Archive | June, 2012

Baywash Wash-Wax and Carrot Express – The Perfect Combination

21 Jun

Two things I am always hunting for include a great car wash, and delicious, healthy lunch spots.  Recently I hit two birds with one stone when I decided to check out Baywash Wash-Wax at the Texaco station on Alton Road and 18th Street.  I pulled in to drop off my car and was pleasantly surprised when I went inside to wait and found a luncheonette counter serving up smoothies, salads and sandwiches.  One glance at the sign “Carrot Express” and I immediately recalled the delicious “Gourmet Carrot” restaurant that previously sat on West Ave.  The friendly owner behind the counter, Mario Laufer, confirmed my suspicion, and proceeded to whip up a fantastic, wholesome lunch and a fresh-squeezed smoothie for me.

This place is truly a hidden gem: Mario hand-makes everything from scratch using only fresh and natural ingredients.  The cilantro chicken salad is exceptional, the hummus is delicious and according to Mario, the veggie burger is “the best” (that’s next on my list of things to try here along with the spinach pies).  The sandwich options (including white albacore tuna salad, tofu, fresh veggies and turkey breast) are served in a wrap or on whole-wheat pita bread.  Top it off with one of Mario’s savory, home-made dressings (my favorite is the carrot ginger) and add some sliced avocado.  Absolutely delicious and only $4.99-$6.99.

Finally, a trip to Carrot Express is not complete without a Julie’s Smoothie.  Named after Mario’s daughter, this smoothie includes fresh pineapple, orange, mango, strawberries, banana and honey.   At $3.50 – you can’t beat it.   If you have a real sweet tooth, satisfy it with a slice of coconut guava cake, handmade by Mario’s mother.

As for the car wash?  For $12.95, “The Deluxe” gets you a brush-less, squeaky-clean, shiny car wash.  Be sure to ask for a Frequent Customer Card – 6 washes gets you one free.

Baywash/Carrot Express (in Texaco station)
1840 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Jills List the Versace Mansion

8 Jun

There’s a lot of excitement in the air in Miami today as news of The Jills’ listing of “Casa Casuarina” (also known as the Versace Mansion) made headlines last night (in the Wall Street Journal) and today (in the UK’s Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, the Miami Herald, CBS news, NBC newsAOL Real Estate Blog, Business Insider, and The Real Deal).  The famed estate formerly belonging to the late world-renowned fashion designer, Gianni Versace, hit the market yesterday for a whopping $125 million.

The gorgeous gated mansion sits at 1116 Ocean Drive right in the action of South Beach and has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.  The property itself is a piece of art, complete with exquisite mosaics covering the courtyard, beautiful frescoes on the walls and ceilings, and none other than a 54-foot pool lined with 24-karat gold.

This listing follows an incredible week of sales at The Jills office.  Just last week, The Jills closed Penthouse 3 at South Beach’s Continuum for $16.25 million (, as well as 2 other luxury homes on beautiful Sunset Island: one which sold for $4,016,000 and the other which sold for $5,400,000 (

Additionally, the New York Times reported last week that the pending sale of The Jills’ listing at 3 Indian Creek for $52 million could set a record as the most expensive house ever sold in Miami history. (Also see these articles published by NBC and South Florida Business Journal).

If nothing else, this news proves that the Miami luxury market is hotter than ever and The Jills are at the forefront of the action.  Congrats to The Jills on an unbelievable week and year!

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