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.
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!