One of the interesting things about the holidays is that the traditions surrounding them can be so enjoyable, and oftentimes so delicious, that even the most staunch atheist can feel hesitant to completely abandon them. Even those who still identify with a particular religion can often forgo the rituals, services, and prayers associated with certain holidays but will definitely embrace the gift exchanges, parties, and most definitely the food. I’m certain that not everyone has been making sacrifices for Lent. Many Catholics have probably forgotten that Palm Sunday was this past weekend, many more will be observing Holy Week as just another week, and there are probably quite a few who don’t plan on going to church this coming Sunday. Nevertheless, many self-identifying Christians will probably be making plans to enjoy an Easter meal this weekend. Along with the warmer weather our northern compatriots hope to experience, our recent “spring forward” to which many of us are still adjusting also marks an unofficial start to “the brunch season.” Sure, we enjoy leisurely al fresco brunches all the time in South Florida, but brunch never seems as mandatory as it does during one of the Spring’s most brunch-friendly holidays, Easter. In case you have yet to make plans for this weekend, here are a few of Joonbug’s suggestions for restaurants serving up Easter brunch in South Florida:
For those of you who don’t reside in the 305 or just don’t want to deal with Miami’s infamous traffic and parking, there are many restaurants north of County Line Road where one can have a delicious and memorable Valentine’s Day. Whether you decide to dine on bustling Las Olas Boulevard or in quirky Delray Beach, Joonbug’s Broward/Palm Beach dining guide for V-day will help point you in the right direction. Here are a few of our picks:
Big City Tavern
609 E. Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Outside of Mexico, there are probably fewer people in the world who are as in love with Mexican cuisine (or an interpretation of it) as Americans. One never quite realizes just how good we have it in the States when it comes to finding tasty Mexican or Tex-Mex food until one travels to Europe where the difference between a wrap and a burrito isn’t quite as understood as it is here. Our approach to Mexican cuisine has also changed considerably as our culture has begun to embrace bolder flavors, and today’s foodies demand authenticity. While we still love our cheesy, sour cream-laden, Tex-Mex #3 combo specials, a lot of restaurants - even those owned and operated by gringos - are incorporating more and more authentic Mexican flavors and techniques into their menus, and even more restaurants are elevating Mexican cuisine to a level of sophistication previously unseen. Dennis Max’s new Boca Raton restaurant, The Mexican Cocina & Tequila Bar, has managed to bring diners a unique combination of bold, authentic flavors paired with creative innovation and the familiar flavors that we, as Americans, know and love from Mexican cuisine. The result is a restaurant that offers a fun, uninhibited ambiance with great food that teases and plays with your palate in very exciting ways.
It seems as if the popularity of French cuisine in South Florida had decreased over the past decade with fewer and fewer French eateries being available in our little corner of paradise. However, the trend seems to be reversing, perhaps due in part to the film Julie and Julia that rekindled interest in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has aspiring home cooks and seasoned gourmands searching for their Le Creuset pots to recreate Julia's famous Boeuf Bourguignon. East End Brasserie in Fort Lauderdale, La Gloutonnerie in Miami Beach, and La Goulue in Bal Harbour have proven that classic French cuisine is regaining its footing in the South Florida dining scene, and now Boca Raton will have its bastion of cuisine française as Stéphane's opens its doors this Sunday, July 15th.
Saturday, January 14th, is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. To celebrate, Joonbug offers an assortment of delis and sandwich shops where you can enjoy these savory slices of pepper-crusted cured beef, hot or cold.
Everyone seems to agree that Jerry’s Famous Deli has one of the largest deli selections on South Beach. From the Panini to the Reuben sandwich, Jerry has the deli dishes covered. But the pastrami is one of Miami’s favorite so Jerry didn’t miss a beat with offering three different kinds of pastrami; the traditional pastrami, lean pastrami and turkey pastrami. Enjoy either with a side of homemade rye bread, rich potato salad or fresh coleslaw.