You’d expect to find an eatery like Blvd Baes, with its open kitchen, tiny indoor seating and intimate outdoor dining in a small French countryside bed and breakfast. Thankfully, it’s located in Miami at 7244 Biscayne Boulevard.
My friend Felecia told me about this amazing restaurant and their fire kissed Calabaza. You already know my next question, which she didn’t know so we were both very pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is it Black-owned, but it’s part of a family of sister restaurants I’ve reviewed, including Morgan’s Restaurant in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
Kitchen samurai, restaurateur, and chef extraordinaire Barclay Graebner and her celebrity partner Richie Effs—one of the geniuses behind the 2002 cult classic Jamaican film Shottas— are a former husband and wife duo with three awesome children (14-year-old ballerina, 12 and 6-year-old skateboarding sensations) responsible for the deliciousness known as Blvd Baes.
The prices are incredibly economical, a refreshing theme this duo embraces at each of their concepts, but at Blvd Baes, the prices seem to be stuck in the early 2000’s. Menu items are between $18 – $28, filling and large enough to share.
My experience began with the unique and scrumptious Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich ($18) that is not what you typically expect from a classic Philly. Chef decided to give this ubiquitous street food a “glow up” by trading the basic top-round with the more sophisticated New York Strip and blessing the lone provolone with the creamy gruyere. The clever revisions infuse the sandwich with a vast, nuanced flavor complexity sandwiched between a buttery and perfectly toasted French bread. Lord have mercy. I loved everything about this sandwich, which I had with a side of potato wedges.
I was so full I had to come back for the rest, returning the next day on a completely empty stomach. Ravenous, I was ready to DESTROY this food and go HAM! Thankfully, it was the first of six grill days, Tuesdays through Sundays after 5pm! Make sure you go during that time if you want to experience this restaurant in ALL ITS GLORY!
Listen, I must write about each of these dishes like an encyclopedia because they deserve it. I mean, this is currently my favorite Miami restaurant, as evidenced by me lunching there three times a week. They are deservedly about to get the business with this article!
Let’s start with what I ordered from the grill.
The Calabaza ($14)
Have you ever had something that made you sit up straight when you ate it? Well that is exactly what happened when this delicious pumpkin came off that mf grill. Lord Jesus on the Throne, this popular Caribbean squash has a golden orange flesh and texture that is similar to how Black Americans enjoy a grilled sweet potato cut in flats. The difference is the distinct taste that starts with a sweet juiciness accentuated with sprinkled parmesan cheese and a homemade honey butter sauce that create a crusted saturation that could literally be swallowed whole. This is an expertly prepared side item that is large enough to share.
The Grilled Romaine (14)
The Grilled Romaine is a uniquely deconstructed dish with mint, hazelnuts, and a seriously tart lemon yogurt. I enjoyed it thoroughly but would replace the yogurt with the Cobb salad dressing to tone down the tartness, which was a bit much for me. If you prefer the yogurt, I suggest a light drizzle to preserve the lettuce’s balanced flavor and crisp texture. I’ve had this about three times, a perfect green side for heavy meat entrees.
Wood Roasted Beets (14)
Star of the MF SHOW! These beets are everything, and this from someone who used to hate beets. This dish made a beet lover out of me! Like most folks, my beets avoidance stemmed from some childhood culinary trauma. Well, I’m grateful I was brave enough to give them a shot. What do beets taste like? As a gin lover, I can detect floral notes in just about anything and with these beauties, there was a welcomed floral flavor with a hint of sweetness accompanied by Chef’s lemon yogurt, dill, and pistachios. And with the beautiful red and white contrast, it makes for a very picture worthy side.
Piri Piri Chicken (28)
STAR ALERT! This Portuguese African inspired dish is one of my favorites. Everything about it was just incredible. From the sauce with a vinegary, slightly acidic base brandishing notes of garlic, oregano, basil, onion, citrus, and of course pepper atop a perfectly grilled half chicken is a WHOLE MOVIE! I don’t care what nobody says, I’ve eaten plenty versions at other spots and this is by far the best Piri Piri chicken in all South Florida. Come at me bro if you got something better!
STAR ALERT! The ribeye steak is one of my favorite cuts. Highly marbled, with a large swath of fat PACKED WITH FLAVOR, this is the BOSS CUT. The pit master is a humble and jolly fellow I assume is of Argentinean descent, based his grilling style. The ribeye is no frills and perfectly seasoned with a side of homemade chimichurri to pour all over. I can’t ask for a better steak. The Korean beef ribs (36) were good, but the Ribeye is where the magic is. I was so satisfied that I created my own meal with a side of soft scrambled eggs (STEAK & EGGS). I love this damn place and how accommodating they are if you want to create your own meal.
The Cobb Salad with Salmon (18)
MY FAVORITE THING! Man, I’m convinced this heavenly Cobb salad was created for Jesus’s dinner when He comes back to earth. It is my favorite thing on the menu. The blue cheese provides a sharpness and saltiness supported by crispy bits of quality bacon, a boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, and a house made dressing to LIVE for. The salmon is cooked to perfection each time, making this salad flawless in every way.
French Toast (16)
So, I am unsure if the bread is brioche or Texas toast. Whichever it is, it was ordained by God. I ordered this French toast to go and ate it two days later. Tell me why that bih taste just like I had just ordered it? Soft, fluffy, buttery, and ready to receive a pint of syrup. I didn’t care for the cinnamon mousse served on top, so make sure you taste it before you go smearing it all over these heavenly slices of bread. This was one of my top 5 items here. Be sure you order enough for everyone because the folks at your table will try you, which might not go over well once you have a bite for yourself.
Pancakes & Bacon (16)
The pancakes are solid. Not as good as the French toast if you are wondering, but they are good. Nothing spectacular, just solid good pancakes. If you like pancakes, you will like these. They are light, fluffy, and buttery. I added the chicken sausage and eggs with it, so please don’t think the come that way. You must order the eggs and sausage separate. I appreciated the chicken sausage as well.
Chicken Club (16)
Just get the Cheesesteak if you eat red meat. If not, the club is cool, but like the pancakes, it is just a standard sandwich. Something that you can nibble on if you are just stumped or have a basic palate.
After experiencing this eatery several times, I feel more like an evangelist than a diner. Those of you who have followed us for a while know that when I go in like this, the spot is the TRUTH. From a culinary perspective, this space is incredibly special.
I absolutely love the food and hope they continue serving quality at each step. The unique concept provides an elevated diner feel with the brunch available all day, but then serves a delicious curve ball with the delectable grill forward international options.
Blvd Baes is my BAE right now, my favorite go-to spot in my hometown. You can reach them at (786) 615-9661.