Haifa to Hallandale: Falafel Benny's Got the Best Balls

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
Falafel Benny.
Through Falafel Benny's narrow, squat entrance was a room of mostly men yelling at each other in thick Israeli accents.

"How is the falafel?" owner Benny Regev gregariously bellowed at customers halfway through their lunch. He tried to buy some of his regulars' meals. Some accepted, and others slammed a few bills down on the counter and walked out.

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Urban Rustic Bagel: Little Tel Aviv in Hallandale

Categories: $10 Lunch

Zachary Fagenson
Order at the counter or at your seat.
South Florida's sizable Jewish community is no secret. The same goes for the community's food.

Urban Rustic Bagel, just off I-95 at Stirling Road, isn't exactly a Jewish deli, but with Israeli owner Shlomo Rozen and chef Gai Bessif - the former from Haifa and the latter Yafo - the Jewish Connection is there.

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Chapultepec Mexican Restaurant in Hallandale: Cheap Beer and Slow-Roasted Meats

Categories: $10 Lunch

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
Chapultepec doesn't look like much from the outside.
Tucked behind an empty lot with anemic-looking trees, you can barely see Chapultepec while flying down Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Yet it's there, and it's a Mexico-Aztec-Incan oasis replete with cheap beer and slow-roasted meats stuffed inside everything from corn tortillas to tamales.

The restaurant's name is deep-rooted in history. Chapultepec Park is a massive green space in the center of Mexico City, the largest city park in the western hemisphere. In the fall of 1847 American forces defeated those of Mexico's during the Battle of Chapultepec, holding a historic castle of the same name in western Mexico City.

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A First Look: Former Playboy Mansion Chef Owner of Das Dog in Jupiter Where They Serve Deluxe Dogs and German Style Fare

Categories: $10 Lunch
Das Dog Jupiter
The Das Chicago 
Hot dogs aren't just hot dogs at Das Dog in Jupiter. They're gourmet dogs.

Das Dog first opened in the Abacoa Town Center in May 2011, where it began with a short menu of just several specialty hot dogs featuring fun, creative toppings.

The spot was an instant hit with the locals, so brothers David and Jeret Schroeder decided to open a second location in the Bluffs Square Shopping Center in Jupiter just nine months later, expanding the menu  from around five options to just over 20 gourmet-style dogs.

"We started with just a few dogs, but we realized people are just as crazy about toppings and choices as we are," said David Schroeder, who devised a menu that would cover more flavors and a larger selection of meats.

So what makes these dogs gourmet? Perhaps Schroeder's seven-year stint as a chef who has graced the kitchens at The Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove and a more famous grotto -- the Playboy Mansion -- during a one-year stint as Hugh Hefner's personal chef.

So what brought him back to his hometown of Jupiter to open a hot dog shop?

"It's something that my brother and I have always loved," Schroeder told Clean Plate Charlie. "There were a few places in the area that you could get a hot dog, but not the type we like. We love crazy toppings and dressing, so we thought we'd just do it ourselves."

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Bay Bay's Chicken and Waffles in West Palm Beach: First Look

All photos by Nicole Danna
Bay Bay's owner Israel Johnson.

Some say the origin of chicken and waffles dates back to the 1790s, when Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron to the U.S. from France, after which the recipe began appearing in period cookbooks. Another theory says the dish was invented in 1930s Harlem, where late-night eateries started serving it to hungry customers looking for one part dinner, one part breakfast.

Today, the idea of chicken and waffles is something of a soul food style dish -- especially at newly opened Bay Bay's Chicken and Waffles in West Palm Beach, an "urban" bar and grill that is one of the only establishments in Palm Beach or Broward County specializing in the classic combination. Starting at $6.95, Bay Bay's serves the dish in its simplest incarnation: a few pieces of fresh-fried chicken atop a giant, housemade Belgian waffle. 

Since opening in mid-September, the 2,000 square foot red stucco building a mile west of I-95 has garnered a unique and devoted crowd, people crammed into the tiny space, seated at one of several high-top tables, or perched along the U-shaped bar that runs the perimeter of the restaurant's exposed prep area. 

Owner and founder Israel Johnson told Clean Plate Charlie that he opened Bay Bay's after his day job led him to a startling realization. 

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Due South Brewing Company in Boynton Beach Adds Food Trucks and Brewery Tours

via Due South Brewing Co. Facebook
The folks at Due South Brewing Company in Boynton Beach discovered that hosting food trucks every Friday night was such a good idea, that they decided to have them on the weekends too.

From 5 p.m. 'til 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, On The Slide will be the first food truck on scene with its gourmet tacos and grilled hamburgers. 

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Zona Fresca in Pompano Beach Sticks to the Formula

All photos - Tricia Woolfenden
The grilled veggie burrito at Zona Fresca.
When sitting down with a grilled veggie burrito earlier this week at the third and newest Zona Fresca restaurant (located in Pompano Beach), I was reminded of New Times' writer Stefan Kamph's recent declaration that burritos are "not for women." While the burrito in front of me wasn't an exact approximation of a "swaddled newborn," it was indeed close enough to being "head-sized" that I had to throw in the napkin about halfway through. The burrito wins this time, but I demand a rematch.

Gigantic portions are a hallmark of a Zona Fresca meal, as seems to be the case with most fast-casual Cali-Mex restaurants. With nothing topping $10 on the menu -- which includes burritos, tacos, salads, and other specialties, like taquitos -- it's hard to argue the value of the meal. The Zona Fresca formula has drawn a steady following in Fort Lauderdale and Plantation, and time will tell if the new location in north Broward attracts the same level of fan loyalty.

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Valentine's Day for Cheapskates: Six Places for a Low-Cost Date in Broward and Palm Beach

Marta Crowe via Flickr Creative Commons
Cheapskates deserve love, too.
Ahhh, Valentine's Day. The quintessential Hallmark Holiday, invented to divest coupled folks of hard-earned cash (in turn for typically meaningless trinkets) and to remind singles of how sad they should be about being alone on during this most wondrous day of the year. 

As baffling as Valentine's Day seems -- so few people seem to treasure it, and yet our ambivalence only makes it grow stronger -- it can be difficult to ignore if you are in a relationship.

What to do if you're on a budget or your convictions make it physically impossible for you to spring big bucks on a fancy-schmancy table at a low-lit restaurant on Las Olas? Why, the cheapskate date, of course! There is a bonus to choosing a low-rent dining destination on February 14 as well. It's the less obvious choice, so you're bound to miss the onslaught of amateur-night diners who flock to restaurants on holidays like V-Day and Mother's Day. 

After the jump, find six very affordable options for Valentine's Day dates in Broward and Palm Beach counties. We can't promise you that treating your date to a meal at any of these places will increase your odds in the bedroom, but it is unlikely that they'll leave you holding a declined credit card (which certainly wouldn't help your chances). 

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Food Trucks Rolling Out to Support Denali Family Fun Day in Palm Beach Gardens Saturday, Oct. 8

Out of Many, one of several food trucks participating in the Denali Family Fun Day.
​Good food for a good cause. 

That's one of the ideas behind the Denali Family Fun Day fundraising event taking place in Palm Beach Gardens tomorrow. 

The day has been custom-designed for Denali, a ten-year-old boy battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer. 

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Forget Man vs. Food: Try The Perro Huevon at La Perrada Del Gordo in West Palm Beach

Nicole Danna
La Perrada Del Gordo specializes in Colombian fare

La Perrada Del Gordo sits in the back corner of a secluded shopping center off Military Trail in West Palm Beach, near invisible save for neon glowing signs hovering above the door and in the window. 

Here, my Colombian friend explains, is where you'll find the Perro Huevon -- 
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