Today’s post is a two-for, featuring both a wonderful new hostel/boutique hotel and restaurant we were introduced to right in the heart of South Beach. Founded in 2011, Generator, a London-based brand known for their trendy design-forward European Hostels that feel more like boutique hotels, has just opened its first US location in Miami Beach this past August on famed Collins Ave, just one block from the beach. Generator, remodelled from a 1940’s condo building, offers 300 beds in 105 rooms. One of the unique things about this hostel is that in addition to the traditional shared rooms (which start at $20 per bed per night), is the addition of private rooms that start at just $95/night. Generator is not the hostel you might have stayed at while travelling around Europe (probably in your early twenties). They have pulled out all the stops to create a sense of community, incorporating such amenities as an inviting pool, 2 on-site restaurants, beautifully designed shared and private rooms and several really unique common spaces for guests to interact with one another or just take in the serene environment that’s been created for the solo traveler to enjoy on their own – not to mention the awesome location, right in the heart of South Beach. Several activities are being offered at Generator including yoga, mixology demonstrations, movies, a pool table, DJs and more planned.
I was invited by Desirey, the Event Sales Manager and my lovely host for the afternoon who arranged a tour of the hostel/hotel and a lovely lunch for us at Driftway, one of the two restaurants found on the property. As we made our way past the pool heading towards Driftway, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing mural painted on the side of the building. It had been painted by South African artist Chris Aurett. The food & beverage operations are being overseen by Gui Jaroschy, whose impressive resume includes opening the Broken Shaker in Miami Beach as well as several other locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; managing the Anderson in Miami’s Upper Eastside; and consulting on cocktail menus for Ricochet Lounge, Drunken Dragon and British Airways.
Alex, our Driftway guy let me sample all four of their frozen drinks; the Suze and Coke, OMFG Margarita, Bird of Paradise and the Friesling. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the Bird of Paradise which was made with Beefeater Dry Gin, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, Martini Bitter and J Wray Rum, allspice and cubeb pepper.
The food and frozen drinks were amazing, as was the ambience and the company. I am looking forward to planning my next Staycation right there at my new favorite place on South Beach.
If you are planning a trip to Miami Beach and are looking for things to do in the area, you might want to consider booking a Savor Our City tour. Private tours are offered for a minimum of 2 guests and groups of up to 50 people. Choose from South Beach, Wynwood, Little Havana, Miami Springs, Doral and Brickell. For more info on tours, contact Savor Our City.
Savor Our City covered some great Delray mainstays on its Taste of Atlantic Avenue tour on Nov. 26.
You would think that a restaurant with “Oyster” in its name would only have a decent seafood selection, but the breakfast panini we sampled proved that brunch is also one of this eatery’s prime games. The pesto and mozzarella beautifully complemented the egg and pieces of bacon.
The Bloody Mary was scary good – the kind of good that happens when you can barely taste the alcohol in the drink. City Oyster knows how to blend great drinks with delectable entrées.
At The Office, we tried the Prime CEO Burger with parmesan truffle fries. The bacon and arugula on the burger brought out the tenderness of the patty, and the fries had all the greasy, truffle-y goodness you could want.
The best way to make vegetables delicious is, of course, by adding meat, and the Brussel’s sprouts with bacon turned out to be a great side.
Delray Beach GreenMarket
Gratitude Garden Farm, located in Loxahatchee, showed our group the benefits of eating microgreens such as sunflower seed sprouts and pea sprouts. These delicious plants would go well in a salad or just as a snack.
The siblings behind Frik & Frak Artisanal Sauces offered delicious batches of their homemade tomato sauces, including Holla Vodka and Cognac. The GreenMarket truly showcases the best of what Palm Beach County local cuisine has to offer. Check it out every Saturday through May 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old School Square Park.
The Old Arcade
Known as The Arcade Tap Room in 1908, The Old Arcade started out as a secret watering hole for patrons during the Prohibition era. Hidden in and only accessible through Caffe Martier, The Old Arcade offers an exceptional selection of craft cocktails as well as small eats, including goat cheese flatbread. This refurbished speakeasy is a great addition to Delray Beach.
Original Popcorn House
At this sweet spot just off Atlantic Avenue, all popcorn is cooked in coconut oil and covered in such ingredients as real cheddar cheese and gourmet Belgian chocolate. The Chocolate Peanut Butter popcorn had the perfect blend of sweet and salty, while the Buffalo Blue Cheese tasted as if I had actually eaten a hot wing.
Full of Crepe
We ended our tour at this crepe eatery based in Pittsburgh. Roast beef and caramelized onions made for a savory and delicious starter crepe, while the CBPB crepe did not disappoint with peanut butter, banana, and milk chocolate chips.
If you’re looking to eat some great food in a wonderful small city, the Taste of Atlantic Avenue tour is perfect for both couples and groups.
Story contributed by guest blogger: Olivia Feldman
Olivia Feldman is a contributor for Savor Our City. Her favorite foods are anything that involves pasta and her mom’s cooking. When she’s not eating and drinking her way through South Florida, you can find her going to concerts, planning her next travel destination, and hosting her biweekly music show, “Back in Our Minds,” on Jolt Radio. You also can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @oliviafelds All images appearing in this post photographed by Olivia.
I apologize for the delay in posts…didn’t mean to keep you hangin’, lol! So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I had just wrapped things up in Portland and was heading up to Bar Harbor. I decided to take the scenic route 1, as I was told there were numerous quaint towns along the way that I should check out. I can’t reiterate enough how much fun I had driving this Mini Clubman (courtesy of Mini of Peabody) up the coast. This car was made for hugging the winding road and I felt so safe behind the wheel.
I did pass through some quaint towns before making a stop at Rockland where I got out and explored a bit. This town definitely has potential for a future foodie tour. I wish I had more time, as I would have liked to stop in Camden, but it was getting late and I wanted to arrive at my Airbnb and meet my host Anny before dark.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I decided to become a first time user of Airbnb and when planning this trip to New England, I researched and selected to stay with these specific hosts which I have been highlighting along the way. Anny and I had communicated prior to my arrival so she knew more or less what time to expect me. She and Sweetie Pie, her lovely white Great Pirinese welcomed me into their home and showed me to my room. I was staying in the Ancestor’s Room, as Anny explained and pointed to all the photos of relatives adorning the walls. I didn’t have much time to chit chat that night as I had to get over to Bar Harbor to meet with Kristi (my Ops Mgr for our Bar Harbor tours). The drive from Southwest Harbor, aka “The Quietside” (compared to the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor in season) into Bar Harbor at sunset was magnificent. The sun was going down over the lake and I could make out the silhouettes of kayakers in the distance paddling across the water.
I was so excited to meet Kristi for the first time in person, after communicating with each other via phone and email for months. I was also super excited that she invited me to dinner at one of her restaurants, Cherrystones, which just so happens to be one of the stops on our Taste of Bar Harbor tour. For a starter, we had their crispy Brussels sprouts and OMG were they delish! Anyone who knows me, knows that my all time favorite Brussels come from Smoke BBQ in Delray Beach, with a close runner-up at The Office, also in Delray Beach. But after tasting these at Cherrystones in Bar Harbor, ME…I certainly have to rethink my hierarchy in which to base all future Brussels to. They were that good! We also enjoyed a couple entrees, and while the fresh fish dish was certainly fresh and tasty, the star in my opinion was the lobster carbonara, which included fresh picked Maine lobster sautéed with smoked bacon and a creamy carbonara sauce, served with penne pasta and topped with fresh chives.
After a delightful meal and meeting, I said my goodbyes until the next morning when we’d meet up with our tour guide Jessica and do a walk through of our tour. The next morning, after luxuriating in the most magnificently updated spa shower at Anny’s (we’re talking a rain shower head from the top and pulsating jets on the sides and music…the whole shabang), I was served a lovely cup of tea and warm pastries. Anny is a great story teller and I was fascinated by the stories she shared with me in the short time we had together. Prior to opening her home to Airbnb guests, Anny had a pie business which she started at age 60 after finding it very difficult to find a job in a new town at her age. The business was called, what else…”Sweetie Pies”.
“A Taste of Bar Harbor” tour
Guests on this tour will delight in the delicious food with a view at The Fish House Grill where they will get a little clam chowda, lobster roll & an Old Soaker Blueberry soda tasting . The party will then move on, walking through historic downtown Bar Harbor viewing sights that include The Shore Path, Agamont Park and several historic Bar Harbor homes and, of course, a great view of Bar Island. Our local guide will share fun facts and interesting anecdotes about the town she is intimately familiar with and will impart some local insider’s tips as well. Next stop, Bar Harbor BeerWorks for a gourmet burger, fries & local Maine brew tasting, followed by a visit to either Peekytoe Provisions or Acadia Country Store where guests will get a live oyster shucking demo and/or tips on selecting the freshest seafood along with a tasting of some local seafood or products native to Maine. Onward to Cherry Stones for a taste of their famous cherrystone clams & some blueberry pie ala mode. Next, guests will be introduced to Bar Harbor Popcorn and learn how they make their popcorn, the various flavors they infuse, and tastes will be provided of their most popular blueberry and other flavors. Participants will be given an opportunity to purchase bags to take home with them. The tour will conclude at the now famous MDI Ice cream shop where Obama ate ice cream when he came to Bar Harbor, before returning to The Village Green, a beautiful park in the center of town.
And there you have it. My wrap up of my 5-day adventure in New England getting my tours set up just in time for this season’s Fall Foliage cruises. So far the Norwegian Gem and the Dawn have experienced our Taste of Portland and by the time you read this, we will have passengers from the NCL Gem and the Oceania Regatta taking our tour in Bar Harbor.
Private group tours are available in all these New England towns year round with a minimum of 10 participants. For more info on how we can plan a customized tour for you and your friends/colleagues, please contact me at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.
I hope you have been enjoying reading about my adventures in Boston (Part 1 and Part 2) and now the journey continues as I hop in my Mini (courtesy of Mini of Peabody – pronounced Peabiddy. Just thought you’d like to know so you don’t make the same mistake I did, lol) and head to the foodie town of Portland to meet my tour guides and have an enjoyable evening in the Old Port district.
It was a bit overcast as I approached town but that didn’t deter me one bit.
Parked the car and got out to take a few pics…walked around a bit before meeting my tour guides for drinks and bites at Duckfat. Duckfat is a small sandwich shop that has it all: classic Belgian fries made with local Maine potatoes fried in duck fat, panini, soups, salads, charcuterie, sodas and milkshakes all made in house. They also have a killer beer and wine list. It’s a small unique place that seriously packs ’em in. They are not presently on our tour, but may have to figure a way to incorporate them in the future. We decided to sample a couple of their paninis, the Belgian fries with numerous dipping sauces, the poutine, a salted caramel milkshake and some beer. To top it all off we had their beignets for dessert. These are not to be missed (sorry, I didn’t take a pic of these). They’re good for dessert or for breakfast, as I happened to have the one left over the next morning 😉
Here’s what one might expect when taking our “Taste of Portland” historical walking food tour:
Stroll through the Old Port, sampling your way through various restaurants and shops offering an array of delectable items that reflect Portland’s distinct cuisine. Your guided walking tour carves a path through the historic streets of the Old Port; an area that 100 years ago was home to canneries, factories and textile mills. Today, this warehouse district has been revitalized with dozens of quaint restaurants, coffee houses, bakeries and shops selling gourmet merchandise.
Your local guide will introduce you to several of the finest Old Port venues to sample their wares. While the exact stores and restaurants always vary, you can be sure that the items will be heavily influenced by what’s fresh and indicative of the local cuisine. Some of these Maine-inspired foods may include Maine lobster, cold-water mussels, farm-raised lamb, organically grown vegetables, fresh-baked pastries and seasonal berry jams. It’s no coincidence that Bon Appétit magazine recently crowned Portland “America’s Foodiest Small Town” because there’s so much here to please the palate. As you sample the various culinary treats, the proprietors will elaborate on how they were prepared and where the ingredients were obtained.
The Cabot Farmers’ Annex is the second stop on our “Taste of Portland” foodie tour. Here guests will have an opportunity to experience top shelf, award-winning cheddars and other local specialty items.
The “Taste of Portland” tour is available for private groups of 10 or more. For additional information or a quote, please contact us at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.
Savor Our City Culinary Tours began offering our first tours on May 3, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. Since then, we have run a series of tours in other South Florida cities such as Palm Beach Gardens, Wilton Manors and Boca Raton. Our tours have always been open to the public as well as to private groups. We entered into an agreement this past year to create brand new food tours up in New England for several major cruise lines sailing into Boston, Portland & Bar Harbor this Fall. I am proud to say that these tours have been created and are starting this month. At this time, the only way you can take any of these tours is if you happen to be sailing on one of those ships calling into those ports OR you book a private group tour through us. (Think: corporate team building, client appreciation, birthday parties)
Here is a sample of what you would experience on our Boston Markets & Cultural Walking Tour:
This 3-hour historical guided walking food tour will take guests through the famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a historic meeting place and market lined with cobblestone streets packed with ethnic foods, unique gifts and street performers, just to name a few of the elements that make this marketplace located near the waterfront so unique. It was here in 1764 that the colonists protested the Sugar Act, which led to the “no taxation without representation” doctrine. George Washington toasted America’s first birthday here, and so many impassioned orators have followed that Faneuil Hall is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.”
Following your visit to Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, you will walk to nearby Boston Public Market, another indoor haven for foodies that opened its doors in the summer of 2015. The market houses 39 year-round vendor stalls which must sell food and other products that are produced or originate in New England, specializing in items sourced from local farms and fishermen. Your guide will share historical facts, interesting anecdotes, and some local insider’s tips as you sample dishes and delicacies that reflect the area. Some of the iconic New England delicacies sampled along the way include an award-winning clam chowder, lobster roll, cheese, chocolate, nuts, honey, fresh fruit vinegars, wine, mead (honey wine, the oldest alcoholic drink known to man). Then, it’s on to the Parker House, your final stop and birthplace of the city’s iconic Boston Cream Pie, which you will have the opportunity to sample.
This tour is currently available for private tours only. If you would like to inquire about booking a private tour for your group of 10+ people, please contact us at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.
In planning my 5-day road trip through New England, I looked to Airbnb to see if I might find suitable accommodations in each of the cities I would be visiting. I had never used Airbnb before and thought this would be a great way to meet some local folks and save some money. Although each of my Airbnb hosts opted to provide me a room “on the house” in exchange for a mention in my blog, the costs were considerably less than a hotel room in each of the cities I was visiting.
I stumbled upon this listing in Somerville which read “The Best Boston Experience”. I liked the fact that it was located in Somerville since I had planned to visit the Taza Chocolate Factory located in Somerville while I was there. But what really caught my eye was that the hosts appeared to be real foodies and had a lovely open kitchen that just beckoned people to gather and share a wonderful meal and conversation in. I contacted Peter, the host, to request a reservation for my first night in Boston. Peter was extremely accommodating and also took it upon himself to make a dinner reservation for me at his favorite restaurant in the North End. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Peter’s wife, Christy who insisted on taking my bags from my Mini Clubman up the front stoop and then straight up a flight of stairs that brought us to the main level of this beautiful tri-level home. My room was on this floor, as was the guest bath, sitting area and kitchen. Peter and Christy lived on the two floors up above.
Shortly after getting settled into my room, I announced to my hosts that I had to head into Boston to meet with my vendors in preparation for our walk through the next morning with my tour guides and our VIP client. Peter graciously offered to drop me into town and meet up with me afterward at L’Osteria, the restaurant in the North End where he had arranged for me dine.
The moment we walked into L’Osteria, I felt like I was one of their regulars,- as if I had been coming there for years. Peter, who grew up in the North End, was a regular and had arranged for Patty (who he has known for 30 years) to take care of us that evening and so as soon as we stepped inside the intimate/cozy restaurant, I was greeted by Patty with a big hello, a hug and welcomed by name. Talk about making a great first impression!
I followed Peter’s lead and allowed him to order for us. We enjoyed a lovely carafe of table wine along with some house specialties which included a chicken parmigiana and sausage and meatballs, aka to the locals as “d’s & b’s”.
My first day and night in Boston couldn’t have gone better. I truly appreciated all those that made this trip possible. If you are planning a trip to the Boston area, I highly recommend you stay with Peter & Christy at their beautiful Airbnb for The Best Boston Experience!