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Anyone else think we should split Florida up into North/Central/South?

There's a pretty decent dead space between Orlando and I-10, etc. The people from North Florida probably aren't going to drive to central florida to eat, nor are the south floridians driving up north, etc.

Am I alone on this? I'd love to see a CF/NF/SF breakdown on threads!

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    Pensacola to Jax and as far south as Gainesville - North
    Ocala down to Sarasota (west) and Vero (east) - Central
    Then Naples, Miami, WPB, etc all in South?

    1 Reply
    1. NW: N of Orlando, including Gainseville, but not the east coast.
      NE Coastal: Jacksonville to Vero Beach
      I-4 Corridor: Kissimmee, Orlando, Sanford, Deltona
      SW: Everything SW of Orlando, including the Bay Area (Tampa and St. Petersburg)
      Palm Beach to Ft. Pierce
      Broward County
      Dade County & the Keys

      It is the fourth most populated state. The Florida Population Map and the Topographic Map help in understanding the divisions.

      The Most Populous Metro Areas

      1. I don't agree that Naples should be in the South Fl region. Maybe a west coast Fl section which could include the Keys.

        South Fl should just be the Tri County area.

        7 Replies
        1. re: smartie

          We had a conversation about this a month or two ago. I would very much like to keep the board together. I regularly eat in different parts of the state. Also, I don't really understand what is so burdensome about scrolling. If the board were more active, I would understand. As it is, if you check in every couple of days you barely have to scroll a full page. What is the rationale for splitting the board?

          1. re: CFishman

            I like the board the way it is. Most of the time when tourists come on it they think it's a Miami board anyway lol

          2. re: smartie

            If Naples is 2 hours away from Miami, I'm okay with South Florida including Naples since West Palm Beach is also 2 hours away from Miami. But anything north of it should be closer to Tampa.

            And I would definitely object if Broward County was separated from Miami-Dade County. There's enough people going between the two counties to keep those threads together.

            Palm Beach Cafe
            206 S Olive Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

            1. re: smartie

              I agree with you. Estero is only a little over a half hour drive from Naples and a lot of people probably go there from Naples to go to the outlet/shop just as people who are in Estero may want to go to Naples to find something to eat. It just doesn't make sense to lump Naples with S. FL when the other main cities in the group are at least a 2-hour drive away with pretty much nothing in between to enjoy.

              I just get tired of everyone assuming this is a S. FL/Miami board. I'd probably be happy with some requirement to list the city in question in the title. I don't check this page on a daily basis because there is so much S. FL stuff and often times end up missing posts in my area as a result.

              1. re: queencru

                I agree if they don't split the Fl board then at least make it so that we must put the city or at least the county in the title,

                On another note the subsection for Florida is Miami, South Beach and Jacksonville! What's that about? South Beach is Miami for starters and there is a fair old bit of land between Jax and Miami so it's a stupid subtitle.

                South Beach Cafe
                121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                1. re: smartie

                  I hadn't even noticed that. It's a little odd since Orlando is a huge tourist destination and at least in between Jacksonville and Miami.

                2. re: queencru

                  I agree with this. I live in South Florida, and I don't think to myself "hey I want to go eat at so and so in Naples this weekend..." however, I do think about going to Miami and Palm Beach for dinner.

              2. I am in complete agreement that Florida should be Divided to North, South East, and South West(Which could include Orlando and other Central locations)

                1 Reply
                1. re: SaminSFL

                  Just happened to notice this surfing around and thought of a great line by a humor writer fifty years ag who, while in Pensacola, referred to to panhandle as "Unoccupied Florida." I think he was pining for a past

                2. I would be happy if people put the city /region they are asking about in their title, or if Chowhound could come with a way to make people choose a city/region when they post. I am afraid that splitting the state up would cause confusion.

                  1. I don't think it's necessary; I wish everyone would put the area in their original post, but you can't teach people to use their heads all the time. I scroll down and read the posts for the Tampa Bay area. No biggie.

                    1. I would love to see a split like this, I am often finding reviews of hotspots from the southeast where the reviewer just seem to assume that everything on the board is about the southeast and don't need to identify their recommendation by location. and I tend to stay in the gulf coast area being from the bay area.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: willdupre

                        Agreed. I think splitting it into more than 3 or 4 regions would be counterproductive, and I have a feeling it might generate more "local community" (albeit it could get pretty remote) interest. If I were a foodie new to CH, and I wanted to find good grub in Miami, I'd greatly prefer a "South Florida" category, etc.

                      2. I live in Fernandina Beach in far northeastern FLA. We're practically in Georgia. But I would like to keep the FLA Board in one piece. Here's why: the Board is not very big as it is; I want to hear about the rest of Florida. I will travel for food and hearing about the best bagels in So Fla, barbecue in Talahassee and Latin in Tampa makes for very rich reading. Keep up the posting!

                        1. I agree with most other's opinions. There's not enough activity to split this board up. I also don't think the moderators even have the power to make such a decision.

                          And I do like Miss E's idea of forcing all new posts to use a city selection pull down which is then added at the beginning of the post title.

                          Can I get a 'whoop whoop'? Probably not......

                          3 Replies
                            1. re: freakerdude

                              Whoop x 2.

                              I think all posts should be prefaced with the city. Pull down or direct entry, but that'd appease me ;)

                              1. re: askdrtodd

                                another whoop. seems just a courtesy to put city/area name in the title of every post. i've suggested this several other times.

                            2. I have several thoughts.

                              If all kept as one board, a regional designation pull down menu of 4-6 regions should be included.
                              1. Keys
                              2. South Florida
                              3. Central Florida
                              4. North Florida
                              5. Panhandle
                              6. West Coast (naples to tampa area)

                              HOWEVER, I would prefer the board be broken into say 4 regions (South, Central, North, and West Coast) with also a Best of Florida board.

                              The reason being that the local people who browse often don't really care about different parts (most people I feel). If they want to browse or check other regions of florida, well it's a simple click because it is already organized. This would be especially helpful if I knew I was taking a trip, say to Miami, and I wanted to find cuisine specifically there. All I would have to do is click South Florida, and everything is more or less in traveling distance. Would also make it easier on tourists.

                              The Best of Florida is for all the threads we currently have (Best Mexican, Best Taco or Best Fish Market) as examples.

                              1. Florida is a huge state and anyone who lacks the common sense to identify a location in a query is probably a junk food addict anyway. You are what you eat. I am surprised by the lack of participation in the panhandle and Jacksonville.

                                1. we re lucky to have our own board, a lot of states are just apart of "the South"

                                  1. No, but people ought to learn to put a identifier in the title and also, it seems that most new people haven't figured out the search feature.

                                    1. Even if it was just South Florida and North Florida (with Orlando as the dividing line in the 'north') it would be easier to use.

                                      1. think about this, south florida isnt the south, and north florida is in the south

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: seminole phil

                                          florida has always been the border zone between cultures and climates. it has always been the odd man out of the continental US. we've been marginalized from greater southern history and caribbean history. it is a also a huge state difficult to define. i earnestly hope Florida can continue to stake out its own identity in food and other aspects of culture. this discussion is emblematic of the cultural tectonics at work in Florida. it gives me great satisfaction to hear the many voices on this board. Chowhound is a great resource, and this board has come a long way in the last ten years.

                                          1. re: andy huse

                                            Florida does have its own unique culinary culture. It's Floribbean. Pollo Tropical & Bahama Breeze both are a perfect example of it throughout Florida (and the nation).

                                            Just like California just adds avocado to American cuisine to make it Californian cuisine, we add citrus & tropical fruits instead - for the most part. And ours is a little more different from American cuisine in that we incorporate a lot of the Latin American / Caribbean influences (yuca, boniato, conch, curry, etc). And lastly, a lot of our state's cuisine focuses on seafood, poultry, and swine.

                                            And we've seen more papaya or tamarind sauces, mustard curry, mango dressing in this state than any other state. I've seen some of these stuff even at an Italian restaurant.
                                            Example: Bruschetta (Italian - Doral) has seafood in papaya sauce. MaiTardi (Italian - Miami) has seafood lasagna, and tropical tiramesu. And I'm sure the successful Tutto Pasta (also in Miami) has something similar with their Italian-Brazilian chef manning the station.

                                            It just so happens that Florida doesn't have Floribbean restaurants on every corner. But last I checked, California didn't have Californian cuisine on every corner either.

                                            7300 N Kendall Dr Fl 8, Miami, FL 33156

                                            1. re: mialebven

                                              so-called floribbean food is a new concept, contrived in part by the citrus industry, and later by some south florida chefs. there is no single florida food, but regional specialties scattered throughout the state. if you're only looking in restaurants, you're not likely to find much food that can be called "Florida." several lists have gone up on these boards. they speak for themselves.

                                        2. I totally agree with dividing the state into 3 or 4 regions (or maybe, North, Central, South, and General/Whole State), or, short of that, requiring that posters indicate in thread titles which part of the state they want to discuss.

                                          Those who enjoy eating in different parts of the state and who want to keep abreast of what's going on across Florida could just make a habit of reading all of the individual sub-boards.

                                          Unless I am sorely missing something, there is no generic Floridian cuisine that might be one reason to try to keep all of the parts of the state together in a single board. It seems that the board was created as it is from the perspective of users who did not live in Florida but only sporadically visited here. Now that the number of chowhounds who actually live across the state has grown, it would make sense to break the board up to be more accommodating to those of us who want to be able to find and discuss local (within a few miles' driving distance) resources regularly.

                                          When I lived in NYC, I did sometimes find it annoying that the Manhattan board is separated from the Outer Boroughs board - yet that way of having divided the website's forums seems to work very well MOST of the time.

                                          Like many other NYers, when I lived in NYC I would frequently travel between Manhattan and the other boroughs (a mere 20 - 45 minute train ride each way). Contrast that with driving from South Miami to Orlando (4+ hours) or to Tallahassee (8 hours). From where I sit in Miami, a visit to northern Florida is really no different from a visit to Richmond, VA or Salt Lake City. When I am planning to visit Richmond or SLC, I read their boards. I would have no problem treating the Orlando or Gainesville boards similarly.

                                          1. It really makes sense. Other boards like NY, Cali, even Texas have some division of area. Florida is a large state, and the way it's borders are, should lend to a dividing of the boards on here.

                                            Even just a general South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami) and everything else would be a great help. Living in South Florida, I would pretty much travel anywhere in that category for food. It would also help with people visiting the boards, as others have mentioned.

                                            1. This would seem to be wheel-spinning of the highest order. While it is mildly frustrating to deal with posts that are not geography-specific, this will still be a problem as long as people don't put the city they're referring to in their subject.

                                              There are few CH boards that go "granular" within a state, and these are for the most part much more active than even our moderately robust FL board. On the other hand, I'm just thankful we are not lumped into "South" (covering VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, MS, AL, AR, LA, KY and TN) or suffer the similar fate of those lumped into "Southwest" (AZ, NM, UT, WY, CO and NV excl. Reno, Lake Tahoe) or "Midwest" (OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN, IA, MO, KS, OK, ND, SD and NE).

                                              I suggest we just throw metaphorical tomatoes at anyone who starts a thread without specifying where it is of which they speak.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                                For a while it seemed like everyone was doing so well with putting the city/region into the subject, but I've seen a lot of posts in the past few days that have fallen back into that awful trend of giving a restaurant name with no further info.

                                                On a selfish level, as someone not from Miami I get annoyed seeing the "coming down to SoBe, where should I eat?" topics popping up every other day or so. At least if S. FL were in its own area then perhaps people with no ability to use the search feature would see other similar posts on the same page.

                                                1. re: queencru

                                                  Believe me, the "coming down to SoBe, where should I eat" posts are just as annoying to us who live here as to those who do not. And I don't think those folks are ever going to grasp the awesome power of the search feature or even the simple wisdom of scrolling down a few posts - because they each apparently seem to think, like Colombus discovering the New World, that they are the first to have ever pondered the question of where to eat in South Beach.

                                              2. Dunno how busy your lives are, but how much time does it take to just open a thread with an interesting title? Doesn't innate curiosity trump strict geographical precision? I'd look at a posting titled "Deep-fried Frip Fraps" just to see what they're talking about. Don't think "South West Miami, near the Shell Station, coupla blocks over from the MegaLoMart, deep fried Frip Fraps" would deter me if I were reading in from Pensacola.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: southocean

                                                  I'd take a weekend drive to get the best good Deep-fried Frip Fraps in the state.
                                                  And that's why I favor keeping this as a Florida board, rather than cutting into so many pieces of pie.

                                                  I live in Naples, and feel that the people and alligators from Chokoloskee to North Fort Myers are one reasonably inbred motley group. We no more belong with Miami and Palm Beach than we do with Tampa and Orlando. To those who infrequently venture over here and want to lump us with others, read the active Naples Fort Myers and even Punta Gorda comments and see how we are unique as a region. Still, I don't feel THAT unique as to merit spliting Florida into 4 or 6 or 8.5 pie sections...just yet.

                                                  Others wisely suggested better labeling of a new post with the city-it works.

                                                  So, for all those would -be splitters, give SW Florida it's own pie slice if you must slice up such a lovely state, and good luck figuring the gerrymandering boundaries for the other pie slices!

                                                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                    Well, at least in the south of the state, you can blame the gerrymadering on Mother Nature, who has blessed us with the Everglades.

                                                    1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                                                      I'm glad to see that this is still a topic of discussion, I wish the board would either make it necessary to preface the thread title with the city/area, or just split the state up. I can't imagine it being that supremely difficult, and I honestly think people would like it more, the Miami guys aren't filtering out threads about Pensacola and so forth. Look at every other forum for people that are fans/aficionados of something, the popular ones are divvied up quite specifically. I don't think North/Central/South Florida is too over the top, and it certainly would make finding things easier!

                                                  2. Change is coming. Basically there will still be Florida - but they'll also be a "Miami / Ft Laud" board too.


                                                    15 Replies
                                                      1. re: herbage

                                                        good news for all. It should be easier to follow discussions on the boards, as they won't be pushed down so fast. it is nice to know that some of us still live in Florida.

                                                        1. re: andy huse

                                                          Still think we need a board just for "I'm coming to South Beach with my [insert relationship here] and we're looking where to for[insert criteria here]'. But this certainly still is an improvement.

                                                          1. re: lax2mia

                                                            i feel your pain, dude. after months of exchanges about the best places in Tampa, people always come along and ask where to get good food in Tampa. i really think "search first" should be part of chow etiquette.

                                                      2. re: CFByrne

                                                        Being in Palm Beach county and in close proximity to Miami / Ft Laud, I now have to read two boards. Oh well, I can deal with that.

                                                        1. re: freakerdude

                                                          yeh I am kinda miffed that there is no South Fl board or Tri County board

                                                          1. re: freakerdude

                                                            Definitely should be a South Florida Board encompassing Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. There is certainly enough action to justify its own Board. Also, Hounds regularly travel between the three counties for good restos.

                                                            1. re: Alfred G

                                                              See announcement at top of postings. There is going to be a Miami-Fort Lauderdale board.

                                                              1. re: gblcsw

                                                                we are aware of that but those of us in Palm Beach Co think we should be in the Miami-Ft Laud section

                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                  Hopefully Chowhound will listen to our suggestions - but as someone from Miami, I also agree with smartie that Palm Beach should be in the Miami-Ft Laud section.

                                                                  And just label it South Florida since that's how the one metropolitan area consisting of three counties label ourselves.

                                                                  Or Miami/South Florida (like how Zagat and other sources do it due to the popularity of the Miami name).

                                                                  1. re: mialebven

                                                                    I agree...That only makes sense!

                                                          2. re: CFByrne

                                                            Awesome, but still no Central Florida? :(

                                                            I guess it's still a step in the right direction.

                                                            1. re: askdrtodd

                                                              I'm alright with no central Florida if we have a South Florida. I feel like there are so many posts dedicated to South Florida that just having it in a different section will make the rest of the board more manageable for the rest of us.

                                                              1. re: queencru

                                                                agreed. it also seems like all of the posts with no locations given tend to be in the Miami area.

                                                            2. I agree its to large of a state......and if you are going to north or south FL you just look under that area!

                                                              1. I'd like to see some sort of division of the state ... maybe listing the city or region on the thread title would be sufficient.

                                                                I get frustrated with all the "coming-to" recommendation requests too ... but it's even worse (IMO) to get fired up about some topic only to find out at a later point that it's at the opposite end of the state. I'm not up for a 6-hour drive just to check out a great cuban sandwich somewhere.

                                                                I'd be content if we could divide it into north and south ... perhaps the breaking point being Tampa Bay. East and west aren't far enough apart to be worth the split as far as I'm concerned. I'm willing to go exploring that far.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: exotec

                                                                  You really need North (from Ocala north), Central (Daytona/Orlando/Tampa, etc), and South (Naples over to Miami and the keys, etc)

                                                                  Not having Miami is nice, but I can't understand it a shift is being made why we can't just split into 3 instead of 2.

                                                                  1. re: askdrtodd

                                                                    Actually we are only seeing a seperation of Miami/Dade from the rest of the state. This is what I've seen from the posts in the general Florida forum. While I was originally okay with a seperation of the state in two sections,the way it was broken down does not seem to be an effective way to deal with the number of posts in this very long state. I agree with you askdrtodd that the 3 forums exactly as you listed would be the best way to handle Florida related posts. What does the Chowhound Team think?

                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                      That's changed recently. Now the Miami - Ft Lauderdale board has been extended by the Chowhound people.

                                                                      "This board covers the urban area surrounding Miami from as far South as Homestead to as far North as Jupiter, including Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Coral Springs and other cities that fall within that range."

                                                                      Hopefully they revise the new board's name at some point.

                                                                      1. re: RickL


                                                                        Q. What do you do to get a thread moved over?

                                                                        A. It looks like they have already been moved

                                                                        1. re: freakerdude

                                                                          freakerdude - They have a thread where you can ask to help move old threads. Here's the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/682192

                                                                          A lot of threads were moved on the first day and I've been moving threads for the last couple but there's probably more, especially from the north-end of this new area.

                                                                      2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                        With the S. FL forum extended, I think it is fine the way it is. People on the southwest coast of Florida like Naples/Marco Island aren't really going to be swinging over to Miami for a meal. It doesn't make sense to move that area over when they're more likely to be going northward to Estero/Ft. Myers to be eating/shopping.