Restaurant Reviews

Mark Bittman Follows Up Taste With Bamboo Fire -- Second Time's a Charm

Bamboo Fire -- which we yesterday named Best Caribbean Restaurant in South Florida -- finally got that visit from food writer Mark Bittman. His review of the mom and pop, posted on his blog, is glowing and sincere. Score one for the home team.

In case you didn't follow, Bittman popped down to South Florida last week and posted a review of an "anonymous" Delray Beach restaurant, which he flogged thusly. That restaurant turned out to be Taste Gastropub, one of Delray's newest, courtesy of Chef Allen Susser. But in the piece, Bittman laments that what he and his buddies really wanted to try was a "funky Caribbean" restaurant, which ended up being closed the night he went. That place was Bamboo Fire. Bittman luckily returned the following Friday. His review is the result.

The only point of contention I'll raise with Mark is this quote:

"In fifty years of visiting elderly people in south Florida, Bamboo

Fire is the only place I have eaten outside of Miami that I could

heartily recommend." While that maybe says something great about Bamboo

Fire, it does say a lot of not-so-great about South Florida dining.

For the record, I don't agree with Bittman here -- there are a lot of restaurants here that I wouldn't miss in a thousand lifetimes.

Just, in my opinion, not many come in the same sort of fancy

packages you'd expect in other big restaurant cities. Most of the great

here is small, modest, and charming. Too bad not everyone gets to see


This is the land of misfits and rebels, after all. Why shouldn't our restaurants be the same?

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John Linn