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Golden Matzah Bowl Names the Best Balls in South Florida

The third-annual Forest Trace Golden Matzah Bowl was held March 22. More than 100 people turned out at the upscale resort retirement community to watch both local restaurants and individuals compete for the coveted golden matzah bowl prize. Also at stake were cash donations to the winners' charity of choice.

This year's theme was boxing. While you might at first think that's a weird theme for a matzah ball competition, think again. The boxing match referred to using a boxed mix as a base for the balls (as in Streit's or Manischewitz). Of course, the contestants donned boxing gloves and two of the judges were in the boxing field -- Sam Cohen, a former boxing manager and current vice president of

the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame and Matt Baiamonte, owner of the 5th

Street Gym. Other judges included Elaine Grossinger Etess, of the famous Grossinger hotel family; Sun-Sentinel food columnist Claire Perez; and Miami New Times food critic Lee Klein (read Klein's first-person account on judging here).

Entertainment included an organist and singer. Admission for residents and guests was a box of matzah ball mix, which were donated to WECARE, a Broward organization that

distributes food baskets to needy families for Passover.

Here are the winners from the Third-Annual Matzah Bowl competition:

Best All-Around: Ben's Kosher Deli, Boca Raton

People's Choice: Sage Bagels

(Hallandale Beach)

Best From Scratch: Josh's Deli

& Appetizing (Surfside)

KO Award - Best-Out-of-the-Box: Josh's Deli & Appetizing  (a newcomer/rookie competitor award)

Best of Broward: Toojay's Gourmet Deli

(various locations)

Oooh, It's So Good Award: Zinger's

Deli (Boca Raton)

Best Floater (fluffiest): Mo's Bagel & Deli


Most Like Mom's: Ally's Comfort Café


Chef's Choice: The Original Pastrami Club


Best From a Box: Sharon Locke (for jazzed-up packaged mix)

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss