A Night at The Office on Atlantic Avenue

Written by Connor Lanser on . Posted in Dining Out

Spending your night at the office is not something most of us do willingly or often.  However, this past Wednesday my night was spent at The Office on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Florida.  Please note the use of italicization in the latter sentence.  Italicization was used because I did not actually spend my night at the office sifting through papers, but instead spent my night at one of Atlantic Avenue’s  hottest “new” restaurants.


 The Office is a self-described “new-aged gastropub” and was established in 2009.  The concept was inspired by a combination of culinary artistry throughout California, Chicago and New York.  When it comes to shortcuts, The Office has a philosophy — they don’t take them.  This philosophy most certainly shines through in not only the meal, but also in the service.


Many friends have recommended The Office to me over the past several months and I jumped at the opportunity to go when Starla Brown informed me of some meetings she was attending near The Avenue.  I made arrangements for an 8:30 PM reservation the night before we planned on dining at The Office.  The following day, the day we planned on being there, I received a call from a hostess kindly confirming my reservation.


Starla and I arrived a full 30 minutes before our reservation and had no expectation of being seated immediately, as the restaurant seemed to be full at the time.  To our surprise the hostess showed us to a nice table for two positioned in front of open French doors.  Our server, an upbeat young lady, greeted us immediately and answered all of our questions in full detail.  Usually I am not the type to fill up on appetizers and simply ordered a loaf of their Warm Baked Pretzel Bread.  It was clear, however, that Starla had other plans.  My mouth hit the table as Starla rattled off her menu selections: Fancy Fried Green Tomatoes, Truffle Deviled Eggs, and The Best Crisp Brussels Sprouts Ever.


I would certainly be willing to help with the Fancy Fried Green Tomatoes which came topped with spiced shrimp, cheddar cheese, and green onion aioli.  As for the brussel sprouts, eh, she’d have to enjoy those on her own.  We received all four appetizers in no time and we quickly dug in!  I immediately tore a piece of my Warm Baked Pretzel Bread off of the loaf and spread some Tallegio cheese atop it.  One word came out of my mouth, and not just once...“Dang!”  I had just eaten, by far, the best pretzel/bread combination in my entire life.  After having polished off the entire loaf, leaving just a single slice for Starla, I began to slice into the Fancy Fried Green Tomato.  Upon entering my mouth, I felt the crispy fried green tomato, the firm and fresh spiced shrimp, and the gooey Tallegio cheese.  Each component atop the tomato provided the perfect taste and texture.  At this point, I realized I had not spoken to Starla for a good several minutes, and decided to check in on her and The Best Crisp Brussels Sprouts Ever.  Seldom is Starla speechless, but in this moment, she was.  Apparently she was enjoying those brussel sprouts very much.


After having finished our Office Supplies it was now time to order our Staple Items.  It was the Prime Office Cheese Burger for me and the Southern BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich for Starla.


Our food arrived hot and ready for consumption. My cheese burger was topped with butter lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, office sauce, and aged cheddar.  I have consumed hundreds of burgers in my lifetime and most are the same, the burger is cooked wrong and the flavors blend.  


The Prime Office Cheese Burger was none of those, it was cooked to perfection (Medium for me) and as I bit down on the burger I could feel each texture and taste each flavor.  The smooth Office Sauce (mayonnaise-based) was delicious and complemented the crispy red onion quite well.  The burger was thick and after having feasted on several appetizers I was only able to take half home.  Starla, like a lady, peeled back the bun, and began to eat the pork out of her sandwich.  With a good flavor and large pile of nicely pulled pork, she was only able to consume half and also requested a box for what was left of her sandwich.


There is one thing Starla M. Brown does not need — caffeine.  However, a shot of espresso was ordered and promptly delivered to the table.  Feeling left out, I order a cappuccino to sip.  The house music was going, the restaurant was now most empty, and the sea breeze came right through the open doors.  It was the perfect end to the perfect night.  I would like to give The Office all five of our stars. Reservations can be made by visiting their website: www.theofficedelray.com.

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Cabana Nuevo Latino...One of Delray Beach's Best

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

Tonight was a beautiful night in So. Florida, so a couple of my lady friends and I decided to head down to ‘The Avenue’ in Delray Beach, walk around and watch them light the ridiculously tall, but magnificent Christmas Tree, (which one can walk inside by the way) and maybe grab a bite to eat.

I was thinking about a nice burger or maybe a steak and we even talked about grabbing some sushi.  Well, we walked, we talked, and we came upon Cabana Nuevo Latino, which is next door to the museum and the Christmas Tree.  It looked good, was packed, and the aromas emanating from within drew us like a moth to a candle.

Once inside and seated, the ambiance just surrounded and embraced us like an old friend.  I’ve never been to Brazil, but except for all the ‘gringos’ in the place, I imagine that it isn’t a whole lot different.  

We looked over the menu and decided upon several appetizers.  The Mariquitas, which are “Thinly sliced plantains cooked until crispy, served with garlic mojo and avocado salsa,” which was a to die for Guacamole.  We also ordered the Calarmar Frito, which are about the most outrageous fried Calamari I’ve had in a long time, and the Chipotle Pepper Sauce they serve with them would complement any dish.  The next time I visit I’m going for the Churrasco Skirt Steak, and I will order a dish of that sauce; I will find something to dip in it, if only my fingers.

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Union Oyster House

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

Last month, we found ourselves up in Boston for literally only a few hours conducting some business.  Being that we were right downtown in Government Center, it was suggested that we might stop in to The Union Oyster House.  Interestingly enough, I’d never been there before which is surprising since before moving to Florida, Boston is where I used to hang my hat; and I must have passed by this historical restaurant thousands of times.

Before I talk about the food, let me explain that the only thing older than the restaurant itself, (which was established in 1826; making it the oldest restaurant in Boston, and the oldest in continuous service in the United States) is the building that it is housed in, which is at least 250 years old and has been a landmark for most of that time.  Even the original cobblestone streets just outside the door are as old, or older than the building itself. Their website offers a great historical account of the establishment and the area.

We called in advance and were seated immediately on the second floor where, just after the Revolutionary War, a future King of France had lived for a while before ending his exile and retaking the throne.  Suffice it to say, it’s a very interesting place with a very full and rich history.

For an appetizer we naturally ordered Oysters on the Half Shell, and I have to say, they were yummy. 

I decided to eat on the lighter side and ordered the Clam Chowder and a Caesar Salad, both of which were decent, but frankly, I expected a little better based upon the reputation of the establishment.  The others in my group had the Sautéed Seafood Medley, which included shrimp, cherrystones, mussels, fish, and calamari, cooked in a spicy marinara sauce and served over linguine.  I tried a couple of the mussels and they were excellent. 

Overall, with the combination of the meal, the history and ambiance of the place, and the great company I enjoyed, we give the Union Oyster House a 4.2 on our scale of 5.  I might add, I found the prices very reasonable, especially given the prime location in the heart of a major city.

You will find them at 41 Union Street near the Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market district, and just across the street from Boston City Hall.  Their phone number is 617 227 2750, and their website is http://www.unionoysterhouse.com/index.html.

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Lucille's is the Name, and BBQ is the Game

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

One of the great things about So. Florida is the BBQ.  Every town has at least one and maybe several great BBQ places.  For the past several months, I’d been hearing about one such BBQ place, Lucille’s 'Bad to the Bone,' BBQ down in Boynton Beach, and the other day a friend of mine and I decided to have a bite to eat, discuss some business, and check it out, and I’m real glad we did.

We stopped in before the dinner rush and had no problem being seated right away.  I looked over the menu and decided fairly quickly that since I wanted to sample several items, I would order the 'Pit Platter III.’  It comes with a quarter of a chicken and choice of two meats, or you can have the pulled chicken; and that’s what I ordered.  

You also get two sides with the meal as well as corn bread, so I ordered the Baked Beans which were yummy, and the Collard Greens which were also very good with just the right tanginess.  I must be the only transplanted Yankee that actually likes Collard Greens, but I digress. 

When the food arrived at the table, both of us were blown away at the size of the portions.  As you can see from the picture, they are more than ample bordering on 'ginormous,' and they are outrageously delicious.  I wanted to eat it all, but there was just no way, so I had lunch for two days with the leftovers, and so did my friend.  

With its great food, friendly atmosphere, and excellent service, The Patriots Press gives Lucille’s 'Bad to the Bone' BBQ a solid 5 Star rating.

You can find them in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, and you can get all the advanced information on them by simply visiting their website at www.badtothebonebbq.com.

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'Grease' is the word....for Burgers in West Palm Beach

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Dining Out

I was on the 91 Train out of Tampa to West Palm Beach on Wednesday, and wound up having a delightful conversation with my ‘chance,’ (there are no accidents) train mate.  Turns out we had so much in common; it was like we’ve known each other for years.  Anyway, during the roughly three hour ride, we had a delightful conversation and talked about just a ton of stuff; and don’t you know, the subject of my dining reviews came up.

She visits her daughter in the West Palm Beach area with some frequency and mentioned a place down on Clematis Street that might make a good subject to review.  She described it as having great burgers with reasonable pricing; it not only sounded good, it got me in the mood for a burger, and since 'Grease’ is just down the street from the train station, I decided to check them out.

I’m very glad I did.  First of all, the location is excellent; right at the bottom of Clematis, a short walk from the Inter-coastal, parking was easy, and the approach and entryway are very inviting.  So, I went in and right away got caught up in the very comfortable atmosphere.  It was still early so it wasn’t real busy, and the staff was very attentive and courteous.

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