East China Kitchen
The single person and the takeout-Chinese restaurateur have an interesting relationship. With the barber and the mechanic, there's banter. With bartenders, there's chat. But with the Chinese takeout guy, there's not much to say. You order, "Szechuan chicken, hot-and-sour soup, and an egg roll. For one." He gives you the price. You arrive ten minutes later to pick it up. You each pretend that you don't know each other, but you do. You've seen each other before. Way too many times. This man knows your eating habits. It's a relationship as personal as the one you have with your drycleaner (the man who knows your truly disgusting secrets). At East China, conveniently located in the Hub Plaza near the Firm Fitness Center (targeting those who want to eat kind of healthy but are too lazy to cook), the food is fresh and prepared just for your order, perfectly flavored and cooked, piping hot and waiting to be consumed in front of the television. The portions are large enough to lend themselves to tomorrow's lunch. For those too lazy to cook and too lazy to pick up dinner, East China delivers within a limited area. But it's closed on Sunday, maybe because nobody eats Chinese while watching The Sopranos.
Greater+than+the+dim+sum+of+its+parts
Colby Katz
Greater+than+the+dim+sum+of+its+parts
Aroma is what is proposed, and aroma is what you get -- the endearing whiff of leek dumplings in the morning, the inescapable scent of turnip pudding, the rich perfume of chicken feet in black bean sauce, the steam therapy of pork or chicken buns. Don't get us wrong. We're not complaining -- we're rejoicing. All too few Chinese restaurants offer this quintessential, scintillating snack cuisine, and we're frankly just grateful that this shopping-plaza eatery does, not just for brunch but made-to-order at any time of day or night. The bonus is that Aroma lives up to its literal name as well as its implied one, Flavor. There is, of course, the stereotypical drawback: We're hungry five minutes after writing this item. But then, there's always the option of an early lunch.
In a rush? No groceries on hand? Don't feel like cooking even if you had the strength? Don't bother with the drive-through when you can just as easily hit up the King. Poultry lovers go forewarned with the knowledge that this takeout delicatessen in the Festival Flea Market Mall offers rotisserie fare that is neither chain-oriented nor mass-produced. In fact, there are so many options that it's difficult to make up your mind, unless it's to be healthy. From skinless fried chicken to balsamic-glazed chicken breast to spit-roasted whole birds, the King offers dozens of ways to keep your weight and cholesterol down without having to do the cooking yourself. But those who don't diet don't need to worry -- there's plenty of delicious chicken Parmesan, chicken-in-a-pot, and chicken cordon bleu to keep everyone on the home front happy.

>Where do I love Tea? Let me count on Lily's.

I love Tea to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach,

Which is usually up the staircase to Lily's finely decorated tearoom.

I love Tea freely,

Though I'll gladly shell out the $2.75 to $4.50 for a freshly brewed pot here.

I love tea purely,

But others might crave Lily's soups, salads, sandwiches, and quiche.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Darjeeling

Time flies when you're having tzimmes. This sibling to Miami's Rascal House celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, and Boca-ites couldn't be happier that the doyenne is still dishing up the cholent, brisket, matzo balls, and babka. Unless, of course, they've decided to sup on some corned beef-and-pastrami sandwiches, which are overstuffed enough to provide a second meal the next day. Throw some half-sour pickles and onion-pumpernickel rolls into the doggie bag and you've got tradition as well as value -- the very definition of a top-notch deli.
Remember how exciting going to the Melting Pot used to be? No? Hmm... well, fondue isn't exactly the most exciting food, especially for a meal that leaves your pockets empty. In the heart of Delray's Pineapple Grove sits Fásha, a hip, classy joint that wants you to know fondue isn't boring. Its menu includes fancy cheese fondues for any palate, from wild mushroom to Caribbean habanero chile. For the main course, dive into a delicious helping of mahi-mahi or chicken breast with mango dipping sauce. And for dessert, enjoy bananas and chocolate or a toke of apple-cinnamon flavored tobacco from a hookah. (Yes, you read that right.) Fondue just got a bit more exciting. Dip, baby, dip.

From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday, you can stroll into the Cheetah Room, sit down, and choose from a full menu of food. That's right, they got steak, pasta, pizza, and appetizers all for the taking. It's free, but alas, there is a catch: You have to watch beautiful women dance naked on the stage. We are willing to make that sacrifice, however, as much as it upsets us, just to be able to say that there really is such a thing as a free lunch.

Ernie's BBQ
Buffalo aren't endangered anymore -- they got ranches full of them out West. And their meat is not only tender and tasty but it's also good for you. Seriously. The American Heart Association has buffalo on its list of "Heart Healthy Foods" list. Why? Because it's tofu compared to beef, having 70 percent less fat, 30 percent more protein, and half the cholesterol. Bison is the other red meat -- and at Ernie's, you get a delicious burger, along with the requisite fries and slaw, for just $7.25. If you don't yearn for buffalo, eat something else. With a slogan like "Where conch is king, barbecue is a way of life, and the bar is open late," you can't go wrong at Ernie's, a long-time staple in the area.
If you're the type who's up with the early birds, sunrises aren't the only breathtaking vision to behold. This friendly eatery offers up two eggs, potatoes, and toast for $1.69, Monday through Friday, or for $2.10 on weekends. For the heartier cheapskates among us, turn it up a notch with two eggs, two strips of bacon or links of sausage, and two pancakes for $2.99 on weekdays, $3.40 on Saturday and Sunday. Offer to buy breakfast for a couple of friends here and you'll still get change back from a ten spot. Of course, if you want to indulge your frugal pleasures by your lonesome, you can take a seat at the counter. Sure beats dining on that early worm.
Once upon a time, a young man named Sindbad was wandering through the Everglades, lost and famished. Near collapse, he happened upon a tin can. He rubbed it to see if there was perchance food within, and suddenly the top popped off, smoke billowed forth, and a genie appeared. "I'll grant you one wish for setting me free," the genie intoned. "Falafel," the starving man croaked. Poof! Sindbad instantly found himself seated at Sawaf's, a plate before him crowded with 12 falafel, which, for the genie-less, costs $4.99. They were sorely large and of a deep golden brown. He bit into one and discovered it to be crunchy on the outside, moist and spicy on the inside. Just then, a waiter placed before him tahini, pita bread, and a heaping plate of olives and green peppers. "From the genie?" Sindbad inquired. "No," the waiter replied, "we always include these with an order of falafel."

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