Friday, February 5, 2010
A FEW DAYS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
In mid-January, before a Panama Canal cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, we spent a few days in South Florida visiting with friends and going back to favorite spots that I enjoyed visiting when my parents, who lived their retirement years here, were still alive. Although I never lived in Florida, from my visits over many years, I came to enjoy this area.
Coming from cold and rainy California, the balmy weather was oh so welcome.
We stayed in Coral Springs and did not stray too far.
One of my favorite outings was to Deerfield Beach.
There are several restaurants that overlook the Beach. For my past few visits, Oceans 234 has become my favorite spot for lunch, people-watching, and beach views.
It has a large covered outdoor patio which is my choice for seating.
Jim could not pass up Clam Strips,
while I ordered my "usual," the Dolphin Sandwich.
Since my last visit, Oceans 234 now offers the healthier Sweet Potato Fries in place of regular Fries with many of it's dishes. That's what I had. Jim substituted salad for Fries with his Clams.
After lunch, we walked along the beach.
For those who don't want to walk on the sand, there is a wide sidewalk that goes "forever."
After our beach walk, we went out on the Pier where we enjoyed great views back at the beach and chatted with people who were fishing off the pier. The small admission fee to walk out on the Pier is worth it; there are plenty of benches along the pier on which to rest and relax.
It was low tide and the consensus was that the fishing was not very good.
but the views back at the beach were spectacular!
On our way back to the car, we passed what we took as a tribute to Poodle Louie who was back home with his pet sitter.
Our dinners were all in Coral Springs in a restaurant/shopping area near our hotel called The Walk.
We were pleased to discover that most of our favorite dining spots are still thriving.
We enjoyed a Greek meal at Mythos which has changed owners since our last visit but is still serving delicious and authentic Greek food.
We started with a Greek Salad.
Jim had the Shrimp Mythos, a shrimp, tomato, feta, olive, and orzo dish.
My choice was Moussaka.
The selection of seasonings on each table intrigued me: Pepper, Greek Sea Salt, and Greek Olive Oil.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Mythos has live music and a belly dancer...something new since my last time here.
Another night, we met friends Judy and Andy for a deli meal at TooJay's.
TooJay's has locations throughout Florida. It is a New York style deli with a huge menu and something for any and all tastes. Jim and I could not pass up Corned Beef Sandwiches on Rye (it is not easy to find a good Corned Beef Sandwich in the San Francisco Bay Area). Judy had an Egg Salad Sandwich. Andy had Chicken Marsala. The men started with Matzo Ball Soup. And for dessert, three shared an enormous slice of Chocolate Layer Cake, while I enjoyed a plate of three mini Black and White Cookies, my nostalgia bakery treat from growing up with sweets from Jewish bakeries in the Northeast.
Sorry to have forgotten to take pictures of the food; we were talking so much, I didn't bring my camera out until dessert.
We like TooJay's so much, that we went back for lunch on our last day for a Tuna Sandwich for me and the Whitefish Salad platter for Jim.
In the mood for fresh fish, we had our last South Florida dinner at Gold Coast Grill.
Jim's choice was Pecan-crusted Mahi Mahi.
I chose Yellowtail Snapper with Artichoke Hearts.
All entrées at Gold Coast Grill are served with a first course Salad and a choice of side dish. We both had Caesar Salads to start. Jim had Sautéed Spinach with his fish and I had Steamed Vegetables.
Used to Northern California restaurant prices, I was delighted with prices at the restaurants where we dined. Even at Gold Coast Grill, fresh fish entrées are priced under $20. Most meals at TooJay's are less than $15 and sandwiches, with generous accompaniments, well under $10.
In between outings and meals, we worked out at the fitness center at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. The La Quinta Inn where we stay offers its guests free use of the Aquatic Complex's excellent gym.