The aromas of spice-rubbed meats, curries, and simmering coconut milk mingle in Ginger Bay Cafe's dining room, giving visitors a taste of the tropics as soon as they enter. These vibrantly complex scents only grow stronger when orders arrive, such as plates of curried-chicken spring rolls with pineapple-ginger chutney, creole lobster, or jerk chicken with a secret blend of spices.
Inside the dining room, mottled orange and yellow walls evoke the look of an ocean sunset or really cool geometry book. The restaurant comes alive at night as live jazz bands and dance parties with reggae, R&B, and Caribbean soca rhythms echo throughout the space.
The Seminole Hard Rock Wine & Food Festival is a new tradition—it started in 2010—but its creators hope to make it a lasting part of South Florida foodie culture. Amidst cuisine from renowned local eateries such as Tatu and Council Oak, guests can relax in several different lounges, from a spa area for women to a men's lounge with a big screen TV. The Caribbean lounge surrounds festival goers with assorted rums and tropical rubs, all cooked up by Chef Creole. Sponsors include NBC 6, Lite-FM, and the Miami Herald, and a portion of the profits will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation.
Every morning, the butchers at Penn Dutch Food Center arrive to cut up meats and make their signature items from scratch, including cold cuts, sausages, and hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs. In fact, Penn Dutch estimates that, if placed end to end, the number of hot dogs they make in a single year could stretch all the way from Miami to Orlando and feed the entire Hall of Presidents.
Though they're labeled as all-beef, the main ingredient in Penn Dutch's hot dogs is more than three decades of experience. The family-owned-and-operated business first opened its doors in 1975 (a second location opened in 2004). Since those early days, the butchers have made names for themselves through a well-curated (and hand-cut) selection of poultry, pork, lamb, veal, and beef. They also use their own smokehouses for smoked meats, rather than relying on neighbors' chimneys, and they regularly bring in hard-to-find items such as beef sweetbreads. Away from the butcher counter, Penn Dutch Food Center also sells fresh seafood, bakery, deli and fruits & veggies ?including seasonal varieties such as cactus pears.