Do you know the historic origins of your neighborhood and environs? It could be as fascinating as mine.
I took this tour 2 years ago and, happily, took it again when my friend Carole was visiting from Tampa. We were part of a group of about 20 who were informed, fed and entertained for 4 hours on this Taste Historic Culinary Tour.
Lori (the guide and director of the Lifestyle and Fashion History Museum) narrated the history of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach as we rode in an air-conditioned van to our first ‘culinary’ stop. The streets came alive with history from the primitive days before Ponce de Leon’s arrival in the 1500s … to the African slave settlers … to the 1800s when investors and developers (mostly from the midwest) arrived and began large scale development projects. Several have been honored with streets and/or cities named after them, e.g. Linton, Boynton, Flagler and Swinton, etc.
Feast Your Eyes
History sets this culinary tour apart from other ‘foodie’ tours.
That, and the opportunity to visit and try the food of some local, ethnic and smaller eateries that might not be on everyone’s radar.
A perfect case in point is DeeDee’s Conch and Rib Shack, a Bahamian family-run spot that serves up delicious conch fritters and ribs, among other things.
At each stop we were greeted by the owners (or managers) who provided their establishment’s history and a sampling of their food.
And some places, like Sweet’s Jamaican, offered a generous array of tastes.
We were treated to Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, goat curry, rice+beans and sweet potato pie.
Our next stop was Schaffers Tea Room, a hidden gem in a quaint former parsonage that is now a charming and fabulously decorated tea cafe.
This tiny tea cafe is environmentally and socially active in that it serves over 85 fair-trade teas/coffees and the only pure water on earth GOODWATER® in every drink — and they donate a portion of all proceeds. Besides beverages, they serve a full menu of food + desserts baked by locals.
Our next stop was Cabana El Rey, one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Delray.
Here we were met with mojitos (smile), a basket of mariquitas (plantain chips) and guacamole, as well as a triple serving of their most popular appetizers (jumbo coconut shrimp on sweet plantain puree, Cuban sandwich empanadas and ropa vieja (shredded beef) in a plantain cup.
We met the pizza maker at Scuola Vecchia …
Fortunately, now we’re walking and we didn’t have far to walk to the next stop … next door is Le Macaron, French pastries.
Our next stop was DIG (Doing it Green) for a trio of hummus.
And then it was the historic The Little House …
Our 9th and next-to-the-last stop was a brief introduction to the Boynton Beach library and to the artwork of Conrad Pickel currently on display.
Lastly, we visited Palermo’s Italian Bakery (Sicilian) …
where a table of pastries, cookies, breads and cannolis was waiting for us.
We were satiated — to be sure — but when the owner suggested everyone take one of their freshly baked artisanal breads home, we didn’t hesitate to pick up one of their semolinas and an eggplant parm stuffed bread.
Highly Recommended: The tour is a great way to spend half a day and is enjoyable for both locals and visitors. It fills your mind and belly — and is great value for the money. Pick up and drop off is at a public meeting point by a comfortable air-conditioned van which takes you to the first stop. There is some walking involved but the van meets up with you at some designated points. Places visited and # of stops vary. For further and more specific information, contact Lori at email@example.com.