Whenever I visit a new city, the first thing that I do in preparation is research which restaurants I want to go to. It’s true that my Dad and I did a whole road trip based solely on Guy Fieri‘s recommendations (by the way, I highly suggest that everyone do this at least once in their lives – Guy Fieri’s recommendations are pretty much the Ten Commandments of junk food). So I was surprised and excited to find out that there are actually companies who conduct these tours on a regular basis!
The West Palm Beach Food Tour is led by Kristl Story, a foodie so enthusiastic she rivals.. well, me! Kristen handpicked 6 different restaurants to tell the tale of West Palm Beach. One of the most special things about the 3 hour tour is all the knowledge that Kristl provides about the town so that you get a sense of the history of the food. Food truly tells a lot about a city. Typically I’m too busy inhaling my meals to stop and think about what is in them, let alone where they come from, so the tour was nicely paced to allow me to soak in everything about the culture of West Palm Beach’s food.
The tour begins at The Blind Monk, a cute little wine bar that I had never heard of, but will certainly be back to because I hear they have an incredible cheese and charcuterie board. I swear, Charles Manson could invite me over for an incredible cheese and charcuterie board, and I would go. We kicked off the meal with a refreshing Prosecco Mojito and toasted to a day of full bellies and minds (aka, my life every day). The first dish was an Ahi Tuna Tostada, topped with mango salsa and avocado and served on top of a crispy tortilla. It was a delicious first bite and so refreshing to go along with the drink.
The Blind Monk also served us Pan con Tomato along with crisp garlic baguettes. I’ve never been a huge fan of the pure taste of tomatoes, but I guess I’ve never had tomatoes as fresh as these. The tomato dip was very bare of ingredients, yet still was extremely flavorful and tasted delicious atop the crunchy baguette. But if you know me, you know that a few bites does not a meal make. It doesn’t even make a snack. Or half a snack. It was time to move on.
Our next venture was Hullabaloo, which is one of the places in WPB that I had been dying to try. They started out by offering us one of their signature drinks, The Major Tom (side note: everything on the tour is included in the price of the tour, except this cocktail was an upcharge of $6 – and well worth it!). The Major Tom is inspired by David Bowie – RIP – and is made with Aviation Gin, cucumber & Italian parsley juice, lavender, and fresh citrus. I’m not a huge gin fan but when it’s mixed with such inventive ingredients, I can get down with it. Bowie definitely would have approved of this one.
And then… the brussels sprouts. I had mentioned in a previous post that these days it seems like everyone has brussels sprouts on their menu, and that it’s hard for a brussels sprouts dish to stand out. Well, compliments to Chef Fritz, because these brussels sprouts deserve a spotlight. And a parade. And a puppy. The brussels sprouts are served with bacon aoli and candied pine nuts and were barely on my plate long enough to be photographed. Sorry not sorry. I’ll be back for these for sure.
Our tour continued as we walked to Ganache Bakery. One of the most eclectic things about West Palm Beach is the street art. It’s everywhere and it’s all so unique! I posted these pictures to show you a few examples, but I also posted them because of my #bloggerfail in forgetting to take a picture at Ganache. I couldn’t help it – I was so enthralled in the presentation! They showed us how to crack open a coconut. Do you know how? Answer: Machete. So now in my kitchen next to my ladles and can openers, will be my coconut chopping machete. It also can’t hurt to show it to dates who might eventually break my heart. Anyways. We got to sample the coconut juice along with tamarind juice, which I had never had before but wow is it delicious! Quite like my eccentric personality, the juice is very hard to describe, but if you’re a juice fan I highly recommend giving it a go. We also were treated to a bite of their Key Lime tart. Living in Florida, we of course have Key Lime Pie everywhere, but you never know until you have REAL Key Lime Pie how wrong all the others were. This one was so right, and I never want to be wrong again.
Our next stop was Jardin, another place that had been on my “hit list” of WPB spots. The owners Jordan and Stephanie, who double as the Chef and Pastry Chef respectively, as basically #couplegoals. Actually, my goals would more be to be their child so they could cook for me every day. #LifeGoals. Chef Jordan prepared for us a Savory Madeline and their signature appetizer, the Crispy Hummus. Chef Stephanie made for us a Brigadier, which is Brazilian for “holy dear God this is delicious.” It’s a little ball of fudge that tastes like an elevated form of Pillsbury chocolate icing, which I’ve been known to eat completely plain. So this little bite of heaven definitely made me happy, save for the fact that I wanted like, the rest of their supply of them. The Savory Madeline is a different flavor every day, and ours was made with lemongrass and ginger. There was a delicious salty and sweet butter that we spread on the Madeline that completely enhanced the variety of flavors. Another bite that I could have easily had ten million of them. But the Crispy Hummus is what truly stole my heart. It was basically like a french fry filled with hummus. Enough said.
At this point we were getting full – or rather, all the normal people were full, and me, I just pretended to be full to fit in – but when someone says pizza, you don’t just stop. We went to Pizza Girls, which is one of WPB’s number one staples. Typically I eat pizza alone in the dark while watching the Kardashians, where no one will judge me for devouring a whole pie, so this was a totally new experience. I chose to grab a slice (which was really the size of two slices) of the Little Italy – a Lasagna Pizza with Italian Sausage, Meatballs, Mozzarella & Ricotta. Coming from Philly where Italian food is second nature, I’ve had a hard time finding pizza that I really connect with, but Pizza Girls’ pizza tastes like it’s straight out of New York (and yes, that is a good thing – the only thing I don’t like from New York are their sports teams.)
Our final stop was Le Rendez-vous, which is known just as much for it’s vibrant artwork as it is food. I always appreciate a place with funky vibes, and the decor alone was enough to attract me back.
And then, they hit me with the Apple Croustade a la Mode. I don’t always dessert, but when I do, I make sure the calories were worth it. Essentially, this is a french version of American Apple Pie and Ice Cream, but due to the name alone, it’s fancier and therefore tastes better.
And that’s where the tour ended – at least for that day! The tour provides each attendee with a coupon for each of the places visited, so I definitely plan on coming back and exploring more – that is, if I left any food there.
For more about West Palm Beach Food Tours, visit: https://westpalmbeachfoodtour.com
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.