WHAT’S NEW IN TOWN – October/November 2017


Amsterdam Falafel, the top-it-yourself falafel fast-casual restaurant opened on Sunset Drive in September.  This is the second South Florida shop opened by local entrepreneur Ajay Patel; he opened the first in July on Miami Beach at 1522 Washington Avenue. With the SOMI location, Ajay is continuing the momentum and excitement built up from South Beach.

Operations Manager DeVang and franchise owner Ajay Patel

In a unique atmosphere with European décor, guests top their falafel pitas and bowls themselves with selections from 19 toppings and 6 sauces on the fresh garnish bar. The falafel and all toppings are made fresh daily by hand from fresh veggies and are an unexpected explosion of flavor.  The chef notes that zero transfats are used and the food is vegan.  The chickpeas are soaked, ground and made to order in 2-3 minutes.

Falafel is accompanied by “frieten,” Dutch-style twice-fried fries in paper cones, with dipping sauces, reminding guests of trips to Europe.

Ajay leads a talented team in opening the new Amsterdam Falafelshop.  He is joined by DeVang, a partner and operations manager.

Soniya Parikh of Where’s the Food blog enjoys her first falafel pita.

Their humble fare consists of falafel and frieten, that’s simple.  When asked about the tie-in between a Mediterranean staple and Dutch fries, Patel noted that it is the brain child of founders Scott and Arianne Bennett  who while visiting Amsterdam and the Dutch-style fries shop picked up on the vibe and culture. .They brought the exciting flavors of Europe and the Middle East first to Washington DC, then the Greater Boston Area, Dallas, and now South Florida. Believing that food can be both quick and delicious, the Bennetts have set out to perfect the falafel experience.

As noted by Ajay Patel, “Our fresh vegetables, salads and sauces are prepared onsite daily, so we’re excited to bring our fast-casual falafel concept to South Miami residents and are confident the shop will become a local go-to dining spot in the area.”

5835 Sunset Drive | 305.213.9694   |  Open Sun.-Thurs.: 11a – 1a | Fri., Sat.: 11a – 3a | www.falafelshop.com

Stephane & Valérie Haccoun

Arriving from Paris on July 5th they set their sights on acquiring the popular bistro and purchased the business on September 21st.

Meet Valérie & Stephane Haccoun.  Stephane has been involved in the restaurant business in Paris.  He bought the Parisian restaurant, Les Sales Gosses in 2002 after a twenty year career in the boxing ring, and earning the title of featherweight champion in France and Europe. He frequently trained in Miami and came to appreciate the area. Valérie has a woman’s clothing store in Paris, and met Stephane at Les Sales Gosses twenty-three years ago.

Other than incorporating new décor and French accents including Parisian street scenes and a French actor, the couple does not plan on making changes to the menu.  “People love the menu.  The crepes are so good. We don’t want to change anything.”  Chef Marie and team will be familiar faces to the many patrons who enjoy the cuisine.

To make their fare more available for guests, the new owners are planning to open at 8a and close at 6p.  On Friday and Saturdays, La Crepe Bistro will be open late, and on Sundays, the restaurant will be open from 9:30 to 3:30.

Come by, say “bienvenue” and enjoy some wonderful food. 7304 Red Road | 305.665.8778


Check out the SOMI SCENE with these great family-fun activities in our town center.

The Sunset Place Farmers Market is back for another great season.  The market is held each Sunday in the entrance courtyard at Sunset Place.

Safe Streets Halloween is the place to be on Tuesday, October 31.  From 4-7p area businesses provide treats for the hundreds descending on Sunset Drive for the annual event.  Sunset Place will be having a special Halloween program within the entertainment center.

Take in the 46th Annual South Miami Art Festival presented by ChamberSOUTH, always on the first weekend of November. This juried fine arts show happens on Sunset Drive on Saturday and Sunday, November 4 & 5.  The event is free and open to the public. Best to take the Metrorail or ride your bicycle to the art festival.

Over at the Tropical Audubon Society located at the historic Doc Thomas House, tours are offered of the property on the first Saturday of each month in October, November and December.
Come by and learn more about the Florida Heritage Site headquarters located at 5530 Sunset Drive ().

And it’s not too early to begin planning your cute elf costume for the 34th Annual Santa’s Parade of the Elves, held on the first Sunday of December starting at 2pm on Sunset Drive.


Construction is wrapping up on the new iconic entrance to South Miami at corner of US1 and 74 Street.  5958 South Dixie Highway site (formerly New Chinatown) will be home to two new restaurants: American Harvest by the Grove Bay Hospitality Group and Hank and Harry’s Deli, made popular by restaurateurs Buzzy Sklar and Richard Booth.

With a focus on fresh and regional, American Harvest sources locally and nationally from foragers, farmers and specially purveyors who share our passion for producing and utilizing only the highest quality seasonal produce, meats and ingredients.

The popular Miami Beach eatery will be bringing their signature New York favorites to South Miami in late 2017.  The second location will feature an expanded menu as well as full sit down restaurant service. The authentic New York style delicatessen is a fast-casual deli concept comprised of traditional Jewish and classic Italian deli favorites.  The menu features made-to-order corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, Brooklyn style deli heroes, homemade soups, bagels, knishes, burgers, authentic NY hotdogs and custom salads.

Salsa Fiesta at US1 & 71st Street has been poised to open for several weeks.
Expect to see them open real soon.
Natural Chicken Grill at 5800 Red Road is now planning a November opening.

An oyster bar is planned for the former location of No 5 Station.
A wine & cheese bar is coming into the FNBSM courtyard at 5760 Sunset Drive, and a Nitrogen ice cream parlor, Chillin ice Cream is doing at build-out at 7316 Red Road.

Read more about these new
SOMI eateries in the next issue
of SOMI Magazine.


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