The game day has finally come. The game started at 7:30 pm so we were planning on arriving at the arena at about 5 pm. Everyone else was still feeling a bit tired after yesterday’s long day. Except for me. I woke up quite early. That is why I went on exploring some places around the city by myself and we would catch up later around lunchtime.
Miami is very known for its street art. It might not be as famous for that as some other cities around the world like London or New York but it has a lot of great street art. My passion for seeing street art started in June 2017. That summer I joined my very first street art tour in London. Since that, I try to look for street art on every trip that I take. I did take another street art tour in Brooklyn but other than that I mostly did DIY tours. And I did the same thing in Miami as well. I made a custom map of the street art of Miami before I flew there. In one of the future posts I will feature it in the street art guide for Miami.
【If you are wondering why am I going on this trip check out my first post about this trip where I explained all about it. Make sure to check out the crazy travel day that we went through the day before】
◈ Best morning coffee ever! ◈
I ordered Uber to go to a district called Wynwood. It is basically an open-air gallery full of art and great places to eat and drink. My first destination there was a famous cafe named Panther Coffee which serves specialty coffee. Miami has a huge Latin population so it is no surprise to find lots of great coffee there.
Panther Coffee is located on a corner of Wynwood, surrounded by graffiti-covered buildings that are home to art studios and marketing offices. Metal tables and chairs sit on Panther’s patio, and a large tree finds a place to lend its shade in the middle of them all. And inside it has more of a tropical feel. There was a line but that was expected for one of the most popular coffee places in the city. Luckily it was moving quite fast and I was able to check out the menu in the meantime.
They are roasting coffee beans from all over the world and you can see big roasting machines as well on the side of the cafe. I decided to order one of the cold brews of coffee because I have never tasted that kind of coffee before. I ordered classic cold brew 12 oz (that is about 0.35l in metric units). It has a note of malted milk, deep chocolate, vanilla, honey, and cherries, served over ice. Mine was black but you can also choose to have it with cream. A great way to start the day with this amazing coffee.
◈ Wynwood Walls ◈
Miami is famous for its street wall as I did mention at the beginning. The center of that is definitely Wynwood. Back in the day this area used to be in quite a bad condition, dangerous, there were mostly warehouses but one day that changed. The whole area is now full of beautiful wall murals ranging in different sizes. Some of them are huge! The center of everything is the so-called Wynwood Walls. This area is gated and has arguably the best murals. The entrance is free but it has opening times. That is why I went exploring the area in the meantime since I had about an hour till it opened.
Even buildings themselves are nice to watch because they are in different shapes and colors. One of them that stood out is a bakery. It is not just some everyday bakery, though. It is one of the most famous kosher bakeries in the city named Zak the Baker which makes so many different pastries that it is impossible to count them all. Since I did not have breakfast yet I decided to check it out and I did not regret it. The line was again quite long but they have an efficient ticket system which makes the line move faster.
I ordered two of the most famous pastries that they have and that is a cinnamon roll and a chocolate babka. I was not aware of their sizes when I was ordering them because behind the glass they definitely did not look as big as when I got it on the plate!
◈ Exotic lunch ◈
It was close to lunchtime by now already so I started to walk to the place which we choose to meet up again and to have lunch. I did walk through a bit more dodgy area before I got there. I did decide to walk instead of taking an Uber because it was within walking distance from where I was at that time.
We decided to check out a New American gastropub place called Kush. It is located in a quieter area of Wynwood but it is definitely worth checking out. When we got there it was quite packed already but the waitress found us a table for four. They have quite a lot of choices from the starters all the way to tacos and desserts. My eyes were only on one dish, though. That was their famous Florida Aligator bites ($13).
Yes, you assumed correctly. That starter has alligator meat. In my travels, I did try quite a lot of weird, bizarre, and unusual foods. That of course depends on where a person comes from. Like for someone that is from Florida eating alligator is much less unusual than for someone like me coming from Central Europe. I have never eaten alligator nor any other types of lizards before so I was really looking forward to trying it.
After a short wait, my food arrived. Let me start with the fact that the portion was big! It was a starter but it could have easily been the main course in Europe. This was a fresh alligator from Dade City in Florida. It was perfectly fried with Old Bay. Besides that, I also got creamy garlic sauce and spicy mayonnaise for dipping. What about the taste of the alligator? A lot of people ask me that questions. You know when you are trying some new meat or something like that and you say that it tastes like a chicken? Well with this particular meat I say that it is kinda like a sea chicken. Why? It tastes like shrimp but the consistency of the meat is much more similar to chicken than to shrimp.
◈ Wait, what about mobile data? ◈
We have to admit that we need the internet no matter where we are, right? It is true that in the US there are a lot of free wifi spots. On the other hand, Murphey law can play you out here quite often as well. By that, I meant that right when you would need internet for something let’s say ordering an Uber, you will not have any access to wifi. That is why when I travel, especially to less expensive destinations, I buy a local sim card almost every time.
I did not really think about buying one for this trip since the prices of that in the US are quite high and it would not be that useful for the little time that I spent there. Luckily one of our biggest network providers made a special offer just for their members who went on this game. Between the 27th of March and the 5th of April, all members that were using T-Mobile USA were able to use 7 GB of mobile data just for 7 euros! That is much more data than what I usually get on my sim cards for much longer trips so this was a really great deal.