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Best Chain Restaurant (2007)

Rosa Mexicano

There aren't a whole lot of good things you can say for rampant development in South Florida. But one quality-of-life improvement associated with those high-rise condos blocking your view of the beach is the arrival of the upscale corporate eatery. For as surely as the moneyed snowbird flies south, so does the better restaurant chain follow in her updraft. Goodbye, Olive Garden; hello, Seasons 52. Good riddance, Taco Bell; bienvenidos, Rosa Mexicano. Rosa was the first upscale Mexican restaurant in Manhattan, opened by the late Josephina Howard — who invented the tableside-guacamole phenomenon where servers dice and mash onion, tomato, peppers, and avocado into the dip of your dreams. The tables at this Palm Beach Gardens location are filled not only with bowls of guac and warm tortillas but also with pasilla chili soup, zarape de pato (pulled barbecued duck between tortillas), boneless beef short ribs, and baby goat tacos. This ain't one of those frozen-margarita-and-chimichurri palaces that have simultaneously wrecked your waistline and your taste buds.