food

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • We’ve all had to adapt since the coronavirus outbreak. Restaurants are struggling to stay afloat and adapting as well. Even such upscale places as The Ocean Grill at the Setai in Miami Beach has adapted.  

  • If your memory of ramen is limited to those cups of instant noodle soup you ate in college, you are behind the times. Those salt bombs are a thing of the past. Ramen is the latest food to be adopted by the hipster crowd and artisanal noodles and gourmet ingredients have elevated this once-pedestrian dish to haute cuisine.

  • As far as I’m concerned, Asian food must be shared; the bigger your party, the better the selection. That’s the great thing about an Asian buffet; you don’t have to have a big party to be able to sample a variety of dishes. I must not be the only one who thinks that way because South Florida has plenty of buffets serving a variety of Asian cuisines. You can sample Korean, Thai, Japanese and Chinese food at just about any Asian buffet in town.

  • Usually one doesn’t want to see the words soft and opening together (there’s a pill for that), but in the restaurant biz, that means opening the door without much fanfare in the way of press or promotions. A “soft opening” is meant to give the staff time to establish a routine, find out what works and what doesn’t and to tweak the menu and schedules as needed.

  • To say that Stork’s is a Wilton Manors landmark is an understatement. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary the bakery/café has been a popular meeting spot since Jim Stork opened it in 1997. Those who think of it as “just a coffee shop” couldn’t be more wrong. While it does serve eight different styles of brew, as well as an array of teas, smoothies, cappuccinos and lattes, iced or hot; folks can also grab a pastry to go along with their cup of Joe, or sit and enjoy a full breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • With the temperature on the rise, prices on menus across town lower as folks try to lure us year-rounders out of our air-conditioned homes and into area restaurants. Between reduced prices, special events and other enticements it makes dining out more and more tempting.

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  • “Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels / Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles”

  • The best restaurants in South Florida are often to be found tucked into the corner of a grocery store.

  • While I agree with many of the dining selections in last week’s “Best of” listings there were a few categories that were missing. One of those was one of my favorite kind of place; the bakery/café. In order to balance out the indulgences of being a restaurant critic, I sometimes go carb-free for extended periods. Then, I walk past a bakery café, and I’m a goner. There’s something about the European tradition of sitting in a bakery, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoying some fresh, baked bread or pastries (or both!) that is soul-comforting. The next time you need to unwind and chill, try stopping in at one of these delightful bakery cafes, anyone of which could be a contender for your “Best of” list.

  • As much as I don’t want to, I finally have to spill the beans about how much I enjoy going to Temple. I’m not at all religious (unless you count my devotion to food). I’m talking about Temple Street Eatery.

  • If you’re like me, you might have driven past Bulegreen Café, located on Dixie just north of Oakland Park Blvd., dozens of times and said, “I should check that out.”

  • OK, this is going to be a very difficult review to write. Actually, it will be easy to write. What will be hard is to do so without sounding like I am the PR company for these two sister restaurants, because, on two recent trips, the experiences were about as close to perfect as possible. 

  • In a past review, I waxed rhapsodic after dining at the original location of Even Keel on Federal. And, although it was too pricey for me to enjoy on a regular basis, it was a wonderful spot for special occasions.  

  • We’re in the middle of high season and that’s normally when we see a lot of restaurant openings. Even in this year of a pandemic, there are plenty of openings and only a few closings to report. 

  • Sorry to disagree with Kermit, but with the growing number of vegan and vegetarian places around town, it’s easy being green.

  • Free-standing food courts are one of the hottest trends in the hospitality industry. They were starting to take off when the pandemic hit.

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