Once again I attended New Times Broward Palm Beach Pairings event at the Broward Center for Performing Arts in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Per their press release, the event invites you to “Enjoy live entertainment, flavorful cuisine from South Florida’s best restaurants, fine wine pairings, complimentary beers and signature cocktails — all in one evening with one ticket.”
Since last time I was given the VIP treatment, I thought it would be interesting to see how the mainstream rolls.
Here is what you need to know for general admission. Get there early. Depending on how you buy your ticket will decide how many lines you have to wait in so it is worth it to check that prior to purchasing to avoid having to wait in will call. Once I had my tickets in hand, I went to the back of the line for admittance.
Did I mention get there early?
When they say the doors for general admission will not open until 7:30. They mean it. When the time came, they were promptly opened and the line did move at a steady pace. Soon I was in, or rather out, since the festivities begin immediately in front of the Broward Center with several vendors located just steps from the event entrance. You just pick up your glass and off you go. No worries about which direction to venture as there are signs pointing you to the food. Where there are tasty bites, there is also drinks because after all, this is a pairings event which means there are all different kinds of alcoholic choices to give more bite to your bite.
The thing that is great about these kinds of food events is that you get an opportunity to sample a variety of restaurants and food that you might not ordinarily get a chance to. Happily, there really was a very diverse selection of nibbles to indulge in. All food groups were present, cow, pig, chicken, fish and vegan 😉
My absolute favorite was the braised grass-fed Beef Cheek from Market 17. Growing up in an Italian family, there is not a lot of any animal that I haven’t tasted. After all tripe was severed several times a year in my mom’s kitchen. But I can honestly say I never knew that the cheek was even an option. Let me tell you, it was the most delicate piece of meat I have ever had the pleasure of placing on my tongue. A close second was the Octopus from Thasos.
As always some vendors will go out of their way in the representation of their restaurant. Points go to Agave for having the most creative booth.
For the sweetest of endings there were several choices to choose from,
but honestly, can you beat a home-made Crêpe prepared in front of you?
Music from various DJ’s were playing in each area as well as Jon Sax strolling around with his sleek look and smooth sounds from his saxophone. Magic 102.7 gave you the chance to spin to win.
All the good vibes got you feeling charitable? New Times says “guests can “be a voice” by supporting charity partner Voices for Children of Broward with a canned food drive and an on-site silent auction.”
I think it is safe to say that there really was something there for every kind of foodie. From the pizza and tacos eater to the most refined taste buds there was something to satisfy everyone.
Of course, to pair with the food, was several selections of beer, bubbles and booze!
The best part…none of the vendors ran out of booze or bites!!!
With so many options, don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying, please sir, may I have some more?
To see what all the fuss is about….