Gabriela Vanina Abadié is living the American dream. Owning her own restaurant in an unfamiliar city can be tough sometimes, but this is not just her dream.
“I love showing my mom and dad back at home in Argentina the restaurant on Skype,” she said with a huge grin on her face. “The first time they cried because they couldn’t believe it.”
Keeping the people she loves close by is important for Abadié. Her best friend of 22 years José Luis Machado is vice president and co-owner of PnP.
“We are like brother and sister,” she said. “We prove that it is possible for a man and a woman to be best friends.”
Together, they set their sights on South Beach and decided to open a place that offers healthier fast food and much more.
“When people think of fast food they think of only a couple of restaurants,” Abadié said. “There is more to fast food than burgers and fries. Why can’t food be healthy and quick?”
Chef Luis Fernando Montoya believed strongly in the concept and got on board after just one meeting with the team. High caliber, gourmet fast food is seldom in this city. PnP is here to change that.
If you ask Abadié PnP could stand for many things, but it really means pizzas and panqueques, or Argentinean-style crepes. Don’t let the name fool you, though. No matter where you’re from or what your taste is, something on the menu is sure to catch your eye.
Carlos’ Grandfather’s Soup is described as “Miami in a bowl” by the staff. Mussels, prawns, potatoes and corn are served in a cream bisque broth that is good anytime of the year.
Marinated octopus and squid combines artichokes, olives, white beans and sun-dried tomatoes with fresh octopus and squid and a touch of coriander.
The panqueques might be Argentinean, but what’s inside is totally up to you. For a south of the border taste try the Manito’s crepe, which combines an eight-ounce beef tenderloin, corn, guacamole and refried beans. Curry and coconut pork loin crepe is marinated with coconut, raisins and green apple and served with an Indian-style curry coconut sauce. A Japanese approach is taken with the chicken and veggie teriyaki crepe, served with Chef Luis’ very own teriyaki sauce.
Vegetarians can also have it their way with avocado and eggplant crepes. Specialty cheese crepes are simple and delicious. Roquefort crepe is accompanied with crispy bacon, spinach, grilled onions and almonds. A fresh mozzarella, ham and pineapple crepe will leave you in a Hawaiian haze. The BBQ prawn crepe accompanies Pacific prawns with a signature BBQ sauce. And the sauteed fish crepe is ever-changing, as it uses the catch-of-the-day every day.
Made-to-order dessert crepes come in five different options, but the figs with goat cheese is a clear mouth-watering standout.
Abadié’s husband is a true barbecue pizza king and his creations inspire the pizza selections. Fire-grilled artisan pizzas include The Chef Special with Serrano ham, black truffles and fresh mozzarella and a hearts of palm pizza with pink sauce and boiled eggs. However, the Argentinean Sausage pizza with creamy Vizcaina sauce might be the most enticing.
With dishes from so many countries featured – when it comes to the authentic Argentinean dishes – you can count on PnP doing it right. Baked or fried empanadas are available in many choices. Beef comes with olives or with raisins on the sweet side. Mozzarella empanada with bacon and prunes is a great combination of sweet and savory.
PnP offers the perfect equilibrium of rustic and gourmet. The food is meant to be fast, but you’ll want to spend hours here. It’s both romantic and discreet, and spacious enough for an entire family. A full bar tempts with an endless choice of margaritas and beers.
Abadié wants people to know that everyone is welcome at PnP.
“We like people to know they have a place to go to whenever they need an escape, or a place to sit and smoke a cigarette and have an empanada,” Abadié said. “We don’t want to attract just tourists, but everyone on South Beach.”
PnP Beach Bar is located at 560 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.