Girls on Food

Fort Lauderdale

Brunch Like a Boss: Louie Bossi’s in South Florida

Imagine your new year’s resolution was to start the Keto Diet. (And for reference, the Keto diet is high in fat and protein, but restricts carbs to just 20 grams a day.) Now imagine you have an insane craving for pizza a week into your resolution. What’s the logical solution? Louie Bossi’s, of course.

This wonderful answer to my carb-craving prayers opened its Boca Raton location last year. It’s an Italian restaurant filled with everything from traditional style panini sandwiches and pastries to inspired pastas dishes and, of course, pizza.

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Road Trip to Paradise: Circles Waterfront Restaurant in Apollo Beach

Normally, you won’t find me at a seafood restaurant. The reason why is simple. Although, I actually love seafood; I’m allergic to shellfish. At best, that fact limits my options to fish, fish and more fish. At worst, it leaves me as that lame person ordering either chicken or steak at a seafood place. That’s no good. I recently visited Apollo Beach, Florida for some training and my supervisor and her husband were gracious enough to take me and the crew out for lunch. They suggested Circles Waterfront Restaurant. Instead of being that person who throws a wrench in the lunch plans with my allergy story, I just rolled with it. I was in the mood for a salmon caesar salad anyway, so why not?

Circles Waterfront Restaurant
1212 Apollo Beach Blvd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572
http://circleswaterfront.com

Now, reviewing a seafood restaurant is tough when you cannot describe the flavor or taste of a dish. Fear not though! My co-workers (who are really more like friends) had no problem describing their dish to me in detail. In fact, I could call this my first collaborative review.

We ordered a spread of appetizers when we got there that included calamari, spinach artichoke dip, crab cakes and grouper bites. Everything was delicious, but I only got a picture of the calamari because once the appetizers hit the table, it was go-time!

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Tex-Mex #TacoTuesday in Round Rock, Texas

 

Torchy’s Tacos
2150 Palm Valley Road, Round Rock, TX 78664
http://torchystacos.com/location/round-rock/
During the Christmas holiday, I left the sunny skies of Fort Lauderdale to visit my little sister who lives near Austin, TX. She let me know that Torchy’s Tacos was definitely on the menu during my stay there and for good reason. Since being featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Torchy’s Tacos is well on its way to becoming a legendary “must-stop” spot near Austin, TX.

Having lived in Southern California for some years, I learned to love a good, authentic street taco so I was not sure what to expect with Torchy’s. My sister just moved to Texas from our hometown in the Midwest. While there’s nothing like the staple meat and potatoes dishes from back home, I wasn’t quite sure if her definition of “damn good” tacos would stand up to my seasoned palette. Either way, my little sister talked up this place something fierce, so I was revved try it. I have to say I was not only very much not disappointed; I was as pleased as a pig in mud.

Quite simply, the food here is damn good.

My boyfriend, sister and I all went in with a battle plan of sorts. First, we were going to tackle their homemade sodas. They both stuck to that plan. Me? I decided that even though it was only a bit after noon, I wanted a drink. That is what vacation is about, eh?

On to the food! We planned to each get something different so the others could try a variety of tacos. That plan pretty much went by the wayside when my boyfriend and I ordered almost the same spread and my sister decided to go with a shrimp taco variation. For the average person, a shrimp taco might sound divine, but unless I am ready to meet my maker, it’s a no-go for me since I am highly allergic to shellfish.

I ordered three tacos. The Brushfire, which was a combination of spices and seasoning that almost blew my mouth away. It. Was. Spicy. The taco consisted of marinated jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, and cilantro. Ladies, it comes with a dab of Diablo hot sauce as well. I’m pretty sure the devil himself made it because when I bit into it, I felt the heat of a thousand suns in my mouth. I thought I was just being a baby, but my Jamaican boyfriend who is plenty used to spice said it was spicy to him. So, yes. It’s spicy. This taco usually comes with sour cream, probably to cool things down, but I opted out of that. I guess I like to walk on the wild side. Despite its straight from hell spicy factor, I would order it again. It had great flavor and is a bonus if anyone needs their sinuses aired out.

Chicken Fajita. Y’all. I had a regular, ole chicken fajita taco at a place that offered specialty tacos with names like Dirty Sanchez and Mr. Pink. I lamed out with that choice. Of all the tacos I had, I would skip this one when ordering again. There was nothing wrong with it. But, the other two tacos were so right that this one seemed a bit bland in comparison.

 

That brings me to the last taco. The Mr. Orange, a fresh combination of blackened salmon, grilled bean and corn relish, a sauce blend of queso fresco and cilantro along with cotija cheese and avocado salad. Of the three, this was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. Each taco was delicious, but I could have easily put away three or four Mr. Orange tacos. The salmon cooked just right, and the mix of flavors had a nice combination of sweet, zesty and savory. I usually ask for my sauces on the side, but since I was going for the full experience, I decided not to, which ended up being a great decision. If you usually are a sauce-on-the-side girl, try asking for light sauce but keep the taco as original to the menu as possible. Your tastebuds will thank you.

After getting our grub on at Torchy’s, we decided to head to Round Rock Donuts for sweet treats. If you remember from another post of mine, I do not like donuts. In fact, when ranking my top dessert options, donuts would not be anywhere near the top of the list. However, since being exposed to the fine confections that are homemade donuts, I figured, “why not?”

Round Rock Donuts
106 W. Liberty Ave., Round Rock, TX 78664
http://roundrockdonuts.com/

It was, again, a smart choice. We got a variety of donuts there. Small ones. Big ones. Ones you might even be able to fit your head through. That would be the Texas-sized donut.

When compared to a regular one, the Texas-sized donut probably equals about five donuts stretched out to make a giant “O” shape. It looked glorious. And like a heart attack. So we passed on that one. But, if you’re a “when in Rome” type person, try it out and comment on how you liked it. With so many appealing goodies in the local donut shop, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.

Saturday Funday: Brunch at Tap 42 in Boca Raton

20160903_153503Brunch is about the celebration of food, fun, and friends. I had not felt like I had much to celebrate recently but that has changed in the last two weeks. As a result, I was ready for a fun-filled brunch with all my friends. Since South Florida is home to many restaurants that offer yummy brunch menus, we had our work cut out for us in choosing the right place. After a little back and forth, my friends and I decided on Tap 42 in Boca Raton.

Tap 42 
5050 Town Center Cir #247, Boca Raton, FL 33486
http://tap42.com/boca-raton/

tap 42With the rise of the craft beer scene, Tap 42 was designed to offer South Florida beer enthusiasts a place to come and discover local beers and smaller craft productions. However, it’s not only for beer lovers. The cuisine at Tap 42 was designed to delight the senses. Along with traditional pub food for those looking for a more “bar-food” experience, the menu boasts gourmet options that include locally sourced, organic produce as well as vegan and vegetarian options. This place has something for everyone and since we had a party of eight, all of us were sure to find something on the menu that spoke to us directly. (You know, besides the mimosas!)

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And did we ever! There were quite a few items that made the cut. One of my friend’s decided on the Bacon and Sweet Corn Guacamole, which came in the vegetarian option.

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Like you, we were expecting the guacamole to come as a dip with a side of chips or flatbread. However, many of the menu options at Tap 42 came in the form of a sandwich, and I can say my friend loved the variation. This option was no different. The Bacon and Sweet Corn Guacamole came as a piece of whole wheat toast topped with creamy avocado spread and cotija cheese garnished with charred corn, pink onions and fried garlic. A sunny side up egg sprinkled with all the fixings: cotija cheese, fried garlic, pink onions and charred corn completed the dish.

We ordered what is perhaps the most well-known thing on Tap 42’s brunch menu: The Prohibition. It is a classic pub burger with a twist. This mouthwatering burger comes topped with applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and dijonnaise along with Tap 42’s very own secret sauce. Of course, this would not be proper brunch sandwich without a over easy egg to complete it.

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My friends and I would give Tap 42’s brunch menu two thumbs up. We loved it so much; we’re already planning our next trip back to taste some their 55 craft beer offerings. Yep. Despite the 42 in the name, this pub offers, even more, craft drafts that the name suggests. Can’t wait until our next time there!

Cheat Eats in SOFL: Phil’s Heavenly Pizza & Dandee Donut Factory

Phil’s Heavenly Pizza
2647 E. Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach, FL 33062
http://www.philsheavenlypizza.com

Most people make New Year’s resolutions, and you can bet that at least one of those resolutions is to lose weight. Maybe you made that same resolution at the start of the year. But, here you are. On a food blog. Lusting over all the posts and pictures about tacos, beer, and desserts. Don’t worry. No one is going to tell your trainer or workout partner that you are desperately craving a cheat day. In fact, I’m going to let you in on what my cheat day meal looks like. I have a pretty structured workout and diet plan, but let’s be honest. Every now and again, I want some pizza and a dessert, and I am completely fine with just going for it.

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In South Florida, there are tons of local pizza joints. I happened to come across Phil’s Heavenly Pizza because I worked in the same plaza that the restaurant is located. The owners take the Lord and their faith seriously (hence the name), but it’s a totally chill place. They have this divine $5.00 special that includes two slices of cheese or pepperoni pizza and a drink. When I was in that two-week-waiting period after I just got hired at my job a few years ago, this deal came in handy. I have been paid a few more times since then so I can spring for a whole pizza now! Moving. On. Up!

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Even though I don’t work in that plaza any longer, my CrossFit gym is across the street from Phil’s Heavenly Pizza, so I can always keep my eye on the cheat day prize. Last week I treated myself to their meat lovers pizza. It was loaded with pepperoni, ham, sausage and ground beef. Typically, I don’t like ground beef on pizza, but when you order from Phil’s, you just trust that it is going to be good. Of course, it did not disappoint.

IMG_20160419_155627One of the biggest reasons I love this place is because they have a traditional brick oven, which gives the pizza crust an unmistakable crunch on the outside while managing to keep the base of the pizza soft without being undercooked. If you are like me and don’t like tons of sauce on your pie, then this is the place for you. Phil’s Heavenly Pizza uses their house-made sauce, and they are careful not to drown your pizza in it. The thin layer of sauce is a nice compliment to perfect amount of cheese that gives way to lots and lots of glorious meat. After all, it is a cheat meal, and I may as well do it right.

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Dandee Donut Factory
1422 S. Federal  Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Dandee Donut Factory Facebook Page

As luck would have it, I was able to complete my cheat meal close to home because there is a new donut shop right behind my house. This is both a blessing and a curse. Dandee Donut Factory is not your run of the mill donut shop either. First, let me declare… I don’t LOVE donuts. My mother has been trying to cultivate a love of donuts in me for at least a decade to no avail. The only reason I tried this place is because it was convenient, locally owned and, well, I write for a food blog and it is my duty to try new things and write about them. To the outside world, donuts are not a new thing, but to me, they are as unusual as Kobe beef or oysters are for others.  

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As you can see, I went for it again. I could not just get one donut, so I figured I should get a baker’s dozen and try them all. Full disclosure, I did not try them all. I did try the double chocolate sprinkle donut, which was super rich and chocolatey. Honestly, the donut tasted like a full-on Oreo cookie, but it was distinguished from the Oreo donut by the sprinkles on top. That is probably why I did not care for it much. Confession time: I don’t like Oreos. If you do, this would be right up your alley. Next up was the signature Dandee donut pictured next to the chocolate log on the right. I have to say it was something special. It was extra sweet with a light crunch that was the result of the crushed cereal finish covering the entire donut. I enjoyed this one a lot.

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But, my absolute favorite was the sour cream glazed donut featured right next to the Dandee donut (far right) above. The flavor was simple. The texture was dense and reminded me of pound cake. The glaze was light, sweet and not at all overwhelming. It was a great addition to an already good donut. I can say this donut finally made me understand my mom’s love for the treat. It was so good I called my mom to apologize for not getting on the donut bandwagon sooner. Dandee Donut Factory. If you’re in the South Florida area, definitely check them out.

Charm City Burger Co. in Deerfield, FL

Charm City Burger is located in Deerfield Beach, FL and is just a hop, skip and jump from my office. In fact, I can walk there in less than 3 minutes. Score! The word on the street is that if you want a old-school, all natural burger, this is the place. If you are anything like me, when you hear that type of hype you think “I hope I’m not let down” when you finally visit the place. Thankfully, I can say that I was not disappointed with my burger.

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Charm City Burger Co.
1136 E. Hillsboro Blvd.
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
http://www.charmcityburgers.com

IMG_20150828_123146With its cozy charm, friendly staff and award winning burgers, Charm City Burger has solidified itself as hometown favorite. Their menu has a few pre-built burger selections, but the beauty of this place is you can build your own burger at a good price. Since there were so many options, I decided to let the staff guide my selection. I ended up ordering the daily special The “Southern Belle”.

IMG_20150828_124930The 6 oz burger was the perfect size for lunch. It came covered in munster cheese, spicy bbq sauce, haystack onions and creamy bacon cole slaw. In the original recipe, garlic aioli was included but I asked that it be put on the side. It ended up being a vital part of the burger because it was so good, that I added it back in. Instead of the classic hand-cut fries, I opted for the sweet potato fries.

IMG_20150828_125722As I was enjoying The “Southern Belle” burger, I looked over and saw the staff making milkshakes. The one thing I was not told about before heading to Charm City Burger was their legendary handmade milkshakes. Trust me, if I had known that the little burger joint that could was making milkshakes from scratch I definitely would have added that to my order as well. Oh well. It just gives me a little reason to sneak away from my desk for a midday treat.

If burgers are not your thing, Charm City Burgers still has you covered. There are vegetarian options, chicken sandwiches and wings, and non-beef burger varieties as well. If you are ever in the area, do not get caught up with the chain burger joints. Visit Charm City Burger for a handmade, old-fashioned burger done the right way.

Espresso Yourself: The Seed in Boca Raton

Doing freelance work offers many perks, but one of the downsides is alone time. Lots of alone time. To break the monotony of going from the bedroom to “the office” in my pajamas, I decided to hit a local coffee shop. That’s when I stumbled across The Seed.IMG_20150624_092939

The Seed

199 W Palmetto Park Rd, Ste E

Boca Raton, FL 33432

561.430.5640

http://www.theseedboca.comIMG_20150624_093313

The Seed is located in Boca Raton and it’s a place with just the right ambiance for someone looking to get work done while still interacting with the community. This place is close enough to hit the scene at Boca hotspots like Mizner Park, but far enough away that you don’t feel sucked into the local hustle of the area.

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The Seed is owned by good friends Carly and Rachel. On this particular morning, I met Anna Kae. She is one of the bakers here and she makes a mean banana coffee cake. Since this was my first time at the quaint coffee house, I asked her for a recommendation. She quickly referred me to the banana coffee cake. Thing is, I do not like bananas and usually avoid anything banana flavored but she was so convincing that I went for it. So glad I did.

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The banana coffee cake is to die for! This goodie had walnuts and small chunks of banana with a cinnamon crunch topping that marries the savory cake with a light, crunchy texture. For someone who does not like banana flavored anything, I ate the entire thing and enjoyed every second of it.

I ordered a macchiato, which is two ounces of espresso with one ounce of almond milk, to go with my banana coffee cake. Not having much prior experience with espresso, (I’m a black coffee kind of gal) I had no idea how much caffeine I was about to put into my body. Let’s just say that I got a lot of work done as a result.

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Even though the Boca Raton coffee shop is local, Kae has branched out to get her baked greats (because they are so much more than ‘good’) to people outside of the area. If you are in the market for killer banana coffee cake, gluten free muffins or any other baked treat, then you can contact her here. Any snowbirds in town for the winter should be sure to drop by to see Rachel and Carly at The Seed in Boca Raton, FL. Be sure to try their smoothies as well. Tell them GoF Mo sent you!

Fired Up: Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox Annual Summer Brew Master’s Series

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox

1101 S. Powerline Road

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

(954) 708 – 2035

tuckerdukeslunchbox.com

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Close your eyes. Imagine yourself enjoying a five-course feast coupled with seemingly endless amounts of beer. Now open your eyes. Yep, you’re still reading this post.

I am about to transport you to Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox Annual Summer Brew Masters Series, which included a five-course meal with a craft beer pairing with each step of the way. The Lunchbox is a local favorite but definitely an “if you blink, you will miss it” type spot, due to the location.

In partnership with Funky Buddha Brewery, Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox held their Annual Brew Masters Series and they graciously let me take part. I gauged the event menu beforehand and it was so bountiful that I did two workouts to prepare for the feast.

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This wasn’t your ordinary restaurant showcase. Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox is known for their world famous burgers, but the chef took a cuisine detour this evening. The first course was an appetizer of fried pig ears with chipotle aioli sauce paired with the Floridian; a blonde ale by Funky Buddha.

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Aioli is a mayonnaise based sauce and even though I am usually adverse to mayo-based anything, this was pretty tasty. It had just the right amount of kick with a smooth finish that was more chipotle than mayo. The pig ears had a texture similar to pork rinds, but with a lighter crunch. It was definitely an interesting start to the evening.

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The second course was a summer carnival staple: Corndogs with Hop Breath, an extra pale ale. However, the chef had a real twist in mind with this traditional fair food. Instead of a plain hot dog wrapped in breading, the chef infused chicken and veal into a sausage-like structure and used a waffle base for the famous corndog coating. The result? A corndog with a slightly sweet, fluffy outer layer, followed by the tender, perfectly blended texture of the chicken and veal. It was paired with hot pepper relish. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this course.

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The short ribs were up third and they were my favorite course on the menu that evening. The dish was paired with Big Guava Jelly, a beer that can be best described as an infusion of guava juice and blonde ale. The combination was heavenly.

Cooked to blissful tenderness, the short ribs were coated in Thai basil ginger sauce with a Coke reduction. The meat was served with white asparagus, which is something I have never had before but after tasting it I can see why the chef chose it. Its a more delicate taste than green asparagus. The flavor of the short ribs was powerful and the white asparagus complimented the dish without bringing too many competing flavors.

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If Indian based dishes are your fancy then you would have loved the fourth course. The chicken korma was topped with a smooth cashew curry sauce and served with white Indian rice. The beer pairing for this dish was the Hop Gun, an IPA which is one of the hoppiest beers you can enjoy. By this point, I was stuffed but there was one more course and it was definitely worth the wait.

The grand finale course was a fried chocolate cake with coconut sorbet, drunk beets and pistachio praline. It was coupled with Funky Buddha Brewery’s own craft beer titled “I’m so excited! I’m so scared!”. Any beer with a “Saved by the Bell” reference in the name deserves a high five!

so excited

The beer, a rich, chocolatey coffee imperial stout, was the perfect compliment to the final course.

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The dessert was topped with Bacardi 151 and lit on fire. After the flame died down, I was able to dig into the dish. I started with a spoonful of fried chocolate cake and followed by the coconut sorbet. That was a delicious bite with an added bit of kick from the beets, which had begun melting into the ice cream.

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There was an initial kick and let’s just say that the boozy vegetable delivered an extremely strong dose of Bacardi 151. I loved that the chef created something memorable and infused so many different elements into his dessert.

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox will be doing another round of their Annual Summer Brew Masters Series on July 28th. If you are or will be in the area, it is definitely not one to miss. You can find more information here. To stay current with Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox events, visit their Facebook page or Instagram.

 

Rice to Meet You!: Sushi Song in Deerfield Beach

Meeting friends for sushi is brutal if you suffer from a shellfish allergy. However, I did not let my friends all the fun with their fancy rolls. I scored two scoops of heavenly Deerfield Beach Mud next door at Kilwin’s Ice Cream before they got there. The name of this flavor may sound a little unappetizing, but this sweet treat was exactly what I needed before heading to Sushi Song. A little ice cream before dinner has never hurt anyone, right?

Sweet before savory.
Sweet before savory.

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Sushi Song

123 NE 20th Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

954.481.3883

http://www.sushisong222.com

This tucked-away restaurant is native to South Florida and offers three locations throughout the area. I happen to live right by this one in Deerfield Beach, FL. It is perfect for happy hour or even a date night and I have been here for both.

I met a group of friends here after work a few days ago and thought it would be great to spotlight the place. We were just in time for happy hour. Of course, sake is a house staple and while it’s not my cup of tea, they do have a fun selection for those who are into it.

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I started with my absolute favorite plum wine, Choya from Japan. Usually, I shy away from the sweeter, dessert style wines but I have a weakness for this one. When the waitress brought out the glass, I got a little surprise in my drink in the form of a small ume fruit. It is the attention to detail and little touches like this that make Sushi Song stand out among the sushi places in the area.

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Enough about the drinks. Let’s talk food! Because I cannot order much in the way of sushi, I was grateful to my friends who ordered some amazing rolls and allowed me to take a pictures before they dug in. Let’s face it – while my spicy tuna and California rolls were super tasty, they are not very exciting to talk about.

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I did want to capture this combination plate in full, which included the Dragon Roll, a shrimp tempura roll with cucumber, topped with avocado and completed with a drizzle of unagi (eel) sauce.

 

If there was one roll I was insanely jealous I could not eat, this was it. The Maine Lobster Volcano looked absolutely amazing. It features baked Maine lobster, set atop of a shrimp, cucumber and avocado roll, glazed with unagi sauce.

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Here’s another variation of Maine Lobster Volcano that the chef made special for another one of my friends. This one has barbecue unagi as well as lobster.

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This roll is Sushi Song’s Dancing Eel. This takes the California roll and turns it on its head by topping with barbecued unagi and unagi sauce. My friend thought she’d just eat one roll, but it was so good she ordered another.

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All of that unagi sauce action made my simple spicy tuna and California rolls seem not as fun. But, even my simpler rolls were delicious. If you are ever in the South Florida area, drop by one of Sushi Song’s three locations and tell them Girls on Food contributor Mo sent you! I must say, I have already started to look at places for where I can source fresh maine lobster from, as I’d love to replicate the fantastic meal we had during our stay. I just hope I can manage to find a way to replicate the recipe to make it taste so good, haha! Anyway, over and out!

Happy 2nd Anniversary Funky Buddha Brewery!

Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th Street
Oakland Park, FL 33334
954-440-0046
Happy anniversary Funky Buddha Brewery!
The warehouse brewery located in Oakland Park, Florida celebrated its second year with an old-school block party style bash. The festivities included an all-day street festival complete with bands, food trucks, and, of course, beer.  This extravaganza featured Funky Buddha’s everyday drafts as well as dozens of limited and special release beers. There were several food trucks on hand and while I did not sample every cuisine, I did treat myself to a unique craft beer, an amazing entree and a cool dessert. Just beyond the festival gates, I was immediately greeted by one of the more unique food concepts I have ever seen. Ever heard of cake pops? Well, local eatery Cutie Pie Pops put a spin on that concept and with pie pops. Yes. Pies on a stick. They were offering cherry, apple and a few other varieties.
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Cute Pie Pops
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Since this was my first time at Funky Buddha, I wanted to make sure I sampled a beer that was unique to the location. I read through the extensive beer list and choose a beer that would mix my love of breakfast with my love of dark ale. Drumroll please….
I had the French Toast Double Brown Ale and it was amazing. I love Ambers and Dark Ales, but I usually choose the lighter varieties like Hefeweizen or Golden Ale. It’s hot in this Florida sun and dark beer reminds of fall days in the Midwest. I guess that’s why I took it back to my Midwestern roots and choose something bold. The French Toast Double Brown Ale delivered. It had a cinnamon-like taste on first sip that spiked into a taste similar to a Red Ale before settling into the full-bodied bitterness of a Brown Ale. With this beer, Funky Buddha Brewery definitely earned a fan in me.
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I made my way to the food trucks after finishing my beer. There were several that offered numerous types of cuisines. There was gourmet pizza made in a food truck with a full-service brick oven, standard American cuisine of hot dogs and fries and so much more.
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There were a lot of great choices but I settled on the food truck located all the way at the end of the festival. No matter where I go, I am determined to find the hidden gem. Rolling Chefs of the Palm Beaches offered a simple but interesting menu. I decided on the ahi tuna salad with chipotle raspberry dressing. I have never had ahi tuna, ever, and I have to say the Rolling Chefs of the Palm Beaches made it so well, I feel like I’ve been missing out on biggest thing since bread. It was so good I started doing on-the-spot promotion, sending people to their food truck.
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They have several other food trucks located around the city and you can “like” their Facebook page for more information on where they will be this summer. You can follow them on the Food Truck Finder USA app as well.
By the time I finished my salad it was seriously smoking hot outside and I wanted to cool down with something light, refreshing and fruity. Enter Pop Lab. They specialize in making delicious all natural, handcrafted ice pops.

 

Check out the photo I created
I had the strawberry lemonade pop and it did just the trick to cool me down. It was less of a popsicle and more flavored ice, which is why I enjoyed it so much. This pop had a subtle lemon flavor, but was heavier on the strawberry taste. And just look at those chunks of fresh strawberries tucked inside. Believe me, it tasted as good as it looks.
Funky Buddha Brewery put one on heck of a festival and I’m glad I could make it out. If you are a serious beer lover and ever find yourself in the Fort Lauderdale area, be sure to check them out. You won’t be disappointed!

Pan’e Dolci Bakery: A little bit of Italy in the heart of Fort Lauderdale

Pan’e Docli is a little slice of Italian heaven located off of highway A1A and Oakland Park blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I came across this bakery accidentally almost two years ago, but I am so glad that I did. The place is quaint, quiet and peaceful, which is amazing considering its location right off two of the busiest streets in Fort Lauderdale.
Pan’e Dolci Bakery
3341 E Oakland Park Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

The food here is perfect for those times when you are in the mood for not-too-much, but not-too-little. In the land of Cuban sandwiches (which are flavorful, tasty and everything good about South Florida in their own right) it can be hard to find a good old-fashioned Italian panini. However, this bakery makes not only paninis with just the right amount of flavor, but their pastries can make a fan out of even those who despise sweets. These delectable treats are the first thing you see when you walk through the door and for good reason.

I stopped by for lunch earlier this week and ordered my standby, the prosciutto panini. It’s no frills, just thin sliced prosciutto, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with a touch of oil and their own blend of seasonings. My co-worker was hungry as well. When I described how much I loved this place, she slid me a ten dollar bill and told me to pick something off the menu I thought she would enjoy. I did, ordering her a turkey panini with provolone, tomatoes and lettuce. It sounds pretty ordinary, but the taste is excellent.

A view from my desk: the prosciutto panini.
I hear the “real” reason this place is so beloved is because of the gelato. The presentation alone draws you in. You can find all types of gelato goodness located on the left side of the restaurant. It’s almost a hidden gem so if you’re in a hurry, like me most times I visit this place, you might miss it.
I would love to leave you with Pan’e Dolci’s social media information but the owner is old school. No Facebook to review the food, no Instagram to show off this amazing menu, and not even a website to place orders. Nope. His business is completely word-of-mouth based on solid food and great customer service. So if you are ever in the Fort Lauderdale area near Oakland Park Blvd, take some time to visit this hidden gem.