You can tell we are heading for an economic recovery.
Although inflation is high, there are fewer empty storefronts and between high season and spring break there was certainly enough business to offer a boost to our local economy. The best indicator? The number of new places that have recently, or are about to open.
Evelyn’s (525 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., FourSeasons.com/fortlauderdale) is an eastern Mediterranean restaurant inside the new Four Seasons on Fort Lauderdale Beach. It’s named after Evelyn Bartlett (of the Bonnet House Museum), and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Named for its identifiable pizza pans, Blue Steel Pizza (2460 E. Commercial Blvd., BlueSteelPizzaFTL.com) specializes in authentic Detroit-style square pizza. This is the first location outside of the flagship space in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The dining spot will also feature craft cocktails, crispy Coca-Cola barbecue wings, and duck confit miso ramen.
John Maser has added yet another location to his local Phat Boy Sushi (2451 University Dr., PhatBoySushi.com) empire with a new location in Davie. It replaces a Burger 21 and features shoyu ramen bowls, yakitori skewers, katsu sliders, a full-liquor bar with craft cocktails, and sushi staples including toro and Hamachi.
Every pizza is a star, or at least star-shaped at Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza (555 N. Federal, Boca Raton; Mistero1.com). Try the signature pie, topped with spicy salami, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil, with dollops of ricotta cheese in the eight points. Another location will open this spring in Aventura.
Chicago native and chef-owner Tom Azar has opened Broad Shoulders Sandwiches (2822 E. Commercial Blvd., BroadShouldersSandwiches.com), a gourmet sandwich shop and deli steeped in New Orleans flavors. It bears the nickname of the owner’s hometown, paraphrasing Carl Sandburg’s line, “The city of broad shoulders.”
Florida’s “only all-vegan kava and kratom bar,” Leaves & Roots Lounge (1231 NE 9th Ave., LeavesAndRootsLounge.com) moved to the trendy East 13th Street neighborhood late last year, doubling the amount of seating of the original space.
Offering something for everyone, North South Grill (154 S. Flamingo Rd., NorthSouthGrill.com) in Pembroke Pines features hamburgers on brioche buns, gyros, poutine, buttermilk chicken tenders, Wagyu steak hoagies, and grilled chicken sandwiches on its comfort-food menu.
Don’t let the name fool you, Spud’s Coffee (3301 NE 32nd St., SpudsCoffee.com), serves up a lot more than just java. Owner Megan Wilson serves house-smoked pork belly eggs benedict, burrata toast and fluffy, sticky cinnamon buns, among her caffeinated creations.
SuViche may be gone, but an equally trendy concept has moved into its former home. Coyo Taco (401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Coyo-Taco.com), a high-end taqueria, is the latest place to migrate from Wynwood to Las Olas. The 2,905-square-foot restaurant will serve hand-pressed corn tortillas filled with cochinita pibil, alambre, pollo al carbon and crispy duck, salads, and burrito bowls.
Truly exemplifying the American dream, a Virginia-based Korean fried chicken chain opened in Davie, with local owner Daven Sawh. Choongman Chicken (4900 S. University Dr., CMChickenFL.com) specializes in deep-fried birds (tenders, drumsticks, wings, and whole chicken) that are crispy and tossed in a spicy soy-garlic-gochujang glaze. There is also tikkudak, in which Korean fried chicken is fried and then baked in charcoal ovens for extra crunch.
Pit boss Mitch Liebovich packed up his smokers in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood and moved his entire Wrigley BBQ (3208 Forest Hill Blvd., WrigleyBBQ.com) business to Palm Springs, just north of Lake Worth. He did so to live closer to his parents. Chicago’s loss is South Florida’s gain, with its 12-hour cherry wood smoked brisket, St. Louis-style spareribs, and a pulled pork and brisket combination sandwich.
Oakland Park adds another eatery with Jose Salazar’s Bohemian Latin Grill (1199 E. Commercial, BohemianLatinGrillFll.com), which opened in late January, in the old Buoy Bites space. Tacos de birria, build-your-own bowls, burritos, quesadillas, beef sliders, and salads grace the menu.
Razzleberry’s Homemade Ice Cream (1499 SE 17th St., RazzleberrysIceCream.com), opened a second location in Southport Plaza. It scoops 30 flavors into cones and sundaes. The original location is on the corner of Atlantic and A1A in Pompano.
Calvin Dumplings (1315 W. Broward Blvd.) is a takeout-only restaurant run by Calvin Shea and his 80-year-old mother from the 1315 Kitchen, a rental space at the Jack & Jill Children’s Center. The shop accepts pickup orders only, but serves six types of dumplings, along with complementary sauces.
While it’s not open yet, we look forward to South Bar & Kitchen from Mike Linder, who also owns three successful area restaurants; Jet Runway Cafe, Canyon and Yot. The Pompano Beach spot has broken ground at 165 NE 1st Ave. and will focus on Southern cuisine. Expect to see the opening this fall. Also opening in Pompano, but not until 2023 is Papamigos an Asian-Mexican fusion brick and mortar from the food truck and Coconut Creek restaurant of the same name.