Miguelito’s Cancun Grille had a soft opening last month in Royal Palm Beach.
The new Tex-Mex, in a former On the Border restaurant, is the new place from one-half of the brother-sister team that was Aleyda’s in West Palm Beach. That landmark Mexican restaurant closed in 2013. Miguel Lopez is primary owner; Aleyda Cardona is not involved.
He explains the solo venture. “My sister and I were working on a new Aleyda’s, but she had family obligations to take care of,” he said. “A conflict over the use of the name came up, and so I renamed it Miguelito’s. The Cancun Grille represents our food – authentic Mexican – different than Aleyda’s menu.”
Originally, Aleyda’s was set to reopen in Northwood Village in West Palm Beach; that deal fell through.
He decided to proceed with his own restaurant with recipes from his past, and some from a brother who owned the former Pancho Villa Tex-Mex in Lake Worth. It was in Meadowlake Plaza on Lake Worth Road for 23 years.
“The menu is different from Aleyda’s,” he said. “It will be more like Pancho Villa’s. He has a more coastal Mexican style – fish and seafood and steaks. There are seafood dishes on this menu – scallops and mussels.
“Right now, we’re still working with a limited menu and working out the kinks. But everyone here is excited we’re here. It’s a really good area, I think.”
A private room will host parties, he said, but it won’t be open for another month or two while the main dining room is settled.
“This is exciting for me – it’s what I’ve wanted to do for a while. I think the diners will like it once we get it going and get the final menu in place – we’re still tinkering with it.”
Miguelita’s Cancun Grille
- 11121 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach, FL
- 561-688-9033; facebook.com/miguelitoscancun.grille
- Open daily for lunch and dinner.
First, a toast to the New Year! I wish all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year – with many to follow.
Enjoy these Cinnamilk Punch and Eggnog in a Glass recipes provided by Johnson and Wales North Miami instructor Chef Houghton. But please don’t drink and drive!
- 4 ounces half and half
- 1.5 ounces Fireball Whiskey
- 1.5 ounces Irish Creme
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon and sugar mix
- Cinnamon stick
Straw for serving
Combine half and half, Fireball, Irish Creme, sugar, and extract in cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
Pour into tall serving glass filled with ice. Add whipped cream on top.
Garnish with sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar mix and cinnamon stick. If desired, flame end of cinnamon stick for aroma. Serve with straw.
Makes 1 drink.
Holiday Eggnog in a Glass (serve hot or cold)
- 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 5 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 1/2 cup hot milk
- 2 egg yolks or 3 tablespoons pasteurized egg yolk (from carton)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2 ounces Meyers dark rum
- 2 ounces brandy
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon and sugar mix
- Cinnamon stick
Combine brandy, rum, nutmeg, vanilla extract, sugar, and egg yolk in cocktail shaker.
Shake so that the egg is combined with other ingredients.
Slowly add milk and coffee and shake well again.
Pour into tall, heatproof glass.
Garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon and sugar, and cinnamon stick. Serve with straw.
Makes 1 drink.
NOTE: To serve cold, have milk and coffee cold; serve over glass of ice.
Still looking for places to go?
Some spots open for New Year’s – the pricier places require reservations and typically have a dress code:
Blue Front Bar-B-Q, 1132 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. 561-827-6468; facebook.com/Bluefrontbbq
Open from 5 p.m. till the party stops. No cover or minimums. Ala carte barbecue. Reggae band at 6 p.m.; DJ from 9 p.m. till close. Champagne toast and party favors. $20 bottles of bubbly.
PGA National Resort, 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens. 561-627-2000; pgaresort.com
Choose your party: the iBar has a dance party starting at 8:30 that runs to 1:30 – no cover. Drink specials and late-night eats. Free Champagne toast at midnight. Live band. NYE dinner is at Ironwood Steak and Seafood; ala carte, from 5-10 p.m. Reservations suggested. NYE Gala with cocktails, dinner and dancing in the PGA Ballroom. $120 for non PGA members. Black-tie dress optional; jackets required. (Call 561-23-2907 for reservations.)
Bogart’s, at Premier Level Cinemark Palace 20 Theater, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton. 561-544-3044; BogartsofBoca.com
Half-priced drinks all night long in bar with purchase of entree – watch a movie after dinner to ring in new year. Entrees from $32 includes salads or soups. Reservations suggested.
First Night – Downtown Delray Beach, 4 p.m. till past midnight.
Family oriented. Free performances and activities all along Atlantic Avenue downtown. $15 if you haven’t bought tickets in advance.
Downtown at the Gardens, 9 p.m. to after midnight.
Free performances at the outdoor mall courtyard throughout the night. Food at variety of restaurants at the mall.
Organizers and volunteers for the 7th annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival are primed and ready for the biggest food event in Palm Beach County that begins Friday, December 13 and runs through the following Tuesday. Lectures, tastings, dinners, a chef band, dine-arounds and pop-up events are set at restaurants, hotels, in a shopping plaza and on a farm in the area.
It’s grown from a 3-hour dine-around featuring local restaurants at the Esplanade on Worth Avenue, to a nationally recognized event that features award-winning chefs from around the country as well as celebrity cooks from the Food Network.
“We listened to the community to see what they wanted in a culinary event, and we’ve added events that include families and those under 21,” said David Sabin, organizer and head of the event planning group that handles the festival.
He’s excited about the Kids Kitchen at the Four Seasons Resort on Saturday, designed for young cooks six to 14, along with their parents. The hands-on event has surprises for the youngsters, Sabin said. They’ll cook with TV star Robert Irvine and Momofuku Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi.
The Chillin’ and Grillin’ event is the one most likely to attract the biggest conglomeration of chefs and notables who’ve traveled to attend and participate, Sabin said. It’s the kick-off party at the Four Seasons hosted by TV personality Ted Allen, and featuring the hotel’s executive chef Darryl Moiles, and returning talent Robert Irvine. They are joined by Jeff Mauro, Mean Max, Marc Murphy, Johnny Iuzzini, Elizabeth Faukner. Expect great burgers and a laid-back event oceanside as a late lunch.
Savannah at The Breakers; farm event a hit
Saturday night will see The Breakers hotel transformed into a slice of Savannah as chefs honor “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Marc Summers, host of the Food Network’s Unwrapped hosts.
Swank Farms luncheon 2012. /photo by Jan Norris
The Southern Comfort event at Swank Farms on Sunday signals one of the unique venues – a working farm in Loxahatchee, where many chefs get their produce. A tour of the farm, along with jazzy cocktails and a different chef for each course, plating on stage, makes this one of the favorite spots on the calendar, Sabin said.
A trio of Treasure Coast chefs will compete against one another for a $10,000 prize (half goes to their charity of choice) at the Chef’s Throwdown, part of the Grand Tasting finale. It’s at 150 Worth, full circle to where the event began seven years ago. It’s one of the most popular of the week.
Other chefs and restaurants participating include Michael Schwartz, of Michael’s Genuine and a James Beard award winner – he’ll host the High Tea afterparty on Saturday late night at the Four Seasons; Daniel Boulud, hometown chef, opens Palm Beach’s Cafe Boulud for Daniel and Friends on Friday for cocktails and more; Tim Lipman of the Coolinary Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens brings the Real Food Revolution Sunday night.
“Really, there’s something for everyone this year; we’re really tried to bring a variety of culinary events that will hit all levels of interest,” Sabin said.
For tickets remaining and information, go to the website at Pbfoodwinefest.com.
Here’s the event schedule at a glance:
By Jan Norris /Photos by Jim Furci
It’s the big weekend before Thanksgiving – we shopped at several greenmarkets for the upcoming dinner last month and wrote about it for The Coastal Star newspaper.
Here’s that story and a look into what you’ll find at your area markets, including Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington. Go this weekend and shop for fresh foods and flowers and ingredients to make your holiday local and special.
Shop local for Thanksgiving
Area green markets fill their markets just in time for shoppers to check off their Thanksgiving Day lists. Everything from olives and pickles to pies and pastries, to the farm fresh turkey and Tupperware to pack up the remains can be found at the markets where the majority of booths are locally owned.
We went shopping at four markets to find more than enough to produce beautiful, bountiful tables but those we list are just a few of hundreds of products available. Several vendors have booths at more than one market; their products are usually duplicated.
They vary from week to week as farmers bring in the most recent harvests and crops change, and other vendors change out their foods and goods to suit the markets.
Many of the booths are small and have limited quantities. Moral of the story: hit the markets early or you may come up empty, especially this, the big weekend before Thanksgiving.
All the markets offer free admission and free parking. Vendors have bags, but we advise taking your own. Since all are outdoors, pack an umbrella, just in case.
Delray Beach Green Market
First things first: A snack as you shop. Get to the Juice King booth for some squeezed-as-you-wait juice to slurp as you browse.
Hit Farriss Farms, where fresh organic chickens are provided. This local farm is taking orders for fresh turkeys early in November, but for those who want a fat roast chicken or fryer instead, they’ll have them each week.
Shop JC’s Daily Bread – a Jensen Beach baker – for pull-apart baguettes, a bargain at $3 a loaf and several varieties are available. Their “Ode to Hippies” loaf, chock full of seven nuts, with cranberries, raisins and hemp, is toast-worthy for those guests who stay for breakfast.
Both breads deserve fresh butter – get it from Heritage Hen Farms, where fresh eggs also are available to make the requisite deviled eggs. Owner Svetlana Simon encourages you to bring your own egg cartons to reuse.
The delicious pink grapefruit and orange marmalade at the Delray Beach Jam Co. booth has just enough pucker power to be a perfect foil to use as a turkey glaze (just wait to glaze the bird during the last 15 minutes of cooking). For a tasty dip, mix their Orange-ginger Irish Whisky marmelade with soft farmer’s cheese or spoon it over baked brie.
Get the pita chips for the dip from Inika Foods. Two sisters are putting themselves through college at this booth, and they pull an all-nighter to make their hummus and other foods to sell. They also offer a variety of gluten-free products.
Alderman Farms is one of the oldest farming families in the area. Get your bitter greens, sweet potatoes, corn and carrots at this booth and talk to the vendor about their farming practices that were recognized in a Slow Foods seminar last year.
Football games after turkey require some fresh dips and chips – shop at Anita’s Guacamole for this crowd-pleaser. (Tip: Make guacamole stuffed eggs for a twist on the usual.)
At Cottage Garden Teas, pick up some unusual teas and package them with a teapot as a gift for your holiday host. Think beyond the cup: Use tea to add to the liquids to cook grains like rice and quinoa for extra flavor; put a spoon of ginger tea in with the rice water, then serve it with fresh fish, for instance.
Lake Worth Oceanside Farmer’s Market
Get your shopping snack at the Walipop booth, where Robert and Sivia Bellini have come up with the clever snack: waffles on a stick. Several flavors are available, sweet and savory.
At Sherrie’s Breads from the Heart, check out the fresh gingerbread loaves, or her pear-almond streusel. Both make nice host gifts or breakfast treats for visitors.
Order holiday pies from Christy’s Bakery: Pumpkin and apple are standard available, but other flavors are possible as custom-made orders.
The Gourmet Galaxy gang will offer pumpkin mousse and a pumpkin “dome” dessert – an upscale presentation for a dessert table that feeds a crowd. Squash and crab soups are available here, as well.
Dress your table with the fun linens at FreshWare. Greenmarket manager Peter Robinson has created his own line of cotton linens made from vegetable and fruit prints. Table runners made of fabrics featuring peas, grapes, tomatoes and more or a bundle of cocktail napkins make a nice cook’s gift tied to a bottle of olive oil.
Stumped on what to cook? Check out the used cookbooks at the Yart Sale booth; original artwork here also is tropical fun.
Boca Raton Green Market
Pick up a few rugelah as your market snack from LV Bakery out of Oakland Park. Several flavors are available.
While there, shop for breads: We were taken by the chocolate Viennense loaf. A number of gluten-free cookies and other baked goods are available here.
At Better Choice Products, you can choose artisan soaps and soy candles to take to your host, or have handy for guests.
We like beeswax candles because they don’t drip or smoke. Get them, along with fresh honey, from the Bee Sweet booth here. Lotions for cook-weary hands also are a good choice.
Need a centerpiece or last minute arrangement? See Dave Mayo at The Rock Garden, where a variety of exotic orchids and plants are sold. He will custom design on order.
You’ll need to pack up the remains of the day’s feast. The Tupperware booth women can advise. (Remember: Cooked foods need to be refrigerated after 2 hours max off the stove.)
West Palm Beach Green Market
Can’t resist those little donuts they sell at the Cider Donuts booth, so pick up a cone of the red velvet’s as your walk-around snack at this market – the largest one in our area.
The turkey cookies we found on a stick at Palm Beach Pastry are cute and make fun place-holders at the kiddie table. Gianna Miles takes custom orders – you can get “adult” cookie place cards from her, too, or a box of holiday cookies as a host gift.
Everybody makes squash soup – be different. For a tropical Thanksgiving table, consider conch salad as a first course. The cheery gals at Sisters in the Pot make an award-winning version. Bonus: You can order sweet potato pies at the booth, too – they’re famous in certain circles, especially made for the holidays.
Freshly picked greens, often harvested the day before market, are available from Jodi Swank at Swank Farms. Fresh kale, cress, beets, carrots, turnips – all come from the Loxahatchee farm where they also invite chefs to cook on the farm. Ask about those dinners, open to the public.
Fresh mushrooms for your soup or gravy can be bought in mixed groups at Oyster Island Mushrooms. The grower can explain the different types and flavors they sell. It’s a small booth, and quantities are limited, so this is a booth to hit early.
Don’t forget your four-legged friends (or your host’s). Doggie snaps and treats made from all natural ingredients are sold at Dog Pack Snacks, and money raised here helps rescue dogs, as well.
Farmhouse Tomatoes is one of the oldest green market vendors in the area. Heirloom tomatoes like Purple Cherokee and Gold Medal are grown hydroponically. Their taste is vastly superior to supermarket tomatoes – sample them at their booth. They hand out recipe cards, too; check out the tomato soup one below we picked up that would be a delicious starter course.
If you have resolve and can avoid eating them before you get home, the Herbs d’ Provence olives from Pickled Pink, one of our favorite greenmarket vendors, will serve you several ways. Put out the olives as a snack on your crudite tray. Use the oil as a bread dipping sauce, or in a pan to make croutons. It’s also fine as a drizzle over the tomato soup we list, as well. Other olive flavors are available, as well as tapenade – another great pre-meal treat.
Bonus: Antiques on Narcissus
Along with the foods at the West Palm Beach Green Market, a row of antique dealers is set up along Narcissus at Banyan Street.
Here’s where to find a set of silverplate, or a few serving pieces to give as a host gift, or even a fun chandelier to hang on the patio to give a little bling to the outside dining area.
Vintage linens and aprons, old cookbooks, candleholders, dishes and flower vases are here and most, one-of-a-kind finds.
AREA GREEN MARKETS:
Boca Raton Green Market, Saturdays at Royal Palm Place Southwest Parking Lot. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 368-6875 or www.ci.boca-raton.fl.us.
Delray Beach Green Market, Saturdays at Old School Square Park, Northeast Second Avenue, one block north of Atlantic Avenue. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 276-7511 or www.delraycra.org.
Pompano Beach Green Market Saturdays at Flagler Avenue and Northeast First St., Pompano Beach. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (954) 782-3015 or www.pompanohistory.com/phc/market.
Green Market @ FAU, Thursdays at the FAU Stadium Plaza, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free parking. 297-0197 or www.fau.edu/missiongreen.
Lake Worth Oceanside Farmer’s Market, Saturdays at Old Bridge Park, northeast corner of A1A and Lake Avenue, in Lake Worth. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 547-3100 or www.lakeworthfarmersmarket.com.
West Palm Beach Green Market, Saturdays at 101 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 822-1520 or www.wpb.org.
Wellington Greenmarket, Saturdays at 12165 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington. 8 a.m-1 p.m. 283-5856; wellingtongreenmarket.com
Palm Beach Garden Greenmarket, Sundays at 4301 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; 630-1100; pbgfl.com/greenmarket
TIPS FOR GREEN MARKET SHOPPERS:
- Get there early for the best and freshest foods. Most booths are small and can run out of products. (At closing times, many slash prices on leftover prepared foods.)
- Bring cash – some vendors take cards; others don’t.
- Bring your own shopping bag or a folding cart to make browsing easier.
- Get business cards from the vendors you like and ask to make sure they’ll be returning.
- Many vendors take requests or custom orders – even for produce or baked goods; some will even deliver.
- Some will sample their products if you ask.
- By law, food products must have labels with ingredients. Some small vendors bake from their homes – also legal. Ask the vendor about their foods if you’re wary or have serious food allergies; many produce foods in kitchens where products not listed on a label, such as nuts, will be handled.
- Before taking a dog or other animal to a market, find out if they’re allowed – then act responsibly as the handler. Don’t allow them in the booths with foods, and clean up after your pet.
Deluxe cream of tomato soup
Use heirloom tomatoes if possible.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 4 large Florida tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a medium-size non-aluminum pan. Add the onion and celery and sauté gently over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Do not brown. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.
Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Pour the puree back into the saucepan and stir in remaining ingredients. Heat the soup through, adjusting seasoning to taste. Serve hot.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
(Recipe provided by Farmhouse Tomatoes.)