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Easter Brunch in South Florida

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:

CULINARY OCCASIONS
SOBEWFF Recap: Grand Tasting Village

Just like the other big cultural festival in Miami, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival consists of a variety of different events simultaneously occurring over a period of several days. The main event every year at SOBEWFF occurs at the Grand Tasting Village right on the sands of Miami Beach with the rolling surf and hot bodies working on their tans only steps away. Hosted this year by Whole Foods Market, the Grand Tasting Village was a sensory overload for any lover of food, wine, and spirits. Besides sampling food from over 35 local restaurants, there were also representatives from vacation destinations, new food and cooking products to try out, cocktails made with some well-known and not-so-well-known liquors, and lot’s of wine. In between getting tipsy and nibbling on tasty morsels, attendees were able to watch cooking demonstrations from some of the most popular TV cooking personalities like Anne Burrell, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many others. Occurring over a two day period, here are some highlights from the first day of the Grand Tasting Village on Saturday, February 23rd.

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Where to dine in Miami this Valentine's Day

February is filled with so much to do in South Florida for a foodie. As if our minds aren’t already constantly occupied with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, we have Valentine’s Day to think about next week. If you’re lucky enough to have someone with whom to celebrate it, you probably know that a romantic dinner can truly take this day of love from simply romantic to truly memorable. While attempting to make a gourmet, multi course meal at home is an honorable feat, sometimes it’s best to let some our best chefs work at the food while you enjoy each other’s company. In case you haven't already made plans, here are some of Joonbug’s picks in Miami for Valentine’s Day dinner:

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Devon Seafood + Steak to Open in Kendall

Once upon a time, I lived in a faraway land called Kendall. For those who are unfamiliar with that unincorporated part of Miami-Dade County, Kendall can seem like a faraway land with it’s own culture, expressions, and rules of traffic. For those who know Kendall but have been away for a while, a recent visit will make it seem like it has been “once upon a time” since you’ve last been there. It seems as if every time I return to Kendall, something old has been replaced with something new that is a dramatic improvement from what used to be there. Take Town & Country Mall, for instance. It was a fun hangout in the early nineties, but by the time Y2K came around, it was dead. After the AMC movie theater closed, there seemed to be little hope for reviving what had once promised to be a thriving commercial and nightlife center...that is until the mall rebranded itself as The Palms at Town & Country Mall, polished its image, and invited more upscale retailers like Loehman’s and Nordstrom Rack to move in (trust me, that’s light years ahead of what used to be there). Dining in Kendall is also improving, especially at the new and improved mall, with Devon Seafood + Steak set to open its doors tomorrow.