On a grey, chilly day like today, I long for the beach and the warmth of the sun. A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to soak up both for a glorious four days.
Adam and I don’t get to travel much at this stage of the game, but we both crave adventure and have a very long list of places we want to visit when we grow up. Or when we win the lottery. Or when we actually have a savings account labeled “Travel Fund”.
Lucky for us, my mom lives in South Florida, so whenever we have the opportunity to replenish our mama-love-ometer, we also get to enjoy the sun and surf. During this particular trip, we were granted four full days of 80 degrees and gorgeous. And we reveled in every single second of it- eating, resting, cooking, eating, smiling, eating, swimming, eating… I’ll show you what I mean.
We got in late the first evening and scarfed down my mom’s chicken salad. Comfort food at its best. We chatted and caught up, and laid out plans for our beach-hopping. My mom prepared Overnight French Toast, letting us in on her plan to keep things simple- and keep us out of the kitchen- so we could maximize our relaxation time. I slept like a rock in the the comfort of my mama’s home.
I awoke to the smell of bacon- always a good way to start the day. We indulged in delectable French Toast with fresh strawberries and mascarpone cheese, packed our beach bags, and headed out.
Biker Beach. Well, that’s what we call it anyway. It’s in Ft. Lauderdale, but not on the main strip by the hotels and big-name restaurants. I appreciate that finding a parking spot is almost always a breeze and the beach is peaceful. But the reason I dream about Biker Beach is because of these wings
at Cafe Blue Fish.
If you read my post after our trip to Florida last year, then you’ve heard me brag about them before. But you know, when you have favorite foods in a particular location, not eating them is just not an option. These wings are not your average chicken wings. They are called Chef Wings and they are outstanding. Meaty, tender, juicy and fried to perfection every single time, the Chef Wings at Cafe Blue Fish call my name in the middle of the night. They are seasoned with a spectacular Jamaican Jerk sauce combined with their JuJu hot sauce, and the flavor is unstoppable. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
The wings are served with simple, fresh cut carrots and celery- which never look wilted or brown around the edges- which I find is way too commonplace in the world of wing service.
We always pair them with these beauties. Real, crisp, cheesy potato skins. I’ve never tasted another restaurant potato skin that even get close to the quality of these. Simple ingredients cooked just right- I’m a sucker every time.
Ooh, and the Blue Fish always has fun, beachy cocktails on special too. I got a strawberry banana daiquiri. A real treat on a hot day. While we ate our lunch, I noticed how our little nook, filled with tatoo shops and bikini clad storefronts, is really coming up. The last time we were in town, this cute little ice cream and popcorn parlor was brand new.
They pass out samples of caramel
and chocolate popcorn too.
Both are soooo scrumptious. They also let you taste as many little spoonfuls of their delicious ice creams as you would like. They have tons of toppings
and home made cones too.
I am happy to see that Yo Mama’s Ice Cream and Pop’s Corn is thriving.
New to the corner,
Sandbar. Their daytime vibe reads very sports bar, but at night, they offer live music and boast a serious sound system. It’s a prime location, as far as I’m concerned, and I wish them much success. Just not so much success that our little corner becomes overrun!! Selfish, I know- but honest!
After a lovely morning and a yumalicious lunch, we headed off to the more populated Ft. Lauderdale Beach.
It was like Spring Break over there! Lots of folks playing on the beach, taking in the sunshine and the beautiful ocean.
Fabulous. We hung out at the beach until the sun began to set, watching the waves- and the people. Feeling very calm and lucky. And then we just moved up to a higher locale to embrace it all a little while longer.
Happy hour entertainment was provided by this gentleman walking on a tightrope
between two palm trees. So awesome.
Then, it was time to head back to mom’s to make dinner. Her plan to keep us out of the kitchen for the purposes of relaxation was completely foiled. We just couldn’t do it! We both get tons of joy from having our hands in food, so we had to see what mom had in mind. What hadn’t been foiled was her plan for simplicity.
On the menu: broiled lamb chops,
bacon roasted brussel sprouts,
and sweet potato fries.
This meal took a matter of minutes to pull together. The sweet potato fries are a frozen go-to trick of my mom’s. She lives alone, like many people do. And cooking for one can be a real struggle. It is helpful for her to have tasty items that come in resealable bags so she can pull out a perfect portion for one and cook it up quickly. Besides- sweet potato fries are really hard to get just right, in my opinion, so, the frozen option helps you nail it every time!
The chops, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic, only needed to broil for a couple minutes per side. And then, we just had to wait long enough for the fries and brussel sprouts to roast at 425 while the lamb rested.
The taste of lamb has a special sweetness that always makes me think of my Bubbie, as rack of lamb was one of her specialities. The brussel sprouts and sweet potato fries were perfect complements- offering crunchy texture and savory, bacon-y goodness. I think I may be a brussel sprout addict. It was a lovely dinner to end our first day at the beach.
Amazingly, there are still three more days to share. More beautiful ocean, more delicious eats. Next time, my friends.
Happy cooking and eating to you.