Openings and Closings

Restaurant News: Big Al's Opens in Palm Beach Gardens, Rocco's Taco's an Official Hot Spot, Stick a Fork in Mambo Italiano's?

•    The cheesesteak empire of Big Al Costilo and sons just got a little larger with the debut of the fourth local Big Al's Steaks (11290 Legacy Ave., 561-866-7516) in the Legacy Place complex in Palm Beach Gardens. Along with the eatery's true-to-Philly cheesesteaks (thin-sliced ribeye, Philadelphia bread, Cheez Whiz), they've added Haagen-Dazs shakes and bottled beer to be served in a 2,700-square-foot, mural-bedecked space that seats 66.  

•    Well, it's official, as anyone who's tried to squeeze into the bar at Rocco's Tacos can tell you. The West Palm Beach slinger of tacos and tequila was named one of the 50 hottest restaurants in the country by reservations maestro Open Table, the result of more than seven million reviews of more than 12,000 restaurants submitted by Open Table diners. Just try getting a margarita there now. 

•    In the Uh-Oh Department, the future of Clematis Street's Mambo Italiano's

is looking just a little shaky. The windows of the West Palm eatery are

papered over and a sign reads, "temporarily closed for maintenance"

(though they can't spell "temporarily"). In the restaurant game, this

either means "temporarily closed for maintenance" or "stick a fork in

me, I'm done." The phone is still connected, though all you get is a chirpy

voice saying, "We're not in right now, but leave a message and we'll get

back to you." Good luck with that, as the message box is full. Between

fork and maintenance, I think fork is a pretty safe bet.

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Bill Citara