Move Over, Mary | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Restaurant Reviews

Move Over, Mary

Moby didn't show.

But a six-foot Dorothy in gingham dress and ruby slippers did. And then there was a shirtless hunk on a bicycle, an aging queen with a toupee and a walker, and Mayor Jim Naugle and his wife. There were also several hundred gay men in varying states of debauch.

Sound like your favorite recurring camp nightmare?

Dorothy's Deli (1015 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors) threw its grand-opening bash on Sunday, dishing up vats of scrambled eggs and hash browns, warmed-over French toast, bacon, sausage, mimosas in plastic cups, and endless pots of coffee. Our press release had promised Moby would be spinning between the Vespa raffle and the drag show. So where was he?

"There was a little confusion about that," publicist Danna Can explained. "There's actually another Moby, who played with 'NSync and Bon Jovi. But he's famous too."

It turned out neither Moby was there, exactly, but that was pretty much OK with the revelers. And the scrambled eggs weren't bad, even if they didn't exactly showcase Executive Chef William Ludwig's culinary talents. It remains to be seen how Ludwig applies his four-star skills (he previously worked at Maxx and Mirada's) when the real menu rolls out salmon Florentine, Havarti omelet, Philly steak, and the hot barbecue beef brisket with cheddar sub. Apparently owners Dennis Bellehumeur, Garry Shultz and Tom Hormel -- partners and antique-car collectors -- know that when it comes to gay cafés, Wilton Manors is like I-95: You open a new lane and it fills up in no time. Dorothy's is the first step in an empire they envision expanding across the street, morphing that parking lot into a seafood palace.

They've revamped the Health Nuts Café, parking their collection of Caddies and Continentals outside, putting in plasma TVs -- tuned to Queer as Folk reruns -- and four new Macs. Customers can work the chat rooms while chewing on hot dogs. They've spiffed up the place with chrome deli chairs and dashes of pink, purple, and tangerine.

There's fresh air on the outdoor patio. It's breakfast and lunch only until January 1; after that, the liquor license goes up on the wall, doors stay open until 10 p.m., and they'll be serving "the best hamburger in town." Gasp! Them's fightin' words. With Hamburger Mary's just a short skip down the yellow brick road, they'd better get behind their beef.