Update: Red Lantern closed in 2014. It is being replaced by Armadillo Cafe. We had a quick lunch today at Red Lantern, in Piccadilly Square on the north side of Glades just west of 81st Avenue and the Turnpike. The lunch specials were very inexpensive, roughly $6 including soup, rice, and an egg roll or spring roll. Brown rice is an option at no extra charge. The Wonton soup was just right. Hot and Sour soup was mediocre but not terrible. The Szechuan shrimp was good but less spicy than expected. Chicken with mixed vegetables had a subtle flavor, though some might find it bland. Portion sizes were not overwhelming but that may explain the low prices. On the whole Red Lantern was good enough that we will be back. But it wasn’t great either.
We went to the Shinju Buffet restaurant a few days ago, and we’ve been there at least once before. Shinju is located on the north side of Glades Road just east of the Turnpike entrance:
View Larger Map Most of the buffet area is devoted to sushi and some Asian cooked dishes. There is a large round table in the middle with a wide variety of sushi, sashimi and a few related dishes. While they put out a variety of rolls, nigiri, and sashimi, it is composed of only a few types of fish. Mainly you’ll see maguro (red tuna), salmon, white tuna, and a few others. I did see something labeled “red snapper”, but suspect that it may not really be that – see Daily Finance for a story. Overall the sushi was good. The fish seemed fresh (you have to try the sashimi to get a better feel for freshness), and there were some good options. What stood out to me was the quality of the cooked dishes. These items just tasted better than other Asian buffets we’ve experienced. Also, Shinju has a “wok bar” which is somewhat like Mongolian barbecue (except, of course, that it’s cooked in a wok). You put an array of vegetables on a plate, along with some seasonings, put some sauce in a cup, and hand it to the cook and tell him what meat you want (beef, chicken, or shrimp). He puts the vegetables in boiling water and starts cooking the meat, then puts the vegetables in with the meat and then the sauce. I had shrimp with a lot of garlic and ginger, and Mongolian BBQ sauce plus some spicy sauce. It was really outstanding, probably the best Chinese dish I’ve had in several months. There is also a dessert table, of course, with good selections including decent ice cream. Cost was about $18 for an adult, and $10 for kids. Drinks were $2.50 each. Please also note that the website – sushishinju -dot- com appears to be invalid.
I’ve eaten at Martica, also known as Donde Martica, a couple times now. Today I had breakfast. it was good and the price was reasonable – just over $6 before tip. Martica is in southwest Boca Raton on the southeast corner of Sandalfoot and 441. It is adjacent to or possibly part of Sandalfoot Plaza. A banner in front indicates that it is under new management. The menu had several breakfast platter options. I speak and read some Spanish, and the descriptions were in English, but I still had trouble understanding what a few of the items were. The one I chose came With scrambled eggs with tomato and onion, and a thick corn tortilla (corn cake) covered with cheese, plus hot chocolate or coffee. The hot chocolate was good, and not over-sweetened like you see sometimes. The eggs and corn cake were also good. Nothing was fantastic but it’s just eggs.
Grab a slice of NY style pizza at Brooklyn Boys. If you just want a quick slice or two, this is the place to go in West Boca. Their pizza is delicious. You can order a pie also. They offer a large variety of toppings at a reasonable price. They deliver as well. We do not agree with the old criticism of them on the WorstPizza website. Either they’ve improved or the critic was wrong.
Eating lunch today at Doraku in Miami in Mary Brickell Village. I had a couple items off the limited lunch specials – a roll/sashimi combo and the beef tataki. Both were small but good for the price and quality. The atmosphere is pleasant with both indoor and outdoor seating. Mary Brickell Village is a nice spot with shops and other restaurants. I also ordered the Doraku Ceviche from the main menu. It’s more expensive than the lunch menu but has more food and is more interesting. It includes a variety of fish and was definitely the best part of a good meal. Two other things to mention: the waiter described it as “tapas style” which is accurate. And I was pleased to encounter a staff member who is actually from Japan in a Japanese restaurant. Doraku was started by the son of Rocky Aoki of Benihana fame. The acorn did not fall too far from the tree. It’s a long drive from West Boca but if you’re going to be in Miami, it’s worth a visit.