I am a huge fan of food tours. And history. And art. Combine all three and you have a trifecta: The Taste History Culinary Tour. Located in Palm Beach County (South Florida), this six-year-old food tour in South Florida offers three different established tours to choose from, in West Palm Beach, Delray & Boynton, and Lake Worth & Lantana. The tours run each Saturday and are 3-4 hours in length.
On my visit, which I scheduled weeks in advance because they sell out, I did the Lake Worth & West Palm Beach itinerary. My friend Griffin accompanied me. Tasting the local flavors of the Palm Beach areas was a delight.
The Taste History Culinary Tour Meet-Up
Taste History Culinary tour registration is found online. Our began Macy’s at the Boynton Beach Mall, where our tour bus awaited us. Tour founder and operator, Lori Durante, greeted us with her dazzling personality as we boarded the small air-conditioned bus. Our group of ten headed out to discover local food stops, impressive works of art, and history in the Lake Worth and Lantana areas of Florida.
Our first stop, and my favorite, was Don Ramon Restaurant, a Cuban delight that I had read about prior to visiting. We were shown to our table which was set with picture-perfect meals. Arroz Imperial, a specialty chicken rice dish, was topped with melted cheese and served with a side salad and yummy sweet plantains. Everything on the plate was spectacular! We also scored Cuban coffee, which is really strong (it is only espresso coffee). I am not a typical coffee drinker, but LOVE a good Cuban coffee. My energy level was boosted for the day!
Supporting the Local Food Purveyors
Next up we visited a strip mall offering, Mama Gizzi, which had an incredible array of Italian specialty foods for sale and prepared for our group. This is not a place that I would have found on my own driving through Lake Worth. Leah, or Mama Gizzi, was a hoot! She is a caterer and gourmet pasta maker to the stars (Oprah is one of her clients). Mama Gizzi sells “take and make”meals and is also the pick-up spot for dishes people pre-order for their home preparation. The place smelled fantastic.
Our huge spread of foods included meatballs, a baked pasta dish, lasagna noodle breadsticks (dusted with seasoning and Parmesan cheese), spicy sausage bread to dip in housemade Marinara sauce, Death by Chocolate cake, and more. We could have made a whole meal just from these goodies! Mamma Gizzi offers private dinners on Thursday through Saturday nights in the form of “Suppah Club” family style dinner. Call or check online to make reservations.
We visited the Sugar Monkey, an adorable shop with a cutesy logo and sensational cookies and desserts. Their colorful melt-in-your-mouth macarons and pink sugar-dusted vanilla shortbread cookies were insanely delicious. Sugar Monkey’s dessert cases were filled with tasty treats like eclairs, tarts, brownies, granola, cupcakes, and dog treats. Each item we tasted was heavenly and apparent that they used all quality ingredients. Jennifer Reed, the pastry chef-owner, blew my mind with her expert baking skills! She also bakes and decorates sensational wedding and specialty cakes. Sugar Monkey may have been the rest of the group’s favorite.
It would not be a food tour in South Florida without international eats.
The Taste History Culinary Tour took us to visit Chalakos Peruvian Bistro, a neighborhood gem in the Northwood Village. We gathered at tables on the back patio for their uber fresh and tangy Ceviche de Pescado. Next came a finger-licking good tasting spoon with a saucy boiled potato with peanut sauce (Papa con ocopa). It was rich and tangy. A flavorful Causa de camaron (seasoned mashed potato layered with shrimp) followed. Griffin and I purchased Pisco Sours (made with no egg here) that really hit the spot on this hot Florida day. The owner of Chalakos Peruvian Bistro came out and spoke to our group, sharing his passion for Northwood Village and how important it is to offer ethnic food choices. I applaud all that he is doing for the community. We loved getting to talk to him.
We ventured down the street to the Northwood Glass Art store. This artisan spot offered lovely handmade glass items and nice souvenirs. Afterwards, we walked around the corner of Northwood Village to a lot filled with vibrant artworks. Located between 24th and 25th streets on Spruce Avenue, the lot contained brightly painted, cheery murals on shipping containers. West Palm Beach, Florida is bursting with street art, and this is just one example.
The Box Gallery- A Local Art Offering
Our last stop on the Taste History Culinary Tour was to The Box Gallery, a warehouse style art emporium owned by Rolando Chang Barrero. The Belvedere Road exhibit space was filled with interesting mural pieces, cool chairs, wall hangings, decorative pieces, and emerging artists’ works. The artists I was drawn to were Andrew Reid and Alberto Piloto. Alberto studied art in Cuba and his whimsical portraits are lively and colorful, which made me smile. Andrew creates enormous intricate and interesting murals throughout the country. I left the gallery thinking about what pieces would look good in my house and wondering what the next holiday was that I could ask for a gift.
Culinary Tours: A “Hip” Thing To Do
Lori, the founder of Taste History Culinary Tours, has pioneered the way for newer companies, offering a fun outing for friends, families, or solos. I really liked her approach of selecting a variety of cultural destinations. The art and history, which Lori shared between food or art stops, was priceless. Taste History Culinary Tours are never duplicated; each features different businesses and restaurants. What a great way to sample from a variety of eateries in one area. Schedule your Taste History Culinary Tour today!
Note: Taste History Culinary Tours take place rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes as there is about a mile of walking involved. Bring your camera to photograph the attractive dishes and spectacular scenery. Come hungry because there are a lot of tasty foods to enjoy.
Thanks to Taste History Culinary Tours for inviting me to try one of their unique offerings. As with all of my reviews, opinions are 100% mine and unbiased.
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