This week on Check, Please!
South Florida A Tropical Oasis nestled in Little Havana.
My friends, they said they felt like they were on vacation somewhere on a tropical island.
An exotic pallet pleaser in Pembroke Pines.
The dessert was the Baklava, and it was excellent.
And a seafood lover's paradise in Dania Beach.
A very fun atmosphere.
I really loved it.
Cultural, culinary secrets and global flavors.
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South Florida is provided by George and Helen Weaver and the Friends of South Florida PBS.
You just wanted to savor every bit of that dessert.
The best tiramisu I've ever had.
There's nothing else like that in South Florida that I know about.
You'll pull the cheese and it'll be all the way up to here.
Hello, Michelle Bernstein and welcome to Check, Please!
The show where regular people from all over South Florida recommend and review their favorite restaurants.
So this is how the show works.
Every week we have three guests.
Each recommends his or her favorite spot and then the other two go to check them out and see what they think.
This week, retired dentist, Steven Mitzner says that his top pick is a solid choice for fresh and delicious seafood.
A classic American bar and grill serving all of your favorites in one of Broward County's most picturesque cities.
Legal assistant, Melanie Frank says that her pick is always a great choice for fresh, simple, yet very delicious meals.
A wallet friendly choice that never compromises on delivering quality food and excellent service.
Whether you're having lunch with friends or dinner with your significant other.
This spot is in West Pines and it's always ready to impress.
But first commercial realtor, Yvonne Martinez says that you should not let the modest curb appeal fool you.
This spot will enchant you with delicious creative cuisine.
While its lush, tropical courtyard will transport you to the islands, capturing all of the vibrance of its Little Havana neighborhood.
This is a listing you won't want to miss.
It's in Miami and it's called Doce Provisions.
Hi, my name is Lisetty Llampalla from Doce Provisions.
My husband and I, we are local.
So we live on the area and what a better place to open the first restaurant in Little Havana.
I'm from Cuba.
Soy Cubana, so.
We put the menu together.
He have his ideas.
I have mines.
He's from here.
I'm from Cuba.
So mix the ingredients.
I love my neighborhood.
The menu is really, really good.
Chorizo Croquettes Masa de Puerco Chino is amazing.
I love food that encouraged me to create new dishes.
Cooking, I believe that increase my creativity.
The kitchen is actually the place I can express myself.
Doce Provision is a hidden gem.
In little Havana with the great food a great ambience great vibe like you feel like home.
So Doce Provisions, obviously 12 doce, Correct.
What would people expect when they walk in here?
Because it's very surprising, right?
It's actually a place in a very busy street in little Havana.
So you will never expect a restaurant like this in the middle of the traffic in Little Havana.
Like a hidden Oasis almost right?
So when you first come into the restaurant, it's very small, maybe not impressive but when you go to the outdoor area, you're in an island.
It's almost like a Caribbean feeling.
You're agreeing with her?
A lot of green plants and very lighting flair.
My friends thought that they said they felt like they were on vacation somewhere on a tropical island.
The patio has cool reggae music and big plants and we had a very nice breezy night.
I thought so too.
And when I got there, the storefront had a tiny little sign and it looked like a grocery store.
And I go inside with my wife and I said, I had a reservation.
It's a good thing there's like two tables and an open kitchen, and she takes us on this trail to go to the back, and the back was fabulous.
So let's jump into the food, shall we?
So tell me what you had this last time.
I had a margarita, but it was not really a margarita.
They used something else because it wasn't really a hundred percent alcohol.
They basically are a beer So it's a mocktail.
But they call it Margarita.
Yep, I get that.
They was good, it was different different cocktails.
And we order the Birrias de Res Quesatacos.
which is basically almost like a taco filled with ropa vieja and almost toasted.
You wanna tell them what ropa vieja is?
Not everybody knows what rapa vieja is, sorry.
Ropa vieja is shredded meat, Cuban shreaded meat.
Cooked until there's nothing almost.
Exactly the juices that you get out of ropa vieja are to die for.
And in this little taco toasted and the portion was so generous that, that can be your main dish easily.
What else did you have?
I had the Mahi-mahi with the jasmine rice and it had like jello Aji Amarillo Sauce on top.
My boyfriend order Masa de Puerco.
It's almost like a Chinese rice with fried pork and a little bit of heat that also had like fried Brussels sprouts.
And then we ordered the Coconut Rum Tres Leches.
The presentation was so cute you didn't wanna touch that dessert.
And it was so ama, I mean, we were so satisfied.
Steven, what did you have?
We started with this Sangria.
The red Sangria, they put blackberries in it.
It was a blackberry.
And I had the white Sangria with passion fruit and they were both delicious drinks.
And then we had the Croquettes with I don't know what kind of meat was in there.
Croquette with Chorizo in it.
Terrific they did have Chorizo.
And then we had these Asianic buns, I forget the name.
Oh, Lechon Asado Buns.
They were with pork.
They were fabulous.
And we also had the mahi.
And then the dessert we had the Flan and the Tres Leches Cake, which was in Also the same probably.
Is there only one Tres Leches Cake, do you know?
No, they have the Flan.
This was the Coconut Tres Leches.
Oh, so you had the same one.
They had the same one.
Well, the waitress suggested that and she was right on.
It's a treasure.
That place is fabulous.
And how about you?
We also ordered the Croquettes and the Birria Tacos as appetizers.
Thought they were both fantastic.
And then as our entrees, we ordered the mixed grill which has Chorizo, Churrasco steak, grilled Shrimp, a couple different things.
And then we ordered a serving of the Imperial rice.
Oh, Arroz Imperial.
They serve it in a cast iron skillet.
And then they have, it's covered with cheese and the cheese is very golden and crispy at the edges.
It was so good.
And there were three of us, and that was plenty of food for the three of us along with leftovers to take home, so.
Service, I would imagine is just lovely.
We had reservations.
We went during the day because I wanted to see the garden.
I we went It was like a late lunch.
It was wonderful.
Well Yvonne Doce Provisions was your pick.
Sum it up for me, please.
It's a perfect place to bring your friends that come in, out of town and I'm a hundred percent sure you're gonna enjoy their food on their menu.
Melanie, tell me what you thought.
Fun and modern twists on classic Cuban cuisine.
Perfectly executed, highly recommended.
I really think that's a real find.
I hope it doesn't get too busy because I really want to go back soon.
I think they'll keep room for you for sure.
Well, you can close out your dinner with a Coconut Rum Tres Leches at Doce Provisions.
Located at 541 Southwest, 12th Avenue in Miami.
They're open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Reservations are accepted where the average price for dinner without drinks is about $45.
Now, legal assistant Melanie Frank says that her pick checks off every box on her foodie list offering traditional Greek and Lebanese dishes.
This Mediterranean oasis is a destination for exotic spices and a vibrant atmosphere.
It's located in Pembroke Pines and it's called Mazza Mediterranean Cuisine.
Hello, my name is Ferris Bushnaq.
I'm the owner of Mazza Mediterranean Cuisine in Pembroke Pines.
We wanted to share our love for food and passion great recipes that are passed on from our moms and families to share with our neighbors Here in Pembroke Pines.
I want our guests to feel welcome like they walked into our homes.
Welcoming employees carry the same values we do.
Friendly, take their time explaining the menu.
The kabobs are phenomenal.
The chicken kabob, the shawarmas, the lamb chops.
Mazza means traditional small dishes from the Mediterranean shared with family and friends in a welcoming environment.
When you come here you can have any great food, great experience.
We want to exceed your expectation.
In Mazza, you're always welcome.
So tell me a little bit about this place.
I've been going to Mazza for years with my girlfriends.
It's sort of our goto place when we have somebody's birthday or want a quick night out with the kids.
So it's kind of your everything goto.
It, I mean, I told my friends I had picked Mazza for this show and they said, of course, we'll go to Mazza with you.
Yvonne, what'd you think of the atmosphere?
Actually, it was very casual probably a little bit too casual for my taste.
And I found it the place a little bit too noisy.
I couldn't have a conversation maybe because it was crowded when we got there.
I just found that we couldn't talk.
But it, you could tell it's family oriented from the owner, the manager, everyone who's there.
You can definitely feel that it's a family restaurant.
Steven, what'd you think when you walk in?
Well, there was no decor basically but it was very clean and simple.
But the food was excellent.
It's really like, there's Greek, there's Lebanese Cypress food and Egyptian.
There's a, there's a quite a big menu.
And we chose to go.
I had looked up the entertainment.
So we went on Friday night when they had the belly dancer.
Well let's dive into the food.
Tell me what you had this last time.
I had the shaved pear salad with beets and goat cheese.
A little overdressed.
I would probably get the dressing on the side but it was delicious.
I cleaned my plate on that one.
And then I had the grilled shrimp platter which came with rice, vegetables, fresh hummus.
And my friend had the chicken kebobs and everything was just very good, very healthy, not oily.
Melanie, tell me about this sauce that you write a lot about.
First of all, how do you say it?
So when you go to Mazza, they give you a little basket of pita bread and a little dish of this sauce that's made of garlic, olive oil and salt and it's And lemon.
And yes, and lemon.
And it's very simple.
But I'm a huge garlic fan.
And So I'm guessing you had the sauce as well.
Do you dip that with everything.
I dip, my shrimp, my chicken, my vegetables in it.
I actually got it to-go cup of toum to go when we left.
I just love it.
I'm in love with that sauce.
I could take it home and put on anything.
I guess you can.
I didn't know.
With the fresh made Pita bread it was to die for.
We ordered the Shawarma and the beef kabob, Filet Mignon.
And even though the meat was tender I just feel it lacked a little bit of salt.
Okay, both the Shawarma and the kabobs?
My portion was on the smaller size.
The shawarma was a better portion.
The rosemary rice in your hair was delicious and the ham was amazing.
And the dessert was also really good.
The one that I ordered, had like almost like three different types.
One with nuts, one with peanuts, another with honey.
I'm telling you.
Garlic sauce and dessert.
I will go back anytime.
You started with Kibbeh, was it the raw Kibbeh?
Was it Kibbeh Nae or was it just Kibbeh?
Well it was fried Oh, so it's Kibbeh.
on the outside.
And a lot of meat inside.
It was delicious.
That's all meat and vulgar It.
Steven, tell me about your experience.
Well, I love the tone.
It was fabulous.
And the garlic is great and then it was very lemony.
So it was really tasty.
Then we had two types of cheeses.
A Drunken Halloumi and a Labneh.
Which is, which is a yogurt.
It's actually a yogurt.
Yeah, it's a thickened.
It makes, yeah.
It was Did you like it?
So the Halloumi, was it seared?
With alcohol in it.
Okay, that makes sense.
It was fabulous.
And my wife had a shawarma but it was a combo with half meat, half chicken.
How was that?
She loved it.
Oh, good, good, good.
And then we had the dessert was also the Baklava.
And it was excellent.
And I think you had an apple tart And an apple tart.
Don't wanna seem too piggy.
Melanie, well, Mazza was your pick.
Please sum it up for us.
For healthy, simple, delightful Mediterranean food you cannot miss with a dinner or lunch at Mazza.
I think for a Mediterranean casual family restaurant is the most to go when you're in Broward County.
I think it was a very, a good place to get simple basic Greek and Mediterranean food.
Well, to get a taste of the exotic flavors of the Mediterranean you can head over to Mazza Mediterranean Cuisine.
Located at 15749 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Reservations are accepted and the average price for dinner without drinks.
Is about $40.
Have you ever just wanted to make an epic salad with of course some fresh pears and maybe some cheese?
I'm gonna show you just how to do that.
Now we're gonna start out with one of my favorite vinegarette.
It's called French vinegarette.
It's something that they use a lot in France.
It's pretty simple, but it's all about how you do it.
So I've got a really tiny dice shallot.
Which is in the onion family.
I also have a really good quality Dijon mustard but don't go too heavy with a Dijon or else the whole vinegarette is just gonna be permeated with a taste of Dijon mustard.
So go light with that.
Good amount of salt.
At the beginning, we're gonna go ahead and add some lemon juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice.
And then we're gonna add a little vinegar.
I love sherry vinegar for this vinegarette.
You can also use white or red.
It's up to you.
But I love the sherry vinegar on that.
Then this might be a little weird, but you add cold water.
And the reason why you add the water is because that mustard will emulsify the oil in the vinegarette and it will thicken.
And it might get a little too thick for how you might like it and how I definitely like it.
So I went ahead and add a little water to that to loosen the whole thing up.
Start by whisking all that together.
You know how vinegar and oil don't mix, right?
So that's why we're adding everything in now because the oil hopefully will help thicken and emulsify this.
So this is just plain old vegetable oil.
Let's start adding this in little by little.
So what you have here is this gorgeous French vinaigrette.
And you see how it's kind of thickened.
It's naturally emulsified with the oil.
In this bowl I've got some of my own arugula that I actually grow at my own house.
I thought I'd bring that in today to make it kind of special.
I also have some endive.
We've got some yellow endive and purple endive here for just a little bit of bitterness 'cause I love that bitterness.
And then I've got some fresh picked mint to just freshen up the salad a bit.
I also have some dill.
I love dill for a salad.
I just think it's so delicious.
Let's go ahead and we just wanna use the ripest pears we could find.
These happen to be beautiful.
I'm just gonna cut all around the center.
Let's go ahead and add the pears to the salad.
So we're gonna pour little by little the French vinaigrette onto our greens.
All right, so let's go ahead and serve a bit of this salad onto a platter.
Let's go ahead and add a little bit of our crumbled cheese like so.
And then finally, top with some candied nuts like these.
And this to me is more than just a salad.
This to me is just the most perfect lunch I can think of.
And there you have it.
A pear salad with candy nuts and blue cheese and french vinaigrette that is now in your repertoire.
Finally, retired dentist Steven Mitzner is ready for the catch of the day at his pick.
Offering traditional seafood dishes.
He says this spot is both casual and upbeat.
It's located in Dania Beach and it's called The Fish Grill.
Hi, my name is Joe Maggi.
I'm the owner of The Fish Grill restaurant in Dania Beach, Florida.
I've been in South Florida since the mid-seventies.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than in Dania.
I mean, I've been here so long no people for many, many, many, many years.
And that really has led itself to a a very nice relationship and a very long and lasting one.
I'm very, very strong on comfortability and the colors that I've chosen for the restaurant are really colors that puts you at ease.
They're not bright, they're not anything other than where people coming in can really not get lost but can push anything that they may be thinking about to the side and relax a lot more.
We do have an extensive menu.
I'm very adamant about the quality and I will only serve the freshest fish, shellfish, seafood, Angus steaks, anything.
It's gotta be quality or I won't serve it.
The Fish Grill is the most relaxing water hole for people of all walks of life.
You've been, you've been going here for a little while.
This place has been around for a long time.
And it's been around, but actually during Covid they remodeled.
Mm, good time to remodel.
And expanded a little bit.
It's still a basically bar like.
And the, actually the bar is quite large and there's like five TV screens And it's on a really busy street.
It's a busy street but there's two parking lots behind the restaurant.
So there's always parking and it's complimentary.
Yvonne, what'd you think about the atmosphere?
A very fun atmosphere.
I really loved it a little bit far from my house but it's a place that I would drive and have dinner or a few drinks, if anything.
Melanie What did you and your friends think about it?
They had a jukebox playing.
So music, they've got TVs with the football games and things on.
It was a nice, nice atmosphere to go for lunch on a Sunday.
Well, tell me what you had this last time, Steven.
Well, after having some of the appetizers at the table, we ordered What, what were the appetizers at the table?
There's quite a selection.
There's sliders, there's a beef slider.
There's a chicken parmesan slider.
There's coconut shrimp and there's fried shrimp and there's fried calamari.
There's a lot to choose from.
How were the fried calamari?
It was very good.
And then what did you have after that?
And then we ordered more appetizers.
We had, we had muscles.
Oh, what were the muscles like?
Is it tomato or white wine?
Well, we did the white wine.
And then they also had crab cake.
I liked the crab cake.
My wife wasn't so thrilled with it 'cause she likes a little more crab than but the fish is very fresh there.
You had a pistachio crusted swordfish?
Pistachio swordfish with a citrus glaze.
I had the calamari too for an appetizer.
It was delicious.
We had a glass of wine in house, glass of wine.
And we ordered the fish and chips.
It was a plate, was a large plate of food.
And we How were they?
Were they good?
Nice and crispy?
They had the regular french fries.
No, the the all the type of fries.
We also order scrod fish.
And it came like in a butter sauce, very flaky.
It came with sweet potato.
It was extremely good, I'm a seafood person.
So I really enjoyed the dinner.
And for the dessert, we had the brownie with the ice cream on the top and the drizzle chocolate.
Oh my God.
Melanie, tell me about what you had.
I had eggs benedict and I asked for the eggs Benedict to be poached very soft so that when I poke it, the yolks goes everywhere.
And they got that right which I have to say not every chef does.
You hurt my feeling.
Well, I'm sure you would get it right.
And one of my friends ordered a BLT which she said was perfectly executed.
The veggies were very fresh and crisp.
The bacon was nice and crispy.
And then my third friend had the fish and grits with eggs over easy.
She said it was very nice.
What did you think of prices?
I think the price range was actually extremely good.
Well Steven, The Fish Grill was your choice.
Sum it up for me.
It's just a good place to go for a quick dinner, lunch or breakfast.
There you go, Yvonne.
I think it's a perfect local day at the beach place to go either for a happy hour or a dinner.
Melanie What they do there was very well done and we enjoyed our food very much.
You can enjoy a casual vibe and fresh seafood at The Fish Grill.
Located at 75 Federal Highway in Dania Beach.
Open Daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Reservations are accepted where the average price for dinner without drinks, about $45.
We've had a wonderful time.
I wanna thank my guest, Yvonne Martinez, Melanie Frank and Steven Mitzner.
For more about the restaurants and recipes featured in the show, if you'd like to apply to be guest reviewer, visit us at checkpleasefl.com.
And as always, find us on Facebook and Instagram.
Join us next time for three new guests recommending three of their favorite restaurants right here on Check please!, South Florida.
I'm Michelle Bernstein and I'll see you then.
Thank you everybody.
Cultural, culinary secrets and global flavors.
We have a passion for blending ingredients and seasonings from around the world.