Many of our readers have expressed that they would like to know a little more about the winners of our annual “Best Of” poll.

Fair enough, the write-ups in the “Best Of” issue are kind of like an appetizer. They give you an idea of what a restaurant can accomplish, but not the full picture. So, every couple of weeks, I’ll do a more complete write-up of one of the winners, starting with a double winner (Best New Place and Best Sandwich). 

Papa Duke's Deli 

1952 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors 

954-530-4914 

www.papadukeswm.com

What we said, “Proof that you don’t have to be a fancy, white-linen tablecloth kind of place to win. …. Each one of the sandwiches is a gem and everything is presented with pride and care. Taking over a spot in a former laundromat, Papa Duke’s has become a landmark in Wilton Manors, which should make it no surprise that it also won Best Sandwich.” 

Papa Duke’s is truly a deli, not only can you order a sandwich, but you can order side and main dish salads (chicken and tuna) by the pint and bagels and pastries.  Breakfast offerings include variations on the classic breakfast sandwich, eggs, and cheese base with a choice of meats and bread. For those looking for more carbs, there are muffins, croissants, cookies, loaf breads, and of course, that essential, freshly-brewed coffee. 

If you’re looking for a hearty lunch (or an early dinner, Papa Duke's is open to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and until three on weekends), check out the deli’s specialty sandwiches, priced at $13.75 each. The most popular (and the one they occasionally run out of) is the “Drunken Brisket” - slow-roasted beef brisket with pickled veggies, BBQ sauce, spicy pepper tapenade, and provolone, served on a giant ciabatta roll. All sandwiches are easily enough for two to share or save half for another meal later that day (the bread is freshly baked, so don’t wait too long to have that second serving.) Other options include corned beef (with kraut, Swiss, and thousand island), Italian (pepperoni, salami, capicola, ham, provolone, sweet and hot peppers, and onions), a BLT with turkey or chicken, and vegetarian offering featuring fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado. 

Signature sandwiches, $10.75, are just as generous and feature a choice of bread (ciabatta, mezzo doppio, rye, sliced multigrain, or as a wrap), main protein (ham, turkey, roast beef, salami, capicola, pepperoni, hummus, and tuna or chicken salad), cheese (American, Provolone, Swiss, or Havarti) and the usual veggie toppings. All sandwiches also come with a small side salad (a choice of cole slaw, potato, fennel, or orzo salad-my fave), and a pickle spear. 

If you’re looking for something lighter, there are three menu options: mixed greens with green apples, strawberries, tangerines, walnuts, and honey vinaigrette, chopped kale with roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, wasabi peas, avocado, and a choice of dressing, or crushed sweet peas featuring burrata, black olives, and spicy olive oil over mixed greens with fresh mint and parsley, as well as a build your own option. All can be augmented with any protein available in-house.  

If you can fit them in, there are some terrific-looking cookies. Personally, I’ve never had the room, even after leaving half my meal to take home with me. Being a deli, it’s counter service and the staff is friendly and willing to explain each sandwich. It’s obvious they take pride in their work, and rightfully so. 

Other finalists:

Best New Restaurant 

Mamma Mia Italian Bistro 

Patio Bar & Pizza 

Palmyra Hookah Lounge 

Casa Monarca 

Best Sandwich

Laspada’s Original Hoagies 

Publix 

Stork’s Bakery 

New York Grilled Cheese

If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with the place next to Tropics that used to house Siam, wonder no more. It will open soon as Violet’s & Zen’s, a sushi-tapas rooftop lounge from Preecha, and Benjamin Hongnopkhun also own Jasmine Thai & Sushi in Margate. The restaurant will feature a Cobb salad and cheese sampler platters as starters and pasta al Pomodoro and seared ahi tuna as entrees… Yes, that is a new spot opening in the old Starbucks location on 26th St. at Five Points. It’s Wilton Manors Bagels and it’s being opened by entrepreneur Derek Gibbons, who formerly ran a bagel shop in Philadelphia. He must know his bagels and cream cheese, too!

Welcome to the ‘hood… Aida should be open at 9th St. and 4th Ave., the space formerly occupied by American Icon) by the time this gets to press. It will feature a menu inspired by the coastal regions of Mexico, much like its sister restaurant in Coconut Grove. Eduardo Gavilan, co-owner of Colibri 4 Restaurant Group, says “Signature Aida dishes include shrimp in black sauce with serrano peppers and red snapper in a Mexican dry pepper emulsion.’ … Soba Asian Noodles, from the family that owns Tee-Jay Thai Sushi, has moved into the space formerly housing Mr. Q Crab House at 5975 N. Federal… Rick Wahlstedt and Joe King are bringing their version of high-end Vietnamese dining to Delray Beach with Le Colonial, after successful versions in locations in Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta… Sabrina Courtemanche, the executive pastry chef at Riverside Hotel, plans to open the shop in a retail bakery near the hotel.

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Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit SFGN.com/Food to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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