fruity drinks, good food

photo by Anne Jansen

There’s a place in Boca Raton called the Grand Lux Cafe. This place exists in many other cities as well, but I discovered it here. It boasts exceedingly large portions, amazing blended drinks, and elaborate decor. I went twice — once for a fruity drink and good company, and a second time for brunch (and more fruity drinks). Here’s what I found.

photo by Anne Jansen

The Hawaiian Smoothie (pictured at top) is the perfect Floridian beverage. It’s blended, it’s a tropically orange color, and it has fruit on the rim. Plus, it’s delicious! The Mango Ice Swirl (above) is also amazing, although slightly less to my taste (meaning slightly more sweet and less tart than the Hawaiian Smoothie). However, it makes a splash with its presentation!

photo by Anne Jansen

Of course, there’s also the actual food. I went to Sunday brunch, and the Banana-Pecan Pancakes (above) were perfectly fluffy with a comforting topping of cinnamon, warm bananas, and chopped pecans. Even though this was a chain restaurant, it was a great dining experience!

a pink drink & enchiladas

photo by Anne Jansen

Yesterday I ended up at Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar — a truly wonderful culinary experience (albeit with an unbelievably, comically horrible waiter). Dinner started with the lovely pink drink pictured above: a virgin blended Prickly Pear Margarita. Delicious! Then came the guacamole (pictured at the bottom of this post), made-to-order right in front of us to our desired level of hotness. The accompanying chips were lightly spiced with a chili powder medley that lent them a nice mild flavor of their own. Finally, the main course:

photo by Anne Jansen

That’s right: cheese enchiladas verdes, and boy was that sauce fresh! As you can see, the meal came with rice and beans — light, fluffy rice and vegetarian refried beans — and the enchiladas were perfectly cheesy without being sickeningly rich. A hard balance to attain, I’ll admit, but nicely done in this case! Yummy! Slightly overpriced, but definitely worth it if you’re willing to splurge.

photo by Anne Jansen

a brownie dressed in a cookie

photo by Anne Jansen

When I went to Brewzzi, I couldn’t resist ordering the Brewzzi Brownie in a Cookie Jacket. Yes, you read that right — this delicious brownie, made from Ghirardelli chocolate, has a chocolate chip cookie baked around it. The entire delicious baked treat is served warm, topped with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, and drizzled with chocolate and caramel drizzled. I know it sounds a bit overly-sweet, but with a tall glass of ice cold milk it was the perfect way to end a great day!

friendly surprise

photo by Anne Jansen

Yesterday, I arrived in Boca Raton, Florida, where I’m attending a conference. I dined at our hotel’s restaurant, Umbria (no website) where I was surprised to find delicious food and a friendly waitstaff. I ordered the Margarita Pizza, and it was pleasantly cheesy and flavorful (the basil was fresh and yummy!). Our waiter was kind enough to indulge my non-alcoholic fancy-drink request and brought me my ADD (Always-Designated-Driver…my ginger-ale-with-a-splash-of-lime-and-cranberry-juice concoction). It’s always interesting to have different places make this drink for me, since they all put their own twist on it; I was not disappointed when my drink arrived looking dressed for the tropics with a squeezed lime and three maraschino cherries topping it off. Overall, this was a pleasantly surprising dining experience where our hotel restaurant impressed (rather than disappointed) me.

photo by Anne Jansen

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