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Maurice's tea cake with fancy French butter

Image: Karen Brooks

1. Fork into beautifully seeded tea cake at Maurice

Pastry ace Kristen Murray finds the missing link between hippie health food and French food fashion: a delicate, intricate, seed-happy tea cake rich in buckwheat tones and coconut chew and bound in crispy, toasty edges. The runway of luxurious butter on top, from star French cheese maker Rudolph Menieur, makes it sing, loudly, aided by drizzles of good honey and salt. The perfect companion to coffee or tea. 

2. Get messy with Smokehouse Tavern’s burger

Southeast’s gussied up ‘cue spot makes a meaty score with their late night-only burger—a double patty wallop formed from ground chuck, brisket, and marrow all smothered in stewed onion, house, thick-cut bacon “jam” and melty American cheese. (No vegetables, obvi.) Smokehouse makes only nine orders of this criminally salty, embarrassingly messy, and ridiculously satisfying burger; don’t miss out.

3. Veg out on Bollywood Theater’s roasted beets

Bollywood’s shockingly fuchsia beets are a prime example of its Northwest-meets-India sensibilities. They come coated in a thick sauce of curry leaf- and serrano-steeped coconut milk, a spicy drizzle of mustard and nigella seed oil, and a herbaceous tumble of cilantro.

4. Snack on tostadas at Taqueria Santa Cruz

Slabs of fresh avocado and a huge squirt of crema top this perfect snack in the back-room restaurant at Tienda Santa Cruz in St. Johns. Add Messi’s free kick in constant replay on the TV, and sit back and wonder at the marvels of humanity.

5. Eat a “healthy” banh mi salad at Garden Bar

You’ll go cross-eyed exploring the dozens of leafy variations at this new-age salad bar. Or you can get the banh mi salad, with thick slices of roasted chicken and addictive Spielman-Jacobsen salt bagel chips folded into a bed of fresh arugula, napa cabbage, pickled daikon, and cucumber, all bound with spicy Sriracha aioli.

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