Chef Jamie DeRosa’s Burger back when he was at Tudor House blew me away. But it wasn’t only the Burger that did that but also the Fried Chicken, the Cuban Sandwich and the Desserts. There is something very special about what he does with food. I wasn’t sure what to think when he announced that he would be opening a restaurant called Tongue & Cheek as it seemed to me the joint might be offal heavy. So I waited, I put my ear to the ground and picked up some good vibrations (not the Marky Mark kind). It was time.
My wife Marcela accompanied me which normally means the amount of starters I can order will be limited to one. I made sure to order those while she was distracted with the drinks menu. The “Snacks” I chose were the Chicharrones, Pan con Tomate and the Cheddar Pimento Cheese. Before those could arrive these 2 little fluffy Cheese Breads landed in front of us. And yes I did share them although I thought about taking hers, in a nice way of course. Japanese Mustard dipping sauce or not I could have eaten a sack full of those Chicken skin Chicharrones, estaban buenisimo (so great I had to say it in Spanish). The Pan con Tomato was somewhere in-between the classic version of this dish and a flatbread with Tomato spread, that dollop of sauce was the clincher that made it so good. And even now, a day later, I’m eyeing the Cheddar Pimento Cheese and trying to figure out how to eat it more efficiently. I ended up with a bunch of Pimento Cheese after we ate all the Ham and Rye Crackers, not really a bad problem to have.
The sides we went with were Tongue & Cheek’s version of Poutine and the Roasted Mushrooms. I was happy to see some fresh cut Fries (especially thick ones, keep your perverted thoughts to yourself) under the Braised Brisket and Cheese of the Poutine. I pretty much ate the Roasted Mushrooms all by myself. They’re one of my favorite vegetables and when done right I’m all over it. Both sides were winners in my comfort food book.
The Fried Chicken was Marcela’s main but I was able to sneak off a couple of bites. If you dug the version he served at the T.H. then you’re in for a treat. If you never tried it then you definitely must. Did I say definitely? Yes, that’s cause I meant it. The Crack Shake…I mean Cracker Jack Shake was off the charts. I was also able to sneak a few sips away from her but it’s still lingering in my thoughts.
I looked at the Beef Cheek Burger kinda the same way Leatherface watches his victims, turning my head left and right. It looked so beautiful just sitting there. I devoured it in what seemed like a split second but I know it really wasn’t. I remember the texture of the beef, the sweetness of the Onions and the softness of the Brioche Bun. I didn’t pick up too much of the Cheddar Pimento Cheese spread on the bottom but it was there. It was excellent and I would have had a second had I not eaten everything else before it.
You know, having one as a “Snack” and then as a “Main” doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea for my second visit.
Just Go, Definitely:
Tongue & Cheek
431 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, Florida 33139