Joe’s Stone Crab

Joe's Stone CrabFor more than 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab.

The restaurant was opened in 1913, by Joe Weiss, who began his Miami Beach career by cooking at Smith’s Casino. Joe’s is the top buyer of Florida stone crab claws, and it plays a significant role in the industry, influencing the wholesale price and financing many crabbers.

Even though stone crabs are their most famous dish now, fish was served, rather than crabs, when the restaurant first opened.

Joe’s Stone Crab is often visited by politicians, actors, and athletes. The restaurant is reputedly referenced in Ian Fleming’s novel “Goldfinger” as “Bill’s on the Beach” in which James Bond ate the best meal he had ever eaten in his life.

There are two sections to Joe’s – the Take Away section, although you can eat in too, and theJoe's Take Away main restaurant that offers a lunch and dinner menu.

Joe’s Take Away, is the best of both worlds. The Take Away is casual dining serving three meals a day, 7 days a week with a coffee bar and private room, JoAnns, for special occasions.

There’s a selection of breakfasts and speciality dishes available starting from 7:30am and yes Stone Crab is available for breakfast if you wish.

They have seasonal opening hours that coincide with the Stone Crabbing season (Oct 15 to May 15). When the season is over, Joe’s Take Away closes and the main restaurant only offers a reduced dinner menu available in the evening.

They also offer the famous authentic Key Lime Pie. You can buy them by the slice or alternatively take a whole pie away. This is a great option as you can freeze it until you need a piece (if it lasts that long!).

Interesting Facts about the Florida Stone Crab

The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. Its sweet taste and perfect texture, however, means its popularity has spawned a number of impersonators, including Pacific Rock Crab, Baja Stone Crab, Red Rock Crab and Japanese Crab (to name a few).

Select your fresh Stone Crabs
Select your fresh Stone Crabs

Because these non-Florida Stone Crabs don’t have the benefit of the warm tropical waters of the Keys and Gulf, they are stringier in texture and much gamier in taste. That’s why at Joe’s Stone Crab they only serve the real thing.

Florida Stone Crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts but are commercially harvested almost entirely in Florida. In the wild, adult Stone Crabs are easily recognized by their oval body and two large claws.

The adult body of the Stone Crab is dark brownish red, more or less mottled and spotted with dusky gray. An interesting feature about the Stone Crab is the mark on the inside of the large claw that resembles a thumb print.

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Coral Castle Museum

If you are ever traveling down this way, you have to make time to visit the Coral Castle Museum.

Coral Castle was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.

The castle was originally located in Florida City in the 1920’s but was moved single-handedly to it’s present location by Ed in the 1930’s.

It was a fascinating tour. When you arrive you are greeted by one of the tour guides who will direct you to join one of the on-going tours – don’t worry you won’t miss anything as it’s a circular tour and you can join and re-join as many times as you wish if you missed any part of it.

Ed was only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall but as you wander around you will be amazed at how this sleight man could maneuver large heavy and rough coral slabs to construct a selection of beds, tables, walls, his workshop and sleeping quarters.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Some of the features at the Coral Castle include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of a finger, a Polaris telescope pin-pointing precisely where the north star is located and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

There is also the world’s largest and heaviest Valentine. The table is a perfect heart shape and weighs 5000 pounds!

The 9 ton gate is perfectly balanced and moves extremely easily. It is Ed’s amazing engineering skills that continue to baffle experts and visitors.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Ed accomplished this by drilling an eight foot longitudinal hole that precisely aligns with stone’s centre of gravity for perfect balance. The door fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side. The door is so perfectly balanced that it can be easily pushed open using only a finger. How he did this remains a mystery, as even the most advanced electronic analysis equipment we have today would find it difficult to reproduce it.

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The Rising Tide

Today is a guest post from my friend Marion. She recently visited an open air exhibit with a difference and shared her pictures with me. It would have been something I would have loved to see in person.

However, we are lucky to have technology at our fingertips to make sharing our experiences much easier…so now I’m able to share her pictures with you too.

The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor (London, England)

The first London commission of world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, The Rising Tide, is concealed and revealed by the daily ebb and flow of the tide on the Vauxhall foreshore. These four proud horses and their riders highlight the role of the Thames as the lifeblood of London, shaping the city’s great history as an ever evolving centre for culture, industry and commerce.

Marion stayed to capture the photos from low to high tide (do you know how long that would have taken?) Due to her tenacity and patience we can see how the sculptures are covered by the River Thames over time.

“As it was such a stunning day I watched the incoming tide flow around them until they disappeared…. it was like a meditation .. not just watching the sculptures but the river too.”

The Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament

You can find out more about the artist and the sculptures here

All photographs in this article taken with thanks  © M Sumerfield

Miami Street Names

A Brief Guide to Miami’s Street Names

Collins Avenue
John Collins was a farmer and land developer who built the first wooden bridge from Miami to Miami Beach in 1913

Flagler Street

Miami Beach Celebrated 100 years this year (2015)
Miami Beach Celebrated its 100th Birthday this year (2015)

Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway made connections to Miami a reality. Before 1896 there was no easy way to move goods or people out of Miami. The railroad arrived in April of that year. Henry Flagler is known as the “father” of Miami and his name pops up in many places in South Florida.

Biscayne Blvd
This street takes it name from the Biscayne Bay

No longer connected - a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL
No longer connected – a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL. Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway made connections possible. It’s a shame it has long since disappeared.

Brickell Avenue

William and Mary Brickell owned a trading post on the south side of the Miami River. In the late 1800’s everything south of the river was called Brickell for many years.

Julia Tuttle Causeway
If Henry Flager is considered the “father” of Miami then Julia Tuttle is the “mother” of Miami. She gave Henry Flagler a hard time and persuaded him to extend his rail line 65 miles south from Palm Beach to Miami.

Rickenbacker Causeway

If you're feeling fit you an cycle across and visit Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Florida Park
If you’re feeling fit you can cycle across the Rickenbacker Causeway and visit Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Florida Park

This name comes from the WW1 ace pilot, Eddie Rickenbacker who then became the president of Eastern Airlines which had its base in Miami.

Killian Drive
Dan Killian had a country store south of what is now called Coral Gables and was responsible for the first schools, streetlights and churches in the area

Don Shula Expressway
Don Shula was the Miami Dolphins coach. He retired in 1997 and holds the coaching record for the most wins in the NFL (347). He coached the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in the NFL history to play a perfect 16-0 season and win the Super Bowl.

Ives Dairy Road and Milam Dairy Road

Ives Dairy Road - no longer the home of the dairy!
Ives Dairy Road – no longer the home of the dairy!

Once upon time these roads went to actual Dairy Farms. Now Ives Dairy Road leads to the Sun Life Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play. Milam Dairy Road goes to the city of Miami Lakes. The Milam family chain of grocery stores can still be found in the area.

I think it is a shame that the Dairy Farms are no longer there and have been replaced by a stadium – what do you think?

Do you know any other origins of Miami street names?


Hidden Treasures – Rock Garden Pond

If you take a walk along the bay near Bayfront Park, look out for a well hidden treasure – a rock garden pond complete with mini bridge, water-lillies and lots of trees and plants.

It’s very relaxing and tranquil and if there’s a spare bench why not sit and chill a while.


Address: 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

The Farmer

Whilst traveling out and about we popped into The Fresh Approach to have lunch. Outside they have a tractor and a sign reminding us how valuable farmers are to keep a country going and everyone fed.

Thought provoking words
Thought provoking words

I found an article called Lessons of Farm Life Invaluable and wanted to share an excerpt which compliments the plaque I found at The Fresh Approach and is a reminder how hard farmers have to work to keep things ticking.


Responsibility: No matter how late you party on Saturday night, the cows have to be milked on schedule, even on Sunday morning.

Perseverance: Even if the tomato rows are endless, and the hay bales heavy, you keep going until the job is done. And even if a hailstorm destroys your tomato crop just as it is ready to harvest, you start again next year.

Crisis management: If the electricity goes out because of an ice storm, and the regular milker can’t come in, you figure out how to get 100 cows milked.

Appreciation: If you enjoy a good hamburger with lettuce and tomato and French fries, you know that they didn’t “just appear” in the restaurant. Somewhere, one farmer grew wheat for the bun; another, corn to feed the beef cattle that another farmer raised.

Patience: A farmer invests thousands of dollars, plus many hours of “sweat equity” in his crops. Then his profit depends largely on things over which he has no control: the weather and the markets. And if a cow needs his attention all night, he will be there.

Resourcefulness: A farmer is many things: Businessman, mechanic, soil scientist, civil engineer, amateur veterinarian, community leader; the list could go on.

You can read the original article here at

An Oliver Tractor
An Oliver Tractor

Labor Day Weekend Sunday Sunrise

A great way to start the day, if you’re up early, is to pop down to the beach and enjoy the free sunrise show. This is exactly what we did this morning.


To make the experience even more comfortable we sat on our beach chairs with tea and coffee in a couple of travel mugs.


A great way to get the day started
A great way to get the day started


Morning Sunrise over Miami Beach
Morning Sunrise over Miami Beach
The warm glow that follows
The warm glow that follows and it begins to hot up!

Have a Happy Labor Day Weekend wherever you spend your early mornings!

Dadeland North Station

As stations go, you can’t beat Dadeland North Station.

It’s elevated high up and has a great view of the Snapper Creek canal one way and The Dairy Queen the other.

From the elevated station platform you get a great view of the Snapper Creek Canal
From the elevated station platform you get a great view of the Snapper Creek Canal

This station is located at the intersection of South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Southwest 83rd Street on the Snapper Creek, two blocks north of Kendall Drive and two blocks south from the US 1–Snapper Creek Expressway (SR 878) junction.

The station is conveniently located if you wish to visit the Dadeland Mall.
The station is conveniently located if you wish to visit the Dadeland Mall.