If you ever needed any proof that the recession is hitting the middle class the hardest, just take a spin around Coral Springs. The sleepy burg - once the ultimate destination for budding family units - is literally covered with the sad little shells of failed businesses, most of which are restaurants. One such casualty is Springs' former Macaroni Grill, which, since its closure nearly a year ago, has sat in disrepair collecting code violations from the City for failure to maintain the property. (Coral Springs code enforcement is a ruthless bunch.) But as I was driving by this weekend I noticed a couple dump trucks out front as well as a sign announcing the location would soon be home to a brand-spanking-new Benihana.
This is good news for West Browardites, whose only other nearby option for teppanyaki-style cuisine is the ageless and insipid Peking Tokyo. Plus, Benihana is, if its (rather silly) new advertising campaign is to be believed, a special place to eat.
There's no concrete date set as of yet for when shrimp will start being flung into open mouths with abandon; just leave your calendar open for sometime in early 2009.
-- John Linn