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The Joint Bar & Grill
9559 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest, Miami   
(305) 603-9929

A refreshing, unpretentious gathering place for food lovers and beer snobs.



 
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by Becca Jane Griesemer

At first glance, The Joint appears to be another dark sports bar where fans go to consume beer and watch a game on one of the flat screens. Behind that facade, though, The Joint is a refreshing, unpretentious gathering place for food lovers and beer snobs.

Sure, the menu includes sports bar staples like jumbo wings, chicken tenders and hot ‘dawgs,’ but those items are contrasted against complex, fine dining-like dishes like an 8 oz. filet mignon that’s topped with goat cheese, onion tangles and a balsamic reduction.

The Joint was birthed after owner Jorge Ramos Sr., who worked in real estate for 30 years with his son, Jorge Jr., was forced by the economy into a career change. Being lifelong foodies, they decided to take a chance in the restaurant industry.

The father and son duo say that their new occupation is harder, but more fun, than the last because of their loyal regulars and word-of-mouth customers. They are often there and can be spotted sitting at different tables, chatting up the diners. Jorge Jr. runs the kitchen that pumps out orders from the expansive menu.

The Menu

The Joint has declared itself a gastropub, which is described on the menu as a pub that specializes in high-quality food that’s “a step above the traditional pub grub.”

Nearly everything is homemade and handpicked.

Take for instance the sweet potato fries. Jorge Sr. told me that more than 30 types of sweet potatoes were tested before a decision was made; now, they are served as fries under a glorious mess of homemade barbeque sauce-drenched pulled pork, cheese and ranch dressing ($9.99).

My dinner date, who accompanied me to combat my vegetarian restrictions, said this was her favorite dish. I tasted the sauce, and it was so sweet and smoky that I understood why the pulled pork made her salivate so.

For me, Jorge Sr. recommended a slight alteration to their Caprese Burger ($11.99). After our charismatic server, Jason, told me “I get high fives after people eat that burger,” I got pretty excited.

The Angus patty was switched out for a thick portabella mushroom, and the result was hands down and by far the most satisfying veggie burger I’ve experienced. Imagine a tomato and mozzarella salad in between a bun, but the gargantuan tomato slice is fried and drizzled with a basil aioli balsamic marmalade. The blend of juices that one bite extracted was a perfect combination.

Two rolls are used for the sandwiches: a white one from Spain and a pretzel roll from Germany. They arrive in Miami half-baked, so they taste fresh and are noticeably different than typical breads here.

Jorge Jr. used me as a happy guinea pig for a falafel burger he’d been wanting to try. He put it under sliced jalapenos, Syrian cheese and pickled cabbage with a side of tabouli. He need not experiment any further. For someone who has had many a falafel wrap, it was a welcome change. The texture of the cabbage added to the spicy flavor and changed my perspective on falafels.

The Tiki Bites were my ideal alternative bar snack to the overplayed mozzarella sticks. The crunchy delicacies are filled with lemongrass and served with pedal sauce, a mixture of garlic and chili.

My accomplice sampled the Seared Tuna Tacos ($11.99) , which are on a flour tortilla with more of that delicious pedal sauce, ketchup, coleslaw, wasabi avocado dressing and an onion ring (for the aesthetic affect). They appeared and tasted as consistently high-quality as the rest of our meal, all consumed while we sat in a wood-heavy room buzzing with cheers for the sports-watchers at the bar. 

Beer

The emphasis on beer is really strong -- one of the first things Jason did was recommend a Golden Monkey by Victory Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. He added that aside from being a great ale, it also has the benefit of a high alcoholic content at 9.5%.

And if beer isn’t generally your thing, that’s okay too. For the non-beer drinker at the table, Jason recommended Sweaty Betty, an American wheat from Boulder. She eventually settled on a Woodchuck Hard Cider, which tastes more like apple cider than beer.

The owners, who are part of a special program that gets exclusive access to limited edition beers from breweries like Sam Adams and Brooklyn Brewery, choose and rotate what beers they want in stock. The bar has 26 taps, 23 of which are microbrews (the others are Pabst Blue Ribbon, Millers and Coors).

I asked the owners what their favorite beer and menu items were. For Jorge Sr., it’s a refined Belgian Brown Ale with the Churrasco skirt steak grilled in a chimichurri sauce ($14.99). Jorge Jr. is a little more casual with a Woodchuck Apple Cider with the Loaded Tostones, which are under cheese, mango salsa and spicy shredded chicken ($9.99).

They also incorporate beer into special events at The Joint.

Events

Twice a month, The Joint hosts a four to five-course food pairing with a different brewery. First they select the brewery, which will send a representative to tell the beer’s history during the meal, and then the menu; is decided. Jorge Sr. said a recent dinner included marinated duck breast, pork medallions and lobster. For dessert, crunchy chocolate with bacon was served with a stout. The cost is approximately $50. Reservations must be made in advance, and thirty people are the maximum.

The University of Florida alumni and fan club recently approved The Joint to be the official South Florida house for the Gators, so there will be special parties during the football games.

See below for weekly specials…Save


                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                       The Joint Bar & Grill 9559 South Dixie Highway,  Miami, FL 33156

(305) 603-9929

weekly specials 

On Monday, burgers and craft beers are half price.

Tuesday is karaoke night. Also, Dade County employees with an ID have a keg set aside for an hour at 7:30 p.m., from which beers cost a penny.

Wednesday has recently become Western night, which includes free line dance lessons at 9:30 p.m. Miller High Life bottles go for $2.50; Miller Lite, PBR and Yuengling draft for $3, and Jack Daniels and Crown cocktails for $5.

Thursday is ladies night, which means women drink for free starting at 10 p.m.

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