Tucked into a shopping center in Coral Springs is a Rock n Roll themed BBQ restaurant that the locals flock to when they want to get their “Heavy Metal” Q on. My twelve-year-old nephew is a regular and made me promise to try the Baby Back Ribs. Turns out this kid can eat a full rack on his own. What you get is St. Louie style ribs that are first smoked then liberally brushed with sauce and finished off on the grill. The meat falls off the bone and the sauce has that nice tang that you’ll happily lick off your fingers. We also liked the X-large Stack of Onion Rings with spicy Grammy Sauce for dipping. The well-rounded menu has many options for non-Q folks like hotdogs, burgers, chicken and fish. Causal, friendly and a no brainer especially if you live in the area.
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!