Tap 42

Tap 42- 1411 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale                                      http://www.tap42.com/

Burgers, Fish, Salads, Bar Snacks and more…wash down with 42 Tap Beers, 103 Bottle beers and 50 Bourbons.”

I wasn’t due to write this story until I had been back a few more times, however, I felt compelled to give you my impressions of Tap 42 after reading an unfavorable review that appeared in a periodical which I highly regard for their food reviews.  It’s so very easy to be negative about a place, which is why I don’t do that in this Blog.  You’ll find out about a bad meal from people you know faster than reading a review. I don’t know the Tap 42 owners, but their advertised concept is to operate a Gastropub that serves a wide selection of craft beers to accompany a limited menu of “natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced” dishes. On the several occasions I’ve been there, I must tell you that they have succeeded. In the evenings the place is over-run with people who are happy to sit anywhere for an opportunity to chow down some pub grub and socialize with friends. Not every restaurant has to be fine dining, but you do expect that what’s served will be appealing and consistent.  I’d say they hit the mark here. So my advice is gather up some of your friends and park yourself at one of the indoor or patio tables.  You’ll want to begin by taking advantage of the impressive list of Tap & bottled Craft Beers. Not being a beer maven myself, I usually tell my server the beers I like and let them choose one for me. If beer is not your thing they also have a collection of 50 different Bourbons and other booze.  Now for some food.  In my group we pass around everything…even the soup. The not-to-be-missed, Cognac French Onion soup has the expected cheese, onion and sourdough crouton, but finishes with a surprising sweetness from Cognac and Vidalia Onions. Also good was the hearty Beef Barley soup. The Chicken Wings are a hit with four different sauces…I had the HOT sauce.  Next time in I need to try the Sopressata Breadsticks made with crème cheese, spinach, arugula, pretzel breadstick and cherry mustard. This just sounds so wrong, but I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame. For lunch you’ll find salads, sandwiches a burger and a few hotdog creations. Nothing is plain and all are unique. I recently had the Chicago Dogg (sic), a Kobe Hot Dog with house made slaw, red and yellow peppers and a Hot Pepper. Went down great with my Golden Monkey Beer. By the way, the burgers here juicy and the combinations are sinister…like the Three little Piggy…that’s made with a patty blend of pork & beef topped with slices of roasted pork, ham, pickled jalapeno, and provolone served on a brioche bun. Fish people can enjoy farm raised Arctic Char, which is flaky, light and can be ordered as a platter or sandwich.  And yes dearheart, there is MahiMahi on the menu.

I’m prone to like new restaurants that have taken the time to figure out who they want to be and carve out their niche. I’m pleased to report that the Miami Herald recently gave the Tap 42 a rating of three stars, Very Good. Any new place is bound to have some bumps and falls along the way, but at the end of the day it’s the customer who will decide not reviewers. I for one will be back to try some of the interesting food combos with a glass of  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale…if I can find a seat!

See more pix from Tap 42 at:  http://on.fb.me/wf3twM

© 2012 alanEATS

Sage Bagel and Deli

Sage Bagel and Deli- 800 E Hallandale Beach Blvd,
Hallandale Beach http://www.sagebagelanddeli.com/

They call them “appetizing stores.”  The Jews and the Italians and most other immigrants to this country have these types of places where the foods, flavors, smells and tastes of the “old” country and culture can be found.  New York City still has places like Zabar’s, Russ & Daughters, and Barney Greengrass, but 50 years ago these stores were commonly found everywhere in the Big Apple. I can remember my mother taking me into a small appetizing store in the Bronx and being overwhelmed by the sight of large Pickle Barrels (sour, half-sour Pickles & Pickled Tomatoes) and bins of nuts, grains and the smoked and baked fish. OMG…it was sensory overload. Today we have far fewer of these kinds of places. You see, it’s a generational thing, so as those folks who practiced the weekly ritual of sitting around the table with family for a dairy meal pass, so do these stores. The Sage is the closest I’ve found in South Florida that is able to keep those memories alive with an amazing selection of foods. Technically, a deli is a place that specializes cured and pickled meats and an appetizing store is where you’d find fish and dairy items. Even though Sage has “deli” in it’s name, they sell both. Once a month, my brother and I make a pilgrimage to the Sage to pick up our favorites. If you’re an appetizing maven and know what I’m talking about, you can stop reading here and start riding to Hallandale. Otherwise read on.

A trip to Sage has to include a purchase of Smoked Salmon, Lox or Nova Lox (less salty.) The whole Salmon is smoked locally and is sliced to order. The art is in the slicing and these guys are good. Paper thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth Lox, are perfect on a bagel with a schemer or just by itself. Lox can also be found pickled with onions and combined with cream cheese in a spread. The Baked Salmon is wonderful too. Look for the thinner fatty pieces. Herring is an acquired taste. I recommend the Herring in Cream Sauce.  This is NOT to be confused with the stuff you see in a jar at the supermarket.  No jar here…you order by the filet and its cut into pieces and packed with onions and cream sauce. The Chopped Herring Spread is also very good. White Fish and the smaller whole Chubs are available, however, I tend to go with the White Fish spread…could never deal with the small bones.  For hard-core fish enthusiasts they also have Smoked Sable and Sturgeon slices. There is so much more including a restaurant where you can enjoy a meal before or after shopping.  I liked the Rabbi Mann’s Blintzes with Sour Cream and a cup of coffee. Oy!

Memories are made up of all the wonderful times we have with family and friends usually over food.  You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy some of this stuff.  Buy some at Sage…invite over a few friends, have a nosh and make memories!

Click on the link for more pictures: http://on.fb.me/olEo2k

© 2011 alanEATS