Hate It or Love It? A Tale of One Dish

While tallying results of this year's ballot winners for New Times Pairings, we stumbled upon the most compelling item:short rib buns from STK Miami. Turns out, it was the most divisive dish. Two judges loved the sandwich, awarding it a

4 out of 5, with five ranking the highest.


judge's shorthand read, "Bread smells funny. Meat cannot redeem this,"

and gave it a one rating.  I thought the bun was too sticky

and the short ribs too dry and sweet.

"It tastes like sugar is sprinkled on beef," said a guy who I stood with talking through the sandwich as

we ate it. Another judge said he grew to like it more after the first bite. He could not put it down.

We're still talking about it a day later- I think- because of anise in the beef: it's such a polarizing flavor. So I decided to called the chef, Ralph Pagano. Turns out it's not a Sambuca reduction (as someone guessed). It's short ribs with star anise and tamarind, served on a pork bun glazed with honey and garnished with sesame. "Goes well with beer," said Pagano. "I prefer Stella."

I'm intrigued enough to go back but it's apparently too late: Corporate just took pork buns -also known as Char Siu Bao- off the menu today, confirmed an STK spokeswoman.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart