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Feb 25, 2013 04:46 PM

Delray Dishcrawl

Any CH's sign up for this? Ever attend one elsewhere? Your thoughts?

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  1. Funny because I saw this last week and wasn't going to do it. Then I checked again today, the first one (Tuesday) was sold out so they added a second day (Wednesday).

    And for whatever reason (scarcity, social proof) I decided to sign up. I figured it would be fun to wander around town with 25 or so other local foodies all at one time.

    It will be interesting to see which 4 places they choose, and what they serve for the $45.

    Apparently that doesn't include drinks (which is fine) but sometimes places will offer specials for the D/C folks.

    I was going to poke around the net myself to see what others have experienced in other locations.

    So I'll be interested to hear as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CFByrne

      Attended the first local Dishcrawl last night at 7:00, along with 46 others. Overall, it was an enjoyable evening more so for the social aspect than for the food. First stop was Vic and Angelos where we sat at two long tables indoors and were presented with a small plate containing a few breaded, non-greasy calamari pieces (but no sauce), one chicken wing, and one small meatball. Not an auspicious start food-wise, but it was fun getting to know our table mates. No drinks were included during the dishcrawl, so if you ordered one, you were presented with an individual check for same. The chef came out and was introduced to the group who told us what we were eating. After approximately, a half hour or so, we were marshalled up and sent across the street to the Office where we sat at several outdoor tables and were served another three items: a small shredded beef taco, a very limey ceviche tucked into a small lettuce wrap, and a deviled egg. Again, the chef was brought to each table for a meet and greet. Round three took us to Dada where we sat at several different tables in the courtyard and were served three small bites: tuna tartare on a crostini, crab etouffe on a cracker, and their maple bacon wrapped date stuffed with goat cheese. Out of the four restaurants we attended, Dada fell below expectations in that the service was rushed, the bacon date was very greasy, and the tuna tartare was mostly crostini and little tuna. Assuming the participating restaurants were aiming to attact future patrons, I felt that Dada's missed the mark. We did not meet the chef at Dada; but since it turned out to be a pleasant evening weather-wise, it was enjoyable to sit outside and enjoy the company of newfound friends. Last stop was Tryst for dessert. I found this to be the best of the four in terms of selection, presentation, and taste. We were served one bite of a bananna beer infused bananna bread, a pot de creme with another beer hint in it, and lastly a small scoop of raspberry ice cream also made with a fruity beer. We were also introduced to the chef at Tryst who proudly explained the desserts and ingredients to us. To recap: four restaurants, three bites at each, the food was best at Tryst, followed by the Office, then Vic and Angelos and lastly Dada. Time spent at each location was a bit more than a half hour. Portions were adequate so that you weren't left starving nor stuffed. Average age of the crawl was about 50ish, with some younger and some older, most likely because word of mouth of the event came mostly from the hard paper copy of the Sentinel which in today's world, few young people actually read as opposed to getting their news online. I suspect that as more crawls take place and word of mouth spreads, the age group will diversify a bit more. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The group leader was very friendly and organized. Our last table broke up around 9:30ish to give you an idea of the total time parameters. The future goal of dishcrawl in South Florida is to focus on other small neighborhoods with lots of local restaurants in walking distance. Besides the second Delray dishcrawl tonight and the Las Olas dishcrawl in two weeks, they plan on doing more in Delray (perhaps in Pineapple Grove) next time, running one twice a month, as well as spreading to Miami, Boca, and other local venues. Fortunately, for us, the weather turned out to be pleasant as dishcrawl takes place rain or shine. I'm not sure what they would have done with us had it rained particularly at the Office where indoor space is at a premium. The bottom line is that for the $45 price tag, it was a fun way to pass an evening. They did pass out surveys at Tryst so hopefully, they will react to the comments received and continue to improve the experience for those in the future.

    2. They just announced one for Hollywood

      The two nights in Delray are coming up next Tues and Wed. Obviously restauarants are more open to special groups on these slow nights.

      No word yet on the Delray agenda, although last night they said they're going to "leak" some of the info "soon". TIcket holders are told they'll get full deets 48 hours in advance of the event.

      A writeup on an upcoming DC in Tampa says "In addition to sampling foods from different restaurants and socializing with fellow foodies, the Dishcrawls give residents an opportunity to meet local chefs and learn more about cultural dining experiences..."

      We'll see.

      PS: Just found a review of one of these, from a Memphis newspaper

      1. First one is tonight. Looks like the four restaurants for $45 are DaDa, Vic & Angelos, The Office, and one I don't know yet.

        I'm attending the second one tomorrow night.

        Full report to follow.

        5 Replies
        1. re: CFByrne

          We can compare notes...I'm going tonight. There's another in a couple of weeks on Las Olas.

          1. re: zook

            <SPOILER ALERT>

            Hope it was good Zook, please let us know.

            According to reports, here's what I've heard:

            Vic and Angelos: Fried calamari, Roasted chicken wing & Meatball

            The Office: Pork Taco, Ceviche (?) & Deviled egg

            DaDa: Looks like some sort of shrimp mixture on toast?

            Tryst: Trio of desserts

            I am not sure if tonight will be same restaurants and same offerings. I'll know soon enough.

            1. re: CFByrne

              I'm curious to hear about your experience. How did it compare to mine as I reported above?

              1. re: zook

                Zook, I am writing this up without looking at your comments, to avoid “bias”. OK… here we go…

                In general, I enjoyed this event. It was a fun evening, with a chance to meet and talk with a new group of people interested in food. There was definitely an older demographic to this group for whatever reason. (And I am 50-something, so I am talking about my age and even older). But there was also a sprinkling of younger, 30-ish folks. Overall, a mix of singles, couples, and 3 or 4 friends/family groups.

                That said, I am probably the worst person to go to a “restaurant crawl” in Delray. I know these places, I know the people, I know much of the food. This would be a good event to join for ANOTHER town. Or for someone who does NOT dine out a lot. For me, it was still kind of cool, but nothing eye-popping.

                As for the food, it reminded me of the “Taste of XXX” situations. Some places perhaps think “Oh no, here comes this big group, we’ve already been paid for this, we’re making no money, let’s get them in and out.” Others think: “Wow here is a great chance to impress 40 new foodie customers”.

                We started at Vic and Angelos, the 3 samples were all very good including a meatball with ricotta, fried calamari, and a chicken wing. The chef came out and very briefly discussed what we were about to eat.

                The Office was next up, and I liked the pork taco and ceviche, I skipped the devilled egg. Here, the chef and GM did it right IMO. They spent a good amount of time at each table. The GM reminded us “If you like good food and bargains, we have a great happy hour 7 days a week, so come on back and we’ll welcome you”.

                Next stop was DaDa, featuring Bacon-wrapped Medjool Date stuffed w Goat Cheese and Chorizo; Yellowfin Tuna Tartare; and Crawfish something on ?crostini?. The date was good but the rest was very very small, served on tiny plates, and the service seemed rushed. Waitress did not seem thrilled to take our drink orders. A few “newbie” people I talked with were most disappointed here.

                Last stop, Tryst, and perhaps most impressive. Full disclosure, this is essentially my local “go to” restaurant/bar, but I heard kudos from many newbies who vowed to return soon. GM Jason welcomed everyone, and Chef Julian Greaves did a fantastic job of explaining his 3-dessert tasting, themed around beer. These were all terrific: Raspberry Lambic Ice Cream; Wells Banana Beer Banana Bread; Lagunitas Expresso Stout Pot de Creme

                The organizer, Katie did a good job of managing the evening. No small feat herding 40 people to 4 different restaurants – a lot out of your control, but she aced it.

                Overall, pretty good and I would be tempted to go again in another location.

                OK Zook, now that I’ve posted this, should be interesting to go back and see your comments.

                Some pics, not that great due to lighting and iPhone issues...

                * The group at Vic and Angelos

                * V&A

                * The Office

                * DaDa

                * Tryst

                1. re: CFByrne

                  Apparently, great minds think alike!