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Dining scene: From chicken and waffles to veggie patties

Butcher Block Grill

7000 W. Camino Real, west of Boca Raton, 561-409-3035, ButcherBlockGrill.com

This seafood and steak house is the latest addition of the Fountains Center's efforts to add more retail to the office plaza along with new signage, pavers and facades.

In fact, Butcher's large screened, covered patio overlooks the center's three attractive fountains. Inside, an open kitchen prevails amid the sophisticated dark-wood industrial atmosphere with exposed ceiling ducts.

Executive Chef Joshua Hedquist, formerly of Max Restaurant Group, Big Time Restaurant Group and Todd English's da Campo Osteria in Fort Lauderdale, says the Mediterranean-infused concept is unique in using all-natural ingredients. The meat and poultry are free of antibiotics and hormones, seafood is wild caught, and the produce is free of pesticides from 14 local farms.

"It's very aggressive to do that. I'm doing all the butchering in house. It's a lot of work on our end," says Hedquist, who has "Integrity" tattooed on one arm and an herb-entwined chef's knife on the other. "We make everything from scratch like what your mom made you."

The seafood and salads will change seasonally, and daily specials will surprise, such as foie gras terrine torched for a brulee effect and served on brioche with house made bacon and savory fig jam ($13). Bestsellers are warm mozzarella pulled table side ($14), Chop Chop salad with greens, quinoa, rotisserie chicken and goat cheese ($16) and veal tomahawk chop with saltimbocca sauce ($39).

Don't miss the chunky hand-cut fries cooked three times for extra crispiness ($8) and the goat-cheese cheesecake ($11).

Lunch and dinner are served daily.

Snappers Seafood & Wine Bar

398 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, 561-375-8600, Snappers.com

Sally Stilley has kicked off two-course Meatless Mondays dinners on the last Monday of each month at her seafood restaurant as a supplement to the vegan section of the menu.

The second one at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 for $15 will include herbal iced tea, choice of salad or soup, and choice of vegan Neatloaf, house made vegan patties or piccata Gardein chicken breasts made with a green-pea base. The Neatloaf is house made with brown rice, barley, sunflower seeds, nuts and white beans. The patties are similar but without the raw peanuts. Organic wine and vegan desserts of carrot cake and date-walnut chocolate tart are an additional charge.

"Meatless Monday started in World War II as catchy way to ration food in the U.S.A.," Stilley says. "It was revived in 2003 as a way to bring awareness of the health and environmental benefits of eating vegan at least once a week. As co-owner of Snappers, a fitness instructor and a vegan, I want to share these health benefits. What better way than to gather around a large table and share food and ideas with old and new friends?"

She will give a presentation called "Going Vegan" with a handout to take home.

Oceans 234

234 N. Ocean Blvd., Deerfield Beach, 954-428-2539, Oceans234.com

This oceanfront restaurant, where the breeze and extensive patio reign, has marked quite a year with its 10th anniversary under a new owner, recipe booklet release, revitalized beachfront with new pier next door and revamped menu.

The celebration will continue from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 22 with its fourth annual "Ja'Maican Me Crazy Locals Party."

"We celebrate our locals, regulars and newbies alike every year with a good old-fashioned pig roast, mid-afternoon free buffet and open bar, and live music," says Ashley Sherman, director of marketing and guest relations.

Danielle Williams, who was director of operations since it opened, bought Oceans from her mother-in-law in the spring and printed the complimentary The Best of Ten Years Anniversary Cookbook this summer.

Start off with additions of The Hummingbird with sparkling wine, club soda and St. Germain liqueur over ice ($8.99), pretzel bread bites ($3.99) and spinach artichoke dip ($12.99) before venturing to Cobb salad ($14.99) and baby spinach salad with brie, strawberries and almonds ($12.99). New entrees are shrimp fra diavolo linguini with clams and mussels ($31.99), grilled branzino ($28.99) and 14-ounce boneless rib eye with wild-mushroom demi-glace ($33.99).

For Sunday brunch, enjoy a complimentary mimosa with fried chicken and waffles with wild-berry butter ($12.99) and lobster, shrimp and crab omelet with goat cheese and spinach ($18.99).

Of course, dessert hasn't been overlooked: Oreo cheesecake ($8.99).

The new city pier has sparked more foot traffic, Sherman says. "It's brought a stronger sense of community to the businesses."

Tijuana Flats

1110 Weston Road, Weston, 954-358-5235; 6201 S. Jog Road, Lake Worth, 561-296-5309; TijuanaFlats.com

This Winter Park-based Tex-Mex chain now has 20 branches in South Florida with the recent openings in Weston and Lake Worth.

The new outposts with patio seating feature made-to-order tacos ($4.99-$7.69), burritos ($4.99-$8.89), quesadillas ($4.99-$6.89), tostadas ($6.39-$8.19) chimichangas ($4.99-$8.89), flautas ($6.49-$7.79), "Power Lite" options of low-fat cheese and fat-free sour cream, and a 15-pump hot-sauce bar set among the chain's signature bright, lively murals.

Customized salads are served in a crispy whole-wheat tortilla shell ($6.79-$7.59), and Norrito Bowls offer burrito fillings without the tortilla ($5.99-$7.79).

The Weston mural portrays a muscled green lizard smashing through the wall with a bottle of hot sauce. The Lake Worth one depicts colossal robots dominating the city with laser-beam power.

"Weston's opening, in particular, is part of a long-planned expansion for us in the area and will feature something new for us: a special pickup area, taking the convenience we offer to guests to a whole new level," says Patrick Fore, vice president of development.

Email news to susan@editorguru.com or send to John Tanasychuk, Sun Sentinel, 500 E. Broward Blvd., Suite 900, 9th floor, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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