In case you haven’t noticed it’s a rainy day outside today. Which means, it’s a good time to get some coffee.
Here are some of our favorites in Palm Beach County.
This unique Swedish coffee shop, in downtown West Palm Beach, is a spot to sit and enjoy your hot brewed coffee in a proper ceramic cup, in a plush, deep-violet, Alice-In-Wonderland-like chair. You don’t come here for a high-octane, Sharpie-on-paper-cup, American coffee, you come here to relax.
Johan’s Joe: 401 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, 561-808-5090
C STREET CAFÉ
This cozy coffee shop welcomes you with a laid-back, urban vibe and freshly brewed coffee. Can’t go wrong with an Italian espresso.
C Street: 319 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-469-9959
The cold brew at this Tequesta roaster is clean and sublime. And now you can enjoy it at Oceana’s spiffy new coffee lounge.
Oceana Coffee: 150 N. US Highway 1, #1 (across from the Marshall’s/Homegoods store), Tequesta; roasting house at 221 Old Dixie Highway, Tequesta; 561-401-2453
As you peruse the works of local artists or listen to some live music, treat yourself to a yummy cappuccino made with The Rabbit’s locally roasted Guatemalan beans. It’s so delicious, I could sip it by the gallon.
James Beard Award-winning chef Mark Militello, who played a pivotal role in South Florida’s culinary rise, cooks a four-course, wine-pairing dinner at Josie’s Ristorante in Boynton Beach. A consulting chef at the restaurant, Militello will be joined in the kitchen by Josie’s chef Sebastiano Setticasi. On the menu: passed hors d’oeuvres, Maine lobster salad, goats milk ravioli, spice rubbed roasted beef tenderloin and buttermilk panna cotta, all paired with wines from family estate vineyards in Italy.
Cost: $85 per person, plus tax and tip. To reserve, call 561-364-9601
A neighborhood favorite on South Dixie Highway, Maison Carloscelebrates its 15th year by offering 15 days of savings. Dine at the restaurant from Dec. 15 through Dec. 30 and receive 15 percent off your entire dinner check. Owners Carlos and Lanie Farias say it’s their way of saying thanks.
“We could not have done this without the loyal support of our clients and friends. We are a family-owned, Mom-and-Pop… We take pride in daily shopping for the freshest ingredients. We love our customers and want to make sure everyone has an optimal experience,” the couple said in an email.
Chef Matthew Byrneis not only the hotshot chef at Kitchen, the popular restaurant on Belvedere Road and South Dixie Highway – he’s also consulting chef at the Hilton West Palm Beach. In that capacity, he’ll team up with the hotel’s chef Miguel Santiago in creating a five-course, wine-pairing dinner that features master sommelier Gordon Sullivan. The dinner takes place at Manor, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.
Cost: $150 per person, plus tax and tip. Reserve a spot at HiltonWestPalmBeach.EventBrite.com or by calling 561-249-2281.
What a treat it is when Bistro chef Christian Quiñones cooks the dishes of his native Puerto Rico. He’s doing just that on Dec. 18 when Bistro Ten Zero One hosts what has become an annual holiday feast, Boricua-style. On the menu: guinenito (banana) salad with onion escovitch, sancocho stew, orange adobo roasted suckling pig, arroz con gandules (pigeon peas and rice), coconut tembleque and many other dishes.
Cost: $35 per person, plus tax and tip. To reserve a spot, visit the event site or call 561-833-1234 or 305-929-3463.
The popular Swank Farmsupper series kicks off on Dec. 18 with a multicourse feast titled “Big flavors, Open Skies: A Night with Seminole Hard Rock and Coconut Creek.”
Cooking at the Loxahatchee Groves boutique farm that day are Alex Q. Becker, executive chef at Kuro Japanese restaurant at Hard Rock Hollywood and the restaurant’s pastry chef, Ross Evans. Joining them are chefs from Council Oaks Steaks & Seafood and Coconut Creek’s NYY Steak.
Buckle up, Boca. There’s a new cheesecake in town – and we’re not talking about Junior’s.
Amazing as it is, Junior’s fluffy, cake-crust, New York cheesecake will meet its match Tuesday, Dec. 6. That’s when Rappy’s Deli opens at Boca Raton’s new Park Place plaza.
We had a taste of the dessert at a recent preview lunch. Restaurateur Burt Rapoport, who created the Rappy’s concept as a tribute to his late grandfather’s New York Jewish deli, offered the cheesecake without much commentary at the end of a multi-dish lunch.
The cheesecake recipe was brought to Rapoport’s, his grandfather’s lower east Manhattan deli, by a Swedish pastry chef. It was the first cheesecake served in New York, says Rapoport, who grew up in an apartment above that long-closed deli.
The cheesecake: a fluffy, cream-cheese intense filling atop a thin cake crust. It’s divine stuff.
Rapoport is not making a big deal of it. “When something’s good, people will find it,” he says.
The rest of the menu is just as rooted in the New York deli concept, but presented with a modern spin. A Reuben is turned into a spring roll for Rappy’s Pastrami Spring Roll appetizer, which is stuffed with caraway-scented braised cabbage, Gruyere and Thousand Island dressing. Don’t fret, traditionalists, there’s a classic Reuben as well.
As delicious as the cheesecake: Rappy’s classic pastrami, to be made in-house. The meat is brined, smoked over a mix of hardwood, then steamed. The result is layer upon layer of flavor, a stack of pastrami that needs only a couple slices of rye bread and a smear of coarse-grain mustard. There are healthy offerings: chicken soup, health slaw, veggies.
The menu is extensive, with offerings for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner: caviar, shareable “noshes,” soups, entrée salads, large plates, blintzes and latkes, a mountain of hot/cold sandwich options, dogs and wursts (hello, pastrami-wrapped dog!), burgers and melts, Reubens and Rachels, “Bubby’s chicken in a pot,” shakes and desserts, plus a full bar.
Rappy’s will first open for lunch and dinner next Tuesday. Brunch begins on Saturday, Dec. 10. Breakfast will be served starting Monday, Dec. 12.
Rappy’s: Opens Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Park Place plaza, 5560 N. Military Tr., Boca Raton; RappysDeli.com
As for where you’ll find it — not in Whole Foods ‘Fresh Picks.’ Acai can’t be bought in its true form, a berry from palm trees that grow in the Amazon rain forest in Central and South America. When an acai berry is picked, it’s taken to a lab, processed, sometimes frozen, and then sent to the United States.
Why is it healthy af?
That’s simple. Acai berries are high in fiber and antioxidants which are known to help balance cholesterol levels.
If you’re anything like me, of course you care about long-term health benefits, but what really makes you happy is knowing what foods and drinks are good for your body almost instantly. Acai does that. Its energy boost is just what you need to get going in the morning.
Acai bowls and all their glory… kind of.
The good news is that acai bowls are packed with protein. Shops and cafes add granola, seeds and butters to almost every bowl. Most are topped with berries other than acai like blueberries and strawberries which makes them “a nutrition powerhouse,” said Sandy Livingston, a registered nutrition and licensed nutritionist in Palm Beach County.
The bad news? Some acai bowls are high in sugar and sodium content.
I’ll put it like this: Sambazon, Acai Roots and Tambor are three popular brands of acai that are shipped to the U.S. and used in nutrition-conscious businesses like Jaya Nutrition in Juno Beach and Celis and The Bee in West Palm Beach. Half a cup of Acai Roots acai sorbet in a bowl has about 65 mg of sodium and 16 grams of sugar. That doesn’t include the sugars your body will consume from the added layers of almond/peanut butter or yummy honey that top a standard acai bowl.
That’s okay. Me too. Between you and me, acai bowls make up 50 percent of my “eating out” budget! I love them all, from the healthier bowls (low in sugar content and 100% organic) served at Jaya Nutrition bar to the sugar rush I get from a bowl at Field of Greens in downtown West Palm.
Check out this guide to my 5 favorite bowls around town.
Fill up for a few hours at The Bee
Toppings like homemade granola (to die for) and fresh raspberries please me more than the acai does. This is because it’s blended with banana and mylk (milk substitute) so the taste of the tart berry is not as potent and melts really fast. Trust that you’ll be served a hearty amount of deliciousness, though. More than enough to fill you up until your next meal.
Location: 123 Datura St, West Palm Beach
Cost: $12 or $13
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Field of Greens
Lil Root is my go-to bowl at Field of Greens. It’s cheap and small enough to eat on the go. The nutella on top of the freezing cold acai is all the sweet I need, so I usually skip the drizzle of honey on top.
Jaya Nutrition Bar is as beautiful and welcoming as its owner, Cecile Alfonzo-Antoine, who designed the place herself.
Your acai bowl will be served in a white paper container with a handwritten, motivational phrase on it — a conversation starter for anyone. The bar’s acai has no coloring agents and is low in sodium. All of these elements make me happy.
I upgraded from the Cacao Crunch Bowl to the Green Cacao Crunch Bowl. You know, something a little more green with added superfood powder, kale or spirulina. It’s not as sweet as some of the other bowls on this list but still tasty and undeniably healthy.
The freezing cold, perfectly textured organic acai is what I love about the bowls at Celis. Prepared with acai ahead of time, when you order your bowl, all they have to do is add peanut butter, hemp/flax granola, honey, bananas, strawberries and kiwi. It allows for a bit of everything in every bite.
“Customers love our bowls because of the quality of our ingredients. The fruit is always fresh, never frozen and the granola we use is airy and crunchy,” Alex Celis, Co-Owner of Celis Produce, said.
Bonus Points: Celis is just a few steps away from The Palm Beach Post building, which is a gift for my taste buds and a curse for my pockets.
Location: 2814 S Dixie Hwy d, West Palm Beach
Cost: Between $10 and $12
Get your superfruit serving Whole Foods
You won’t be able to order an acai bowl at Whole Foods, but you can get your acai fix through various drinks, bars and supplements.
Personally, I can’t imagine skipping out on a bowl for a drink that costs just as much, but hey, that’s me.
For anyone who has been skeptical about the hype hovering over acai and acai bowls, I get it. Everything in the bowl can be thrown into a blender and taste just as good as a smoothie.
But it’s satisfying to spend a little more time with colorful (and healthy) variety of textures that melt in your mouth, airy granola that has the right amount of crunch or thick and handmade almond butter that sticks to the roof of your mouth.
A bowl from any of the locations on this list are at least worth a taste test, but don’t rush through it. Challenge yourself to pay attention to your tastebuds and your mood, then tell me what you think.
New York cheesecake lovers, your reward is as near as Boca Raton. Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake is open for business after a wait that surely seemed interminable to fans of its rich, fluffy namesake dessert.
The Brooklyn-based restaurant debuted this week at Mizner Park and is serving lunch and dinner. (Breakfast service starts within a few weeks.)
The debut was short-lived before the threat of Hurricane Matthew came knocking. As most of the restaurants in Palm Beach County’s “cone of concern,” the new restaurant closed Thursday due to the storm. It reopened for business Friday.
Owned by Alan Rosen, grandson of restaurant founder Harry Rosen, Junior’s has breathed retro Deco style into the former Ruby Tuesday’s space, where it can seat 225 diners.
On the menu: deli classics like matzo ball soup, potato pancakes and blintzes, plus charbroiled steak-burgers, sandwiches galore including pastrami, various Reuben renditions, and open-face beef brisket, salads and desserts (hello, red velvet cheesecake!).
Of course, the main attraction is the Famous No. 1 Original Cheesecake.
If you think every local restaurant will close during looming Hurricane Matthew, we’ve got news for you. Which restaurants are open and which are closed due to the storm? Here’s what we know so far:
Flanigan’s, West Palm Beach
Is open and busy Thursday, as storm approaches.
ER Bradley’s, West Palm Beach
Will be open during its usual hours, even throughout the storm.
Cucina Dell’Arte, Palm Beach
Will open during regular hours, even throughout the storm
Havana Hideout, Lake Worth
Will stay open during the storm and operate on regular hours. The kitchen works on propane. “Bring your perishables — it will be a hurricane pot luck,” says Shelly Earhart.
Havana, West Palm Beach
The iconic Cuban restaurant plans to be open as long as it can during the storm. If it has to close, management says it will reopen earliest Friday.
Table 26, West Palm Beach
Open for business Wednesday night, closed Thursday and Friday. Will reopen at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach
Open Wednesday night, closed Thursday and also at lunch Friday. May reopen for dinner Friday night, but that’s TBD.
Cholo Soy Cocina, West Palm Beach
Open Wednesday night, closed Thursday and also at lunch Friday. May reopen for dinner Friday night, but that’s TBD.
Bistro Ten Zero One at Marriott, West Palm Beach
Open during regular hours, serving a limited menu.
The Cooper, Palm Beach Gardens
Will be open Wednesday, closed all day Thursday and through lunchtime Friday. May reopen for dinner Friday.
Burger Bar, Palm Beach Gardens
Closed Thursday. May open Friday, but that’s TBD.
Will be open till 11 p.m. Wednesday night. To be decided after that.
McCarthy’s Pub, Tequesta
Open till 10 p.m. Wednesday, likely not open Thursday. Will reopen Friday if there’s power.
Calaveras Cantina, Jupiter
Closed Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Plans to reopen Saturday, if able.
Agliolio, Wellington and Boynton Beach
Open Wednesday for regular hours, closed Thursday. Will post reopening info on its Facebook page.
Marcello’s La Sirena, West Palm Beach
Will be open Wednesday, closed Thursday. Plans to reopen Friday, if there’s no power outage.
Buccan, Palm Beach
Will be open Wednesday, closed Thursday (and The Sandwich Shop at Buccan is closed Friday as well). Friday and Saturday dinner at Buccan is to be decided.
Imoto, Palm Beach
Buccan’s “little sister” next door is closed Wednesday and Thursday. May reopen Friday for dinner, but that’s to be decided.
Grato, West Palm Beach
Open Wednesday, closed Thursday and during lunch Friday. May reopen for dinner Friday night, but that’s to be decided.
Biergarten, Boca Raton
Will open at 11 a.m. Thursday and remain open as long as possible.
Rapoport Restaurants, south county
All Burt Rapoport-owned restaurants are open all day Wednesday, closed Thursday. Friday is to be decided. This goes for Deck 84, Henry’s and Burt & Max’s in Delray Beach as well as for Bogart’s in Boca Raton.
Restaurant owners and representatives: Is your restaurant operating on special hours due to Matthew? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner was selected from our online poll which was created based on your social comments. Along with the winner, here are the five best sports for tacos, based on your votes:
The winner: Tacos al Carbon, Lake Worth
An excerpt from the original story ‘Best Tacos’ story:
“Tacos al Carbon’s main location brings a rural feel to the well-trafficked corner of Military Trail and Lake Worth Road. Families flock to the place, their young kids scampering between picnic tables. The Tacos truck is parked near a shaded patio, adjacently to a table selling fresh roasted street corn. This location has a 24-hour window to serve the area’s taco munchies.”
Beneath vibrantly colored Mexican lanterns, hipster servers mash guacamole tableside, crispy empanadas are stuffed with delicious duck confit, and dessert means hot, fresh churros served with caramel (cajeta) dipping sauce. As side from tacos, empanadas and churros are must-haves at Calaveras Cantina, which offers an extensive range of cocktails and terrific happy hour deals.
Rocco’s Tacos is not your average cantina. The guacamole made table side is a must-order, and you can customize it. The signature Rocco’s Tacos are also very popular. The Camarones and carne asada tacos were quite flavorful. Choose from flour, corn or gluten-free tortillas.
Mexican soul food reigns at this hipster Tequila bar in Delray’s hot dining district, as Post reviewer Carlos Frías found. Try the smoked brisket enchiladas, lavished with a slow-cooked molé negro sauce. Wash it down with your choice of mescal or reposado — or any of the 200-plus varieties of tequila poured at the bar. Take in a setting that’s all funk and fun, but not in the wild, Cancun-on-Memorial-Day way.
El Camino: 15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5350
From a Yelp review: “I discovered JimmyChangas two weeks ago…. Since then, I’ve visited a total of five times! … It is a cozy little joint with limited bar-style seating, and two tables for two out front. Perfect little tacos because the flavor quality is definitely there.”
JimmyChangas: 332n Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-345-3737
Drop into The Regional for some of Chef Lindsay Autry’s Southern-meets-World cooking and you’ll witness a chef rising into her prime. The space may be cavernous, but it still feels cozy, thanks to seating layout and attention to décor detail.
At the other end of the size spectrum, there’s tiny Cholo Soy, an Andean street food-inspired spot where Chef Clay Carnes offers a variety of smoked and roasted meats and hand-made tortillas.
Forget summer. The sunniest, most delicious time of the year in Palm Beach County is the fall and winter harvest season. Just drop into any of the county’s top green markets and you’ll find a bounty of locally grown produce, freshly harvested ingredients, prepared foods and other items. We love the West Palm Beach GreenMarket (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) not only for its great variety, but also because it’s super pooch-friendly. But chances are that no matter where you live, there’s a good green market not too far away.
This festival is a little gem. Each year, it brings a constellation of food stars — and their cooking — to Palm Beach and environs. And unlike far bigger national food fests, this is one in which festival-goers get plenty of opportunity to interact with some of the nation’s top chefs. The four-day fest celebrates its 10th year this December. Tickets are on sale at pbfoodwinefest.com.
The now cliché “farm to table” tag takes on wider dimensions in this agriculture-heavy area. The county, which produces the most sweet corn, sugar cane and bell peppers in the country, boasts some $1.41 billion in total agriculture sales, according to Palm Beach County data. And what better place to soak up the flavors of a local harvest than on a boutique veggie farm?
Speaking of farm events, the Jupiter-based OBEO Society is hosting a “Boots, Brews and BBQ” event featuring a lineup of acclaimed local chefs and local beers at Jupiter Farms’ Lucky Old Sun Ranch. The cookout happens Sat., Nov. 12 from 3 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit ObeoSociety.com.