Onion rings are meant for ogling. Certainly, they’re not made for scarfing down. Unless you are a particularly enthusiastic sort who can eat more than five onion rings at one meal.
They’re too rich to be eaten like French fries, in rapid succession. Those crispy circles do have star appeal, however. A tall stack of them, crowned upon a burger, can take a plate from blah to bodacious.
And for this, we celebrate the crispy, greasy bites on National Onion Rings Day. Find some locally at the following five spots:
One might believe a good deviled egg shines in its simplicity and requires nothing else to achieve perfection. We beg to differ.
Sure, simple, Southern-style deviled eggs are swell on their own, but add a sliver of crispy Serrano on top, a dusting of Cajun spices and dill on the egg white halves and you’ve got deviled eggs that are sublime.
SOUTHERN-STYLE HERBED DEVILED EGGS
In this recipe, Chef Lindsay Autry takes inspiration from her grandmother’s deviled eggs.
Makes 24 deviled eggs
12 whole eggs, boiled and peeled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s or Hellmann’s)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped gherkins or dill relish
For herb crust:
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning or any Cajun spice blend
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
For crispy topping:
3 to 4 slices Serrano ham or prosciutto
Prepare the eggs:
1. Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks and place them in a fine sieve over a small mixing bowl. 2. Force the egg yolks through the sieve into the mixing bowl, creating a fine powder. (Alternatively, you can mash the yolks with a fork.) 3. To the mixing bowl, add mustard, mayonnaise and optional cayenne and mix well. Adjust seasoning, and fold in the chopped gherkins or dill relish. Set aside. 4. Gently wipe out the egg whites with a damp paper towel to remove any of the leftover yolks.
To crust the eggs:
1. In a small bowl, mix the Old Bay or Cajun seasoning together with the chopped fresh dill. Spread mix on a plate. 2. Place each egg white half, cut side-down on the spice blend to crust the tops. Set aside.
Crisp the topping: Place slices of ham or prosciutto in a 250F degree oven for 30 minutes to crisp. Set aside.
To fill the eggs:
1. Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag or a Ziploc bag. (If using a plastic bag, snip off a lower corner for piping.)
2. Pipe the mixture into the crusted egg whites. If using a simple plastic bag without a fancy pastry tip, pipe the filling in a zigzag motion for added flair.
3. Break crispy ham or prosciutto slices into bite-size pieces and place them atop filled deviled eggs.
GIVE YOUR EASTER EGGS A POP OF NATURAL COLOR
Here’s a natural way to dye your Easter eggs:
Chef Lindsay Autry soaks hardboiled and peeled eggs in natural ‘dye’ liquids that take their color from beets and turmeric.
After 3 hours of soaking, the eggs turn brilliant hues.
The new Italian restaurant is the north county outpost of a lively Clematis Street spot. And it seems the owners have brought some of that downtown West Palm Beach verve to northern Jupiter.
Just try to walk in and find a table on any given night, even on a weeknight. More than likely, you’ll find there’s a wait. It’s a smallish restaurant that can accommodate 89 diners scattered throughout its main dining room, indoor bar and al fresco patio.
What’s the draw? Certainly not the location. There’s no water view or people-watching potential on the patio. The restaurant sits in a commercial plaza that faces U.S. Highway 1. Sure, it’s a spiffy-new, Bermudian-style plaza, but the view it offers is parking lot and passing cars.
And yet, Lynora’s possesses that “it” factor restaurateurs crave: vibe. It’s an animated spot. You pick up the chatter as you squeeze past the bar and in between tables, feeling like the dinner party guest of a large, merry family. On Sundays, the restaurant hosts a Clematis Street-style brunch replete with red-sneakered servers in “Legalize Marinara” t-shirts and bottomless Bellinis, mimosas, bloodies and Peroni (for $18).
All this in a neo-Brooklyn setting of warm woods, subway tile and simple furnishings.
The food stands in striking contrast to the hip décor. It’s old-school home cooking, red-sauce specials, comfort grub.
That’s because Lynora’s roots are in a bygone Italian restaurant owned and operated by Ralph and Maria Abbenante, the parents of current owner Angelo Abbenante. That now-closed family restaurant, also named Lynora’s, stood for years on Lake Worth Road. (Lynora’s is named after Maria’s mother.)
Angelo Abbenante wanted to bring back the spirit of that restaurant. He and a partner opened a modernized version of the restaurant, Lynora’s Osteria, in 2014. But that collaboration ended in a lawsuit and the owners went their separate ways. Abbenante and his family remained at Lynora’s, dropping the “Osteria” from the name.
Legal matters aside, the food endured. This is not food that rises to astonishing levels, but it is food that would draw me back again and again. It is simple and well prepared by Lynora’s Italian chef, Mario Mette. The sauces are on-point, the servings abundant. It hits the spot.
On a recent visit, our party of three skipped the varied, classic antipasti offerings (bruschetta crostini, $6, cheese/meat plate, $22, fried rice balls, $8, fried calamari, $14, among other dishes), and started our meal with a shared “piccante” pizza ($14).
Topped with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella and cherry peppers (hence the spicy name), this wood-oven-baked pie popped with flavor. The crust, of medium thickness, puffed up on the edges, sending the toppings toward the middle. Even so, the deliciously chewy dough did not go to waste.
For main course, we sampled Lynora’s homemade pappardelle, wide noodles tossed with duck ragu (pappardelle all’anatra, $26). It’s an earthy dish that’s particularly appetizing on a crisp or chilly night. The pasta is bathed in a brandy-spiked sauce of roasted duck and porcini mushrooms and presents just a hint of truffle essence.
The Pollo Francese (chicken in lemon sauce, $24) did not disappoint. A lightly battered chicken breast was served on a bed of linguine in the bright Francese sauce. Mounded beneath two pounded chicken fillets on a flat plate, the pasta seemed incidental on this dish. The shape of the plate made it difficult to twirl and scoop up the linguine, so much of that delicious sauce remained on the plate.
We also sampled the Braciole con Gnocchi ($24), which is listed as one of Lynora’s classic dishes. This rolled-up meat favorite is made with pork that’s folded with prosciutto, garlic and Parmesan, braised in a light tomato sauce and served with small gnocchi dumplings. This is a homey, rib-sticking dish, but the monotone flavors of the meat and pasta could have used some contrast, perhaps from a pop of bitter greens.
Dessert time brought us a couple of memorable bites: a classic tiramisu stacked high with ladyfingers and mascarpone layers ($10), and a warm and sinful Nutella lava cake ($10) that was served with a tumbler of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Our dishes were delivered promptly, as, despite the bustle, service is brisk and professional. However, I did feel rushed. And our server did that “I’ll take this when you’re ready” thing, dropping off the check before we could request it.
Sometimes, I take the check nudge as an opportunity to ask for something else, say, a cappuccino. But, truth be told, I didn’t want a cappuccino, and I didn’t want a perfectly nice dinner to end on a sour note.
The service slip will not keep me from returning to the restaurant. Untimely check aside, Lynora’s is a fetching spot that brings a little buzz where it’s needed.
ADDRESS: 1548 U.S. Highway 1 (Inlet Plaza), Jupiter
It’s National Pastry Day! You can never go wrong with these easy grab-n-go’s — whether you’re celebrating a silly, Internet holiday or not. From classic croissant to Cuban pastelito to French quiche, you’ll be happily fulfilled. And lucky for you, Palm Beach County has plenty of places to cure your cravings and help you celebrate today’s sweet holiday.
Here are 7 places to get your pastry on today:
“Making the world a sweeter place…
… one cake at a time” as they say. This Lake Worth bake shop specializes in custom orders and sweet treats. Owner Jennifer Reed is known for blending classic French sweets with a splash of the Midwest. If you’re driving through the Dixie Corridor, keep an eye out for the Sugar Monkey.
No chairs, no tables, no worries. Tulipan is a true take-out joint located in West Palm Beach and in North Palm Beach. This is a friendly-shop where people simply do their time in line, take their food and leave. What’s Tulipan known for? Authentic Cuban pastelitos and cafe con leche.
Address:740 Belvedere Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405 | 731 Northlake Blvd., North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Nothing keeps customers from forming huge lines outside of the Upper Crust in Lake Worth during certain times of the year. This 38-year-old bakery is known especially for its pies — especially the strawberry rhubarb pie and the pecan pie.
The relaxed Paneterie bakery in downtown West Palm Beach offers a quick bite with a few tables inside and outside. Choose from a variety of French fares such as salade nicoise and quiche with pricing between $7 to $10 each. But if you’re planning to enjoy the National Pastry holiday, then you need to have a few macaroons and definitely the chocolate eclair.
Address:205 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
That seems to be the motto behind this West Palm Beach Bakery since both founders had a love for baking since their early ages. Joan and Jamal founded this online business, giving customers made-to-order baked goodies all year round.
Address:120 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Named after the chef who owns the bakery, Patrick Leze is a Palm Beach gem featuring mouth-watering French pastries. What do people buy here? The pastry case full of decadent macaroons, brioches, croissants and tarts.
A place that focuses on making their customers feel like family is Cafe Sweets in West Palm Beach. A traditional, bakery with a sweet touch of Southern hospitality makes this shop a go-to. If it’s been in the family for three-generations, they must be doing something right. My recommendation: The banana pudding cupcake. Though not exactly a pastry, it’ll hit ya in the heart in the best way.
It’s a gem of a little food fest, one that doesn’t subject its guests to hordes or parking nightmares. There are many reasons to celebrate the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival any year, but as the fest turns 10 next month – it runs from Dec. 8 through 11 – here are 10 reasons to raise a glass this year.
It’s an intimate affair.
As food festivals go, this one works hard to maintain a level of intimacy. Granted, chances are there will be human traffic jams during parts of the fest’s Grand Tasting finale at The Gardens Mall. But that’s one event – and still it’s a fun one. For the most part, the festival’s dinners and tastings are easy to navigate. That’s because the organizers don’t overbook events. This means fest-goers get the civilized, top-notch experiences they expected when they purchased their tickets.
Can’t beat the backdrop.
Palm trees? Check. Crashing waves? Check. The Breakers’ grand, Italian Renaissance archways and loggias? Check.
The setting for festival events is pretty spectacular. It’s December in Palm Beach – any wonder why the festival lures some big names? And in the past few years, the fest has expanded its reach into the mainland, into West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. This year, two of West Palm’s hottest restaurants (Avocado Grill and The Regional) will host festival events. While these may not be oceanfront spots, they possess the funk factor that many food enthusiasts seek in the county’s fastest rising dining destination.
Southern food goals are strong.
This year the festival revels in the region by hosting a “Southern Revival” lunch at The Regional Kitchen. The months-old, CityPlace restaurant is where Chef Lindsay Autry gives her native Southern cuisine a global spin. The farmhouse-inspired restaurant, appointed with mementos of Autry’s North Carolina roots, provides an ideal setting for a meal created by a cast of Southern food stars. Joining Autry in the kitchen will be her acclaimed mentor Michelle Bernstein (Crumb on Parchment, Miami), James Beard Award-winning chef Stephen Stryjewski (Cochon and Peche Seafood Grill, New Orleans) and Southern chef/author Virginia Willis. No surprise: The event is sold out.
This five-course dinner with wine pairings and open bar costs $150 per person. Tickets were still available at press time.
The best of culinary Miami comes to town.
That chaotic metropolis to our south may have some mighty fine cuisine, but one has to brave gridlock traffic and ridiculous parking situations to enjoy it. For a few years now, the festival has been luring some of Miami’s best and brightest. This year, the 305 delegation is simply outstanding. Coming to the fest:
Chef/ restaurateur Jose Mendin, whose Pubbelly group of restaurants mirrors Miami’s vibrancy and cultural depth. In many ways, he’s the chef who best reflects his city right now.
Timon Balloo, the innovative executive chef/partner at Midtown’s Sugarcane restaurant.
Chef/restaurateur Richard Hales, who brought new Asian flavors to Miami with his Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick Chinese restaurants.
Chef/restaurateur Giorgio Rapicavoli, who turned a vibe-y pop-up into one of Coral Gables’ hottest restaurants, Eating House. More recently, he opened Glass & Vine in Coconut Grove’s iconic Peacock Park.
“It’s never going to win a James Beard Award. Or try to wow you with its foam experiments or ingredients you’ve never heard of. But it is the best-run, most-loved, relentlessly respected restaurant in America,” went the intro to the March story.
Tickets to the lunch were still available at press time – 99 bucks gets you a seat at lunch. No famous chefs. But you get four courses with wine pairings and open bar.
It loves a good love story.
The festival’s “Chef Welcome Party” was the setting of one noteworthy marriage proposal two years ago. In a quiet, oceanfront spot away from the party crowd, festival director David Sabin dropped to one knee and proposed to Chef Lindsay Autry, his longtime girlfriend. The party morphed into an unofficial engagement bash. Earlier this year, Sabin and Autry had a destination wedding in one of America’s hottest food cities: They were married June 4th in Charleston, SC.
There’s a party in the ‘burbs.
The festival’s grand finale event, the 10th Annual Grand Tasting, happens at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens for the second year in a row. For eight years, the tasting event packed both floors of Palm Beach’s 150 Worth shopping complex. By moving the event to the more spacious Gardens Mall, the festival tapped into an important dining market: north county.
The cachet mingles with the commercial.
In the mix of personalities, fest-goers will find familiar faces from Food Network, James Beard Award winners and the occasional Michelin star-decorated. Take Chicago chef Lee Wolen. He’s worked at a succession of Michelin-starred restaurants, first at New York’s venerable Eleven Madison Park, then at Chicago’s Lobby at The Peninsula, where he earned a Michelin star, and most recently at Chicago’s Boka Restaurant, which has won stars three years in a row. He’ll be cooking breakfast at the Eau Dec. 10 with James Beard semifinalists Mendin and Rapicavoli from Miami. That morning, over at the Four Seasons Resort, fest-goers can mingle with Food Network stars Robert Irvine, Marc Murphy, Jeff Mauro and Travel Channel host Adam Richman at the day’s events there.
Nothing against that big, bodacious fest to our south. In fact, that fest is like 20 festivals in one. It puts on more events in a day than Palm Beach puts on in its entire four-day duration. But Palm Beach has little interest in becoming South Beach, fest-wise – and that’s a good thing. The 561 festival is manageable and offers a sense of intimacy. A food enthusiast can have a proper conversation with a visiting chef. Eight of the 14 events are sit-down meals. The vibe is more lively dinner party than packed disco.
So you and your significant other, or you and bestie, are looking for some place to eat. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, your requirements are simple: good, but cheap.
This kind of leaves you with a short list, considering the most talked about (and delicious) places can break your shoestring budget. But have no fear. We’ve looked far and wide (across Palm Beach County at least) to find you taste-worthy meals for two for under for $40.
Warning, we are not including you drinking the night away on champagne, indulging in a three-course meal or calorie-splurging on dessert. This is for the savvy foodie, who wants good food, but knows it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
For Breakfast / Brunch / Lunch:
Sara’s Kitchen is a hole in the wall of a very “business-looking” plaza. This place resembles your favorite neighborhood diner where they serve breakfast all day with a smile. You will need Sara’s Kitchen most when you and your BFF had a little too much fun the night before and are looking to solve your problems with comfort food.
Must try: Panhandle Benedict with hash browns or grits for $9.49 and Bananas Foster French Toast for $9.99 with a coffee for $2.99
Total Cost: Around $27 (including tax/tip)
Address: 2000 PGA Blvd., Building A, Suite #3140, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 2:45 pm | Saturday-Sunday 7:00 am – 1:45 (yes, that is the exact time)
With a cozy and cutesy atmosphere, The French House makes the perfect brunch spot for you and your boo to start your day. The warm and helpful staff makes the place really come alive and feel authentic. Bon appetite!
Must try: Buffala baguette for $13.50 and splurge a little for the French Brunch for $16.50.
Total Cost: Cutting it close, but still making it at almost $37 (tax/tip included)
Address: 821 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33461
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am – 2:30 pm | Saturday-Sunday 9:30 am – 2:30 pm | Breakfast on Saturday 9:30 am – 11:30 & all-day breakfast on Sundays
Most people aren’t familiar with this new-ish, downtown Swedish spot. Or they’ve seen it but are too afraid to try something as different as Swedish cuisine. But hey, Swedes are known for their meatballs, but you may leave loving their pastries. At Johan’s Joe, the décor is modern and clean, there’s free wifi (score!) and a helpful staff.
Must try: Savory Crepes for $10.50 and the Classic Swedish Meatball Plate $10.95 and throw in a Frappe Iced Latte for $3.95.
Total Cost: Roughly $30 (including tax/tip)
Address: 401. S Dixie Hwy. West Palm Beach, FL 33401
If you can make it through the lunchtime rush on Northlake Blvd., reward yourself with a sandwich at Alaina’s. Get a fully-packed Panini or cold sammie, filled with fancy meats and delectable cheeses or for a quick (and sweet) bite, try the specialty cupcakes.
Must try: Two Pigs & a Birdie Panini and Peary Good Panini for $10.95 each
If you’re in the mood for a classic, American breakfast, but also want some elbow room for digging in and some colorful art to gaze into after each bite, KeKe’s is the place for you. No, it is not an IHOP or a Denny’s, and yes, the portions are huge. The specialty is pancakes (and this time of year, the pumpkin ones are everything), but the French toast is bomb too.
Must try: Create Your Own Combo with pancakes, French toast or waffles for about $10
Total Cost: $26 (including tip/tax)
Address: 10120 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414
What’s better than a homemade grilled cheese sandwich? A gooey, restaurant grilled cheese sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Gallery (less clean up, duh). You honestly can’t go wrong with grilled cheese, but this place takes it to a whole new level, stuffing it with things like pulled pork, brie and mac and cheese. Yes, I just said that: grilled cheese, mac and cheese.
Must try: The Mac Daddy for $8.50 and The Artist for $10.
Total Cost: About $23 (including tax and 15% tip).
Address: 422 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm | Friday – Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Join the likes of famous Irishmen (Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw) as you indulge in a traditional Irish meal at The Dubliner. Although the restaurant is in busy Mizner Park, inside feels like your favorite pub, complete with Guinness, Jameson and Baileys. And guess what? It’s open late.
Must try: The Famous Shepherd’s Pie for $16.50 and the McMac and Cheese for $11.
Total Cost: For just $34 (tax/tip included) you have a foodie trip to Ireland in Boca Raton
Address: 435 Plaza Real (Mizner Park) Boca Raton, Fl 33432
Hours: Monday-Saturday 4:00 pm – 2:00 am | Sunday: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am
Also hidden in the large scope of Mizner Park, Kapow gives a new twist to noodles. Take seat at the indoor-outdoor bar and enjoy a wide variety of small plates, dumplings and ramen. Share the plates to get the most out of your meal.
Must try: Pan-Seared Pork Gyoza for $7.50, Short Rib Steamed Buns for $9 and Pork Ramen for $16.
Total Cost: Hits close to $40 (with tax/tip included), so maybe save this for a fun date night before drinks and a movie.
Address: 431 Plaza Real (Mizner Park) Boca Raton, Fl 33432
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am – 12:00 am | Friday-Satuday 11:30 am – 2:00 am
Whether you are looking for a big sit down meal, or are having the late night munchies, Havana has you covered. The authentic Cuban food is unbeatable, and the celebs agree. Stars such as Martha Stewart and Sofia Vergara are frequent visitors to the spot on the corner of Dixie and Forest Hill.
Must try: Sandwich Cubano for $8.69 and Chicharrones de Pollo for $13.99 or eat your weight in empanadas at the walk-up window.
Total Cost: About $28 (including tax/tip).
Address: 6801 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, FL
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | 24 hour walk-up window
So The Counter may be in a mall, but it’s a far, far stretch from what the food court is serving up (insert praised hands emoji here). It is a famous burger chain, with locations mostly in California, and some even in Ireland and Malaysia. If you’re splurging, you can create your own burger, but for the best price, it’s best to stick to what they create — whether that’s Brie cheese over American or Crab Cake over beef.
Must try: Why the Face burger for $12.25 and BBQ Bacon for $13 with a side of Parmesan Fries for $8.
Total Cost: Right at $40 (including tax/tip), so if you want to ditch the fries to save a few bucks, the burgers are still filling enough.
Address: 3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, Fl 33410 (in the Gardens Mall)
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | Sunday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Split at pizza pie (or two) at Carmine’s Coal Fired Pizza. Carmine’s has many different kinds of locations (a market, an upscale restaurant, a burger place and a seafood place), but this location will make you feel warm and cozy, thanks to the intimate interior and wall of brick oven pizzas. Stick to the pizzas, but ask for extra toppings.
Must try: Pizza Pesto (medium) for $15.95 and the White Pizza (medium) $15.95.
Total Cost: Coming to a close $39 (including tip/tax), but come on, you’re getting two pizzas with the works.
Address: 4575 Military Trail, Jupiter, Fl 33458
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00 am – 10 pm | Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
You will never find a faster meal than at Rancho Chicos. Take a seat in the eclectic dining room that looks like it belongs in a theme park and munch on endless (warm) chips and (spicy) salsa until your meal arrives. The beans and rice, which in most Mexican restaurants are discarded to the side due to lack of flavor, are killer at Chico’s and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you finish them.
Must try: Combination Cheese Enchilada & beef burrito with rice and beans for $10.25 and the Dos Spinach Enchiladas for $9.99.
One of the best things about Thai Lotus (other than the fact that it is delicious) is the big portions. It is the perfect place for you and your beau to share a dish or two. Try a curry! A noodle! A roll! A soup! Whatever your heart desires — just make sure you get two. And get ready for some heat. Thai Lotus ranks “spiciness” on a scale of 1-4 stars, 1 being easy to digest and 4 being fire dancing on your tongue. Believe it or not, 3 stars is perfect.
Must try: Massamun Curry with tofu for $11.95, Pad Thai with beef for $10.95 and the Crunch Roll $9.95.
Total Cost: Just hits the $40 (including tax/tip), but if you share it all, it’s one heck of a meal.
And like too many of this year’s election-related topics, this one is likely to give us heartburn. But isn’t it better to focus on someone else’s food choices as you fizz up those Alka-Seltzer tablets? It’s no time to think about that pizza you scarfed down last night. With Election Day less than a week away, this may be your final chance to deflect from the junk food guilt you’ve been lugging.
So here’s a glimpse of what may be on the candidates’ plates:
“The best time I’ve had in my career is when I’ve made the client happy. It really comes down to what the client wants,” Fuller said when asked for his culinary opinion on overcooked meat. “We all have different opinions about how we like our meat. That doesn’t mean mine is one that is better than the other.”
Trump’s fast-food habits have been well documented as he’s been caught on camera ready to devour some KFC aboard his plane, snapped with a questionably timed taco bowl at the office and immortalized with heaping amounts of fries.
Those hard-cooked steaks he so loves? They once had culinary promise. We learned during one of the candidate’s local appearances that Trump steaks were actually steaks purveyed by Bush Brothers, the 91-year-old West Palm Beach provision company known for supplying some of the best beef in the country.
In an interview last year with Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect,” Trump issued this confession: “I love steak and hamburger and pasta and French fries, all of the things that we shouldn’t be eating.”
He also admitted he can’t resist bacon and eggs. “I eat what I like,” he said.
As for Clinton, while she was spied holding a pork-chop-on-a-stick at last year’s Iowa State Fair – and, yes, that was Clinton seated before two tempting cheesecakes at Junior’s restaurant in Brooklyn in April – the former secretary of state is more disciplined in her food choices.
She eats like a world traveler, one who has learned to eat well and eat selectively, rather than to simply eat and be done with it. Then again, as the Huffington Post notes, she was the most-traveled secretary of state in history, having visited 112 nations and clocking more than 950,000 miles.
Earlier this year, she played food critic for Thrillist.com, penning a review of “not-to-be-missed dining experiences” across New York state. Her picks included a few references that reveal some foodie tendencies: Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster in Harlem, Fox Run Vineyards boutique winery on Seneca Lake (for riesling and a light lunch), the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse.
The place serves farmhouse-fancy food and tempting, Hudson Valley-inspired dishes, including grass-fed Angus beef cheeseburgers and NY strip steak with buttermilk Vidalia onion rings. Of course, Clinton might order them many shades rarer than overdone.
First, keep in mind this is an outdoor event, which means it’s vulnerable to the elements. Second, keep in mind you may have to lug your supplies for many yards.
With those two things in mind, here are five ideas on what to tuck into those picnic totes:
1. Cold or room temperature and crispy is fine: think crisp veggies, good crackers, breadsticks, even room-temp fried chicken. Hot and crispy, not so much. Your crispy duck might not survive the schlep, neither will your warm, toasty garlic bread.
2.You can’t go wrong with fancy charcuterie.
Here’s how: Pack great cheeses – oozy ones, sharp ones, aged ones, even beautifully stinky ones. Tuck in some fine Spanish ham, Italian salumi, hot mustard, elegant jams or honey. Add baggies of fresh fruit and nuts. After you set up your table, you can arrange them on a nice platter with those crispy crackers or hearty bread.
3. Whip up some sophisticated chilled soup, like Chef Michelle Bernstein’s White Gazpacho.
Here’s how to make it: In a high-speed blender, add 1 ½ cup Marcona almonds, ½ teaspoon fresh garlic, ½ tablespoon peeled shallot, 2 cups of peeled and chopped English cucumbers, 2 cups seedless green grapes, 1 tablespoon fresh dish and 1 ½ cups cold veggie broth. Puree until very smooth. With blender running, add 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and 2 tablespoons dry sherry wine. Slowly drizzle in ½ cup quality extra-virgin olive oil. Blend for at least 4 to 5 minutes, until velvety smooth. Chill until ready to sip. Garnish with sliced grapes, crushed almonds and dill. (Recipe serves 4.)
4.Rice salads (or other grain salads) served room temperature can be luxurious.
Here’s a variation: Make a pot of your favorite rice. Separately, sauté onions, garlic and celery in olive oil until just tender, adding a sprinkling of curry powder or ground turmeric and ginger. Add the rice to the sauté by the spoonful, tossing to coat the rice in the aromatics. Add a handful of frozen peas and stir. Shut off heat and allow mixture to sit until the peas are tender. When cool, add your choice of raw, chopped veggies, like diced zucchini, seeded tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs. You’ll have a mix of textures and flavors in one hearty bowl. If you prefer a hot meal, pack soups, stews or chili in Thermoses.
5. The takeout option: Order dinner from your favorite West Palm restaurant and pick it up before you get to the meet-up location. Once the location is announced Friday afternoon, you may have a better idea of nearby restaurants. You’ll only have to bring your dinnerware and table setting.
It may sound like a mission – and it can be, depending on how you take on the night. But relax. It’s a party. It’s a picnic. Pack what you love to eat in your fancy duds. If that means Fritos in a martini glass, rock on!
Today we talk about the infinite possibility of fillings than can be stacked between two slices of bread, tucked into a bun, celebrated for its majesty. Today is the day for exploring the contrast of flavors and textures, and the way the fillings in a Vietnamese banh mi teach a baguette how to be spicy, crunchy and rich all at once. Today is for marveling at how a Cuban sandwich made miles away, in Tampa, could possess a certain smoky-spicy layer, thanks to Genoa salami.
We present five of our favorite local and more unique sammies:
This is where paleo meets Puerto Rico: a sandwich that swaps out the bread and swaps in two enormous, smashed and crispy-fried green plantains. Tucked between those tostones is a choice of steak or chicken, crisp lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s a regal idea rooted in peasant life. The name of the sandwich is derived from the word jíbaro, which in Puerto Rico means humble dweller of the countryside. It costs $8.95 and it’s served at Don Café restaurant, 136 N. Military Tr., West Palm Beach; 561-684-0074.
The Gordo Burger
This Colombian-style colossus is more super-sandwich than burger. It starts with a beef or chicken patty, then layers on the sauces: garlic sauce, pink sauce, pineapple sauce and a Colombian fast-food classic called “showy” sauce, plus ketchup and mustard. Stack some tomato slices, bacon, cheese and a crush of potato chips and you’ve got the Gordo. It costs $6.75 and it’s offered at La Perrada del Gordo, 2650 S. Military Tr., West Palm Beach; 561-968-6978.
Not to be confused with the garlicky Argentinian or Uruguayan sauce. This sandwich hails from the Caribbean. You can call it a Dominican beef sandwich, but that doesn’t begin to do it justice. It starts with toasty bread, then it’s stuffed with either thin-sliced beef or a hand-patted beef patty, sautéed onions and cabbage slaw. The “Chimi” is dressed with a proprietary, mayo-based sauce and sold for $7.95 at El Unico restaurant, 6108 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-619-2962.
The Hullabaloo BLT
This is not your boring, room-service BLT. Chef Fritz Cassel has created a shrine to the BLT concept: It starts with challah bread, then stacks on some thick, house-smoked pork belly, heirloom tomato and arugula and adds a smear of red pepper aioli. It’s served at lunchtime for $11 at Hullabaloo, 517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-1033.
TocToc’s Pork Arepa Sandwich
Here’s a guilty pleasure worth diving into at the Saturday West Palm Beach GreenMarket: a Venezuelan/Colombian corncake (arepa) stuffed with shredded pork and a big, juicy tomato slice. You can find this sandwich at the TocToc Arepas booth. Yes, it’s a simple pleasure, but it’s one that resonates with flavor contrasts – the sweet arepa, the rich pork, the fresh tomato. It’s sold by TocToc for $7.50 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the GreenMarket on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront (eastern end of Clematis Street).
Each time I passed the prime, long-vacant space at Legacy Place, I would remember a horrible cup of coffee. It was served a decade ago at a café long gone from there. And it was served with a bad attitude.
What a waste of space, I’d think each time I passed the spot. Here’s a lovely, fountain-side space in a busy plaza in Palm Beach Gardens, and it’s empty.
Thanks to Newk’s Eatery, which moved in earlier this month, the space is empty no more. More importantly, it’s well occupied.
Newk’s is no fancy joint. It’s a fast-casual chain restaurant, the first of 10 planned locations for southeast Florida. It was brought to the shopping and dining plaza by the local family behind eight Five Guys locations in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
The place offers hearty, generously portioned soups, toasted sandwiches, interesting salads and personal-size pizzas. Just as importantly, it offers excellent service.
I dropped in for a quick, late lunch recently and enjoyed a bowl of Newk’s Loaded Potato soup (large, 16-ounce, $6.99), a special served on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I was not disappointed: creamy, lots of flavor, smoky bacon hints, filling. The soups, which are rotated daily in selection, are offered in 8-ounce, 16-ounce, and 32-ounce servings. The 16-ounce proved to be entrée sized.
I found the perfect soup accompaniment on Newk’s large round condiment table: thin, Italian-style breadsticks.
Days later, we returned to sample other items. Newk’s Club ($8.19), a pretty straightforward rendition of the classic, was stacked with smoked ham, (nitrate-free) turkey, Swiss cheese, thick-cut bacon, romaine and sliced tomato on Newk’s lightly toasted “French Parisian” baguette. As a side, we chose a pimento and bacon mac-and-cheese ($3.79 as a side) – it was tasty, though a touch oily.
A half-order of Caesar salad ($4.49) was quite delicious, a toss of fresh romaine with plenty of garlicky dressing, shredded Parmesan and buttered croutons.
We also tried Newk’s pepperoni pizza ($8.19), a 10-inch pie topped with pepperoni, thinly sliced Roma tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and provolone cheeses and fresh basil. The toppings proved quite delicious, but the crust didn’t hold up. While crispy around the edges, the crust sagged in the pie’s middle, forcing us to use a fork and knife.
For the sipping, there are plenty of fountain drinks and a small selection of beers, which include Der Chancellor, locally brewed by Tequesta Brewing Company. (Wine is not offered.)
Newk’s is an ideal stop for a filling lunch or casual, fuss free dinner. No item is priced higher than $13. (There’s a kids’ menu priced between $3.75 and $5.50.)
And, yes, there’s coffee. But this one is served with a smile.