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July 30, 2013

Yelp Miami’s Monumental Journey

Posted by Johnny Todd

Let it not be said that there’s no jaw-dropping Asian fare to be found in Miami. All one has to do is take a trip to find it. ‘Trip’ like passports and airfare? Not this time. The only physical travel involved getting to Lincoln Road and walking into Khong River House. Starstruck members of the Yelp Miami Elite Squad learned this first-hand when they entered into a culinary journey down the Mekong River for Yelp’s Khong Day Journey Into Night.

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While breakfast might not be the first meal you associate with northern Thai cuisine, it’s safe to say that after this event you’ll be eager to start your day with papaya salad, mini coconut & sesame pancakes served with Mekong rum punch, taro root hash topped with poached egg & Thai hollandaise, grilled pineapple skewers, and rotisserie pork belly buns. And who needs OJ and coffee when there’s Cava with guava, lychee or mangosteen & A Very Thai Bloody Mary to drink?

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Lunchtime got an upgrade. Why? How? Banh Mi Bites (pork rillettes and grilled tofu) and Burmese Egg Noodle with Local Vegetable are a good start. Rotisserie chicken buns with kai soi curry and house-made pickles kept the momentum going and Thai Iced Tea & Singha Beer made sure that a post-recess nap was in the future for the thrilled guests.

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But there was no time to sleep; dinner was upon this road-tasted crew of urban adventurers.  Stretched bellies were the perfect match for Famous Thai Fried Chicken Bites, Burmese Fresh Noodle Wraps, Korat Beef Jerky, House-made Chiang Rai Sausage, and Slow-cooked Whole Pork Leg with fresh steamed buns. The evening hour (meal) called for cocktails and Khong answered with the Killer B (gin, lemon, chili syrup) & The Stone Cold Rocky (Gin, apricot liqueur, lemon, and bitter lemon soda) made with Farmer's Organic Gin.

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Who can go without dessert? Not these Elites. Luckily, there was plenty of Thai Donuts with assorted dipping sauces, Mini Chocolate Trifles, Guava Jellies, and Petit Fours to keep sweet teeth sated. But the sweetest part of the evening was hearing from the dynamic duo who made these spectacular eats possible: Chef Cristian and Mama Pai.

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It was an evening of culinary travel, exploration, fun, music — and confession. Soul-baring Elites wrote down their most private confessions or hoped-for dreams on paddles and laid them upon the wall for the world to see and universe to handle. Intrepid photographer Alex H took all the shots you want to see here. Elated Elites penned ecstatic reviews here. Being a tourist in your own city has never been so fulfilling.

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Rollin’ on the river,

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Johnny T

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