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Why Everyone Loves Big Pink

August 11, 2011 By Jess in Miami: Food & Restaurant News  | 13 Comments

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Most people need no introduction to Big Pink in South Beach. One of Miami’s most famous restaurants, Big Pink is the stereotypical American diner: great food at great prices, large portions and friendly surroundings. It is loved by everyone, from locals and tourists to couples and families with children. And let’s not forget the celebrities that eat there, including Halle Berry, Lebron James, the Kardashians, Flo Rida, Derek Jeter, and the Jersey Shore cast. The movie There’s Something About Mary starring Cameron Diaz filmed there and it has been used as the background for TV commercials. You just never know who you might see eating at Big Pink.

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Since opening in 1996, the restaurant has become known for catering to everyone, with crayons and games for the kids, a fabulous Sunday brunch with $8 mimosas for the couples and opening hours till 5am for the late night Miami clubbers. And when they call it Big Pink, they mean big, literally! The menu is huge in size, and the portion sizes are even bigger. Expect to go home full, or at least carrying a to-go box. No one leaves disappointed, and here’s why:

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THE BIG PINK MENU

Big Pink’s motto is ‘We serve real food for real people, really’. With over 200 items to choose from on their menu you can’t fail to find something you want to eat. Breakfast is served all day and you will find it hard to choose between the mouth watering waffles, French toast or five egg omelettes.

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For lunch and dinner, possible appetizer choices include popcorn shrimp, homemade chilli, crab cakes and macaroni and cheese to name a few. The salads are served ‘pyramid’ style, meaning you could be eating the leftovers for days. They serve the regulars with Greek, Caesar and Cobb, but they also have spicy Vietnamese beef, flaked salmon and Chinese chicken. Then there are the many burgers, pizzas, pastas, wraps and sandwiches, along with side buckets containing fries, onion rings, chips and wings, all totally delicious.

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The TV dinner changes nightly and is advertised on the board along with the daily specials. And don’t forget to try the homemade desserts made daily on the premises, which include peanut butter pie, apple cobbler, Oreo cheesecake and their famous Key Lime pie, known for being the best on the beach.

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Matt and Mona making the homemade whipped cream

BREAKFAST, BRUNCH AND THE LUNCH CROWD

With an opening time of 8am, it is not uncommon to see off duty police officers, jet lagged tourists and families with young children fill up the place as soon as the doors open. As the day continues, the beach crowd appears and cocktails begin to be ordered. For weekend brunch, waiting times can be long as people crowd at the door for tables opening up, but it’s worth the wait for one of the Big Pink waffles. Great for birthdays and parties, you will often see large groups take up the entire long tables, most recently including a local elementary school, treating the children who had achieved good academic grades.

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South Pointe Elementary School Party

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DINNER, DELIVERY AND THE LATE NIGHT CROWD

The evening brings in people hungry after a day in the sun, guys wanting to catch the game over some food at the bar, and couples on dates. With the weekend opening hours till 5am, the evening stays busy as the younger crowd fresh from a night out in South Beach head over for late night food. 4am can be as busy as 4pm as people come in search of fried food after a night of drinking. But if you don’t make it over there to satisfy your alcohol craving for food and wake up the next day in need of a hangover cure, don’t worry. There is always the delivery service which operates using cute pink VW bugs, delivering food as soon as the restaurant reopens to start the day all over again.

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Sunday Brunch crowds waiting for a table

WHY PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE WITH BIG PINK

Maybe it’s the eye catching VW bugs that deliver the food. Or the pink theme that runs throughout the entire restaurant, from the bright tables to the pink lemonade. Kids love the coloring paper and playing the games on the drinking cups. The adults love the supersize menu and the sheer amount of choice on it. For some it’s being able to order breakfast at any time of day, for others it is the welcoming atmosphere and watching the game at the bar with a cold beer. I know of a few locals that would not have survived their hangover without the Big Pink delivery service. Whatever it is you need, Big Pink caters for it. And what’s not to love about that?

Related Categories: Miami: Food & Restaurant News,

A SoBe resident for 5 years, Jess’s writing focuses on healthy living in South Beach with a dose of British humor and a cheerful outlook on life in Miami. She can be found moderating the forum Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Jess.

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13 Comments on

"Why Everyone Loves Big Pink"

Christy says:

How could you do an article on BP and not mention the big cookie or the cute waiters?? I totally agree they have the hangover breakfast cure. When I eat there I mostly order the California blt, but ask for more turkey and less bacon..plus it comes with homemade seasoned chips. My drink of choice is the pink lemonade with vodka but I think you have to special order it. Hi Matt!

Posted on 08/11/2011 at 1:22 PM

Mike LaMonica says:

Jess, this is great! I love the Big Pink, but your timing is horrible. I am on a strict Paleo diet for August, but it looks liek I’ll be at Big Pink Sept. 1. It’s walking distance from my place on the beach and my son loves it as well as all my friends who come in from out of town. We make it a must. Like your said. locals, tourists and kids as well.

@Christy. I am at issue with you. More turkey an more bacon is the way to go.

Great post Jess!

~Mike

Posted on 08/12/2011 at 7:09 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

This is all well and good if you don’t mind waiting half an hour for someone to come to your table. And you don’t like things like drink refills or more than one glass of water. Big Pink should be glad Cafe Nexxxt is still in business or it would hands-down have the worst service in the city. It should also be glad that the next closest establishment that serves food is Ted’s Hideaway.

That said the food at Big Pink is selectively good. Like the desserts are really good and there’s a few items on the menu that are good. But you will find more that are Denny’s-esque or worse. I wouldn’t recommend going there if you are looking for good food. Just maybe a lot of food that’s not weird.

Still, at least the place doesn’t take itself too seriously. Which is more than can be said for a lot of places in Miami.

Posted on 08/12/2011 at 8:00 PM

Olaf Peeterssohn says:

Plain junk food that´s all—- lots of empty calories, grease with no nutritional values and sizes so big to foster obesity And you complain why in USA you have so much overweight and diabetics=  Maybe once every six months to eat something after a night club night but really… no good food I rather wait till I go back home in Oslo——- Auf Wiedersehen!  Bye

Posted on 08/14/2011 at 1:48 PM

r-k says:

Good pictures, but the review is so one-sided that I have to offer another view.

I have eaten at Big Pink a few times (BTW, re-check the opening date, I definitely remember eating there in early 2005), and while the food and service are somewhat above average for Miami Beach, and it is a good option to have in the area, I avoid it for the following reasons:

(1) The food portions are way too large, and more than what about 80% of people can hope to finish. As a result, there is tremendous overeating and/or wastage of food. In this day and age this is inexcusable, and the main reason I neither visit the place unless dragged along by the someone else, nor recommend it. The last time I had breakfast there I think it was like 1500+ calories.

(2) The ambience is reminiscent of a school cafeteria, noisy and too many seats cramped into the space available. This does not bother me so much, but some people may not like this. In light of the overcrowding I actually think the staff (servers and cooks) do a good job keeping things moving and the quality of food is overall decent (other than the complete lack of attention to their customers’ calorie count).

Posted on 08/14/2011 at 7:24 PM

Jess says:

Good catch on the date rk. It was a typo on my part and was meant to be 1996. It is now changed.

Christy, I never really eat the big cookies, I leave that up to you. I am a Key Lime fan myself. And the pink lemonade vodkas are great, next time you’re in town we’ll drink some.

Mike, I lived one block away from Big Pink for over two years… I know it can be tough if you are trying to eat healthy! I compromise with ordering egg white omelettes smile

Matt, I agree they sometimes have bad servers but they don’t last long and most restaurants will have a couple of weak servers. But they also have really good ones. Helene who works the morning shift has been there since the restaurant opened. My parents always sit at her table when they are in town as she can remember her customers favorite dishes without even being asked. First day of their vacation they sit at her table and she can reel off my Dad’s breakfast order without hesitating. Service like that is why people come back.

Posted on 08/15/2011 at 9:38 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Well, Jess, we made a deal back in June so I’ll bite my tongue here. I’ll just leave it while YOUR dad’s breakfast order may be remembered, I’m not so sure that would be true for everyone.

That said, yeah, there are some good servers there I suppose. But on the times I’ve gone myself (dating back to 2001) I very often find myself sitting at the table 10-15 minutes before anyone comes up. And drink refills are typically not a concept unless you get up and do it yourself.

Posted on 08/15/2011 at 7:44 PM

Rick says:

Complaints about calories at what is essentially a deli? Really? Next thing you know someone will be griping about the strong smell of coffee at Starbucks.

Posted on 08/15/2011 at 8:39 PM

r-k says:

Or, next thing you know, someone will be griping about other peoples’ comments on an Internet blog post. Oh wait… someone already did.

Posted on 08/16/2011 at 12:44 AM

b-l says:

Exactly, r-k.

Posted on 08/16/2011 at 6:52 AM

Scott says:

Jess, I have to tell you that almost immediately after reading this, I ordered delivery from there.  I rarely do because I think it’s a little pricey for what it is.  And oddly, I’ve yet to actually eat AT Big Pink (mainly because I feel the same way as r-k in terms of crowding), though I’ve been inside and sat outside briefly with friends.

Overall, my experience is similar to Matt’s in that it is entirely hit or miss.  I absolutely love their grilled mushroom kebabs and a couple of other items, but there are some things I’ve had that have just been… well Matt said it best: Denny-esque or worse.

There are some things they clearly do well, and others they clearly don’t.

Posted on 08/16/2011 at 11:43 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

If me and Scott agree on it, it pretty much HAS to be true. Because this may well be a first.

Posted on 08/17/2011 at 6:32 PM

Doug says:

Even though I lived in South Beach for a year, I never made it to Big Pink.  I’ll have to check it out on the next visit.  Sometimes, Dennys-esque just hits the spot!

Posted on 08/18/2011 at 12:36 PM

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