Ten Best Restaurants in Hallandale Beach
"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, told us for this week's look at the restaurants along Hallandale Beach Boulevard. "It's more a racetrack to the beach than anything else."
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The strip of road is about as unforgiving on the eyes as it is to pedestrians. Cars speed down three-lane strips of asphalt. The buildings, mostly strip malls, are set behind sprawling parking lots, making it almost impossible to see the stores inside.
The crummy layout, however, offers a small benefit to hopeful restaurateurs.
The rent is affordable, up to $2,000 a month less than space in nearby Aventura. Broward County's southernmost town also sits on a crossroads between South Florida's numerous 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.
You can find a Frita Cubana just as easily as bagels and smoked salmon, and that's a good thing.
So, Hallandale is not a stellar tourist destination. It will never be posh like Boca or hip like Fort Lauderdale. It is the proverbial rough, but if proverbs are to be believed, that's where you often find diamonds.
So we scoured the town and found some gems for you. Here are our picks for the ten best restaurants in Hallandale Beach:
CC WikimediaCommons/Ramon Manti, Uzbeki dumplings.
Farhod Karimov opened Vostok on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in February serving shaslik -- a central Asian variety of kebab in which chunks of meat and fat rotate with slices of bell peppers separating each. There were "not enough restaurants serving cuisine like this in Hallandale," he says. Karimov hails from Uzbekistan, a country famous for what he calls "noodle-rich cuisine." At Vostok, try plov, a signature Uzbeki dish that mixes seasoned ground beef with onion and rice. There's also borscht, a classic cold soup made with beets. Try manti, a dumpling variation filled with either beef or lamb before being steamed or fried.
9. The Knife Steak House
Image courtesy The Knife Short ribs and bacon-wrapped chicken at The Knife.
Meat freaks, rejoice! The Knife of Hallandale Beach Boulevard is a small glimpse into the meat-loving world that is Argentina, complete with chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, and veal tripe. If you're not into an authentic parrilla, don't worry -- there is plenty of veal, skirt steak, short ribs, and rump roast to go around. For about $25, you get all of this, plus an endless garden of salads and vegetables. You don't have to put something green and leafy on your plate, but if you don't, it's only a matter of time until a friend warns you about the dangers of your lifestyle choices.
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800 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach, FL