Dolphins Appetizers With Stone Crabs On The Side

I always like to pass along good opportunities for great food while traveling on the NFL trail. Usually that comes when the Chiefs hit the road, but they are not making a trip to Miami this year. But I wanted to pass along a couple must dos if you should get down to south Florida.

First, if you are looking for a local delicacy then its Joe’s Stone Crabs on Miami Beach. Should you be interested in dessert, specifically key lime pie, I’ve got another spot, a very Kansas City-like BBQ place named the Hitching Post out near the Miami Airport.

Stone crabs are found in the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean generally between the months of October and May. Thus, Joe’s Stone Crab is only open during that time frame. Hit Miami Beach in July and Joe’s is closed. Also know this – Joe’s does not take reservations. I’ve seen some pretty well known people standing in line at Joe’s on a Saturday night, including one time during Super Bowl week in Miami, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and his wife Norma.

In its time, Joe’s Stone Crab has enjoyed frequent visits from the likes of Al Capone, J. Edgar Hoover, Amelia Earhart, all the Kennedys, Walter Winchell, and Damon Runyon and on and on. It is as legendary as its most famous customers.

Overall, the food is good at Joe’s, but people go there first and foremost for the stone crab claws. Unlike some crab where it takes a lot of work to get at the meat of the matter, that’s not the case with stone crabs. They serve the claws only and you order based on size of the claws. A very tangy mustard sauce comes with the order.

There’s more to eat there than just stone crab, but other than a few sides I can’t remember a thing about the rest of the menu. Great hash brown-like potatoes they’ll serve with the crab and the fried green tomatoes were awesome. Located on Miami Beach, Joe’s is a little piece of old Florida. (Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL.)

The Hitching Post is just north of the Airport on Okeechobee Road. The BBQ is pretty tasty, with a dash of Cuban influence on everything. The restaurant is not much to look at and when it’s busy, better to do takeout. But get the key lime pie. An NFL scout turned me on to this place many years ago because of the pie. He took me there and it was heavenly. Don’t know if they make their own or buy it from some wholesaler. I just know the various times I’ve stopped it has never disappointed. (Hitching Post, 445 E Okeechobee Road, Hialeah, FL.)

Stone crabs and key lime pie – it always makes me think of Miami.

WHY IS HE STILL PLAYING?

Jason Taylor joined the Miami Dolphins in 1997 as a third-round draft choice out of the University of Akron. This is his 15th NFL season, but only his second visit ever to Arrowhead Stadium. Taylor arrives as the leading sack artist among active players – he now stands at No. 8 on the all-time list with 134.5 sacks

But Taylor has never had a sack against the Chiefs. In four games against Kansas City, he’s had 14 total tackles, forced five fumbles and recovered two of those. A lot of activity, but Taylor never had a sack against a Chiefs QB. The only other team that has shut him out over his career is the New York Giants.

He’s always been active off the field, appearing in Dancing with the Stars, on People magazine’s list of the 100 Most Beautiful People and for eight years he’s been the male spokesman for Neutrogena brand skin care for men. He’s married with three kids and a future in television.

At 37 years old and plenty of NFL bumps and bruises tattooed on his body, why is Taylor still playing?

“I’m still playing because I love the game of football,” Taylor said this week. “Practices aren’t always fun, training camp isn’t fun, but the game of football is the best. It’s been my life for the majority of my life and it’s hard to walk away from it. I don’t play for the money. I don’t play for the fame and the other things that come with it. I play because I love the game and I love having the chance to win.”

TONY AND TODD

For two seasons, the head coaches in Sunday’s game were part of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff under Bill Parcells in 2004-06. In fact, in 2005 Tony Sparano was the running game coordinator for the Dallas offense, while Todd Haley was the passing game coordinator.

They worked on the same side of the ball, and had to work together piecing together a game plan each week. That built a great deal of multiple respect between them.

“We keep in touch a lot, as much as I think head coaches can get on the phone during the course of the season, which is not much. Todd is a texter. Of course, I became a texter a couple years ago thanks to my daughter. We’ll text each other occasionally that type of stuff. We’ll visit with each other on the phone in the off-season quite a bit. But he’s a good friend of mine and a good coach. He’s done a nice job there.”

Good things about Sparano from Haley.

“I think a lot of Tony and how he does things,” Haley told the Miami media this week. “Anybody you care about that has to go through some of that you feel for. At the same time we’re all coaches in the NFL and we know that it comes with the territory and Tony’s a pretty tough-minded guy. Knowing his experience and background, it’s going to be hard to get him to crack.”

Sparano said the two coaches see the game through similar visions.

“I think philosophy wise we are pretty familiar with each other I would say,” Sparano said. “We both obviously grew up around a lot of the same people in this business. I think from a philosophical standpoint we’re probably similar.”

LEFTOVERS

Miami’s Jason Taylor on where Tamba Hali ranks among the league’s best pass rushers: “He’s got to be in the top five for sure. You’ve got Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware, (Dwight) Freeney can still bring it and I think Cameron (Wake) is up there. Tamba is definitely one of the tops in this league. He would be at the top of anybody’s list. He’s that kind of player.”

Sunday’s game will be the first time the Chiefs have seen former Heisman Trophy winning RB Reggie Bush. It’s also the first time they’ve seen QB Matt Moore. But WR Brandon Marshall has played seven games against the Chiefs, catching 44 passes for 483 yards and 6 TDs. On the flip side, the Chiefs have had limited playing exposure to the Dolphins. In 7 games, RB Thomas Jones had 522 yards on 141 carries and 4 TD runs. QB Matt Cassel has played Miami five times, throwing for 726 yards, with 6 TDs and 3 INT.


One Response to “Dolphins Appetizers With Stone Crabs On The Side”

  • November 5, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Maybe hiring Sparano next year as OC would be the perfect move since he and Todd are compatible.

    IMO, Haley has done a FANTASTIC job of making a team $30 Million under the cap tied for first in our Division. He has his team believing and me too!

    Pioli on the other hand needs to step it up on player acquisition. His drafts have been mediocre at best. Either he is also mediocre at free gent signings or he is accepting Clarkie’s financial restrictions with a smile.

    Thank goodness the new CBA will force Clarkie to spend up to 99% of the cap by 2013. That’s probably why he is not spending now, so he can pocket another $30 mil now.

    Haley may have his quirks, but at least he is ALL IN and has his players ALL IN. I can’t say the same for the young inherent owner and his GM.




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