DIRT Eat Clean, 232 5th Street, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
I love it when a good plan comes together and DIRT is exactly that. Healthy food is the trend of the moment and DIRT does it right. Not only has it captured the hearts of the health-obsessed crowd in Miami, it’s even won over those of us who think eating clean doesn’t taste good – because at DIRT, it DOES.
The food is fresh, fast and, believe it or not, incredibly delicious. I’ll get to that in a minute; but first, let’s talk about the atmosphere. The place is absolutely buzzing with excitement — you can feel it when you walk in. I went on a Sunday and it was comfortably crowded. Whether eating in or getting food to go, there was a constant stream of customers.
Inside, DIRT is modern, clean and warm; using bright whites and different shades of wood to create a hip and, dare I say, “happy” environment. What’s more, the open-air eatery is powered by 100% pollution-free energy and everything they use (paper and plastic packaging) is recyclable, compostable and/or biodegradable. Their motto: “We care about three things: people, food and the planet.” With that being said…
Their menus are perfectly placed right inside the front door, allowing you a little time to decide before you beeline it to the counter. Usually, I choose my spotlight menu, but instead, I let Chef Nicole Votano (who’s the bomb-dot-com,) pick for me. I think she automatically sensed my trepidation: while I like eating healthy and knowing what’s in my food, I don’t always like the way clean food tastes, but I was in good hands.
My usual menagerie of alcoholic beverages were replaced by a Matcha Green Tea Latte (lightly sweetened with brown sugar,) Dragon Fruit Lemonade (made of freshly squeezed lemon juice, house-made vanilla syrup, dragon fruit and alkaline water) and a healthy, local beer called “Regresa A Mi” (which translates to “Come back to me.”) Fermented with guava and hibiscus, it was unique, fruity and light. By the way, they even have wine on the menu for us drinking types.
The first dish I feasted on was the Avocado Toast. OMG! AMAZE. First of all, I’m obsessed with anything Avocado (I’m from New Mexico and it’s a staple there) and DIRT’s recipe is pretty close to what I’m used to eating in “The Land of Enchantment.” It’s simple and clean, made with grilled bread (from Zac the Baker,) smashed avocado, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
The Santorini Salad was basically a plate full of hummus (spiked with harissa) with a greek-style salad piled on top (local greens, tomatoes, cucumber, farro, chickpeas, lentil, olives and served with an herb vinaigrette.) The Spring Plate was a generous portion of greek yogurt, smashed potatoes, spicy grilled broccolini, herbs and shaved veggies served with your choice of protein. I had the quinoa-crusted fish of the day.
The Dragon Fruit bowl not only cleansed my palate, it’s officially one of my favorite things on the planet (made with dragon fruit, banana, pineapple, house-made almond butter and local wildflower honey blended with house-made almond + Brazil nut milk, topped with blueberries, banana, kiwi and house-made granola.) Usually, I wouldn’t bother with all the ingredients, I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna make it at home, but this was so incredible, I can’t get over it. Who knew?
For dessert, Chef Nicole pulled out all the stops with a gluten-free Rosemary & Sea Salt Chocolate Rice Krispy Treat and Vegan Hazelnut Olive Oil Short Bread with lemon glaze. Desserts are made daily, so they’re not on the menu. Just ask, though, and they’ll tell you what they’re serving that day.
For local farm-to-counter food that’s organic, vegan, vegetarian, grass-fed, gluten-free and paleo, you just can’t seem to go wrong at DIRT. There’s something for every kind of foodie and the best part: you’re not just doing your body good, you’re doing your tastebuds a favor, too and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things. Cheers!
DIRT is located in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood on Miami Beach between Collins & Washington. There’s parking on the east side of the restaurant.
Monday-Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-9pm.