Fat Maggie’s – Lakeland, FL

What sort of attributes does a restaurant need to turn everyday patrons into regulars? A welcoming, communal feel with fair prices and a unique menu? That’s a good start. I think it’s almost as crucial for both new restaurants and seasoned ones to have a face to identify with the business. If you see an owner day in day out, toiling away, shaking hands, walking the room and tending to the kitchen when needed, you’re probably in the right place. You want someone to care about the aesthetics wholly. Someone who isn’t too quick to soak in all the praise that comes with the good, and still is worried sick at the thought of not giving each customer their money’s worth. You want to be able to see that emotion expressed on their facial sphere.

Fat Maggie's Exterior

I’ve observed Dustin and Heather exhibiting these traits WAY before the doors even opened at Fat Maggie’s down in the dixieland borough of Lakeland, FL. You see, I work in the same area as the restaurant that bears the name of their family dog. I’ve seen them hard at work trying to get things in order far in advance of any thought of candied bacon being cooked up. Their time, money, perspiration and plasma all went into this new venture. We waited and waited impatiently for everything to be accomplished on terms they could agree to. Current patrons and early adopters all immediately cashed in on their concept of not just BBQ, not just a burger/sandwich bar, not just a neighborhood “meet up” spot, not just a craft beer watering hole, but a great mashup with all of the above considered and executed masterfully. Think of mixing Daft punk, Jay-Z, Alan Jackson and Kenneth Gorelick. That is the kind of greatness we’re dealing with here folks.

There are roughly 7 billion combinations that you can make into a meal at Fat Maggie’s. They’ve kept the menu relatively restrained in size while still giving you options galore in the shape of a make your own burger/sandwich board. You’ll find the typical staples that BBQ sandwiches entail, mingled together with fun toppings like the aforementioned candied bacon.

*Pro tip: Order a plate of candied bacon as an amuse bouche. I’ve seen it done before. They wont turn on you or give any scathing looks.

If you have a mom that loves you, it is certain you’ve had broccoli casserole once or twice in your life. Be quick about ordering theirs, because it doesn’t last long in my experience.

They don’t have the largest beer menu in town. However, what they do have, is a program that respects the love of craft brewers, always changing things up and looking for new treasures. Such as one of my personal favorites at the moment, Six Point Resin. Which leads me to a very special night I was privileged to attend along with my good friend Ryan (an aspiring photographer at the helm of The Ride), in a collaboration between the Fat Maggie’s, lakelandlovesbeer.com, and Six Point Brewery based in Brooklyn, NY.

“Juxtaposing”, as Dustin says, “beer into the food and making it more harmonious than a beer tasting is the goal.”

First stanza. Onion rings battered with sweet action. The bitter hoppy brew came through with the right amount citron as the remoulade went out with a full forced head of steam. Steam cleaning what was a sinus infection with red chile sauce and horseradish paired with the cooling power of ranch. The innards of the onion still had a semblance of texture, as it can, at times, be straight baby food when it emerges out of the oil.

Beer Battered Onion Rings Weiss Jerk Chicken Wings

Scallop Salad

The beer complementing the salad which was next, took the place of crouton as it was bready on the nose. Tones of more nice lemon zest were displayed prominently in the vinaigrette. The nicely cooked sea scallop, had a gorgeous sweet saltiness of the sea, was cut in half with an acid hit of the dressing, much that of like wise King Solomon.

Marinated weiss jerk chicken wings were presented in the next wave. The aroma of clove, tamarind, and banana came sneaking out of the kitchen as if I were docking at the port in Tortola. Such an amazing display of Caribbean inspiration made me yearn for subtropical climates. Hot and sweet full of off-centered spice just like the beer it was inspired by. I love when I get a brown sugar packed punch of sweetness, then when it dissipates, the heat lingers for days. If it’s done right.

Al pastor style “nachos” were a great transition as pineapple marinated pork found itself being seared to a medium doneness on the plancha. To add an appropriate Scoville softener, the homemade flour tortilla chips, something you don’t find anywhere else but Fat Maggie’s, gave a final calming stroke to soothe you for the last two courses.

Short ribs cut along the bone lengthwise then braised using a heavy A.B.V. I.P.A with an A.P.B on a P.Y.T was rich and buttery, a bushel sized amount of hop resonating deep, even into the mash that bedded the beef. A belly filling and sinful finale to the savory portion of the meal.

Al Pasto Nachos

Shortribs

Dolce. My neighbor, who was a stranger before the meal, was served first. Hopefully I wasn’t getting into the creeper zone by studying her delightfully filled bowl. I smelled sweet cocoa nibbed cake, emanating with vanilla and coffee stout. It smelled like a barista was on staff in the back, brewing strong cuban coffee for my nasal enjoyment. The cake was dense. It was rich and brash. The Sir Richard Branson of confections. If such a thing as cocoa sticky pudding were a known commodity, this would be the definitive representation.

Vanilla, Chocolate Stout & Cocoa Nib Cake

I’m always looking for the good in everything. Some people don’t see things exactly the same way, trying to spot the potential mistakes first. One thing is for certain. I found generous helpings of greatness at Fat Maggie’s. These themed dinners are probably the best way to experience the triumphs of a cook swinging for the fences. I would implore anyone that likes trying new things to give an intimate night at Lakeland’s best little secret a turn.

Fat Maggie's on Urbanspoon

Again, major thanks to Ryan for sharing his photos taken during the beer pairing evening. You can find more of his fantastic work at The Ride

Also, check out all the latest of Lakeland craft brewer news at www.lakelandlovesbeer.com

Tryst – Delray Beach, FL

As you’d expect, going out to dinner is something of a hobby for me. Forget that, it’s more like a passion. But sometimes it’s nice when I don’t have to travel the 50 miles to Miami, or the 20 miles to West Palm Beach. A nice 5 minute drive down to Atlantic Ave. is the perfect distance, especially when the destination is a plucky little gastropub, right here in Delray Beach! I had driven past Tryst many times and never really gave it much thought. It sits in a long row of restaurants at the westernmost end of Atlantic Ave.

Tryst Patio

We arrived early on a Friday night. Atlantic doesn’t really start jumping until 8:00 pm or so, which worked out since we were on a schedule and couldn’t really be waiting around for the hipsters to clear out. Thankfully, many eateries on the main drag, Tryst included, haven’t overlooked the virtues of outdoor seating. We took our seats adjacent a beautiful wall of graffiti and got to studying. My wife’s truffle radar homed in on the ‘not house made’ french fries with truffle aioli and angry ketchup. I’m not sure what the deal is with the ‘not house made’ thing, but the fries were crispy and golden, the perfect vehicles for the near habit-forming aioli. The ketchup was tasty, but we fell so hard for the aioli that we ordered a second cup.

Tryst appetizers

 

The fries were a promising start, but my sights were set on the “Bones & Fat” section of the menu. Any self-respecting gastropub needs a menu section devoted to these two ambrosial items. I had three choices, Chinese pork ribs with hoisin BBQ, toasted sesame and cilantro, roasted marrow bones with smoked sea salt, fig jam and baguette, or the obvious choice…fat vs. fat, confit pork belly pitted against a slab of seared foie gras. If Eat a Duck had an encyclopedia entry, you’d find a photo of one or both of those items. I was delighted to hear that the flavor profiles of this dish change regularly, on this night, it was buffalo pork belly and maple glazed foie. It was an intriguing combination and I was eager to see how it played out. The dish was set before me sending both buxom proteins into a slight wobble. Both were cooked perfectly, the foie yielded to my fork without a fight and was near liquid at the center, the sweet glaze pairing perfectly with the savory interior. The pork belly was wonderfully tender as well, but I’m not sure if buffalo is the right style for this cut of meat in particular. The spice, while tasty, overpowered the delicate pork with its partner in crime, generous chunks of blue cheese. I have to give them credit for creativity on that one, but I reckon the pork belly would have performed better with a different flavor profile. But that’s what evolving menus are for right?

Tryst offers a few options for veggies, but the true headliners lie toward the bottom of the menu. House made sausage of the day, a pork belly burger and a butcher’s cut along with fresh mahi tacos and fish n’ chips with aged vinegar are just a few of the tantalizing choices. As usual, we were on a budget, but that doesn’t mean we had to settle for less in the flavor department! Being recently crowned the “prince of pasta” by my esteemed colleague, I lived up to my title and ordered the penne, smothered in red wine braised beef, tomato, rosemary, broccoli rabe, and my personal favorite hard cheeses, grana padano. The wife chose the enticing ricotta flatbread with roasted garlic pomodoro and basil pesto, that’s my girl!

Tryst entrées

The pasta was toothsome and seasoned nicely, with healthy chunks of braised pork, smothered in cheese. The broccoli rabe added a nice bitter note without bullying the other flavors. The taste really coalesced when it was allowed to cool a little. The flatbread was a winner right out of the gate with the sauce lending a sweetly tart tang, mellowed by the dollops of fresh ricotta. It made a welcome transformation as the pesto hit our tongues. The common thread being garlic, garnered no complaints.

Finding a decent gastropub in a major cities can be a difficult task, so my discovery of Tryst came as a welcome surprise. We left satisfied and more than eager to return again soon. So on the off chance that any of you find yourself hungry in between West Palm and Miami, head over to Tryst if for nothing else than to see what form the pork belly/foie battle has taken on!

Tryst on Urbanspoon

Scarpetta – Miami Beach, FL

I admit it, I’m late to the Scarpetta party, as the Miami Beach location of Scott Conant’s Italian empire opened back in 2008. Not that Scarpetta needs an introduction or any praise from this humble food writer to validate itself. Myriads of people have visited the many locations around the country and the consensus seems to be this, Scarpetta is one of the elite purveyors of high quality Italian cuisine.

Scarpetta Logo

I’ve been a fan of Italian cuisine since my mom served me spaghetti out of a jar as a toddler. Since then, having traveled a bit and eaten meal after tasty meal, I’ve been able to form a clear picture of what truly great Italian food should be. For me, that means simplicity of both ingredients and technique, having a light hand in the kitchen, allowing the freshest of ingredients to do what they do best. Luckily, Scott grew up with these lessons instilled in him from childhood by his mother and grandmother. I’m not sure great Italian food can be learned any other way really.

We arrived at Scarpetta after traipsing through the cavernous new section of the Fountainebleau Hotel. The walk to our table brought us through a slick maritime themed dining room to an outdoor veranda lined with glass, overlooking the ocean. The menu here follows the same code of simplicity. At first glance, there are no surprises, tuna bresaola, fritto misto, polenta. All typical dishes you’d find at any decent Italian joint. Therein lies the beauty. Usually I always try to find the most unusual item in an attempt to try something new, something exciting. Here, your best bet is to leave your cynical dining preconceptions at the door and stick to the old favorites. That’s exactly what we did. After devouring a basket filled with ciabatta, focaccia, soppresata stuffed stromboli, and its accompanying plate of eggplant caponata, mascarpone butter and lemon infused oil, we chose our starters.

  Scarpetta bread n' wine

Steak tartare with quail egg and crispy shiitake mushrooms, and the creamy polenta with fricasee of truffled mushrooms, said to be a specialty of the house. The steak was chopped so finely that there was no hint of connective tissue at all, it acted almost as a liquid on your tongue. We sensed that the chef had snuck some truffle oil in the mixture as the aroma was unmistakeable. Eyes did roll into heads at each bite, many “mmms” were uttered.

Steak Tartare 2

The polenta was equally bewitching. It was easily the best polenta this humble man has ever tasted, it covered my tongue like a fine mink coat. If I could, I would eat this dish for breakfast every morning. The truffle was strangely missing from the flavor, but I didn’t care.

Creamy Polenta, Fricasee of Truffled Mushrooms

Sadly the appetizers didn’t last long, but the entrées followed close behind. My wife chose another Scarpetta signature dish, the spaghetti with tomato and basil. You almost feel juvenile when you order it. Especially with other, seemingly more mature options like duck and foie gras ravioli or black gemelli with dungeness crab. This feeling disappears as soon as the porcelain dome is removed. You realize that you may be the wisest person in the room. The aroma is intoxicating and the color is almost palpable. It’s a perfect twirl of al dente spaghetti that somehow defies gravity, held together by nothing more than Chef Conant’s luxurious tomato sauce.

Spaghetti, Tomato, Basil

The spaghetti more than lived up to the hype. It impressed even this jaded Italian fan to the point that I Googled the recipe the second I got home. I’ll let you in on a secret, the only ingredient in the sauce is tomatoes, salt and flavor infused oil, those flavors being basil, garlic and chile flakes. It doesn’t get much simpler.

The spaghetti was a tough act to follow, but my equally beautiful pici with lobster, calabrese chiles and nduja sausage was an impressive contender. This dish is basically lobster fra diavolo, only executed perfectly. The lobster was tender to the point of melting and the chiles gave you a pleasing kick right in the mouth. It was undeniably delicious, my only nitpick is that the nduja was completely overpowered. I almost forgot it was in the dish. Perhaps it lent the sauce a fattier personality, but honestly, I didn’t miss it.

Pici, Lobster, Calabrese Chiles, Nduja Sausage

After two tongue kicking dishes like that, it’s always nice to settle things down with a refreshing dessert. While all the options were tempting, when I saw “guava soup” listed under the coconut panna cotta, it was over. The dish arrived with a petite quenelle of panna cotta in a pond of guava. A coconut tuile leaned nonchalantly and a small pile of pineapple rounded out the tropical theme. To my delight, the quenelle was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Just beneath the guava, the entire bottom of the bowl was lined with even more panna cotta. It was one of those dishes that transports your mind to some more exotic locale.

Coconut Panna Cotta, Pineapple, Guava Soup & Coconut Tuile

It’s an understatement to say that Scarpetta left an impression. They men and women in there, are truly masters of their craft, somehow moving Italian food forward by sticking close to tradition. From now on, as I toil away trying to recreate that spaghetti, I’ll be watching Scott on Chopped with a new-found respect.

Scarpetta on Urbanspoon

Boca: Kitchen, Bar & Market – Tampa, FL

Sometimes, we here at Eat a Duck have to find new eateries through hard research and much brow furrowing disappointment, often bordering on real world detective work. Other times, a tasty feast just seems to fall in our lap. Regrettably, we seem to find ourselves in the former situation more often than not. However, this was not the case when I stumbled upon Boca while searching for a place to eat in Tampa. I realize that last sentence makes no sense if you skipped the title of this piece (shame on you!). While Boca: Kitchen, Bar & Market had been on Logan’s radar for weeks, it was a surprise for me. Nestled among the nondescript law firms and chiropractic offices, we found a little gastropub that looked as if someone had plucked it straight off the foothills of Santa Barbara.

Boca Sign Boca Patio

It didn’t take long after we were seated to realize that we were probably in for a treat. As our server explained, everything was sustainably sourced, “farm to table” to coin a hip phrase. It’s all well and good to throw buzzwords around as many establishments do, and not to sound insulting, but Tampa isn’t the town I think of when I want to sample a forward-thinking menu. Thankfully, after a short scan of the menu, I could tell Boca was the real deal.

Boca Lunch Menu

Let’s get down to business though, you’re here for the food, no? On this first visit, I was joined by the girls of Eat a Duck for a balmy outdoor lunch, sadly Logan couldn’t make it, I’ll get to the next visit in a moment. The first thing to catch my eye was the rye braised bone marrow accompanied with rye caramelized onions, stone ground mustard and lightly toasted baguette slices. For an entrée, I was driven more so by the desire to keep my wallet somewhat filled rather than my stomachs urges, not a common occurrence mind you. Not that my choice of the OMG prime house burger was in any way settling for less. It was topped with the traditional fixin’s, lettuce, white cheddar, pickled onions, tomato, BKBM sauce and a side of pomme frites, truffled at that!

Braised Bone Marrow OMG Prime House Burger

Had money been no object, a few options would’ve included a braised short rib with potato hash and burrata tomato gratin, or slow roasted porchetta with tuscan potatoes, exotic mushrooms, grilled chinese long beans with a blood orange and purple watercress salad. The lobster pot pie with shrimp, clams, fingerling potatoes, mirepoix and bouillabaisse was another contender. Luckily, mine and Logan’s better halves were there to fill the table with two more tasty items. Penne with tomato dusted jumbo prawns, baby heirloom tomato, wild mushrooms, truffle butter, Parmigiano Reggiano joined a glistening “black and bleu” flatbread of smoked tenderloin, caramelized onion and braised wild mushrooms.

Penne with Prawns Black & Bleu Flatbread

It was a joyous occasion when everyone took their first bites of food, with well-balanced if carefully planned flavors. The one surprise was the tomato in the penne dish that turned out to be what I suspect were green tomatoes as they had a pleasantly sour twinge. It was the perfect combo to the earthy cheese and mushroom combo.

We recently visited Boca for brunch before our long trek back to the east coast. This time, the other half of Eat a Duck was there for the party. Brunch isn’t usually my meal of choice, what with my usual breakfast avoidance tactics. This time however, an item appropriately named “the hangover panini” had me at first sight. Sausage, bacon, cheese, caramelized onions with two scrambled eggs? It was a no-brainer. I’m glad Logan was there though as he manned up and ordered the mystery “staff meal”, not knowing what to expect, only that he’d “love it” according to the chef. Leave it to one aspiring chef to blindly trust another, and with good reason. His dish arrived, with a generous dollop of fresh made grits, flanked by prawns and drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce. If I’m honest, it kicked my panini right in its toasted buns. I didn’t let on, but I would’ve finished off the whole plate by myself.

The Hangover Panini Staff Meal - Shrimp & Grits

The table winner had to be the bread and jam board. Despite a small kerfuffle involving a certain “nutbutter” that tasted suspiciously of peanuts, it was a delicious spread, including pineapple, strawberry, and a tart cherry jam with a possible cranberry twist. Various breads in both toasted and untoasted preparations accompanied the preserves. It was sort of a breakfast antipasto.

Bread & Jam Board Baguette w: Pineapple Preserve

After a write-up like this, I think it goes without saying that Boca: Kitchen, Bar & Market should be on your radar if you’re looking for good eats in Tampa. But what do I know?

Boca Kitchen Bar Market on Urbanspoon

Update 1/2/15: Boca recently opened up a second location in Winter Park, so we decided to show a few more photos from previous visits.

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It should also be noted that Boca placed 2nd out of 12 in our innagural burger crawl competetion of the Tampa Bay area. You can check that out from 3 past posts entitled “Apocalypse Cow.” Enjoy!!

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El Jefe Luchador – Deerfield Beach, FL

I used to live in a little college town called San Luis Obispo, CA, and in this town, at a small fork in the road, sat a sandwich shop named Ben Franklin’s. This cozy little joint, with psychedelic dragons painted all over it, was my go-to eatery, the first place I thought of when my stomach started calling. Even now, four years after leaving, my order is fresh in my mind, “large #7, no pickles, no lettuce” I would say, “hi Jimmy, it’ll be ready in about 10 minutes” came the answer. In the time it took me to drive down Higuera St., all 21″ of lunch and dinner would be waiting for me, taking up two full sandwich sleeves. At face value, Ben’s is nothing special, it’ll never win any originality competitions, it’s just another sandwich shop in sea of them in that little town. But it my expert opinion, they did it best, and that’s what matters. The point of my story…is this, wherever you live, you’re not truly home until you’ve got “your place”, THE place, the one you suggest when your friends ask where to eat when they’re in town, the place you crave when mealtime rolls around, the one restaurant you’re always in the mood for. I’m happy to say, I think I may have found my latest haunt, El Jefe Luchador.

El Jefe Luchador Sign

After Ben’s, I was resigned to the fact that I’d never find a place that single-handedly made me feel right at home. So far, Jefe is doing a darn fine job of it. First impressions were superlative, killer music, cool atmosphere and enough lucha libre paraphernalia to make Nacho clench in his stretchy pants. However a restaurant needs more than hip accoutrements and Mexican wrestling schtick to impress, they need to step up to the plate with some fresh ingredients! (I take it you all know when to invoke Nacho’s voice) El Jefe has this part down pat. Their menu is jam-packed with primarily traditional Mexican fare with a nice Asian pile-drive to the face or a punch to the face. Of course the “Asian/Latin” fusion thing has been done a million times before, some good and some bad. The trick is in the balance and not getting too cute with the combinations, and Jefe gets it right. While they may tread dangerously close to kitsch with items named El Chicharron and El Don Hamburgueso (all right guys let’s settle down with these names…I’m just kidding I love ’em!), the food backs up the crazy theme and brings it all together.

El Jefe Luchador Interior 2

El Jefe Luchador Tacos El Jefe Luchador Masks El Jefe Luchador Interior

Tacos with heaping piles of steaming carnitas get body slammed with a hoisin salsa and kimchee slaw. There’s an interesting KFC riffed taco with “OG” recipe fried chicken, pickled onions, salsa fresca and queso Americano. They’ve got six different street style plates including tacos, burritos, tortas and nachos that you can customize with your favorite preparation like al pastor, barbacoa and the like. It doesn’t stop there, with special tacos, tortas and quesadillas, you’d be hard pressed to try everything in a year. From my experience the absolutely insane El Chicharron will rein you in and hit you in the mouth like Mascarita Sagrada doing the Hurracanrana. This taco literally has 1″x1″ cubes of solid pork belly. Who am I kidding, it’s nearly straight pork fat, and dear lord do they fry it perfectly. They top the lardo chunks with ancho smoked tomato, salsa suave, guacamole and cabbage slaw. They keep it crazy with barbacoa quesidillas drizzled in truffle crema, feel like a torta, how about El Borracho, consisting of a fried egg, beans, cheese and chipotle salsa? And this egg is no lie, it just might give you eagle powers.

El Chicharron, Ultimo Dragon & Special

Pork Belly Chunk

El Chicharron, Ultimo Dragon & Grilled Chicken

Throw in Mexican sodas, microbrewed beers and seasonal sangrias and you’ve got the makings of a true campeón. In my relatively short time in South Florida, I’ve come to love this strip mall taco shop. Will it rise to Ben’s fame? Only time will tell. So don’t you want to taste the glory? See what it tastes like? Of course you do! Get down here and put El Jefe Luchador through its paces.

El Jefe Luchador on Urbanspoon

Rebel House – Boca Raton, FL

For something to make an indelible impression on my mind, a truly impressive feat has to be achieved. I am speaking, quite cryptically, about my experience at Rebel House in Boca Raton. It was a momentous occasion indeed, and though it was over 3 months ago, it still resonates in my lobes, both cerebral and the fatty lobe my liver has been transformed into. A transformation that would cause a rag-tag gang of mutants to assemble to fight for the greater good of mankind.

Rebel House interior

So here goes an attempt to wax poetic about something that happened such a long time ago. An evening in which I have no historical, pictorial, electoral or maybe even pectoral data for that matter, to back up my braised and brazen proclamations of excellence. Luckily, James was there to document the occasion.

The beef essences that transferred from popped corn to lips, was an amazing introduction between two new acquaintances, myself being the lesser in the relationship of human and tallow. I had studied this menu online for months, to the point of obsession. Ever since Rebel House opened for business, I had eyed it as a potential food suitor. However the daunting three hour drive stymied our would-be affair. But if you want something bad enough, all you need is an opportunity. To get just one foot in the door. Who knows what could be if distance didn’t separate us?

The table ordered around 12 dishes. We were all drawn to the left side of the menu that harbored the smaller plates meant for sharing.

Rebel House spread

I will say that I wasn’t blown away by my first taste of voluntarily ordered food (the beef popcorn was a gift and a welcome amusement). Homemade tater tots filled with cheeses of varying viscosity. I feel in hindsight they were ordered more for the little man at the table. They weren’t completely ready to come out of their hot oil bath, but things drastically rocketed skyward when my Korean BBQ lamb ribs arrived. With each bite, the thick sweet soy heavy sauce struggled valiantly to remain on the bone with caramel-like tension. The meat had no problem. It was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. As I often do, I was mindful of the techniques and time it took to achieve such complex flavors. Though lamb ribs are a protein usually forgotten, this dish bestowed it with a distinct personality. That, along with the rice vinegar quick pix (pickles) that served perfectly as a pairing to the ribs, I quickly forgot the miscues of the first course. I was then tapped on the shoulder due to excessive pondering. Next course, sweetbreads with citrus, frisee, and fennel. There hasn’t been an odder couple working so harmoniously since the powerhouse duo of Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty. I have to say, Rebel House is quite the flavor matchmaker. The tart citrus sliced scimitar-like through the rich, crispy morsels.

Then came the fried rice. In the back of my mind I was worrying. I worry that restaurants sometimes stretch themselves too thin. Giving me too many cuisines to choose from in one meal gets me nervous, as is my eyes will rebel against my better judgement resulting in a muddied dining experience.

Rebel House spread 2

The fried rice at rebel house is a complete meal all on its own. I may not have appreciated it as much as I should have, based on my fullness level at that point. The combination of the fresh springtime vegetables, with crispy bacon, a fried egg oozing a spellbinding golden yolk all over the plate, ribbons of spicy mayo intertwined with crispy fried red onions being the last bow atop this mound of mouth-watering magnificence. I mean, you can’t find it this in any modern Chinese establishment. Stop looking, it’s over Johnny. Some other items we sampled were a dish of grilled asparagus, drizzled with hollandaise and shaved cheese, pork potstickers in a sweet hoisin-like glaze and a dish of ravioli with snap peas, roasted mushroom ragu and shaved parm.

Ravioli with Shaved Parm and Roasted Mushrooms

The table enjoyed two amazing ice cream desserts for our last cattle call. It was just about time to go to slaughter. These marvels of modern science in sundae form were presented to us in gigantic goblets fit for King Ralph.

I can’t exactly remember what they were but one had chocolate, praline, pretzels and candied almond. While the other, had a cinnamon roll at the base with bacon bits, caramel, and walnuts swarming the perimeter.

Rebel House dessert

You have to try this place if you are ever within 50 miles of Boca Raton. It’s worth the drive. This place has gotten a lot of buzz as being stiff competition to its counterparts over in Miami, and for good reason. And when you do go, because you will, bring your story of rebellion back to your hometown and demand that a place like this find its way into your city streets.

Rebel House on Urbanspoon