Delray Marketplace

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If you are looking for a fabulous destination to dine, shop, be entertained and people watch the Delray Marketplace can’t be beat. Since my focus as The Discerning Palate is food and dining I would like to highlight some of the restaurants that I have tried so far.

Avocado Fries
Avocado Fries

Cabo Flats is awesome! The food is extraordinary and not your typical Mexican. Yes there are tacos and salsas but they were fresher and better tasting than any I have eaten around town. Every bit of the food served at Cabo Flats is made in house which explains why it all tastes so fresh and delicious. The Chicken Mole takes two days to prepare and even the lime juice for the margaritas and other cocktails is freshly squeezed!

Mexican Street Corn
Mexican Street Corn

My husband and I started off with huge margaritas, fresh salsa, beef queso and delectable tortilla chips. The Cabo Queso is a creamy blend of white cheese with roasted peppers, Cabo cactus spice, ground beef and pico de gallo. The queso was so fabulous that we were eating it with a spoon. Both the salsa and the queso had just the right amount of heat to make you keep coming back for more. Next we tried a dish we had never heard of – Avocado Fries. No that was not a typo. Wedges of creamy avocado were coated with an ever so crisp panko crust and served with a Cilantro Roasted Garlic Aioli. Oh my! Crunchy, creamy, garlicky and sooooo yummy. Another appetizer that was so good it could have been dessert and we would have been happy was Mexican Street Corn which was truly a trip to flavor town. The grilled corn on the cob is seasoned with a chipotle lime spice blend, cilantro lime garlic aioli and topped off with cotija cheese. And just when we though it couldn’t possible get any better out came the Crispy Tuna Tacos. Yellowfin tuna, avocado, pickled onion, cilantro, tomato, mango dressing, lime juice and sesame oil served in a crispy wonton wrapper and anointed with shredded carrots. I could have devoured dozens and never tire of the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Que Pasta
Que Pasta

At that point we would have been happy to just have dessert but we wanted to continue our exploration of the Cabo Flats menu with two entrées. The Que Pasta and the Chimichurri Steak. The chicken was succulent and moist and along with chorizo, bacon, cotija cheese and cilantro, enhanced the penne pasta. The dish was enriched with a tequila tomato cream sauce. It was sort of a Mexican Penne alla Vodka, but better. The Chimichurri Steak was a real star in my book. Skirt steak that had been marinated in adobo was cooked to a perfect medium rare and topped with an herbaceous and garlicky chimichurri. And to round out the plate along with the steak was cilantro rice, seasonal mixed veggies and fried plantains.

By that point we were sufficiently stuffed but somehow we had to have dessert. And were we ever glad that we did. The Fried Ice Cream complete with a fire cracker sparkling away. The ice cream had a slightly sweet very crunchy exterior and a creamy cold interior and the whole thing was drizzled with strawberry and chocolate sauces and garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It was the perfect finish to an utterly amazing meal.
And as if the great food, wonderful ambiance, fantastic service and over 70 tequilas to choose from wasn’t enough to keep you coming back; Cabo Flats is very involved in giving back to the community. They have a non-profit organization called Cabo Cares. Now how is that for an amazing business?

Greek Salad
Greek Salad

At Apeiro Kitchen and Bar we decided that we wanted to enjoy the option of outdoor dining because it was a beautiful cool evening. I think that it would have been comfortable even on a sultry evening because they have many ceiling fans going, a cooling mist system and screening to keep the bugs away. We had decided to share a first course of Tuna Tartare with roasted tomato & basil salsa, avocado, toasted sesame, pickled red onion, radish salad but sadly our server informed us that it was not available. We were told that the chef did not like the quality of the tuna that their purveyor had brought which let me know that standards we high. So instead we chose the Greek Salad instead with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, and plenty of barrel-aged feta. It was a wonderful choice because the salad was certainly large enough to share and really quite full of flavor with a light Greek dressing.

Shrimp and Pasta with Arugula Pesto
Shrimp and Pasta with Arugula Pesto

For our entrées we ordered the pasta with shrimp, arugula pesto, oven-roasted tomatoes, cream, shaved parmesan and the 14oz. double cut pork chop with apple mostarda, roasted carrots and Tuscan kale. My husband’s pasta dish was fabulous! It was beautiful because of the many bright colors of green, pink and red; but most importantly it was truly yummy. My pork chop was amazing. In all honesty it was the best pork chop I have ever had. Cooked to perfection, juicy, enhanced by the apple mostarda and very difficult to stop eating until every last morsel was gone. The roasted carrots and Tuscan kale were a really great choice of accompaniments to round out a very flavorful plate. Although I am sure that their desserts are lovely, we were waaaaay to full to order any.

Pork Chop with Apple Mostarda
Pork Chop with Apple Mostarda

Apeiro Kitchen & Bar is a progressive Mediterranean restaurant and bar that features a contemporary menu inspired by the countries that make up the Mediterranean’s rich and diverse culinary culture. Apeiro, which means infinite in Greek, first opened their Delray location in January 2015 and is open for Lunch, Brunch, Happy Hour and Dinner. From Morocco and Italy to Greece and Portugal, the menu at Apeiro will take you on a trip through the Mediterranean.

Wedge Salad
Wedge Salad

I had heard very good things about Burt and Max’s so I was happy to finally be able to taste their food. The restaurant has a wonderful and varied menu which made our decision difficult, plus there were specials. We decided to share the wedge salad and it was soooo good. As you can see by the photo there was plenty to share. The plate was brimming with crisp, cold Iceburg lettuce wedges, nice big dice of thick cut bacon, beautiful, sweet little grape tomatoes, creamy, flavorful Danish Blue Cheese and crowned with pickled red onion.
For our entrées you will have to use your imagination for the photos because we devoured them before I realized that I had not taken a single shot of our beautifully presented plates. So grab the camera below and look through the lens.

My Camera
My Camera

First picture Steve’s dinner. He ordered one of the specials which was a 14-ounce Wagu beef rib eye. So what you will see with your minds eye is a lovely oval hand made ceramic plate topped with an incredible piece of Prime meat that is cooked to a perfect medium. Just slightly above this on the right is a metal cup with flared edges filled to the brim with roasted red pepper chimichurri that is a verdant green flecked with red. In the upper left of this dark brown glossy plate are batons of eggplant that are fried to a crispy, crunchy golden brown. Right below the fries is a crock that is practically overflowing with small orbs of deeply colored wood fired mushrooms. Immediately you would notice the varied shapes, colors and textures. And the aroma would draw you in and make you want to begin eating immediately.
Now that you have devoured Steve’s juicy, tender and very flavor packed entrée, go and look behind that lens one more to see what I ordered. I am a sucker for ahi, so when I saw it on the menu I didn’t need to look any further. What you will see is that the waiter has placed before me a white porcelain plate with a nice big swoosh of sriracha aioli on the extreme right of my plate. In the center is the star of the dish, coriander sesame crusted ahi. There are several slices of deep red tuna that is barely seared and these slices are fanned out center stage. To the ahi’s immediate left is a very colorful tumble of julienned Asian vegetables, pickled red cabbage, scallions and seaweed that is anointed with a sweet ginger soy dressing and sticking out of the upper left of this tumble of color and textures are a couple of crispy wontons. Now, I ask you, could wait to snap photos? I didn’t think so.

The flavors of all of the elements on my plate played so nicely together that it wasn’t until I had put the last bite in mouth that I realized I had forgotten all about the pictures. So please forgive me, but I can’t promise that it will never happen again. What I can promise is that we will return to Burt and Max’s in the very near future!

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Chef Sandy Axelrod has a Grand Diplome from “le Cordon Bleu” and more than 40 years experience cooking. She was owner and Executive Chef of Affairs to Remember Catering for 18 years with eventssuch as the Grand Opening of Saks Fifth Avenue at the Gardens Mall, opening parties at The Mall at Wellington Green, SunFest, opening season at International Polo and assorted private parties throughout South Florida to her credit. These days, in addition to writing a blog about food, restaurants, travel and life experiences at foodandfondmemories.com and writing cookbooks, she teaches private hands-on cooking classes and is a free-lance food writer and photographer. Now she is making her fabulous food available to those who either can’t, or don’t want to, cook for themselves & family. “Eating well is one of life’s great joys. I want to make good food available at a fair price with the convenience of delivery.” Her passion and love of food never wanes.