SouthFlorida.com
Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!
The Eat Beat Dining around South Florida
with Mike Mayo
Eating The Eat Beat

A rookie food critic gives thanks in the Eat Beat Newsletter

Welcome to a special holiday edition of the Eat Beat Newsletter. The bird is brining, the sides are being prepped and the wine lineup is set. There are many reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving. Here are some things this rookie food critic gives thanks for ...

(A bounty of gratitude before the fall feast.)

My health, and my family's health. As my late Grandma Mary used to say, "Without your health, you're nothing."

That I now get paid to eat ... and write about it.

That I no longer have to cover politics.

An everything bagel, still hot from the oven, with sliced nova and scallion cream cheese at Sage Bagel and Deli in Hallandale Beach.

Coffee at The Alchemist in Wilton Manors.

The Sunday brunch buffet at Blue Moon Fish Company in Fort Lauderdale.

The first bite of a juicy Florida honeybell in the winter.

A big bucket of spicy Louisiana crawfish at Shuck-N-Dive in Fort Lauderdale.

Stone crabs, preferably for less than $20 a pound.

(Bacon cheeseburgers, yes!)

Perfectly cooked medium-rare cheeseburgers, including the delicious one with Gruyere and bacon I recently had at the Foundry in Pompano Beach, featured in my latest restaurant review.

The two new restaurants in Miami that I awarded four stars, KYU and Plant Food + Wine, the only ones that have earned top rating honors since I started the food gig.

Ends Meat in Hollywood, and the fact that eight months after opening chef-owner Kevin Dreifuss is still meeting his definition of success: Not serving Bud Light.

I am thankful that after losing co-owner and matriarch Elsie Mae Carter in March, Delaware Chicken Farm and Seafood in Hollywood is still going strong.

I am thankful that within walking distance of my Dania Beach home, I can get a creme brulee doughnut at the Bake Shack, the complimentary breakfast danish at Grampa's Restaurant and Bakery, ice cream at Jaxson's, chef Will's spicy pasta Caldo with shrimp and sausage at Mundi's, and the excellent special pizza (with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and peppers) at Conca D'Oro, which has moved from its longtime home on Young Circle in Hollywood to Dania Beach Boulevard.

I am thankful for The Memorial Milers, a running group that pounds the pavement along the Hollywood Broadwalk at dawn every Sunday, the way I try to keep my never-ending Battle of the Bulge in check.

(Ramen at Kuro ... domo arigato!)

Asian noodle soups, particularly when it's sweater weather in South Florida, including the fantastic pho at Brandon Asian Cuisine in Davie, the refined pork belly ramen at Kuro in the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood and the sublime spicy shrimp ramen at GoBistro in Hollywood.

The four-way chili spaghetti at Skyline Chili, wet with onions and extra cheese, the guilty pleasure I know I'm supposed to frown upon as a food snob.

I am thankful this year's Best of South Florida is finally done, thanks to the Herculean efforts of SouthFlorida.com editors and writers. Check out this year's winners for Eating Out and Best Dishes.

The Yellow Green Farmer's Market in Hollywood.

The heavenly pastrami at Smoke BBQ in Fort Lauderdale.

The pristine lunch sashimi platter at SushiGo in Boca Raton.

The smooth as alabaster cheesecake at Junior's, now in Boca Raton as well as Brooklyn.

Key lime pie, old Florida style at Bob Roth's New River Groves in Davie and hip and trendy from Fireman Derek's in Wynwood.

I am thankful for after-school pit stops at Starbucks with my beautiful daughter, along with our annual June pilgrimage to Brooklyn for hot dogs at the original Nathan's in Coney Island, clams at Randazzo's in Sheepshead Bay, and matzo ball soup at the Mill Basin Deli.

I am thankful for an ex-wife who's still a good friend and eating partner, and who still invites me over for her fantastic holiday meals.

Finally, I am thanfkul for readers who keep reading and following my journey, from sports to news to food. Keep those calls, emails, suggestions and tips coming. A safe and happy holiday season to all!

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.

To sign up for the Eat Beat Newsletter, click here.

Stay hungry, my friends.

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
74°