Thursday, April 30, 2009

Boca Raton

Boca Raton is an affluent town full of shopping centers tinted coral pink. BR is also heavily Jewish - yarmulkes abound. Adam Roberts of The Amateur Gourmet is from here, and I remembered that he made a post about a good bagel shop, a shop I was determined to visit since there's a dearth of good bagels in Tokyo.

Bagelworks is really yummy and good! It has a feel of an old diner, except filled with bagels and juice and lox. I got an everything bagel with cream cheese, and orange juice, and coffee. The sweet/surly old man clerk asked me how many sugars and put in the sugar and cream for me. I can't remember the last time someone did that. C. got a honey wheat bagel and liked it a lot.

We went again the next day and the guy remembered us, saying "Hi girls", and calling us hon. This time we got sesame. Really super tasty. Recommended. 8177 Glades Rd, Boca Raton.
I was also really excited to eat as much Cuban food as possible, and to drink Cuban coffee. We went out two nights to different places. The first place was The Cuban Café, which was casually upscale with a friendly host. The food was tasty, and the coffee was especially good. The second place, The Caribbean Grill (1332 NW 2nd Avenue ), was more of a dive. But I liked it more, and the food was better, especially the congris – Cuban style beans and rice. Yum! I could eat this with maduros and yucca all day. Washed down by batidos de banana o coco, and café.

Strip malls aside, the beaches in Boca are really stunning. C. has a beach access parking sticker that allows free parking at three local beaches (otherwise $15/day). I visited all three, as well as the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Center. The flora and fauna of Florida is so verdant and thriving, it was really a treat to check out so many things that I had never or rarely seen before, like gumbo limbo trees and curly-tailed lizards. A fist-sized frog hopped across my path my first night in Florida on its way to one of the many ponds in the area. Banyan trees are everywhere, and lizards of all kinds, and palms of course. Gorgeous.

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