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Eating The Eat Beat

Welcome to the Eat Beat Newsletter

Welcome to the Eat Beat Newsletter, the reinvented Food and Drink Newsletter from SouthFlorida.com and the Sun Sentinel. Every week, I’ll offer morsels and tidbits from my travails through the local dining scene, along with things you may have missed from the wider world of food and restaurant coverage. Look for it every Wednesday.

(With 160 TVs, Bokamper's is a fun place to watch the Dolphins lose)

Football is here, for better or worse: And it looks like it might be worse, for long-suffering Dolfans. After a dispiriting 0-2 start it appears this year’s Miami Dolphins will be much like previous mediocre editions. That means copious amounts of beer and wings will be required. In case you missed it, here’s my recent roundup of sports bars for football season, including a few of my favorite spots to watch the action.

(Spooky pumpkin beers ... for summer?)

Premature pumpkin patch: Many local breweries tapped their pumpkin beers last month and Starbucks is already pumping out its pumpkin spice lattes. Folks, check the calendar. It is still summer. Fall begins tomorrow. Can we behave with some seasonal appropriateness? I applaud the restraint of Davie restaurateur Kris Kristof, whose Kristof’s Kafe I reviewed this week and who won’t launch his autumn menu featuring pumpkin pancakes, muffins and other pumpkin items until Oct. 1.

(The World of Beer features bar bites ... and a wide variety of beer)

World of Beer opens in Plantation: The craft beer craze continues with the grand opening today of the latest World of Beer, 1387 S. University Drive, in Plantation. Similar to Fort Lauderdale’s hip Riverside Markets, World of Beer offers more than 50 beers on tap and over 500 varieties in coolers, along with food. The national chain is growing rapidly, with other South Florida locations in Coconut Creek, Wellington and Miami. The Plantation location will feature Sam Adams samples and swag tonight, and will host events featuring Dogfish Head on Friday and Tampa’s Cigar City brewery on Sept. 30.

Freshened Max’s Grille readies for silver anniversary: Max’s Grille at Mizner Park in Boca Raton is expected to reopen Thursday after a 10-day renovation hiatus. The restaurant is revamping for its upcoming 25th anniversary, with a party slated for Oct. 6. Owner Dennis Max says the restaurant needs “revitalizing…inside and out,” after sustaining damage in a March flood.

(Smoke BBQ in Fort Lauderdale is among a wave of recent barbecue arrivals)

BBQ Mania: 4Rivers Smokehouse opened its first South Florida outpost this month at 2660 N. University Drive in Coral Springs, and early buzz from friends who endured long lines said the stellar brisket was worth the wait. It seems every day there’s a new barbecue joint opening. Another recent arrival: BBQ Box, at 6303 Powerline Road in Fort Lauderdale. Is pulled pork getting played out? I pondered the question in a recent Eat Beat blog entry. Meanwhile Smoke BBQ Fort Lauderdale, which opened last December, hopes to keep serving its killer pastrami after a business dispute landed in court. The two sides will soon go to mediation.

Question of the week: I want to make this newsletter interactive, so send along your restaurant/dining questions and I'll pick one to answer each week. You can email me at mmayo@southflorida.com or tweet your questions via Twitter @heymikemayo. Since there are no reader questions yet, I’ll start ...Q. How do you decide which restaurants to review? A. It’s a mix of word of mouth, keeping eyes and ears open, wading through public relations releases and consulting with editors for interesting new places and undiscovered older ones. I like to wait at least three months to review a new spot, to give them a chance to work out kinks. For prominent eateries that have already been reviewed, we wait at least three years before returning for a repeat critique. And I like to vary reviews by cuisine, location and price point.

(Battle of the bulge)

Quote of the week: “My body is not my own,” New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, talking about the battle between his weight vs. his job in an entertaining New Yorker profile. I know the feeling. Since hopping on the Eat Beat in June my goal has been to maintain a steady weight, but I've gained five pounds despite going to the gym regularly and training with a group that runs half-marathons. Time for some salads.

Got a restaurant tip or dining beef?  Reach me at mmayo@southflorida.com or 954-356-4508. Don’t troll me, but feel free to roast or flambeé me on Twitter: @heymikemayo, and follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats.

Stay hungry, my friends.

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