Avocado Grill celebrates 2nd birthday in grand, funky style party

It’s hard to imagine a weekend when there was not a celebration of some kind at Avocado Grill, Chef Julien Gremaud’s popular spot in downtown West Palm Beach. Perhaps that’s because the very air in the lively restaurant, which spills onto the sidewalk and side patio, seems to sway.

But as Avocado Grill turns 2 this weekend, the restaurant is cranking its celebratory mode to full blast.

A local pair enjoy a window seat at Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
A local pair enjoy a window seat at Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

First, there’s a reggae brunch Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., to the live music of Spred the Dub. On the menu: island-y offerings like coconut lobster rolls, jerk shrimp tacos and dirty rice. Five hours later, the vibe turns clubby as DJ Adam Lipson kicks off his set (9 p.m).

Sunday starts with a brunch as well – a ‘70s-style disco brunch. Adding to the mood: music by Mr. Trombone (Wayne Perry), drummer Ryan Anthony and DJ German Garcia. Brunch also features a costume contest. The contestant with the best retro ‘70 attire wins a $200 Avocado Grill gift card.

Julien Gremaud is chef/owner at Avocado Grill. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Julien Gremaud is chef/owner at Avocado Grill. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Chef Gremaud is hoping guests “go all out” on their costume concepts.

“It’s almost Halloween and we want to see what everyone’s got,” he said via news release.

Of course, there are two weeks of potential celebrations to go before Halloween shadows our doors.

And Gremaud admits he “can’t resist a good party.”

Can you tell the chef used to be a DJ?

Avocado Grill's Dulce de Leche Lava Cake. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Avocado Grill’s Dulce de Leche Lava Cake. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Avocado Grill: 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 561-623-0822; AvocadoGrillWPB.com

Glam up your guac: Here’s a recipe for National Guacamole Day!

Kicky mash up: Avocado Grill's ginger guacamole. (Contributed by Jennifer Martinez)
Kicky mash up: Avocado Grill’s ginger guacamole. (Contributed by Jennifer Martinez)

The unexpected can happen when National Guacamole Day falls on a Friday (which would be today). The craving for blinged out, creamy avocado dip and those unruly TGIF thoughts can build – and before you know it, you’re swigging micheladas and diving into a bowl of green goop.

Then again, the unexpected can involve something less basic. It can involve ginger, as does the Ginger Guacamole at Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach.

How does one use ginger in guac? We’ve got the recipe. TGIF, indeed!

Avocado Grill’s Ginger Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Julien Gremaud.

3 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 tablespoons diced tomato

2 tablespoons diced jalapeño

1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon Sriracha

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop flesh out of shell with a spoon and place in bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 of the lime juice immediately to prevent browning. Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  3. Add chopped onion, tomato, jalapeño, ginger, Sriracha, and cilantro. Stir gently to mix ingredients.
  4. Add remainder of lime juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  5. Serve as a dip with your favorite tortilla chips, or use with your favorite dish.

‘Fresh Fest’ brings workouts, healthy bites to downtown West Palm Beach

Fresh Fest yoga moves, 2015. (Contributed)
Fresh Fest yoga moves, 2015. (Credit: Jack Bates Photography)

Increasingly walkable, health-minded and locally inclined, downtown West Palm Beach seems an ideal stage for an outdoor fest that celebrates clean living.

This is what the third annual “Fresh Fest” aims to be: a day-long celebration of fitness and healthy eats.  The festival packs no fewer than 14 fitness classes into five-plus hours, kicking off with paddleboard yoga on water and winding down with dance cardio. In between, there are cycle, hip hop, barre, boxing, and kiddie workouts.

Add to that health food demos, workshops, acai bowls, smoothies, art and music. More than 60 vendors are expected to display health-centric goods. To drive the message home, the fest has booked speaker Stephanie Mansour, a health and fitness expert who has appeared on Dr. Oz, CNN and other outlets. She’s scheduled to speak at noon.

Bonus: The fest coincides with the weekly West Palm Beach GreenMarket, which takes place one block over from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Holistic offerings on the lawn at Fresh Fest. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)
Holistic offerings on the lawn at Fresh Fest. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)

FRESH FEST

When: Sat., from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Yoga on the Water starts at 10 a.m.)

Where: Meyer Amphitheatre, 104 Datura St., West Palm Beach (waterfront)

Admission: Free

Info: Visit freshfestFL.com or the Facebook page, facebook.com/freshfestFL

 

 

Critic’s pick, West Palm Beach: a lively bistro for sipping new Beaujolais

Customers enjoy dinner at Pistache bistro and bar in downtown West Palm Beach on April 18, 2015.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Alfresco dining at Pistache, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: PISTACHE

There are many reasons to dine at Pistache at lunch, dinner, late-night bites or weekend brunch. There’s also the setting: The eatery is perched by the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, offering a view of the lively commons. But perhaps the best reason to dine here is the outstanding food.

Chef de cuisine Isaac Cerny and sous-chef Sam Horrocks lend a refined touch to a menu of French favorites. On a recent visit, I tried their delicious “confit” treatment of a chicken leg served over brunch waffles. (The chicken is slow-cooked in fat using a traditional preserving technique.) The flavors on the plate spanned that decadent stretch between rich and richer.

That chicken leg will be on the menu on Beaujolais Nouveau Day (Thursday, Nov. 19), though this time it will be served with a side of maque choux (Cajun succotash), pea tendrils and sauce “diable” (hot sauce).

Other a la carte specials to pair with your glass or bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais that day: chicken “oyster” and andouille gumbo, zucchini blossom beignets, mirliton and Anjou pear salad, grouper in court bouillon and pork tenderloin.

Pistache French Bistro: 101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090; PistacheWPB.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

Critic’s pick: Day of the Dead brunching at Rocco’s Tacos

This large Mexican skull mask, evoking Day of the Dead imagery, hangs on the wall at Rocco's Tacos in Palm Beach Gardens. (J. Gwendolynne Berry/The Palm Beach Post)
Evoking the Day of the Dead at Rocco’s Tacos. (J. Gwendolynne Berry/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: ROCCO’S TACOS

You can join the costumed masses in their takeover of Clematis Street at Moonfest Saturday night, or you can opt for a different type of other-worldly experience on Sunday. That’s when Rocco’s Tacos celebrates the Day of the Dead, the Mexican-inspired celebration of the dearly departed and their favorite dishes.

Fortunately for the living and the celebrated dead, this Dia de los Muertos falls on a Sunday, when Rocco’s serves one of the best brunches anywhere in Palm Beach County. Brunch kicks off at 11 a.m. and goes to 4 p.m. My favorite bite on the menu: The Benedict Azteca, Rocco’s Mexican take on traditional Eggs Benedict. Earthy masa sopes cradle poached eggs, pork chunks and spinach, are ladled with chipotle cream and served with griddled potatoes.

At Rocco's, Mexican corn and a fancy margarita. (Contributed)
At Rocco’s, Mexican corn and a fancy margarita. (Contributed)

For the pairing at brunch, there are $12 endless Bloody Marys and mimosas, plus there are $3 Corona bottles and $3 Modelos at the bar all day.

Later, from 4 to 8 p.m., the party transitions to night with sugar skull-inspired makeup sessions and DJ-spun music. The full day’s celebration is not limited to Clematis Street – it happens at all six Rocco’s locations in Florida, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.

Rocco’s Tacos: 224 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-650-1001; RoccosTacos.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

 

Newsroom favorite: this cheese pizza won our downtown taste test. Which is your favorite?

Which cheese pizza scored most votes? (File photo)
Which cheese pizza scored most votes? (Cox Newspapers file photo)

Who knows more about room-temp pizza than journalists on election night? No one. We proudly claim our expertise. We are to pizza what truffle hogs are to ascomycetes.

And because of this, we snag all available opportunities to devour pizza – by the slice, by the pie, or by the stack of boxes. It’s rib-sticking grub, as we were reminded on a recent day when we gathered at one end of the newsroom to taste-test four downtown West Palm Beach cheese pizzas.

We sampled pies from Pizza Girls, City Pizza, Mellow Mushroom and Nico’s Pizza.

In the end, Nico’s scored the highest percentage of our votes (38 percent).

See? None left. (Photo by Laura Lordi)
See? None left. (Photo by Laura Lordi)

The Clematis Street pizzeria delivered with its thin, foldable crust, hearty sauce and cheese and slightly greasy awesomeness.

Second place went to Mellow Mushroom (34 percent). Next was City Pizza of CityPlace (16 percent). Lastly, Pizza Girls fans were saddened to see the waterfront spot earned a paltry 13 percent of our votes.

Leftovers? Not in this newsroom. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
Leftovers? Not in this newsroom. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

Here’s your chance to comment on for your favorite Palm Beach County pizza. Tell us your favorite on our Post on Food & Dining Facebook page.

Next week: vote in our poll (based on your comments) to name the best pizzeria in Palm Beach county.

ReadersChoicePizza2015
Click on the photo to cast your vote!

Avocado Grill turns the “big 1” in downtown West Palm

Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

The lively Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach is marking its first anniversary with a weekend-long celebration. Chef/owner Julien Gremaud is hosting a “Big ONE” party at 8 p.m. Friday, serving specialty drinks, a special menu, home-baked birthday cake and a helping of DJ-spun tunes on the side.

On Sunday, the chef hosts the “ONEderful Birthday Brunch,” starting at 11 a.m.

The menu is eclectic at Avocado Grill, Datura Street. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
The menu is eclectic at Avocado Grill, Datura Street. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

Reservations are strongly suggested for both days.

Avocado Grill: 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 561-623-0822; AvocadoGrillWPB.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda