Secret menu items at Miami restaurants
When popular burger joint Pincho Factory first opened in South Miami, the owners added the Foreman to the chalkboard specials: a classic Pincho burger (lettuce, tomato, secret sauce) between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The decadent creation was quickly retired and never advertised again, but regulars with an extraordinary appetite know to ask for it by name.
One of Argentina’s most popular street-food items is available only during lunchtime—if you ask. The traditional sandwich is toasted and stuffed with grilled chorizo, and finished off with house-made chimichurri sauce.
With a spread of Hawaiian-inspired dishes, it’s to be expected that a poke bowl would be on the menu—but it’s not. You’ll have to specially request the poke bowl, which features fresh salmon and tuna as well as avocado, red onion and heirloom tomatoes all packed into a hollowed pineapple. It’s an Insta-worthy dish that tastes as good as it looks.
Both first-timers and regulars at downtown Miami restaurant Fooq’s know to order the carbonara pasta at brunch. But what most people don’t know is that the bucatini special—made with eggs, smoked pancetta, Parmigiano Reggiano and pecorino—is always available as long as there are fresh eggs in the kitchen.
Chef Yoshi Migita’s decadent burger, whose name means luxury and extravagance in Japanese, was created for in-the-know diners with deep pockets. Stacked tall inside its black bamboo charcoal buns is a patty that combines Hudson Valley foie gras with American wagyu beef and sharp cheddar cheese, bibb lettuce, escabeche onions, heirloom tomatoes and herb aioli. For $100, trust you’ll get fries—triple-fried, in fact—with your burger.
Makoto’s shishito peppers are an addictive starter—crunchy, salty, spicy. So how do you make this on-menu dish even tastier? Give diners the option to order it battered in tempura, deep fried and finished off with a sprinkling of sesame and bonito flakes.
Both Seaspice’s executive chef Angel Leon and owner Carlos Miranda grew up eating frituras de malanga and consider the crispy vegetable fritters to be the ultimate appetizer. It’s not on the menu but diners who ask for the Cuban dish will receive an order on the house—which beats a side of french fries any day.
You’ll find plenty of Spanish starters on the menu at Pinch, including ceviche and marinated olives. Also available is Catalonia’s popular pan con tomato: house-made focaccia topped with fresh tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and sliced speck. Prefer fish over ham? Ask the server to have yours made with boquerones instead.
This secret-menu item is so fresh, you won’t know what you’re getting until you arrive at the restaurant. The reason? DÔA’s nightly nigiri special depends on what sushi chef Guilherme Ferrari receives that day. Previous options have included toro and wagyu and typically run about $10 for two pieces.
Gianni’s understands its clients have a discerning palate. For those who favor more gourmet starters, chef Thomas Stewart stocks grade A foie gras from Hudson Valley, New York. “It’s common for people to ask for foie gras (or a side of it) when they see our menu,” Stewart says.