Mar 20 2024

Coolinary & the Parched Pig

4580 Donald Ross Rd., Ste 100
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

A decent restaurant in a shopping strip that worths 4 but I’ve two strikes against them: seating us at the table right by the busy door for their outdoor service. And the table needs napkin at the foot to stabilize it. By the time we leave, the restaurant is still empty. #2, when ordering Pinot Noir, the server offers two choices. Since I don’t know any of the brands, I chose Oregon over California, as Pinot Noir is their thing. In my little experience with this kind of caliber, they’d offer me a taste, and they do, just not to me. The server returned and said, the CA one is drier. I ended up with CA, which is decent.

Modern decor with high ceiling, in dark hue. We get there a few minutes before 4, which is their opening time. Thinking we can ask if any openings for us. The staff inside remain inside. Finally when the host comes out, she said yes we’ve openings and will seat you once we’re open.
It was 3:56. Her demeanor made me think they’re fully booked …

There are few men in casual cloth inside the restaurant – who are they?

We’ve four small plates – in fact, they’re not small -:)
Corn – innovative
Tuscany fish bites – crunchy
Baked oysters – really good
Ceviche with taro chips – very good

All are delicious, and take the chip home – too much food.

Why do they serve the small plates all at the once? Our small table hardly can accommodate four plates. Is this an industry new norm – it has been this way for a long while.

Mar 19 2024

Helen Huang’s Mandarin House

2031 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, FL 33020

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Are the bell pepper mold or from cooking?

We planned to have dinner at Miami tennis Open but I didn’t realize (so me…) that I purchased qualifying round which means they close shop early.

We’re hungry. And found this Chinese, on the way to home with 4+ star rating. So Chinese it is.

Meter parking. Upon entering, the fish tank perks me up. At 7pm on a Tuesday, it’s empty. There is only one couple. The decor is dated and dark.

I see two women, one serves us and one is working around the dining hall, like
restoring or the like.

I asked if they’ve Chinese menu, she said no.

We’ve ma po tofu 麻婆豆腐and shredded pork Sichuan style. We’ve been sweating under the sun at the matches and wanted salt. The hot tea is soothing. (at bill time did I know it’s free, so is the rice.)

They’ve wine by the glass but I didn’t order which is rare. Something isn’t right.

Both dishes are sweet. Ha … And as we’re winding down and I’m picking on the last few strains of bell pepper, I see the mold. Horrified, I told the woman who comes to ask if we’ve done.

She is defensive and asks me if I know how to cook and the ‘molds’ are the birthmark of the wok.

“But they’re so tiny and concise, how could a wok make such marks?”

The woman goes away and returns with a container full of sliced bell pepper, raising her voice, “this is what we use. We don’t use moulded bell pepper…”

To be fair to them, I showed the photo to a few Chinese friends who cook, mold or cooking marks. Their answers, without knowing the above story, mold.

Oh well. What do you think?

Mar 19 2024

Venice Restaurant

911 North Broadwalk
Hollywood, FL 33019

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Will return.

Fresh flowers.

We pass by it every time we’re on the boardwalk – next to our hotel, and finally find time to come – breakfast.

Their white furniture looks more Greek than Italian. Regardless, it’s inviting.
They’re on the boardwalk, is busier than their next door neighbor.

As we’re waiting for our food, (which turns out to be 30 minutes) watching people and pigeons passing by, I notice a tiny neatly folded paper, perhaps sugar bag or a receipt in the creamer tray.
To write about this is anal, Chinese has an idiom for it: picking bone among eggs – nitpicks.

When we finally get our food, toasts, sausage links, bacon and eggs are cold, so is my home fries, large and small pieces and brown, which I like. My husband’s fries, however is super hot and tidy. Our next table came much late but gets their eggs fries right after us. Ok, let me be Sherlock Holmes here: after they cooked our eggs, bacon, links and done toasts, the last bit of home fries is only enough for my plate. So they make more – that’s why all foods are cold, except the tidy fries … how is my detective skill?

Mar 19 2024

Margaritaville Cafe @ Hollywood FL

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
1111 N Ocean Dr,
Hollywood, FL 33019

All because of a simple song, resulted in this all decked out restaurant, on the ground floor, inside the namesake hotel, which is on the Atlantic Ocean / N Broadwalk in Hollywood, FL.

Its name has a few variations:

  1. Margaritaville Cafe on the check
  2. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Google Maps
  3. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant on Yelp
  4. Margaritaville Restaurant on TripAdvisor

There are probably more if I search more…

Before off to Miami Open, we stopped by for breakfast. Here is my review:

It’s great for kids and groups.

We’re here at 9am and people started to trickle in.

It has a few sections, indoor and out, that looking out to one of their pools.

Our server has a big smile and complimented my purple hair highlight. She’s well prepared. At check time, she asks with a smile: room check or regular. I like the small detail she or management puts in.

We’ve smoked salmon and SW skillet: both are good. The slice of grapefruit isn’t freshly cut. I crave bagel but haven’t found one shop that makes as good as New York’s – perhaps due to the water?

Their portion is a little bit too large, and I hate to waste food – coming from Beijing before the economic boom, we were or at least I often went hungry. This little sentiment comes from the Smith tea bag, which was established in 1949…

Jimmy Buffett (1946-2023) was a prolific song writer who died in Sag Harbor on Long Island on Sept 1, when the foliage begins to turn and New York is at her prettiest.


Your legacy is preserved. And we’re well fed -:)

A simple song spawn an industry. Well done.

Mar 18 2024

North Broadwalk, Hollywood FL

Hollywood, FL 33019

… more pix & videos on Google Maps

The broad walk along The Atlantic Ocean in Hollywood is a very nice place to jog, to run, to cycle on the bike lane, or to the beach. The west side is lined with restaurants, such as Venice and Margetaville Cafe, and of course the shops, and the east side is the water. The promenade is pretty long. Below Polk Street, is the South Broadwalk.

Street, is the South Broadwalk.We’re there during the spring break, with many events going on, such as Miami Open, surprisingly it’s not crowded, with a hint of tranquility; unlike Venice Beach in LA, which is a turn off …

The beach is clean. The garbage cans are sand color crooks like flower pots (are they?). They power wash the sections of the walk. Every time I’m out there on the beach, I see police cruise on the beach on the sand wheels vehicles. A very relaxed area that I’d return again.

… the sunrise, March 20, 2024




Mar 18 2024

Hollywood Beachside Boutique Suites

609 North Ocean Drive
Hollywood, FL33019

The hotel is on N Ocean Drive and New York Street / Fillmore St. The compound is pretty substantial, 9 buildings and parking lots takes up the entire blocks on either side of New York St.

Building #7 and 8 are the closest to the beach. #3 is closest to the office. $12 for parking. They offer beach towels and chairs for free. Their office opens 8am-11pm. Daily maid service.

Our unit has a mid sized refrigerator and mini cooking top for simple need. Dish washing detergent is provided, with some pots pants and some tableware. One of the two wine glasses is dirty, unwashed.


Mar 18 2024

Hollywood, FL

N Broadwalk @ Fillmore Street

This year for the Miami Open, we pick Hollywood as our base, which is a very good choice. It’s a city with 153,067 (2020 census) residents, between Ft. Lauderdale to the north and Miami to the south, part of Miami Metro.

Our hotel Hollywood Beachside Boutique Suites is a few steps away from the N Broadwalk on The Atlantic Ocean.

According to the town: “Hollywood is home to more than 60 parks, seven golf courses, seven miles of pristine beaches, and the one-of-a-kind Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, a promenade that stretches nearly 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean.”

Mar 18 2024

Aruba Beach Cafe

1 Commercial Blvd.
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL 33308

… more pix and videos on Google Maps, Yelp Yelp repost & TA

It’s more than a cafe: a very busy restaurant with three bar islands and, at least two hostess up front.

On this Monday at 2pm, although we’re seated inside immediately but it’s packed. A live band playing Grateful Dead, before it takes a break or rest.

Outdoor section with deck and on the sand, needs a few minutes to be seated.

Two hostesses, the short girl (Asian?) shows us plenty white eyeballs, and the taller one is very gracious with a smile.

The decor isn’t too bad for a beach dive.

We’ve: crab cake and PEI Mussels: both are delicious. A few strains of veggies are tasteless (I don’t mind) but fresh. The garlic sauce for the mussels is heaven – heavy in oil. The only regret is the bread, it’s like hot dog bun, heavy and dead, otherwise I’d finished the mussel sauce. Yup, no one wants to take me out -:(

A small parking lot on site. We parked at the adjacent parking lot, $10 for up to three hours.


This is a repost of my original bc Yelp deemed it inappropriate: no specifics, and didn’t offer me a chance to correct – actually without a specific reason, I can’t make any correction, can I? The only change I made is to correct the type and delete the “Asian”: ” the short girl (Asian?) ahowws us plenty white eyeballs” to “the short girl shows us plenty white eyeballs.”
IF this repost stands, then the word “Asian” must be the problem. WHY?

___Below is the post – my genuine, first hand experience ___

Mar 18 2024

Vista Park

2851 North Atlantic Blvd gov
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

… more pix n video on Yelp

Two miles south of Ft Lauderdale on the Sea, this small park has limited pay-to-park parking spots. When we’re there on Monday afternoon, we see a couple of empty spaces.

Driving through residential streets, to get to the clean beach, which is pretty empty. People come here to dive and snorkeling too.

Mar 18 2024


Broward County, FL 33308, 33062

… more pix n videos pix Yelp

A lovely small beach town on the Atlantic Ocean, population 6,198 (2020 census). It’s 8 miles north of Ft Lauderdale, predominately white, 81.98%, (Asian 1.45%).

My diving master suggested: swim out from the beach (Datura Ave) for the shallow reef, which is about 16 feet deep.

Datura Pier