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Edible South Florida Fall 2014 : Page39

local &#19; ?E:OHKL road trip ann schmidt Exploring History and Food in Delray Beach =>EK:R&#19;;>:<A&#19;BL&#19;HG>&#19;H?&#19;FR&#19;?:OHKBM>&#19;?EHKB=:&#19;MHPGL%&#19;LH&#19;G>PL&#19;H?&#19;MA>&#19;&#19; M:LM>&#19;ABLMHKR&#19;<NEBG:KR&#19;MHNK&#19;P:L&#19;:&#19;I>K?><M&#19;>Q<NL>&#19;MH&#19;=KBO>&#19;NI&#19;?HK&#19;MA>&#19;=:R'&#19; TAMPA ™ ORLANDO ™ oceanfront BOYNTON BEACH ™ trailer park DELRAY BEACH ™ that captured the FORT LAUDERDALE ™ ™ MIAMI public’s attention in 2007, when an offer of over $500 million for some 400 trailer lots was about to make the property owners instant millionaires. But the deal fell through, and today you still see this trailer park amid oceanfront mansions. Back across the waterway is downtown Boynton Beach. 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Atlantic Avenue is Delray’s main street, where my first stop was at Dee’s Conch, Rib & Crab Shack for some delicious conch at this friendly Bahamian restaurant. Just east of I-95, the West Settlement Historic District was established in 1894 as Delray Beach’s first African-American community, with former slaves, free African-Americans and black Bahamians contributing to its unique culinary heritage. Several wooden cottages and a 1920s Mission Revival structure is now the Spady Cultural Arts Museum. Around the corner from Dee’s is Sweet’s Sensational Jamaican Cuisine, serving spicy Jamaican patties and curried goat. 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Road Trip: Exploring History and Food in Delray Beach

DELRAY BEACH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FLORIDA TOWNS, SO NEWS OF THE TASTE HISTORY CULINARY TOUR WAS A PERFECT EXCUSE TO DRIVE UP FOR THE DAY.

ann schmidt

The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History in Delray Beach has put together a cultural experience with food tastings, the ideal combination of history and food culture. Their four-hour guided tours stop at locally owned restaurants, galleries and historic areas, and sometimes include visits to farmers markets, urban farms and street food vendors. As luck would have it, September was the only month without tours, so I followed the itinerary on my own.

Atlantic Avenue is Delray's main street, where my first stop was at Dee's Conch, Rib & Crab Shack for some delicious conch at this friendly Bahamian restaurant. Just east of I-95, the West Settlement Historic District was established in 1894 as Delray Beach's first African-American community, with former slaves, free African-Americans and black Bahamians contributing to its unique culinary heritage. Several wooden cottages and a 1920s Mission Revival structure is now the Spady Cultural Arts Museum. Around the corner from Dee's is Sweet's Sensational Jamaican Cuisine, serving spicy Jamaican patties and curried goat.

TEA AND TROPICS Head a couple of blocks east to Swinton Avenue, then south to The Rectory, a former 1903 parsonage. Inside you will find a delightfully hip tearoom, with new age hippie décor and fair trade teas, kombucha, locally baked goodies, occasional live music, holistic workshops and good karma all around. Down the street is the lushly landscaped 1902 Sundy House (sundyhruse.com), now a beautiful inn, garden and restaurant, tempting one to stay the night. You can take free tours of Taru Garden, which includes tropical fruits calamondin, coffee, cacao, cinnamon and vanilla orchid.

Just north of Atlantic, at NE 2nd Ave., is the Pineapple Grove Arts District (downtowndelraybeach.com). I wandered into Artists Alley, appropriately filled with studios and galleries. Here are more restaurants, including Max's Harvest (maxsharvest.com), which uses local suppliers like Swank Farms and Heritage Hen. Their Sustainable Sunday Brunch features an "interactive" Bloody Mary bar, whatever that means.

Back out on Atlantic, it's a short few blocks over the Intracoastal Waterway to the beach, where heading south on A1A will take you to Sandoway House Nature Center (sandowayhouse.org), a 1936 beach cottage on the National Register of Historic Places, dedicated to educating the public about Delray's coastal and marine ecosystems and natural history. Daily shark feedings are popular, and take time to enjoy the native plantings and shell collection, the largest in southeast Florida.

Heading north on A1A takes you through tropical foliage, similar to the jungle trails advertised in Henry Flagler's day. All of a sudden there's a ramshackle beach cottage and you're in Briny Breezes, the oceanfront trailer park that captured the public's attention in 2007, when an offer of over $500 million for some 400 trailer lots was about to make the property owners instant millionaires. But the deal fell through, and today you still see this trailer park amid oceanfront mansions.

Back across the waterway is downtown Boynton Beach. The culinary tour takes you to Secret Garden Cafe and Urban Farm, a culinary incubator with a commercial kitchen for small startups, as well as a venue for selling their products; the adjacent farm is a community resource that provides a true farm-to-table experience at the café, offers CSAs, and educates the community on hunger and justice issues, nutrition and food preservation (cccgbb-org.webs.com/urban-fanning-project).

PAJAMA PARTY One block south on Ocean Ave. is The Little House in the historic 1934 Ruth Jones Cottage (thelittlehousebb.com). I wandered in on a Saturday during one of their pajama brunches, where everyone was enjoying Bloody Marys, craft beers and fun dishes like a pancake basket, kitchen sink grits and butterscotch pudding. This might be a fine place to finish your visit, but I was drawn back to Delray's Putt'N Around, an old-school putt-putt course with tropical landscaping, waterfalls and great beers (with service to the greens! (puttnaround.net). No wonder Delray is such a fun place to visit!

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/Road+Trip%3A+Exploring+History+and+Food+in+Delray+Beach/1833855/228738/article.html.

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