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I'm a sucker for gourmet markets. Shelves stocked with flavored mustards, refrigerators filled with ripe cheeses, and wine racks lined with fruity vintages always make me want to picnic right in the store. You can pretty much do that at Grapevine Gourmet Shoppe and Catering (256 S. University Dr., Plantation, 954-475-1357), which is equipped with cafe tables for dining. (You make the choices, and the staff will serve you.) In business since 1975, this strip-mall market features fresh, prepared foods, such as salmon pie or brie and portobello mushrooms wrapped in pastry. Deli sandwiches include dill-walnut chicken salad and turkey breast with grilled apple rings and cranberry "splash." The Grapevine also offers cooking classes, gift baskets, and catering services. The best features, however, are the bakery, which makes a buttery apricot rugelach, and the gourmet coffee bar, where you can wash down those rich pastries.

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick

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