Jewish, European, Latin Flavors Converge on Hallandale Beach Boulevard

Categories: Review

SageInside.jpg
CandaceWest.com
A busy morning at Sage Bagel.
"It's got to be the most boring, mundane street in South Florida," says Dr. Paul George, an oft-quoted Miami Dade College professor and historian, when I ask about Hallandale Beach Boulevard. "It's more a racetrack to the beach than anything else."

It's true -- the first several hundred feet of Exit 18 off Interstate 95 offers concrete blight and strip mall after strip mall. Most buildings are set far back off the massive, three-lane road, which few pedestrians dare to cross, so it's almost impossible to see what's in most of the squat, beige or pale-yellow buildings besides big box stores.

See also: The Ten Best Restaurants in Hallandale Beach

This urban wasteland, however, offers a silver lining for a hopeful restaurateur.

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Zachary Fagenson
Falafel pita at Falafel Benny.
"Rent was $2,000 more per month in Aventura," Falafel Benny owner Ben Regev bellows over the telephone. He opened his small shop earlier this year serving only the fried, ground-up spheres of chickpeas along with chicken schnitzel -- pounded thin and fried -- and shawarma inside an orange-beige building that's easy to miss while speeding by.

"I used to do catering, and people loved it," Regev says. "I always said I'd open my own restaurant, even in a bad location."

Not only is rent affordable in Hallandale but Broward County's southernmost town also sits at a nexus between South Florida's myriad immigrant communities. To the south is Miami: Cubans, Colombians, and Venezuelans, all of whom are slowly pushing farther into suburbia. Toward the ocean lies Sunny Isles -- home to a growing Russian and Eastern European population. Just south of that is Aventura, with large Jewish and Israeli communities.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Falafel Benny

658 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Padrino's

2500 Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Nick's Restaurant

105 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Sage Bagel & Appetizer Shop

800 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Il Mercato Cafe & Wine Shop

1454 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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