Covenant House Florida

Since 1985, Covenant House Florida has provided a safe haven for homeless and runaway youth, including teen parents and their babies. The Fort Lauderdale crisis center never closes the door, offering at-risk teens food, shelter, and, most recently, on-site educational services and substance-abuse programs. Covenant House then strives to help these kids transition back into the world, including finding them work. Unfortunately, in many situations, teens arrive at the center with little to no belongings, usually just what's on their backs. So you can imagine in this struggling economy how difficult it might be for someone to find a job without the proper attire. So next time you clean out your closet, stop by Covenant House Florida, a place where donations will go to good use.

Sasaya Japanese Market

The Japanese Market is a great one-stop shop for people adept at cooking Asian food — but it's an especially excellent find for the culinarily challenged among us. A sushi bar in the back serves affordable nigiri, sashimi, and rolls that are too tasty and beautiful for their styrofoam plates. Then again, it's a humble joint, and that's part of the draw — you eat seated on dingy wooden stools that match the raw wood countertops overlooking the parking lot of the Gateway Shopping Center. The salad roll is a perfect weekday dinner — lettuce, tomato, avocado, and carrot wrapped traditionally and served with ginger dressing. Order a few pieces of nigiri to round it out. The market also has the traditional fixins — noodles, sake, and snacks in all varieties — even Kikkoman instant miso soup, actually quite delicious.

The gourmet frozen yogurt craze spread from Los Angeles to New York like a bad rash throughout the past few years, but it almost completely skipped South Florida — until recently. Within the past year, the self-serve frozen yogurt trend has grown to cupcake proportions — and it's not as though our climate doesn't warrant the late-blooming craze. Cream, on Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach, added self-serve to its offerings, and Orange Leaf opened on Atlantic Avenue. Yogurtland popped up in Coral Springs, and Yogurt Ur Way became a Las Olas fixture in a matter of weeks. Perhaps the trend sprang from the recession (you pay only for what you intend to finish), or maybe it's a product of body-conscious culture (you add only as much topping as you want). But whatever cultural phenomenon made the trend viral, it's a welcome epidemic.

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