Diaspora

Eats Guide 2022: Black-owned restaurants in Palm Beach County – Palm Beach Post

The county’s landscape of Black-owned restaurants is not only ever expanding – it’s ever diversifying. You’ll find everything from American soul food to Trinidadian roti to iconic barbecue to classic Haitian entrees to neighborhood pizza
Here’s a handy guide featuring this sweeping variety.
This brunch-all-day, soul food diner was sparked by Sasha LeJeune’s home-cooking. Sasha is married to John “Big John” LeJeune, a life coach and business consultant who opened Big John’s Eatery in September 2020. Early last year, after Sasha prepared an all-out Sunday brunch at the diner, customers raved. They’d come in mid-week, asking for Sasha’s oxtail-and-grits brunch special. The couple knew they had a new concept on their hands: brunch all day. They’ve created a menu that hints of Sasha’s Panamanian roots, John’s Haitian heritage and their shared love of American soul food.
• 100 Sansburys Way, Suite 100 (steps from Dick’s Sporting Goods in The Shoppes at Southern Palms), West Palm Beach, 561-333-2333, BigJohnsEatery.com   
Pitmaster and caterer Cleveland Stubbs has brought his unique style of barbecue to the Village Commons plaza. He describes his approach as a mix of Texas, Memphis and Carolinas style with a good dash of Caribbean flavors. The island spice is a nod to Stubbs’ Bahamian heritage. In addition to smoked Prime beef brisket, his menu offers everything from hickory smoked whole rotisserie chicken, Southern fried chicken in a box, waffles combos with your choice of meat, plus Southern and Caribbean sides (like collard greens, peas and rice and Caribbean-style mac and cheese) and desserts (like banana pudding and sweet potato pie). 
• 801 Village Commons, Unit 307, West Palm Beach, 561-530-3092, PalmBeachBrisketandBBQ.com
Welcome to Riviera Beach’s spot for roti and doubles. This Trinidadian eatery and takeout shop is the creation of Chef Wendy Tilkaran and her wife/business partner Evita Thomas, who moved the eatery north from their original Lake Worth Beach location in May 2021. The menu pays tribute to Trinidad’s street-food favorites and cultural diversity in bites like doubles (small stuffed and fried flatbreads), saltfish buljol (salted cod salad), roti (soft grilled flatbreads filled with curried meats and veggies), geera pork (cumin-seasoned bites) and Trini corn soup (Chef Wendy’s specialty). She offers a variety of vegan options, fried dough sweets, aromatic sorrel juice, peanut milk punch, and house-bottled condiments. 
• 8344 Garden Ave., Riviera Beach, 561-473-3710, Chunkay.app
Griot, lambi, diri ak pwa – oh, my. It’s a feast of Haitian culinary favorites at Yolle Tropical Restaurant, where specialties include fried pork (griot), conch stew (lambi), weekend bouyon (brothy beef stew) and Saturday fritay (fried meats and snacks). Owners Odney and Yolie Joseph opened the small, smartly set eatery in early 2021, inspired by the delicious meals Yolie would make for their family.
•  2107 N. Dixie Hwy, Lake Worth Beach, 561-619-3692, YolleTropicalRestaurant.com
The bad news is Rahein and Patricia Jones closed their beloved Delray Beach restaurant, The New Vegan, in December after nine years in business. The good news is they’ve moved their vegan food operation to a sprawling farm in Loxahatchee, where they are growing produce for their dishes and hosting a series of events. When they first entered the vegan-food world, the Jones family were the very poster kids for their concept – literally, they were new vegans. Seeking a healthy, new lifestyle after years of meaty indulgences, they adopted a vegan diet almost overnight. They created a menu that’s both delicious and healthy — in fact, their vegan burgers have won local competitions.
•  15550 Okeechobee Blvd., Loxahatchee, 561-404-5301, on Instagram @TheVeganRestaurants 
Barbecue pitmaster Derrick McCray’s meat-smoking talents are well regarded beyond Palm Beach County. He’s been catering NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl events since 2007. A longtime roadside pitmaster, McCray is the owner of McCray’s Backyard Bar-B-Q in Mangonia Park, which and Riviera Beach. The Mangonia Park location, which opened in the summer of 2019, boasts drive-through and takeout windows.
•  1521 45th St., Mangonia Park; 561-370-3216, McCraysBBQ.com
This Jamaican restaurant concept grew out of a popular jerk-chicken truck a couple of years ago. Jerk is still the heart of the menu, but owner, hospitality veteran Craig McKenzie, offers a range of other options and specials, including steamed fish, curry conch, brown stew chicken and oxtail. (The free-standing building formerly housed Bay Bay’s Chicken and Waffles.)
•  2400 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-812-3741, on Facebook @MrMackIslandGrill
This family-owned barbecue spot just north of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard is a local favorite. Off Tha Bone chef/owner Daniel Spann offers a mix of smoky barbecue, Southern and soul food, all in heaping portions. His dishes, all served in generous portions, sparked a cult following since Off Tha Bone’s early days as a roadside stand. 
•  1516 N. Tamarind Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-294-9717, FallOffThaBone.com
Local photographer Jordan Marseille was about 15 years old when his family opened Alberte’s Haitian Restaurant in 2006. He owns and operates the place now, but he proudly serves his mom Alberta’s authentic cooking. The restaurant is a popular takeout spot, serving a range of Haitian comfort dishes like legumes (hearty vegetable stew), Haitian griot (marinated, fried pork) and spaghetti al’ Haitienne (spicy Haitian spaghetti).
• 4595 Hypoluxo Road in suburban Lake Worth; 561-649-6766, AlbertesRestaurant.com
Serving Jamaican specialties like curry goat, brown stew chicken, ackee and saltfish and more, this lunch and dinner spot keeps it authentic just off Delray’s main drag. Just glance at the handwritten menu on the wall for the daily specials. The small restaurant is owner Ivet “Sweet” Henry’s homage to the foods and flavors of her homeland. Sweet’s has been a popular stop on the local Taste History Culinary Tour.
•  25 SW 5th Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-7086
This cozy, family-owned restaurant has been serving home-spun Guyanese and Caribbean dishes in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove for more than 15 years. There’s nice outdoor seating along the front of the restaurant.
•  149 NE 4th Ave., Delray Beach; 561-749-0973, on Facebook @BambooFireDelray
Hospitality veteran Michael Johnson and business partner Jerome Byrd, a retired firefighter who opened the county’s first Zaxby’s, brought this Southern-inspired restaurant and open-air cigar lounge to Northwood Road in September 2020. The spacious restaurant/bar has become a chill spot for dinner, Sunday brunch, happy hour and special events like spoken-word nights. The menu ranges from small bites (wings, sliders) to heftier plates (shredded oxtail and “creamy cheese” grits, Southern fried chicken and red-velvet waffles, pecan-praline salmon and more).   
•  407 Northwood Rd., just west of North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-508-4705, MajesticLoungeandSouthernSpice.com
Open since 2019, this Haitian restaurant serves an array of home-y soups and daily specials. Owner Jephtee Bien-Aime posts tempting food photos and cooking videos on the restaurant’s Instagram page. This is how we know she serves free pasta gratinée (Haitian mac and cheese) every Monday, fritay (fritters) platters on Fridays and Saturdays, and bouyon (Haitian beef soup) every Saturday. And the place bottles its own kremas (Haitian spiked nog), too. 
•  3897 N. Haverhill Rd., Suite 126, West Palm Beach, 561-848-4211, on Instagram @flavors_island
Chef Trinnette Morris has grown her catering operation to include a downtown West Palm breakfast eatery, a takeout spot in Pleasant City  and a “grazing board” service called Grazed. Morris also offers cooking classes and coaching for new restaurant or food-business owners. 
•  Trindy Gourmet’s breakfast restaurant is at 407 N. Rosemary Ave. In Pleasant City, Trindy’s takeout spot is at 2055 Spruce Ave. To place orders at either location, call or text 561-570-6325. TrindyGourmet.com
This café serves Blue Mountain-grown coffee and other Jamaican delicacies on Clematis Street. The menu inspiration comes from owner Allison Boettcher’s Jamaican homeland. She hails from St. Andrew Parish, which includes a stretch of the majestic mountain range that grows some of the world’s best coffee.
• 540 Clematis St., Unit 3 (facing Rosemary Avenue), West Palm Beach; 561-318-7296, BlueMountainCoffeeHouses.com
Local baker Jamal Lake, who creates eye-catching cakes and other treats at his downtown West Palm bakery, gained national attention when he appeared on Food Network’s “Halloween Baking Championship” in 2018.
Since then, he has doubled-down on his cake business and cooking classes.
• 306 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach; 561-507-5082, GanacheBakeryCafe.com
In 2019, longtime restaurant owner Sharon Bedasee created a welcoming spot in downtown West Palm Beach, where her kitchen celebrates a range of Caribbean flavors, everything from Jamaican jerk and curries to West Indian roti to Puerto Rican mofongo. Fiwe’s menu lists plenty of vegetarian options. And on the weekends, a Caribbean brunch is served.  
•  410 Evernia St., Unit 108, West Palm Beach, 561-248-2065, FiWeJA.com
Owner Sirgae Jewell brought this soulful neighborhood pizzeria to Northwood Village in September 2020.
On the menu: a selection of hand-tossed pies, panini, subs, sliders, full entrees and other options. 
•  437 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach, 561-284-6915, SirgaesWoodFirePizza.com
What began as pitmaster Troy Davis’ roadside barbecue stand in Boynton Beach in 1998 grew into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in that city in 2017. Davis’ son Anthony Barber, who took over the business when the pitmaster retired, recently expanded the brand into West Palm Beach. This Troy’s eatery operates in a brightly hued, wooden A-frame building on Georgia Avenue as part of the new-ish artists’ complex known as The Peach. This location offers the same menu as the original Troy’s in Boynton, which means it’s a terrific place for their signature smoked ribs.
•  In Boynton Beach at 1920 S. Federal Hwy (561-740-1125). In West Palm Beach at 3950 Georgia Ave. (561-788-5561). BBQTroys.com
This new-ish restaurant began as a modest rib-stand in a church lot more than a decade ago. Bill and Pauline Ceasar, the couple behind that original roadside stand, opened the brick-and-mortar version of Ceasar’s Famous Ribs in August 2020. The specialty: smoked, jerk-seasoned spare ribs. Bill, a local high school teacher and football coach with a passion for cooking, recalls their early barbecue days: “Two small grills, six slabs of ribs and a case of chicken. That’s what we started with.”
•  37 SW 5th Ave. in Delray Beach; 561-303-1398, CeasarsFamousRibs.com
This small restaurant is Chef Greg Romulus‘ dream turned reality, a place where he could turn out all his favorite Haitian specialties. He opened the mostly takeout restaurant in the summer of 2018. Want a peek? Romulus features his daily specials on Le Bistro’s Instagram page.
• 9846 Sandalfoot Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-465-5767, on Instagram @Le_Bistro2.0_llc

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