Cuban Fusion Dinner at Finka Table and Tap

Finka Entrance

Finka Entrance

In a city where Cuban restaurants and bakeries are plentiful, it’s really quite difficult to find one that is truly unique. Finka Table and Tap however is the exception to this rule. This one of a kind Gastro Pub boasts a bold menu with Cuban, Korean and Peruvian dishes. I first heard about this place about a month ago from a friend who said it was a great place to eat. Soon enough I began seeing the restaurant all over Instagram and Twitter and I decided it was time to go. Jessica and I were excited to try this new little spot and here’s what we had.

Green Acres and Cuban Old Fashioned

Green Acres and Cuban Old Fashioned

Green Acres – Leblon Cachaça, Fresh Cucumber, Pink Peppercorn Syrup, Lime Juice and Kimchi Flakes. Cuban Old Fashioned – Old Forester86 Bourbon, Bustelo Café Syrup, Angostura and Angostura Orange Bitters. These drinks were a true work of art. Green Acres is an incredibly refreshing drink with the perfect combination of sweet, sour, bitter and smooth. The Cuban Old Fashioned was a very interesting twist on a drink that I love and I would definitely order it again.

Mariquitas  (Fried Plantains)

Mariquitas (Fried Plantains)

Mariquitas – Fried Plantains. It is typical for Cuban restaurants to serve bread while deciding what to order but not at Finka. These Mariquitas were crunchy and flavorful with a really interesting presentation. We definitely enjoyed these.

 

 

 

 

Croquetas

Croquetas

 

Croquetas – Fried Ham Pastry and Fried Chicken Pastry. Croquetas are a staple of Cuban cuisine which typically consist of fried ham, chicken or fish. However Jessica and I decided that we would try the ham and chicken Croquetas this time around. These little pastries were cooked to perfection with a crunchy outside and a soft inside served on a bed of alfalfa sprouts.

Garbanzos Fritos

Garbanzos Fritos

Garbanzos Fritos – Chic Peas, Chorizo, Cilantro and Fried Carrots. What a treat! This little dish is served in a cast iron skillet with the fried carrots on top. Each bite of this exquisite dish was more mouthwatering than the last. I think this was our favorite dish. The flavor from the chorizo and the texture from the Garbanzos made this an unforgettable plate.

Flat Bread Pizza with Vaca Frita

Flat Bread Pizza with Vaca Frita

Vaca Frita Flatbread Pizza – Marinated Flank Steak, Cilantro, Caramelized Onions, Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce. This interesting mix was a unique spin on flatbread pizza that I have never experienced before. The Vaca Frita was cooked to a savory perfection while the flatbread kept a hint of its wood oven flavor giving it the perfect taste. A special dish indeed.

Finka Table and Tap was a great Gastro Pub experience for Jessica and I. This is a place that I will definitely return to in the future. For anyone who likes Cuban food, this place is a must. I hope you all enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by!

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Lessons of Love #5

Being A Couple Doesn’t Mean That You’re No Longer An Individual

Why is it that sometimes, we commit so much of ourselves to our relationship that we feel like we no longer know who we are? This is something that Jessica and I have talked about for a while now. Whether it be our own personal experiences or those of our friends and family, everyone has been or knows someone who has been in that place. That place where they don’t know who they are anymore because their personality was all based on their relationship. I know that I’ve been there before and I wondered how I got to that point and what I could have done to avoid it. Do we simply forget who we are when we are in a relationship or is there something else at play?

That question has always bothered and baffled me, mostly because I know that I have felt like that in the past. However, thanks to some sound advice, and a few inspiring examples in my life, I’ve been able to understand why this happens and how to avoid it. Most importantly among those things that I’ve learned is to never forget that you’re an individual before you’re a couple. Though that may sound obvious to some people, the fact is that sometimes it’s not obvious. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about then try asking yourself this question: Did you do what you wanted to do this week, or did you do what you thought your partner would like to do this week?

If you answer is that you did what you wanted to do, then you’re being an individual in a relationship. If your answer is that you did what you thought your partner would like to do, then you’re losing your individuality to your relationship. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do things that your partner likes doing, but I am saying that you should never stop doing the things that make you happy. The second that we forget to do the things that make us happy, is the second that we forget who we are. Making your partner happy is essential to any relationship, but don’t let yourself forget that your happiness is just as important. After all, you got into your relationship because it made you happy right?

Never forget to be yourself first. I hope that this little post gave some insight to people out there wondering why they feel like they’ve lost their personality to their relationship and how to get it back. Happy Friday to everyone and thanks for stopping by!

Casual Miami Dinner at the Pincho Factory

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries

Pincho Factory is a small casual restaurant with a big reputation in the Miami area. Known for their pincho’s and burgers, Jessica and I decided to give the burgers a shot. (I’m becoming slightly concerned at how often I order burgers. Leave it to blogging to realize you’re a burger addict!) After placing our order and taking a seat, we could not help but realize the diversity of the crowd around us. People from all walks of life gathered under a small roof to enjoy some really great food. It doesn’t get much better than that. So here’s what we ordered…

Mimosa and Heineken

Mimosa and Heineken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First order of business is always ordering a drink. I went with an ice cold Heineken (Right) and Jessica went with a fresh Mimosa (Left). Who says Mimosas are only for brunch. We enjoyed both drinks.

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries (Left) Toston Burger (Right)

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries (Left) Toston Burger (Right)

Next comes the Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar French Fries (Left). Obviously this isn’t a meal that I would recommend anyone eat often, but when you feel like taking a break from the healthy stuff this sure does hit the spot. The Pincho Burger was cooked to juicy perfection with lettuce, tomato, potato sticks and their special sauce. The Bacon Cheddar fries came with a ranch dressing on top. Each bite was both delicious and depressing. Delicious in taste but depressing in that I could tell it was a calorie bomb. Another and perhaps more renowned dish is the Toston Burger (Right) which Jessica ordered. Sandwiched between two tostones (fried plantains) comes a well-cooked burger with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and a homemade cilantro sauce. If I return to the Pincho Factory I might consider ordering that burger instead. With the innovative toston buns and that amazing cilantro sauce, this burger is in a category of its own. Keep in mind though that the burger is super filling and likely to be too much for one person. Jessica could attest to that.

2nd Round

2nd Round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert ended up being a second round for us. After such a filling meal, it was all that we could bare.

My favorite part of our dinner was honestly the bill. Great prices and really unique food are always a great combination. For anyone thinking of going to the Pincho Factory I would strongly recommend doing so on a day that you’re starving. The burgers are very heavy and a side of bacon cheddar fries might put you in a food coma. Aside from that, I really enjoyed our dinner and plan on trying their Pincho’s next time. Thanks for stopping by!

Smell Text Messages with the oPhone

The oPhone Duo

The oPhone Duo

oSnap app screen shot

oSnap app screen shot

Have you ever had the desire to send your friend a scent via your smartphone? No? Me either. However that’s aside from the fact that now you actually can! Sending a scent is now possible with the all new oPhone. Harvard professor David Edwards and co-inventor Rachel Field have invented the first device that is capable of sending and receiving scents via an app on your phone. oNotes would be the equivalent of say text messages. The idea is to take a picture, tag it with oNotes and send it to a friend with an oPhone who can then smell your message. 

After going on their website I found that you could be the proud owner of an oPhone for just $149.00. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a steal or a rip-off. The mobile app oSnap is already available for iPhone users to download which consists of a collection of scents and smells that users could send to one another. Apparently capturing a scent and sending it is still out of reach at the moment. For now users could use multiple oNotes to identify the smell of whatever they are tagging. Eventually oSnap wishes to boast a more comprehensive oMedia library filled with a broad range of scents.

Edwards believes that the future of mobile communication lies in attaching scents to our pictures and creating oFilms capable of capturing a range of aromas throughout a video. I’m not sure if this technology will be as revolutionary as Edwards believes it will be but at the very least, it brings a new sense to the world of mobile communication. I would love to hear from someone who owns one of these. If you own an oPhone and have used oSnap to send oNotes, please let us know what you think of the technology and if it is as innovative as its inventor’s make it seem. Thanks for stopping by!

Brunch at Rok BRGR South Miami

Rok BRGR Bacon Jam Sliders

Rok BRGR Bacon Jam Sliders

South Miami is an area in Miami that has recently joined in on the food revolution. For about the past five years South Miami has boasted a diverse restaurant and bar scene. On Sunday Jessica and I decided to go to one of our favorite Gastro-Pubs in South Miami called Rok BRGR. From the first time that we went we instantly fell in love. Their Whiskey, Scotch and Bourbon selection is great, which is a plus for me as I genuinely enjoy a well-made Old Fashioned cocktail. As for Jessica, she loves mimosas which happen to be free and unlimited for ladies on Sundays. With that type of a deal we just can’t resist going. Here’s what we had.

 

Rok BRGR Classic Eggs Benedict

Rok BRGR Classic Eggs Benedict

I ordered the Classic Eggs Benedict which came with a fruit salad. The flavors were great but I feel that they put just a little too much benedict sauce making the bread wet and soft. The fruit salad on the other hand went extremely well with the relatively heavy dish. I probably would not order this dish again.

 

Blue Moon and Mimosa

Blue Moon and Mimosa

Blue Moon (Left) and Mimosa (Right). Our drinks were both amazing. Though I love my old fashioned cocktail, 12pm is a little early for me to indulge on Bourbon so I went with a Blue Moon instead. It has an Orange flavor to it which is great in the morning and Jessica’s Mimosas were mixed to perfection.

 

Rok BRGR Bacon Jam Sliders

Rok BRGR Bacon Jam Sliders

 

 

 

 

Jessica ordered the Bacon Jam Sliders which contains Kobe beef, maple bourbon bacon jam and brie cheese (she usually orders better than I do!). I’m salivating just reminiscing on those delicious sliders (I had to steal one of course). These little burgers were cooked to perfection and the maple bourbon bacon jam worked perfectly with the brie cheese. I would recommend this dish to anyone.

 

All in all our Brunch was successful. Though I wasn’t overly fond of the Classic Eggs Benedict, I don’t want to dissuade you from going to this place. I have eaten their multiple times and highly recommend that you order what they do best, Burgers. Apart from that, the unlimited free Mimosas for women on Sunday’s is hard to beat. This place has a nice homey vibe and a great crowd that could be expected from any worthwhile Gastro-Pub. Thanks for stopping by.

Solar Freakin Roadways

Above is a video titled “Solar Freakin Roadways”, which is the campaign kick starter by Indiegogo that was intended to capture the attention of big time investors. With a goal of one million dollars to get an initial prototype project underway, the campaign was flooded with more than two million dollars and over 48,000 supporters in just a couple of months. Needless to say, these solar powered roadways, sidewalks and parking lots are pretty amazing. Aside from providing energy solutions, these roadways could open up a new market for job creation and also generate income from an unlimited supply of renewable energy.

As you watch the video, you’ll notice that the benefits of having solar powered roadways are countless. The installation of these roadways would call for an underground electrical channel which could be used in conjunction with each cities electrical infrastructure to remove the use of power lines. Heated solar roadways would also prevent the buildup of snow during the winter months which would result in less corrosive damage from salt, safer travel and savings from minimizing snow plow costs. Regular streets have to constantly be repaved and patched up wherever potholes appear, another possibly obsolete problem solved with solar roadways.

Each of the solar panels is lined with a high impact resistant material to prevent damage and also with LED lights which could be used in a number of configurations. For instance, let’s say there’s an accident up ahead, the LED lights could signal for you to slow down or merge lanes. Parking lots could be rearranged as needed in seconds because with the LED lights in place, painting the space will not be necessary. Like I said before, the benefits are seemingly endless so it’s best if you watch the whole video. I myself was a little skeptical at first, but the video convinced me otherwise. I believe this stuff could change the world one day and it could make our country an energy independent nation if taken seriously. So enjoy the clip and thanks for stopping by!

Delightful Dinner at Miracle Mile

Inside of Swine

Inside of Swine

Miami is a great place to try new restaurants and experiment with different foods. Recently there has been a Gastro-Pub revolution in the Miami area. With a more intimate vibe, unique drinks and menus that reflect a Chef’s creativity, they are all the rave. This is why we chose to go to Miracle Mile in Miami, an area that’s known for its shopping, bars and most of all its trending restaurants. Saturday, Jessica and I went to a relatively new Gastro-Pub named Swine. Here’s what we had.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes at Swine

Fried Green Tomatoes at Swine

Fried Green Tomatoes. These delicious little green tomatoes won us over from the first bite. The flavors were so fresh and Earthy that we almost ordered seconds and ditched our meals. Ingredients: FL Tomme, pea shoots and tomato chow chow. I don’t quite know what those things are by themselves, but together I know that they are the best fried green tomatoes I have ever had!

 

(Left) Orkney Skull Splitter (Right) Homestead Bound at Swine

(Left) Orkney Skull Splitter (Right) homestead Bound at Swine

Orkney Skull Splitter Ale and the Homestead Bound. Probably the most creative and refreshing drink I have ever had in my life, of course ordered by Jessica. The Homestead Bound ingredients: Absolut Vodka, Veev Acai, fresh strawberries, orange, lemon basil and mint. This delightful amalgamation of fresh ingredients and properly mixed alcohol is a game changer to say the least. I will definitely order that again when I return. The beer that I ordered was really great too, packed with rich complex flavor that anyone should expect from a good ale.

 

The Swine Burger

The Swine Burger

The Swine Burger. Ingredients: Short-rib, brisket and smoked pork blend, homemade dill pickle, thick-cut house smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese and Swine’s special sauce. The burger was a great choice as all of the ingredients could be savored individually and no single ingredient overpowered another. The lettuce and tomato was fresh, the bacon was crispy and the meat was cooked to perfection.

 

Cookies&Milk at Swine

Cookies&Milk at Swine

Cookies and Milk. Ingredients: White chocolate stuffed homemade Oreos, ice-cold bourbon spiked milk and a dark chocolate dipping sauce. I should say that I’m lucky to have Jessica by my side because if not for her then I would have never tried this desert. The cookies and dipping sauce were warm and the spiked milk was super cold. Every bite was just as delicious as the last leaving you wanting more. Initially skeptical about the spiced milk, we were shocked to find that the subtle hint of bourbon gave the milk just the right amount of flavor to make it perfect.

 

For those of you who are looking for a restaurant with a unique personality and a world class chef, go to Swine. This Gastro-Pub nestled in Miracle Mile Miami is my new favorite restaurant hands down. A relaxed ambiance with dim lighting and creative décor make this restaurant everything that a Gastro-Pub should be. We had great service and we could tell that the staff was as excited about the food as we were. We felt like we were among friends who wanted us to enjoy this experience with them. Swine is a definite winner in my book and I recommend the spot to anyone who is willing to try something new. Thanks for stopping by.