by Mercedes J.
Underground restaurants are growing in popularity and are being featured in food magazines and other various publications. Fort Lauderdale is home to one of these intriguing secret eateries which was recently introduced by John Linn of The New Times and again on the Paul and Young Ron morning radio show (Big 105.9). As frequent diners, the FTLC is a fan of the underground restaurant — The Squat-N-Gobble. It’s here at the SnG that you will enjoy a humble communal style meal served on mismatched plates as you sit beside a stranger in folding chairs.
The proprietor of the Squat-N-Gobble — JLo — runs her version of a rogue restaurant out of her Victoria Park apartment where she feeds her patrons delicious noshings such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Hawaiian style ceviche, asparagus-leek risotto, and Soul Food to name a few of her always interesting dishes. In addition to more traditional menu options, SnG has showcased international fare from countries including India, Turkey, Peru, Argentina, and Greece.
Soul Food Night
Clientele of the Squat-N-Gobble include friends/acquaintances of the self-taught home cook, but also complete strangers who have discovered this unique establishment through one means or another. JLo’s day job is that of a psychologist, which comes in handy when pre-screening her guests to select those who will most likely contribute to a pleasant and interesting atmosphere, or maybe to get the freakiest possible group of people to analyze for her own studies, we are not sure. “I secretly psychologically profile my potential diners in order to maximize an enjoyable experience — my goal is for all to be amused and have a lot of fun,” she explains.
Tomorrow evening (July 21st), the Squat-N-Gobble will attempt to impress an experimental subject from the morning radio show, Paul and Young Ron. The radio act, known for their social tomfoolery, is sending OMG Mike to check out the indie eatery. According to the show’s website, OMG Mike was raised by a village of monkeys “where he learned to eat food with his feet.” Dining on SnG’s menu of Jambalaya, Cajun pinto beans, and chocolate croissant bread pudding for dessert using one’s feet should be very interesting indeed. Be sure to tune into Big 105.9 Wednesday morning to listen to the radio show interview SnG’s JLo.
Word on the street is that the Wednesday night’s dinner was booked within a matter of hours after the announcement of the special guest’s attendance three weeks ago. JLo tells us she is encouraging her patrons to “be on their worst behavior” for the festivities. It looks as if like the SnG will put forth a valiant effort to make OMG Mike proclaim “ohmigod!” both after having some scrumptious fare and enjoying some outrageous company. The FTLC hopes OMG Mike is ready for his first Squat-N-Gobble experience — he is in for a treat!
92 degrees after 5pm!
by Mercedes J.
Ah, summer in Ft. Lauderdale. At least once a day, I receive an SMS message on my smart phone with a picture of someone’s dashboard temperature gauge reading well over 90 degrees fahrenheit. The months of July and August are out to kill South Floridians, but we will not be vanquished! When you notice that you are perspiring more than the dude in the yellow chicken suit off Cordova Road at Harbor shops, you know it’s time to find a way to cool it down a notch. Sure, you could stay inside – but air conditioned South Florida is the coldest place in the country. Since remaining indoors isn’t so hot (pun intended), I say let’s grab a lounge chair by the pool and chill out by enjoying one of these refreshing adult libations (whilst lathered with SPF 50).
by Mercedes J
What do Fort Lauderdale women look for in their men? Well this lady blogger, Mercedes J, prefers a gentleman with rugged good looks, captivating charm, a sense of humor, eccentric creativity, and a dash of humility. What if I told all the ladies out there that you can find all of these qualities PLUS ENDLESS SUPPLIES OF FREE CIGARETTES? Yes, it’s true — the most eligible bachelor in Fort Lauderdale is a good looking, fun, creative type who will gladly give you a pack of smokes. In exchange for showing your I.D. and a smile, this gift from God will give you one (or sometimes two) packs of the tobacco flavor for the day. His name is Jayce – a.k.a. the downtown Camel cigarette giveaway guy.
I followed Mr. Jayce around as part of my investigative journalism to learn more about his craft. With his backpack securely fastened (via a seat-belt) around his chest, I observed him strut all around downtown making one drunk after another extremely happy. When Jayce enters a bar, heads turn and people cheer with glee. The downtown cigarette guy is truly talented at what he does — he provides cigarettes to the needy in the utmost efficient and gracious manner.
After I elbowed people left and right and clawed my way through the crowd in order to get beside him, I had a chance to chat with Mr. Awesome himself. I handed him my I.D. and scored two packs of smokes a few moments later. I thanked him and sheepishly asked a few questions as I twirled my hair. “So Jayce, I see you around downtown most weekend nights, where else can I stalk, er- find you?” Jayce smiled warmly and told me that he can typically be found around the 2nd Street and Himmarshee area on Wednesdays through Saturdays. After midnight on Thursday nights you will likely spot the handsome devil at West Palm Beach’s Respectable Street. I giggled with delight about my newfound insider info.
“So Jayce, what kind of lady strikes your fancy?” He laughed courteously and answered, “I love someone who can feel confident in what she wears and look good doing it, someone who gets my humor and can crack jokes with me.” Jayce continued, “Also I like a woman who can hang at the Poorhouse with me, dance and shotgun a beer or two with my closest of friends.”
I stood there in awe as he moved on to help the next waiting cigarette recipient. WOW! I may have identified my future husband. Who knew that Fort Lauderdale hosted such amazing men like Jayce? Oh who am I kidding? There is only one most eligible bachelor, the downtown Camel cigarette giveaway guy. SO BACK OFF, HE’S MINE! Just kidding, we can share. Sigh.
*For more information on how to ask Jayce out on a date, leave a note in the comments section.
- Jayce and a fan
by Mercedes J.
It’s difficult to write this article because I can barely see my computer screen through the salty, clear discharge (some would call tears) rapidly emitting from my eyes. It pains me to confirm that the horrific rumors are true — South Florida’s best Metal Band (according to the 2010 Best Of edition of Broward/Palm Beach New Times), Murderous Rampage, will no longer be screaming their beautiful music into our bleeding ears.
The news came as a shock on the evening of June 10th when lead vocalist and Poorhouse bartender, Tommy, revealed to this back bar regular that the band would be retiring. The death metal band has been a Fort Lauderdale favorite for the past few years. Fans can’t seem to get enough of the relentless fast paced roaring of guitar, bass, and drums combined with the melodramatic lyrics of their songs. In addition to producing addictive music, Murderous Rampage has also created deliciously morbid videos for three of their songs — Programmed to Kill, Eating Drinking Shitting, and Out in Public. The music videos showcase Tommy’s affection for horror, zombies, and dismembered mannequins.
MURDEROUS RAMPAGE! Video – Eating Drinking Shitting
Devoted fans came out to support Murderous Rampage’s final show at Churchill’s Pub in Miami last Saturday (June 26th). Murderous Rampage were joined by four other metal bands — Shroud Eater, Junior Bruce, Consular, and Hallow Leg for a night of heart pumping rock. Frontman Tommy performed with energy and prowess as he sang lyrics such as “kill yourself you waste of life” and “eating drinking shitting — that’s all I do.” Bass guitarist Somesh seductively played his instrument as Hoblium whaled on his guitar. Jointly, band members delivered powerful and brusque death metal which had the crowd thrashing their bodies in a seizure-esque manner.
Murderous Rampage’s farewell show did not disappoint and confirmed why we all love them so much. Maybe if we all think positive thoughts and wear our Murderous Rampage t-shirts every day, the band will again grace the stage one day in the future. Goodbye Murderous Rampage, you will be missed.
by Mercedes J
Before you say Bula (a Fijian toast which means “to life”) you will find yourself staring down into a half rounded coconut shell holding a concoction resembling that of muddy water. Reluctantly, you raise the shell to your lips and notice aromas of earth and uncertainty. As the shell empties into your mouth, you taste bitter root, chalk and a hint of medicinal tang. With a slightly numb sensation on your lips and tongue, you rush to chase your swallow with pieces of sliced pineapple. Did you just drink a fancy bowl of mud water collected from a parking lot cesspool? No, you just had Kava.
Kava is a ceremonial drink traditionally consumed in the islands of the South Pacific. The beverage is made of ground Kava-Kava pepper bush root and has a sedating nature said to increase tranquility and well-being without losing mental clarity. Aside from its calming effects, there are other benefits as well. Some claim that Kava decreases anxiety and depression, eliminates nausea, increases patience and ease of acceptance. Wait – no depression, nausea; more patience and acceptance? This sounds like the perfect hangover remedy. With the help of Kava, one can cure post drink vomiting and last night’s regret. YES!
So where can you get this mysterious mud water? Tucked a block behind some well recognized hot spots, Primanti Bros. & McSorley’s, near the intersection of Sunrise Blvd. and A1A, resides a quaint building with a colorful sign which reads — Kava Bar. If you do your laundry at the place next door, you have probably noticed some free spirited individuals coming to and fro this establishment.
Fiji Kava Bar is a Zen sanctuary decorated with dim lights, cozy couches and books. You will find peaceful individuals looking for an alternative (or addition) to alcohol frequenting this Kava bar. Kava tenders recommend that you not consume the celebratory drink while under the influence of other mood altering substances – since it will likely take away from the experience, which one can fully appreciate after 4-6 bowls.
Fiji Kava Bar offers a great alternative to customary going outs in our city, go see for yourself. Bula!