As a mother of four with a corporate career, Leigh Kendall longed for a break from her relentless daily duties. When she left work to stay home with her second and third children, she longed for a respite from the house, some outside place where she could relax with her kids. After searching unsuccessfully and hearing the pleas of other moms, she decided to fill that need, and A Latte Fun was born. The indoor playground and café brims with happy chatter, which drifts from regular classes, special events, and open playtime seven days a week. Children frolic across multicolored carpeted floors in a 6,000-square-foot playroom, exploring climbing structures, foam pits, and a floor-level trampoline that is kept safe by rounded edges, extensive padding, and declawed teddy bears. The playground eschews video games, prize games, and violent toys, instead letting older children don animal costumes in the dress-up area, while toddlers younger than 2 romp in their own play pit and toy bins. Cool zephyrs of air conditioning sweep contented sighs away from zebra-print sofas or onyx-hued wooden tables, where adults peruse a gourmet café menu. A boutique toy store extends the center's positive attitude toward play into homes with a slew of unique gifts and rare and eclectic toys. A private room reverberates with the youthful energy of A Latte Fun's classes, formal functions, and parties, which staff members provide with refreshments, cake, and decorations. At least two assistants remain on hand at kids’ events to provide full setup, cleanup, and supervision to ward off squabbles that arise when imaginary friends show up wearing the same outfits.
The chef and namesake of Meyer's Latin Bistro, Meyer Pinchassow, incorporates global culinary trends and personal inspiration into dishes from Spain, Cuba, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Beyond praising the food, a review in Life Magazine's Good Eats Dining Guide said, of owners Meyer and his wife, Claudia, that he is "classically trained, with skills lovingly honed by family recipes and traditions," and she "brings a business acumen, lovable people skills and a warmth to the table." Chef Pinchassow uses both his instincts and an education from The International Culinary School while creating dishes such as paella valenciana with seafood and chorizo or slow-roasted chicken with fresh strawberries and honey-glazed walnuts.
The restaurant's upbeat, welcoming vibe stems from occasional live Latin music and its warm, rustic decor. The walls have been painted with flowers and patterns that resemble natural rock formations and the boulders that are traditionally rolled through cornfields to make tortillas.
A belly dancer deftly balances a sword on her head as her hips shimmy expertly to the beat of live Greek music on the patio of Mythos Greek Taverna. Shouts of “Opa!” rise from the doorway as black-clad wait staff usher in flaming plates of saganaki, the luscious cheese going gooey at the touch of the fire. The lively atmosphere is mirrored by equally lively cuisine crafted by Chef Christina Lempesi, who emigrated from Athens in 2007. Along with her tea, the chef whips up traditional Greek cuisine from scratch, without the help of a traditional Greek kitchen minotaur. Her platters of lamb and lemon-drizzled chicken, grilled kebabs, and charbroiled seafood arrive to tables surrounded by hanging plants and faux brick and stucco walls. Outside, umbrellas in classic Greek blue shield white-clothed tables from the spray of the fountain as diners enjoy a breezy meal.
In 1991, tired of sating their late night delivery cravings with pizza, University of Florida pals Matt Friedman and Adam Scott concocted an alternative snack in their frat house's kitchen. Many hours and tweaked sauce recipes later, the duo dispensed their brand of buffalo wings to the university’s students, selling out their stock in the first two nights. Since relocating from the frat house to its two original Gainesville storefronts, the restaurant has opened nearly 100 locations nationwide, supplying wing lovers with boneless bites slathered in 15 award-winning flavors, including nuclear habanero, garlic parm, and blue buffalo. Three of the pair’s sauces have garnered awards at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, which recently inducted Adam and Scott into the Buffalo Wing “Hall of Flame,” where they share reigniting duty every time a strong breeze extinguishes its symbolic eternal flame.
Over the past few years, the term “salt life” has come to identify those who prefer to spend their time at the ocean, whether to surf, dive, or simply relax along the beach. Salt Life Food Shack embodies this ocean-centric culture at its three beachside locations run by four self-proclaimed extreme surfers, spearfishers, and overall watermen.
At the community-driven locations, you’ll find a full menu packed with sandwiches, salads, and fresh seafood, including seared ahi tuna, soft-shell crab, and oysters. When Folio Weekly gave Salt Life Food Shack its Best New Restaurant award in 2010, it described the marinated fresh tuna in Caliche’s Poke Bowl as “make-you-pick-a-fight-it’s-so-good.” Completing the salt life theme are the surf decorations, which range from ocean pictures to a saltwater aquarium to long blonde wigs hanging from the wall.
Scattered pimento-like across the Boca Raton area, Mitch and Cory Shidlofsky's microcosmic Brooklyns serve teetering deli sandwiches and hearty breakfast fare. Every morning, diners tuck into 20 types of bagels, including egg, sunflower seed, pumpernickel, and marble, and slather them in cream-cheese flavors such as scallion, honey walnut, and strawberry. Sweeter options abound as well, including challah french toast, and Oreo pancakes that help children-at-heart relive their glory days when their heads were the size of cookies. Gloriously messy sandwiches star on the lunch menu—foremost among them the New Jersey sloppy joe, in which roast beef, corned beef, and turkey spill out from under russian dressing and coleslaw.