South Florida's Historical Foodie Institutions
Recently I've been wondering where are the foodie institutions in South Florida - which are institutions because they've been around forever and can claim themselves as being the oldest running operation in South Florida. Honestly I'm a little clueless about foodie history in South Florida so I'm putting together what I already do know.
Tobacco Road of Miami is said to be the oldest operating bar and restaurant in Miami, since 1912.
Joe's Stone Crabs of Miami Beach has been operating since 1913.
S&S Diner of Miami, Miami's oldest diner since 1938.
Laurenzo's of North Miami Beach, South Florida's oldest Italian market? Since 1951.
Frankie's Pizza of Miami recently celebrated their 55th year of operation and claims to be the oldest pizzeria in Miami, since 1955.
Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor of Dania Beach, open since 1956.
I'm sure we have more institutions than these - Italian, French, Cuban, Colombian, an ice cream parlor, etc. The list can be endless but be of historical importance. :)
Jumbo's, which has been open since 1955, won a James Beard "America's Classics" award in 2008.
Arbetter's Hot Dogs in South Miami has supposedly been open since 1959
Versailles on 8th Street is closing in on 40 years old.
I was wondering which was also the oldest Cuban restaurant in South Florida. It's kind of hard to believe that from what I've found, most of them popped up in the 1970s and not before? La Rosa just got to their 40th year as well, since they have been operating since 1970 - on the dot - but of course, it's not as iconic as Versailles.
EDIT: I just noticed Versailles opened in 1971, so that makes La Rosa older. But it being the first, I'm unsure.
There's a good history of the Cuban sandwich in South Florida here, which includes a testimonial from someone who says their father started serving them at a place in Miami in 1947 ->
But I think if you want the oldest Cuban restaurant in South Florida, more broadly speaking than Miami, it would have to be Columbia restaurant in Tampa which opened in 1905.
I did some research for ya, nachogirl! :) Thanks for the heads-up!
The Floridian (Fort Lauderdale) - 1936 (wow, beats out S&S Diner by 2 years!)
Hamburger Heaven (Palm Beach) - 1945
Egg & You (Fort Lauderdale) - 1956
Ernie's Bar-B-Q (Fort Lauderdale) - 1957
Southport Raw Bar - 1970's (a little too new for the thread I think?)
How about Garlic Crabs at the The Rustic Inn - 1955
Shorty's BBQ -1951
Tropical Acres in Dania since 1949
Can't Forget Mai-Kai since 1956
Does the Elbo Room count? 1938
What about Fox's Sherron Inn on US-1 in South Miami? i think its been around forever....since 1946 i believe.
Testa's of Palm Beach-1921
Roxy's in West Palm-1935
Russo's Sandwich Shop in WPB-1948
Okeechobee Steakhouse in WPB-1948
Howley's Restaurant, West Palm Beach-1950
The Desert Inn, Yeehaw Junction-1887
Two George's in Boynton Beach-1957
That's all I've got right now.
The Old Key Lime House in Lantana - the house is old over 100 years but the restaurant is newish but anyway if you like sitting in a piece of history it's pretty cool. The views are superb and the food is ok - a bit too much like everywhere else burgers, texmex, fish and chips and so on.
This post is poses an interesting subject. However, I believe it should possibly be narrowed down as to places under the same ownership over the years versus simply the same name existing over the years. For instance, The Floridian, The Egg and You, and Ernies in Fort Lauderdale have all had multiple owners throught their history whereas a place like Tropical Acres, although I'm not positive, has been operated by the same ownership over the years.
I understand the original owners are long gone, but the point I am trying to make is, in my mind, an "institution" is personified by a place that has been run by the same family or family members for generations (i.e. Joe's Stone Crab. And if this definition makes for a short list, so be it.
So you're saying there has to be an unbroken bloodline pedigree among the owners for it to qualify as an "institution"? What about places that were taken over by non-related employees, for instance, that have remained utterly true to the original business concept? Conversely, what about a restaurant taken over by the kids that has been completely remade and bears no resemblance to the original concern? Would it be disqualified as an "original institution" on that basis, or what?