August 11, 2018
S & S Diner 2699 Biscayne Blvd Miami, Florida 33137
Miami is a special place. Over several decades, it has seen some very interesting times and changes. Through it all, the architecture and culture have remained uniquely Miami.
Current day finds Miami living through a building extravaganza. You can’t go a quarter mile without seeing renovations or new construction that harkens back to the city’s historic architecture and palate. It seems like the “powers that be” with regard to the zoning and architecture, have preserved a uniquely Miami-modernistic, pastel infused style. BIG bucks are being pumped into modern-day Miami. I’ll never be able to afford a place here, but at least I get to visit.
Layovers for our company include flying into FLL (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International) and MIA (Miami International Airport). Regardless, either provides opportunity to see and experience a variety of what Miami offers, as far as culture and good eats!
For this blog, we had an unexpected layover, very late in the day (or should I say early morning) at MIA. Florida weather being what it is, we got delayed for several hours due to thunderstorms. After a day of dodging thunder bumpers, diverting, refueling, and then and finding the smoothest rides possible into MIA, we unfortunately “timed out” of duty day.
The FAA and NTSB have done some wonderful research, as a result of some fatigue related accidents and incidents, to regulate and protect pilots and passengers from the insidious effects of fatigue. Now, there are very clear and specific rules in place now to insure the pilots you fly with aren’t being overstretched and pushed to fly into unsafe situations, with regard to ever-lengthening duty days. Pilots are empowered by federal regulations to be able to tap-out when they reach a fatigue level that could negatively impact the safe conduct of the flight. Preserving the wellbeing of the crew and passengers is paramount. From the the passengers perspective, It can be seen as a real inconvenience, if you’re on a flight where the pilots elect to exercise this responsibility, but the alternative can be potentially catastrophic. In my few years of flying in the industry, I can say I have never seen or heard of a pilot team using this option to get out of work. It is a serious situation, and the company, union, and FAA look at each ‘fatigue out’ occurrence to help determine what caused it. The events are closely tracked and cataloged to help improve overall safety by avoiding future the events that could lead to a similar fatigue situation, if at all possible.
In our situation, we didn’t fatigue out, but the rules in place drove us to canceling the last scheduled leg of the day because we would have had too long of a duty day. The system worked.
After a goodnights sleep, I woke up to a wonderful view of Port Miami, and several condo constructions projects. Feeling a need to stretch my legs, I got up and started walking north on Biscayne Boulevard. Within 15 minutes I found a gem of a spot for a uniquely Miami breakfast and Cuban Coffee!
S & S Diner is a tiny place and easily overlooked. Had I not been walking past, I would have zoomed past it in traffic. I am so glad I didn’t.
As you can see for the pictures, you can sit outside and watch the passersby on Biscayne Blvd. Considering I hadn’t planned on overnighting in Florida, I only had bluejeans to wear. I’ve lived in FL in the past, and you do get used to the humidity, but for this short layover, I was not prepared for it–I sat inside enjoying the air conditioning and aromas.
Looking for something bridge breakfast and lunch, I saw the Grilled Fish of the Day and Eggs. Served with home potatoes and rye toast, it hit the spot. The fish (grouper, I believe…I forgot, but it was dang good!) was perfectly done. I’ve had salmon on Eggs Benedict before, but to have an entire filet of fish with the golden delight of a sunny side egg oozing over the fish was fantastic! The potato and rye were perfect for sopping up every last drizzle/bite of egg yoke and fish. It was also deceptively filling.
Just as I finished the last forkful, the waiter asked if I would like a Cuban coffee. Damn skippy I do…”Yes, please!” A perfect ending to a meal, and a great way to get ready to go fly. Cuban coffee is probably my favorite vehicle for my caffeine addiction. Yum!!
The coffee was delicious, and I wanted to get a second, but I figured more than one might make me too much of a chatterbox for my captain on the first couple legs of the day.
In preparing to write this blog, I learned from a Miami Herald article online that the S & S Diner (although not the original owners) has over a 79 year history in Miami. It was in another location for decades, and was forced out by renovations and construction ( I guess this is the double-edged sword of all that construction I discussed early in the blog). The article by Carlos Frias was very complementary and is worth a read to get a better appreciation of the history of this little gem.
Regardless of how it got to its current location, I was so please to cross paths with S & S Diner. Being so close our layover hotel, I will definitely be back. If you get to Miami proper, I highly recommend you stop in for a bite or a cup of delicious Cuban coffee!!