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Tall order: 1st time ever in USA, what do I HAVE to taste?

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HI,

I realize this is a huge question, but I am coming over for the 1st time ever in November. We are staying at Lake Worth and hiring a car. So -

*What are the foods I HAVE to taste while in Florida??*

We love our food (obviously!).

I dream of tasting lobster and stone crab for the 1st time, also hopefully lots of other seafood.

I like burgers, french fries and fast food in general (should I hang my head in shame now?). Beef if well done. I love pork when it is extremely tender, maybe with crispy bits. So, ribs will be one thing to try?

Also, I like chicken and wings with spicy sauce.

I like spicy foods, Indian and tex-mex (well, what do I know, I´ve only tried it here in Finland!) and anything barbecued.

And, ha! As I am a woman I luurve chocolate and biscuits, candy & pastries.

So, here´s a challenge - I have two weeks, an once-in-a-lifetime trip, and really really want to enjoy my food.

Which dishes to try?

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  1. Dear Annesurfs,

    Welcome to the United States! You are going to be on the East Coast of Florida and I am a West Coast guy, so I will leave most of the recommendations to my fellow Chowhounders from the East Coast. However, for stone crabs, you must try Joe's Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach 33139. Telephone: 1-(305)-673-0365. Note that you only have to dial the 673-0365 if you are in the Miami area when you call.

    These crabs are outstanding, although messy to eat and, despite being precracked, require some work to eat. However, I think that overall, you will be very pleased. Note that this is a landmark place, so reservations are adviseable.

    8 Replies
    1. re: gfr1111

      Joes does not take reservations

      OP: you need to say where you are going to be in florida. I hope you have a nice trip here.

      1. re: tpigeon

        I think the OP says Lake Worth

        1. re: Icantread

          I guess we should switch monickers :)

        2. re: tpigeon

          You see? That's what happens when a West Coast guy tries to advise you. Sorry, Annesurfs, but it's still a good place to go, even if they don't take reservations!

        3. re: gfr1111

          Joes is great but expect huge wait unless you go for lunch or early dinner. Also, you do have to dial the area code 305 when in Miami.

          1. re: gfr1111

            sorry, coming in late on this thread...I noticed the Joe's reccomendation, and I heartily endorse it. However should you not be able to get down to south beach, there is a place in Boca called "Monte's" who also serves a really good stone crap. They're also a little less dear in the $$$ department. I don't know where you are coming from, but if Sushi is not popular where you are from, there are many great Sushi places. Also.. Cuban food is a MUST! At least a Cubano sandwitch and a cup of cuban coffee. Have a great time in our country. eat, see, enjoy and have fun!!

            1. re: RichieT

              If you are talking about the Monte's Stone Crab that was on Executive Drive, they closed several years ago. It is now Season's 52.

              1. re: Alfred G

                OOPS! Sorry about the old information but Monte's was great anytime I went there, and it sure did not seem like several years!!.....there must be other places within an easy distance to where they're going to be, in case they're unable to get down to south beach...

          2. You need key lime pie...and lots of it! You might enjoy some conch chowder (kinda spicy), fried conch or conch fritters (you should be able to find them in Florida). If you like both burgers and seafood, you'd probably love a fried grouper sandwich. Stone crab for sure...but only if it hasn't been frozen. Barbecued baby back ribs (preferably with a side of onion rings). Be sure to dig into a big American breakfast...maybe some eggs benedict and homefries...washed down with a mimosa, of course!

            1. from Lake Worth go to Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach (about 15 mins south) and for wings try Bru's room just off the Avenue.

              Cuban food can be great, Key Lime pie is good, don't forget Jewish delis - plenty of them in south Fl for huge portions and sandwiches.

              have fun, - don't bother with Indian in this area, it's awful here.

              16 Replies
              1. re: smartie

                Thank you guys!!

                Yes, we´ll be staying at Lake Worth, but will be happy to drive ~1 - 2 hours for a great meal. Easily.

                So, my list so far:

                1. Joe´s for stone crabs
                2. Barbecued ribs
                3. Key lime pie
                4. Wings
                5. Conch, as chowder and / or fried
                6. Fried grouper burger
                7. American breakfast...mm..maybe in a traditional diner??

                Is grouper a fish or, as I think from the message, some kind of seafood?

                I do not need Indian food while over there, I just told you that to give some idea of what kind of food I like. Eh..spicy, crunchy, greasy... sounds bad doesn´t it...Well I DO cook a lot of spicy vegetarian also, and I do enjoy fresh fruit hugely! I´d also love to buy lots of different flavoursome tomatoes and eat them just like that.

                BTW one dream is to visit a citrus grove and eat a sun-warmed orange or such...I have already saved some addresses.

                Also, I need to taste some fresh pecan-chocolate pie or such.

                An off-topic question, I understand you always tip at least 15 % in restaurants. But, I have read you do not have to tip at a takeaway like Joe´s takeaway, is this true? (Even though I read they have some tables there, too?) The whole tipping thing is new to me, but I am of course most willing to do the right thing!

                What would Jewish delis offer, sounds interesting?

                I have only ever tasted fresh oysters, prawn (or shrimp?) and crayfish, which I love. So, I expect I´ll love stone crab, too, right?

                I´d love to have at least 10 foods on my "must" list, even more, if you come up with more "musts"!

                THANK YOU I really appreciate your advice!!

                :O)

                Anne

                1. re: annesurfs

                  Grouper is a fish. Make sure you get REAL grouper, as this is the most faked fish in Florida.

                  Pecan pie? That's more of a Georgia thing. You see, even though we're further south, you need to go north from here to get to "The South." Stick with seafood and citrus.

                  Seafood around here means crab claws (in season right now), scallops, and shrimp. Lobster and crab legs are not from around here; they're northern waters.

                  Citrus is falling off the trees in neighborhoods all around you. Drive down an ally, and pick an overhanging tree. Nothing tastes or smells like fresh off the tree. BTW, the supermarkets still sell California oranges, so you can pass on those if you want fresh. Florida oranges, the juice oranges, are a little past prime right now. Valencias and navels aren't quite ripe yet, but they're OK.

                  If you can find starfruit, kumquat, or loquat (Japanese Plum) tree, you're in for a treat. They're easy to find, if you're know what they look like.

                  Where in Florida are you going?

                  1. re: streetman

                    I will stay in Lake Worth, will visit Sansibel island, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc!

                    That was a good tip re- crab claws vs crab legs!

                    I thought Florida or spiny lobster would be local?

                    So...no chance of "soul food" in Florida, eithe

                    You really think I can just pick an orange / citrus like that, they are everywhere? WOW! :o0?

                    1. re: annesurfs

                      Doc Fords in sanibel was the best place we ate there last year oct.....and we tried about 6 other places
                      too bad Nov. is too early for plant city strawberrys
                      Pine Island close to Sanibel has wonderful tropical fruit...like mangos but nov might be too late
                      Sanibel is wonderful....enjoy

                      1. re: o.lynne

                        Another vote for Doc Fords, both the restaurant & books by Randy Wayne White!

                      2. re: annesurfs

                        Sanibel is great for a visit with some cute restaurants. However I was not really wowed by any of the restaurants there. That being said, if you are going there you of course will need to eat. Gramma Dots has some good, fresh seafood that is simply prepared and is one of the few places that has a water view - albeit docks, but water nonetheless!

                        1. re: annesurfs

                          When I think of South Florida, I think of a cross-section of Latin America - Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Central America, South America, plus Haiti - unlike anything else in the United States. I always look forward to visiting Miami because I can experience another world without the expense or hassle of international travel!

                          However, if you want to try "soul food", you should be able to find it in the Miami area. It just won't be as prevalent as it is in the Southeastern US (Jacksonville, FL to Washington, DC and west to the Mississippi River). You may need to venture into African-American neighborhoods that can be dangerous - go at lunchtime when the troublemakers are still sleeping off the night before and keep your wits about you like in Naples (Italy, not Florida!) or the outer districts of Paris. But it's worth the effort to eat real Southern American fried chicken, pork ribs, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, corn bread...

                          I live about 1500 KM north of Miami, so I don't have any specific recommendations, but maybe someone local can help with that!

                          Good luck!

                        2. re: streetman

                          Other Florida seafood- Apalachicola bay oysters, warmer water fish like red snapper, mahi-mahi (aka dolphinfish), pompano, cobia, amberjack.

                          Alligator occasionally shows up on some menus as a novelty. Can't say I'm overfond of it because so very few cooks get it right, but if you see it, might as well try it once.

                        3. re: annesurfs

                          Re: Jewish Deli...Pastrami on Rye Bread Sandwich, potato pancakes, chopped chicken liver, sour pickle & rugalah for desert. He's going to Miami, so someone down there must know a good Jewish Deli to send him to, right?

                          1. re: cavandre

                            "She"..Annesurfs = Anne = "she" ;O)

                            Thwe Jewish deli food sounds like something from a movie to me, yes SURE I´ll have to try it!

                            Ok,

                            8. Anything and everything from a Jewish deli!

                            :O)

                            Anne

                            1. re: annesurfs

                              there are Jewish Delis all the way from Boynton Beach south to Delray, Boca, Ft Lauderdale and Miami. In Delray there is Poppies, 3G's, Boynton and Boca have Flakeowitz, also Boca has Toojays.

                              1. re: smartie

                                Thanks Smartie! I have saved your tips.

                                1. re: smartie

                                  Let's not forget Ben's Deli in Boca Raton. Very, very good.

                                  -----
                                  Ben's Kosher Delicatessen
                                  9942 Clint Moore Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33496

                            2. re: annesurfs

                              "I have only ever tasted fresh oysters, prawn (or shrimp?) and crayfish, which I love. So, I expect I´ll love stone crab, too, right?"

                              Not necessairly, to some people they are completely tasteless. The only way to find out is to try them yourself. You get them with mustard. Far superior than butter.

                              If you end up at Joes, you should try the key lime there too. As far as crab claw size goes, get the selects.

                              1. re: tpigeon

                                Hi anne, I have lived in Lake Worth for 25 years. Welcome. Our downtown is wonderful. Many fine restaurants. But may I suggest if you are looking for something that you may not have tried, go about 3 miles south to www.myhurricanealley.com , Try the raw oysters and the softshell crab sandwich. This is not a fancy place. I go for the great food. Shorts and t-shirt will suffice. Looks like you got here in time for a beautiful week of great weather, have fun.

                                1. re: HotMelly

                                  Thanks!

                                  I am not a fine dining kind of person at all, somehow I always feel as if I am not fine enough myself...

                                  And, yes, the food matter the most, not the white linens (which I always fear I´ll spill on) or the multiple silverware.

                                  Also, I´m not rich, so need to find inexpensive places to eat, mostly...but I will certainly have to splurge a couple of times and try e.g. Joe´s crabs, as it may be the only chance ever for me!

                          2. Not sure about Florida, but it's crawfish season in Louisiana. Fresh boiled are going for $2.99 a pound. Some places now offering an all-you-can-eat dinner with boiled corn and potatoes for $12.99.

                            1. All these suggestions sound great, but it seems many have missed the fact that the original poster is arriving in November. That would make a huge difference, from now, for local produce, some seafood, local festivals, and the weather! Many ideas will still work then, of course, but would hate to get her hopes up with out-of-season opportunities.

                              1. It's not from Florida but the atmosphere is Old Florida. For the absolute best Maine Lobster you must go to The Station House right in Lantana -- Next to Lake Worth. No kidding . . . The best and the freshest. Huge live lobster tank. Definitely an experience.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Alfred G

                                  Woops.

                                  -----
                                  Station House Restaurant
                                  233 W Lantana Rd, Lantana, FL

                                2. I live in Lake Worth. Try Sara's Kitchen in Lantana at 210 E. Ocean Avenue for breakfast. 561-540-2822. Great thick challah french toast.
                                  For casual dining, try the Rum Shack at 606 Lake Avenue in downtown Lake Worth - 561-588-2929. They serve a good fish sandwich and have a great happy hour.
                                  Dolce de Palma is one of my favorite spots for lunch. The lunch specials are a little pricey, but they are delicious. You can also get a panini. It is at 1000 Old Okeechobee Rd in West Palm Beach. www.dolcedepalma.com
                                  If you like bakeries, try the Palm Beach bakery, a Finnish bakery with hearty breads and delicious danish. It is located at 206 E. Ocean Ave. in Lantana.

                                  I agree that the Station House and Hurricane Alley would be good choices.

                                  1. Most of the larger shopping malls have a store called Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, since you love chocolate. They have the best chocolate and caramel/chocolate covered Granny Smith apples you have ever tasted. You will need someone to split it with. We usually get a knife and cut it into multiple pieces. If you like sweet and savory together then try the chocolate covered potato chips...to die for!!

                                    1. Cuban food while in Miami of course! I recommend Versailles on 8th street for a uniquely Miami experience. Ask anyone they will direct you. Joe's is good, but not outstanding. For a great upscale meal go to Flemings in Coral Gables (steaks, excellent lamb chops, to-die-for sea bass special) just about anything you order will be excellent though pricey.

                                      1. lantana - riggins crab house and order garlic crabs.

                                        1. When in Sanibel, go to the neighboring Island (Captiva) to the Mucky Duck to catch the sunset and a great view of the sunset.
                                          Across the Bay from Sanibel is the Dixie Fish Company in Fort Myers or
                                          The Snook Inn on Marco Island which is about 1 hour south of Sanibel.

                                          On the East Coast, RIggins in always great food.

                                          You should also try:
                                          Two Georges in Boynton Beach, two towns south of Lake Worth.

                                          1. I am not sure but i think nobody has recommended bar-b -que I think if you go to Fort Lauderdale ernies might give you a new look on the states and the food you can get seafood up and down the coast but every state has BBQ
                                            http://fortlauderdale.citysearch.com/...

                                            1. Anne,

                                              November is the very beginning of the citrus harvest. This link shows what varieties will be ripe and seems to have links to farms:

                                              http://www.pickyourown.org/FLcitrus.htm

                                              Most people don't realize that Florida has Amish farms. There are a number of Amish restaurants around Sarasota/Bradenton on the Gulf coast. They serve very good traditional farm/home cooking and wonderful pies. This link shows a number of them:

                                              http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&...

                                              With the anniversary of the moon landing I thought Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales might be of interest to you. Their soup traveled on many Apollo flights!

                                              http://www.chaletsuzanne.com/history....

                                              There is a lot of area to cover in Florida! Try to squeeze in a visit to the Gulf coast and have a seafood dinner on the water at sunset - the sunsets are spectacular! And so is the seafood!

                                              1. BOILED PEANUTS !!!

                                                1. I was enjoying reading down through this and was surprised that no one mentioned boiled peanuts, until the last poster. Buy hot, boiled peanuts at a stand at the side of the road and consume them immediately in the car - you will need napkins! As you are driving, keep your eye peeled for a "HOT BOILED PEANUTS" sign and veer off the road with tires squealing if you see one!! If this treat is available anywhere else in the US besides Florida, I don't know where it is.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                    Definitely a regional treat! They are found pretty much in all the peanut producing areas of the SE USA. I've found them in 6 states so far!

                                                  2. When in Florida, especially in South Florida, you must try Spanish food! Try deviled crab, cuban sandwich, ropa vieja, plantains, yellow rice and black beans. You should be able to find all of this near Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. I live in Tampa, FL so I can't recommend specific restaurants, but you should be able to find some with research. I highly recommend you look at TripAdvisor.com to read reviews from real people. Have a great trip!!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: awood2120

                                                      What you're describing seems to be mostly Cuban food rather than Spanish food - as to which there's plenty of commentary from real people on this board as well.

                                                    2. OK, Anne, November is here. The stone crab season is off to a bountiful start, and you should also enjoy fresh black grouper, pompano, Key West pink shrimp, and Apalachicola oysters. Skol.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Hi all,

                                                        less than 4 weeks to go, and I´ll be THERE!

                                                        I am typing all the great advice up - well copy & pasting rather - I will take a self-made restaurant recommendations booklet with me!

                                                        Would especially appreciate even more restaurant recs around Lake Worth area (and Ft Lauderdale) - BBQ and seafood preferably!

                                                        An acquaintance told me you gain 10 lbs as soon as your feet touch USA ground, and I am almost ready to believe her! ;O)

                                                        THANK YOU ALL, I will be happy to report afterwards which foods I liked, which ones I loved and which ones I will crave for ever more!

                                                        :O)

                                                        Anne

                                                        1. re: annesurfs

                                                          Please do report back, and may I add Shrimp with grits to your list.

                                                          1. re: annesurfs

                                                            You might also look into a good mexican place. We have several of them here in central florida. They are a recent addition here within the last 10 years. When i came to florida in 89 there were no mexican places. Thanks to florida agriculture migrant workers began comming here from mexico to pic oranges. A few of them stayed and opened resturants. Thank GOD!! Just make sure what ever place you choose is owned by a mexican family and don't go to any chains unless it is El potro. The only real mexican chain in florida.

                                                            1. re: mountdorahound

                                                              For BBQ, I've always enjoyed Tom Jenkins on US 1 in Ft Lauderdale.. Great baby back ribs, pulled pork sides and sauce. Not cheap but portions are pretty large. Be prepared to wait as it is very popular and food is cooked to order.

                                                              www.tomjenkinsbbq.com/

                                                            2. re: annesurfs

                                                              Riggins for garlic crabs! Get the combo 1/2 garlic 1/2 Maryland style. Just be sure you have plenty of time. They can take a lot of time to eat if you do it right.

                                                          2. Hi Anne,

                                                            You have received many good recommendations, so I will only add a few more. I am in Fort Lauderdale which is at most 1 hour south of Lake Worth. Here are my suggestions:

                                                            1. Stone Crabs - Catfish Dewey's for All You Can Eat Stone Crabs ($40) - www.catfishdeweys.com

                                                            2. Garlic Crabs - Rustic Inn Crab House - http://www.rusticinn.com/

                                                            3. Cuban Food - La Carretta
                                                            http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                            4. Mexican Food - Dona Raquela (very small taquera
                                                            )http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                            5. Key Lime Pie - Any fruit stand on the side of the road. Really. Pick up some oranges and grapefruit there too.

                                                            I hope you have a wonderful trip and go home with only good memories.

                                                            --Lisa

                                                            -----
                                                            Catfish Deweys
                                                            4003 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

                                                            12 Replies
                                                            1. re: ldkelley

                                                              Hi,

                                                              I wonder if you could give me advice on where to find a good buffet / all you can eat - not because I plan to stuff myself (yeah right, not!), but because that would be a great way of testing the waters....just tasting a bit of everything!

                                                              Or are buffets / AYCES worth it, in your opinion?

                                                              :O)

                                                              Anne (less than 3 weeks to go!)

                                                              1. re: annesurfs

                                                                This isn't the greatest place to eat, but on the AYCE buffet at the Golden Corral in I think it's Royal Palm on Okeechobee, they have really good deep fried chicken liver.

                                                                1. re: annesurfs

                                                                  Most AYCES are about quantity, not quality. Food tends to be mass produced and not the greatest quality.

                                                                  Sometimes this is not the case. There are occasionally some very nice AYCE brunch buffets, but you will be paying a hefty fee. A good example of this is Oystercatchers in Tampa at $45/adult.

                                                                  If your visit is over Thanksgiving (Thursday Nov. 26th this year), that would be a nice occasion to try a holiday buffet at a nice place.

                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                    Hi, we are coming over 30th Nov!

                                                                    Ok, another question, maybe OTT?

                                                                    Which foods / confections/ foodstuffs do I HAVE to buy and haul back to Finland with me??

                                                                    I read about almond butter, mmmmm.....But, really, all suggestions gratefully received?

                                                                    :O)

                                                                    Anne

                                                                    1. re: annesurfs

                                                                      If you poke around the general boards, you can find a number of threads on foods Americans mail to ex-pat friends. Nestle or better quality chocolate chips seem to come up regularly in those discussions. (convert the cookie recipe on the back of the bag to metric as appropriate)

                                                                      I'd also go for mexican/tex-mex shelf-stable products and spices. Any large grocery here will have a good number of those options at a reasonable price.

                                                                      1. re: annesurfs

                                                                        You will miss Thanksgiving.

                                                                        Florida specialties to bring back include the Chalet Suzanne Romaine soup (canned, available in some grocery stores) which was brought on some Apollo space flights - makes for an unique gift. Try to find hot sauce or other products made with Datil peppers - they are traditional to St. Augustine. There are often unusual citrus based marmalades to be found.

                                                                        A good natural foods/health food store will have almond butter and other varieties of nut butters.

                                                                        Have a great visit!

                                                                        1. re: annesurfs

                                                                          Hi Anne,

                                                                          A couple of thoughts (hopefully you're still following the thread):

                                                                          In the US resteraunts generally fall into two styles, those where you order at a counter, and then wait there and pick up your food (most fast food places), and those where you sit at a table, and a waitress takes your order and brings your food. Unlike Europe or the UK, you don't get many where you order at a counter, then go to a table and someone brings your food out to you.

                                                                          At places where you get your food at the counter, you usually don't tip. Sometimes there will be a bowl at the register marked "thanks", and you can leave a dollar, but most people won't. Same goes for takeout (carryout).

                                                                          If there's table service (a waitress), you are expected to tip. 15% of the bill is considered the minimum. 20% or more is appropriate if the service was good. Bear in mind that US diners tend to expect better service than Europeans do (at least at lesser places - everyone expects excellent service at the high cost places). In the US, most of a waitress's income is from tips, so generosity is appreciated. You can not tip, or short tip, if service was bad, but that is considered a fairly drastic sign of dissatisfaction, so only do so if service was particularly poor (in better places, a manager will ask you what went wrong if you don't tip, expect that).

                                                                          In US restraunts, sometimes you pay the waitress, and sometimes you're expected to pay at a register - you can ask the waitress "do I pay you or at the register". If you are paying cash, you should leave the tip on the table if you pay at the register - it's OK to go to the register and pay, and then back to the table if you need to get small bills (it's polite, if there's more than one in your party, for the remainder to stay at the table while you pay, if you're coming back with the tip). If you pay with credit card, you can put the tip amount on the charge slip - in this case, the cashier will see that it's transferred to the waitress.

                                                                          In some resteraunts you are expected to choose your own table, in others a hostess will guide you to a table. Usually there'll be a little sign ("wait here to be seated" or "seat yourself"), if not assume that there's a hostess until someone tells you to seat yourself (which will often be by saying "anywhere").

                                                                          There are three categories in the US as far as alcoholic beverages are concerned: some places will have a bar attached, and will serve whatever you want. Some will only be licensed for beer and wine. And some will not serve any alcohol, so if that makes a difference to you, ask first.

                                                                          Almost invariably you'll be given a glass of water. You can (and are expected to) order another beverage if you don't want water. If it's breakfast time, there may be a coffee cup upside down on the table, turning it right side up means you want coffee (if you want tea, leave it upside down until you can tell the waitress what you want). Whatever the beverage is (except for alcoholic ones) the waitress should refill the glass/cup when it gets low (but not before then - some waitresses can get annoying by perpetually fussing with the glasses). You don't pay for the refills as a rule.

                                                                          US portions are often huge, enough for two meals. It's common to only eat part of the meal, and take the remainder home to eat later. If you want to do that, you should ask the waitress for a "box" (the phrase "doggy bag" is old fashioned), which will be a styrofoam container. The waitress may ask if you want a box if it looks like you're done and there's food left. In some places, the waitress will take the plate, and bring back the food already in the box; in others they will bring the box out, and you can put what you want to save in yourself.

                                                                          If I remember any of the other things which confused/astounded my UK relatives, I'll post them.

                                                                          John

                                                                          1. re: true360north

                                                                            Hi John,

                                                                            thank you for your long and excellent reply!!

                                                                            LOTS of points I did not know!

                                                                            The tipping will be the most challenging thing to get right. I do not want to be tight, it is just so odd because in Finland, service is automatically added to your bill. The waitresses are paid well over 10 $ per hour. So, tipping is really optional, and people may just leave their change, or nothing. I want to get it right, and I need to remember this is how they pay their bills!! I have lots of 1$ and 5 $ notes with me so I can get started right! :O)

                                                                            I did not know refills are usually free, that´s great, especially as I think Florida will feel REALLY hot to me!

                                                                            I will follow this thread until Sunday, we will leave to the airport Sunday night. I am so excited!

                                                                            Man I really hope it does not turn out I am allergic to some seafood, how would I know as I have never even heard about snow crab etc before?? Probably not though.

                                                                            I plan to taste rock shrimp, spiny lobster is possible, snow crab, etc etc etc! Lots of shrimps, cooked in different ways. BBQ, Cuban....

                                                                            Did I mention I have typed 10 pages of tips, hints and pieces of advice? Restaurants offering great food + good value, tips on tipping, places to visit...

                                                                            Oh wow this will be the greatest trip I´ve ever made!

                                                                            I guess I will gain weight, a friend told me you gain 10 lbs as soon as your feet touch USA ground ;O)

                                                                            THANK YOU and I´ll be here, taking down great pieces of advice, until Sunday!

                                                                            :O) 'Anne

                                                                            1. re: annesurfs

                                                                              Stone Crabs! I see a lot of seafood on your list and stone crabs are mostly a south florida delicacy, Maybe it's because I can't get them where I live and I gorge on them when I'm in FL but stone crabs are way up there in taste. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite between dungenesse, fresh-out-of-the-water maryland blue crab, and stone crab.
                                                                              Sue

                                                                      2. re: annesurfs

                                                                        If you want to combine AYCE and Cuban cuisine you should try one of the Padrino's restaurants. There are a few, (Boca,Hallandale and Plantation) For less then $10 at lunch you get a very good sample of tasty Cuban food.

                                                                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                                                                          THANK YOU! Very happy! I´d like to taste lots of things, so a buffet / AYCE is a great idea for that. Also, we want to eat a good lunch and less in the evening. I do not think we´ll go and dine out at all.

                                                                          I saved the Padrino´s info...no-one had suggested that I think? And the price is just GREAT for our budget!

                                                                          :O)

                                                                          Anne

                                                                          1. re: annesurfs

                                                                            On the subject of budgeting-
                                                                            Florida has a great many "Early Bird Specials". These are usually specific dinner deals offered a little earlier (ex: 5-6pm) and often are smaller sized portions. They started as a way to get retired folks out for dinner and to fill the slower part of the restaurants dinner service. They can be a good value.

                                                                            There are also many "happy hour" specials in Fl. that often include food - usually appetizer items with alcoholic drinks. The timing is generally to catch the after work folks, so 4 or 5 - 6 or 7. Again, there can be some good deals.

                                                                            Hotels often have racks of travel literature in the front lobby. Many times there are good coupons for dining and other activities. You can sometimes find a rack of business card sized advertisements. This type can have some great dining coupons.

                                                                            Have a great time!

                                                                    2. Given your driving radius, I would highly recommend a visit to Eduardo De San Angel in Fort Lauderdale. Lovely room, great service and delicious gourmet Mexican cuisine.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                        speaking for myself and my fellow Floridians I hope you had a good visit and good meals

                                                                      2. Annesurfs,

                                                                        I came across this thread again, and I was wondering how your trip went if you check back!

                                                                        --Lisa