Best of Miami

It's Christmas in late June in Miami as locals await the release of Miami New Times' BEST OF MIAMI. If you pick up the physical newspaper, you can't miss the celebratory neon pink and yellow cover that touts "new and improved" but screams "I know my loud 80's retro style will get you to look". This is a cliff note's version of your run-of-the-mill categories like Best Restaurant, Best Family Activity to New Time's over-the-top categories including Best Place to buy Sunken Treasure, to Best Place to Escape Reality to Best Place to buy Flight Lessons.

Indeed it saves us time from surfing the Internet and researching review sites. For any resident that says there's not much to do in Miami is not reading the newspaper much less the Miami Times. And no I don't work for them or have any connections.

So here are a few highlights:

In reading the intro paragraph I nearly choked on my pistachios. One of my favorite experiences was mentioned on the last sentence. Miami Fly offers flight lessons and aerial tours at affordable rate. Best of all, the owner and instructor are the same person, Eusebio Valdes who has been flying and teaching for 26+ years. Eusebio is passionate about flying and will give you undivided attention. This is no cookie cutter class like other companies. Eusebio and I share a strong belief in catering and engaging the customer. It's not just professorializing to them like other lessons or tours. It's about engaging the customer and having a real conversation like long-time friends. The experience is one of relaxation and you leave feeling uplifted and learning more than you expected.

New Times lists Plunge at the Gansevoort for this honor. Click here for the review. Except I've been to this poolside bar and noticed the crowd is 20 something in age.  Well at my ripe 41 years of age, 20 lacks some maturity. I'm still searching for best bar for us Generation Xers.

Having just discovered Tap Tap, a local icon, I was intrigued by the review of this restaurant that combines a car wash. A reason to get out of tourist zone of South Beach and into Little Haiti.

On the more traditional category is the best sports bar. The honors go to Burger & Beer Joint in South Beach. The review is more thorough and warns customers this is not for the soccer-crazed World Cup fans. This is an American zone. "Where else can you get turkey burgers, alcohol-spiked milkshakes, and the highlights from the Fins game at 4 a.m.? Plus there's no doorman, bullshit attitude, or bottle requirement at this locals-friendly watering hole."

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