Here’s my connection to Florida – I was born in Texas, at the age of 3 my parents moved to Georgia, at 6 we relocated to California. At 7 it was Maryland, at 9 back to Texas at 11 back to Georgia. During the summer I turned 13 and we headed to Coral Springs, Florida. Then at the age of 20, my Dad was transferred back to Georgia. Since I had secured a minimum wage job I decided to stay behind. Six years later I found a real job and relocated to Georgia, then at the age of forty-five, I headed back to Florida. I’ve been here the last nine years.
For 23 years I’ve been eating in Florida. I’ve dined at The Sea Shanty, Joe’s Stone Crab, Wolfies and the Kaypok Tree Inn. The great thing growing up in a foodie family is that my parents would seek out these great restaurants, some classic and some off the grid.
On Yelp I have my, Florida I’m Hungry collection.
This post will feature South Florida. However, the future “Off The Eaten Path” content will cover all the states I travel to.
New York Grilled Cheese – Wilton Manors, FL – It’s been a few years since I’ve stopped in, but the reviews still indicate that it’s held up. Located inside the 2 square mile area known as Wilton Manors where the food is as unique as its residents. On my visit, I dined on the buffalo grilled cheese but they offer such delicacies the as Mac -N – Cheese grilled cheese or the Times Square Pizza Melt. Order the Tomato Bisque, I’m not a tomato soup guy. Growing up on a winter’s day tomato soup seemed to miss something…… and it was pasta and we called spaghetti. Their tomato bisque is this thicked mix of tomato, heavy cream seasoned with just the right amount of herbs, worth ordering.
The Cook and The Cork – Coral Springs Florida –
Hidden within a strip mall the Cook & Cork can be easily missed. The facility is small so I encourage you to make a reservation. The menu is not humongous but it’s as varied as they come.
Consider the –
Fried Chicken & Waffle- Chicken, Waffle plus Andouille Gravy and of course Ancho Syrup.
Spare Ribs– Ribs braised in pear juice, Korean BBQ sauce, cucumber kimchee.
The wine list is solid, including a favorite, Caymus Cabernet.
Next up are a couple of burger places. A burger is one of those foods that you can get really right, or really wrong. When it’s done right a burger is glorious.
Brgr Stop – Coconut Creek, FL
Recently named one of the 11 best burger joints in Florida, which I agree with. Before I relocated to Orlando Brgr Stop was about 5 minutes from “Frickford Farms” and we found ourselves here a few times each month.
This is a burger lovers paradise –
The Big Sexy– 2 8oz patties topped with white cheddar, 4 strips of bacon, not so secret sauce and a fried egg.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time – peanut butter, tomato jam, yellow cheddar and candied bacon.
I’m a wing guy, but not one of those guys that’s in love with ghost pepper infused Carolina reaper glaze, oh is that snot running down my face kind of guys. Here’s a tip when it comes to wings ask, “Are the wings frozen?” If they reply yes it’s not a bad thing, just be prepared for a much different taste.
Try their Funky Buddha hop gun Hawaiian Glazed or Root Beer Sriracha wings. Your palate and nasal passages will thank you.
Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox – Deerfield Beach, FL
I really miss this place. Tucker Duke’s is one of those places worth seeking out. Start with Nacho Tots – 1 lb tots, pulled pork, cheese sauce, sour cream, salsa, scallions, olives, cilantro.
The Tucker Duke– We Do Not change the Tucker Duke Burger! The best burger in town… fried onions rings, American cheese, tucker sauce, spring mix & tomato. I’m not a fan of a restaurant that refuses to change anything but Tucker Duke’s gets a break because this burger is an experience. Their Beer List is crazy with some hard to find draft selections as well as local bottles.
Next, we’re going international.
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant – Miami, FL
Fadó is Gaelic for “long ago” and is commonly used to start a story, similar to “once upon a time.”
In 1996, a small group of Irish entrepreneurs came to the U.S. and started Fadó with the goal of bringing the best of Dublin pubs to the U.S. That goal stands firm today as we passionately bring Irish Pubs into the 21st Century. Now I’ve hit up their Buckhead, ATL location several times before I relocated to Florida.
I can tell you that their Miami location is well worth the drive. Our waiter seemed to seamlessly switch between a Latin & an Irish accent as he took our order. We started with
Topped Chips – smothered in a Harp Lager Cheese Sauce & Bacon,
I went with the Grilled Chicken & Bacon, while others at the table took the traditional route of Fish & Chips and a Fado’ Gourmet Burger. Once the burger arrived it immediately won the admiration of the entire table. Sandwiched between the buns was a hunk of beef that mimicked something that you would make for home.
From talking with the waiter Fado’s as many personalities, the daylight hours during the week more white collar, the weeknights…more of the leftover corporate crowd…but weekend nights it’s a Miami party scene.
To sum it up, great food and experience…stop in when you’re down this way.
Riverside Market – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
From my Yelp review, This has been on my “wish list” for some time and recently it lined up so I could check it off.
What a cool place…..being a beer guy this is a must stop. The interior is eclectic and welcoming. We were greeted and given the explanation on selecting a beer. Decided to bypass the comfy sofas and roosted at a high top.
I went for the Philly Chicken, great bread piled high with chicken breast and cheeses……. My dining partner ordered the BBQ Chicken Pizza, it tasted homemade, chunks of chicken, red onion on a bed of a BBQ sauce with a kick.
The beer selection is really straightforward, there’s a cooler with a number on it, grab a beer and tell your server which cooler it came from, basically it’s the honor system…… but for beer.
This is another one of those South Florida stops that I miss.
Last up is Jasmine Thai & Sushi, Margate, FL
Another stop located less than 2 minutes from “Frickford Farms”. I’m a sucker for Thai food, from duck to their seafood combo everything is a thumbs up. My recommendation is their Pad Thai Chicken, you won’t be disappointed. I routinely use Pad Thai in order to test a Thai restaurants proficiency. It’s not an overly complicated dish to prepare, but if they get it wrong more than likely they’ll struggle with your order of Roti. Not super expensive, well worth the money spent.
If you just happen to head towards South Florida, there’s no shortage of Roadfood. Do yourself and your belly a and favor stop in.
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