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Mandy Baca

Miami, FL

Mandy Baca

Author of The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs & Empanadas and Discovering Vintage Miami.

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How Miami neighborhoods got their names

Ah, Miami-Dade County: the land of dreamers, visionaries, builders, and fabulously peculiar towns and neighborhoods. Before the real estate land boom of the 1920s it was a swampland, but that didn’t stop the country’s rich from coming to make their mark. These early pioneers came with big ideas that would be the beginning of quirky, one-of-a-kind places.
The New Tropic Link to Story
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Keeping Vintage Miami History Alive

I worked as an intern for Biscayne Times between 2009 and 2010. It was my first exposure to the editorial world, and I will be forever grateful. Since then, it’s been a long journey, one that has included the release of my first book, The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs and Empanadas (The History Press, 2013), and inclusion on Zagat Miami’s “30 Under 30” list of people redefining the local food industry.
Biscayne Times Link to Story
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A Melting Pot: Miami's Mouthwatering Latin Cuisine

Miami’s dining scene has sizzled with the flavors of Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s with the city’s first wave of Cuban immigration. Shortly thereafter, other cultures followed suit (Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Argentines, Mexicans, Peruvians and more) creating a mouthwatering melting pot of Latin cuisine.
Greater Miami and Beaches Link to Story
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Cocktail Crazy

Patios are apparently the new norm in Wynwood. Foodie favorite Alter has opened a new outdoor bar outfitted in lush greenery and stools at the intimate bar. Some standout cocktails include the Bob Thai Coconut with infused Plantation rum, coconut syrup, and lime; the Miraflores with pineapple infused La Diablada pisco, Cocchi, and chicha morada; and the Bandit with Woodford Reserve cooked with shitake, cocoa nibs, and maple.
Biscayne Times Link to Story
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19 Weird Things Only People From Miami Do

From the good to the bad, the mundane to the crazy (and what highways to avoid during rush hour), we Miamians know our way around the city. And through our journeys, we’ve noticed we happen to do things a bit... well, differently from everyone else. From our fervent love of air conditioning to non-stop complaining, here are 19 Miamisms in no particular order.
Thrillist Link to Story
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Miami Chefs Finally Get the Recognition They Deserve

Nominations for semifinalists in the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world, were recently announced and a handful of Miamians made the list -- José Mendin (Pubbelly Restaurant Group), Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House), Michael Pirolo (Macchialina), Deme Lomas (NIU Kitchen), Antonio Bachour (St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort), and both Bradley Kilgore and his restaurant, Alter.
Biscayne Times Link to Story
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The Most Underrated Bars in Miami

Back in the good ol' days of Miami, hanging out somewhere "underrated" meant going anywhere that wasn't a highly promoted, fashionable club. Now, with seemingly normal bars opening left and right (dare we say too many?) , it's easy to forget about the haunts that were there for you when you needed them most.
Thrillist Link to Story
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Everything You Absolutely Need to Do in Miami This Spring

Manatees hate the cold just like Miamians do. And on cold winter days, the 16,000 sqft center is where you’ll find herds basking in the warm-water outflows from FPL’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center.
Thrillist Link to Story
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Stand-up Comics Explain How To Nail Your First Time On Stage

Before you get up there and attempt what is widely considered one of the hardest forms of performance there is, you're going to need to accept that you will most likely be frighteningly, nuclear bomb-unfunny. But "nailing" your first performance isn't about necessarily taking the house down; it's about being good enough to keep going for that second time and beyond.
Thrillist Link to Story
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Famous Chefs on Their First Nights in the Kitchen

It’s a long road to becoming a chef, but it can be a fun ride if you’ve got the chops. We asked some of the country’s coolest chefs about their own first evers in the kitchen. From peeling fibrous vegetables to fighting through a possible blood clot to working in 115 degree kitchens -- here are their stories and some of the lessons they learned along the way.
Thrillist Link to Story
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Local-Approved Miami Spots for Avoiding Tourists

Urban Dictionary -- the MOST trusted dictionary -- defines a tourist trap as “a place specifically designed to attract stupid tourists and take their money.” This definition is particularly apt for describing around 80% of the places in Miami. But hey, it's only normal.
Thrillist Link to Story
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New Restaurants Just Keep Coming

Mignonette (210 NE 18th St., 305-374-4635) has spiced things up with Big Easy-style additions to its menus. Items include the Sweet Stuff Waffle and Conch Fritter Benedict for brunch and the P-Muffuletta served on its famed Portuguese muffin and Fancy Swordfish for dinner. How about weekday deals?
Biscayne Times Link to Story

About

Mandy Baca

I am a freelance writer covering the topics of food, history and culture. I am also the author of The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs and Empanadas (The History Press, 2013) and Discovering Vintage Miami (Globe Pequot Press, 2014). I reside in the vibrant city of Miami where I continue my quest to inspire and advance the interest in local history. I am available for freelance work and would love to hear from you.