Monday, January 28, 2013

Flying Under the Food Radar


I wanted to take the time to share a few spots around town that for some reason continue to fly under the food radar despite serving good to great food.  All of these spots are reasonably priced and worth driving for.

CHAPULTEPEC- (Hallandale Beach)

Chapultepec is a Mexican restaurant and bar that serves inexpensive and authentic Mexican fare.  They serve the best tacos I've had in South Florida.  The tortillas are house-made and always fresh.  Tacos range from $1.50 to $1.99 and they usually have  several options available including carne asada, barbacoa, lengua, al pastor, chorizo and tripa.

I also recommend trying their Pozole, a pork soup Chapultepec style with cabbage, rabano, onions, chile en polvo and oregano.  This is full meal and only $5.99.

They also carry an array of familiar Mexican favorites including hard to find Tortas.

Chapultepec is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and until 4 a.m. on the weekends.  The main dining room has a stage area so they must have live music at night.

Two of my favorite tacos at Chapultepec are the carne asado and chorizo.

Another favorite dish of mine is their Menudo soup.  This is a Mexican style beef tripe soup with pig feet, hominy and a side of onion, cilantro and lime.

Chapultepec Mexican Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

It's located a block north of Hallandale Beach Blvd.  
(954) 456-0771

PANYA THAI- (North Miami Beach)

Panya serves some of the best if not the best Thai food in town.  Plus, they are one of the few Thai restaurants in the area that do not serve sushi.  And dishes are always properly spiced.

Panya is located just east of I-95 on 167th St. I've tried a decent amount of their menu and the only pedestrian dish I've had is surprisingly their pad Thai. Everything else has been spot on and delicious.

One of my favorite dishes there is the spicy Dancing Shrimp. Raw shrimp are served in a fish sauce topped with chili, garlic and lime juice.

Another standout dish is their really flavorful Larb Pork. It consists of a generous portion of pork with onions, scallions, rice powder and green salad.

The Fresh Roll is rice paper wrapped in bean sporouts, scallion, tofu, omelet, cucumbers and Chinese sausage.

Curry and duck fans will be very pleased with their wonderful duck red curry.

Other favorites include their papaya salad and beef jerky. Their extensive menu is littered with great dishes.

Panya is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Panya Thai on Urbanspoon

520 NE 167th St, North Miami Beach 33162
(305) 945-8566

PHO 78- (Pembroke Pines)

When I'm craving Banh mi, a Vietnamese sub, I head out west to Pho 78.  This no frills Vietnamese restaurant serves the best banh mi in town and their pho is good too.

I always start with Goi Cuon, a clean and light shrimp and pork summer rolls.

I also always order a  Bánh Mi Ðac Biet which includes grilled chicken, pork and fried egg along with the perfect combination of mayo, cilantro, cucumber, pickled daikon/carrot and jalapeño.

Pho 78 on Urbanspoon

7849 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
(954) 989-6770

CHEF PHILIP HO- (Sunny Isles)

I know, everyone knows about Chef Philip Ho and their great dim sum.   But not many know that their non dim sum dinner menu is equally good.  Thus, they are flying under the radar.  I must admit that I am a tad spoiled when it comes to Chef Philip Ho because I live within their delivery zone and order from there regularly.  The food always arrives just as hot as it does at the restaurant.  Very impressive.

This post is not about their extensive and delicious dim sum menu.  However, it should be noted that a lot of their dim sum is available at dinner and for delivery as evidenced by the pictures below.  Their non dim sum menu offers some unique dishes and everything served is fresh and "clean".  This is not an Americanized glop fest.

Phoenix Claws with black bean sauce is a must order for fans of the claw. 

Sticky Rice in lotus leaf is usually available ay night as well.

From the dinner menu, HK Aberdeen Style Silver Fish.

In case you are wondering, soup dumplings can travel.  

Some of my favorite dishes from the dinner menu are their noodle offerings.  My favorite is the chive and mushroom hand pulled noodles.  A very close second is the Singapore style rice noodles.  The shredded chicken vermicelli noodles are great too.

Stir fried snow pea tips with garlic sauce, salt and pepper prawns, scallops with pumpkin and okra, clams in black bean sauce, zucchini and fungus prawns, tofu with eggplant and black bean sauce and their special fried rice are also worth trying.  

Chef Philip Ho on Urbanspoon

16850 Collins Ave
Ste 106A
Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160
(305) 974-0338


If you are a fan of barbecued roast pork and haven't been to King Palace you need to stop what you are doing and head over now.  They serve an unreal version that you will be addicted to.  Their menu is full of very interesting dishes including marinated pig intestines, stir fried spicy dungeness crabs, stir fried silver fish, stir fried frog, duck tongues, steamed frogs with lotus leaves, boneless duck feet etc.

Why are you still reading this? Go get the barbecued roast pork. And don't skip the sautéed snow pea tips either.


Stir fried silver fish is a tasty treat.

King Palace Chinese Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

330 NE 167th St
Miami, FL 33162
(305) 949-2339


El Tamarindo may be the best bang for your buck in town.  They are located in a small strip mall just east of US 1 in Hallandale Beach.  They specialize in Salvadoran food which is primarily the meat portion of the menu and coal fired pizza.  The pizza from their wood burning oven is good and so is most of the menu.  i wrote a post about them when they first opened here and shortly later here so I will leave you with that.

El Tamarindo Restaurant & Coal Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

712 Atlantic Shores Blvd
Hallandale, FL33009


Cookeattweet said...

Thanks for the recommendations. What is the stir fried greens looking dish in the last Chef Philp Ho photo?

The Chowfather said...

That's the stir fried snow pea tips with garlic sauce. Great dish