How PB Station Has Taken Miami’s Business Lunch To The Next Level
By Laura Latham for Colors & Flavors
It’s been heard through the grapevine about how both ultra-flavorsome and time efficient PB Station’s lunch is, a venue where you can pull up a chair, enjoy a proper 3 course meal and still manage to be back in the office for that weekly afternoon meeting. This was a very nice rumor that I wasn’t too sure in actuality would live up to its famed Miami hype. I wanted to see for myself if these elements could really combine and create the foundations for one of the city’s best new business lunch spots. So I decided to take a step beneath the faux station arches, host a 12 o’clock meeting there and discover for myself. Get ready Chef Jose Mendin and Executive Chef Guillermo Concha, let’s see what you’ve got cooking in your Downtown kitchen!
I was greeted by a very popular venue, and although we didn’t book, the hostess seated us right away within the Downtown bustle. Our first move was to take advantage of their Miami Spice menu that is still in full swing. We ordered a combination each of: the soup of the day, an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert, with the flavors of the Americas boldly intertwined throughout. Blimey though, four courses, that’s a lot to get through on a lunch break I thought. However, we ventured on discussing our creative agenda and the first to be delivered out of the kitchen was the soup of the day. Expectations equals a large piping hot bowl of soup (I’m one of those people who have eyes bigger than their belly) and so when a petite tea cup arrived with a chilled cucumber blend we were slightly bewildered yet pleasantly surprised by its lightness and the way it refreshed you, especially on a sweltering hot summers day.
Glancing around the room it was filled to the brim with men in chequered and striped shirts, blazers decorating the backs of chairs and ladies dressed in their inner city work attire, deep conversations taking place at each table, a whole different world to Miami Beach, where the chill bikini lifestyle is just a stone’s throw away across the Venetian Causeway.
With a swift and subtle service, smooth all the while, the Caesar Salad and BBQ Dates were next to adorn the table. The dates are a Pubbelly classic, something I’ve indulged in before, it is a must out here for anyone who hasn’t sunk their teeth into one. Warm, with a smooth texture, the date is sweet, the bacon salty, overall very rich and although slight in size, it’s the perfect amount for lunch.
By the time our mains were fresh off the grill we’d already gotten through a glass of Prosecco and a Booze Hound cocktail. I’d like to give a gracious nod to Derek Stilmann, Bar Chef at Pawn Broker, the Pubbelly Boys rooftop bar, who composed the restaurant’s inventive cocktail menu. It was definitely time for round two at that point and onto the next topic of our meeting. Although slightly loud from the packed tables and ambiance music, we had enough personal space and could hear ourselves perfectly well to get on without any complaints. The service at PB Station was discreet which is great as we needed to focus on our work dialogue, whilst filling ourselves up with the New American grub, no distractions necessary.
On to the mains, the Steak Frites was flawlessly cooked, a melt in your mouth cut of red meat, the chimichurri, an Argentinian and Uruguayan sauce, was a great touch to enhance the natural juices of the steak. The Gruyere Burger was just as tasty, the meat sandwiched between a soft brioche bun that was gently grilled to a slightly sweet and crisp perfection. The fries, oh the fries, they’re addictive! Appropriately portioned, and aptly seasoned, I could have definitely eaten more, I would have been rolling back to the office though!
Onto the finale and what I thought was the crème de la crème. The desserts. Chef Navarro and Chef Orantes, you have both done yourself proud. The element I love about eating one of their desserts is that you’re always wondering ‘what flavor am I going to discover next?’. What an exquisite collection of tastes they’ve crafted between them. We ordered the Fudge My Life and Mango & Pistachio Kulf, a wave of flavor hits you, from the tang of the mango purée to the smoothness of the bold banana ice cream.
Just over an hour it took to indulge ourselves, could easily be an hour, we just like to chit chat that’s all. The discussions of our meeting drew to a close on an optimistic note and one thing I really liked is that I felt content, not too full that I couldn’t focus at work and definitely not too empty I was thinking about my next meal. I was fully fueled, satisfied and ready to take on my afternoon.
With the bill swiftly taken care of we were off back to the office. I caught the eye of Alex on our way out, the Restaurant’s Manager, he made sure we were well looked after throughout our meal, and he noted that as soon as the clock strikes 11:40 am, PB Station is swarming with business men and women ready for their midday feed and as soon as 1:30 pm rings out, it’s as though Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother’s magic has worn off and the place becomes a noiseless train station, nestled in the heart of Downtown, awaiting it’s evening rush.
To conclude, there are absolutely no qualms here, I’m convinced, Chef Jose Mendin has taken Miami’s business lunch to the next level. In a nutshell it’s the perfect 9 til 5 lunch escape with its blend of: swift and subtle service, perfect portion sizes, and those exceedingly delicious desserts. PB Station permits you to comfortably eat a 3 to 4 course meal, that doesn’t leave you overwhelmingly full like some places, but nicely content. Notable, is that you can hold a conversation, without being intruded by others voices and a piece of advice is that it may be a good thought to reserve, just for peace of mind, but the hostess appeared to greet walk-ins with open arms although very busy. Hats off to you Jose Mendin, you have Miami’s business lunch down to a fine art.
Yep, we’ll back, probably next week as it goes!
Price Note: Our bill was approx $43 pp excluding tip. This does include 2 alcoholic beverages each though, which can of course quickly tally up the total.
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