Friday, August 07, 2009

Okra season at Chez Rosie

Chez Rosie used to be one of my stalwarts for lunch when they were located on Biscayne Blvd. Solid, inexpensive Haitian food cooked by a professionally trained chef who knows how to cook. Sitting outside in the scorching heat with my constant companion, who insisted on calling the chef 'Rosie'; and also loved to pronounce 'Chez' as CHEZZ, the hookers and crack heads would fight us for valuable sidewalk space. Oddly, although Chez Rosie moved to NW 2nd Ave. a while ago, during the great Biscayne Blvd. gentrification of 2005(?), the hookers have remained. In fact we lost several pretty good restaurants/take out joints in that time, and gained some dubious 'improvements', like Dogma, Karma (now Metro), UVA, Starbucks. There was a nice watering hole where Michy's is now, although most of their customers can be found two doors down at Jamboree. There was a restaurant called Citronelle a couple of blocks away, too (no relation to Michel Richard's L.A. restaurant of the same name). But Chez Rosie was the king, and I paid a visit the other day because it is okra season, and even though we are in the south, you don't necessarily see a lot of attention paid to one of our signature local vegetables. Probably because most people think okra is slimy and disgusting. And it is, especially if it is not prepared properly. If you can get it fresh from a farmer (Glaser's organic market in Coconut Grove, fyi), you can actually eat it raw-it's pretty amazing. But for the most part, that's only for crunchy organic types, and definitely not for everyone. But when you can say you've eaten raw okra, that is indeed a badge of honor in the south.

Here it is stewed, alongside some chicken, and a big mound of rice and beans. I think it was around $7, and I got two meals out of it. If you go, don't expect any glam surroundings. But the food is fresh, and you may even get a smile out of the chef if you ask how Chez Rosie got its name. (Hint-his name is NOT Rosie...)

Chez Rosie
5961 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127