A sizzling smoke pit ensures Fuego Lento BBQ's meats are tender, from its St. Louis-style ribs and Texas beef brisket to its Carolina pulled pork. But diners shouldn't be fooled: even though Fuego Lento's food is associated with different parts of the U.S., it still relies on family recipes that have passed through six generations of oven mitts. The result is a menu packed with classic down-home eats, including such fixings as baked beans and bacon mac 'n cheese.
Some time after Natural Chicken Grill cofounder Cesar sold off a number of his own grilled-chicken restaurants, he discovered a reignited passion for chicken while hashing out new, exciting recipes with friend and fellow grill founder, Said. Having grown up along the shores of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the duo combined the culinary styles of their homelands and developed a medley of ingredients that would become Natural Chicken Grill’s signature flavor. With a background in architecture and city planning, Said used his natural gift for creating and organizing to propel the business’s success, and Cesar’s restaurateur background helped open the doors to their first chicken-centric eatery in the early 1990s. From those early ambitions for a chicken eatery focused on fresh, healthier eats, the team still serves poultry that is never frozen and is always marinated onsite before it hits the sizzle of the grill. Behind the scenes, restaurant chefs whip up a new batch of the duo’s signature sauces hourly, and everything from the menu is prepared fresh without the use of microwaves or Easy-Bake ovens.
After a lifelong stint in the food industry, seven years of retirement had left JJ Fitelli’s co-founder Jason Jason feeling antsy. So he and Bruce Fitell channeled their New York origins into a new project—delivering the Big Apple’s signature style of italian ice to a yogurt-swamped Florida. Their efforts engendered fierce loyalty in the area’s Brooklyn ex-pats, many of whom swear the ices would be straight out of their childhoods if they were only served in paper squeeze cups. Jason Jason is currently working on a dulce de leche flavor.
Mers Optical's locations in Hialeah West is chock-full of designer frames well suited for all manner of face shapes and personal styles. Independent doctors of optometry administer thorough eye exams, passing the results off to lens grinders who churn out single-vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses and fit them into frames from the likes of Lacoste, Ray-Ban, Fendi, and Mr. Potato Head.
Carmine's La Trattoria really wants its chefs and waiters to understand what Italian hospitality means, so much so that it periodically sends its employees to Italy to experience it firsthand. They come back to its two locations, ready to whip up a menu of Italian favorites and to delight customers with tales of steering a gondola with a cannoli.
At the Miami location, patrons can choose to eat on the outdoor terrace right on the water, savoring brick-oven pizzas and veal osso buco under strings of miniature light bulbs just a few feet from the water's glowing fountain. Palm Beach patrons settle in under hoops suspended from the dining-room ceiling, each rimmed with tiny lights and hovering like enormous halos. On warm days, they may instead seek the shade of the patio's gardenside awning.
Devon Seafood and Steak House is a chic but casual neighborhood restaurant, offering a variety of surf and turf specialties inside a yawning almost 300-seat space. Guests are invited to take a seat at the honey-toned butcher-block tables or fall into saddle-brown leather banquettes, noshing on warm biscuits as a filling appetizer. Of course, the main stars inside this chic space are the entrées, particularly those of the ocean-going variety. Lobster rolls and a dominating lobster Cobb salad make for perfectly decadent options, while seared steaks appeal to landlocked eaters. With locations across the United States, this Sherri Lane outpost sets itself apart thanks to its extensive menus and kitchen creativity. Guests can dine in for upscaled dinners, weekend lunches, brunches or private parties, while a bar provides snacks and cocktails. Gluten-free and vegetarians can also eat well at Devon’s, and the staff is happy to accommodate nearly any desire.