Food News

SpoonFed: Going Italian on the Secret Menu

Wearing black on black like the rest of the servers at SpoonFed, Vinnie the bartender looked young, but for whatever reason, he felt he had to tell me he'd just turned 50. "The new 35," he said. I never pay attention to age until I go to Delray Beach, where it always seems to come up.

"How can I take care of you?" he asked.

"Choose my beer for me?" I asked. "Nothing hoppy, thank you." Sam Adams Seasonal it was. 

I can't compare SpoonFed to the Pop Up since I hadn't moved to the area yet. But one thing is clear: Despite that the place hasn't been open more than a few weeks, the bar crowd is filled with regulars to the degree that they're coming back for multiple meals, be it breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. It helps that chefs trot into the dining room to say hello. The space is allegedly warmer than the PopUp, with an orange nubby fabric on dark wood chairs, a nod to industrial design for the railings, and playful lampshades like dangling megaphones. 

Vinnie suggested I wait until 3 p.m. for "The Secret Menu," ​on which pizza, sliders, and burgers are available for $8 or less, though selections change every day.

I had 20 minutes, and I was starving. I decided to go Italian with the wedding soup, then the Nonna's meatball sliders after the hour. 

The soup was unctuous and meaty with a silky broth cut by bitter greens. I told Vinnie I loved it. He told me the soup reminds him of his grandmother. (Of course it did.) Nonna's meatball sliders, though, were a bit boring. The 'balls were moist and flavorful, yet the sauce offered only a one-note, while cheese blanketed them like an afterthought. With little acid and lots of fat, it's a sandwich that didn't resonate with me, though sliders are so ubiquitous right now, I'm not sure any would. 

I'll chalk it up to my misorder. For delicious soup, an interesting menu, and solid service for lunch under an hour first round, there's incentive to go back.

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