Our Favorite Hidden Gems

Categories: The List
pelicanlanding.jpg
The ground view from Pelican Landing.
New Times staff is sad about the closing of Charcuterie Too!, the oft-visited lunch spot in the Broward County Main Library downtown. The small mom-and-pop restaurant will close as a result of a renovation project on the library and the financial strain on owner Ymelda Luna Singh.

Count Charcuterie Too! among a handful of hidden gems in quirky locations. Though none listed will replace our beloved lunch spot, perhaps these will satiate your quest for eats in unexpected environs. After the jump, our picks for hidden gems.


6) The Pelican in Lake Worth
Beach-themed thrift-shop art frames the walls of this eclectic Lake Worth cash-only diner, open during the day (with Fridays-only Indian dinner). The breakfast menu lists standard offerings of blueberry pancakes; Italian omelet with sausage, onions, and peppers, served with grits or home fries; and the eggs Benedict of the day. Halfway down the list, things turn strange: eggs nissa? Curried chicken and spinach omelet with nan and raita? As terrific as the standard fare may be, for Indian cooking, it's a destination.

5) Thai on the Beach in Fort Lauderdale

Perched above Primani's on the beach, this restaurant affords a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean away from the maddening crowds. The food is Thai-flavored fuel that's all the more satiating after a half dozen Sapporo.

4) Islamorada Fish Co. in Dania Beach
Housed in the Bass Pro Shop off the highway, the 450-seat restaurant that's part Wally World, part Pleasantville overlooks a man-made lake. With deliveries daily from Islamorada, the restaurant promises "the best in Florida seafood," from -- you guessed it -- coconut shrimp and Maine lobster to smoked wahoo fish dip and roasted mahi-mahi. The restaurant is a semi- surreal stopover after your Outdoor World shopping spree for rods and reels.

3) Eleventh Street Annex in Fort Lauderdale
A charming lunch spot tucked away in a former pastor's home at Trinity Lutheran Church, the restaurant run by two sisters, Jonny Altobell and Penny Sanfilippo, has hidden in the annex for ten years. In a nod to childhood nicknames, the Ugly Sisters riff on their sense of humor that pervades the spirit of the place. A chalkboard lists the day's five features, which include homemade soup, a rotation of sandwiches, and variations on mac and cheese. A plus for picky eaters: The sisters accommodate vegan and vegetarians as well as food allergies, so be sure to give a heads-up. And don't hesitate to stop in for a fly-by coffee or tea and something for a sweet tooth.

2) Direct From Philly in Deerfield Beach

Soak in the gas-station surroundings once you finally find this cheese-laden gem housed in a Chevron. Go for the Pat for Cheese-Wiz authenticity, or diverge from convention with one of nine other varieties of Philly cheese-steak choices.

1) Pelican Landing in Fort Lauderdale

Though it's not necessarily secret, this deck is certainly tucked away down the length of parking lots and twists and turns of dock avenues. The more casual sibling to Pier 66 is worth a visit for satisfying bar fare and a terrific view of yachts and their lovely staff.

What have we missed? Leave suggestions in the comments, or head over to Facebook to weigh in on your favorites.


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Max
Max

You clowns really think that every criticism is me don't you? It's why you'll never be any good at what you do. You don't want to deal with the truth.

Pelican landing is the only gem on this list. Islamorada is a gem in what universe?

Vicky
Vicky

Hidden, yes. Gems, no. 

Melissamccart
Melissamccart

Perhaps if you understood the cultural references such as Pleasantville or Wally World you'd gather that it's not a resounding endorsement. 

In all scenarios, the truth is preferable, even when it's tough. Though I'd prefer delivery in the form of criticism rather than insults as you've just delivered: "you'll never be any good" is vintage Dennis backhand.

Tricia Woolfenden
Tricia Woolfenden

At least the term "foolish" didn't come into play. (This time)

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