After his first minivacation since PL8 opened in September, executive chef Brandon Whitestone of PL8 returns to the kitchen this week with a newly hired sous chef, Logan Street, and renewed vitality after downtime and opportunities to eat outside his own kitchen. His favorite spots display his carnivorous habits.
1. The Italian special from LaSpada's Original Hoagies
The sandwich with ham, salami, cappicola, and provolone is a Lauderdalian dude favorite. What I find most intriguing about the sandwich is the bread: It's fresh baked daily, from an Italian baker that's LaSpada's closely guarded secret. Any guesses as to who it is?
2. Small plates from Hiro's Yakko-San
"I really like everything there," said Whitestone of the izakaya that earned Miami New Times' pick for Best North Miami Restaurant. Perhaps the concept inspired PL8?
3. A burger from Five Guys
"They're the best around," he says of the guilty-pleasure burger chain that started in Arlington, Virginia. Before you refute his pick with Rok:Brgr or Gilbert's, know you'll have a long line of people who will defend the choice.
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4. Ribs at Houston's. Whitestone likes the wine deals as much as the ribs, citing a favorite Miner Valley Stagecoach Merlot -- among others he enjoys at a reasonably priced $43 a bottle.