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Eat Beat Newsletter: McUber launches Big Mac app attack, Rocco's Tacos founder reveals MS diagnosis

Welcome to the Eat Beat Newsletter. The mother of all date-night meals, Valentine’s Day, looms. But that romantic stuff can wait because it’s Super Bowl weekend. For those who want to be team-appropriate, make sure your party has peach cobbler for Atlanta Falcons fans, clam chowder for New England Patriots fans and fallen (deflated) soufflé for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

(Are you ready for a Super game?)

Club LI: America's favorite unofficial secular holiday, Super Bowl Sunday, is ready to unfold in all its hyperbolic glory. It's the 51st edition, or Super Bowl LI in the pretentious Roman numerology of the NFL. If you don't feel like hosting a bunch of drunken revelers to a home party, my colleague Barb Corbellini compiled a roundup of South Florida sports bars where you can catch the big game. And since I covered six Super Bowls, an obligatory prediction: New England 31, Atlanta 20, my chicken wing consumption 15.

(Big Mac app attack?)

McUber delivers in South Florida: McDonald's and UberEats have announced a new partnership, with the app-based food delivery service now bringing Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets and french fries to those in select areas. Miami-Dade and Broward are among the first places to get a taste of the mobile Golden Arches, with 134 restaurants in the two counties participating. The service launched on Jan. 30. The Miami Herald reports that it's a test run for a possible nationwide expansion, and that some McDonald's franchises in Tampa and Orlando are also taking part.  

(Margaritas for a cause at Rocco's Tacos.)

Rocco's Tacos founder reveals diagnosis: Rocco Mangel, the founder of the successful Rocco's Tacos chain, announced this week that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and he is using his business skills to raise awareness and research money. A video posted on his Facebook page with his young daughter had been viewed more than 260,000 times, and he has pledged a portion of February sales from his restaurants' Tuesday tacos and tequila nights to the MS Society. He also will be the keynote speaker at the MS Society of Palm Beach's annual walk, on Feb. 26, and is heading a fundraising team for the event.

(Clawing for tables at Joe's.)

Spotlight on stone crabs: We're reaching the sweet peak of stone crab season, and that means South Beach institution Joe's Stone Crab is packed to the gills. My colleague Talia Medina recently took a video tour of Joe's, a two-time winner in the latest Best of South Florida competition, and I'm jealous. I've been to Joe's dozens of times through the years, but I've never gotten to sit at the Chef's Table. She scored a spot at the exclusive kitchen table on her first visit.

(Countdown to foodie nirvana.)

SOBEWFF approaches: The calendar has turned to February, and that means it's time for food lovers to get serious about mapping a plan of action for the 2017 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The movable feast runs from Feb. 22 through Feb. 26 and includes dozens of events in Miami-Dade and Broward County. Among the offerings: the inaugural edition of Drink Fort Lauderdale, a Friday night (Feb. 24) outdoor cocktail festival at Fat Village in Fort Lauderdale... Speaking of cocktails, my review meal this week spotlighted Beaker & Gray, a cozy and trendy spot in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. The restaurant, which I awarded three stars, has a lively bar and some ambitious food.

(New owners for Mangos on Las Olas.)

Question of the week: Reader Edwin DeJesus writes, "I read about the sale of Mangos [on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale]. Would you be able to find out about [unused] Mangos gift cards. Will the new owners honor them?" I spoke with Alessandro Manzo, who will serve as general manager as part of the new ownership group, and he says the restaurant intends to honor gift cards purchased before the Jan. 24 sale. He says he doesn't know how many unused gift cards are in circulation, but is hopeful the old and new owners will work out an arrangement. Manzo also says the 25-year-old restaurant should reopen by late February after renovations, and that the menu will be revamped as "American fusion," with some Italian dishes added and some old favorites remaining.

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.

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Stay hungry, my friends.

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