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The Wind is Blowing, the Snow is Snowing but I Can Weather the Storm

December 14, 2008 by Joan Nova in Fotologue, Travel Retrospectives | 10 Comments

Please don’t hate me because I live in Sunny Florida. If you’re starting to suffer from the winter blues, join me for a moment as I show you my weekend stops: Mizner Park, the green markets (3), Vizcaya Museum & Garden, and Little Havana. It will remind you that better days are ahead. And, of course, I’m going to show you where I stopped to eat. No jaunt is taken that isn’t built around food!

Mizner Park, Boca Raton

Green Markets (3): Community Market, “The Girls”, “The Boys” (all Delray Beach)
I bought fabulous Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, yellow zucchini (did you ever see one?), pumelo (a very sweet cross between grapefruit and orange…about the size of honeydew melon!) and some artisan bread at the first stop. From there, we went to The Boys (an Italian market and produce center), and their sister store, The Girls, where you walk into a very cute country store and out the backdoor into a working farm/fantasyland with exotic birds, baby mules, ducks, etc. and the ability to pick your own strawberries, romaine, escarole, etc.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Miami: The former 180-acre home of industrialist James Deering built in the early 1900s to replicate the art and aristocracy of Europeans who lived centuries before him, particularly Italians, by either importing or recreating on-site. (Now owned by the City of Miami and operated as a historical meeting venue or destination for tourists.)
The back of the mansion which sits on Biscayne Bay.

And since this is a food and travel blog, here’s a glimpse of the gold china and the kitchen.

Little Havana, Miami: What’s a trip to Miami without a cha-cha-cha through Little Havana? 
Mojitos and chistorra (baby chorizo) at Casa Juancho (the grande dame of Calle Ocho). 
The Versailles, home to the Cuban community who meet regularly to discuss politics at the outside coffee window. It’s also a must-stop for tourists and visiting dignitaries and a gold mine to the owners. It is kitsch to the nth degree…huge, open 24-hours, sort of cafeteria-like in decor but with crystal chandeliers and etched mirrors.

Here’s an order of mariquitas for the table (fried plantains with mojo (garlic oil & lime juice) and my ‘pargo entero’ (fried snapper). 
And you cannot go to a Cuban restaurant without a ‘cafe cubano’ to end the meal…dark and oh-so sweet.

Hope you enjoyed this travelogue/photologue/foodalogue!
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Robin Sue says:

    Joan this is a lovely tour of where you live. I wish I could go to The Boys and The Girls too, you made it all sound so wonderful. Your photos are great, they warmed me right up today. Oh to have some fresh strawberries and produce right now! Thanks for the tour of your world. I love to travel even if it is from my desk!

  2. Núria says:

    He, he… you did it girl!!!! You are in my blogger reader :D :D :D

    It’s great to get some summer breeze from your blog… here it’s freezing cold… an unsual cold, cold autumn!

    Great pictures Joan!

  3. We Are Never Full says:

    beautiful! but i’m not jealous yet – ask me in about 6 to 7 weeks when i’m starting to curse the weather. i really do love the cold for about 3 months. once feb. hits, i’m done. but i can’t imagine being anywhere but here, bundled up around the holidays.

    i love that nuria still calls it autumn… i totally forgot it still is! only another few days left, but, yes, still autumn.

    i love the garden pictures in this post. repost this in feb. and i’ll be crying to ask you if you want a guest to come visit!

  4. Ivy says:

    Florida is really beautiful and if I ever visit the USA this is one town I would like to visit. The pictures are beautiful and thanks for the lovely description. We are having a very mild autumn here in Greece and all the trees are still green.

  5. Peter M says:

    I’m far, far away from being anywhere near this. The “Versailles” Cuban eatery gave me a good giggle…I guess Louis XIV loved Cubano food too!

  6. Maria says:

    What a great excursion you had! Your photos look great. I love Cuban food–went to a great Cuban restaurant in Manhattan last year with my sisters and cousins as a Christmas get together and it was fantastic.

  7. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Beautiful photos Joan! I love the gardens and the Cuban meal sounds delicious! I love living in FL in the winter!

  8. Bellini Valli says:

    I am feeling warm already Joan even though it is now down to minus 22 celcius with the wind chill. Brrrr!!! On a different note the door on my site is taken in Oia on Santorini. I was in Greece for 5 weeks 2 years ago and on the islands with my daughter.

  9. Pam says:

    I’ve never been to Florida but hope to change that someday…it looks beautiful! Great photos.

  10. Christine says:

    Lovely pics! Thanks for introducing the places you went on weekend.

    No, I’ve never seen a yellow zucchini before. :P

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