A new menu at gigi sounded enticing. Known for an eclectic brunch that includes a way too small portion of meatloaf with tomato jam and a rice-crusted French toast, I was looking forward to seeing what they had in store for dinner. Maybe some new menu items would be waiting in place of the customary ones, I thought.
When I walk in I always feel like I’m visiting the warehouse apartment of a guy who just landed his first full-time corporate job. He’s trying hard not to lose his edge and grittiness now that he’s a true adult. Gigi screams “I’m still in my twenties, God damn it!”
Our ditzy waitress tried to explain that the recent revamp included substitutions to certain ingredients rather than dishes themselves. From what I could conclude, the meatloaf now came with plantains instead of tomatoes because it’s Spring and other dishes were changed to accommodate seasonal ingredients. Not so much of a new menu.
On one hand I was disappointed to not see so many new things, but on the other I was glad that my old favorites were there. Knowing that the cornbread with honey bacon butter was on its way soon made everything better. I also knew a fight would probably ensue between my friends for the two pieces that come for $5. We ordered two servings to keep the bruises at a minimum.
Also as an appetizer we had a warm salad of brussel sprouts and cauliflower served with bacon and soy sauce. This was my first warm salad and I am definitely hooked. A bacon reappearance never hurt anyone.
Different daily dishes are prepared and this day was the pork and pineapple fried rice. I opted for that since it was something new. For $16, you get a hefty amount of rice and pineapple. But the pork was almost no where to be found. Maybe four pieces in the entire dish. The chili peppers used paired nicely with the sweet pineapple, but more pork would have really made this dish a winner. More of everything would really make gigi a winner.
The taste of gigi’s dishes are never in question. My friend was ecstatic over the black bean sauce served with her fish and grilled yellow squash. Her eyes lit up as soon as the fork touched her tongue. And I have a similar sentiment for the gigi bar. Knowing the restaurant will be open at 4 a.m., a hand-made candy bar with nutella and chocolate mousse is what keeps me going during a long Saturday night. And you can’t stop by gigi’s without trying a cookie from the cookie jar, or seeing what ice cream flavor was made for the day. Orange ice cream was served this night, marrying the flavors of orange cream soda with a Flintstones orange push pop.
Gigi is located at 3470 North Miami Avenue. Once in a while, it’s a nice place to go on a culinary adventure. I just expect more for my buck. Expect to also pay around $5 for parking in the area and be aware that you will be charged $1 for water. That might cause a ruckus in some families.