Continuing our morning coffee routine, we stopped by a small Scandinavian pastry bakery in Hollywood. This shop sold anything from croissants to frappuccinos, and sported a bright and welcoming interior.
I was very impressed with the quality of the pastries. I tried the small apple danish, which was sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Good little brekkie before hitting the road.
MORIKAMI JAPANESE GARDEN
Our first tourist attraction of the day was the Morikami Japanese Garden in Palm Beach.
This garden included Japanese plants, origami, and a museum with information about the Japanese population in Florida.
There was also a bonsai tree exhibit with some trees dating back hundreds of years. I couldn't believe how old these tiny trees were.
Pictured above is a typical train station in Japan, complete with soda machine!
Walking through the gardens was a wonderful and serene way to spend the afternoon.
ALICIA'S LATIN CUISINE
For lunch, we ventured to Northwood Rd to explore vintage shops and antiques as well as Alicia's Latin Cuisine, a small mom&pop shop with an impressive variety of food options.
Walking through a number of old shops like the one pictured above was a really interesting experience; we found a lot of old knick knacks and vintage items that were fun to look at.
As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly face and she led us to the backyard garden where there are tables and decorative signs. This place screamed family restaurant and I loved the service for that reason. Our waiter told us we could order food that was not featured on their menu, and they would make it for us.
Back in Austin, I recently discovered an arepa food truck and fell in love with the food. So I went for a chicken arepa, and it came open-faced with a delicious crispy arepa on the bottom. The food here was hearty and delicious.
LIVE ART @ ARTLANTIC FINE ART GALLERY
In the evening, I read about an art gallery that hosts Friday live art nights, a free event that includes drinks as well.
What I liked about this gallery was that the walls and floors were completely white, which really brought out the color of the paintings. There were beautiful paintings like these of celebrities, as well as some more modern art that my friends & I attempted to interpret.
For the live art event, the artist was continuing a painting he began in previous weeks, a lighthouse on the coast. I didn't have a chance to talk with the artist, but the owner of the shop was very friendly and asked us where we were from, brought us drinks, and made us feel very welcome and comfortable. This shop apparently was set up not too long ago, and has yet to host its "Grand Opening," so we are one of the first people to experience it.
The artist was being filmed by a videographer who we had the opportunity to have a long conversation with. He was a very interesting and inspiring man, who, despite being 60 years old looked like he was nothing over 40. I was impressed by his stories and our deep discussion of cultural differences between Hispanics and Asians made the evening quite enjoyable.
CAPTAIN CHARLIE'S REEF GRILL
Some of the best seafood I have ever eaten was at dinner this night at Captain Charlie's. Its popularity is apparent by the fact that they have a separate building with a bar for those waiting for a table.
I apologize for the blurry photo, but the food was outstanding. A lot of their dishes took a risk by combining elements of other dishes that you wouldn't expect to be paired with seafood. For example, we ordered grouper, and it came with noodles and a soy sauce based sauce. The yellowfin tuna was drenched in a spicy creamy sauce, and the shrimp pizza was touched by balsamic vinagrette. Our fourth dish was an alfredo and fish kabob with a creamy lime alfredo sauce. It is standard here to order tapas style, and four dishes was a good amount for the three of us.
We had to order dessert, this key lime pie and a banana rum cake. Both were absolutely delicious, but the rum cake was especially great. It was dense and moist with a great muted rum flavor.