Andrew Zimmern, the affable host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, is also the traditional host of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Sunday sendoff event. Best of the Munchies was replaced this year with Lucky Chopsticks, and patrons were treated to an array of Asian bites. Zimmern joined the excellent rock cover band stage, as well.
Jeff McInnis (above), original Yardbird chef, is back in Miami with partner Janine Booth at Sarsaparilla. They served root vegetable tartare.
Our Grade: B- (Plenty of good food, but lines were too long).
What worked: Wine selection was more varied than in previous Sunday night events, and they didn't run out.
What didn't work: Long lines prevented anyone from trying everything, really.
Best thing we ate: Fiery beef from Mr. Chow was a hot, aggressively spicy and tender bite. Runners-up: Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, back on the scene with Sarsaparilla, served up a delicious vegan root vegetable tartare that had intense flavor and a meaty nonmeat texture. Finka Table and Tap had the longest lines for its Korean fried chicken with Gochujang sauce.
Quote of the night: "They shouldn't have offered the Groupon for this event. Too many people."
Craziest thing we saw: Patrons waiting for Korean fried chicken complaining to security that people were darting into the front of the half-hour line. Which they were.
BY KENDALL HAMERSLY | khamersly@MiamiHerald.com | Photos by Tomas Loewy for Miami.com