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Balans is a contemporary lounge featuring a full bar, large booths, wood fixtures, and dim lighting reflected off beaded curtains hanging from the ceiling. A touch of tiki flair comes courtesy of printed stool covers and wooden picnic-size tables. There is also a large outdoor seating area with small wooden tables and wicker high-top chairs. The dining is causal, and the choices include lobster spaghetti and baby-back ribs. Music styles change as the day progresses, from smooth and soft during breakfast to upbeat happy-hour tunes that help shed the workday funk. There is free parking in the side lot, and the dress code is casual, which is not to say a Miami socialite can't dress up for the occasion.
Eating at Balans is like buying clothes at the Gap. It's like reading a novel by John Grisham. It's like being a Blue Dog Democrat. In a word: meh. This occurs to me while using a fork to move about a bland nugget of chicken breast, pushing it... More »
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