If your mother ever told you to "mind your manners" when you were younger, it might bring back some interesting memories. Maybe you recall getting chastised for eating too fast, chewing with your mouth open, or belching at the table. Certainly, all things your adult self would never dream of doing.
You'll be reminded of these things when you arrive at Mind Your Manors, a new establishment that opened in the heart of Wilton Manors last month. Not because the name is a play on the familiar expression, but rather because it will be tempting to inhale everything in site, and you could be guilty of wiping up the last of what's left on the plate with your fingers.
Mind Your Manors is the creation of owner Bobby Del Campo, a former bartender at Fort Lauderdale's Ritz-Carlton who decided to take a full-blown leap into the industry by opening his own establishment. Alongside executive chef Josh Marlowe, the two have crafted a menu that delivers what they call hand-held comfort food, paired with a decent-sized offering of craft beers, and wine.
No stranger to working with food, Del Campo -- who operated his own taco place several years ago -- said he was simply waiting for the right opportunity to open his own establishment. Opportunity came knocking when the former Pinche Taqueria space at 2045 Wilton Drive became available.
"It was the perfect location for what I wanted to do," said Del Campo. "So I jumped on it."
Del Campo left the building's original red brick exterior untouched, as well as the two garage doors that expand the interior dining area onto the covered patio. It gives the space a hip, urban feel and an open atmosphere. The roaming, lacquered wood bar is perfect for people watching -- or happy hour. It begins under the covered patio where the restaurant meets the sidewalk outside, and meanders into the main dining area, the ambiance changing from al fresco to intimate in the span of a few seats.
True to Del Campo's vision, the menu screams American comfort food, arranged into lists for appetizers ($6.50-$10), sandwiches ($9.50-$17), burgers ($10.50-$14) and salads ($4-$8). Each dish offers a different way to do things, like hummus made with black beans instead of garbanzo, and bruschetta with smoked salmon, capers, sun dried tomato and lemon feta dressing.
"I wanted to open a place where everything on the menu is something you would want to order," said Del Campo. "And, so far, we've been selling everything."
That includes each of the four house burgers, a specialty blend of brisket, short rib and chuck. The MYM burger is the most popular, caramelized onion, thick-cut bacon, and melted brie served on a potato roll slathered in the house garlic aioli.
Even the sides present a taste outside the hum-drum culinary box. Hand-cut sweet potato fries come with a marshmallow dipping sauce, for example, conjuring up memories of Thanksgiving casseroles. Not that it will break the bank, but go for the $1 upgrade to your meal and try the tater bombs over fries or coleslaw, slender slivers of tender, shredded potato lumped into tiny torpedoes, and fried to form super-sized tater tots.
Mind Your Manors is located at 2045 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Call 754-223-2172.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.