Florida Restaurants Review

updated December 13th, 2008

Turkish Restaurant
507 S.E. Mizner Boulevard, Boca Raton, Florida, 33432
Ph:(561) 393-9969

This is the FIRST Turkish restaurant I've been to in Florida which has resemblance to good old
Turkish restaurants of Istanbul and New York City.

Wine List
One of the biggest Israeli wines selection I saw outside of New York.
Turkish wines were not represented in their glory, no Turkish whites at all.
Corkage fee is $15 and there are decent Bordeaux glasses.

The cuisine is just superb. The grilled octopus was just melting in the mouth.
Ezme was different from what we got used to in New York, but very good nevertheless.
The grilled cheese was outstanding.
The meat combination came with cous-cous, one of the best renditions of this dish I
ever had and the meats were grilled to perfection. Grilled fish was at par and all and all
we had the remarkable evening. The desert exceeded my expectations, the best baklava since we left Istanbul.
If the world was perfect baklava would come with kaymak, but...the world is not perfect.
I recomend this place highly.

Reviewed by Serge Birbrair

Gaucho Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse
4060 N. Federal Hwy.
Lighthouse Point, FL 33064
(954) 784-7667

How appropriate this time of year that we coincidentally went to a wonderful Brazilian restaurant during the Brazilian festival. The Gaucha Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse is on Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point, Florida, near Deerfield Beach. We had a fabulous dining experience. The spacious new restaurant was packed with large families and friends who felt right at home with Brazilian cooking. For $32.80 per person, you could eat the bouffet and main courses to your heart’s delight.
There is a huge salad bar with plentiful vegetables and fruits unique and typically familiar to South Americans. I dare say that many of the selections were new to me, having never been acquainted with some of them. Also next to the salad bar was a bouffet schmorgasborg of fish, chicken, and pasta. I especially liked the seasoned shrimp but was not crazy over the fish. I however was properly warned not to be too aggressive with the bouffet tables. The best part of the meal was yet to come.

After we sat down, a continuous flow of waiters adorned our dishes with selections of meats made to any preference. On each skewer, they had a separate variety of rare, medium or well done meats that were seasoned scrumptuously. The food was unending and delightful. You could eat to your heart’s delight, and we did. I would have taken a double dose of lipitor, rather than hold back on my indulgence, if my friends had not brought those two fabulous bottles of wine from home to help combat my arteries from clogging. There was a $15 nominal charge per bottle.

You've got to try the two wines. The first was Pinotage 2003 from South Africa. It had an incredible smoky style that went down so smoothly. We had this before the meats were served. With the meats, there was a Spanish Solanera 2002 that was powerful and perfectly accompanying the strong, poignant taste of the variety of meats.

The desserts were also delicious. We had 4 diverse cakes including a tasty chocolate mousse cake and best of all a Brigadero cake that was out of this world. The desserts were not included in my price. They averaged $6 each.

The bill came with a 15% gratuity built in. For the five of us, it was a reasonable $260 before adding on additionally. I highly recommend Gaucha Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse to meat lovers, but be sure to come with an extra huge appetite.

Berny’s Strathmore Deli
1420 Coral Ridge Drive
Coral Springs, FL
954 340-7730

If you were looking for the perfect gem of a restaurant that had fabulous food, exceptionally reasonable prices, a nice ambiance and good service, look no further in the Coral Springs FL area.

My wife and I found it at Berny’s Strathmore Deli. In the day, one of the most successful Jewish Delis in Broward County, Berny’s Bagels recently expanded beyond his daytime business into quality evening dining. This recently renovated restaurant hired a cook from the famous fine dining establishment, Hobo’s, one of the premier seafood restaurants in South Florida.

As you walk in, the renovated furniture, the newly painted murals and the wide variety of music, from Sinatra to Ray Charles and Garland, to Blues and Soft Rock, create a more sophisticated ambiance than you’d imagine from a typical delicatessan. The menu was really impressive, with a wide variety of chickens, seafood and meats at incredibly low prices, particularly considering that nothing was a la carte, including the soup, salad or dessert.

There is a variety of wines available. Berny recommends McPherson, Rock River and California Chardonnay. We enjoyed the Rock River, which added a nice compliment to the meal.

When we sat down, we were served heated rye that tasted like it was just made, only after inquiring and discovering that it was made earlier and is always served hot. When the soup was served, you had a meal in itself, with half the bowl loaded with chunks of delicious chicken. It tasted like no other soup I’ve had since my mother made it from scratch.

I ordered half roasted chicken with vegetables and sweet potato, and my wife ordered grilled tilapia with mashed potatoes and vegetable. Can I tell you the taste of each was out of this world. My chicken was scrumptuously seasoned with a mushroom marsala sauce over a crisp skin. The chicken was so moist and juicy. I tasted my wife’s Tilapia, and it tasted like it was straight from Hobo’s. Totally fresh and moist, you could have been at the finest seafood restaurant and not known it. (At Hobo’s, you actually had been there.)

The vegetables of string beans, carrots, broccoli and squash were delicious, moist and seasoned with the gravy from the marsala enhancing the taste. For desserts, we chose chocolate chip cake and chocolate layer cake, both lightly glazed and not overly sweet, and so good that they melted in your mouth like butter. The coffee, so important to us in validating the quality of the restaurant, did not disappoint. Even my wife, a real connoisseur on coffee beans, fell in love with her cup.

When it came to the price, we were pleasantly shocked. Would you believe that my complete meal, without beverages was only $10.95 and my wife’s was $14.95.

The young gal that waited on us was conscientious, gracious and pleasant. The only negative at Berny’s was that it closed early at 9:00pm. Because Berny has recently experimented with dinner, either the word must not yet be out that it is a pearl in the sand, or he wants a life also. I believe that unless you hear about this quality dining experience from a friend, the name Berny’s Bagels outside on the signage might be very deceptive in keeping you away from one of the best dinners you’ll have in a long time. But you know what, it’s our secret!

I highly recommend Berny’s, 1420 Coral Ridge Drive, between Royal Palm and Atlantic, near Eagle’s Landing.

Reviewed by Mark Smith


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