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Where I've Been Eating in Delray

So I haven't really cooked since Hurricane Wilma... Fell off the kitchen wagon and never really got back on. Here's where I've been eating.

A few days ago we ate at Senior Burrito in Delray on Federal Hwy. I believe it is owned by the same folks who one Senior Burrito in Boca. But noticeably absent was the cinnamon mole sauce which seems to come on everything at the Boca location - can't stand it. I had the beef soft tacos which came with the salsa and onion/parsley on the side so I could fix it the way I wanted it. The Spanish rice was fresh and tasty as well as the refried beans. My friend got the fajitas which were also good. We were very happy.

Last week we ate at the Oriental Palace in the old Levitz Plaza on the Boca/Delray Border. The food was good but there were two things that bothered me. We ordered the shrimp toast appetizer. Very good... except until I took that bite with the cold center. I am still here and it's been a week- but there's nothing like wondering if the shrimp was cooked before they made the dish or during. Then our waitress only brought one of the two dishes we had ordered. Maybe the other one is coming, we thought, so we ate. It never came and the waitress then claimed we'd never ordered it. We were reasonably full so we went and had ice cream instead. But that was a little weird.

Been going to John G's in Lake Worth for Breakfast about once a week, by myself. I guess I just like to look out the window. Took my mom there last week and they put us right next to the window. That was nice. Mom really enjoyed it. If I had more money I suppose I'd eat there every day. The food is good and there is just something relaxing about looking at the ocean.

Jennifer in Delray

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  1. Jennifer--

    I am visiting Delray Beach for the first time later this month. Do you have any recommendations for places to eat in that area (besides what you've already listed)?


    2 Replies
    1. re: DiveBarIntellect

      The Pineapple Grill on Geroge Bush Ave has good food and, he service is fine. The place is charming and sitting outdoors is appealing. I am almost 100% anti outdoor eating but this place is an exception for me. Cafe Luna Rosa is on A1A near the Atlantic Ave intersection and has had very good food in the past which I have enjoyed. My last two visits however were sub par but it probably won't keep me from trying it again. I find the proximity to the ocean appealing and I can sit inside and still enjoy the traffic on the street. Atlantic Ave is loaded with good possibilities (not great perhaps but lively and casual food). Trendy and expensive is also available but that is out of my perview, so I'll leave that to others. Enjoy!

      1. re: DiveBarIntellect

        There are several great choices on Atlantic Avenue or just off the Ave. 32 East is the top choice for fine dining. Two shops west of 32 East is a new greek restaurant that has a South Beach atmosphere and excellent Greek food. Further east on the Ave. is Tramonti for italian food - great pasta. Just off Atlantic on 2nd ave is Kyoto for excellent sushi. For a mixed menu and funky atmoshpere, try Dada on Swinton. If you like "dive" bars as your name suggests, go to O'Connors pub for drinks - an inexpensive, casual neighborhood bar located two blocks off Atlantic Ave. on 2nd St. in the Pineapple Grove section of town. As for Luna Rosa, it's a nice location across from the beach but the lunch and dinner are not great; however, it's a very good choice for breakfast. Next door is Shore, which also has prime real estate but my experience has been that the food and service are average to below average.

      2. Jennifer, the last time we ordered take-out from that Chinese restaurant, my husband and I were ill for days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: diablita FL

          I agree that Luna Rosa has gone downhill in the past 2 years for lunch and dinner but their breakfasts are still great. Their menu has got smaller and they never change it I think it has been stuck at the current one for the past year, their food is less tasty and less interesting.
          don't forget Dada - terrific food and beautiful to sit outside.

        2. Thanks so much for the recs so far! Any thought on where to find good Cuban food in Delray, or should I try to get some when I visit Miami?

          5 Replies
          1. re: DiveBarIntellect

            Dive: For good Cuban food in Delray, try Brisa Atlantica (9 SE 7th Ave. off corner of E Atlantic Ave). Great atmosphere, outdoor porch, excellent drinks, on weekends there's live music. You could wait til you get to Miami and go to Versailles on Calle Ocho (3555 SW 8th St).

            1. re: Suzyummy

              I like the atmoshphere at Brisa, but have been told the food is not that great. On the north corner of Atlantic just east of Swinton is Cabana El Rey, which is popular but I can't say it would compare with the choices in Miami.

              1. re: Suzyummy

                Brisa Atlantica is out of business. at first they were great. went down hill very quickly and got very dirty. health dept sited them on several critical violations.

              2. re: DiveBarIntellect

                Try heading a little south to Boca and the Cuban Cafe ( 3350 NW Boca Raton Blvd. 750-8860.) Really good Cuban food at reasonable prices. They're located in a small strip plaza (so what else is new) and are open for lunch M-F

                Cuban Cafe
                3350 NW Boca Raton Blvd Ste B32, Boca Raton, FL 33431

                1. re: RickL

                  If you like casual seafood, Boston's on the Beach is a great place. They have a classy restaurant upstairs with a very nice menu, and more casual stuff (whole lobsters, sandwiches, etc.) on the bottom floor. There is also live music and entertainment at night. Not a bad place to spend some time, if you ask me (and you like Boston Clam Chowdah!)

              3. I used to get the chocolate (not cinamonn) mole at Senior Burrito but they did, as you mentioned, take it off the menu about 6 months ago. I suspect a lot of people ordered it not knowing quite what they were getting, and it is definitely an "aquired taste" not for everyone.

                1. I've lived 10 blocks from "the Ave" for 7 years now. When we are going out for a reasonable meal, I pretty much have three choices... Bru's Room for a casual burger and beer (their hot grilled wings are the best around)... Lemongrass for Thai (when they first opened the prices were VERY under-market but now they have come up a lot) but it is still excellent... and the unique DaDa with cool atmosphere and interesting and very good food (I like the maple haberbero glazed salmon - wife loves the crab cakes and she's from Maryland).

                  1. So, I had a wonderful time in Delray Beach. I just wanted to share some feedback about the suggestions I found here. First of all, DaDa surpassed our expectations. We found a buy-one-entree, get-one-free coupon, so first off, it was a great deal. And I was so wow'ed by the food, service, and atmopshere. It was a great surprise, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it.

                    Unfortunately, we were not so lucky with Boston's. The place we were staying happened to be down the street, so we walked there one evening for dinner downstairs. We ordered the conch fritters for an appetizer and we both had grilled grouper for entrées. The conch fritters were all right, although I was surprised that they were served with cocktail sauce since they were glorified hush puppies. The grouper we had was so incredibly awful. Even Red Lobster knows how to cook fish better than that. I don't know how long they left the grouper on the grill, but I would guess it was around 25 minutes. I had to use my knife and fork to cut into it, as it had the texture of overcooked chicken. I was livid, but, against my better judgment, I did not bother saying anything because our server seemed as if she could not care less about our experience. What a terrible waste of time and money. Perhaps the quality of food in the upstairs section is far better? And I know how restaurants have their off days, but for a seafood restaurant, such a severe error is egregious. To anyone visiting the area and reading this, I would strongly suggest skipping Boston's. Neither the view nor atmosphere are worth it. Luckily, we had a mind-blowing dinner the next night at Michy's in Miami, and a dinner at DaDa a few days later, so by the end of our stay, it was only a distant, unpleasant memory.

                    Thank you again to all of your for your suggestions. I loved Delray Beach, and hope to return another time! If you ever need recommendations about where to eat in NYC, please be in touch!

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: DiveBarIntellect

                      Ugh, Bostons stinks! What a shame for you. The only thing to do there is get a drink outside and people watch.

                      I can't wait to try DaDa's soon. I keep hearing such great things about it!

                      1. re: DiveBarIntellect

                        Hi DiveBar,

                        I am visiting my folks in 2 weeks - they live in Delray Beach (I live in Seattle). I've been looking to take my Dad out for his birthday and was considering DaDa. He's 80 years old and likes plainer food than he used to. I am dying to try it - just not sure I should bring Dad along.

                        Do you think DaDa would be inappropriate for someone his age and taste?

                        1. re: garifw

                          Dadas does things like steaks, fish chicken - can't see why they couldnt make something plain grilled for him if he is not partial to what is on their menu.

                          1. re: garifw

                            Honestly, I don't really think that DaDa is a good place to take someone his age. The servers are young and alternative, and it gets VERY loud in there. A nice birthday spot might be 32 East--I'm not speaking from experience, just what I've read on this topic, as well as what I saw. 32 East looked like a very elegant, classy place. That might be a better fit for your father's birthday celebration.

                            Again, DaDa is excellent, but the ambiance might not offer what you need.

                            1. re: DiveBarIntellect

                              Good call Dive. 32 East sounds perfect...elegant, excellent food, service and ambiance. In fact, good friend of mine hosted her parents a 50th anniversary dinner party there and it was just divine. DaDa is quite the alternative spot....love it....but not for daddy. Another suggestion would be Tramonti's, also on Atlantic Avenue....upscale New York-Italian that he might appreciate as well!

                            2. re: garifw

                              Sundy House is very good with a lovely atmosphere. Sunday bruch is outstanding

                              1. re: lulu1013


                                We tried Sundy House once. Love John G's but fear the line wiith guests.

                                Is there a Sunday lunch place (no need for a buffet) close to the water? I have to host a lunch this weekend and need a brunch or lunch type spot that's family friendly (not kids - but conservative older folks who'll order a "fisherman's platter" or something like that...)

                                It's too hot to be outside but a pleasant atmosphere would be a plus. Delray environs or within driving radius toward Boca. No sticker shock on the menu as they will balk if it's too $$$.

                                To give you an idea - I've already taken them to River House in FLL, Sundy House, the Ark, all the Mizner Place Restos (Mark's, Max's), 15th Street Fisheries... and Callaro's (PB).



                                1. re: advisor_Girl


                                  Based on what you're looking for, I would definitely recommend Caffe Luna Rosa (34 South Ocean Blvd., in Delray). Across the street from the beach, you can sit indoors with the shutters thrown open to the outside scene. Wood paneling, European looking (i.e., specials written on the mirror), good enough food, not super $$$...I'd take my folks there! You can bypass Shore next door...chic with no substance. Let us know what you choose!

                                  1. re: advisor_Girl

                                    Yes, I had a nice meal at Luna Rosa for a business meeting and would definitely go back.

                                    I also enjoyed Lemongrass, but this is more for the original poster than your brunch AG :) Great tom kha gai there. I also like the entrees and sushi. Pricing wasnt too bad when I was there (about $100 for dinner for 2 and that included a bottle of wine that was VERY reasonably priced at $30)

                                    1. re: Blind Mind


                                      Thanks a million - Luna Rossa was just right. Mamma Bear and I had the special waffles with fresh berries on top and Papa Bear and the Chip of his Old Block had big fat omelettes and everyone lived happily ever after...

                                      Whew! You really saved my hiney.

                                      As luck would have it - we drove all the way up there from the Beach and were happy to see the menu featured both Philly Scrapple and Jersey Pork Roll. Being swine fans, we were all delighted. AB & I stopped and shopped all the way home until AB discovered that in all the excitement of visiting his folks he had left his credit card inside the little check folder back at Rossa in Delray. He called and they said it was waiting at the bar...


                                      We drove alllllllllll the way back and since it was dinner (and the hounds said so) we decided to check out DaDa. Add one tank of gas and the dinner check to the day.

                                      The place is fun and funky, a converted house with a torchlit garden. The servers were indeed young and a little fritzy. The crowd was an interesting mix of PB to Boca. We ordered both specials as it seemed someone had procured of pounds of crabmeat and EVERYTHING special was crabby.

                                      AB had a pair of roasted tomatoes hollowed out and filled with crabmeat with bits of fresh cilantro and a beurre blanc citrus sauce served over jasmine rice and arugula. While he was happy with the generous amount of crabmeat, I think this dish would have been much more successful served cold as a single scooped tomato salad appetizer or even a pair of them would make a cool summer night entree. Hot scooped tomatoes are kind of gushy and tasteless and the hot butter over cold arugula made the bottom of the dish a buttery, ricey, salady mess... He worked all the crabmeat out of the tomatoes and left the rest. He praised the crab part.

                                      I had a crab topped filet mignon "Oscar" served over a scoop of mashed potatoes sprinkled with the crabmeat and (again) topped with the beurre blanc. The filet was a little too rare (which was difficult to see in the dim light) and as sauces go - beurre blanc can get a little heavy/greasy once it sets at the table. Without the sauce, the dish would have been more successful.

                                      All in All, if we lived anywhere close to DaDa, we would give it another go. The only drawback is the rather forced "bohemian" aspect of the place... Midway through our meal, a woman approached our table with a stack of cards and I thought she might be working a tarot reading number on us. It turned out she was conducting a "story slam" in which diners are solicited to stand at a microphone and tell something personal about themselves for 5 minutes.

                                      Most of the tables in our area were intimate 2-tops; couples like us who seemed happy to be left alone.

                                      No one was interested in the offer and the woman was MORE than persistent trying to get anyone to join in. While everyone treated her kindly, by the second time she approached our table, I was getting put off that she was way too much a part of a $100 dinner.

                                      We would have lingered over coffee and dessert, but the prospect of hearing people telling personal stories was not our thing. When we told the waitress we were going to flee before story time she rolled her eyes and said, "I know - everyone is..."

                                      I think the kitchen at DaDa is good enough to stand on it's own merits without the faux bohemian floor show. If you are not inclined toward this activity, try to time your exit before 9pm.


                                2. re: garifw

                                  Always have had a GREAT meal at DaDa's

                              2. Jennifer If you are looking for cheap breakfast and good breakfast you might consider Jo-Al's on federal hwy south of woolbright in boynton. That place has been there for at least 20 years it is small but good. Also about the same price as John G's is Boynton Diner Woolbright and the railroad tracks Great food A bit big on the servings . Average is about 10.00 some dishes I swear will feed 2