We took a trip tonight to South Central … South Central Boca that is. Carrabba’s Italian Grill, a chain restaurant, is in a plaza on the northeast corner of 18th and Powerline.
The interior was dark but pleasant. Maybe the black ceiling makes it seem dark.

Our table had a good view of the kitchen.

They have an 8-page kids menu with several activities that our kids liked. The kid dishes are $6.50 including a drink. Most entrees include soup or salad. One of us had the Minestrone which was hearty with a variety of vegetables.

I had the Johnny Rocco Salad, which is one of the healthiest choices with shrimp and scallops over greens with a bit of cheese. It was good today but the grilled items were a little overcooked. I’ve had it a few times before and it was better. That might have been $15.

We also had the Italian Classics which includes lasagne, chicken parm and choice of asparagus, potatoes or pasta. The chicken and the pasta were both very good and the lasagne was not as great but more than adequate. It was $16.50.

Nice desserts too. This is the Limoncello Bread Pudding. The full desserts are $8. They also have a smaller dessert option served in a shot glass.

Good food at mostly reasonable prices with the most fun kids menu we’ve ever seen.
I should also mention they have some outdoor seating with a lake view. But beware the pesky ducks on the terrace outside – and don’t feed them.


Utopia Bagel at Boca Lyons

We had mixed views on Utopia Bagel this morning. On the up side, the food was good (though not spectacular) and inexpensive. You could easily get breakfast for less than $5 each, though we spent a little more.
On the down side, the interior is dark and drab. Service is essentially cafeteria style, with plastic and styrofoam cups and plates.
We both had eggs. I had a ham, sausage and bacon omelette with peppers and onions, which was very good. It should probably come with a free Lipitor, but instead it comes with potatoes, a bagel, a very small orange juice, and coffee or tea.
The potatoes were okay but bland. There was little seasoning and I didnt notice any onions or peppers.
For my breakfast buddy, the drabness outweighed everything else. But I still liked it. I’m sure I’ll be back but I might be alone.
Utopia Bagel is in Boca Lyons Plaza next to Ethan Allen.
–Update– I do in fact return somewhat often, alone. The food has grown on me and the staff are great.

Chow Thai in Sandalfoot

We eat lunch at Chow Thai about once a month and we like it. The interior design is pleasant but maybe a touch busy.

The lunch comes with soup and salad. Today’s soup is chicken and rice. Great flavor with a robust broth and strong hints of ginger.

Main courses we ordered today were sweet and sour chicken …

And shrimp red curry …

We both ordered edamame instead of fried wonton for an extra dollar.
Both meals were very good. The shrimp could have had more vegetables with it but there was enough shrimp. The rice was also a little dry. But these are minor quibbles about an otherwise nice meal.

Rancheritos de Boca

Rancheritos de Boca is a Colombian restaurant and bakery in the Somerset Shoppes plaza at the northeast corner of Lyons and Glades (map at bottom). It was recommended by a friend from Colombia and I owe him now.
The prices are very reasonable, especially for appetizers. An empanada is only $1, and most others are under $5 or even $3. Entrees are closer to $10.
The arepa appetizer, with sweet cornbread and cheese, was not the best thing for a low carb diet but well worth it. Kids will love it.
The interior is nothing special but it was clean.

Lemonade was very tart, great for adults but not what kids expect.
We also ordered the shrimp ceviche,

The ceviche came with 4 shrimp in a soupy salsa that was a little spicy.
The empanada was small, tasty, and came with a wicked spicy salsa on the side.
We also ordered a chicken entree that was a special. It came with a relatively plain salad.
The chicken was wonderful, thin with mushrooms, onions and what seemed like capers, a touch of paprika, plus a nice side of vegetables.

For dessert we tried cuatro leches and a caramel flan.

The flan was good but the cuatro leches was outstanding.
This was a truly excellent meal for a very reasonable price.
Also worth noting is excellent reviews on Urban Spoon.
Here’s the map:

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Sushi Yama on Palmetto

We stopped today at Sushi Yama in a plaza on the southwest corner of Palmetto and Powerline.
We had bento boxes for lunch – #2 sashimi:

and #6 roll combo:

At $10.95, each came with a tasty shumai dumpling with sprouts, and a small piece of cake, plus choice of miso soup or salad. Service was very quick.
The sashimi bento had 12 pieces, 3 each of four kinds of fish. It was filling.
The roll combo bento had a California roll, salmon roll, and a “hot tuna sandwich” which is really a form of spicy tuna roll. This was a lot of food.
The interior is pleasant, though it seemed a little dark after coming inside from a sunny day. we have heard from friends that kids like eating in the tatami rooms. We’ll have to try that sometime.
Overall this was a better than average meal and we will be back.