After three weeks in Florida (whoa! where did the time go?!), I am back in Pittsburgh, staring at endless loads of laundry, and working on getting back into some semblance of a daily routine. We got back late last night, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of the amazing food that I got to enjoy while I was gone. I wanted to do a little photo journey of the food I ate in Florida, so I snapped quick pictures along the way. They were all taken either with my cell phone or my point and shoot, and some of them, as you’ll see, I remembered to take after I had already dug in. I included a little bit about each dish and a link to the restaurant. Hopefully if you plan a trip down to southern Florida, this list will give you a head start when looking for a place to eat!
The drink above is actually one of the last things that I had on our trip. It was my first mojito, and I ordered it while out to eat for my birthday. My Chief Culinary Consultant has mentioned many times how much he enjoys mojitoes; I’d never had one and finally decided that my birthday was the perfect occasion for giving it a go. I don’t usually order mixed drinks (I’m more of a beer girl), but I could definitely get on board with the mojito. Crazy delicious! Bright, clean, crisp, minty, with a hint of lime, not too sweet, and the rum wasn’t overpowering. It was basically the perfect drink for me. Bottoms up! Read on for the rest of my little foodie tour…
Conch Fritters. By far our favorite Florida indulgence, we order them no less than 3 times when we’re in the area. We’ve tried them from at least 5 or 6 different places and have found our favorites to be at Benny’s on the Beach in Lake Worth. The fritters are crispy, spicy, and served with an even spicier dipping sauce. Also, on this particular day, we ordered them before breakfast. Totally acceptable. [Benny's on the Beach, Lake Worth, FL]
Omelet and Home Fries. This is the meal that came after the conch fritters pictured above. I had a mushroom, ham, and Swiss egg white omelet with home fries, toast, and melon. I fell in love with these potatoes during our last trip to Florida in October and wasted no time ensuring that I would have them again. They are perfect – crispy, tender, and heavily seasoned. Love! [Benny's on the Beach, Lake Worth, FL]
Fish Tacos. While I’ve made my own grilled fish tacos at home, I still had never ordered them out at a restaurant. One day when we were enjoying lunch across the street from the ocean, I spied them on the menu and decided there would be no better place to give them a try. They were fantastic! So flaky and crispy, served with a cabbage slaw and a spicy aioli. [50 Ocean, Delray Beach, FL]
Coconut Shrimp. I declared these the absolute best coconut shrimp I had ever eaten after my 3rd bite. Jumbo butterflied shrimp that were battered and coated with a coconut topping. We’ve been making coconut shrimp on Christmas Eve… I need to work on recreating these! [Bimini Twist, West Palm Beach, FL]
General Tso’s. Because some times, even on vacation, Chinese take out just sounds so good. This definitely did not disappoint. Huge portions and tons of spicy flavor. [Wong's of Lantana, Lake Worth, FL]
Entenmann’s Doughnuts. We may have splurged a little on old-school doughnuts. We saw a box of the classic variety (yellow doughnut with chocolate frosting) at the grocery store early on in our trip and snatched them up. They disappeared rather quickly so during our next trip, we grabbed another box. This time, the chocolate/chocolate, which I totally adore. We almost bought another box for the trip home, but practiced some willpower.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. One of my very favorite Florida finds from our trip last March, I can never get enough of this pizza. They have since opened a location out in Robinson (south of Pittsburgh), but it’s such a haul from where we are north of the city that we’ve only gone once. I can’t wait until the next location opens closer to us! We love the Paul and Young Ron (sausage, peppers, meatballs, ricotta, and mozzarella) and the classic pepperoni. Awesome, awesome pizza. [Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Wellington, FL]
Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza. We spent an afternoon shopping at the Sawgrass Mills Outlets, and were in desperate need of nourishment by around 3:30. Talk about shopping until you drop! Clearly, I was not sick of pizza yet. I love the combination of prosciutto with greens and good cheese. Awesome flatbread-style pizza. [Grand Lux Cafe, Sawgrass Mills, FL]
Grand Lux Burger Melt. This was one of the more memorable meals that my Chief Culinary Consultant had back in the fall when we were down in Florida. We had hit the same restaurant before heading to a hockey game, and he ordered this amazing burger. It’s a chop house burger on grilled Parmesan cheese bread with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand Island dressing. It’s a serious burger! [Grand Lux Cafe, Sawgrass Mills, FL]
Pretzel Bread. We ordered this as an appetizer at a place called The Office. It was served with mustard and Taleggio cheese, and was quite possibly the best hunk of pretzel I have ever eaten. I also loved that the appetizer portions weren’t so ridiculous that we were actually still hungry for our meal. [The Office, Delray Beach, FL]
Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread with Pimiento Cheese and Maple-Pecan Butter. A second appetizer to go along with the pretzel bread. It was tender, moist, packed with spicy flavor, and the accompaniments really made it. Both the cheese and the butter were insane. I want to eat this every, single, day. [The Office, Delray Beach, FL]
The Prime Office Burger. The Office had a very similar vibe to Burgatory back in Pittsburgh, although they didn’t have all of the custom burger offerings that Burgatory has. I went with the “Prime Office” – a classic burger made with cheddar cheese (I added bacon, naturally), lettuce, tomato, onion, and house sauce. Phenomenal burger. I always order my burgers well done (I have issues with pink or red ground meat, yuck!), and this was by far the juiciest burger I’ve ever had. Big bonus points for the branded bun! Also, I love shoestring fries. [The Office, Delray Beach, FL]
Couture Cupcakes. On our walk from the car to The Office, I spied a cute cupcake shop across the street. There was no question that we would be stopping in there after our meal. It was the cutest place – such a fun, retro feel – it was outfitted like an old-school candy shop, with all types of old-fashioned candy lining the walls. And then the cupcakes. Oh, the cupcakes. The owner of the shop worked as a luxury interior designer for 20 years, and has come up with the most awesome names for her cupcakes. Totally original and fun – you have to check out their menu! I couldn’t leave without getting some cupcakes, and spent some time dwelling over which six to pick. I ended up with the following (clockwise, from the top left): Boston Couture, Hi-Halston, Jimmy Chooocolate, Jean Paul Peanutier, Red Valentino, and Christian Louboutinilla. I already can’t wait to get back to Florida so I can try more flavors! [Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique, Delray Beach, FL]
Warm Crab Dip. Following the mojito pictured above, this was the food starter for my birthday meal. My Chief Culinary Consultant and I have sampled a ton of crab dips, especially since he was in Maryland for so long. We’ve had them everywhere from the Inner Harbor to Annapolis, and decided that this one ranked up there as #2 on our list. [Old Key Lime House, Lantana, FL]
Coconut Shrimp. Again. I know, more coconut shrimp. After I already declared that I had eaten the best I’d ever had. But, I couldn’t resist. It sounded so good. I couldn’t decide between these and skewered shrimp, and when I asked the waiter which he would recommend, the question was barely out of my mouth when he jumped at coconut shrimp. Sold. And for good reason. These rivaled the last dish of coconut shrimp, and I loved that these were served with a papaya relish. Totally took them over the top. [Old Key Lime House, Lantana, FL]
Birthday Cheesecake. My Chief Culinary Consultant went out on a secret mission on the morning of my birthday and returned with a birthday cake for me! It was perfect – a smooth and creamy cheesecake with a chocolate swirl, and topped with glazed strawberries. I enjoyed it on my birthday and each day afterward until we left. Such a fabulous dessert! [Palermo's Bakery, Boynton Beach, FL]
Some other foods I enjoyed while we were gone that I didn’t snag pictures of:
We spent a lot of time being active, either playing tennis or going for 3-mile walks almost each day, so I didn’t think twice about what I was eating, and enjoyed pretty much whatever I wanted. Now, back to the daily grind, regular food, and cooler weather. I’m hoping it doesn’t get too chilly so I can keep up the outside activity!
What are some of your favorite eats when you go on vacation??