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Five New Places to Eat and Drink (Respectably!) at Miami International Airport

July 7, 2011 at 12:25 PM | by | ()

Veteran Miami International Airport flyers already know that pit stops at La Caretta and Cafe Versailles are worth skipping an airline meal for. Or, if you prefer crappy more standard airport fare, you can head to the slew of beer-themed bars and outposts of Shula's Bar and Grill and Bongo's—the Cuban cafe whose slogan is "Where The Rhythm's Gonna Get You."

But, thanks to MIA's $2.94 billion North Terminal overhaul, there are some surprising new places to eat and drink while transiting through the gateway to South America. Here are five of the latest additions to Concourse D, home of American Airlines.

(Even if we'll still be buying our Cubanos at La Caretta, and our morning coffees at Versailles. Old habits and all that.)

· Bacardi Mojito Bar and Cocina Lorena Garcia: As you'd expect, there are all sorts of Bacardi rum on the menu here, including Bacardi Limon and Bacardi Anejo. The classic mojito was given a perfect five out of five by Miamism. And so you don't have to drink on an empty stomach, chef Lorena Garcia created a special menu of posh bites that includes Caribbean jerk chicken, a shrimp ceviche, and a range of salads that look like they came from anywhere but an airport. Gates: D53, D55

· Corona Beach House: Yeah, we know. MIA is already rollin' in brand-name booze joints (Bud, Heineken, Jose Cuervo) but where else are you gonna get a Magarona? If you have yet to see one of these concoctions, just picture a frozen margarita with a bottle of Coronita poking out of it. Or, as they say at Corona Beach House, "The best way to get a 21 ounce drink in a 14 ounce glass!" Gate: D23

· Icebox Cafe: This offshoot of the South Beach cafe is not cheap. But when you're craving 'normal food' on the go, their range of sandwiches, soups and hot dishes like adobo pulled pork starts to look like it may be the best thing you've ever eaten. (We're partial to the prosciutto and manchego sandwich with roasted peppers, even if it is 10 bucks). Save room for dessert, cos the cakes are divine. You can also place advance orders for an Express Lunch Box online or via phone and take it with you when you board. Gate: D10

· The Counter: Miami is having a burger moment. Still. And MIA is not one to be left out of the trend. An outpost of this custom-built burger joint opened at MIA in March, offering diners more than 300,000 possible combinations in a terminal so large you at least know you'll walk off some of the calories before your flight leaves. Gate: D33

· Beaudevin: Two words: Wine bar. Wait, five more: In an airport. In Miami. Whether you fancy a $8 glass of shiraz or a $350 bottle of Cristal, you can get it at Beaudevin, which also serves Flights (ha!), 3 oz. samplings of three distinct drops. There's even a small-plate menu featuring melon & prosciutto and Thai Sing Buri Nuts. Wait, where are we again? Gate: D24

[Photo: Chef Lorena Garcia's website]

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