How to Take a Self-Care Vacation on a Budget

Posted By : denise/ 54

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post is from our guest contributor, Jesse Clark from Soulful-travel.com

Image credit: Pixabay

Are you part of a small or midsize group looking for a unique way to have fun and sample foods from different restaurants within a city of your choice? Then let Savor Our City cater to you with exciting 2-3 hour culinary adventures that include lots of local and historical information, team building activities, and networking paired with hand-picked regional delicacies and gourmet specialty foods along the way. Book your next adventure today! (954) 410-3177

One of the simplest ways to reduce stress and attend to your self-care needs is to take a vacation, notes Travtasy.com. You work hard and have earned these days off. Rather than let them accumulate, take a break and refresh your mind and body. The emotional reset that a vacation offers can improve your quality of life and make you more effective when you return.

Savor Our City understands the ways in which stress, anxiety and depression can influence how you experience life, and how simply getting away and having new experiences can help. Sometimes people turn to substances to reduce emotional discomfort when self-care and finding ways to disconnect is a better option. Vacation self-care may mean flying to a distant land or, if you are on a budget, staying put for a local adventure. Fort Lauderdale, for example, offers a range of attractions that you can access without spending excessive amounts of money or time.

The Staycation Option, Lauderdale-Style

Taking a vacation in your own city offers you an opportunity to check out areas that you may have never experienced. Opt for a rental in another part of the city and check out local attractions, such as the signature rows of palm tree- and mansion-lined Isles along 300 miles of inland waterways, as well as the many festivals and activities that make “Venice of America” so special. The possibilities are endless — sometimes self-care is closer and simpler than you would think.

For the ultimate staycation experience, consider a rental near Fort Lauderdale attractions you wish to visit. Clean, comfortable amenities let you enjoy the area while decreasing your stress levels. Choose a rental service that lets you filter search options and offers 24/7 support. Self-care is all about stress reduction, after all, and your vacation should reflect that from booking your rental to resting up after a day of sightseeing.

Budget-Friendly Vacation Self-Care

Even with limited funds, you can do self-care on vacation in many ways. Author and researcher Dr. Deborah Cracknell points out that a mindful walk on the beach or simply spending time letting your mind wander while you enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the area can go a long way toward promoting relaxation. If you want to heighten your senses, it may be fun to check out the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival for unique, local cuisine.

If you’re a foodie of any level, Savor Our City recommends going on a South Florida food tour, with available options like progressive or multi-course meals. For a change of pace, they also suggest booking “the History & Culture tour that combines stops at landmarks and museums with meals and snacks at local restaurants and gourmet food shops.”

Vacations With a Self-Care Focus

Making self-care the focus and the purpose of a getaway may require you to reconsider your needs, especially if your focus is usually on family or work. Are you the type that gets antsy when you finally have downtime and you’re not sure what to do? Sometimes getting away gives you the opportunity to re-learn things about yourself, such as discovering new interests and passions.

Perhaps you can reconnect with your love of nature while on vacation by checking out the Everglades, home not just to a wide range of wildlife and fauna, but to the Seminole Indians, who invite visitors to learn about their culture. For creative inspiration, check out the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, with more than 20 curated outdoor contemporary art murals by internationally recognized artists.

Regardless of the activities you choose or where you decide to take your vacation, keep in mind that self-care is a priority. Unplugging from work and home stressors can improve your quality of life. You may be surprised at how much better you feel, even when you stay put for vacation.

SeaSpray Restaurant Opens at the Waterstone Resort & Marina

Posted By : denise/ 55

Hello Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City’s Marketing Director Jennifer Ouvrard and Founder/Chief Foodie Officer Denise Righetti

Well it’s been a while since I have attended an organized media dine, understandably so since we have been in a pandemic. We are very fortunate here though in South Florida as our restaurants and businesses have been open and operating at full capacity much sooner than most other cities of comparable size. I for one am very excited to get back out and attend new restaurant openings and food & wine festivals and share my discoveries with you. This post is about my preview of the Waterstone Resort’s brand new SeaSpray restaurant (Boca’s ONLY waterfront dining) which is serving up local cuisine with casual coastal elegance. We were treated to a lovely selection of cocktails, appetizers, an entree of our choice and every dessert on their menu. Spoiler alert: this place impressed every one who attended this media dine. And it’s about time we finally had a waterfront dining option that actually served decent food and didn’t just rely on their location to draw people in. Read: great views + great food  + service = new fave go-to spot!!!

SeaSpray is bringing Boca Raton everything it never had but always secretly needed, an intracoastal escape made of equal parts glamour and laid-back charm.  Developed by Evolution Hospitality as part of an extensive half a million dollar renovation to Waterstone Resort & Marina, SeaSpray is led by VP of F&B/acclaimed Executive Chef Kelley Randall, who developed an innovative, sustainably-minded menu rooted in traditional staples highlighted by local seafood. “You can come by boat or by car, have a bunch of burgers, order fresh salads and quality seafood options or reserve an 8pm seating and dine more formally, for steak, grilled Mahi or other quality entrees. There’s both glitz and familiarity — but it’s a breezy vibe,” says Randall.

PEAR MARTINI   Absolut Pear, St. Germaine, Sour

PLANTER’S PUNCH Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, Orange and Pineapple Juices, Grenadine

PINEAPPLE JALAPEÑO  El Jimador Tequila, Giffard Liqueur, Lime

GRILLED OCTOPUS  chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette

PEAR TORTELLINI  truffle cream sauce, rosemary, parmesan. Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

STICKY CAULIFLOWER sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds, scallions

HUMMUS   warm pita bread, smoked paprika, chili oil

SKIRT STEAK FRITES   chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries

SIMPLY GRILLED SALMON. sweet potato mash, broccoli, Vermont maple glaze

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE  dark chocolate sauce, whipped cream

KEY LIME PIE   crumble, sorbet, raspberries, mango puree

APPLE COBBLER   salted caramel gelato, dulce de leche

CAMPFIRE S’MORES  marshmallows, chocolate bar, graham crackers Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

 

Executive Chef Kelley Randall   Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

Menu highlights include shareable plates such as Sticky Cauliflower with sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds and scallions; Grilled Octopus with chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette; and Pear Tortellini with truffle cream sauce (to die for; probably my fave dish of the night), rosemary, parmesan; “Handhelds” like the Mahi Reuben with tangy cabbage slaw, 1000 island dressing, served on marbled rye bread and the Seaspray Burger with prime beef, aged cheddar, iceberg, red onion, tomato, signature sauce, served on a brioche bun; and Mains including Chicken Paillard with romaine, orange segments, fennel, red grapes, toasted almonds, mustard vinaigrette; Skirt Steak Frites with chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries; and Frutti di Mare with lobster, gulf shrimp, clams, mussels, linguine, spicy San Marzano sauce, parmesan crostini. Executive Chef Kelley thoughtfully created a menu that took into consideration people with special diets such as Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan, which are all easily identifiable on the menu.

Guests can indulge in a mixologist-curated list of craft cocktails every bit as exciting as the menu. Think Signature Cocktails like Dark & Stormy with Goslings dark rum, ginger beer, lime and Pomegranate Martini with Tito’s, Palma liqueur, Grand Marnier; Frozen libations like Bailey’s Colada with Oak & Cane rum, pineapple, coconut, Baileys float (reminds me of my days of working on board cruise ships; the crew were privy to a secret concoction called the “BBC” which stood for Bailey’s Banana Colada) and Mudslide with New Amsterdam Vodka, Kahlúa, Baileys, ice cream, chocolate; Margaritas such as Pineapple Jalapeño with Dulce Vida Tequila, muddled jalapeno, pineapple juice, lime and Blue Lagoon with Casamigos tequila, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice.

As for design, the 2,000-square-foot-eatery’s unmistakable nod to both modern tropical and vintage chic makes for a uniquely casual-meets-luxurious experience with fully outdoor covered and patio dining an expansive outdoor bar and gorgeous private dining room accommodating up to 20. Think Beverly Hills intermingled with Tulum style. With both traditional elegance and fun, edgy and cool vibes present, the ambience embraces older and newer generations alike. Each piece of furniture at SeaSpray is unique, custom-designed by the team to dress the experience, while spot lights, neon signs and soft champagne lighting create a myriad of differing atmospheres all within one space, fashioning a sweetly intimate mood in a social setting.

The space embraces South Florida’s tropical nature. There are different spaces for different people and moods. Seating is arranged in such a way that everyone will have a gorgeous view, and each nook and cranny feels different. The idea is to feel like you’re in your own backyard, overlooking the intracoastal.

Onsite, an oversized mural by local artist Gabriela Benatar spanning seven walls total, celebrates South Florida in its entire splendor, highlighting the local flora and fauna and speaking to the constant evolution of both our surroundings and ourselves, celebrating nature while bringing a little bit of the outside in. The mural took two months to complete.

Happy Hour is M-F from 4-6pm (except holidays) with select wines, well cocktails and draft beers available for $7 as well as a number of yummy appetizers, including my favorite the pear tortellini, for just $7 as well. You will definitely want to visit (or revisit) this wonderful location next time you are in the area. Be sure to look out for me there and if you spot me, come say hi!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Press Gourmet Sandwiches

Posted By : denise/ 163

Hello Foodie Friends,

Like Superman, everyone of us has our own kryptonite, and in my world, mine is bread! I grew up eating sandwiches for lunch and  as my palate matured over the years, I began experimenting in the kitchen coming up with clever new concoctions. I would start of with something basic like a grilled cheese sandwich and then making a few simple tweaks (from upgrading the bread, spreading butter or mayo on the outside of the bread before cooking in the pan, to utilizing a caramelized onion jam)  I was able to elevate that classic sammy into a gourmet masterpiece. Yes, sandwiches are my jam! So when I received an invite to come check out Press Gourmet Sandwiches in Boca, it was a no brainer. The motto at Press Gourmet is every sandwich, every salad, every side is handmade to order with only the freshest, natural, best ingredients. Each sandwich is handcrafted to order. All of their meats are slow roasted to perfection. Chicken is marinated and cooked to order and all sauces and toppings are prepared daily. They consider themselves to be a five-star gourmet experience in a fast casual setting – eat in or take out.

Competition winning Mac n Cheese Balls
The Sentinel – shredded beef Philly style, the most popular non-chicken sandwich. This was my favorite sandwich for sure.
The CD Salad, named after co-owner Chris, has my favorite ingredients and was delicious. This is the 1/2 portion believe it or not.
The Daily – the most popular of the chicken sandwiches, served with truffle parm fries

The back story:  It all started at Johnson & Wales University when Rand and Chris met. They noticed from their name tags and they were both commuting from Delray Beach to Miami. So they started to carpool; those rides together to Miami were where their friendship really started. After only a few weeks of carpooling Chris and Rand decided to move into Chris’s apartment near Johnson & Wales University.

In only a few short months they had become best friends living together in Miami. During culinary school Rand and Chris excelled to the top of their class, becoming the go-to guys to get things done.
Every Tuesday, the food trucks would set up on the campus at JWU and serve to all of the students. Chris and Rand became immediately attached to the food trucks, asking all of the owners questions every time they came out. In their heart they knew someday they would open up a food truck of their own.

Soon after, Rand was asked to work as a sous chef for a husband of one of his professors. He was a private chef to the rich and famous in Miami. It only took one year before the clients asked Rand to be the head chef, at the age of 22. One of the first things that he did was to make Chris his sous chef. This was a time in their lives that they would never forget. Chris and Rand were living half the year in Miami and the other half in New York City while cooking for the rich and famous.

While in New York, Rand and Chris were living on their client’s yacht. Rand really enjoyed living on the yachs, he said, “because it was like a huge house right on the water, that swayed back and forth with the current, just rocking you to sleep”. One year Chris actually rode the boat up for 4 days to New York City, through the rough seas, while still cooking all of the food for the crew. Let’s just say he probably won’t be taking a boat across the country anytime soon!

After three years of being private chefs Rand and Chris caught the entrepreneurial bug. They received so much praise for the food, from some of the most important people in the country. They knew they wanted to bring their food to the masses, but they didn’t quite know how to start a business. So Chris and Rand left their jobs as private chefs to head to Chris’ family’s company, Uncle Giuseppe’s, a chain of Italian supermarkets. While at Uncle Giuseppe’s, Rand and Chris were taught the importance of food costs, business smarts, and the ability to scale larger while remaining consistent with the food throughout different locations.
So they headed back to Florida to start their own business. The location of the first restaurant caused arguments, as they just weren’t sure where to put it. That was when they thought back to when they were in culinary school and the food trucks would come every Tuesday. Rand and Chris thought very hard about what their next move would be. They decided to start a food truck as a proof of concept and to find the best locations for the eventual restaurants to come. They called it Miami Press Gourmet Sandwiches Food Truck. The concept quickly took off, as the Miami Press Food Truck became one of the top trucks in South Florida. It was a dream for Chris and Rand to be able to serve their great food to the masses. They knew that if they used good fresh and local ingredients and prepared the food to order that they would always have people wanting to eat their food.

While the truck was taking off, Rand got the opportunity to go on Food Network and compete in a reality competition cooking show. The show is called Food Truck Face Off, the show is a mix between The Great American Food Truck Race and Chopped. Rand brought one of he and Chris’s signature dishes, the Mac’n Cheese Ball. He won the competition, bringing the spotlight to the Mac n’ Cheese Balls and the already well-known Miami Press Food Truck. The lines became even longer as their food truck became more and more popular by the day.

As the success out grew the food truck, Chris and Rand finally knew it was time to open up a Press Gourmet Sandwiches Restaurant. Press Gourmet Sandwiches, or PGS for short, is a fast casual sandwich restaurant serving pressed sandwiches. All of the sandwiches are made to order from scratch and pressed on ciabatta bread until crispy on top and soft in the middle. It’s made with all fresh and local ingredients.

Press Gourmet Sandwiches has two locations, one in Ft. Lauderdale and one in Boca Raton. They are open Mon – Sat 7am – 8pm, closed Sundays. For more info, check out their website.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

New Ways Discover Food While Traveling

Posted By : Jennifer Ouvrard/ 297

Hello Foodie Friends,

Think about the food just in your state. It probably differs from one spot to another, based on who settled where and when, what they grew, where they originally came from, and what resources they had. History, people, preferences, and culture all play into regional food, and that’s what makes exploring it so interesting and diverse. And with road trips on the rise, digging into the food scene wherever you’re going, or wherever you live, can be a rewarding and delicious reward.

If you want to learn more about food, wherever you go, there are a couple of steps you can take. For starters, you can always contact your favorite food gurus here at Savor Our City.  Additional resources are local eats apps or local bloggers, who may also have a presence on social media sites such as Instagram. Many food magazines also have good regional recommendations. Want more tips? This graphic offers some ideas to get you traveling, eating, and enjoying what food has to offer.

Let us know if you found this info useful and if you have any additional tips that you turn to find great places to eat when you are traveling out of your home town.

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise