• Rick's Reviews: Cuba Libre

    For quite some time, Cuba was a tropical playground for Americans looking for a quick getaway. Then came Castro’s Communist regime, followed by an American embargo and suddenly, Cuba was cut off from most of its suppliers. With little in the way of raw materials, the Cuban people made the best with what they had. Old American autos were kept running for years beyond their life expectancy. With limited agricultural resources the, Cuban people were equally resourceful.

  • Rick's Reviews: Deli-sh

  • Rick's Reviews: Diner Dash

    Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of diners in South Florida. Diners fit in with the laid-back South Floridian lifestyle. When you wear long pants only two or three days a year, how fancy do you want to get? Even those of you who need to dress up for work are often looking for a quick and inexpensive meal after a rough day at the office. Many seniors don’t see the point of cooking for just one or two folks and lots of young people don’t have the time. These factors and the bad economy (unless you’re in the 1 percent), have all made it the perfect time for diners to thrive.

  • Rick's Reviews: Dining Naked

    No, I’m not suggesting you join me au natural (believe me, no one wants to see me naked), I’m referring to chef Ralph Pagano’s latest venture, The Naked Crab, which recently opened in the B Ocean Resort. Pagano has also opened Naked Taco in Miami and Wynwood’s Naked Lunch.

  • Rick's Reviews: Do You Peru?

    The cuisine of Peru, like many South American countries, reflects influences from the indigenous population, including the Incas, as well as cuisines brought in with immigrants from Europe (Spain and to a lesser extent, Italy and Germany). 

  • Rick's Reviews: Down on the Farm

    Regina's Farm gets lots of press about providing a unique Brazilian dining experience. Brazilian natives Regina Rodrigues and her husband Elizeu Silva are effusive hosts who produce an elaborate picnic buffet about three Saturdays a month. Each event draws about 150 people and there is a month-long waiting list for the three-course family style buffet meal.

  • Rick's Reviews: East Meets West

    Two new restaurants opened in the area within a few days of each other, representing two distinctly different cuisines; Wok on South Federal in Fort Lauderdale, bills itself as “A new breed of Pan-Asian street food,” while Ethos Bistro, in Wilton Manors offers modern Greek fare. Both are from successful restaurateurs; Ethos is a new outpost of an established Coconut Creek favorite, while Wok comes from Randy Wilcox, owner of New River Grill and Pizza, located right across the street from Wok.  One would expect that Wilcox’s venture would be more polished, given his many years in the business, but Ethos opened with polish and finesse, while Wok’s staff was floundering in the weeds on a recent visit.

  • Rick's Reviews: Eat Like A Pig

    Don’t tell my husband, but I’m in love with award-winning pit-master Bryan Tyrell, co-owner of the latest Boynton Beach dining destination, Pig Sty. It began as a little gastonomical flirtation when he opened Smoke in Delray Beach, but the food at Pig Sty has me smitten. His way around a rack of ribs and a brisket just makes my heart flutter. 

  • Rick's Reviews: Eating Well and Doing Good

    One of the best things about covering the food industry is that there are always so many places giving back to the community. Here’s just a short listing of some upcoming and recent events.

  • Rick's Reviews: Fast Friends

    Correction; Piri piri spices are South African in origin, not South American, as I stated in a previous column. I apologize for the error.


    Two fast/casual restaurants opened recently and both are off-shoots of established players in the South Florida food scene; one a small family-run operation and the other big player in the Fort Lauderdale restaurant industry.

  • Rick's Reviews: Fusion Fare

    We have truly become a global village. As recently as 50 years ago, Italian and Chinese food were considered exotic in many parts of this country. In fact, you would have been hard-pressed to find any kind of ethnic restaurant outside of a big city. Now, thanks to the popularity of televised cooking programs, the Internet and the influx of immigrants who have added so much to our culture and communities (take that, Donald!) in the past decades, you can find almost any cuisine from any part of the world.

  • Rick's Reviews: Going Green

    In typical South Florida fashion, St. Patrick’s Day in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and West Palm was an early bird special, with parades and festivals held nearly a week before the actual date of the Irish celebration. Fear not, even though a number of South Florida Irish spots recently closed; Slainte in Boyton Beach and The Tiled Kilt and Maguire’s Hill 16 in Fort Lauderdale (I swear my review of the place wasn’t that bad!), and your options for celebrating the patron saint of the Emerald Isle are a bit slimmer this year, there are still a number of spots where you can get your fill of green beer and Irish fare.

  • Rick's Reviews: Golden Spoon Awards

    As SFGN celebrates another anniversary, it reminds me that the newspaper business is probably only slightly less volatile than the restaurant business. Both have numerous factors working against them, but those outstanding businesses not only manage to survive they thrive. In preparing for our anniversary issue, I looked through my files and thought that those places offering exemplary dining experiences deserved an award. Here they are folks, my “Golden Spoon” Awards for 2017. 

  • Rick's Reviews: Good Morning, Vietnam

    One of my favorite types of food is the sharing and blending of cuisines. Vietnam is a perfect example of such a blending. When France occupied Vietnam the Vietnamese people incorporated some aspects of French cuisine into their own rich culinary legacy and created entirely new foods such as the banh mi (a sandwich using a crispy baguette as its base) and the crispy cross between a crepe and an omelet known as banhxeo. 

  • Rick's Reviews: It’s Poke, Mon!

    All right, I may be mixing up my islands with that headline; poke is Hawaiian, not Jamaican, but with poke being the latest food fad, I just couldn’t resist. I should amend that to say it’s trending on the mainland, because in Hawaii, it’s long been a standard dish, as ubiquitous at parties as spinach artichoke dip or potato salad. Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a raw fish salad, usually served as an appetizer or over rice for a light lunch.

  • Rick's Reviews: Jet Runway Cafe


    Most of us don’t associate fine dining with the airport; usually we grab a quick pre-packaged sandwich to hold us over on a long flight (see sidebar for your best options at three area airports). At Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport, they’ve taken that concept and flipped it around. The tiny airport’s Runway Café is a dining destination, drawing folks as much for its unique location and view as for its upscale and well-prepared breakfast and lunch service. It also serves as a private event space in the evening.

  • Rick's Reviews: Kitchen Four Twenty

    Christina Wan is a dynamo. Not only does she run her popular restaurant serving traditional Cantonese, Szechuan, Mongolian and Peking dishes, she’s part owner of the recently opened Kitchen Four Twenty, located a few blocks down Federal from her original restaurant.

  • Rick's Reviews: M is For...

    Whether your mom was more like June Cleaver or Peg Bundy you no doubt have a special place in your heart for her.  If you’re lucky enough to have her around here are some places you can take her to celebrate her special day, Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14.

  • Rick's Reviews: Mangia

    Is there anything more comforting than Italian food? There’s something for everyone in Italian cuisine; vegetarians, vegans, paleo, low-carb (okay so that one’s harder, but just because there are so many tempting pasta-based dishes). There’s also something for every budget from meals less than $10 to the sky’s the limit. No wonder it’s the preferred ethnic food in America. A long-established Wilton Manors favorite and a newcomer to the area both specialize in Italian-American fare that’s certain to satisfy. Mangia!

  • Rick's Reviews: My Two Cents - Random Thoughts on Wilton’s Dining Scene

    In the ever-changing culinary landscape that is Wilton Manors, a food writer always has something to consider and mull over. Recently I’ve been thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of the WilMa dining scene.