Wednesday February 22, 2006

Laurenzo's Market

Sometimes, North Miami doesn’t know how good it’s got it. Exhibit A: Laurenzo’s Supermarket. Packing a prodigous selection into a space half the size of a Publix, it’s food heaven, and not just for Italian food fans.

You get a full-on bakery that has breads, rolls, pastries, and cakes, all in dozens of varieties, each looking more delicious (in a homemade kind of way) then the next. There’s a butcher with everything from sausage to squid, a full deli counter, a whole asile of food prepared on the premesis for your reheating and consumption pleasure, and yep, a restaurant of sorts.

Barilla sauce in a jar? Sure, they have it. But witness the 10 or so types of homemade sauce. Yum.

They don’t have everything, but what they have is usually in staggering variety. Pictured: aproximately 20 different types of olives. Also: boxes of pasta as big as a case of beer.

Also: Ailes of wine. Also: spices and sauces, crackers, cookies, and (duh) gigantic mounds of cheese. Also: friendly staff (it’s family run), which reminds me—the sign on the door (IN ALL CAPS):

Setting the Record Straight: Laurenzo’s has not sold and probably will never sell. We have enjoyed the past fifty-four years of business with our loyal customers and employees. We hope the Laurenzo family and staff will celebrate our 100th anniversary. We thank Everyone for their valued patronage and support. – Ben, David, CArol, Diana, and Robert Laurenzo.

Oh, and across the street? A farmer’s market! Does it ever end? Did I mention all this was next to a Spanish Monestary?

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  1. mek    Thu Feb 23, 08:04 AM #  

    Thank you for covering this. It is my hidden secret. We frequent the Spanish Monastery and then Laurenzo’s for lunch. You can sit inside and eat (they have lunch specials). Just us and a bunch of ole farts who can’t decide on which olives to get. Love it!

  2. MM    Thu Feb 23, 11:45 AM #  

    I LOVE Laurenzo’s! The fresh pasta is wonderful, the sauces delicious. And their cakes – wow!

  3. us    Thu Feb 23, 01:45 PM #  

    how about an address? and some directions?

  4. mek    Thu Feb 23, 05:43 PM #  

    near the corner of 163rd and dixie highway. pass the the railroad tracks if you are coming from aventura. there is a mcdonalds on the corner? sorry, i go by memory and not street names. plus i live in broward. the ph # 305.945.6381. The other mention alesh has made is the ancient spanish monastery which is right around the curve from Laurenzo’s. Touring the grounds and monastery is a must! if the gate is locked, enter from the church store. park in the lot and you will see the little shop in front. the stray cats will guide you. Bring a hunk of bread, some pecorino cheese, and olives and have lunch on the grounds. it’s lovely.

  5. mek    Thu Feb 23, 05:57 PM #  

    fyi – the monastery was shipped here from spain, brick by brick (stone slab really) and packed in hay filled crates at the turn of the century. The Hearst’s bought it, i believe, and stored it in a warehouse in Brooklyn or somewhere in NY. Decades later, it was then purchased by a church here and re-assembled. Problem was, the crates got all mixed up which contained detailed diagrams for assembly. So they had to figure it all out. Get a church bulletin in the church store or ask for the flyer with the history printed up. Did i mention that the monastery was built in Segovia, Spain, and completed in 1141 ?! Apparently it is the oldest European building in the Western Hemisphere.

    it is also located in dixie hwy, just around the curve (right bend at light) from laurenzo’s.

  6. alesh    Thu Feb 23, 11:19 PM #  

    mek~ do you have any photos of the place? it sounds like you’re 90% of the way towards a Critical Miami guest blog entry.


    Laurenzo’s Italian Supermarket
    16385 West Dixie Highway
    North Miami Beach, FL 33160-3708

    one block north of 163rd Street on Dixie Highway.

  7. Manola B    Thu Feb 23, 11:22 PM #  

    Funny, I was just driving by there today. If I get this English tutoring gig in Aventura, I’ll be sure to stop by on my way home to HoBe … I absolutely adore markets like these, and I didn’t know this one existed.

    Spanish monastery is just beautiful. Don’t know now after Wilma blew off the trees … but my friend had a wedding there, next to the well. It’s amazing that someone would go through so much trouble to transport an old building from Segovia! A real cultural treasure … considering there are at least three strip joints nary within two square miles.


  8. alesh    Thu Feb 23, 11:28 PM #  

    Like I said, North Miami has got it made. But strip joints? Never heard of that. you’ll have to point those out to me.

    btw, HoBe = Hollywood Beach? Hallover Beach? i give up?

    Speaking of markets, does anyone know of a good Chinese market near downtown? Seems all the ones I’ve ever been to are either extreme south, north, or west.

  9. Manola B    Fri Feb 24, 02:42 PM #  

    HoBe is my moniker for SoBe. To learn why, please visit the first entry of my blog, October 2005 “Wax and Pap”

    Well, as for the strip joints – not that I would know, or anything (wink, wink) – there’s a veritable “compound of smut” on the corner of US1 and 163rd. One half of the building is called La Bare and it’s for ladies who like guys. The other half is for guys who like ladies. (I’ve never had the need to recall the name.)

    I’ve only been to La Bare twice for bachelorette parties. Overpriced, to be sure, but the guys are extremely athletic and put on amazing shows. Worth the entry fee and the exorbitantly costly sugary cocktail: the opportunity to see someone like a Cuban grandma put a dollar bill in some hunk’s crotch. Even better: you can tell she’s a regular and has her favorites.

    Then there’s Scores just down the street. Again, for guys who like ladies. I’ve never been, but I have anecdotes from fellas who have.

    Smut aside, there’s also a gorgeous park near the monastery. Help me out here, is it the Northern version of Greynolds Park? I haven’t been since all the hurricanes in ‘05, but it used to have a boathouse, amazing shady trees, a little old coral-stone monument on a hill, and a lovely mangrove boardwalk where you can see all manner of critters, even little bats. The Friday after every Thanksgiving, there’s the Lumpy Sue Acoustic Music Festival, featuring local musicians, that raises funds for Habitat for Humanity.

    And let’s not forget Oleta State Park. Such a little slice of heaven in the concrete sprawl. Rent a canoe/kayak from Haulover marina and make it across the intracoastal, navigate the mangroves at the park. I did it once on a windy day, paddling against the current and warding off the jerks who don’t respect speed laws in their power boats.

    It was tough, but worth every penny. The area just south of Sunny Isles Causeway that intersects Oleta has a canal with tall red mangroves that is extremely quiet and peaceful to navigate in any kind of vessel. Well, at least it used to be that way … and I hope it still is. You might see a snook lurking under the mangrove roots for its prey, a manatee, an osprey flying above, an anhinga swimming under water (yes, a swimming bird) ... I hope hurricanes and development haven’t ruined this beautiful place.

    Plus, there used to be a floating bar in the middle of the intracoastal across the way, can anyone confirm if it’s still there?

    Wow, NMB really does have it made! Nature, smut, Spanish monasteries and great Italian markets!

  10. mek    Fri Feb 24, 03:52 PM #  

    alesh, there is a huge asian market right up the strip there on 162nd. can’t miss it. reddish plaza on your right. right before entering onto the 95 or turnpike ramp thing. sorry i am from broward so like i said i drive according to memory in miami. it may be more of a store than produce mkt but seems worth checking out. lanterns and whatnot. there are many asian mkts in broward that i can direct you to.