DATE SPOT: CHOW DOWN GRILL 9th and Alton, Miami Beach
Every few weeks I am going to feature a cool place to go on a date. I decided to feature Chow Down Grill as my first “Date Spot” pick. Chow Down Grill was the answer to my question of “Why isn’t there any good Chinese on the beach.” Yeah there’s China Grill and Mr. Chow which are eh, okay (The Mr. Chow in Tribeca NYC kicks Miami’s ass) but when I got here I noticed no fast, good quality affordable Chinese on Miami Beach. I asked around. I asked people from New York where the good Chinese is. They said flat out. There isn’t any. Why?? Is it the sun? Is it because it is too hot for too long for Chinese people? My good friend Lisa Marie Kao (featured on this blog as a Cool Chick with Hot Style) who is a dual citizen of NYC and Miami (and half German half Chinese) explained that Chinese people don’t like suburbs. But Miami is Urban!! She went on further to say that it’s too hot for too long and Chinese people like weather closer to that of China. WOW! Ok so then I tried the Miss Yip and it only made me miss NY Chinese food even more.
I live on Alton and was happy to learn of Chow Down Grill. I saw it and then read about it in The Miami New Times. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2011-10-20/dining/chow-down-grill-morgans-open-in-south-beachI checked it out and immediately noticed two important things. First, I wasn’t hungry and hour later and second, I didn’t have that MSG induced coma feeling I get after neighborhood Chinese found on every other block in NY and in virtually every strip mall in Jersey. Chow Down makes their stuff in-house fresh. Their meats are of excellent quality and organic as are the veggies, eggs everything is top notch quality with low salt and no MSG. The egg drop soup is better than any I’ve had even in NYC Chinatown. It’s not at all greasy. I AM A FAN! Great Chinese within walking distance? ASK…BELIEVE…RECEIVE. I wanted good Chinese and the Universe responded with Chow Down Grill.
Most recently, and the inspiration for this article, I was at Chow Down Grill with a gentleman friend of mine who revels in being a super laid back casual guy. He’s the kind of guy who despite being a bit rough around the edges, cracks you up, has your back and always is a very fun time. He’s opinionated but in a good way, and not into the big over the top production of dining out. “Let’s grab food.” 3 words. I suggested pizza but he needed something with more of a punch. “I need meat.” It’s like having my own pet caveman but not like the awful unfunny Geico cavemen this guy is incredibly easy on the eye, and pleasant on the mind. I don’t like many people, neither does he and this sort of bonded us. So I said ok, let’s go to Chow Down Grill. He had ribs and I had the most perfect fried rice featuring the tri-fecta of pork, beef and chicken. We sat side by side on a bench seat on the bar side as opposed to the dining room area. TV was on with ESPN food was good, conversation always fun, easy peasy.
Guys, Chow Down Grill is a perfect spot for a date especially if you want to weed out the prima-donnas from the cool chicks. It’s great quality, prepared with care and it’s mindful of your pocket. It’s kind of like the ideal woman. Oh and I’ll also add that it is an excellent place to go at 3 am for a post beach bender bite. I went once at around 3 am after starting at Chalk then hopping to Foxhole and got a plate of 4 delicious dumplings, Chinese beer and a shot for $8. Plus the music late night on a Saturday was all old alternative and new Indie Rock. Good food, good music and you can play connect 4 and UNO and other retro board games they have on a shelf at the front.
Any girl who isn’t down with the Chow Down shouldn’t be down with (or on) you.
DON’T MISS: The Dumplings, Egg Drop Soup, Fried Rice (with everything shrimp, pork and chicken in there), The Ribs