South Florida

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by Kim Daorerk

Located in the historic Himmarshee Village in Ft Lauderdale, Himmarshee Public House has also launched a new indoor/outdoor bar as well as a new menu including 16 new dishes that reveal the old American comfort food tradition and new American Classic Cocktails. The new menu will be offered at both the new bar (Thursday through Saturday) and the restaurant’s main dining area daily.

Catering to the foodie, the 16 new dishes on Himmarshee Public House’s updated menu includes additions to Snacks & Bites section such as Sweet & Sour Pork Belly, Salads including the Kale Salad with mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, golden raisins and honey-almond vinaigrette; Quality Burgers & Sandwiches such as a Fried Chicken Caesar Sandwich with smoked bacon, creamy Caesar dressing and parmesan on toasted ciabatta; and American Classics like Maple Bourbon Salmon served with mashed potatoes and market greens. Guests can nosh on All-American fare such as Slow Cooked Meatballs with whipped ricotta and local basil, or the American comfort food classic, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Nueske bacon, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.

“The new menu truly represents the identity of Himmarshee Public House, bringing out the heart of comfort food” added Falsetto. “We’ve added something for everyone with a variety of dishes that speaks to even the most discerning palate.”

We were recently invited to a media preview to check out the new bar area and menu, leaving quite impressed.

The new indoor/outdoor bar at Himmarshee Public House.

Himmarshee Public House debuts a new menu of old American comfort food and new American classic cocktails to celebrate the completion of its new indoor/outdoor bar.

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Himmarshee Public House has elevated the downtown area from a pub crawl street to a foodie paradise. It caters to visitors from day to night: featuring outdoor seating, indoor high top seating, a center bar with beautiful brick pillars, and an intimate indoor full-service dining area.

There are multiple large screen televisions around the inside, so you’ll never miss a sports game or special event while enjoying a night out at the bar.

Public House offers 40 beers on tap, ranging from South Florida locals Funky Buddha Brewery, to other in-state brewery, Cigar City. On weekdays, you can relax after work and enjoy their half-off happy hour from 4-7 pm.

The view of the indoor dining area, which is also available for private events and parties.

Motto of JEY Hospitality Group: Just Enjoy Yourself.

I started off my meal with a Smoking Old Fashioned. The craft cocktail is presented in a tumbler filled with hickory smoke, which a single ice sphere and Makers 46 is poured into. Garnished with an Amarena cherry and an orange peel, the hickory smoke adds new dimensions of smell and taste to this American classic.

Sixteen new dishes are featured on Himmarshee’s menu, including an appetizer menu available at the new bar during Happy Hour. These new Bar Bites include Warm Pretzels, Crispy Calamari, and Smoked Fish Dip. One absolute must-try is the Sweet and Sour Pork Belly. A refreshing watermelon salad is paired with a braised Duroc pork belly that is as equally tender and juicy to bite into. My favorite is the Slow Cooked Meatball, which is dressed with San Marzano tomato sauce, whipped ricotta cheese, and local basil. The meatball is hearty and flavorful. I soaked up the every drop of the ricotta cheese; you can taste the care made into that bar bite. The Bacon Wrapped Shrimp combines two popular meats from land and sea. The local caught shrimp is glazed in honey-sriracha sauce, which packs a spicy punch. It is served on a cooling cole slaw, but the bold taste is not for the faint of taste buds.

Left to right: Sweet and Sour Pork Belly, Slow Cooked Meatball, and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.

Public House also offers four refreshing salads. I sampled the shaved Kale salad, which is topped with Mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and a honey-almond vinegaratte. The kale is not bitter at all, which is what I was most afraid of, and the sweetness doesn’t over power the greens. It’s like Florida sunshine on a plate!

Kale Salad.

Entrée meals at Himmarshee Public House give you big flavors and generous helpings. My favorite is the Maple Bourbon Salmon. The fish is grilled and moist, while the sauce is light and flavorful. I also tried the Bell & Evans Chicken, which includes a pan roasted chicken thigh. The skin is crispy, but the chicken meat is juicy. Another must-try entrée is the Porter Braised Short Rib. The short rib is incredibly tender and bursting with flavor, thanks to its marinade in the “Pops” Wynwood Porter craft beer. The Wynwood Brewing Company is located in North Miami, in the Wynwood Art District, and it’s great to see Himmarshee use local artisan ingredients in their foods.

Left to right: Maple Burbon Salmon, Bell & Evans Chicken, Wynwood “Pops” Porter Braised Short Rib

The meal ended with the chef’s choice of dessert. I received a gorgeous chocolate tart with chocolate gnash filling, topped with powdered sugar. In line with the rest of the meal, the dessert had big flavor and a wonderful ending to a bold meal.

Chocolate cake dessert.

Whether you’d like a sit down meal or you’re looking for drinks at a fun spot, Himmarshee Public House caters to you. It’s energized by the liveliness of downtown Fort Lauderdale, or you can find an intimate table in the back of the restaurant.

For a special insider’s discount, ask the manager at any of the JEY Hospitality Group restaurants (Himmarshee Public House, ROK:BRGR, or Tacocraft) for the “Locals Only Card”. You will get a special card that gets you 25% off your entire bill at their Fort Lauderdale restaurants all summer long!?

For updates on menu changes, parties and special events, follow Himmarshee Public House on social media:,, Instagram/publichouseFTL.

Kim Daorerk

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Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court on the island of Palm Beach opened in July 2003, steps from Worth Avenue and stretches of white sandy beach. I visited recently with my family to try out their dishes for lunch, and thought the food that I found was good, though not particularly remarkable.

It was fresh, yes, and tasty, yes, but it seemed to be missing some complexity in flavors. But I suppose they are trying to cater to their clientele, particularly the lunch crowd in Palm Beach. The service was attentive and polished, as expected.

Since moving to New York from Lyon, France in 1982, Chef Daniel Boulud’s culinary accolades over the course of three decades have included James Beard Foundation awards for “Outstanding Restaurant,” “Outstanding Restaurateur,” “Best Chef, New York City” and “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” Daniel, his flagship New York City namesake, was awarded three Michelin stars in the 2010 Michelin, the book’s highest rating, and is consistently ranked among Restaurant Magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”

The menu at Café Boulud in Palm Beach “reflects the chef’s four muses. La Tradition highlights classic French dishes, while La Saison features courses in harmony with the season. Le Potager offers the bounty of the vegetable garden. Le Voyage is Daniel Boulud’s interpretation of various world cuisines.”







Smoked Salmon Mirroir – Crispy Fingerling chips, chives, creme fraiche, caperberries, salmon roe $20


chicken, corn, avocado, tomato, blue cheese
egg, bacon, buttermilk dressing


Croque Monsieur Panini – Grilled Ham and Gruyere on Sourdough with a side of marinated tomato salad – $15


shiny sheet’s “best of palm beach”


Cafe Boulud on Urbanspoon

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ft pierce big apple pizza scott van duzer photo DSC00856_zps4f2f58bd.jpg

In the fall of 2012, during the US Presidential Elections, this little pizza parlor in Ft Pierce, FL became quite the buzz of the town when owner and registered Republican Scott Van Duzer lifted President Barack Obama mid air in a huge bear hug during a campaign stop at Big Apple Pizza.

This small act led to a huge firestorm of online trolls and posts (both in support and against the restaurant) onto the review site Yelp, many of which became filtered later on through Yelp’s filtering algorithm.

(Photo credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
(Photo credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

“I don’t vote party line, I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do feel extremely comfortable with him,” Scott Van Duzer told the press pool. In 2008 he launched The Van Duzer Foundation, which helps raise awareness and funds for blood donations.

I dropped by Ft. Pierce to check out Big Apple Pizza on the way home to Orlando from West Palm recently, just a few miles away from the I-95 exit.

ft pierce big apple pizza photo DSC00857_zps96d88a22.jpg

The Big Apple Pizza location was rather spacious for a pizza parlor, and was rather nice. Inside, sports memorabilia hung on the walls as well as a few prominent wall photos including ones with Tim Tebow and a huge framed piece with a letter of thanks from President Obama to Mr. Van Duzer for attending the second presidential debate.

Mr. Van Duzer wasn’t in that night that I visited but I believe his family were running the restaurant that evening along with several local teen employees.

ft pierce big apple pizza photo DSC00859_zps91bfa552.jpg

ft pierce big apple pizza photo DSC00858_zps8e048bcb.jpg

I ordered two slices: a regular cheese pizza and a pepperoni pizza slice.

The slices came out rather quickly, as I would expect, and tasted pretty good. The crust wasn’t particularly memorable but the cheese and pepperoni were good. It was a bit oily from the pizza grease, but not too oily.
Overall, I would probably come back and try some more of their pizza items and donate to their foundation while I’m there.

ft pierce big apple pizza  scott van duzer photo DSC00860_zps0509ad69.jpg

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I traveled to my hometown on a recent weekend. My family usually cooks dinner and Vietnamese food so it’s rare for us to go out, especially to a Vietnamese restaurant in West Palm Beach.

Some family came into town to visit and we decided it’d just be easier to head out to Pho 16, a new Vietnamese restaurant that we all wanted to try. We all know how parents can get, especially Asian parents, when it comes to judging and critiquing others, so I was well prepared to hear about all the little dislikes about this place or how it’s just not good as home made.

Located in a little plaza off of Military Trail and Community Dr, slightly hidden, Pho 16 would be easy to miss. Inside, the place reminds me of a cafeteria restaurant that you could find off the roads in Vietnam. The menu is simple, full of noodle soups, noodle bowls, and rice platters that those of us in Orlando have become familiar with.

For starters, we order the cha gio, or fried spring rolls. Stuffed with pork, wood eared mushrooms, and served with a fish sauce dipping sauce, the cha gio is pretty good and tastes like it was home made.

egg roll spring roll cha gio Vietnamese photo DSC00795_zpsbf2dbf2d.jpg

We also ordered the bo la lot, grilled beef wrapped in wild betel leaves. Betel leaves are high in antioxidants and have been used in Asia for medicinal healing, stimulants, and even breath fresheners. In Vietnamese there is a saying that “the betel begins the conversation”, referring to the practice of people chewing betel in formal occasions or “to break the ice” in awkward situations. When grilled, the leaves give a peppery, minty flavor to the beef which I thought was quite nice.

bo la lot beef wrapped in grape leaves Vietnamese photo DSC00798_zps51c745b6.jpg

My order was the bun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls in one of the largest bowls I’ve ever had. It was very filling and very satisfying, and overall a great value for the quantity of food.

Bun thit nuong cha gio Vietnamese photo DSC008002_zps9626ee2d.jpg

Bun thit nuong cha gio Vietnamese photo DSC00800_zps5a7d0aec.jpgBun thit nuong cha gio, rice noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls

My sister ordered the banh canh, a kind of Vietnamese thick noodle similar to Japanese udon, in a seafood broth base, that sadly was a bit bland. “Nothing like mama’s banh canh,” she muttered underneath her breath.

hu tieu nam vang Vietnamese photo DSC00801_zps922be3e1.jpg

Banh Canh

banh canh Vietnamese photo DSC00799_zps20756ab6.jpg
Hu Tieu

Most of the table ordered the signature pho, which I had a taste of and thought, not as good as home made but pretty good for Vietnamese restaurant pho…definitely as good as some found here in Orlando, that’s for sure.

pho beef noodle soup bo Vietnamese photo DSC00802_zps73f4b83b.jpg

Overall, a very satisfying place to get your Vietnamese fix on while in West Palm Beach. The prices are decent and the quality is not bad…will definitely return.

Pho 16 on Urbanspoon

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On a sunny, early Saturday afternoon in South Florida, a Chinese grandma sits with her children and grandchildren around a round table with a lazy Susan in the center. The family are all enjoying the delights of “yum cha” (literally drinking tea) with dim sum plates with their family at Toa Toa, a famous and Zagat-rated authentic Chinese restaurant located in a small plaza in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, just a few minutes away from the Sawgrass Mills Mall.

South Florida’s Asian-American community is growing every day. The Chinese community in Coral Springs in particular has a strong presence here with local festivals, restaurants, markets, kung fu schools, and shops dedicated to Asian cultural palates and needs. I think it may be the good schools and nice, warm weather down there that keep them here.

Or it may be the delicious Chinese dim sum at Toa Toa Chinese restaurant. Named after a famous dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, Toa Toa has been serving these tasty small plates (as well as a full Chinese dinner menu) since 1990, over 23 years ago. Chef To Wong and his wife Alice Wong opened the restaurant after moving to South Florida, hailing from the mecca city of dim sum: Hong Kong. Chef Wong started working to support his family at the age of 15, in Hong Kong’s dim sum restaurants, working hard every day and night in the kitchens and learning and mastering the art, the “kung fu”, of creating delicious, high quality dim sum dishes.

Lotus Leaf sticky rice with pork and mushrooms
Lotus Leaf sticky rice with pork and mushrooms

According to daughter May Wong (also, my fiancee!*), Toa Toa restaurant is able to continue to serve the South Florida community for so many years due to the love of their many loyal customers and the quality and consistency of the food that the kitchen puts out. The weekend lines out the door at Toa Toa are a testament to this.

Some of the favorite dim sum plates at Toa Toa include classics such as steamed shrimp ha-gow dumplings, siu mai pork dumplings, and shrimp rice paste noodles with a sweet soy sauce. They also have popular baked sweet custard buns, sesame balls filled with lotus seed paste, and flaky egg tarts for dessert. The dishes are made fresh and from scratch on the premises by Chef Wong and his staff, the same way since they first opened in 1990.

Shrimp Dumpling - Ha Gow
Shrimp Dumpling – Ha Gow

Traditionally, the way dim sum is served is by a push cart that has all the dishes inside and pushed around the restaurant. This way has been going away for a while now, even on a recent trip to Hong Kong, I found that it was a rare sight to see, almost a was rare to find. The reason is simple: if you could get your dishes fresh and hot from the kitchen, why would customers choose cold and stale plates from push carts which may or may not have what you want if and when they finally make their way around to your table. Here at Toa Toa, the dishes are served a-la carte, through a menu system where you write down the number of plates you want of each item, so that it comes fresh and hot from the steamers and woks.

Singapore Noodles with shrimp, chicken, and roast pork
Singapore Noodles with shrimp, chicken, and roast pork

Unique to Toa Toa is their famous Sate Squid, a dish made popular in south-east Asia, flavorful and full of spices such as tumeric, soy sauce, and more. Customers are known to come from afar just for this one dish. In addition to dim sum, they serve tasty noodle dishes such as Singapore noodles, won ton noodle soup, beef chow fun noodles, soy sauce noodles, hsia mien noodles, and more.

If you are ever in South Florida, make sure to drop by Toa Toa Chinese restaurant and have a cup of tea, savoring the wonderful dim sum dishes here .

Closed Wednesdays, they are open every other day at 11:00am and serve dim sum all day.

Toa Toa Chinese Restaurant
4145 NW 88th Ave
Sunrise, FL 33351
(954) 746-8833

*Full disclosure: I am a very lucky man to be able to eat dim sum all the time when I visit South Florida haha.

Shrimp rice paste noodle with stir fried clams
Shrimp rice paste noodle with stir fried clams

Toa Toa Chinese on Urbanspoon

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written by Cuong Le, TastyChomps South Florida Team

The first thing one notices as they enter Shula’s On The Beach is its amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant has an outside dining area for patrons to enjoy the South Florida breeze. The outside dining area also has a full bar if you just want to stop by to cool yourself down with a nice alcohol beverage after your stroll through the sand as well.

Tasty Chomps and associates were invited to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Miami Dolphin’s 1972 perfect season. As we sat down inside to prepare for the glorious meal to come, we were able to sample a special beverage created specifically for this occasion called the No Name Martini, named after the undefeated team made of team players that nobody knew. The martini was made of greygoose vodka, St. Germain sweet liqueur, freshly squeezed orange and lemon, and “home-made” secret foam. Usually I’m not a big fan of fruit cocktails, but this tasted like a refreshing citrus juice. The “home made” foam green foam had a slight hint of cucumber and celery. I couldn’t taste the alcohol, but don’t get me wrong, this drink is strong.


After our beverages we were served a various selection of appetizers. First we sampled the Blackened Tenderloin Tips with Béarnaise Sauce and Shula’s BBQ Sauce. Those who prefer their steaks more on the medium well side would love these tenderloin tips. Many other places that have had this item usually overcook their tips, but Don Shula’s have definitely kept the tenderness to these tenderloin tips. The Shula’s BBQ sauce was a great blend of sweet and tangy, more on the sweet side though. The Béarnaise sauce was not the basic creamy hollandaise tasting, you can actually taste the different blends of spices (shallots, peppercorn, tarragon, etc.).




After the tips, we had the Lobster Cocktail with Shula’s cocktail sauce and Béarnaise Sauce and lemon. This wasn’t a regular item on the menu, at least not yet, but it should be soon. The lobster came out at the perfect chilled temperature. The meat was sweet and firm confirming its freshness. Usually frozen lobster meat is bland and brittle.



Finally we moved onto the main course; the steaks! I had the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye while my companion had the 8-ounce Filet Mignon. There are two primary differences between the Shula Cut and many of the other beef cuts at other restaurants. First, only 1% of all beef makes the Shula Cut. Second, their steaks are wet-aged, meaning they’re vacuum-sealed to make sure the cuts retain their moisture (as opposed to dry aging). The biggest difference in taste between Shula’s wet-age and dry age is that, when you cut into a Shula cut, it doesn’t automatically bleed out all the juices. Each bite definitely retains its juiciness and beefy flavor as opposed to dry age where there are stronger influences of the seasonings used in the cooking process.





With our steaks we enjoyed the accompaniments of Shula’s Crab Mac and Cheese and Twice Backed Potato. The Crab Mac and Cheese was perfectly blended with the generous chunks of crab and melted cheese, instead of swimming in a cheese soup. It was topped with a toasted panko crust that made the entire dish delightfully creamy and seasoned. For the Twice Baked Potato, the twice-baking process makes the texture like a very firm mashed potato. It’s loaded with apple wood bacon and topped with melted cheese. This is definitely one decadent side dish.


Shula’s On The Beach was an elegant dining experience. The food was spectacular and the environment was relaxing.



A Look inside the Shula Restaurant


Cuong with Mr. Shula


Shula's on the Beach on Urbanspoon

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