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Delray Affair Weekend - BBQ, Conch, Traffic Abundant!

Attention South Florida Chowhounders,

It's Delray Affair Weekend - that means a few things, some bad, some good...

* Atlantic Ave is CLOSED and filled with arts, novelties, and food vendors basically from Swinton to the Intracoastal. These booths are open from (more or less) 9 to 6. After 6PM they shut down. This results in an odd effect. In the day, local restaurants are PACKED but at night, there is no access so many are nearly dead - only a few vendors in town and locals who know where to park on nearby sidestreets. Your chance to stroll into Lemongrass for immediate seating! If you have reservations or plans in town, allow extra time for parking blocks away.

* Several of the nearby churches set up Conch Fritter stands on the Ave - and some of them a VERY good. Be sure to check out the side-streets as some of them are there (NE 4th for example).

* There are also usually appx 5 different local BBQ vendors - again, some are very good.

Now I feel almost obligated to take a "food tour" today and report my findings to the group! Maybe some other Chowhounders will volunteer to assist in this charitable mission as well...

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  1. do you know when this ends on Sunday?
    I went to this about 3 years ago and it is a fun event.

    2 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      I believe it ends 6PM Sunday. This is the biggest event of the year in town - and oh yes, unlike Garlic Festival and other "pay so you can come in and spend money" events, this is FREE. It is most crowded Saturday and Sunday afternoons from appx 1 to 5. Bring sunblock if you're going to be walking around for a few hours - I often see fair-skinned folks forget that and they pay the price.

      1. re: CFByrne

        Yes, It closes at 6:00 pm....This is the only festival worth going to in Delray.. I am going to skip it this year, I have never missed one in probably the last 20 years. It is fun, but always the same vendors, I always wondered how many times that guy with the wood hanging baskets that fold up has done that in his lifetime. Lot's of good food also. My favorite is the candy guy on one of the side streets. I have never been impressed by the conch fritters. It is expensive and tastes like hush puppies, very little meat. On your way home stop and try Phyllis G's Egnima on Federal.Very good food.

    2. BTW... Full details here... although this would be a good candidate for "Worst Website Ever" contest...


      2 Replies
      1. re: CFByrne

        CFB I found that website last night and have to agree with you! But this is South Fl journalism for you.

        1. re: CFByrne

          Definitely a candidate for the "WWE" awards. But I am still going anyway.

        2. OK it's that time of year again. Post your reviews of BBQ and Conch fritters here! I'll see if I can make an initial report at lunch today.

          One change this year: The festival is open until 8PM on Fri/Sat instead of 6PM. This makes a lot of sense to me, I NEVER understood why (with plenty of daylight) they shut it down early. (Especially because an odd "side effect" is that once it closes, the Ave actually become very quiet since most people can't park etc).

          In any event, I'll be looking for the BBQ smokers and the "church trucks" with the fritters.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CFByrne

            McCrays BBQ from WPB is a vendor for this year. Ribs are very good, BBQ pork just OK, and sauce is plain jane. I was going to use this opportunity to check out Bamboo Fire Saturday or Sunday for lunch.


            1. re: freakerdude

              Let us know how you like Bamboo Fire. The owners are Beverly and Donald and they are very accommodating.

              1. re: freakerdude

                Next tim eyou try mCrays, ask for the twist sauce...makes a big difference in the flavor ...FYI

                1. re: SaminSFL

                  Thanks but what is the twist sauce?

                  1. re: Alfred G

                    I believe that would be a mix of the two

            2. I went today with my cousin-
              very crowded-the items for sale were not top quality but we had a good time=
              we ate at lemongrass=decent not great food
              i bought some spices at world of flavors booth-

              1. It's that time of the year...

                APRIL 9-11, 2010
                Fri & Sat: 10am - 7pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

                1. It's baaaaaack...

                  April 15 - 17th, 2011
                  Fri & Sat: 10am - 6pm
                  Sun: 10am - 5pm
                  Admission: Free
                  Crowds: Huge
                  Parking: PITA. Look at a map and think "contrarian".
                  Heat: Intense, bring water and sunscreen


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CFByrne

                    bleh, a bunch of us are going to Cafe Dolce Amore Saturday and I am dreading the parking but maybe at 8p it will be ok though I will have to circle in from Lake Ida to get to the north side of the Ave.

                    1. re: smartie

                      Should be ok by 8pm I would think. We love Dolce Amore. They made me realize I have a basil and garlic deficiency. Also good for a large but healthy breakfast.

                  2. Went the Delray Affair today. It seemed a little smaller since it didn't stretch into Veteran's Park. Mostly crafts, not a lot of art in my opinion. Lots of food vendors but I ended up at my favorite haunt, The Blue Anchor. I did, however, buy some beef jerky from the vendor there. 8oz for $20, kinda pricy, but we hadn't tried it before. I am always tempted by the conch fritters but still haven't recovered from my grandma buying me as many as I could eat when I was 10. Thought I was going to die afterwards. Think I will pass.

                      1. re: CFByrne

                        lol, I'll be going early tomorrow morning, not planning to eat there tho.

                        1. re: CFByrne

                          Is Bamboo Fire still open? Their website has been shut down and I get no answer on either phone but did leave a message on Beverly's. I want to check it out on Sunday for lunch.

                          1. re: freakerdude

                            if I remember they are not open the weekend of The Delray Affair ... but I could be wrong

                            1. re: freakerdude

                              Some friends were there Thursday night April 5 so AFAIK they are still open and doing well. I don't think they've been open on Sunday afternoon for Delray Affair in the past.

                              1. re: CFByrne

                                We went to City Oyster. The lobster roll was pretty good there and the bar menu for lunch is kind of limited.

                                1. re: CFByrne

                                  I just drove by there last week and saw Donald sitting inside, so I'd imagine they're still alive and kickin'.

                                  Which reminds me: time to go back.

                            2. It's happening again this weekend... Fri to Sun

                              And breaking news...

                              Shake Shack will have a temporary location on site!

                              Serving up burgers on the Ave, right near the RR tracks on the south side (across from Johnnie Brown's).


                              APRIL 25-27, 2014

                              Fri & Sat: 10 am - 6 pm
                              Sun: 10 am - 5 pm

                              I may just have to go for this!