As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011, coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
No. 45: Banana Praline French Toast from the Hurricane Cafe
On this end of the county, small spots like Juno Beach's Hurricane Cafe that serve three squares a day are peppered all over.
What sets this one apart, aside from the breezy ambiance, is a chef with chops -- Scott Philip - running it all. Named as one of the Great Chefs of the West before coming here a decade ago, Philip doesn't just put it out - he puts it out right.
And so his banana praline French toast is full of the refined produce a chef thinks about - flavor, texture and appearance that's consistent every time. Here you have fluffy triangles of bread, dipped in egg flavored with both vanilla and cinnamon, sweet, ripe bananas, and the buttery caramel sauce filled with the crunch of toasty pecans. A side of bacon and a cuppa hot joe and you'll forget you ever heard of egg whites.
Listen carefully - you could swear you hear strains of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with every bite.