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Pompano and Deerfield: The Locals' Food Mecca

We're in the thick of the Food Town Throwdown, in which West Palm Beach/Lake Worth is killing Western Broward and Delray Beach clobbers Fort Lauderdale. Want to weigh in for the results? Be sure to vote for your favorite neighborhoods.

I can't help but root for underdogs. Though it's already nixed, I'm giving a shoutout to the 'hoods with the second-highest number of votes so far. Pompano and Deerfield is a region I had underestimated until I gathered this collection of gems that amount to the best places to eat and drink, after the jump.

Have other suggestions for the area? If so, leave them in the comments.

10. Direct from Philly

ten-plus types of cheese steaks, choose from the classic with Wiz or

the not-so-classic Provolone. Soak in the gas-station surroundings, or

grab one to go.

9. Cypress Nook

for breakfast is among my favorite things, but those Germans have it

right by pairing beer with wurst for breakfast. Set in funky digs from

1958 and decorated with macrame, this cast of German characters will

serve you plates that hit the spot.

8. Dandee Donut Factory

Dandee Donut

Factory may bake some of the area's most delicious doughnuts, but it also

offers a slice of local flavor. From a boxed dozen doughnuts, the sour-cream-glazed are the first to go. Old-fashioneds are spongy and moist,

misshapen once

fingers make an impression in the round. Cherry crunch doughnuts are the

most popular, that neon-red round of delicious covered with nuts.

7. Brother Tuckers

expect mussels or other Belgian fare at this Belgian-inspired name.

Beer is the definer here. This homey hole in the wall is staffed with

the most

knowledgeable beer nerds in the area. It's home to a great jukebox too.

6. Sicilian Oven
Golden-brown crusts with moderate char cook at a slower

clip than coal-oven pizza, which translates to a chewy crust that stands up to artisanal ingredients.

5. Charm City Burgers

price of burgers -- $4.95 to $5.25 -- cooked under, right on, or hammered,

these burgers are ground to order daily. A favorite is the Big Fat

Greek with spiced lamb, feta, Greek

slaw, and tzatziki.

4. Whale's Rib
Since being showcased on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, seafood shack the Whale's Rib has enjoyed a renaissance as

Deerfield Beach's premier spot for ultrafresh seafood and cold brews.

3. Cafe La Buca

In a space no larger than a living room, tucked next door to a Publix,

is an Italian restaurant with only six tables and no set menu. Marco

Spina, his mother, and his sister cook and serve southern Italian

cuisine that changes daily. Make sure to bring your own wine.

2. Calypso

It's easy to understand why Calypso has remained a local seafood

favorite over the years. Island magic has been curing workday stress and

paramour blues in this Pompano Beach strip mall for years. Thankfully,

it's not going anywhere any time soon, wrote Jamie Long in her review of this place.

1. El Jefe Luchador

Chicken or rib-eye asada tacos are the most popular here, but pork carnitas (citrus garlic-braised pork

shoulder), barbacoa (braised beef brisket), or mushrooms and yam are solid seconds.

Toppings here are traditional yet flavorful: a ripe tomato and onion

medley, tart lime, cilantro, and queso blanco.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart

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