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Palm Beach

So we're planning to be in Palm Beach at the Breakers a couple of nights for a conference. Unfortunately only one night is available for non-hotel dining. There's a chance we'll be entertaining a client that evening so quality is more important than price. It doesn't have to be a quiet working dinner...but I'd like to be able to hear each other speak. I'd prefer to NOT eat at a steakhouse...which is where we'll end up if my +1 is in charge. Seafood always makes me happy at the beach. Probably not ethnic since I'm unsure of the client likes and dislikes.

I also hope to be out and about solo some during the days and would love quick and easy lunch ideas.

TIA.

Edited by porcupine
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West Palm Beach

Went to the City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill in the City Center in West Palm Beach, FL last week. Mid-week, 6:30, walked in with 13 people. I groaned as the person up front asked for a table for all of us rather then breaking into more managable groupings. The request was handled with a smile as the host rearranged some upcoming reservations to other stations and they pulled together several tables to accomodate our group without swamping servers.

This place had everything from salads and pizzas to duck breast. As our conference was in an over air conditioned room and there was a bit of a cold snap, I felt in the mood for a fallish dish and went for the lamb shank braised in red wine. This was very, very good. Flavorful, fork tender, and nicely accompanied by fried parsnip ribbons and mashed potatos. I would have preferred something green instead of the potatos as the parsnip was enough starch. The parsnip with the sauce from the lamb was a wonderful combo.

With such a diverse group with many tastes and price preferences, this was a good way to meet all needs.

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Delray Beach

Celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday at a lunch this weekend at Henry's restaurant in Delray Beach (or was it Boca?) My expectations were low (I haven't had many good meals in the area over the years) but my seared tuna salad was cooked properly and its Asian dressing was flavorful, the offer of wasabi on the side was welcome, and the only oddity was the large chunks of pineapple that really didn't belong in the dish.

And our server, faced with a table of 16 -- six under the age of 60 and ten over 75 -- handled the situation with ease and a smile, keeping the wine and champagne glasses at our end of the table full, and answering the same questions multiple times for those who couldn't hear so well at the other end of the table. And when my grandmother declined a dessert, saying she'd just taste my apple cobbler (watching her girlish figure tongue.gif ), he had the presence of mind to bring her her own apple cobbler, complete with a birthday candle.

Not a place I'd travel out of my way for, but certainly kept our motley crew happy.

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Boca Raton

I went to Opus 5 on Friday in Boca Raton. It is part of the same restaurant group as Henry's. Our 8 person reservation was stretched without fuss when our number grew by 2. We were really squeezed in but were happy to be accommodated. Also easily accommodated was corkage of a bottle of wine one of our group brought along to celebrate my brother's wedding. Catching up and wedding talk dominated the conversation so I can't really talk about what anyone else had to eat but I can say there were a lot of happy faces.

I had the penne with duck ragu. It was rich and velvety with tons of tender duck. A huge portion. I was just sorry it wasn't colder because this would have been a great cozy winter night meal.

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Boca Raton

Kee's Grill in Boca (I think on Atlantic Ave, across from the Polo club complex) is incredible. The freshest seafood, artfully prepared, wonderful sides (smashed sweet potatoes to die for). The grouper provencale with artichokes is fabulous. Highly recommended. Make reservations.

It's actually on Military Rd. Two minutes from where my parents live.
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Jacksonville

So, this is a desperate stab in the dark. I am heading to Jax in a couple weeks to visit grandparents and thought (for once) we'd try out someplace besides the Ryan's steakhouse (sigh)
Any suggestions?

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So, this is a desperate stab in the dark. I am heading to Jax in a couple weeks to visit grandparents and thought (for once) we'd try out someplace besides the Ryan's steakhouse (sigh)

Any suggestions?

I think it's time to summon NiceDocter, who can also fill your pediatric needs while you are in town. Rocky?

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Jacksonville

As to dining in Jacksonville, on Riverside Ave at Fishware creek, try the newly opened Preservation Steak and Chop House from the same folks who operate The Mossfire Grill in 5 Points, in San Marco, Bistro Aix on Hendericks Ave and if its BBQ you want, the original Bonos on Beach Blvd wins hands down. Gerard

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Jacksonville

As a Jacksonville resident for the last 20 years........I can offer some help..........but you didnt say what you are looking for.
At the Beaches, the Right Spot is inexpensive, home style food well prepared in a casual setting. In Avondale are 2 slightly upscale restaurants, the Brick and Sterlings, both of which have good food and service although the Brick may be a bit crowded on the seating.
Downtown of course you have the big three steakhouses Ruths Cris, Mortons (not nearly as good by the way IMHO), and a newer one Plaza Three. For seafood, downtown you have the Chart House which is good quality and moderately priced, River City Brewing Company which is your basic steak-seafood ontheriver place, and a number of other medium priced places to choose from. Cafe Carmon in San Marco near downtown is great for a nice dessert and coffee or dinner. If you could be more specific on what area of town or what type of eatery you are looking for I can try and add more info. Good luck and Happy Dining! NiceDocter@aol.com biggrin.gif

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Boca Raton

It's actually on Military Rd. Two minutes from where my parents live.

I am going down to Boca to visit family this weekend and my mother is all excited to take me to this new wine bar-vertical 114. Holy shit this place is a joke. $375 for a glass of 1997 insignia !?!?!?! Check out their website:
Vertical 114
They list their Champagnes under white wines....Hello, Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier
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Boca Raton

I am going down to Boca to visit family this weekend and my mother is all excited to take me to this new wine bar-vertical 114. Holy shit this place is a joke. $375 for a glass of 1997 insignia !?!?!?! Check out their website:
Vertical 114
They list their Champagnes under white wines....Hello, Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier

That is nuckin' futs! I think it says $325/glass now, but still! That's crazy!
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Hollywood Beach

Le Tub Saloon
Made somewhat famous by GQ, Oprah, and other media outlets touting their Sirloin Burger as the best in the country, I somehow managed to completely miss ever setting foot inside this former gas station turned Key West-style quirky hole-in-the-wall neighborhood joint, even though I grew up in Hollywood and spent many of my younger days and nights frolicking on and around Hollywood Beach. On a recent visit back home, I decided to pop in. I grabbed a seat at the inside bar, with a panoramic view of 1) the boats going by on the Intracoastal Waterway, 2) the guy forming hamburger patties from a huge tub of ground sirloin, and 3) the grill. The burger was juicy, had a pronounced beef flavor, and was perfectly cooked, with a nice char reminiscent of what you might find on a well-cooked steak (and what you usually don't find on a hamburger). Toppings I chose were American cheese, onion, lettuce & tomato. The bun was nothing spectacular, although it did manage to hold up nicely without falling apart. The steak fries which I ordered as a side were simply out of this world. Big, piping hot fresh-cut wedges with a distinct potato flavor, fried in peanut oil.

Believe the hype - this burger ranks right up there with the best I have ever had.

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Delray Beach; Boca Raton; Boynton Beach

Looking for some tasty food - but since we're "beaching" it - don't want anything fussy or too fancy. In the past we have really enjoyed the fish& chips at Hurricane Alley (Boynton), the seafood at J&R's in Delray, and the martinis at Suite 225.

Love the setting/ambience at Old Key Lime House - but the food isn't great. In fact, most of the places we have eaten on the water have been wonderful for the sights, but weak in the tasty department (this includes Dune Deck, Prime Catch, Old Calypso, Banana Boat, and Bernie's)

Any suggestions for casual but boldly flavored food in the area? Especially on the water? We can drive to Boca or West Palm or stay nearby in Boynton, Lantana & Delray

We like pretty much all types of food - American, Asian, Indian, Cuban....

Appreciate any suggestions!

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Darn...No suggestions from the food mavens???

I have selected a few that I read about - let me know if you have been to any of these (all are in Boynton, Boca or Delray):

Rocky's Italian Bistro

Joseph's Wine Bar & Café

9 South Cafe

Cabana Restaurant

A-1 Thai Restaurant

CEVICHE HOUSE

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Delray Beach


Darn...No suggestions from the food mavens???

I have selected a few that I read about - let me know if you have been to any of these (all are in Boynton, Boca or Delray):

Rocky's Italian Bistro
Joseph's Wine Bar & Caf�
9 South Cafe
Cabana Restaurant
A-1 Thai Restaurant
CEVICHE HOUSE



Well, I'm back from Delray and in case anyone is lurking and interested - I'll give an update about the above restaurants.....

9 South - sadly, closed

A-1 - awful, nasty, terrible and lousy service. What a misnomer. Should be Z-infinity
Cafe Frankie-s Not on the list, but I had a coupon so we decided to give it a shot. BINGO! - Really loved this place.Small, in a strip center but so friendly and it smelled great. Had calamari baked in the pizza oven on a cedar plank - very tasty and much different than the normal fried/marinara style. Dinner was delicious although the seafood was a big overcooked in the pasta dish. But the flavors more than compensated for the chewy shrimp. Of course, half-off all wines after 8 pm didn't hurt my mood either!

Rocky's - So fabulous. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Sad that it's tucked away on a side-street so missed the all-important passers-by. The Italian places on the main drag were hopping. Only 4 or 5 tables in Rocky's had customers - such a shame! Seafood was cooked perfectly - succulent juicy mussels, scallops and shrimp in a diavolo avalanche of yummines. OH - and hands down the best cannoli I have ever had in my life.

Josephs and Ceviche House- never made it to either.

Cabana - Good, but not outragelously so. Of course, we were there for lunch so didn't get the full effect..

Big Al's Philly Cheesesteak. Had such high hopes due to the delightful owners. But we were disappointed. Meat was dry and pretty much flavorless. A bit stingy with the grilled onions and cheese, too. Oh well.

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Boca Raton; Boynton Beach

I'm too late to help the Storage Lady out, but wanted to make a few recommendations for those heading south. Two of my favorites in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton/Boyton Beach area are: 1) Kee Grille (Boca Raton) and 2) Flakowitz Deli of Boynton Beach. Kee Grille's lambchops are to die for, and I'm constantly craving Flakowitz's corned beef, pastrami, and potato pancakes. It's probably the best New York-style deli I've ever been to. Personally, I don't think I could live in South Florida, but the food options are pretty damn good down there.

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Boynton Beach

2) Flakowitz Deli of Boynton Beach. and I'm constantly craving Flakowitz's corned beef, pastrami, and potato pancakes. It's probably the best New York-style deli I've ever been to.

My parents and I stumbled upon this Flakowitz Deli when were visiting my brother in August. I thought the pastrami was the best non-NY pastrami I'd ever had. We mentioned it to my cousins who live near one of the NY Flakawitz Delis and had raved about it for years.
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Boynton Beach


My parents and I stumbled upon this Flakowitz Deli when were visiting my brother in August. I thought the pastrami was the best non-NY pastrami I'd ever had. We mentioned it to my cousins who live near one of the NY Flakawitz Delis and had raved about it for years.

My parents (the lucky ducks!) go there every week. And I'm convinced that Flakowitz's pastrami, lean corned beef is even better than the big name delis in NYC. I think that Flakowitz has just two locations--the Boynton one that has been written up in the press--and the Boca Raton location.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/restaurants/sfl-sh31pdinepboct31,0,115451.story
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Coco Beach


So my husband and I are going to Nationals Spring Training in March and we would love some recs for good places to eat while we are there. We are staying in Coco Beach and would love to know of a great place in the area. Anyone?


Try The Fat Snook, I've never been but a buddy is cooking. Also, for a little local flavor check out Taco City it's been around for a good while and is a must when I hit up Coco.
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Boynton Beach

Flakowitz's is still the top vote-getter in the Delray area? I'll be there for 48 hours this weekend and could use a food rec.

Also, am in need of a dinner recommendation for somewhere between the FLL airport and Delray tonight. Nothing fancy, just decent.

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If you want something close to FLL, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is on Rte. 1 less than a mile north of the airport @ SE 22nd St.

And Delray isn't more than a few minutes from Boca; lots more choices there. Been years since I've been, but Max's Grille in Boca used to be reliably good.

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Boca Raton


If you want something close to FLL, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is on Rte. 1 less than a mile north of the airport @ SE 22nd St.

And Delray isn't more than a few minutes from Boca; lots more choices there. Been years since I've been, but Max's Grille in Boca used to be reliably good.

I was at Max's in October and thought it was very good. There was a brief power outage that the staff handled brilliantly.
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Boca Raton; Boynton Beach


And Delray isn't more than a few minutes from Boca; lots more choices there. Been years since I've been, but Max's Grille in Boca used to be reliably good.

Definitely Boca Raton has more restaurant choices. Max's Grill is still good. I also highly recommend the Kee Grill--it's a fine restaurant (the lamb chops are excellent). For something more casual, my family and I have enjoyed Renzo's, a family-style Italian restaurant.

P.S. In Boynton Beach, I also recommend the Village Tavern.
http://www.villagetavern.com/locations.cfm

The salads and steaks were great, and the atmosphere was lively. Fun place to hang out at whethehr you're on your own or with a group.
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Boynton Beach


Definitely Boca Raton has more restaurant choices. Max's Grill is still good. I also highly recommend the Kee Grill--it's a fine restaurant (the lamb chops are excellent). For something more casual, my family and I have enjoyed Renzo's, a family-style Italian restaurant.

P.S. In Boynton Beach, I also recommend the Village Tavern.
http://www.villagetavern.com/locations.cfm

The salads and steaks were great, and the atmosphere was lively. Fun place to hang out at whethehr you're on your own or with a group.


Glad you posted - I'm planning on going to Village Tavern later this month when I head south to check on my house. Any suggestions on what to order?
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Will be by myself in Jacksonville - in what I guess they call "downtown" (Riverfront Hyatt) - tomorrow night. Any place around there that is nice for sitting at the bar and eating good food? Thinking more in terms of pub with friendly vibe and good food, than expense account steakhouse etc. Something in the vein of Bar Pilar or Radius Pizza, though of course oysters would be most welcome. Thank you.

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Jacksonville

Chart House is still a good option for good food and drinks on the riverfront. City Pub next to the sports/concert arena has gotten some good reviews also although Im not sure about the food since Ive never been there, and it may have more of a "Sports Bar " feel than you would want. "bb's" is another nice place not far away from where you are........good food, atmosphere, not a pub but an eaterie (but a bar area is available) ........for an adventure you could go to The Landing which is also close to where you would be, this is a Rouse corporation riverfront mall which has minimal shopping but a number of eateries with views of the St Johns, youd have to take a peek inside each to see if they fit your bill. They have turned over a number of times and range from inexpensive to chic with even a Hooters thrown in if this is your fancy. Weather should be warm and clear by the time you are here so enjoy yourself! NiceD

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Daytona Beach

To answer my own post--abandon hope all ye who enter Daytona Beach.

We had okay seafood at two places in Port Orange (Our Deck Down Under) and Ponce Inlet (Down the Hatch). The pizza at Stavros Original in downtown Daytona was passable though the little guy refused to even try it. We had terrible Mexican at La Fiesta in Port Orange.

I think the most successful meal out was our "snack" at Steak and Shake. The little guy had been disappointed that while he could have breakfast, lunch and dinner with Pooh at Disneyworld, shack wasn't an option. And why didn't we get to go out for snack on vacation? I grew up with Steak and Shake as an occasional treat so I offered to take him for fries. He was enchanted and he downed both the fries and burger in no time. It was a nice trip down memory lane for me.

But the best meals were the ones I cooked at the condo. I would bring more food next time. The grocery stores sucked (Pubix and Winn Dixie) and the farmers market didn't include any actual farmers.

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Bumpity. Got three weeks to kill, staying near the airport and working near Blount Island. Mayport shack-type place recommendations would be great, as would other beachy things, plus if there's anything new and exciting in town (I'll have a car).

NiceDocter is most certainly not a food expert, but he *is* my brother, so if your child comes down with the mumps, he's your point man.

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Mayport Village

I can report with some degree of certainty that the spanking fresh, never frozen, jumbo (I guess 12-16 ct), head-on, local shrimp available from Safe Harbour Seafood in Mayport Village, FL, are on a par with any of the shrimp I've cooked in South Louisiana.

And this, friends, is why I travel with a shrimp pot.

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Daytona Beach

In the same neighborhood as Down the Hatch is Lighthouse Landing. It's right across the street from the Ponce Lighthouse.
http://www.discoverdaytona.com/beachside/beachside/restaurants/lighthouse-landing/index.htm

If you want to venture across the inlet to New Smyrna Beach, I'd recommend, Dolphin View, or Off the Hook. Dolphin view is mostly outdoor seating with water views. Off the Hook is in the Publix Shopping center (beachside).

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Melbourne

Bubba's Backyard BBQ

I was in for a late lunch (about 1:45) and was the only person in the place. I awkwardly waited a few minutes before someone came from the kitchen. After confirming that they were still open for lunch, I seated myself at a table. When I said I had never eaten there before, I was presented with a tray of samples of: macaroni and cheese, baked beans, sweet potato casserole, cole slaw, potato salad and pulled pork. After sampling, I ordered a two meat, two sides plate with pulled pork, something they called riblets, mac and cheese and collard greens. I decided to order the pork based on the sample. It was tender and moist, with a distinct smoky (hickory?) flavor. The greens were not vinegary, which is not my preference, but in addition to regular, sweet and hot bbq sauces, they provided a pepper vinegar. The owner mentioned he grows a wide variety of his own peppers, many of which are used in the dry rub for the ribs. Couldn't finish the meal, but dessert samples appeared anyway! Rocky road pudding and banana pudding.

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Just came back from a friend's wedding in Jacksonville. I enjoyed the warm weather, beaches, and paddleboarding very much. While I was there, I visited the following places.
 
Jacksonville
 
Mojo no. 4 BBQ (Avondale):  One of the recommended places from internet research. It is in a cute, quaint part of town that reminds me a bit of Annapolis, but with palm trees. Because I stopped here for lunch and had to drive after, I couldn't try the whiskey selections. I had the two meat combo ($13, selections were NC pulled pork and dry-rub ribs), with the sweet potato mash (contains pecans) and collard greens. While the flavors in the barbecue were alright (the smokiness was there, but it lacked some depth for me), I enjoyed the sides much, much more. Thank goodness my hotel room had a fridge, as these heated up well for next day's lunch.

Sweet Baking Theory Co. (Riverside):  I opted to stop by here for dessert, although, to be honest, I really couldn't eat another thing. So, thank goodness they had a mini sea salt caramel brownie for around $1.25. They are mostly gluten free. The brownie was extremely tasty.

Urban Coffee (Orange Park):  This local coffeehouse serves Counter Culture coffee, which was a nice alternative to the drive-thru Starbucks I saw. A solid soy latte started off my day nicely. There are also sandwiches and an assortment of desserts to choose from, making this a nice local hangout.

Hawaiian Ice (Atlantic Beach): After a morning out at Dutton Island Reserve, it was nice to start the afternoon with some shaved ice at Ohana. A local, small eatery that serves lunch, as well as various Hawaiian syrup-combinations of ice or with ice cream, this place felt very warm and inviting.

Hawkers Asian Street Fare (Riverside):  My last night in Jacksonville led me here, after much random driving around. The decor was warm and inviting with its old-fashioned-styled light bulbs that are the rage, with wood-paneling. The beer selection is pretty awesome, with a good range of local and foreign brews. The lovely bar server was very willing to make combos, such as what's known as a Killer Duke (A locally brewed Bold City's Duke brown ale + Killer Whale cream ale), or combining the Green Rock Count Shakla (chocolate stout) with the McKenzie (NY-based cider) Wild Cherry for a black forest cake-type of drink. It was a nice way to end the trip here.
 
St. Augustine

Ice Plant Bar:  Attached to the St. Augustine Distillery, if you visit, you really should make it a 2-fer, meaning, take in a distillery tour, followed by dinner at the restaurant. I opted to stand at the bar (it was standing room only that night at both of their bar stations). Very, very solid cocktail program, and I can only attest to the dessert. It was a great way to end my first night.

The Hyppo (Old St. Augustine District):  Local artisanal popsicle chain, featuring flavors similar to those found at Pleasant Pops here. The espresso horchata hit the spot after a few drinks, but the price for it ($3.50) was a bit wounding.

The Chocolate Turtle (Old St. Augustine District):  Equally wounding were the prices here for cake slices and other desserts. A slice of salted caramel chocolate cake set me back $7.20, but it was a big as those found at Silver Diner and the like. Took a few days to finish this moist, but really sweet cake, so the cost then was not so bad. The locals seem to like it, hanging out here after their nightly stroll with their families.

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Delray Beach

Back from Delray Beach and environs.  Up in Lantana, we stopped at the Key Lime House for key lime pie.  Almost all the seating is outside at the dock, mostly under awnings, several small bars scattered among a meandering waterside dock/patio.  The key lime pie is very good and huge portions.  From what I gather, the food in general is basic Florida pub grub that's okay, not great but not awful

Had dinner at Cabana del Rey in Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue one night.  I gather it's a small local chain.  Very nice pisco sour and my friend got the peach sangria that she liked (she isn't much of a drinker and it sounded like a very sweet drink to me but I didn't taste it).  Started with the sauteed portabello mushrooms and fried calamari.  Very large servings.  Calamari was nicely battered and fried to a light golden brown, but the squid itself was pretty chewy.  Mushrooms sounded good but were pretty pedestrian, and hadn't been dry sauteed first to pull some moisture out before the butter & seasonings added.  For mains she got sea bass over spinach & yucca in a saffron cream sauce.  Too much sauce on the plate, but the fish was elevated so it wasn't overwhelmed by it.  Fish itself was nicely pan fried, moist and tender, well seasoned.  The spinach was fine, but the yucca didn't add anything to the dish.  I got the paella valencia (?) -- mussels, clams, shrimp, squid, chicken, sausage & rice, served in a "caldera" (a Le Crueset small covered dutch oven).  Very good and huge portion.  Easily enough for 2 very hungry people, or 4 small appetites.  Delicious, and the seafood in it was not overcooked.  Did not get down to the bottom of the pot to see if there was any crunchy rice down there.  Total for 2 drinks,2 apps, 2 mains and food to bring home = $102.

Lunch one day was in a little Thai place in a strip mall near the Delray movie theaters called Nanna's Noodles.  Excellent tom kha soup, best I've had to my recollection.  Light, bright, flavorful, fresh.  Didn't try out the rest of the menu, but if that soup is any indication, it's a solid little place.

Oh, and at the FLL airport, lunched at the Food Network cafe and got the coconut shrimp po' boy.  A good sandwich overall with a tad too much bread-to-filling ratio, but the flavors were all there and it's not pre-fab food, so that's a plus.

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Daytona Beach

We finally found something we really like in Daytona in our 6th summer there!  Don Vito's in downtown Daytona is old school, red sauce Italian.  We went twice in three days and ate the leftovers for breakfast. We tried a variety of pasta and meat dishes, along with desserts and weren't disappointed by any of them.

In fact, BL-5th grader and I are heading to FL for a cruise for winter break and rather than doing Disney before the cruise or going and staying near the port, he asked if we could detour a bit and stay in Daytona so he could go to Don Vito's for dinner.

How can I say no to that?

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