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What Would You Miss if You Moved?

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I just had a a conversation with a buddy of mine that I thought would be a fun one to bring up on this board.

He moved back to Chicago 10 years ago and we were recently talking about things he missed about Florida. One big thing he missed was Publix subs. Shockingly, I know several people who've moved to different areas across the country who've said that. They make decent enough subs, but I don't think that's what I'd miss.

Either way it got me thinking about what I'd miss if I moved back to NY. Even though I've been in Florida for a very long time.

Many times on this board we see lots of posts about what people miss from back home. Though what would you miss if you had to move back to NY, Boston, Chicago, the Midwest, California, or wherever you're from.

Is there a dish you get down here that's hard to find back home? Perhaps there's something you think South Florida does better? Or perhaps there's a restaurant you've grown to love in South Florida?

Here are a few I'd miss in no particular order:

1) A great fresh blackened wahoo or mahi sandwich.

2) Some flaky delicious cuban bread, cuban sandwiches, and cuban food in general.

3) Chik Fil A. It's not that Chik Fil A is a great thing about South Florida. They just don't exist in NY. I'd may throw Pollo Tropical in that group too, but definitely a distant second.

4) Bru's Room bleu cheese. Their wings are really good and I've certainly found great wings in other spots. However their homemade bleu cheese really makes it.

5) I go to Orlando at least 6 times a year because of my company and I always hit up 4 Rivers and Cafe Tu Tu Tango every time I go.

6) Cigar City Florida Cracker

7) Blue Bell ice cream

I'm sure there are several other South Florida restaurants I'm certainly missing. Though it's hard to think about the specific ones I'll really miss unless I'm gone.

Let me know your thoughts. I'll add as well when I think of more.

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  1. I've never understood the Publix sub thing either. They're good when they're good. The bread is inconsistent though and sometimes you can get hard bread that cuts the roof of your mouth. When I was pregnant last year and not allowed to eat lunch meats I seriously missed La Spada's.

    I would definitely miss Versailles in Miami and Noodle House in Lauderdale Lakes.

    1. Great idea for a new thread.

      I'm from NY (shocking!) so it definitely wouldn't be pizza, burgers, bagels, buttered rolls, coffee regular, most ethnic food, hot dogs, steamers, clam chowder, or pizza.

      I'd say for me it would have to be the "Floribean" type foods, especially seafood.

      Conch, yellowtail snapper, jerk, mango... those are some of the tastes I'd never had when I came down from Long Island in 1990.

      And that's why I still often go on and on about casual, chef-operated joints like Calypso in Pompano and Coolinary in Jupiter.

      If I went back to Long Island - even to my fishing village hometown of Freeport - I wouldn't be able to find anything quite like what they serve up.

      (Sure, maybe now in the city or Brooklyn there might be some spots doing something along those lines, but it wouldn't be the same).

      1. I like little neighborhood places like Woody's West End Tavern and JRs Gourmet Burger....both of which are in Miami Springs.....Would miss little joints like "Hole In The Wall" which serves incredible blackened dolphins / mahi sandwiches......Café Malanga is incredible and has the best Cuban pork sandwich on planet earth.....Joe's would be big.....as I like to hit that place once or twice per year....There are some places to miss if you venture away from South Florida......

        But if I moved to say....Chicago....I'd be hitting Portillos all the time....and Philly has a ton of places to hit....and then...and then....

        EMac
        Ft. Pierce, FL....via Homestead

        1. food wise not much to miss besides Peruvian! and fresh conch!

          Where do you get blackened fresh Wahoo or Mahi in Southern Broward or Northern Dade. Preferably on the Ease side?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bigstu99

            >blackened fresh Wahoo or Mahi in Southern Broward

            Well it is not exactly Southern Broward... but... definitely Broward and def East Side...

            Calypso Restaurant in Pompano.

            I can guarantee you their fish is fresh and if you get on their FB you can see when they have which particular species available.

            And you can have it prepared in any number of ways including blackened.

            Recent updates of fresh fish arriving included: Dolphin, Grouper, Yellow Fin Tuna... Local Triple Tail today... Dolphin, Cobia, Wahoo, Yellow Fin Tuna... Swordfish and Wahoo today.

            1. re: CFByrne

              Been meaning to stop in there... biggest problem they are closed weekends. I hear from friends that they do a great conch too!

              1. re: Bigstu99

                No conch is harvested in FL. It's either from the Bahamas or the conch farm in Turks &Caicos.
                I would miss the fresh grouper sandwiches, stone crab, and pompano.

          2. Stone crabs y un Cortadito. (not together...)

            1. Rock Shrimp...never heard of them until I moved to Central Florida!

              1. Like bigstu99, I also want to know where you're getting the wahoo you would miss. I LIVE here and miss it already!

                I grew up in Toronto, where I miss lots of things (butter tarts, real poutine and meat pies), but if I left here I'd still miss:
                1. My local pizza joint. Sure, I'd find another, but the combination of proximity, quality and cost would make me miss Kings County in "almost-aventura."
                2. Being able to have easy access to passable key lime pie, and skirt steak, at publix. Skirt steak apparently doesn't enjoy a big following in other cities.
                3. Miami spice: every city has a deal week, but ours is 2 months for cryin' out loud!
                4. Stone crabs and hog snapper.
                5. The ability to grow my own mangoes, avocado, star fruit and lychee, and coconuts too, I guess (though I don't really know what do to with those). The mangoes are so good in fact that I would put that as the #1 thing I'd miss - I'd preserve the right to access them in any contract to sell my home.

                I wouldn't miss:
                1. Driving to south beach! What a nightmare it has become. And of course there is no public transportation alternative.
                2. The wine and food festival.
                3. Humidity.

                1. You wouldn't miss the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. It's become a real dog-n-pony show. Events are grossly oversold. Ticket prices are exorbitant and considering the massive crowds at each event, it's borderline obscene. No, you wouldn't miss the SoBe W & F Festival. And it's a shame, really.

                  EMac
                  Ft. Pierce, FL....via Homestead

                  1. Pappas Rellenas, Fried Yuca, Uncle Al's Wings, Pan Con Lechon

                    1. Stone crabs and Delaware Chicken

                      1. I am a native to FL, so perhaps this is a bit off but here goes. I want to add that I would miss Publix and their subs but it wouldn't make it to my list. When they make a good sub they have the best wheat bread (it's actually sweeter and a weird burnt dark brown color now that they changed the recipe), fresh ingredients and Boar's Head is just awesome. Spicy mustard, mayo, salt and pepper & oil and vinegar baby! I wasn't always a believer in Publix subs but I have become one.

                        What I never got was the fresh seafood. Apparently, a lot of people have been telling me we have some of the best considering there are major competitors by the waters like Boston, NY city, etc. I don't know.

                        1) Warm weather (minus the humidity) bc I hate cold weather.

                        2) Sawgrass and Aventura Mall.

                        3) That I live (all driving wise) 10 to 15 minutes from 2 malls, restaurants & fast casuals, Publix, Target, a few gyms, Walmart, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Aldi, Stiles Farmer's Market AND a soon to be Trader Joe's.

                        4) Cheap cruises for FL residents bc the Port of Miami AND the Port of Fort Lauderdale are both within 45 minutes!

                        5) That FLL now has cheap flights via Norwegian Long Haul to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, AND that I live near FLL and MIA airports.

                        6) That we do live within a weekend getaway's drive to ORL, 4Rivers, Theme Parks, etc.

                        7) And the beach even though I never go.

                        8) Cuban food, Peruvian food, La Granja, Jamaican food and patties!

                        9) 6% sales tax.

                        10) I actually can't think of a 10th so I'll just say Publix.

                        What can I say, I've been around. LOL

                        1. For me it would be Kennesaw orange juice fresh squeezed and unpasteurized. This is my go to OJ since Blood's is no longer in existence.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Alfred G

                            I like the Kennesaw as well......Since I live in Ft. Pierce....and am an OJ aficionado.....I get the opportunity to taste and enjoy juice from several different producers.....Nathalie's Orchid Isle is pasteurized but is excellent as well....and available at Publix......Harris Family Farms' OJ is over the top as well......

                            EMac
                            Ft. Pierce, FL

                            1. re: LargeLife

                              Natalie's is my backup. Lightly pasteurized and almost as good although a little more expensive. Where do you find Harris Family Farms OJ?