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TH E ATLANTI C

Coastal Culture | Palm Beach & Broward County

Jan/Feb 2021 | Issue 48


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CONTE NTS

12

FROPRO

A snack that raises the bar on what a local business can be for their community. It’s a story about food, but at the same time, not at all.

18

THE BARREL ROOM

When the pandemic hit, the Papa’s Raw Bar crew quickly looked for ways to adapt their little slice of Lighthouse Point paradise. What started as a private dining space with a limited menu quickly changed course to a dining experience where the “sky’s the limit.”

24

GRACE’S FINE FOODS

First a pop-up tent, then to food hall, now at their very own location. Grace’s Fine Foods is a testament of the brick-by-brick growth and entrepreneurial spirit it takes to own a restaurant.

28

FLYBIRD

Sure, they make some of the best chicken you’ve ever tasted. But you’ll find it isn’t just the food that keeps the person that’s writing this coming back.

32

WHAT THE CHEF EATS AT LIONFISH

Atlantic Ave’s newest seafood hotspot is open and churning, despite any pandemic setbacks. To find out what you should order, we asked chef Johnny Demartini what he chooses to make for himself.

34

TWO POP-UPS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Ghost kitchens, pop-ups, whatever you want to call them. Here are two unique places to get your grub on that “popped” up in 2020, and likely, because of 2020.

36 - CURRENT 4

Beer | Biz | Music


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PUBLISHER

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Dustin Wright | Dustin@theatlanticcurrent.com

561-716-6286 | info@theatlanticcurrent.com

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EDITOR Darien Davies

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WRITERS David Rolland Darien Davies Nicole Danna

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OUR CREDO We believe coastal South Florida is one of the most desirable locations in the world, and we consider it a privilege to highlight and promote everything and everyone that exemplifies our lifestyle. The core of our model is local business partnerships and supporting our community. The amount of local talent is immense, from professional athletes to world class chefs, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. This talent deserves recognition, and we make these people and what they do the cornerstone of our content at The Atlantic Current.

@atlanticcurrent

@atlanticcurrent

/atlanticcurrent

Doug Fairall

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jakob Takos Matthew Smith

Copyright 2021 by the Atlantic Current LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Atlantic Current is a registered trademark of The Atlantic Current LLC.

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1.8 / 4PM B RODY BUSTER

1.29 / 9PM UNLIMITED DEVOTION

1.8 / 9PM DONTAY

1.30 / 4PM JOHNN Y DEBT

1.9 / 4PM TOM MACKELL

1.30 / 9PM UPROOT HOOTENANN Y

1.9 / 9PM B OB BY LEE RODGERS

2.05 / 9PM THE RICCA PROJE CT

1.10/ 4PM P OOR LIFE DE CISIONS

2.06 / 4PM NEWS FROM B REE

1.15 / 4PM JEFF WHITE

2.06 / 9PM ANDREW MORRIS BAND

1.15 / 9PM ROOSEVELT COLLIER

2.07 / 4PM VICTORIA LEIGH

1.16 / 4PM CRAB BY SHAK A

2.12 / 9PM GUAVATRON

1.16 / 9PM ROOSEVELT COLLIER

2.13 / 4PM JOHNN Y DEBT

1.17 /4PM NOU VE AU X HONKIE S

2.13 / 9PM B EN PRE STAGE

1.22 / 4PM VICTORIA CARDON

2.14 / 4PM NOU VE AU X HONKIE S

1.22 / 9PM JAKE WALDEN

2.19 / 9pm MIKE PINTO

1.23 / 4PM WE ST KING STRING BAND

2.20 / 4pm CORTADITO

1.23 / 9PM THE 5 02’S

2.26 / 4pm B RET T STASK A

1.24 / 4PM SA MANTHA RUSSEL

2.26 / 9PM SPIDER CHERRY

1.29 / 4PM L ATHER UP

2.27 / 9PM ELE CTRIC KIFF


EVE NTS

JANUARY

14 Bill Cerny @ Papa’s Raw Bar

6 King Colton Band @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca 7 Uproot Hootenanny @ The Village

15 Tasty Vibrations @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca Albert Castiglia @ Funky Biscuit – Boca

Pump – Lauderdale By The Sea

Jeff White @ Guanabanas – Jupiter (4pm)

8 The Wildfire Band @ Old School Square Pavilion – Delray

Marc Claus @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point

Brody Buster (4pm) & Dontay (9pm) @ Guanabanas – Jupiter The Flyers @ The Fish Depot – Boynton Fiesta Bobs Live @ The Dubliner - Boca 9 Southern Blood @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca Delray Beach Winter Green Market @

Old School Square Park – Delray (every Saturday 9am-2pm)

Self Guided Beach Cleanup w/ Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Juno

(every Saturday morning 8:30-11:30am)

15-16 Roosevelt Collier @ Guanabanas - Jupiter 16 Gnarly Charley Surf Series Contest #4 @ Jupiter Beach/Stair 45 The Full Decks @ Deck 84 – Delray Beach 15-31 South Florida “mini” Fair @ Fairgrounds - WPB 16 Josh Gracin @ Old School Square Pavilion

– Delray

Guerra Grooves @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point Mason Pace Band @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

Bobby Lee Rodgers @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

The Rust Market @ Lake Park Arts District

56 Ace Band @ Mathews Brewing

– Lake Worth

Matt Brown Band Live @ The Dubliner -- Boca 9-10 33rd Annual Las Olas Art Festival – Fort Lauderdale 10 The Pettybreakers – Tom Petty Tribute @ Funky Biscuit – Boca (shows at 5p & 8p) Poor Life Decisions @ Guanabanas – Jupiter (4pm)

17 Nouveaux Honkies @ Guanabanas – Jupiter (4pm)

20 Sierra Lane Band @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca 21 G. Spartacus Duo @ Papa’s Raw Bar

– Lighthouse Point

22 Tony Jackson @ Old School Square Pavilion – Delray Guerra @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point

Axcents @ Deck 84 – Delray Beach

23 “Still Alive” Tribute to Pearl Jam @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca

11 Justin Enco @ Papa’s Raw Bar

Uproot Hootenanny @ ER Bradley’s – WPB

– Lighthouse Point (6p-9p every Monday)

12 Musicians Open Mic & Taco Tuesday @ Brewhouse Gallery – Lake Park

(every Tuesday through March)

Brian Bolen @ Papa’s Raw Bar

8

– Lighthouse Point

The 502’s @ Guanabanas – Jupiter 24 Uproot Hootenanny @ Deck 84 – Delray Beach 29 Burnt Biscuit @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

– Lighthouse Point (every Tuesday)

Ana Popovic @ Funky Biscuit – Boca

13 25% off Crowlers every Wednesday @ Mathews Brewing Co. – Lake Worth

30 Unlimited Devotion @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca

Walt Rooney @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point (every Wednesday Jan. and Feb.)

– Delray

Uproot Hootenanny @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

14 Crazy Fingers @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

Spred The Dub @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

Aaron Goodvin @ Old School Square Pavilion


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EVE NTS

FEBRUARY

12 Guerra @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point 12-21 Delray Beach Open @ Stadium and Tennis Center

1-2 Tab Benoit @ Funky Biscuit – Boca

13 The Flyers @ The Fish Depot – Boynton Beach

1 Justin Enco @ Papa’s Raw Bar

The Wailers feat. Julian Marley (semi acoustic set) @ Old School Square Pavilion – Delray Beach

– Lighthouse Point (6p-9p every Monday in Feb.)

2 Musicians Open Mic & Taco Tuesday @ The Brewhouse Gallery – Lake Park (every

Tuesday through March)

Brian Bolen @ Papa’s Raw Bar

– Lighthouse Point (every Tuesday)

3 Trivia Night @ Due South Brewing – Boynton Walt Rooney @ Papa’s Raw Bar

19 Uproot Hootenanny @ ER Bradley’s – WPB Mike Pinto @ Guanabanas – Jupiter Switch n’ Whiskey @ Mathews Brewing

– Lake Worth

– Lighthouse Point (every Wednesday)

Comedian Judy Gold @ Lake Park Black Box

4 Crazy Fingers @ The Fish Depot – Boynton Beach

Marc Claus @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse

The Ricca Project @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

Restaurant – Stuart

G. Spartacus Duo @ Papa’s Raw Bar

Guerra Grooves @ Papa’s Raw Bar

– Lighthouse Point

– Lighthouse Point

4-6 11th Annual Billfish Tournament @ Two Georges at the Cove – Deerfield

26 Burnt Biscuit @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

5-7 Uproot Hootenanny @ Farm To Grass Music

Festival – Fort Pierce

6 Delray Beach Winter Green Market @ Old School Square Park – Delray

(every Saturday 9am-2pm)

Self Guided Beach Cleanup w/ Loggerhead Marinelife Center – Juno (every Saturday morning 8:30-11:30am) News From Bree (4pm) & Andrew Morris Band (9pm) @ Guanabanas - Jupiter 6-7 20th Anniversary Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts 7 Victoria Leigh @ Guanabanas – Jupiter (4pm) 8 Jorma Kaukonen @ Old School Square

20 Uproot Hootenanny @ TideHouse Waterfront

Brett Staska (4pm) & Spider Cherry (9pm) @ Guanabanas - Jupiter 27 Electric Kiff @ Guanabanas – Jupiter 22 Tony Jackson @ Old School Square Pavilion – Delray Guerra @ Papa’s Raw Bar – Lighthouse Point 23 “Still Alive” Tribute to Pearl Jam @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca Uproot Hootenanny @ ER Bradley’s – WPB The 502’s @ Guanabanas – Jupiter 24 Uproot Hootenanny @ Deck 84 – Delray Beach 29 Burnt Biscuit @ The Fish Depot – Boynton

Pavilion – Delray

Ana Popovic @ Funky Biscuit – Boca

9-10 The Allman Betts Band @ Funky Biscuit – Boca (2 shows nightly @ 6 & 9pm)

30 Unlimited Devotion @ Crazy Uncle Mikes – Boca

11 Bill Cerny @ Papa’s Raw Bar

10

Ben Prestage @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

Aaron Goodvin @ Old School Square Pavilion – Delray

– Lighthouse Point

Uproot Hootenanny @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

12 Guavatron @ Guanabanas – Jupiter

Spred The Dub @ The Fish Depot – Boynton


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FROPRO Fueling Second Chances BY DARI E N DAV I ES

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FOOD


If you ask most small business owners what their goal was in creating their business, it might be money, lifestyle, notoriety or power. If you’re Matthew Williams, it was E: None of the above. “FROPRO is my second chance. I didn’t create FROPRO to fill a market gap and I certainly didn’t create it to be a small business owner. It was born in a time of self crisis for me. In 2010 I started my life over and while trying to find my way, I perfected this snack in my kitchen as a kind of self therapy,” said Williams, owner and creator of FROPRO. If you haven’t yet heard of FROPRO, it’s a clean-food company that makes protein-rich snack bars. All of their bars are made with organic nut butter and organic, plant-based protein because they believe that good food fuels you to be the best version of yourself. These delicious and healthy bars will not only make you feel good in the body, they’ll also make you feel good in the soul, as the company is all about helping others recognize and achieve their second chances. Williams’s second chance came in the form of a DUI in 2010. After spending some time in rehab, he decided to refocus his life and put his actions in line with his passions. Always a busy guy who held more jobs at once than most people in a lifetime, he was able to get a job working for a meal prep company during the day and also train his athletic clients at night. Due to a lack of downtime in between jobs, and being exhausted from riding his bike to and from work, he was on the hunt for a protein-rich snack bar that would help him get through the day. A little trial and error in his kitchen, and FROPRO was born. While it might have been Williams at the helm, he is quick to tell you that he couldn’t have gotten there without his wife Chelsea and the community. “At its core, FROPRO is more than just a bar; it’s a community. We are a group of people who are committed to bettering ourselves,” said Williams, who has been sober since 2010. “People who have faced trials and hardships. People who recognize that life is measured by the effort you put forth, not merely by the results you achieve. FROPRO is built on second chances. Our bar is just a part of that equation.”

My life is enriched daily by all the people who have participated in our growth.

The company’s mission is to make and share wholesome snacks, create a community of people dedicated to bettering themselves, and spread awareness about and advocate for people working through addiction and toward recovery. For the wife and husband duo, that work starts with FROPRO. They hope to share the product with as many people as possible and that they enjoy it. If they can connect with the mission behind it, that’s a bonus. >>

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FOOD


We started with nothing so we’ve celebrated a few ‘we made it’ moments.

“My life is enriched daily by all the people who have participated in our growth. I’m surrounded by incredibly talented, smart people who are on the same page as I am when it comes to effort and taking action,” Williams said. “We have been so lucky to have the support we have received. In 2016, I signed up for the New York City Marathon and decided to publicly share my story in hope to raise money for people in recovery. We couldn’t believe how many people wanted to donate to me and support my cause. We realized after that we had a voice and ability to raise more. We created the FROPRO Foundation so that we can raise money and donate to charities that support those in recovery on a larger scale.” Through the FROPRO Foundation, which they created in 2017, they aim to raise awareness about addiction, support people in recovery, and create a network on which people can rely as they get and stay sober. They hope the FROPRO Foundation will help to dismantle the stigma associated with addiction and recovery. Since 2019, the FROPRO Foundation has supported the Temperance Training Foundation. Temperance Training is an inclusive community of men and women who have recovered from alcohol and drug addiction and who value spiritual and physical fitness. Through their organization, they have built an extraordinary and supportive community in South Florida. The FROPRO community has participated fully in Temperance Training, and has attended their group classes, participated in their charity runs and events, and done yoga and mindfulness through their program. Williams wholeheartedly believes that supporting the community is what the FROPRO brand is all about. He is convinced that he wouldn’t be here today, and FROPRO wouldn’t be a “thing,” if it weren’t for the local community that lifted him up and supported him both individually and for FROPRO. “It took some time for me to get over the fear and share FROPRO, and it was the community’s support that has helped FROPRO get to where it is today,” said Williams, who works to give back the support he’s been given. “Our ultimate goal is to be a nationwide brand and inspire others that second chances are possible. We started with nothing so we’ve celebrated a few ‘we made it’ moments. When we are out and about, either in Whole Foods or a local juice bar, and we see a stranger buying a FROPRO, we still look at each other and smile. >>

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FPAR O O KS D


People who we don’t know buy and love FROPRO, and that just is the coolest part for us. Our incredible partnership with Whole Foods was definitely one of those moments but we have a long way to go!” They even created a special flavor, Tropical Dream, for the opening of the Delray Beach Whole Foods, which brings their current flavor count to 12 delicious flavors. Williams first created cacao, vanilla, mint and coffee, but now offers unique flavors like banana crunch, PB&J and blueberry almond. In order to stay true to the ingredients, flavors and company mission, they create small batches to ensure the flavor, and says that FROPRO bars really do taste incredible. On top of that, he and Chelsea put anything and everything into the product because, yep, you guessed it: it’s more than frozen protein. It’s taking a bite out of life. Trying and failing. Trying and succeeding! Being a helping hand for your fellow community members. Bettering yourself and those around you. Pushing through fear and prevailing. “[I was pretty] hesitant at first. I had all these things I studied for and had masters that I wasn’t using. All I know is that I was super happy, the woman I loved supported me. ‘Hey, you were given a second chance,’” said Williams, on first starting the company. “I’ve had many do-overs but this one I was super excited about and wanted to keep moving. I love being active and being with people and their ideas, and being as supportive as possible. Theres no shortage of great ideas. If you love doing it, go for it.”

@gofropro

theatlanticcurrent.com

17


THE BARREL ROOM Brand New Speakeasy Oozes with “Good Vibes” BY DAVID ROLLAND

T

hose of you who haven’t visited Papa’s Raw Bar in some time are in for a surprise on your next visit to this longtime Lighthouse Point fave. As a way to reinvent themselves during a tough time for restaurants, Papa’s Raw Bar has unleashed The Barrel Room. In what was once Papa Hughie’s Seafood World now stands a brand new lounge that specializes in elevated cocktails, and everyone is invited to imbibe. The Barrel Room’s website describes themselves as “where our passionate mixologists shake up the perfect blend of potions, syrups and infusions, paired with spices, herbs, fresh-pressed juices and exotic ingredients. Our Chef’s arsenal of creative culinary provisions are mind blowing and innovative and sure to take your palate to the wild side.” “Due to the pandemic we closed both restaurants and were living off the Fresh Market,” explained owner and concierge Troy Ganter on the inspiration for Barrel Room.  “We slowly opened the doors to Papa’s Raw Bar and quickly realized we couldn’t afford to operate two restaurants and 110 employees again. We did a great job catering to locals from two restaurants, but it was extremely challenging and large overhead. So it was my Dad, Papa Hughie’s, idea to open up an oyster bar instead of reopening his 44-year-old landmark seafood world.” >>  18

FOOD


PHOTOS: MATTHEW SMITH

t h e a t l a n t i c c u r r e n t . c o m 19


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FB OE OACD H


Our team

decided to run with it and not only open a

oyster bar next to Papa’s, but to

open a private venue,

The Barrel Room. Ganter went into brief detail about the logistics of this pivot. “Our team decided to run with it and not only open an oyster bar next to Papa’s, but to open a private venue, The Barrel Room. With help from our city and guidance from our mentors, we consolidated all three businesses into one Papa’s Raw Bar. By doing so we were able to meet requirements for a liquor license.”    Their drink menu is highlighted by Papa’s Old Fashioned, which consists of Papa’s Pilar 24-year-old rum, bitters and house syrup in a smoked maple wood glass, and Naked & Famous, a concoction of mezcal, pineapple, sour mix, jalapeño, and lime. Their intimate food menu includes oysters, a selection of cured meats and cheeses, an artisan flatbread pizza, an impressive seafood tower with three different options, and more. The lounge, which had a soft opening in September 2020, aims to create the ambience of a Caribbean sea faring adventure. To keep true to their name, many of the room’s tables are made of wooden barrels that were used for the aging of rum, beer and other types of adult beverages. >>

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FB OE OACD H


“We have been growing organically, one day at a time, first focusing on elevated cocktails inspired by The Aviary in Chicago along with culinary provisions from our arsenal of pairings, wine dinners and experience catering to our locals and South Florida’s celebrities,” Ganter said. “Our executive chef  Chad Wyrosdick and sous chef James Hobday elevated our menus at The Barrel Room. We started off with a fun menu with elevated towers: naked crab, drunken lobster, stoned crab, charcuterie and more.  This was a big hit, but locals still wanted the Raw Bar classics like our our famous sushi and hibachi items, and others went nuts over our famous Darioush wine dinners and culinary pairings.”    Ganter is pleased with The Barrel Room’s slow evolution thus far. “I’m glad we didn’t rush into things. We stayed true to our vision, which was to create a speakeasy private venue for locals to lounge with good vibes only. There’s nothing like this around.”

What excites Ganter the most about 2021 is fine tuning the Barrel Room’s private dining experience. “We have always catered to our locals offsite at their homes and on their yachts. Now we have our own venue, which offers a unique experience. When you reserve The Barrel Room or VIP room, the sky’s the limit.”

To book your Barrel Room experience, contact concierge Troy Ganter a.k.a. “Papasan” at 954.520.1026 or email thebarrelroom@papasrawbar.com 4610 N. Federal Highway, Lighthouse Point @papasbarrelroom

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PHOTOS: CURRENT MEDIA


GRACE’S FINE FOODS Sustainably Delicious BY NICOLE DANNA

W

hen you see the line for breakfast and lunch at Bradley Grace’s 1,200-square-foot Juno sandwich shop, you’d never guess his nook-like eatery is only six months old. Or, for that matter, that he opened in the middle of a pandemic. But it’s indeed grace — and a menu of obsession-worthy eats — that has carried the Irish-born chef this far, finding success amidst the calamity of uncertainty. It’s especially evident when Grace’s Fine Foods offers up its steak special, a sandwich that has obtained almost cult-like status since Grace began rotating it onto the menu as a weekly one-off. These days, it sells out in less than an hour. A post is made via Instagram, and the frenzy begins. Regulars and locals go wild, rushing the door and tying up phone lines for a chance at the challah bread slathered in a garlic crème fraîche, house bacon jam, and piled high with tender slices of soy-orange marinated skirt steak. The final touch: a slathering of gochujang, a spicy Korean condiment, and fragrant chimichurri. “It’s a flavor bomb, people cannot get enough,” Grace said. Today, Grace’s Fine Foods is an ode to Grace’s love of the perfect sandwich. His tiny shop in a bustling shopping plaza at a busy intersection in North Palm Beach County is testament to his determination to share that love with the masses.

It’s a flavor bomb, people cannot get enough.

Gone are the days of rolling up to breweries with a mobile cart, which is what he did when he began his journey in 2016. And behind him are his humble beginnings at West Palm Beach’s Grandview Public Market, where limited cooking facilities kept his menu short and simple, prompting a move to a larger space. >> t h e a t l a n t i c c u r r e n t . c o m 25


While the Grace’s Fine Foods menu has grown to include more than a half dozen breakfast and lunch sandwiches, snacks, and salads, that steak sandwich is not even the one menu item that Grace is best known for. Instead, it’s his quintessential sausage, egg, and cheese. But not just any sausage, egg, and cheese. It’s a massive four-and-ahalf ounces of true Irish banger fashioned between two dense slices of toasted challah bread smothered in a roasted garlic and red pepper aioli, fitted beneath a delicately fried egg and a deluge of melty cheddar cheese. Growing up in Ireland, Grace most fondly remembers the sausages of his hometown, the very ingredient that inspired his business from the very start. This isn’t the mapley-sweet, highly-processed sausage of your youthful breakfast. Rather, it begins with a whole muscle grind of pork shoulder, done in-house at the start of each day. The meat is the most critical component, and he uses pasture-raised swine sourced from a cooperative of small family-run farms in Iowa, making for a flavorful sausage. The real secret here is the breadcrumbs, known in Ireland as rusk. The Irish version of panko, they’re what give the sausage it’s structure, soaking up the flavors, liquid, and fat from the ingredients while keeping the meat moist, juicy, and tender. Those flavors are what lend Irish sausage its unique flavor, a nimble balance of nutmeg, allspice, and fresh sage. It’s that signature flavor Grace worked months to dial in. “I must have gone through 100 iterations before I got it right,” Grace said. “I was looking for the flavors that most reminded me of being a kid.” Today, you can try the breakfast sandwich from 8 to 10 a.m., but the modest flat-top grill and several ovens also allow for a slightly larger, more thoughtful menu. Like his sausage, all meat served at Grace’s Fine Foods is ground in house. That’s especially true of his smash-style burger, offered in a single or double. But you won’t find a secret blend to disseminate what delivers the aroma and flavor here. “I’ve messed around with every single burger blend you can possibly imagine, and I’ve settled on a single muscle grind for our burgers, very similar to our sausage,” Grace said. Beef shoulder, to be precise. The perfect fat-to-lean ratio makes for a clean grind from one clean cut of meat, and it’s something you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Looking back, Grace is most thankful not only for his success, but for the people who’ve helped him achieve it.

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“I’m very impressed with how we’ve done. Not to say that it hasn’t been a struggle, but our community has really rallied around us to show their support,” Grace said. “Thanks to our customers, we’ve been able to keep our doors open amidst the most significant crisis we’ll see in our time, and while each day is complete un-known, it’s a beautiful thing to have people care and appreciate what you’re doing.” 813 Donald Ross Road, Juno Beach @gracesfinefoods


theatlanticcurrent.com

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PHOTOS: CURRENT MEDIA


F LY B I R D Chicken Soup for the Pandemic Soul BY DARIEN DAVIES

I

f 2020 was the worst cold you’ve ever had in your life, then FlyBird’s roast chicken was the comfort we all needed. Not only is it seriously good chicken, it’s also served up by a seriously friendly team who’s committed to everyone’s hungry happiness. The best part is that when Flybird wins, we all win. The goal for the restaurant is to provide locals with the homey and delicious meals they want, without them having to cook it themselves. It’s simple and convenient with a roasted garlic on top, served with a smile, and delivered to your door when you’re too tired to make it in. “Fresh and simple. It’s funny, people go, ‘What do you do to your chicken?’ Like it’s some secret,” said Michael Salmon, owner of FlyBird Chargrilled Chicken. “So we created a spice mix (salt and pepper) and call it ‘chicken magic.’ It’s really just the way we do it: grilled over mesquite charcoal and hard work. It’s like the best backyard BBQ. Remember the first visceral interaction with chicken that wasn’t in a pot? That’s what this is always. Thank God it all works out well.”

And that’s out of the mouth of someone who is so appreciative of his local community. FlyBird was open only eight months when the pandemic struck town, which afforded them enough time to receive great feedback from local food bloggers and community members who gave great reviews. Coupled with help from The Socially Distanced Supper Club and fine-tuning their already rockstar offerings, they’ve been able to refine what they do and offer a very tight menu that delivers consistently awesome results. “The secret is to find your niche, find what people like, and deliver it with a great attitude, consistently. Just do something really well and it’ll work. It has and it is,” said Salmon, who’s most looking forward to 2021 and seeing people’s faces again. “I feel blessed and incredibly fortunate. When I sit outside for 15 minutes with a glass of water, I have conversations with people coming and going next door at the post office. People say, ‘Best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.’ I say, ‘Dude, you totally made my day.’” >>

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30 FC O OMDM U N IT Y


He calls it “craveability.” He and his team try and offer something better than everyone else around, which not only includes their chargrilled chicken, homemade sides, sandwiches and salads, but also the care for their customers. “When interviewing, that’s the job you’re applying for. I can train for everything else, but [my employees] just have to be super nice. I watch them all the time on cameras and it’s to catch them doing something right, not something wrong,” Salmon said. “It’s small touches that bring humanity and sanity in an insane world. And that’s what makes the chicken taste so good. It’s how you respect the process from the minute the door is open to when they leave. It’s a competition to who can be nicer to each other. I love all of it. It’s a joy for me.” Salmon is happy to now be seeing people who he hasn’t seen in the past 10 months, and looks forward to continuing to pick back up the COVID pieces of 2020. Considering FlyBird has spent half its life in a pandemic, Salmon still considers himself and the business very lucky. He was able to keep his entire team, increase his delivery business with Delivery Dudes, and didn’t have to substantially increase prices, all of which allows him to interact with guests, and train and empower team members to do their job well. It’s all about the KISS (keep it simple, stupid), and for Salmon that means connecting with his customers and giving them exactly what they need: a feel-good hug via the best chicken dishes in town.

I want there to be a connectivity to the food from an emotional point of view.

“I want there to be a connectivity to the food from an emotional point of view. People seek us out, and that is the greatest compliment. It’s very fulfilling,” Salmon said.

335 E. Linton Blvd., Delray Beach @flybirdfood

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W H AT T H E C H E F E AT S at Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine

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hile Lionfish might be another seafood restaurant on the Avenue, it certainly isn’t like all the others. Executive Chef Johnny Demartini (formerly of Death or Glory, Max’s Harvest, Max’s Social House and The Cooper) made sure of that. The menu features everything you might expect in a “modern coastal cuisine” restaurant, but each familiar dish has been elevated to surprise every palate. Think Steak Tartare “In-N-Out Burger... Animal Style,” Tuna Pizza and No Way! Vegan Sliders. But when it comes to what Chef Demartini can’t get enough of, it’s the Lionfish Ceviche.  “We wanted to feature a lionfish ceviche that was a little different than anything else that’s out there,” Demartini said. “Putting a Florida twist on it with the key lime juice perfectly pairs with lionfish’s already-tender and delicious white meat, and ultimately creates a light and refreshing dish that leaves guests wanting more.” The dish is made with coconut milk, key lime juice, chopped cilantro and mint, agave-pickled Serrano peppers and green onions, creamy avocado, the freshest lionfish they can find, and topped with crispy grilled corn tortillas. The lionfish is diced and salted before bathing in a marinade of coconut milk and key lime mixture, then mixed with the other ingredients and a little salt and pepper. Drooling? We thought so.  “This is one of my favorite dishes to make at home based on the fact that it’s so delicious and refreshing, especially in the really hot days here in South Florida,” Demartini said. “Not only that, but it’s a great dish to make for when you have people over at the house as it really lends itself to be a very shareable plate for every taste palate.”

307 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach @lionfishdelray 32

FOOD

PHOTO: SCOTT DIEL


3671 N Dixie Hwy, Pompano Beach, FL 33064

954.785.4820 PHOTO: WAVELENGTH

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/Rivamotorsports 33


TWO LOCAL

POP-UPS Y O U M I G H T H AV E M I S S E D I N 2 0 2 0 BY DAVID ROLLAND

E

ven during the best of times, it is notoriously difficult to open a successful restaurant. Of course this past year was nobody’s idea of the best of times. Restaurant owners, managers and employees had to adapt to sudden changes from both government and science on how to safely serve food to customers during a pandemic. One day you have to close your doors, the next you can only have curbside pickup,

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FOOD

and the week after it’s only socially distanced outdoor seating. But still some local restauranteurs have decided to fight the good fight and open a new dining establishment during these uncertain times, all in the name of bringing you a good meal. We wanted to spotlight two unique takes on food that you might have missed in 2020.


Fish Bowl at High Dive

Chef Jeremy Bearman had the bad fortune of opening his new seafood spot, High Dive Seafare & Spirits, mere weeks before COVID shut everything down. For a while High Dive tried to survive only on outdoor dining and takeout, but in July they decided to shut things down until the pandemic ceased. However, instead of holding their breath until a vaccine cured everything, they decided to open the lower key, Fish Bowl, this past December. The pop-up concept operates out of a fancy trailer parked outside the High Dive’s open air patio at Rosemary Square. Fish Bowl is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-7pm and features a simple menu of only four entrees, but each entrée has a wide variety of complex ingredients. Their ceviche includes red shrimp, avocado, aji amarillo, pineapple, coconut leche de tigre, Peruvian corn and lime. Their poke is made of yellowfin tuna, sweet onion, sushi rice, pickled daikon, scallion, avocado, furikake, and creamy sambal. The menu also advertises a green papaya salad, New England crab roll, and ice cream for those with a sweet tooth. For those thirsty sailors, their drink menu features a pretty intense wine selection, a nice assortment of beers and some tasty craft cocktails. While Bearman plans to reopen High Dive as soon as its feasible, he’s deliciously making do with Fish Bowl. 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 236, West Palm Beach

PHOTO: VAN RICHARDSON

@HighDiveWestPalm

Death by Pizza

From the people who brought you Two Fat Cookies comes the equally descriptive Death by Pizza. The new Delray pop-up does not make things easy for those who wish to try their goods, but their pies are in enough demand that people are willing to jump through hoops for them, including “online ordering only, no slices, no amendments, no walk-ups.” Twice per week, Death by Pizza opens up their “Order Drop” where you can pre-order your pizzas. Order Drops take place on Monday and Friday at noon to be picked up on Sundays and Wednesdays respectively. When you go online to order, you select your time slot so pickup is quick and easy.   They describe it as naturally leavened Detroit-style pizza. Each week, patrons flock to their Instagram feed to view the selection of pizzas that will be on the next menu. Some of their recent offerings include The Redrum with pepperoni cups, house-pickled jalapeños, cheese blend, sweet sauce and honey; The Prey with cheese blend, organic chicken, chives, red onion, house-pickled long hot peppers and buttermilk ranch; and The Cryptonite with vodka sauce, basil and cheese blend.    32 S.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach @deathbypizzadelray t h e a t l a n t i c c u r r e n t . c o m 35


CURRENT | BEER

DUE SOUTH BREWING

A Local Brewery’s Year In Staying Above Sea Level BY DOUG FAIRALL BRAND MANAGER AT DUE SOUTH BREWING 36 B E E R

PHOTOS: CURRENT MEDIA


W

hat started as a typical year turned into, as no surprise to anyone, anything but typical. Every plan for the year was thrown out the window in a few short weeks. Our story isn’t unique in this industry. In fact, I’d say our team at Due South Brewing was in the best possible position to tackle the complete and utter upheaval of the hospitality and restaurant worlds. It was a rapid shutdown the week of St. Patrick’s Day. We had to move quickly in rescheduling what we thought would just be a few months of our spring production timeline, which inevitably became a pivot to a new focus in the market. Gone overnight were many of our retail partners that carried our beer on draft. Our taproom was closed to any onsite consumption. The bread and butter of what had been our model got turned around. Since March, we’ve been lucky to continue to brew beer for our customers, though with an adjustment to how the beer gets to them. With draft locations shut, keg sales plummeted. Meanwhile, sales of cans boomed at grocery and big box beer stores. But with this boom led to a can shortage of almost 10 billion cans according to Beer Business 37

Daily as almost every beverage manufacturer switched to the to-go model, leaving a lot of businesses without a source of raw materials. Due South Brewing was in a great position from 2019 as we already had dozens of pallets of pre-printed cans ready to go for this year. The only thing consumers will notice is that for a few of our limited release runs we’re recycling cans we haven’t used in a while with labels on top of old discontinued brands or variations on brands that are already in the market. Throughout 2020, our brewery was able to continue operations as we switched our taproom to a to-go model at first, then limited onsite enjoyment as the Florida state mandates changed. There’s nothing quite like a crisis to push through a sea of change, which for us was an expansion of our online store and the introduction of curbside pickup.  We had a small but established e-commerce presence for a few years, but were now taking multiple orders for cans, crowlers, and merchandise every day, and had to train our staff on contactless order fulfillment.  It was doing whatever we could to create a frictionless environment for our customers. >>

theatlanticcurrent.com

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CURRENT | BEER

But all of that didn’t come easy. The beer industry is highly regulated and there are many agencies involved, including the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. With the pandemic, add in extra local mandates and state executive orders… and business gets trickier. But not impossible. All of this was accomplished by an incredible staff of people who are passionate about what we do on a daily basis. There’s nothing exceptionally important about this work; after all it’s “just beer,” but it’s a product that people seek out to celebrate with, to cry with, and to connect with. That entices a certain echelon of people to seek out the brewing profession, much like chefs who are enthralled by the possibilities that they can bring to fruition with food. In the end, we’re an industry built on change. The thousands of breweries across the country popped up in the last two decades exactly because their founders wanted to see something different, something beyond the bland beers that we were accustomed to. Our brewery in Boynton Beach will survive, and many others will as well. Restaurants will return, and so will gathering places to enjoy conversations over a pint or three. To get through this coming year it comes down to a few easy things: Be a decent person. Support any local brewery you love and want to see succeed. Be kind. 2900 High Ridge Road, #3, Boynton Beach @duesouthbrewing 38 B E E R


CURRENT | BIZ

BIRDIE FLORAL TRUCK

Flying the Coop to Land Dreams BY DARIEN DAVIES

40 B I Z


“I

am not a florist by any means but I’ve ALWAYS loved pop-ups, flea markets and community type events. (Yes, I am that annoying friend in the group chat begging people to come with me to a local event every weekend - haha!) I would go to these all the time and for years I found myself saying ‘one day I’m gonna do this’ and ‘one day I’m gonna do that.’ A pop-up company/mobile business has always been one of those ‘one day’ things for me,” said Cecelia Feathers, creator of Birdie Floral Truck. “Birdie wasn’t created to be a remarkably profitable business or to chase the side hustle. It was simply something I wanted to do in my lifetime. What is life if I keep putting off the things I want to do in mine until ‘one day?’” If COVID brought her anything, it was the opportunity for her to rediscover who she was as a worker, and it didn’t take long for her to fly the corporate coop. Her last six years were spent working in corporate America, and she realized that much of her identity was tied to her job, making her forget who she was as an individual. Although she was an economics major by degree and marketing manager by current work, she realized that she was an entrepreneur and lover of beautiful things by nature. So when she recognized the hassle in the purchasing of dried pampas stems online, she decided to solve the problem for herself and her fellow local pampas lovers.

Her “ah hah” moment came when she was purchasing dried pampas stems online for her own home, much like the hoards of millennials (including the Kardashians) who were enjoying the 2020 design trend. She decided that the hassle of paying pricey shipping charges and waiting months to receive your order, which more often than not didn’t look like the picture, needed a redo. “On this path of individual rediscovery I thought, ‘Wow, I could solve this problem for people in South Florida and not have them go through the headache I had to go through when making these purchases,’” said Feathers, who tries not to put so much pressure on herself to make everything perfect. “The goal was simple: make dried stems and beautiful pampas grass more accessible for people. I had seen other flower truck concepts, but unlike those that only carried fresh flowers, we would focus more on dried, ever-lasting items.” So she found the truck in Miami, completely renovated it, had the canopy made and shelves built, and three months later the pretty Birdie was flying. To get the word out and drum up some business, she reached out to local businesses to see if she could be a pop-up at their location. Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach gave them their first big break this past October and they have since popped up at different markets all over South Florida. >> t h e a t l a n t i c c u r r e n t . c o m 41


CURRENT | BIZ

No watering, no replanting, no whispering to the plants to keep them alive. Just purchase and enjoy! “The first event we ever landed was a month-long, weekend pop-up series at Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach for their Fall festival. It was my first event ever, first time setting everything up, first time purchasing fresh flowers, first time rolling a bouquet, first everything. And I committed to a month of it! Talk about jumping into the deep end,” Feathers said. “It is probably the most memorable [event] because it’s truly where we got our start and began getting some traction in the community. After the first weekend we received such great feedback, people loved the truck and were so happy they were able to see pampas grass in person and not from their computer screen. People started asking to do local pick-up, we got like 1,000 followers on Instagram, people were sending us photos of their creations in their home, and it really just reassured me that this was what I was supposed to be doing.” The Birdie clientele includes anyone who loves beautiful and unique florals, and Feathers is happy to serve them all. Since she specializes in dried florals, they’re perfect for people who don’t have a green thumb. No watering, no replanting, no whispering to the plants to keep them alive. Just purchase and enjoy! She even makes it easy to order. You can purchase directly from the truck at one of their pop-up locations, or via Instagram DM, and they are available for local pick-up or delivery (for a small fee). What makes them so unique when compared to other floral shops is that they don’t offer arrangements, allowing customers to purchase items to meet their specific arrangement needs. They also offer all of their items at $30 or less so they’re accessible for everyone, and they’re on wheels! Since they’re still learning how to fly this big bird, they’re continuing to work out the nuances of starting a business. But, Feathers is hopeful and excitedly looking toward the future while she continues to master her craft and making plans to offer a second truck in 2021. “I hope anyone who reads this is reminded that simply wanting to do something is ALWAYS a good enough reason to go after it. Your big ideas, your dreams, your ‘one day’ things, go after them,” Feathers said. @birdiefloraltruck 42

BIZ


CURRENT | MUSIC

IG INTERVIEW WITH B R E T T STA S K A

PHOTOS BY JAKOB TAKOS @brettstaska @atlanticcurrent 44

MUSIC


brettstaska

atlanticcurrent Pre covid, how was the music scene treating you?

It was great. An abundance of steady gigs, both original sets (solo or with my band @rootsshakedown) as well as private events. I actually had just released a new record on 3/18/20 right when the pandemic first took hold. We had to subsequently cancel the release party. Some things you just can’t control! Damn, bad timing for sure. Once things really hit, what did you initially think it would do to the scene and other musicians? Initially it was “two weeks to flatten the curve” so all hope wasn’t lost right away. However, as weeks turned into months, it was obvious that COVID-19 wasn’t going anywhere. I knew it would be especially rough for the independently owned small venues that cater to original music. Many of these places were barely scraping by before the pandemic started. These establishments are vital to creating an original music scene and to lose them would be a crushing blow to us musicians as well as the local community. How did you adapt to stay relevant while all of the venues were shut down, or was that even a priority? While others turned to live-streaming in hopes of playing for tips via Venmo/PayPal, I put 100% of my time into recording new original music. That has always been my priority. Good call. Do you see new genres coming out of the pandemic with a new attitude that reflects the experiences of this year? Not sure about any new genres but I can say that every song that I have heard relating to the pandemic or quarantine has been pretty awful. Maybe we can just skip this year in Musical History class. Probably for the best.

I’ve held a steady gig at both ER Bradley’s in West Palm Beach and Guanabanas in Jupiter for a few years. With both establishments being outdoor venues (as well as restaurants serving food) they were able to open up sooner than others. Even at a limited capacity, they helped local musicians get back on their feet and for that I, along with many others, am very grateful.

What was the first gig you played after things started opening up?

That’s great. We spoke with Matt Cahur at Guanabanas early on and remember him making it a priority to get some solo acts back as soon as possible. Matt is the man! He is! Was it weird playing the first few gigs? The actual playing wasn’t the weird part. Promoting the gigs was a bit trickier. It put us musicians in a weird spot of saying “hey, come to my gig” and promote a place that is hiring you while still trying to be socially responsible citizens during an ongoing pandemic. t h e a t l a n t i c c u r r e n t . c o m 45


CURRENT | MUSIC Very tricky for sure. What’s your take on live events in general in 2021 and beyond? I think bigger shows and festivals will look a bit different for a while. Outdoor venues may fair alright while theaters and concert halls will suffer due to operating at limited capacities. Local gigs seem to be holding currently but I’d expect an even slower summer (offseason) here in South Florida. Agreed, and the fact that it happened initially during peak season was rough enough as is. Music and surfing go pretty hand in hand for you. Which do you think you needed the most this year? Surfing has always been my first love so when the gigs slowed down I focused primarily on that. I was still recording in the evenings at my buddy Chris Denny’s home studio. Never stopped. I also feel fortunate enough to have picked up another hobby through the art of shaping surfboards over the last year or so. Mike Karol of Stoke Surfboards in Stuart has been a huge mentor to me in that regard. I have a few fond memories during the pandemic of riding my bike to the beach with a surfboard I just made, while listening to the latest mixes of a new song I was recording. Not all had seemed lost in those moments. It gave me a bit of hope and something to look forward to. It’s safe to say the entire world needed surfing this year! Lastly, what can our readers do to make sure local musicians like yourself continue to have a solid career in music? The main thing is to just show some love and support. Go to a show(safely.) Buy a record. Buy a shirt. Even if you can’t monetarily contribute, throw them a like or share on social media. Tell your friends about them. It costs nothing yet means everything to musicians like me. Thanks for the support! Awesome, thanks for doing the IG Q&A! Be good and we’ll see you soon. Cheers, thank you

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Profile for The Atlantic Current

The Atlantic Current: The Food Issue - Jan/Feb 2021  

The Atlantic Current: The Food Issue - Jan/Feb 2021  

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