone.

OF  23:34  
Yeah please go online and check his menu because just because I'm saying it's on the menu today doesn't mean by the time grading is because something like that is very seasonal, but that's not something you see every day. It's a stark reality, and it's taught to the coconut mint dressing.

MT  23:51  
Yeah, I also saw he had a lychee salad a few weeks.

OF  23:54  
Yeah, exactly. So it looks so good. He is and it all is literally grown at his farm, which is like super impressive. And that's not something a lot of restaurants have access to that can go off. You know, it's just the palette is there's a new place. It's called over and under. And it's in downtown Miami. It just opened a couple of weeks ago. And they have a thing a jackfruit Jamaican Patty, on their menu, which I found super interesting. Um, you know, it's an interesting way to use a tropical fruit like a jackfruit. And also, it's a way for them to appeal to vegetarians and vegans in the group. You know, while they still kind of get the that Jamaican Patty flavor, and I thought that was a really interesting use. And then they also have great frozen pina coladas. I know those are pretty easy to come by Miami, but you know,

MT  24:50  
but just gotta throw that out there.

OF  24:52  
You just gotta throw that out there. Yeah. And then another place that has some interesting stuff right now is destruction. is making a bunch of tropical surveys right now. The one that really stood out to me was this passionfruit one that they're doing with Shinola passionfruit liqueor, which is actually a local brand down here. This is pretty popular in cocktails. And then it's with a heat Marilla which part of my my buttering a finish but So, and then they're doing and then a local Lincoln's beer and brewing just launched a new mango sour beer, and that's in conjunction with the Fairchild garden. Yeah, there you go. Right up with a Fairchild garden, mango, they're doing kind of a, you know, how they do a mango festival are kind of an abbreviated version of that. And then they're doing a lot of stuff. It's called mango days of summer. And it's running all month long. They're doing a mix of kind of smaller, smaller group, not group, smaller kind of activations at the gardens. And then, and then some online kind of classes and stuff, too. And then, you know, the king, I say, down here of like, kind of tropical fruit in using them is Antonio bashore. At his restaurants, all his desserts, like he's, he's like the king like and passionfruit. And he loves every tropical fruit. And all the desserts are beautiful. Like they're just like little pieces of art. Like you don't want to bite into them. But I would certainly suggest you do. And he, he's the master of them.

MT  26:32  
Is that in the Gables? or is that in South Miami and the gables?

OF  26:36  
Yeah, it's in Coral Gables. He has a location also in timeout market. But that's currently close. I believe until the fall.

MT  26:45  
Yeah, I gotta try those I've been wanting to to go there for months. And I haven't been there yet to Barchour. Yeah, I heard it's awesome.

OF  26:53  
Yeah. It's amazing.

MT  26:55  
Okay, good. All right. So that's Yeah, it's really exciting. And like you said before, I didn't even think about this. But yeah, tropical fruit is. It is it is expensive. And I'm sure for chefs right now, their priority is just trying to keep their operations up and running. And yeah, and I know, chefs, part of the joy of their job is getting to create new things and experiment in the kitchen. And I'm sure a lot of them are hurting right now. Because they can't really focus on that as much as I really have the flexibility to be able to do that right now. But if people see that on a menu, please take advantage of it. Because we're not all year round. Exactly. Yeah. So can you Okay, what is the deal with Miami spice this? Like, why? So is it starting earlier, just to kind of as a way to kind of help the restaurants out? What is going on?

OF  27:53  
Yeah, yeah. So. So Miami spice, which is traditionally a two month program, it runs usually the month of August and September down here, when those are kind of our slower months. There's not a lot of tourists in Miami. It's kind of peak hurricane season as well. So it was originally launched that right after the 911 attacks, like the year after the 911 attacks to help kind of boost the restaurant community. Usually there's about anywhere last year, I believe there's more than 250 restaurants participating by any size. So this year of most, a lot of restaurants like city of Miami, Miami Beach, none of them could even open their restaurants until May 27. And then Miami spice rolled out officially June 1. Um, okay, a lot of restaurant tours were kind of, you know, claiming they were surprised that this rollout was even happening. They didn't know about it. The GMC BB, which is in charge, you know, did send out an email in early May saying they were going to launch it sooner. I did see that email. So I can attest to that. I just have a feeling that it kind of got lost in the shuffle, unfortunately, with a lot of these people. So I think there was a lot of confusion when it originally launched on the restaurants, instead of having to commit to you know, the August September, they could kind of commit to whatever they they could commit to you know, like, if they wanted to start in July they could start in July if they wanted to start in September they started September.

MT  29:30  
Like there was like a free for all at this point.

OF  29:33  
It is it was there wasn't a ton of structure around it. You know, I think the GMC BB came from a good place with this program like they were trying to get people to dine back out but I think it also kind of confused a lot of people and it also talking to some chefs and restaurant tours. Um, they were sitting and telling me you know, like the lead up to Miami spice. They do all these big events and dinners and promotions. There was none of that this year, like the excitement around it. Yeah.

MT  30:05  
And I'm sure they spend time in the kitchen like trying to create the menus and testing recipes and everything.

OF  30:11  
Yeah, yeah. And and it's a numbers game too, because they're like, you know, if we're, if it's a, if they bring in 100 people for the Miami space and the restaurants can afford it, but when there's only, you know, they can only see half the room. And now it was now people can only dine outside. And it's just, it doesn't make a lot of physical sense to ask these restaurants have been shut down for months. Hey, can you open up? And can you give discounted menu? Yeah. So it's tough on everyone involved? Going back to our kind of takeout delivery, they're actually letting restaurants offer takeout and delivery for Miami spice this year. So that could be something I think, I mean, who knows where the news cycle is going to be like tomorrow, let alone beginning of August. But a lot of restaurants that I've spoken to decided to hold off until August, the traditional start date to do Miami spice. I know on either Miami, we're not really covering it until August, just because that's when you know restaurants are really going to get involved. Um, but again, who knows? Who knows where we're going to be by August one. And what Miami spice is really going to look like this year I you know, I think the GMC BB had good intentions.

MT  31:38  
I get that because they're they're trying to I'm sure they feel, you know, they feel for these restaurants. They're just trying to do anything to help them. So I get that, but I'm just trying to picture what a Miami spice delivery or takeout meal would look like. Because it's just a bunch of small plates and all those little boxes, and it's the same presentation if it's in like a little takeout box. So we'll see how that looks. Hopefully they though kind of plan around that I thought that we're gonna be having to do but I mean, I'm definitely gonna take advantage of it, but it's just gonna be really, but it's gonna be a lot of planning and many small little boxes because each meal is like, it's like four courses, right? I think three or four?

OF  32:26  
Three? Yeah.

MT  32:29  
Okay, yeah. Um, okay, so, I have this bonus question. Because I read your article, where to find the best pizza and take out the best takeout and delivery pizza in Miami right now. And I have been dying to talk to someone about this because I'm so excited and so confused. And I have all these emotions about it. But old Greg's old Greg, yes. Okay, so I I'm okay. On Friday, all day long. No, not just Friday. It was the whole week of last week. I was like, I've made it this habit to order pizza every Friday now just to make my life a little bit more interesting. And I yeah, and so I like all week long. Last week, I was like, Okay, I'm really excited. I'm on Friday. I'm gonna order old Greg's pizza. And it's I can't wait. So Friday finally came and like Friday after Friday afternoon came. And I ordered it. And I was like, Oh, that was it. I was so easy. Like, what? And then I and then I checked my email confirmation for my order. And it said, All right, you're all set for your pickup on August ninth. 2020. And I was like, wide views. So I so it was just really a really funny moment. Because I was like, so proud of myself at how I'm like everyone's talking about this is so hard to access. And I just did it in two seconds. But anyway, okay. Tell, can you talk a little bit about old Greg's and the whole deal with old Greg?

OF  34:17  
Yeah, absolutely. So Greg's was started by a chef named Greg. And it basically it kind of went viral. Over over quarantine time over our shutdown. So he was making the dough is what's really special about it. It's like it's not nice driven. It's like almost a sourdough bread base. No love. So it's like super airy. You can actually like you can eat it and not just kind of feel like heavy after which I feel is the case. For a lot of pieces. Like you know, you kind of feel like just like you have like a loaf of bread in your stomach which is Yeah, absolutely the case. So You know, they were basically planning him and his partner Jackie were planning to do a pop up in late March, they were going to do a pop up as the pizza, kind of get the buzz out there for the and then and then basically what happened was everything got shut down so they can do the potlucks. But you know, they they handed out the pizzas to different friends and families Jackie and Greg have both been kind of in the hospitality industry for I'd say 10 to 15 years each. Jackie is kind of on the marketing side and the she knows a ton of reporters and Instagram influencers and all that stuff kind of tastemakers within the industry. And she gave the pieces out to them. Hey, you know, try it. Let us know what you think. So they did and of course these people post them on social media. I got to try it. I put down mine. I can't tell you how many people were like, Oh my god, I need you know, the people.

MT  35:55  
What do you have to do?

OF  35:57  
Well, I you know, I was I was lucky. I got one of the pizza. I believe in like January February, I heard about it. I'm such a pizza fan myself. Like I I think I could eat pizza every day of my life and be totally okay with it. And so I remember asking Jackie and Greg, like, Oh my god, like, when can I try the season? They're like soon, soon, soon. So when I saw that, they started making them like, you know, the first week of quarantine. I was like, Hey, you know, like, how can I get one like, you know, and they're like, okay, we're making a handful of them tonight. You can try it then. And that's actually how they're their partner. Their new partner, Brad Kilgore, got involved.

MT  36:38  
I'm obsessed with him.

OF  36:40  
Yeah, I guess he could have. So he's a huge pizza fan himself. And he heard about them around March and he actually asked for one of their pieces in lieu of a birthday cake.

MT  36:51  
Like, wow, that means a lot.

OF  36:52  
Yeah. And then he, so he got to try it. He loved idea. And then basically he asked them, Hey, where are you guys, you know, like, what's your plans and so he offered up his bar in the Miami design district called Kaido. He offered up the kitchen there for Greg to basically do this like takeout concept from the kitchen there. It's so it's a full week, but it's a beautiful large kitchen so and right now Martin can't be open so it makes sense for them to be doing the pop up out of there. And it's takeout, its takeout only. They have a few chairs set up outside if you do want to like sit and like eat outside. They also do like slushies to go and they've actually flushed out the whole menu. So I got to give it a try a couple weeks back. And they have like these really delicious chicken wings went across the chicken wings. They're doing like garlic, garlic knots with the Hollandaise sauce that's like similar to a sauce that altar had bread Kilgore is like marquee restaurant when it first opened. They do this beautiful, sweet, seasonal salad, they've added more pizzas to the menu, they've added a mushroom, mushroom pizza, they've added a vegetable pizza to the menu and in addition to the pepperoni and cheese pizzas, and then there's also added some desserts. So it's kind of a full full fleshed out menu right now on Yeah, and then. So the pieces weren't available to like the public. During the quarantine times. They announced, you know, the pop up, I'd say what, two weeks ago now. And you can order them online, I believe every one day they open up some more slots online. But check their social media. It's that old Greg's pizza to kind of get further updates. Don't quote me on the 1pm but right now because you know, they only have so many pans. The dough is does take a while to proof and all that stuff. So it's not just like you can roll out a new dough pizza. So I know they're trying to ham with their production. You know, the right now the demand just you know is through the roof. And I would certainly, you know to anyone listening I would tell them if they can get a flat because I just pulled it up right now and they said all reservations are sold out now. Like all the pizza, you can't even reserve on rails. So So like I said, check their social media follow along, because they're trying to up their production of them right now, as well. Yeah.

MT  39:22  
And I I was very impressed too that. They're salad. They said it's all locally sourced. And then I think it's other tomatoes is from Swank farms. And actually a lot of my guests lately have been referring to swing, specialty produce as they've been getting a lot of their produce from there. So I saw that and I was like, Oh, I have to get I have to get this. Yeah, I need to try this and then we'll see how I just don't know if I could wait that long. But I have an order coming next month and I'm so excited. About. Yeah, yeah. So, yeah, so um, yeah, I've been also experimenting with as my listeners know this, I've been experimenting with sourdough bread. And so I totally understand how long that process takes. Because Because I've been giving a lot of loans out to my friends. Some of my friends will cancel on me and they'll be like, Oh, I can't, can we? Can we like do the exchange? In two days? Like, no, actually, this takes me three days to make. And I have to do it now. And like, it's such a long process, but I love it's like, I'm always learning, but I could imagine how, you know, they have to get the time and drive it at the times. Right. And it's not like they can just always have it. Yeah. You know, but it's, it's a lot about timing with that.

OF  40:51  
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I know, Greg has been working on this recipe for quite some time now. So you know, he he's, it's certainly a labor of love. So yeah, I'd say guys, it's definitely worth the hype. It's definitely worth the weight. I know they're trying to amp up production of them. So just kind of keep checking their website and you should be able to, to get those things.

MT  41:15  
Yes, everyone just follow them on on social media or their website, and then you could keep up to date with what's going on with them. Yeah. Um, okay, Olee. That's it for us. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of the day and we'll be in touch.

OF  41:30  
Thank you, you too.

MT  41:31  
Okay, bye.

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