THE LINCOLN EATERY (Miami, Florida)
On a hot, bright, sunny day, I drove down to Miami. It was literally the perfect Miami day. The sun was at its peak a little after noon and it was on full heat wave! Even in the midst of the pandemic, the streets were strolled by guys in their colorful print tank tops and cargo shorts. Women sauntered the sidewalks in bikinis and short skirts and woven straw hats. It was almost a postcard picture saying “Wish you were here!” as I approached the “Lincoln Eatery”. The outside is bright and clear with windows surrounding the entire entrance. There is some seating around the building. A few cafe style tables sit shaded beneath the broad canopy overhead. A few lounge chairs and coffee tables nestled between some manicured shrubbery, give a relaxing place to sit and sip your espresso as you quietly commune with yourself or chat with friends around you. The inside of the Eatery is a sprawling venue with high ceilings and an abundance of light beaming through the massive windows that encapsulate the hall. To call this place a food court would be a miscarriage of justice. The Eatery isn’t packed with bland franchise fast food establishments selling run of the mill processed sandwiches and cardboard pizzas saddled with inedible cheeses. There’s a French stand selling artisan sandwiches and other ParisianCuisine, there's a seafood stand called the “C Food Shack” whose aroma of seafood was so kinetic, it kept pulling me off my path. There's an Espresso stand, the “XO Espresso Bar” and a MilkShake place called “The Market Milkshake Bar” that makes massively over the top decadent shakes loaded with all sorts of edible accoutrement.
I was invited to try the Lincoln Eatery’s Lunch Like a Local, lunch menu! I had the privilege of dining at “ Cilantro 27 Ceviche Bar”. Cilantro 27 is a Peruvian inspired cuisine, which combines traditional Peruvian flavors with more modern style cooking techniques. When my food arrived it was striking in its appearance. It was a bowl of white rice, with whole cloves of sauteed garlic, with strips of chicken on top, covered in a brilliantly bright yellow golden sauce with streaks of a contrasting purple sauce gliding back and forth across the top. On the side of the bowl were stalks of fresh cilantro as garnish and a dash of shredded cheese over the top of the plate. For an appearance I gave the dish high marks. It was certainly very clean and visually appealing to behold. The taste though… I will say this, eating a meal is a sensual experience. Not in the romantic sense, though it can be… (me some soft music a dimly lit room with a Haagen Daz hot fudge sundae… that’s love baby! That’s Romance…) but in the sentiment of using your senses when you eat. The food was visually appealing to my eyes, it smelled great, it felt warm when I ate it but it was slightly under seasoned. A hint of salt on the rice, a pinch of pepper on the chicken would have gone a long way in elevating an already wonderful dish. The highlight of the dish was when you assembled a perfect bite of the rice, chicken, sauce and the highlight, the clove of garlic. That garlic clove provided the punch of flavor that was slightly lacking. Otherwise the food, the ambiance, the decor of the Lincoln Eatery was truly a wonderful experience.
The only thing I would think to add is a bit of music playing in the background. Not too loud, but just something that helps set the mood further. As I said eating is a sensual experience and hearing some pleasant music while you eat would be a welcomed addition. One of the highlights for me of the Eatery was that each booth was decorated differently.
Each had its own style and colors. This gave it more so the feeling of entering a small city street with different dining cafes and restaurants, than just some mall food court with the same monotone tasteless counters from place to place. The Eatery in my opinion is what happens when creative minds say “Hey, maybe everyone doesn’t want Subway or Pizza Hut for lunch everyday of their lives!” and decides to create a space for talented artisans and chefs can come together and create astonishing creations for people seeking a break from the mundane food assembly line that we are constantly bombarded with on most street corners on a daily basis. Overall the Hall is a success and I can truly and honestly not wait to return and patronize some of the other establishments with their detailed, delectable and decadent menus.
723 Lincoln Lane
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Written By Kelvin M. Bayne