Back in 1945, Coopertown Airboat Tours was founded on frog legs. When John Cooper would take his airboat out frogging in the Everglades, observers often asked for rides in the unique machine. The demand became so great that he built a passenger airboat—and today, the company has a fleet of seven. Coopertown itself has a population of only 8, and is a largely wild slice of land on the edge of the Everglades, making the popular airboat tours a main source of traffic. That's been fueled partly by attention from sources such as the Miami Herald, which has recommended it as a top winter attraction.
The airboats that depart from Coopertown head deep into the wetlands, where sawgrass covers the water and gators are plentiful. Guides point out a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from herons and turtles to endangered species such as the snail kite. For a more intimate encounter with nature, they also run private tours, voyaging into areas that are only accessible by smaller airboats. Tours typically culminate by the Coopertown restaurant and gift shop. There, guests can snack on the frog legs that started it all, or sample other swampland delights including gator-tail nuggets and catfish.
Pappas Restaurant's epicurean owners craft hearty meals from family recipes, which entice palates from a mouthwatering menu of traditional Greek and American dishes. Regional Greek specialties such as a flaky chopped-meat-and-eggplant moussaka ($9.95) square off in a fight for diners’ affection against italian vegetable lasagna ($9.95). Lunch-farers satiate stomachs with coleslaw- flanked corned beef and pastrami sandwiches ($8.95) or gyro platters ($7.95), which excite incisors more easily than a piñata made out of pita bread. Dinner-feasters can tuck into Hungarian goulash with tender beef, vegetables, and savory sauce over a noodle bed ($11.95).
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.