Hot!February Fun in the Florida Sun (NEWEST UPDATE 08/11/17 ON PAGE 2!!)

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Author
billyboy
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2846
  • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Status: online
2015/02/28 17:03:56 (permalink)

February Fun in the Florida Sun (NEWEST UPDATE 08/11/17 ON PAGE 2!!)

Living near the water in New York City does have its charms: free concerts in the summer, food festivals, gorgeous views across the river and picturesque sunsets.  However, winter in NYC can really be a bear.  The bone-chilling and beard-freezing winds this year left me dreaming of a few days in the Sunshine State.  My girlfriend's (Dayna's) dad (Bob) lives near Coney Island but he rents a house in Boynton Beach for about 4 months in the winter.  He was really looking forward to having us down and we couldn't wait to get there.  The temps were between the high 40s and mid 60s, cooler than usual for the area, but like paradise compared to the Northeast!  
 
Monday February 16, 2015 - After a pretty uneventful direct flight from Newark to West Palm Beach, our bags came around the carousel just as we reached baggage claim and Bob was waiting for us as soon as we left the airport.  He was really excited to take us to PA (Park Avenue) BBQ Grille, his favorite place for ribs. It's an eastern Florida-only chain extending from Boca Raton to Port St. Lucie.  

 
We started out with a bowl of "Hotties" for the table.  I think these were free as I don't remember seeing them on the menu.  Man, oh man, were these great!  I do enjoy a sour pickle and I do love a good dill but I grew up on sweet (bread & butter) pickle slices and these had the sweetness I remember from my youth paired with a slow creeping heat that made them addictive.  And they were sliced small enough that I could eat that whole bowl and not feel guilty about it.  My only regret is that I didn't buy a couple of jars to bring back with me.

 
Words to live by?

 
I ordered the "Georgia Pig", pulled pork sandwich with grilled onions, "Hotties" and their mustard-based "heater" sauce.  The flavor of the pork was good but the texture was a bit on the dry side.  The onions, pickles and sauce did a great job of providing flavor and moisture.  And that toasted bun held up nicely too.

 
The baked beans were good, somewhat like the Heinz Vegetarian beans that I love but I would have really enjoyed some smoked bbq beans.  A minor quibble.

 
Dayna and Bob both went with the Monday rib special.  Dayna's plate (seen below) is a 1/2 rack of baby backs and a half rack of St. Louis cut.  The mac & cheese was okay but didn't really stand out and the cornbread was too sweet and cake-like for me.  The collard greens were exceptional.  Both crisp and limp, they were laden with chances of meat and packed a powerful flavor.  I really liked both cuts of rib but I do prefer a St. Louis and these were great.  With a light smoke flavor, these were meaty, tender and came off the bone with just a slight pull.  I know what I'll be ordering when we go down next winter.  

 
After having worked the midnight shift the night before flying, it was nice to get back to Bob's place and just relax for the evening.  As it turns out, he has access to a community clubhouse across the street with exercise equipment, bocce and shuffleboard courts and an outdoor heated pool with a jacuzzi.  Fifteen laps in the pool and I was feeling restored and ready for a good night's sleep.  
One interesting note though: as I was swimming my laps I noticed that more and more seniors were getting in the pool and I even had a very nice conversation with one of them who moved here 15 years ago from Rhode Island (she grew tired of shoveling in the winter!).  I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to finish my laps but as it turned out they were doing water aerobics on either side of the pool and I had the middle all to myself.  Here is where it gets interesting.  The clubhouse has a PA system that pipes in music that creates a relaxing mood without bring intrusive.  There were a lot of great 80s and 90s songs that I grew up listening to and then George Michael's "Father Figure" came on and for a minute or two it seemed as though everyone doing water aerobics was moving in time to the song!
Time to relax on the patio at Bob's house!

 
Tuesday February 17, 2015 - This next entry is dedicated to Michael Hoffman.  I took a side trip to Florida's west coast for a special overnight which I'll explain in more detail later on.  The last time I crossed the threshold of a Waffle House was in November of 1997 after a slightly tipsy night of clubbing with a friend in Seminole.  Finally worn down () by Mr. Hoffman's praises of the WH I figured it was high time to make a return.  Driving along Alligator Alley (I-75), I noticed that there seemed to be a Waffle House at nearly every other exit.  Needing to stretch, I pulled over in Ft. Myers to this sight:

 

 

 
I have to say that I was less than thrilled with this floppy namesake though I did enjoy the flavor.  

 
On the other hand, these hash browns were Goldilocks (juuuuust right!!).  Scattered, Smothered and Covered, these were crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, just a bit of creaminess from the melted cheese and those onions really gave it some great crunch and deep flavor.  Totally worth the stop just for the hash browns.  
 
The company was quite colorful too.  There was a sheriff's deputy who seemed to know every person on staff and every customer in there and told a story about a recent drug bust he had worked.  There were some old timers in there who clearly have made this particular WH part of their daily routine, including one guy who didn't seem to get along with anyone but kept coming back every day for the same banter, like he was cast in some sort of modern day "Waiting For Godot".  

 
Just across the parking lot was a Cracker Barrel and I knew I could stock up on some sweet treats that I can't always find in NYC.  

 
In a momentary lapse of reason, I neglected to pick up ANY GooGoo Clusters.  You're slippin', Billy!

 
Valomilks and Skybars I can get at Economy Candy in NYC.  Smoothies are hard to find.  Moon Pies and Coconut Patties I have yet to see in NYC.  This was my first time trying a Coconut Patties and I loved them.

 
 
More to come and I promise that there is only one more chain involved (and it is a GOOD one!).  Stay tuned...
post edited by billyboy - 2017/08/11 15:38:15
#1

57 Replies Related Threads

    ChiTownDiner
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4649
    • Joined: 2006/07/09 10:58:00
    • Location: Westmont, IL
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/02/28 18:20:57 (permalink)
    Nice start billyboy!  Love the candy shopping!
    #2
    pnwchef
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3006
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/02/28 18:33:34 (permalink)
    Happy to see you had fun and are eating well. For future reference, there is a person like Michael in every WH in the country. 
    #3
    leethebard
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8749
    • Joined: 2007/08/16 17:35:00
    • Location: brick, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/02/28 19:10:27 (permalink)
    Nothing wrong with either of those chains!!!
    #4
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22547
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/02/28 19:33:39 (permalink)
    pnwchef
    Happy to see you had fun and are eating well. For future reference, there is a person like Michael in every WH in the country. 


    I'm surprised at you Bill. There is no one like Michael anywhere in the world. Some would respond to that with a "Thank God!" Thoughtful people, though, would know it is true and be sad.
    #5
    ScreamingChicken
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 7919
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
    • Location: Stoughton, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/02/28 20:55:54 (permalink)
    billyboy
    He was really excited to take us to PA (Park Avenue) BBQ Grille, his favorite place for ribs. It's an eastern Florida-only chain extending from Boca Raton to Port St. Lucie.

    Seems like PA BBQ has its heart in the right place, at least as far as the meat goes.  Of course, being in Florida the cake-like cornbread may be in deference to the chomping capabilities of some customers.
     
    One interesting note though: as I was swimming my laps I noticed that more and more seniors were getting in the pool and I even had a very nice conversation with one of them who moved here 15 years ago from Rhode Island (she grew tired of shoveling in the winter!).

    William, you're such a nice young man and it's good to have the younger people visit.  Perhaps later you could stop by and rub my...bunion?
    #6
    MetroplexJim
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6579
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 08:08:08 (permalink)
    Aside from Sonny's BBQ, I've always enjoyed Florida casual dining for its variety. 
     
    In fact, if I had to pick, I'd say that it exceeds Texas and California in that regard.
    #7
    will_work_4_bbq
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 575
    • Joined: 2006/01/11 16:50:00
    • Location: Birmingham, AL
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 11:32:24 (permalink)
    Great trip so far!  Next time you're at Waffle House, ask for your waffle well-done.  They will cook it longer and make it crisper.  Same goes for the hashbrowns.  I'm a rare meat eater, but a well done waffle and hashbrown eater.
    #8
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22547
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 11:46:48 (permalink)
    will_work_4_bbq,    
     
    Good tip. When I get one of my semiannual waffles I do ask for it well done, but I say I want it dark. As to my hash browns, it's always scattered light.                        

     
    #9
    easydoesit
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 664
    • Joined: 2007/06/20 01:52:00
    • Location: La Crosse, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 12:55:53 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken
    billyboy
     
    One interesting note though: as I was swimming my laps I noticed that more and more seniors were getting in the pool and I even had a very nice conversation with one of them who moved here 15 years ago from Rhode Island (she grew tired of shoveling in the winter!).

    William, you're such a nice young man and it's good to have the younger people visit.  Perhaps later you could stop by and rub my...bunion?




    William, you're such a nice young man and it's good to have the younger people visit.  Perhaps later you could stop by and rub my...bunion?
     
    And did I mention that my late husband has left me pretty well off?
    *  *  *  *  *
     
    Billy, we've seen the pictures of your cute niece and others too, I think.  How about a shot of the girlfriend and her Pop?
     
    Love your attitude on life!
     
    #10
    easydoesit
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 664
    • Joined: 2007/06/20 01:52:00
    • Location: La Crosse, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 12:58:29 (permalink)
    Wonder what I did wrong and the same font to continued throughout....  This is all I wanted to add:
     
    Billy, we've seen the pictures of your cute niece and others too, I think.  How about a shot of the girlfriend and her Pop?
     
    Love your attitude on life!
     
     
     
    #11
    easydoesit
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 664
    • Joined: 2007/06/20 01:52:00
    • Location: La Crosse, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 13:00:04 (permalink)
    And this:
    And did I mention that my late husband has left me pretty well off?
     
    Think I better back off the posting today.
     
    #12
    FriedClamFanatic
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2039
    • Joined: 2008/07/14 19:56:00
    • Location: west chester, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 13:40:47 (permalink)
    Glad to see the report, Billy. Just got back to PA after spending a month over on the FL West Coast heling to take care of an 87 yr old woman and getting my fair share of Fried Oysters, shrimp, and even a plate of my beloved clams. And of course, I did make one trip to a WH, maybe the same one.......the Hash Browns are heavenly, the coffee good, the rest so/so( Although I'm told the patty melt is a must)
     
    I'm not a fan of Cracker Barrel, but Gawd, i love Coconut Patties. My brother lives most of the year just Nawth of Daytona and sends a citrus pkg every Christmas.  To be honest, the fruit is so/so(sometimes one is rotten upon opening the pkg), but there are a few coconut patties thrown across the top that are lovely!
    #13
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11379
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 13:53:46 (permalink)
    easydoesit
    And this:
    And did I mention that my late husband has left me pretty well off?
     
    Think I better back off the posting today.
     


    No, you never mentioned that.  HEY EVERYONE!  She's sending us ALL to Florida until the snow is gone!!  Gee, thanks! 
    #14
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22547
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 14:50:52 (permalink)
    You can't go. You're leaving for Alaska in a few days.
    #15
    billyboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2846
    • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
    • Location: New York City, NY
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 15:38:31 (permalink)
    Thanks to all so much for the great comments!
     
    CTD, I love finding regional and/or mom & pop candies.  Always a treat to try something new.  The Smoothie is a peanut butter cup but it is surrounded by a butterscotch coating instead of chocolate.  One of my favorites from my childhood.  Economy Candy in NYC carries the Mallo Cup, which is also made by Boyer but the owner said Smoothies don't sell as well so he doesn't stock them very often.
     
    SC, would you like me to turn up the thermostat and make you nice cup of tea?  Just tell me that you have some hard butterscotch candies in a dish on the end table!
     
    will_work_4_bbq, thanks for the advice.  I do like my waffles a bit more well done.
     
    easydoesit,  thanks!  There is a shot of them coming up soon.  Pretty well off, eh.  Will have to talk to my GF and see if she's willing let me court others!    Though, I did get a very dear offer from a woman I helped at a restaurant on our last night in Florida!  Details to follow...
     
    FCF, I didn't break a sweat looking for citrus but what I saw in Publix and Target left a lot to be desired.  I was looking for some clementines and ruby red grapefruits.  Can anyone from Florida weigh in on the best types of places to get good citrus in Florida (roadside stand, grove stands, big box/chain stores, etc) and also what time of year is peak?  Thanks!
    #16
    ChiTownDiner
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4649
    • Joined: 2006/07/09 10:58:00
    • Location: Westmont, IL
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 16:39:29 (permalink)
     
    billyboy - just got back from a few weeks in the Florida sun and those coconut patties come in many flavors....in the interest of science, I tried 'em all.  Goo Goo's have several flavors also and in anticipation of this thread, I tried all of those...several times!
    #17
    billyboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2846
    • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
    • Location: New York City, NY
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 17:37:20 (permalink)
    Tuesday February 17, 2015 (continued) - My trip to the west coast continued.  I was on my way to St. Petersburg to meet up with cousins from my dad's side of the family.  I've always felt a special connection with them but many of us have not had the chance to meet up for many, many years.  I reached out to them on Facebook about a month ago and we were able to arrange a dinner with most of the cousins and then my cousins Pam & Bob offered to put me up for the night so I wouldn't have to make the long drive back in the dark.  I'm not a particularly huge fan of Facebook but this was one of those times where connecting online led to meeting up in the real world and getting to break bread with some cherished family.  I drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into St. Pete which was pretty cool but did make me a bit nervous as I was caught in a downpour and the lower parts of the bridge seemed awfully close to the water.  I thought for sure a big wave could come over and sweep me away.  Gotta stop watching 70s disaster flicks!
     
    Pam and my cousin Leia had suggested some restaurants to me and a place called Noble Crust in St. Petersburg stood out.  They bill themselves as "Seasonal Italian with Southern Soul".  Not really a Roadfood-y kind of place but excellent food and one I felt worth mentioning in the context of this report as it was a great night with excellent food and wonderful company.  I wish we could have closed the place but I will just have to make another trip down and they talked about a possible mini-family reunion in Central NY next year.  Many of them grew up and/or spent their summers in the Lake Delta area of Rome, NY for many years.  It'd be great to run the Delta Lake Half Marathon next year and have them cheering me on with cowbells!
    My kin!!  Counter-clockwise from bottom right: Elizabeth, Macky, Doug, Billyboy, Bob, Pam, Leia, Brian, Pat (not in view) and Michelle.  

     
    My entree of short rib with mashed cauliflower and heirloom tomatoes.  Really fresh, tender and rich.  

     
    And I just had to get a side of collard greens.  Another winner.  I also tried some of Bob's mushroom & kale lasagna and some of Macky's pizza with clams and oysters.  High marks all around.  They just opened in January of this year and did such a great job with the food and the service.  Would definitely recommend it.

     
    We all said our goodbyes though I got wet from the downpour as I didn't want to leave but eventually Bob, Pam and I made it back to their place.  We had planned to walk around downtown St. Pete but it was still raining pretty hard so we just relaxed for the evening and we shared some great stories, I got to see some photos of my Uncle Don and Aunt Jean (Pam's mom & dad) and Bob gave me a great Roadfood recommendation that I would check out in the morning.  
     
    Wednesday February 18, 2015 - Pam had a to work and Bob had a lunch appointment, so after a short run around their neighborhood, I drove to downtown St. Pete and checked out the waterfront.  Such a beautiful area but I forgot to take pictures!  D'oh!  I did make it to Coney Island Grill for lunch (the place Bob suggested).

     
    I wouldn't expect to find Coneys in Western Florida but after Bob put in the good word and I looked them up online the night before, I had to check them out.  

     
    Apparently, they are familiar with a certain iconic drive-in hot dog spot in ATL!

     
    A pretty simple place.  I asked the man at the register about how Coneys found their way to Florida as I had thought of them as more of a Detroit thing but he didn't know. 

     
    Not exactly the best photo but I didn't want to be too intrusive.  A typical Coney here is topped with mustard, onions and chili.  If you look at the left of the sign it says that it is .05 cents more for catsup.  The previous night Bob told me that back in the days of the Depression, people would come in and get a bowl of cup of hot water (presumably for tea) but then would pour catsup in it to make a soup/meal.  Well, the owner got tired of people using up his catsup for free so he began charging a nickel and the tradition stands today.

     
    A great, thick, housemade chocolate shake.

     
    A chili burger with mustard, onions and chili.  Loved it but it is a thin burger which may not be everyone's thing.

     
    And a delightful little dog.  I probably could have eaten 1 or 2 more but I had a 5-hour drive ahead of me and I didn't want to tempt fate by poking a short stick at the beehive of the gastro-intestinal gods.  There was a guy next to at the counter putting a respectable dent in his plate of 4 coneys.

     
    Going up the Sunshine Skyway Bridge...

     
    Up, up, up...

     
    And coming down...

     
    After I dropped off the rental car in Delray Beach, Bob and Dayna picked me up and we headed for dinner at Ellie's 50's Diner.  

     

     
    Always nice when a local establishment posts about goings on in the community.

     
    High school yearbook photos of the owners and their family members.

     
    Bathrooms are clearly marked!

     
    Upon walking in, we spied a pie case on the way to our table with one slice of chocolate cream left.  Bob, taking a cue from so many Roadfooders, asked the waitress to bring it over so he wouldn't be denied after dinner.  Well done!

     
    And as requested here are the three of us at our booth.  The reason for the "Watch Your Step" sign is that there is a step to get up into the booth.

     
    I started out with something I haven't had in years...a chocolate Coke.  Loved it and I loved that our waitress asked if she had gotten the chocolate syrup/Coke balance right.

     
    I went for the Patty Melt and requested Swiss cheese instead of American.  They really nailed all of the flavors on this one and it had the right amount of pink for me.  Not crazy about the fries.

     
    Dayna had the hot covered meatloaf sandwich and mashed potatoes.  This was really good too.  There was a flavor in the meatloaf I couldn't quite place (possibly roasted red peppers) but I loved it.  Bob had a grilled cheese sandwich that he really enjoyed.

     
    Dayna went for a piece of Key Lime Pie.  I liked it but I do prefer a graham cracker crust.

     
    As it turns out, they had another whole chocolate cream pie in the back so I HAD to get a slice for myself.  Score!  And again our ever diligent waitress came through for us.  She said that the fruit-based pies are all made in-house and the cream-based pies are made by a local bakery called The Upper Crust in Lake Worth, FL.  Buffetbuster, I just looked at their pie menu online and man, you're gonna want to stop there next time you're in the area!  Website:  http://theuppercrustpies.com/our-pies/

     
    My only regret is that I spied these Sprechers sodas as we were leaving!  D'oh!

     
    An excellent deli breakfast, bbq shrimp and one truly amazing crab cake coming up next...see you soon!!
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/10 12:18:59
    #18
    lleechef
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 11379
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 18:36:15 (permalink)
    Beautiful family, beautiful food, geeze, you are a lucky man!  Doesn't get better than that.
    #19
    wanderingjew
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10071
    • Joined: 2001/01/18 18:49:00
    • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/01 19:38:15 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Thankfully as a result of your great report, I can forgive you for going to Waffle House and Cracker Barrel
    #20
    JRPfeff
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4914
    • Joined: 2006/12/01 10:05:00
    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 09:01:50 (permalink)
    Thanks billyboy for taking the time to post a great trip report on Roadfood. I can't wait to get back to Waffle House.
    #21
    JRPfeff
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4914
    • Joined: 2006/12/01 10:05:00
    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 09:02:42 (permalink)
    lleechef
    Beautiful family, beautiful food, geeze, you are a lucky man!  Doesn't get better than that.


    Just add a rich widow or two.
    #22
    pnwchef
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3006
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 11:56:52 (permalink)
    Billy, I thought you had to be sitting on a stool at a soda bar in a pharmacy to drink a chocolate Coke.........
    #23
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 22547
    • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 12:32:35 (permalink)
    The last time I had a chocolate Coke was in McCann's at Wildemere Beach in Milford, Connecticut.
    #24
    ann peeples
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10303
    • Joined: 2006/05/21 06:45:00
    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 14:03:55 (permalink)
    All your food choices are great! Especially the coconut patties....
    #25
    FriedClamFanatic
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2039
    • Joined: 2008/07/14 19:56:00
    • Location: west chester, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 16:33:39 (permalink)
    Never thought of having a Great Italian Meal in Florida, even having lived in FTL for 3 years and wintered over on the West Coast at Boca Grande for several more.  Nice to see there is one!  And for those who fear heights, that bridge can be daunting..but you'll make it as long as you don't close your eyes
    #26
    billyboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2846
    • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
    • Location: New York City, NY
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 18:05:20 (permalink)
    Thursday February 19, 2015 - Dayna slept in this morning so Bob and I headed out for breakfast (and brought back some pancakes for her) at Flakowitz, which is part bakery and part deli/restaurant in Boynton Beach.  It's one of Bob's favorites and I had seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and it did look pretty good, so I was excited to try it.  

     
    Upon walking in I noticed many staff at the in-house bakery counter who looked like they had been there for quite a few years and the array of bread and pastries was staggering.  Sorry I didn't get a better shot.  

     
    And they bake their own bagels.

     
    And the guy in the distance to the left of the "take a number" sign was busy trimming a slab corned beef while we were waiting in line.  A sign of good things to come...

     
    Our waitress brought out a free plate of chocolate marble cake and then I noticed that most other tables had them too.  Moist, chocolatey and with a crispy top, this was definitely a winner and I think I may have to go back to buy a loaf.

     
    Bob opted for a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries.

     
    After seeing that guy trimming corned beef, I HAD to get the homemade corned beef hash and eggs.  I also picked grits as my side (when in the South...) and an everything bagel, toasted with plain cream cheese as my bread.  I should have asked them to toast it more as I like mine kinda dark, though it was a good bagel.

     
    While far from my best camera work, this corned beef hash is some of the best I have ever tasted.  No mistaking that this was homemade and the texture was EXACTLY how I like it, crispy on top, creamy in the middle.  Combine that with some over easy eggs and a forkful of buttery grits (I may have put a pat of butter in them!) and I was a happy Billyboy!

     
    After relaxing at the house for a bit, I dug into the half a key lime pie I had picked up at the Publix grocery store the day before.  Very tart and creamy. 

     
    After a another quick swim in the clubhouse pool, I was looking forward to meeting up with my cousin John, his wife Nicole and their three girls for dinner in Delray Beach.  John, Nicole and his eldest daughter had visited NYC back in 2013 and we had a great time: trying their very first chocolate egg creams, an all mac & cheese lunch at S'MAC and walking around the Museum of Natural History.  You can see John and his daughter (Nicole was at a work conference all day) at the beginning of this 2013 year-end round-up: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/2013-It-was-a-very-good-year-m789199.aspx
     
    However, their youngest was getting braces earlier in the day and we had to take a raincheck on dinner.  We'll definitely meet-up on the next trip.  So Bob decided to take us to dinner at a place he said has some of the best mussels, Eagle Grill & Oyster Bar in Greenacres, FL.  

     
    I asked to sample some of the smoked fish dip I had seen listed on the menu as I've heard it is pretty popular in Florida.  I liked it but no one else was really interested so we ordered the crab cake appetizers.  Wow!!  Growing up in Central NY, I wasn't very familiar with crab cakes and the ones I did try seemed to be all filler and no thriller: lots of bread crumbs and with a fishy flavor that really turned me off.  Where has THIS crab cake been all my life??  Buttery, moist and flaky, with just enough buttery bread crumbs to barely hold it together, I had a hard time sharing this with Dayna.  I wasn't crazy about the remoulade sauce, but then it isn't really about the sauce, is it?

     
    Bob also had a crab cake and a cup of Bahamian conch chowder.  Having lived in Boston for 6 years, it's hard for me to look at anything tomato-based and say the word "chowder", but this was really good: peppery and lots of chopped conch made for a very warming cup of goodness.  

     
    There were so many great sounding items on the menu and we took a while to decide.  We had planned on all getting mussels but by the time were ready to order, the kitchen had run out of them!  Dayna had a fish dish and my photo didn't come out so well.  Bob went with a combo and fried shrimp and clam strips. Pretty tasty.

     
    I went with the New Orleans style BBQ shrimp with butter, garlic, Worcestershire and spices.  Another winner.  Lots of fresh shrimp and they were coated in that wonderful sauce.  I loved the toasted roll that came with it but my only complaint is that it is all served over the roll, which ends up getting very mushy, very quickly.  I'd recommend serving the toasted roll on the side for dipping, so that it stays crispy throughout the meal.  The baked beans reminded me of the Boston baked beans I usually get at Mr. Bartley's in Cambridge, MA.  

     
    One more day to go...!  Not looking forward to going back into the deep freeze of the Northeast.
    post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/10 12:13:15
    #27
    billyboy
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 2846
    • Joined: 2005/01/23 02:28:00
    • Location: New York City, NY
    • Status: online
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 19:29:58 (permalink)
    Friday February 20, 2015 - Breakfast this morning meant a trip to The Original Pancake House in Boynton Beach.  Yes, this is definitely a national chain but boy, was it good!

     
    Bob made the interesting choice of pancakes with blueberries and peanut butter chips.  A combination that never occurred  to me but a couple of bites later, I was won over.  Dayna opted for the Apple Baby, a choice she (somewhat) came to regret.  This thing is MASSIVE!  It's an oven baked pancake with fresh Granny Smith apples and a Sinkiang (Chinese) cinnamon glaze.  We all dug into this and it was delicious but so daunting and Dayna isn't so much into really sweet foods so after a few bites, she tired of it but went to work on the crispy edges that didn't have so much glaze on them.  I also tried some of Dayna's side of Canadian bacon, which lent a welcome saltiness to the meal.  

     
    I have always wanted to try a Dutch Baby and this version was everything I could have hoped for.  It's another oven baked pancake that comes to the table undressed.  

     
    The Dutch baby, fully dressed.  Our waitress was great.  It was really packed this morning but she brought out the whipped butter, lemon wedges and confectioner's sugar and took the time to explain how to apply them.  Spread the butter all over, squeeze the lemon wedges all over and then sprinkle the sugar it and let it sit for about a minute so that it all comes together.  Before this meal, I never would have imagined wanting anything but maple syrup on my pancakes, but this combination was bright, tart, light and just sweet enough.  The texture of the base was somewhat custardy and reminded me a bit of bread pudding.  I couldn't get enough.  

     
    Our waitress mentioned that the corned beef hash is made in-house, but in a way that didn't make me feel like she was trying to "sell" it.  This was a very good hash and clearly homemade with lots of shreds of corned beef, chunks of potato and onion.  I did like it, but this was a "loose" hash and my preference is for a"tighter" hash like at Flakowitz.  While I'm glad I tried it I think next time I might go for the big slice of bone-in ham I spied on the table next to us.  

     
    And a parting shot at the front door.

     
    Dayna decided to relax back at the house while Bob and I drove over to Green Cay Nature Center & Wetlands for a nature walk.  Bob said he comes over here a couple of times a week to get some exercise and take in the sights.  

     
    I'm not sure of the names of these birds so I'll just post the photos (but I'll put captions on some of the other ones on which I have some commentary).  

     
    It was a beautiful, breezy day and it was great to just take our time walking through, stopping to see a flock of birds or just to hear the wind rustle through the trees.  

     

     
    Bob pointed out this board on the walkway that appears to have the face of a lion in it!

     

     
    I think this tree was flipping me the bird!

     

     

     

     

     
    Seflie, with nature.

     

     
    Right next to this bird was another bird who kept going underwater, catching some food and then popping up in a different spot to eats it.  After a while, he started to look like Dr. Sheldon Cooper in the ball pit on The Big Bang Theory! BAZINGA!!  One of the funniest bits on that show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHmufSTG-o

     
    Some Mossyback turtles.

     

     

     
    With a zoom lens, about as close as I ever hope to get to an alligator.

     
    I wish I could say that our last meal in Florida was a good one, I really wish I could.  Bob bought tickets for us to see Jay & The Americans at Kings Point in Delray Beach.  We had a 6:00pm reservation for dinner at an Italian restaurant that shall remain unnamed. The original owners had retired and the new owners had just been open a few months.  Their first mistake was in overbooking that night.  We didn't get seated until 6:45pm and I took a while to get someone to come and take our order.  We made sure to let them know that we had to make an 8:00pm show.  Their second mistake was that they allowed big  parties to have separate checks.  Allowing a party of 9 pay separately takes forever and when multiple tables are doing that, well, you do the math.  
     
    The food was actually pretty good.  The garlic bread, pork chops, chicken parm and eggplant parm were pretty good.  Bob's friend Burt had gotten linguini with clam sauce that had chopped and whole clams in the shell which led to the third mistake.  As he was eating, he kept coming across shards of broken clam shells.  He told the waitress that he couldn't eat it as he didn't want to choke on one.  The cook came out and explained that he had boiled the clams too vigorously and the broke against each other in the pot.  I thought, "Okay, you explained it to us, but if you knew that had happened, why would you still serve it to customers?" He took half of the entree off of the bill though we thought he should have comped it altogether.  
     
    The one really nice and funny note about this experience is that there were many seniors exiting while were waiting and a couple of ladies with limited mobility came out.  I asked the guy at the register for a plastic bag as they had neglected to give one to these ladies for their leftovers.  Then I offered my arm to her to walk down the ramp to the sidewalk.  She exclaimed, "Ooh, a gentleman and a scholar!  I may have you escort me down the aisle at my next wedding!"  I said I'd have to okay it with my girlfriend to which she replied, "That's okay, she can escort my future husband down the aisle!" 
     
    The concert was okay, but Jay & The Americans really aren't the kind of music that Dayna and I listen to or grew up with.  Sadly, the only song I recognized was "This Magic Moment" and that was only because it gets a lot of TV play in pharmaceutical commercials for erectile dysfunction pills!  Bob and Burt really loved it as it was the music of their youth.  They sang along, knew the songs from the first guitar strains and knew the names of the current and former band members.  Glad we got to share a piece of their youth with them.
     
    Saturday February 21, 2015 - Originally, we were supposed to fly through Washington D.C. on our return flight but we received a call from American Airlines saying that it had been cancelled due to bad weather in the D.C. area.  I was bummed as I was going to miss my chance to stop at the Ben's Chili Bowl in the airport for my first taste of a chili-covered half smoke.  
    We ended up flying into Charlotte, NC so I consoled myself with a potential stop at Bojangles for some chicken & biscuits or maybe at Brookwood Farms BBQ (per some helpful texts from Buffetbuster, Wanderingjew and The Travelin' Man).  Unfortunately, our flight landed at 1:55pm and our connecting flight began boarding at...1:55pm!!  We double-timed it through the airport and made it to the gate about 5 minutes before the door closed.  Whew!  
     
    And our view upon arriving at Laguardia in NYC.  I have never flown into Laguardia before and I have to say that my body completely tensed up when I saw how low to the water we were moments before we touched down.  I didn't realize that the runway is right on the water!  Man, it was 75 degrees the in Florida the morning we flew back to NYC and I was NOT ready to leave.  I would have loved a few more days.  Looking forward to next year!

     

     
     
    The 411:
     
    1.)  PA BBQ Grille
          4796 N Congress Avenue
          Boynton Beach, FL 33426
          Ph# (561) 357-7427
          Website: https://www.pabbqgrille.com/index.asp
     
    2.)  Waffle House
          Ft. Myers, FL (not sure of exact location)
     
    3.)  Cracker Barrel
          Ft. Myers, FL (not sure of exact location)
     
    4.)  Noble Crust
          8300 4th St N
          St. Petersburg, FL 33702
          Ph# (727) 329-6041
          Website: http://noble-crust.com
     
    5.)  Coney Island Grill
          250 Doctor Martin Luther King Jr St N
          St. Petersburg, FL 33705
          Ph# (727) 822-4493
          No website
     
    6.)  Ellie's 50's Diner
          2410 North Federal Highway
          Delray Beach, FL 33483
          Ph# (561) 276-1570
          Website: http://www.elliescatering.com/Family-Diner.html
     
    7.)  Flakowitz
          7410 Boynton Beach Boulevard
          Boynton Beach, FL 33437
          Ph# (561) 742-4144
          Website: http://www.flakowitzofboynton.com
     
    8.)  Eagle Grill & Oyster Bar
          4636 Jog Rd
          Greenacres, FL 33467
          Ph# (561) 964-0009
          Website: http://www.eagle-grill.com
     
    9.)  The Original Pancake House
          7720 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
          Boynton Beach, Florida 33437
          Ph# 561-740-9033
          Website: http://www.originalpancakehouseflorida.com
     
    10.)  Green Cay Nature Center
            12800 Hagen Ranch Road
            Boynton Beach, FL 33437
            Ph# 561-966-7000
            Website: http://www.pbcgov.com/parks/nature/green_cay_nature_center/#.V9QtBjuVdSo
     
    That's all for now.  Thanks for tuning in.
     
    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2015
     
    post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/10 12:10:17
    #28
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 15787
    • Joined: 2002/08/20 22:32:00
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 19:32:53 (permalink)
    That crabcake is beautiful nd looks delicious as well.
       I also long for the Pecan GooGoo Clusters, that used to draw us off the freeway
          when we saw a STUCKEY'S sign coming up,
    Maybe Sundancer can contribute his Bird Identification skills here....
    #29
    buffetbuster
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 11982
    • Joined: 2002/05/09 13:42:00
    • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re: February Fun in the Florida Sun 2015/03/02 20:44:32 (permalink)
    Wonderful report with great photos billyboy!  The best part is just getting out of the brutal winter we have had, even if it is just for a few days.  And seeing family makes it that much better.  Thanks for the recommendation on the pie, also.
    #30
    Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
    Jump to:
    © 2017 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.5