Florida's Giant Snail Problem: Five Places to Get Escargot
National Escargot Day isn't until May 24, but there's no rule saying we can't get started early and we have a new reason to celebrate this fascinating French food. South Florida has a problem. A giant snail problem, to be exact.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, a recent report says that a total of 117,000 of these suckers, which hail from Africa, have been caught. They are deadly to local plant life and can blow out a car tire if you drive over them.
Wee don't suggest attacking the growth of the giant snail population by eating them, though. While other invasive species -- lionfish, for example -- are delicious, these snails are not the edible variety.
In fact, they spread disease. It's a shame -- just think of the escargot burgers! Since we're pretty much always thinking about food around here, it did get us wondering; Where can you get some good escargot in South Florida?
Here, we've found a five places in Broward and Palm Beach County that serve up the buttered slugs in a shell.
-- Florida Is Being Invaded By Giant Snails
5. Hurricane Alley
Hurricane Alley is Boynton Beach's long-standing dive bar and seafood shack, where you can get everything from raw oysters and steamed clams, to -- yes -- even escargot. Served here for a reasonable price, just $8.95 for a dozen served smothered in a garlic cream sauce alongside toast.
4. Casimir Bistro
At this Boca Raton bistro, the escargot are served in small pastry domes, drenched in a garlic-shallot parsley butter with pastis and mushrooms. It's a unique take on the authentic recipes, and a good price for $11.
3. Cafe de Paris
Located off Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, this French cafe, the snails are served as the classic Burgundy recipe, escargots à la Bourguignonne, a simple combination of parsley, shallot, garlic and butter.
2. Saltimbocca Italian Bistro
In Delray Beach, the Saltimbocca Italian Bistro serves up escargot as an appetizer for just $9. Here, the sauce is given a classic Italian twist -- just a dash of Chardonnay wine -- and a few extra herbs and mushroom for an earthy flavor.
1. Côté France Cafe
This Boca Raton French cafe and bakery also has the real deal when it comes to snail eating. For $12.95 they're brought fresh from France to your table. Enjoy!
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529 E. Ocean Blvd., Boynton Beach, FL