Floridians looking to get a taste of Chicago have to travel no further than the closest HotDogOpolis, where the cooks serve Vienna Beef franks in the style made famous in the Windy City: piled high with mustard, onion, green relish, a dill pickle, tomato wedges, pepper, and a dash of celery salt. Other styles of hot dogs stay warm underneath a heap of sauerkraut or dunked into cornmeal batter, and a host of sausages, char-grilled burgers, and sandwiches also make an appearance on the menu. Cooks at the Boca Raton location, dubbed “PitaOpolis,” also stuff roast beef, tuna, and chunky hummus inside pitas, according to recipes designed by Chef Gary Wood.
Thanks to its location just steps from the Atlantic, Secret Garden Cafe Market is able to stock its display case with fresh wild-caught seafood, which makes appearances in lunch entrees and weekend brunch dishes in its attached eatery. In addition to jumbo lump crab, wild caught salmon, and seasonal lobster, the market and café spotlight seasonal items, such as locally and organic sourced produce, grass fed meat, and wild caught fish and hormone-free poultry.
"It took them five years before they would let me handle the fish," says sushi chef Jo Clark about his extensive training. He began his culinary journey at 13 years old and spent a decade in an apprenticeship at the Japanese restaurant Yama. There, he honed an ability to prep rice and sauces, wield a knife, and select sushi-grade fish while shadowing chefs from different regions of Japan. In his spare time, Jo enjoys paddle-surfing and once skillfully maneuvered alongside a lively school of sharks.
At the restaurant, however, he deftly manages cuts of salmon, flounder, hamachi yellowtail, and shellfish to craft more than 40 inventive sushi rolls. He toys with the traditions of sushi, wrapping some rolls with thin slices of European cucumber and creating a sashimi pizza on a tortilla crust. The aromas of ginger, eggplant, and garlic wander from pots of Thai-style dishes in the kitchen and out into dining rooms. Though each location has distinct decor, diners mingle among elements such as exposed-brick bars, hardwood floors, and hanging Japanese paper lanterns in the exciting bright colors of a furious traffic cop viewed through a kaleidoscope.
Don’t be fooled by the spotless white and powder blue walls that frame DIY Frozen Yogurt’s self-serve pumps—in spite of this sleek aesthetic, a rugged do-it-yourself ethic has found its way into the shop’s desserts. Customers take control of their own destinies as they choose from 14 rotating flavors of frozen yogurt and more 30 fruit, cereal, and candy toppings. Creamy swirls of low-fat yogurt are sold by the ounce, so feel free to pile as much into your cup as you need to fill your appetite or the gas tank of a sworn enemy’s sports car.
Sabor's staff flips traditional Cuban fare across the kitchen grill while plating several dishes that blend the island's flavors with Italian and American influences. The restaurant's lengthy list of eats includes the popular ropa vieja ($13.95), which shreds beef imprinted with confidential information before coating it in a tomato, garlic, and red-wine sauce. Alternatively, sate surf-based cravings with nine seafood plates such as camarones enchilados ($15.95)—savory shrimp stewed in tomato, onion, and green pepper broth—or fresh salmon cuts ($16.95) that sizzle under a ragu of cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. Prevailing against the curses of Poseidon, god of the Friday-night fish fry, the churrasco ($15.95) returns taste buds to dry land atop of raft of tender skirt steak splashed with peppery chimichurri sauce.
As a pleasantly unpretentious pizza and pasta paradise, Rotelli entices regulars who stop by for lunch and dinner to gather with friends, raise a few glasses, and indulge in fine Italian meals. The menu taps its homeland heel with light starters, such as bruschetta italiana ($6.99) and crispy calamari ($9.99). It sends a swooping high-kick well north of Sicily with chicken parmigiana, layered in ricotta and mozzarella, served with pasta ($15.99), and hand-tossed Napoletana pizza, dressed in pepperoni, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and sausage ($10.99 for 10", $18.99 for 16").
Husband-and-wife dessertier duo Mickey and Rosemary Tynski translate the language of love into moist morsels from the confection-covered confines of their bakery. With all pastries baked from scratch daily using gourmet ingredients, hunger-havers can rest assured that their palates are being punched with only the finest sweet treats. Placate protesting sweet teeth with one dozen cupcakes in sizes conducive to either polite nibbles or decorum-ignoring chomps. A palette-popping array of flavors twirls together sweet staples including chocolate, strawberry, and coconut, and the house favorite red velvet’s silky cream cheese frosting combines serious taste with sweet presentation better than a debate on yarn subsidies in Kitten Congress.