Florida Dining: Jersey Dawg

June 11, 2013

Jersey Dawg Food Truck
(305) 582-8849

Web Site: http://www.jerseydawg.com

Twitter: @jerseydawg201

Jersey Dawg Food Truck, parked in the Shell Station on the corner of Cypress Creek Road and Powerline in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

I’m frequently asked, “Is there life after Jersey?”

It was almost one year ago that Rachel and I packed up what remained of our belongings and set forth in a Volkswagen to South Florida. We got on the New Jersey Turnpike, and drove until it became I-95.

A week later, we found ourselves in the Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach area. Which we now call home.

I’ve made my choice and I’m very happy with it. The weather is fantastic, I have a lovely home. The food down here is great. I have no complaints.

Well, maybe one or two.

There are certain types of food items that are either difficult or impossible to find in South Florida. You either have to go to great lengths to get them, or they just plain do not exist. And there’s certain things I fully accepted I would never have again, unless I returned home.

Like New Jersey-style hot dogs and sliders.

I mean, you don’t even think such a thing would exist here, so you don’t go looking for it. Sure, we have some really good burger and dog places. We even have a food blogger down here that specializes in it. He’s practically a celeb.

But these are substitutes and not full-blown replacements. The only way you can replicate this kind of food is to have the exact ingredients and to prepare it exactly the same way. By someone who is intimately familiar with such things.

So when I heard about Jersey Dawg, a new food truck that recently started doing Jersey-style hot dogs and sliders, I couldn’t wait. I hadn’t had either one in a year.

Yes, fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more. 

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Florida Dining: Announcing the Off The Broiler Meetup Group

June 1, 2013

If you’re a foodie based in South Florida, don’t miss out on our new Meetup group, Off The Broiler Dining Adventures. My plans for this new group are ambitious — I intend to have group dinners and special food events at least once per month, at restaurants and venues selected by yours truly.

Joining our Meetup group is free. As we did with previous dining events in the NY Metro Area, we’ll be planning dinners in Broward, Palm Beach and Dade County/Miami with set (as well as a la carte) menus and will need to secure reservations, so please be sure to notify the event organizers at least a day before if you need to cancel.

You must participate in this group to be notified of upcoming events and to reserve your places at these dinners, as we have no other way of tracking attendance.


Seattle Dining: 8oz Burger Bar

May 28, 2013

8oz Burger Bar
1401 Broadway  Seattle, Washington 98122
(206) 466-5989

Web Site: http://8ozburgerbarsea.com

I have often been told that my food phototographs resemble hardcore pornography, and it’s clear that there are primitive, sexual urges at work when I post on this blog.

Guilty. As. Charged.

Frankly, I don’t know any self-described foodies that also aren’t extremely sexual people. The love of food and the love of sex are tightly interconnected things, because they both stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.

It probably shouldn’t surprise you either that every person that I have met who has been involved in the porn industry in some form or another has been without exception, also a foodie.

And so it came to pass that a few years ago, in the course of my writings for ZDNet, I made the acquaintance of the founders of MiKandi, an independent, Seattle-based app store for Android smartphones and tablets. And I quickly found out these people are also hardcore foodies.

[Did I neglect to mention that MiKandi also specializes in porn applications and content for your Droids? No? Alrighty then.] 

So whenever I’m in Seattle, and I want to find seriously good places to eat, and people to share it with me, the first person I call is Jen McEwan, co-founder of MiKandi.

“You really should check out the 8oz Burger Bar on Capitol Hill.”

I’m thinking, okay, burgers. I mean, I love burgers, but it doesn’t sound particularly exotic or sexual. Not like say, Sushi, or classic French cuisine. But hey, if Jen likes them, they must make one hell of a burger.

Main Dining Room at 8oz Burger Bar in Seattle, Washington.

Indeed, burgers can be sexual. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Florida Dining: Zuma

May 11, 2013

Zuma
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL (Located in the Epic Hotel)
(305) 577-0277

Web Site: http://www.zumarestaurant.com/zuma-landing/miami/en/welcome

Since I’ve moved down to South Florida I have been concentrating more on the “ethnic eats” rather than the fine dining aspect of food blogging. But as I’ve been having more and more business meetings in Miami, I’m starting to get exposed more towards the high-end cuisine offerings here.

I recently had the opportunity to dine at Zuma, which bills itself as “modern Japanese”. Zuma is part of the Azumi restaurant group, which has branches of Zuma in different parts of the world, including London, Hong Hong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami and Bangkok.

My understanding is that the original Zuma restaurant in London was a partnership of two very wealthy Indian businessmen who had dined at the London branch of Nobu and decided that they could create a similar concept restaurant on their own. Certainly Zuma is very “Nobu-esque” in its menu format (including the miso black cod that every high-end Japanese restaurant seems to copy from Nobu these days) and also overall presentation.

I will also state I have no idea what anything at this restaurant costs. I was treated to lunch here by a very generous client, and I never saw any prices because I never looked at the menu, someone else did the ordering, and the online menu has no prices either. So if your interest is piqued in dining here, just take that into consideration.

The bar area of the Miami outpost of Zuma. This is one of the few dining room photos I was able to take, as the management got quite annoyed with me after observing me just taking a few casual shots of the general dining area and told me to put my camera away.

Nobu too rich for your blood? Well, so is this. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Florida Dining: Versailles

May 10, 2013

Versailles Restaurant
3555 SW 8th St Miami, FL 33135
(305) 444-0240

Web Site: http://www.versaillesrestaurant.com

Full-size photo gallery available on Flickr

If there’s one iconic Cuban restaurant in Miami, and if you ask anyone where the center of activity is for food on Calle Ocho past 9PM, then that place is Versailles.

Like the French palace from which it gets its name, Versailles is a HUGE restaurant. On weekends and in prime dining hours the place gets absolutely packed with people, including large number of out of towners looking for authentic Cuban food.

This is where Cuban food gets real in Miami. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Florida Dining: El Rey De Las Fritas

May 8, 2013

El Rey De Las Fritas
Multiple locations in Miami

Web Site (Google+)

Twitter: @reydelasfritas

El Rey De Las Fritas has been a Miami favorite of mine ever since I started this blog back in early 2006. The Cuban-style  family owned and operated burger micro-chain (they have 4 locations in the Miami-area) has recently been profiled on George Motz’s Burger Land on the Travel Channel, and business has been a boomin’.

I recently visited the Calle Ocho location, and brought along my iPhone 5 to take some new photos. Here’s a consolidation of all my visits since 2006. Enjoy.

Miami Calle Ocho Storefront, late at night.

Calle Ocho dining room

The Bird Street location of El Rey De Las Fritas. Note that it has a walk up window, where you can get all kinds of empanadas and croquetas, plus cortaditos and cafecitos, Cuban coffee. Forget Starbucks when you are in Little Havana!

Prepare for burgers, Cuban-style. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Las Vegas Dining: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

April 14, 2013

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 Microsoft Management Summit, which was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Mandalay Bay, like many of the casino resorts in town, is utterly gigantic. It’s a shopping mall and entertainment complex that has a wide variety of on-resort dining options. If you’re vacationing there or are attending a conference in their convention center, there’s really no reason to leave the complex. In fact, once I arrived, I never left until I had to go home. Which I guess is the idea.

Because I was only there for 3 days, I only got to experience a small smattering of what was available. But oh what a smattering it was.

You can really eat well at Mandalay Bay. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.

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