Welcome to the Eat Beat Newsletter. Today is 4/20, which is also numerical slang for marijuana, a good day for munchies in states where pot is legal recreationally. Closer to home, Kitchen Four Twenty in Fort Lauderdale will celebrate with a special concoction of chocolate croissant, brownie, M&Ms, banana and ice cream. Don't bogart that bowl.
(A magical rainbow drink ... with 76 grams of sugar.)
Unicorn fever: Starbucks introduced a Unicorn frappucino on Wednesday, supposedly for five days only, and because I have an 11-year-old daughter I was obliged to buy (and try) one. It tasted like artificial goo, sweet pink sludge punctuated with sour blue streaks. The 24-ounce Venti has 450 calories and 76 grams of sugar. Because I'm a conscientious dad, my girl was relegated to a 12-ounce tall. For more on the multicolor unicorn food fad, which sprouted on (where else?) Instagram and social media, check out this New York Times piece, which traces its roots to (where else?) Miami, where food stylist and blogger Adeline Waugh began playing with dyes and beetroot to jazz up food photos.
(Sip and graze on Las Olas on Friday, April 21.)
Events: More than 40 local restaurants and scores of wineries are set to take part in the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival on Friday, April 21, in Fort Lauderdale. The event runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on E. Las Olas Blvd., between SE 6th Ave. and SE 11th Ave. Tickets are $125 and benefit the American Lung Association ... The Boynton Beach Brunch Fest, a first-time event featuring local craft brews, cocktails and brunch items, will take place from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at 2240 N. Federal Highway. Tickets cost $65 ($100 VIP). Visit facebook.com/BoyntonBrunch for more information.
(The Spatch chicken sandwich, a tasty thigh.)
Review roundup: I liked Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken in Fort Lauderdale very very much, awarding the fast-casual eatery 3 1/2 stars. The humble bird is elevated with an African chili pepper sauce and rub that is downright addictive ... I did not like Point Royal, the new seafood restaurant from Food Network star Geoffrey Zakaraian in the Hollywood Diplomat Beach Resort, so much, awarding it 1 1/2 stars. I wasn't treated so royally, a dinner marred by careless, indifferent service, uneven food and exorbitant drinks.
(Swimming with sushi at all Quarterdecks.)
Restaurant changes: The Quarterdeck chain had added sushi bars to all its South Florida locations, part of a $500,000 renovation project, and dining correspondent Susan Bryant has the details. The sushi bar at the Dania Beach pier location has been a big hit ... Frank and Dino's Restaurant, formerly of Deerfield Beach, is moving to Boca Raton, 39 SE First Ave., site of the shuttered Merlino's. Owner Carlo Vaccarezza reports renovations are almost done and he expects an early May opening ... Luigi di Roma has opened at 718 S. Federal Hwy., in Deerfield Beach, the old Frank and Dino's site ... Roasters 'n Toasters has closed its location at the Casino at Dania Beach, but a new restaurant is expected to soon fill the spot on the lower level of the fronton-casino ... Sons of Rome closed in Hollywood after a brief run, but Allegria Ristorante, a new Italian spot, has already sprouted at the site, 2009 Harrison St. ... Granny's Grill in Oakland Park has been sold, and new owners have renamed it One Stop Bar & Grill, at 3236 NE 11th Ave.
(Alton Brown meets the Alchemist.)
Coffee talk: Food Network host and mad food scientist Alton Brown performed at the Broward Center on Wednesday night, and the reaction to the well-attended show on social media was positive. Before the show, Brown hit the Alchemist in Wilton Manors for coffee and breakfast, and according to his Facebook page, he "loved it." Our readers love it too, voting the Alchemist as Best Coffee Shop in our annual Best Of South Florida poll. Here's a video tour of the funky hidden gem from colleague Rod Stafford Hagwood.
(Taco time in Fort Lauderdale.)
Photos of the week: April showers bring May margaritas (or something like that). With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon Fort Lauderdale got into the Mexican spirit early, with a taco battle and craft beer festival last weekend. Talia J. Medina of SouthFlorida.com was there to capture the day on camera. Say, "Queso!"
Got a restaurant tip or dining beef? Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
To sign up for the Eat Beat Newsletter, click here.
Stay hungry, my friends.Copyright © 2018, South Florida