Unlike some of our Judeo-Christian brethren who apologize for their wrongdoings throughout the year and flagellate themselves accordingly, we Jewish people condense all of that into one depressing day of fasting, prayer and spending time with extended family: Yom Kippur.
The best part of this holiday comes tonight, on Yom Kippur, when at sunset we break the fast. This is often done with a spread of food that's typically associated with the Jewish people, like yarmulkes and a degree from Brandeis University. However, here in South Florida many of us are separated from our families, and might not have the bagels, the cream cheeses and the assortment of smoked fish available at a relative's home.
All Jewish and kosher restaurants will be closed to observe the holiday, so here are a few other, perhaps more surprising, recommendations for a place that will fill your grumbling stomach as the sun disappears over the ocean.
There is an unspoken closeness between the Jewish and the Italian people. Perhaps because we were relegated to similar New York City slums when we got off the boat in the early 20th century, or because our lives revolving around eating and fighting with our crazy families. Either way, Cafe Martorano has got a lot that Jewish people love: good meatballs, good gravy. Plus there's owner Steve Martorano, he's an entrepreneur (we love that) and looks like he can kick the ass of anyone who messes with him or his friends.
Many food trucks based themselves out of Miami and schlepped up to Broward as a favor. Not PS 561. Owners Aaron and Stephanie Merullo named the truck on behalf of the Palm Beach County area code and serve up an eclectic mix of all-beef and vegetarian hot dogs. The standard of excellence in the world of tube meat is the "Kosher" symbol. That means there's a greater chance of there being real meat in your dog, as opposed to the lips, nose and other tender bits you might find elsewhere. A hot dog is a fine way to break the fast.
The well known dive in Hollywood Beach offers great burgers, great chili and great views. It's a cheap, relaxing place to end the daylong fast and meditate upon the coming year. Plus, it's likely not too far from your grandmother's condo in Aventura, so there might be some whitefish salad in your future after all.
Deli is indeed one of the classic Jewish foods, and many a fast have been broken with mountains of tongue, or corned beef piled on rye bread. Grab a roast beef sandwich here in the afternoon and keep a sharp on eye on it until the sun goes down.
Gabose is the first Korean barbecue restaurant to have planted its flag in Lauderhill, which with each passing month is becoming more and more of a "Little Seoul" here in South Florida. There are plenty of hearty Korean dishes on the menu here to fill your empty stomach. Best of all is that the barbecue is all served family style, and that's what the holidays are all about.