Delray Beach Sweeps New Times' Food Town Throwdown

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Delray Beach has earned bragging rights. Dense with restaurants down Atlantic Avenue, the beachfront town has swept the votes for New Times' first Food Town Throwdown. At 1,766 votes, it trounced West Palm/Lake Worth in the final round.

From Sundy House and Dada all the way down to Boston's on the Beach, Delray and its range of restaurants clinched the win. A monied clientele continues to lure restaurateurs 20 years after Elwood's sparked the neighborhood revival. Just last month, Park Tavern debuted, a second restaurant from the folks behind Cut 432, seated just a few doors away. And the owners of the new Union: An Asian Gastrolounge considered Himmarshee in early stages, then defected to a neighborhood with more allure.

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Delray and West Palm/Lake Worth Square Off in Our Food Town Throwdown Finals

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The champions of our Food Town Throwdown contest to see which local city has the best dining scene has reached the final round. It's Delray Beach versus West Palm Beach/Lake Worth in our final showdown. The winner here earns the rights to talk smack, brag, and generally boast that its city has the fairest food scene in the land.

Before the voting begins, here's a breakdown of last week's results:More »

Round Two: Delray Versus Lauderdale and West Palm/Lake Worth Versus Western Broward

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We pitted the eight of our best food areas against one another last week, and a whole lot of you weighed in on your favorites. More than 1,600 votes were cast in our first Food Town Throwdown.

And now it's on to the final four. It just so happens that the two best food towns from Broward County now face off against the two best of Palm Beach County. Cast your vote in the poll below.

But first, the results from the past week:

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Clean Plate Charlie's Food Town Throwdown: Tell Us Which City Has the Best Dining Scene

Update: Click here for results from this first round of voting and to vote in the Food Town Throwdown's second round.

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It used to be that when you had company in town and wanted to go someplace trendy, you talked about South Beach or Key West or anywhere but Broward and Palm Beach counties. Sure, we had Florida kitsch or Palm Beach glamour, but for some new food trend, you waited for vacation.

Now, name-brand chefs are opening outposts from Fort Lauderdale to Delray Beach. New food movements like farm-to-table and small plates are dominating new restaurants. And -- yes, here it is -- our dining scene has arguably surpassed Miami-Dade's.

So in the spirit of competition, we're pitting our eight best dining areas against one another in a March Madness-style bracket. Later this month, we'll crown a winner -- an undisputed champion city that can boast to have the best food scene in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Click the links below to tell us which city should go on to our semifinal round next week.

West Palm Beach/Lake Worth versus Wilton Manors

Boca Raton versus Fort Lauderdale

Western Broward County versus Hollywood

Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach versus Delray Beach


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Boca Raton Versus Fort Lauderdale: Pick Your Favorite Dining Scene

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Clean Plate Charlie is pitting our eight best dining areas against one another in a March Madness-style bracket. Later this month, we'll crown a winner -- an undisputed champion city that can boast to have the best food scene in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Below, read up on No. 4 seeded Western Broward versus No. 8 Hollywood and then vote below on which city should go on to our semi-final round.

Boca Raton Moves Beyond the Brisket and Lox for Some Serious Eats

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Kapow! signals a change in the Boca dining scene.
Go on. Scoff all you want at Boca Raton. This city has heard it all before. It's a bunch of "gray hairs." "Boca Babes." No one willing to venture outside of the brisket and bagel box. If that's the case, why are so many culinary adventurers willing to dream big in the Rat's Mouth? Take, for instance the gutsy opening of Kapow! Noodle Bar in late 2011 in Mizner Park and the soon-to-be debut of the Rebel House, a locally sourced restaurant from the masterminds behind Charm City Burgers and El Jefe Luchador. These are the forward-thinking culinary stars who recognize that the scene in Boca Raton is far more diverse -- and poised for More »

Food Town Throwdown: Vote Early and Vote Often (Results So Far)

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If you think the pinnacle of games is this Sunday, then maybe you haven't heard about Clean Plate Charlie's Food Town Throwdown.

Clean Plate Charlie is talking smack and taking names -- pitting our favorite food neighborhoods against each other in a raging death match of wits and eats.  OK - maybe not death match, but there are bragging rights to be had.

We know that there are some amazing neighborhoods in which to get your favorite eats in south Florida. That's why we live here and not Wasilla, Alaska (though we hear the halibut is fresh and the view of Russia is spectacular).  But which neighborhood reigns supreme?  That's where you come in, oh constant reader.

We're giving you the voting breakdown, so far. Remember - unlike football, there are no referees and no penalties for fighting dirty. Post on Facebook, call your local Chamber of Commerce, stuff the (virtual) ballot box. We're fine with that.  Remember, we're Florida, the home of the hanging chad (whatever that means).  Voting results so far, after the jump:

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Western Broward County Versus Hollywood: Pitting the Best of Our Ethnic Food Territories

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Clean Plate Charlie is pitting our eight best dining areas against one another in a March Madness-style bracket. Later this month, we'll crown a winner -- an undisputed champion city that can boast to have the best food scene in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Below, read up on No. 4 seeded Western Broward versus No. 8 Hollywood and then vote below on which city should go on to our semi-final round.

West Broward County: Where Cheap Rents Bring Restaurants Run by Chefs

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West Broward boats Marumi and its giant oysters.
The superiority of west Broward is the result of simple economics. To the east, where buildings are pretty and people are fashionable, real estate prices are high, and only business people can afford to open restaurants. Out west, chefs open restaurants. Often these chefs are foreign, which is why Broward's best Korean restaurant is in Weston (Myung Ga) and its second-best is in Coral Springs (Gabose), its best Japanese and Israeli restaurants are in Sunrise (Marumi Sushi and Sunrise Pita), and its best vegetarian Indian restaurant is in Lauderdale Lakes (Woodlands). The mere mention of these

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Can Pompano/Deerfield Knock Off Number-One-Seed Delray Beach in Our Throwdown?

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Clean Plate Charlie is pitting our eight best dining areas against one another in a March Madness-style bracket. Later this month, we'll crown a winner -- an undisputed champion city that can boast to have the best food scene in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Below, read up on number-one-seeded Delray Beach versus number-eight Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach and then vote below on which city should go on to our semifinal round.

Deerfield and Pompano Dish Up Great Tacos, Excellent Pizza, and Perhaps an Upset

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It's hard to find a better taco than the ones served in the colorful El Jefe Luchador.
In a strip mall in Deerfield, El Jefe Luchador blares ZZ Top, beckoning customers inside with a scene as animated as a Mexican street fest. Tables and chairs wear primary colors like a box of fat crayons. Against one wall, flamboyant masks stare from empty eyes: a reference to its "chief fighter" name. The barbacoa taco boasts braised beef brisket that packs heat with guajillo chilis. A ripe tomato and onion medley lends sweet and sharp crunch. Tart lime, a handful of cilantro, and a liberal sprinkle of queso blanco round it out.  White-corn tortillas trekked in every day gives these tacos cred.

It's not just the delicious and cheap eats at El Jefe Luchador that make Deerfield andMore »

West Palm and Lake Worth Versus Wilton Manors: Help Decide Which Dining Scene Is Better

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Clean Plate Charlie is pitting our eight best dining areas against one another in a March Madness-style bracket. Later this month, we'll crown a winner -- an undisputed champion city that can boast to have the best food scene in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Below, read up on number-three-seeded West Palm Beach/Lake Worth and number-six Wilton Manors and then vote below on which city should go on to our semifinal round.

West Palm Beach and Lake Worth: The Tattooed, the Trendy, and Hidden Haunts

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Rocco's Tacos owner Rocco Mangel runs a mainstay of downtown West Palm Beach.
If the South Florida dining scene were actually a family reunion, West Palm Beach would be your approachable-yet-cool young aunt. The one with the owl tattoo on her shoulder and a collection of sake bottles she's picked up from around the world -- a hint of edge but generally someone who gets along with most everyone around the table. Lake Worth, meanwhile, is that offbeat uncle who used to work a 9-to-5 in the big city before moving to an artist's colony, where he learned how to make his own beer out of cornhusks. Both are fun people to hang out with and certainly a welcome break from that uptight rich cousin with his overpriced

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