John Linn

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2012

    Cigar City Tasting Event is February 23 at Puccini's Pizza in Delray Beach

    ​If a beer with your pizza is good, many beers -- and of a wide variety of 'em -- is even better. The upcoming Cigar City Brewery Night will see the Florida craft brewer invading the newly opened Puccini's Pizzeria in Delray Beach for one night. The event blends together several of the standbys of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2012

    Five Beers for a Florida Winter

    "It's weird that so many people are drinking stout in winter here, but they do," said Jake, the manager at Tap 42, during one of several visits this past month. It's natural to crave big beers during the cold weather. Yet we're absolved from the cold and still, Florida sees brisk sales of winter bre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2010

    100 Favorite Dishes: Prosciutto Roma Sub From My Market

    John Linn​ As a countdown to the Best Of Broward Palm Beach 2010, coming in May, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2010

    Crawfish Back in Season in South Florida

    John Linn​That's right: Crawfish are back in season. Just in time for the Super Bowl.While mudbugs have no official season like lobster or crab, they typically are best when eaten spring through summer when they are the largest. But many restaurants begin packing in on the fresh buggers as early a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2010

    The Secret to Crisp, Homemade French Fries

    ​This weekend I decided, in the spirit of the conference championship games, to bust out my rarely-used deep fryer and have a sort of hot oil bru-ha-ha. After all, what goes better with football than fried food? (Hmmm, maybe I can think of something.) So I called up the gang and had them come over ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2010

    Order Up: Corner Café and Brewery

    John LinnCorner Café's slow-braised lamb shank with root vegetables is a hit.​This week in Dish, we look at Corner Café and Brewery in Tequesta, a brewpub and restaurant that serves homespun dishes with international flair. Here's an excerpt from the review:

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2010

    Where Are We Eating?

    John Linn​ This quirky, roadside eatery is a fun lunch and breakfast spot. But in back of it is a small parking lot with a blue painted driveway and interesting artwork hung along the fence. It's one of the more original parking lots we've found in South Florida, which makes a great compliment to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    Doggie Bag: This Week in Charlie

    John LinnA super perro from Los Perros in Lauderhill.​This week on the blog:Here's a sauvignon blanc that actually lives up to the name.Tired of brownies? (Are you crazy?) Then try its little sister, the blondie.We kicked off our 100 favorite dishes of Broward-Palm Beach this week, which will run ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    Beer of the Week: Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine-Style Ale

    John Linn​Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer you'd like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2010

    Dish Deconstructed: Spinach Frittata

    John LinnA slice of spinach frittata crowned with a dollop of creme fraiche.​ There's no simpler breakfast than the frittata. Sure, it's got a fancy ass name and eats like a $15 brunch item, but making a decent frittata is no harder than whisking a few eggs. Best of all, a great frittata is like a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2010

    Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Extra Ale

    John Linn​Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer you'd like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    Superlative Veggie Burger at J. Alexander's

    John LinnEven better than the real thing?​It's hard to find a decent veggie burger. Many have a fall-apart texture and odd ingredients, others are dry and flavorless. But the veggie burger at J. Alexander's, the Nashville chain with a few locations around South Florida, is actually very, very good ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2010

    Order Up: LOLA Restaurant and Ultra Lounge

    ​You can't swing a bag of botox around South Florida without hitting an "ultra lounge." The whole nightclub/restaurant concept has become so pervasive that it seems there's one opening (and closing) almost every week. Although the idea of signature drinks, clubby atmosphere, and party food is a go ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2010

    Dish Deconstructed: Chimichurri Steak

    John Linn​ Some steak sauces claim they're "how steak is done." But in my opinion, no steak sauce is better than chimichurri. With fresh herbs, garlic, and citrus, nothing brightens up the bold, earthy flavors of a steak quite like it. Not to mention it's totally easy to make.

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2009

    More Worthy 'Cue Out West: Art's Barbecue in Coral Springs

    John LinnThe ribs at Art's Barbecue are smoky and succulent.​ A rib dinner at Art's Barbecue in Coral Springs comes with two sides, cornbread, and a half-rack of tender ribs mounted on top of two pieces of white bread. The ribs sported a slightly pink smoke ring and had a the sort of soft-but-firm ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2009

    Dish Deconstructed: Fesenjan

    John LinnFesenjan with long grain rice.​I first wrote about the Persian dish fensenjan in a review for the now defunct Darius Palace in Fort Lauderdale. The slow-stewed walnut and pomegranate dish that Darius served reminded me of a version I used to enjoy at a childhood friend's house. After an a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2009

    I'm Eating What?! Idaho Spud Chocolate Bar

    John LinnWeird, old-timey candy? I have to try it.​When I first saw an Idaho Spud bar in a convenience store in Grand Junction, Colorado, I had to try one. The concept was just so old-timey, so quirky and kitschy-cute that I had to have one. On the side of the brown wrapper a tag line was written ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2009

    Doggie Bag: This Week in Charlie

    John LinnTwo hungry dudes take on "the Appetite of the Beast" at Rock 'N' Roll Ribs.​What went down on the blog this week:This is what America is all about: Liberty and cheap wine for all.How to bake halibut so delicious and easy a caveman could do it (damn you, Geico). Lindburger's is like a fami ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2009

    Rock 'N' Roll Ribs Debuts in Coral Springs

    John LinnThe hand-painted "open" sign is suitably rock and roll.​ Coral Springs' newest Rib joint, Rock 'N' Roll Ribs, finally debuted last Thursday night, and boy, was it ever rockin'. The place was packed on Friday night -- the sizable party I was with had to wait for a table for nearly 45 minut ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2009

    Lindburgers: Just Like Grilling in the Backyard

    John LinnLindburgers' Delray Beach burger comes with grilled onions, mushrooms, and bacon.​A burger at the Florida chain Lindburgers tastes just like what I remember from backyard barbecues growing up. The meat is charred all over, which, back then, was the result of wind and flare-ups and the ama ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    Order Up: Usmania Pakistani Restaurant

    John LinnThe Pakistani dish haleem is a thick, meat porridge.​You can try a lot of unique ethnic dishes at Usmania Pakistani Restaurant in Plantation, the subject of this week's dish review. One of my favorites was nihari, a spicy stew filled with shredded beef shank. You squirt lemon on the thick ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2009

    Mo' Po', Mo' Boy -- Local Poor-Boy Shacks to Honor the Preservation Fest

    John Linn​The poor boy is the kind of sandwich you can't honor in just one meal. It's a hoagie fit for eating standing up in the street, hovering over a bar with a beer, or straight from the fridge to chase away a hangover. So, as an ode to the Po-Boy Preservation Festival, here are a few local jo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Green Papaya Vietnamese Cuisine in Coral Springs

    John LinnThe "BBQ" pork chop dinner at Green Papaya in Coral Springs.​For a fun, casual take on Vietnamese, Green Papaya Vietnamese Cuisine in Coral Springs is a great deal. The above dinner is called a Hau Giang "barbecue pork chop," but is actually a breaded piece of pork loin that's been seared ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2009

    Order Up: Texas Hold 'Em BBQ

    John LinnTexas Hold 'Em's black barrel smoker still churns out thick waves of smoke, but in a different location.​ This week in Dish, we take a look at Texas Hold 'Em BBQ, that recently relocated Fort Lauderdale smoke shack. Now on Seventh Street downtown just a block from the Andrews Avenue Publ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2009

    Dish Deconstructed: Lobster Risotto

    John Linn​Pictured: Lobster risotto with asparagus tips. Lobster: Poach two whole Florida lobsters in water along with celery, onion, carrot, and lemon. Once lobsters turn red (about 15 minutes), remove and extract tail meat. Add shells back into pot and allow to steep for 45 minutes. Strain and r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2009

    Swanky's Low and Slow Barbecue Serves Nomadic Artisan Street Food

    John LinnSwanky's tops its pulled pork sandwiches with red cabbage and green apple slaw and smoky pork shoulder that's been cooked for 30 hours.​ Aside from the occasional hot dog, it's difficult to find food served from street carts in Broward or Palm Beach these days. But the pulled pork sandwic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2009

    Beer of the Week: Delirium Nocturnum

    John LinnPink elephants dance in your brain.​Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2009

    Dish Deconstructed: Steak and Egg Burger

    John LinnThis burger combines a meaty steak patty that has texture and bite with a buttery croissant and fried egg. It tastes just like a steak and egg breakfast.​ Pictured: Steak and egg burger on a croissant.Burger: One pound of sirloin steak, fat left on. Chop into one inch cubes. Place in food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2009

    Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale

    John LinnThey say it's your birthday...​ One of the reasons I really love homebrew is the chance it gives you to learn what individual beer ingredients taste like. Make enough brews with centennial hops, and you start to detect its bitter citrus flavor when you taste a beer. If you add chinook or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2009

    Order Up: Bamboo Fire Cafe in Delray Beach

    John LinnCurried golden crab at Bamboo Fire Cafe is messy but flavorful eating.​ Do me a favor: take a look at that plate of curried Florida golden crab pictured above and imagine a scenario in which you can eat it and stay clean. Then I'd like you to please share your findings with me. Because ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2009

    Order Up: Mustard Seed Bistro

    John LinnOne of Mustard Seed's signature dishes is the roasted duck with cherry gastrique.​ On deck this week: our review of Mustard Seed Bistro, a quaint French-inspired eatery in Cooper City. It's the product of Tim and Lara Boyd, a pair of restaurateurs now in their second location since sellin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2009

    Dish Deconstructed: Spiny Lobster Enchilladas

    John Linn​ Pictured: Spiny Lobster Enchilladas with sherry chili sauce.

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    Beer of the Week: Brooklyn Lager

    John Linn​ Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer you'd like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2009

    Dish Deconstructed: Hu Tieu Xao Ga

    John Linn​ Pictured: Stir-fried rice noodles with chicken and asparagus (hu tieu xao ga).Chicken: Salt. Pepper. Fish sauce. Soy sauce. Rice wine vinegar. Olive oil. Hot pan. Sear.Noodles: Blanch.Asparagus: Salt. Pepper. Olive oil. Saute. Finish: Hot wok. Vegetable oil. Noodles in. Fish sauce. Soy ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2009

    Beer of the Week: Big Bear Brewing Co.'s Witness

    John LinnWit beer understands you -- it also sweats in the sun.​ Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all abo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2009

    Burger?! of the Week: Big Bear's Bistro Burger

    John LinnSo messy, so greasy, so good.​ A serving suggestion for our Beer of the Week, Big Bear's Witness: In June, we named Big Bear's bistro burger the best piece of ground meat between two buns in South Florida. Why? Well, you can read about it here, but essentially, it's a perfect combination ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    The Dutch Pot Overfloweth

    John LinnGet used to lifting fork to mouth at the Dutch Pot.​ I've been really digging me some Jamaican food lately, so it's a good thing that South Florida houses so many islander restaurants. Two weeks ago, I mentioned Kelsie's Place on Sunrise as a great place to get fast, cheap Jamaican classi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2009

    Beer of the Week: Red Seal Ale

    John Linn​Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer you'd like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2009

    Improvising With Leftovers - Bok Choy Quiche

    John LinnQuiche in a skillet - now that's an interesting idea.​One thing I can't stand is having extra ingredients go bad in my fridge. Last week, I was in Oriental Square, a Chinese Market in my neck of the woods that has amazing deals on produce. I buy all types of fresh vegetables and herbs the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2009

    Jamaican Soul Food in a Hurry at Kelsie's Place on Sunrise

    John LinnJerk chicken at Kelsie's Place is exceedingly tender and only slightly spicy.​The drag along Sunrise Boulevard east of I-95 is really in a bad way these days. Almost everything is out of business or vacant, except a few automotive-related businesses and a handful of chain restaurants. It' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2009

    Wild Hog Barbecue at Rufus Ribs

    John LinnA meaty scrap of hog ribs coated in Rufus' sauce. ​ A friend of mine lives a block away from Rufus Ribs, a road-side barbecue trailer with an outdoor smoker in Boynton Beach. He's there pretty much every week, gobbling down styrofoam containers full of meaty spare ribs and pulled pork. Bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2009

    Coming Attractions: Taurus Steakhouse

    ​Every week in Coming Attractions, we give you a taste of what's on deck in our Dish review column. This week, we take a look at Taurus Steakhouse, a Peruvian-style Parrillada in Tamarac.Anyone with a modicum of skill can take a dry-aged, 24 oz. prime rib eye and render it edible; that the chefs a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2009

    Upgrading the Roast and Sausage Po-Boy

    John Linn​I'm a sucker for po-boys of all types: hulking sandwiches filled with fried catfish, oysters, and shrimp, and beefier equivalents stuffed with sopping wet roast beef or hot Italian sausage. No matter the filling, I prefer them served with crusty French bread and gobs of spicy remoulade, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2009

    Destination Food: My Market's Prosciutto Roma Sub

    John LinnA little bit of perspective. Click any pic for a high-res version.For years we've praised the deli counter sandwiches made at Fort Lauderdale's My Market, a convenience store/bodega with a thriving sub shop attached. And for good reason: each of the fifty-some varieties are made with bread ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2009

    Screw Jimmy Dean: Homemade Breakfast Sausage You'll Flip Over

    John LinnSaturday I was wandering around Publix looking for sundries for a Father's Day brunch I was having at my place for my girlfriend's father. He's a real dad's dad: He enjoys motorcycles, power tools, target shooting, good booze, and, of course, meat. So whatever brunch I put together had to i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2009

    Signature Drinks Pack a Punch at YOLO Restaurant & O Lounge

    John LinnThe O Lounge is classy, dark, and sultry all at once, a classic environment for a cocktail. While I'm far from the martini-sipping type, I can respect the breed. Powerful types and their wanna-bes, cavorting and carrying on, stemmed glass hoisted in one hand saying loudly to the world, "Bri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2009

    Putting Kindai Tuna to the Test at Seminole Coconut Creek Casino

    John LinnLook closely... Mini Kiss looms in the background.A few weeks ago, Clean Plate Charlie reported that the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino would bring in a special catch, a whole loin worth of ultra-expensive and rare Kindai tuna, that it would sell as a special at its Thursday- through Saturda ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2009

    Destination Food: Rufus Ribs in Pictures

    A couple weeks ago, New Times featured a review on Rufus Ribs, a roadside BBQ trailer in Boynton Beach serving some mean 'cue. As an addendum to our review, check out this visual display of what Rufus has going on under that big, iron smoker. Click on any picture for a high-res version.

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2009

    The Friday Martini Weekly Wrap-Up

    Man, I need a drink. Sure it's noon and I haven't even had breakfast, but what with the restaurant delays, Calle 8 hangover, and John Linn's beer coverage, it just seems like the right thing to do. Get the details on what's gone on this week with the Friday Martini Weekly Wrap-Up.

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2008
  • More >>