CFByrne's Profile

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I stopped in Saturday early afternoon to take a quick peek around...

Due to time and other constraints, I was only able to order one dish off the brunch menu (Sat/Sun 11-3 I believe). But it was spectacular.

"Elad's Shakshuka" - Tomatoes with fresh ground middle eastern spices, cooked down into this deep, dark incredibly rich base, then topped with two eggs, quick broiled, and served with three slices of hefty Zak the Baker's bread.

I am not a "brunch" guy but I would have this any time and 2x on Sunday. Check out the photo... and it is on the regular menu too, I see.

The staff was ultra-friendly from the second I walked in, just a chill and cool vibe all around, smiles, and this was early Saturday.

To top it off, it's a beautiful restored Dade house, there's also an upstairs that's used when things heat up at night apparently (photo 2).

I can't wait to get back and try much more off the menu. BTW, the hostess told me they only takes res's for 6 or more, all else are walk in.

- CharlieDelray (Twitter/IG)

about 5 hours ago
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Ironside Pizza

Update - now open 12PM (Noon) - 11PM, seven days a week, according to website and verified with phone call.

I'm probably hitting this tomorrow (Sat) around noon or so...

Three generations of women visiting Boca/ft lauderdale

I've had a couple of pretty good meals at Farmer's Table, on Military just below Glades (about half mile East of Town Center Mall). My wife, a much more conservative diner than I, loves it.

It is most definitely a place where three generations of ladies would feel very comfortable.

It's become very popular, so you'll want a res.

Jimmy's Bistro in Delray Beach

I keep on forgetting about this place - and need to try it.

I do know it is tiny, so a res is a must.

I've glanced at the menu several times walking by. It always looks interesting - there are typically at least a few New Orleans type dishes (Shrimp Etouffee, Gumbo, etc) - among many others. But it's by no means "Cajun".

Prices are not cheap from what I've seen, in fact, they appear to be on par with 32 East and The Grove - in other words, among Delray's highest.

Just from around town etc, I've generally heard somewhat mixed reviews about the atmosphere and service - but almost universally positive regarding the food.


I've had plenty of excellent Q as well as sides from Troy's in Boynton.

The sauce is on the mustardy side - so if you don't like that, be sure to ask for SOS.

Hours are random, and they're usually either "out of" most menu items, or they're "not ready yet".

Located on the SW corner of US1 and MLK Blvd, 15 feet from the railroad tracks.

Sun Life Stadium

4991 N University Dr
Lauderhill, FL 33351

Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana

Swell Pizza update... I got an interior glimpse yesterday.

"All work completed" would be wildly optimistic positioning!

It's moving along but, for example, there's no pizza oven yet (details details). :-)

I heard talk of opening in about a month - so I would predict we are looking at around March 1.

Breakfast in Palm Beach area, as well as dinner

For breakfast, Chef Jeremy Hanlon is doing some good things at Benny's on the Beach in Lake Worth. It's on a pier so you dine literally ON the ocean. I like Dune Deck as well.

For dinner you can't go wrong at Buccan. I would also recommend Coolinary Cafe in N PB. Much less of a "scene" than Buccan, also open for lunch. Superb local seafood and all the best farm-fresh and local products.

I love PO but would not recommend unless your whole party is food-centric - the non-food-obsessed are likely to get frustrated.

Tryst in Delray has seen ups and downs but is on a major upswing right now. New chef, new GM, and priced below many others now on Atlantic Ave. Winter dining in their outdoor courtyard can be very nice. Great craft beer program as well.

Habit Burger coming to Florida

HiWay Burger seems to be doing just fine.

I grab a burger there for lunch once every few weeks. Not too many places on The Ave you can get a very quick bite, and for about $5. (I don't get fries).

Nothing earth shattering - in fact, I much prefer Burger Fi about a mile east - but HiWay seems to get a steady if not heavy crowd.

But I want to hear about Habit - anyone?

Habit Burger coming to Florida

California-based "Char-Burger" chain "The Habit Burger Grill" is coming to Florida.

Eater had mentioned this expansion (also into DC) a few months ago:

They have a ton of existing stores in California, plus some in Arizona and Utah.

But this Delray location is the first I've seen confirmed in South Florida (This is in the new Trader Joe's plaza).

Anyone have the scoop on the quality?

Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana

Thanks for the update Erica. Looking forward to Swell. (I did not make it to PO last time as I mentioned I might).

The trick will be for Dak to come up with great dough that "travels well." One of the reasons PO is "no takeout" is because he won't sell a pizza that ends up lousy 15 minutes later. I know they are working on perfecting that challenge.

Hope Buccan was good also.

Twitter/IG: CharlieDelray

Buying Fresh Fish in Islamorada (?)

I also use KLF.

I've also been known to buy an entire box of Oysters there, if you have someone able and willing to spend a lot of time opening them. They often have both Gulf and Mid-Atlantics.

Make a left (when heading S) around the big MM100 light / intersection in KL. It's in amongst some backroads.

Visiting hound needs Boca / Delray help

Nick's is terrific, I've never had a bad meal there and my fav is the white clam, garlic and bacon pie - one of the best pizzas in SoFla.

Farmer's Table = "honest, good food without hype" - nothing mind-boggling but pretty darn good.

Tryst in Delray has a new chef and he is taking it to a new level. They have had some ups and downs over the years but right now are on a high. The outside courtyard is also really nice in winter.

Calypso Restaurant in Pompano is also "honest, good food without hype" and you'll enjoy some of the freshest seafood anywhere - and stuff you perhaps don't see every day in Brooklyn.

For authentic ethnic, try Papa's Tapas in Delray for Spanish with some Cuban influence. Family run casual and very good. Ignore the name, plenty of full plates etc.

Palm Beach County openings 2015

It opened in 2014... but I'm hearing good stuff about Avocado Grill.

Anyone been?

Site of former Barrel & Grain space at 125 Datura St, right near the Amphitheatre etc.

Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana

Funny you should ask... Not 15 minutes ago, I walked past the future home of Swell. All windows are papered over, so no idea of progress.

However, if today proceeds as planned, I shall be sitting at the PO counter at 6PM this evening. I will see what info I can pry out of Dak. Perhaps I'll bring a slice of 400 day peanut fed Surryano to bribe him for scoops.

PS: I had a real nice dinner at Chef Michael's (Peace Love and Hogfish) in IM last month. Also another at Lazy Days. Good breakfast at Made to Order in Tavernier. And okay food but terrific view and perfect Keys-ey atmosphere at Snapper's in Tavernier/Key Largo. )If you go ask for my sister, Kathy Greenshirt.)

Twitter/IG: CharlieDelray

really good Chinese food West Palm Beach and north

I've not yet been to Grand Lake (yet) - It is nearly out by Cruzan Amphitheatre which is a good half hour from my home in East Delray...

But I've heard plenty of good stuff about it from reliable sources (including one of PBC's top chefs who is a "regular").

I HAVE been to the Indian restaurant literally next door (Taste of India) and it may be my favorite in So Fla.

Hmmmm maybe next time I go to one, I should get take home from the other, and kill two birds...

Cantina La Veinte--Brickell

> I might have better luck in Homestead

The Miami regulars will no doubt direct you to some better options in town... including one new one.

But down south, in particular near Homestead...

At Florida City, the TPK turns into US1. Go 1 mile west at the light and you'll find Taqueria Morelia

Photo 1: Carnitas Chorizo & Alpastor

Photo 2: Tacos Suadero

Look at the photos and then you decide if you want that or not. :-)

IG: CharlieDelray

Duck King in Boca Raton

Thanks Erica for the very thorough write-up.

I am relieved that someone who dines around in Flushing NY finds Duck King at least acceptable and even promising.

(I'm getting more convinced that they have no actual recipe for Diced Chicken with Hot Chili Pepper and whoever cooks it at any time just makes it all up! How you somehow got this without the numbing Szechuan peppercorns is beyond me.)

I would not go even close to comparing DK with Hong Kong City BBQ - where I've had many great meals. That is a well-oiled machine. And Grand Lake on Okeechobee is rumored to be quite good. DK service and operations is far far less advanced.

They would be doing themselves a huge favor if they redid the menu again and expanded the descriptions of each item. "Sautéed Chicken with Orange Flavor". What does that involve??? I am sure the servers are tired of getting the same questions over and over and over about dish contents and preparations.

But bottom line, as I've said many times, if there's anything remotely closer to authentic Chinese in the SE PBC area than DK, I sure have not found it.

IG: CharlieDelray

Duck King in Boca Raton

I don't think there's anything "fusion" about Duck King, someone just decided to add in that tag line when they opened perhaps.

My take - It's owned and run by somewhat recent immigrants who cook whatever sort of "authentic" Chinese food they are inherently familiar with, and of course they've added the requisite Americanized stuff.

And they have few formal restaurant-operating skills.

I will be eager to hear what Erica has to say about it all!

Duck King in Boca Raton

Answered phone today

+1 (561) 998-3388

Duck King in Boca Raton

I've been back for lunch three times, solo, since the re-opening.

They have an all-new menu, with both Americanized items and a page or so of "Authentic Chinese Specialties" - but at least these are printed in English now.

They also have a separate lunch menu, thankfully, so walk-ins can get soup, entrée w egg roll, fried rice for $10-$15 bucks - which is what most are looking for.

I wanted to try an Americanized item first so I just ordered Kung Pao Chicken (which is my "standby"). I'd say it's better than 95% of the crap you're going to get in most mundane Chinese restaurants. (Pic attached)

I then went back to try to get my fav from the old Chinese menu, Chicken "Hot Pot".

(Unfortunately the dish descriptions in the Chinese Menu section are extremely vague: Chicken with hot peppers. Spicy chicken. Chicken with vegetable. Etc. :-)

It took some doing, talking to waitress who said they no longer had it, manager/owner came over and he "found it for me".

This is cooked at table over a sterno and features small chopped bone-in chicken pieces, Chinese veg, numbing peppercorns, and hot hot hot peppers. In other words, right up my alley.

(Photo attached - also this is not quite the same as the previous dish I had gotten (for example, this was with boneless chix) - But I was not going to argue any further!).

This seems to be a dish known in some places as chong qing chicken or Lazi jiding.

I have mimicked it at home using this:

Here's another similar although it doesn't have the peppercorns which for me is key...

Anyway... I would encourage folks to go back and try Duck King - but be prepared for some quirks with the service, timing, language, closed when they should be open (call ahead), A/C not working, etc. :-


Because when they hit things right, it makes up for the other slipups.

And, FWIW, each time I've been here, I've seen large tables of Asians dining here.

Mendocino area report

Trip coming up next week - excited!

BTW, any place in the area I can buy oysters (preferably local or at least PNW) - and unshucked?

I actually brought my knife with me, just in case such an occasion arises...

Dec 20, 2014
CFByrne in California

Approaching Wine at the French Laundry???

Thanks Goldang and Smatbrat. Sounds like a plan!

Approaching Wine at the French Laundry???

Found this old thread - and I am in a similar position as the OP - so reviving it.

Wife and I heading to TFL next week for dinner. Not wine experts at all, and expense IS a factor.

However, as the meal will be $295 * 2 = $600, I don't want to stupidly scrimp and miss out on the full experience.

Most here suggested giving the Somm a budget at the start of the meal and letting him direct the affairs so to speak. That sounds good to me. My wife barely drinks at all, so she really just needs to sip a bit here and there. I can drink much more.

So, would say $250 work, here in late 2014? And shall I explain the above also?

True restaurant

I want to check this place out too.

The chef/owner is from Baltimore - which I visit quite often.

So they focus on the crab / "crab cake" type connection quite a bit...

Fort Lauderdale short visits

Your area is also known as the "17th Street Causeway" or airport area.

I'd scan through these past posts and then ask further if something catches your eye.

Near Fort Laud Airport:

Southport is casual seafood on the water. Nothing earth-shattering but you'll feel like you're a FTL local.

Cheap Eats Hollywood Area:

Le Tub would definitely fall under the "unique" tag.

PreCruise Ftl:

Where do FTL locals eat:

white truffles in West Palm Beach?

I don't know anything about this other than the press release:

"We just scheduled a specials White Truffle Wine Dinner at Paradiso Ristorante Lake Worth for this Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 6:30PM.

Please join us for the final Five Course White Truffle Wine Dinner of the Fall 2014 season. We will be celebrating the White Truffles of Piedmont!

See more about Paradiso-

Paradiso Ristorante
625 Lucerne Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460

X-Mas Eve/Day in Delray or Boca

> A family member told us that no restaurants are open

Family member incorrect, big time.


Mendocino area report

Thanks for your update Keena, and to Dottie and Mike for the ideas and comments.

Hope my plan above ^^^ still sounds good.

I'll definitely add notes for possible Ledford House or Albion River Inn stops for the great views.

Dec 08, 2014
CFByrne in California

La Ferme- best new restaurant in Boca, hands down!!

Sockster, I did say you "get around a lot", but yes, it would be more correct to say 99% of your posts don't cover FL.

That said, Dada is in Delray, not Boca. Tramonti (I assume that's what you meant by Tremoni) is in Delray, not Boca. And Trattoria Romano has been around at least 5 years.

So I think even you will agree your thread title is on the "quite a stretch" side. "Best" is a very powerful word...