This week one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite craft beer and casual food concepts is turning 1.
Hot and Soul has made it through its first year in business.
To celebrate, we chatted with chef/owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy about their favorite food and favorite place to eat (hint: it's close to home).
This is the second of our two-part Chef Q&A with them.
Clean Plate Charlie: What would you like to see more of in Broward and Palm Beach?
Samoy: Good authentic Mexican food. Great Asian restaurants. Good Asian markets east of 441. Great ethnic fast-food restaurants with the steam table setup where you just point to your food and they pack it up for you in front of you. Craft beer in every bar, restaurant, grocery store, and convenience store. Cool independent coffee shops that are not hard to find and don't treat people like idiots if they don't know what shade-grown coffee is. Because we have a beautiful area and beautiful people, and while
there are lots of cool places that are open and will be opening, we could always use
Hampton: First of all, I'm superexcited that the craft beer revolution is in full swing here in Broward. And I especially love bars and restaurants that only serve craft beer. It takes a lot of courage to do that. Laser Wolf and DBA come to mind. I hope to see more and more interesting restaurants pop up over the next few years. It's certainly happened in Miami. Blue Collar, for example, is amazing. So, yeah, more small independent restaurants. Which reminds me; I totally have to get over to Hardy Park Bistro!.
Where do you like to eat when you're not working?
Samoy: Anywhere with good food, big water glasses, and comfortable tables and chairs. Mike will have already specified the restaurants we like, so no need to reiterate. I am always tired. My favorite place to eat is on my couch, feet up, watching
TV, but it's not convenient to lug the couch into the back of the Mini and ask a restaurant
if we can bring the couch in and place it in front of their TV. That would be a dream,
Hampton: Here's some of my faves: Blue Willy's, Sybarite Pig, Khong River House, Gabose Korean, Panya Thai, Momi's, Burger King, Levy's Kosher, and DBA. Burger King was a joke. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
What are your favorite types of cuisine?
Samoy: The easier question would be what are my least favorite types of cuisine, and the answer would be the ones that I haven't experienced yet. I love pretty much all Asian and Hispanic. I could (and I do) eat Asian rice and noodles every day. I guess my favorite types of cuisine usually have some kind of roast pork dishes -- although I love Levy's Kosher of Hollywood. I just love food of all kinds.
Hampton: All of them! But I've lately been in the mood for Ethiopian and authentic Szechuan. Unfortunately, those things don't (to my knowledge) exist around here. One of the things I miss most (besides my friends) about San Diego is awesome Szechuan.
What have the two of you been working on lately?
Samoy: As we are going into our second year, we are going to be changing things here and there, but hopefully keeping the same soul that we opened the place with. We are hoping to do more fun events in the future like special dinners and cooking classes. We also want to start offering bottles of our sauces to take home and enjoy.
Hampton: Well, this week marks one year since we've been open. And we are very proud of that. This has been the hardest, fastest, amazing, and rewarding year of my life. We're so lucky that we have such adventurous customers that let Christy and I do whatever we want creatively. And we're superexcited for year two!
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.