Savoring the memories: The best restaurant dishes that I ate in 2022

Recapping notable restaurant dishes from 2022 that I’d return for anytime. The list includes burgers, wings, pizza, Asian dishes, crab cakes, classical French and more. The eateries dot the map from West Palm Beach south to Hollywood.


What a year it was. I dined in dozens of restaurants, consumed countless dishes and in many cases was quite sated. I savor the memories.

Here are some of the dishes I enjoyed while dining during 2022 that are etched in my memory. Some of these places were reviewed in prior years but remain among my perennial favorites. Some may be the subject of full reviews in the future.  All these dishes, nonetheless, encourage return visits.

Culver’s Butter Burger

Butter Burgers and custard at Culver’s in Lake Park, Jupiter and Margate.  Not usually a fan of fast-food chains, I’ll make an exception for this Wisconsin-based chain. Culver’s signature Butter Burgers ($3.29 for a single) are fresh, handmade beef patties served on a lightly buttered bun – hence the name Butter Burger. You can order a single, double, or triple, with or without cheese or toppings. What I really crave at Culver’s is its creamy, rich, frozen custard, a Midwest staple. available in just three flavors – vanilla, chocolate and a unique flavor of the day that varies by location and is available in cones and dishes ($2.49 single). The chocolate and vanilla are redolent with flavor and have just the right level of sweetness.

Culver’s-Lake Park

260 N. Congress Ave., Lake Park, FL 33403



5510 W. Copans Road, Margate, FL 33063



1108 Military Trail, Jupiter, FL 33458



L&B Style pizza.

L&B-style Sicilian pizza at Angelo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante in Delray Beach.  Angelo Vaccarella grew up around the corner from one of my youthful haunts in Brooklyn, L&B Spumoni Garden, and has been slinging pizza dough for some five decades. L&B produces what formerly was a propriety Sicilian-style pie, often called an upside-down pizza because the sauce goes over the cheese. Angelo’s rendition ($22 for a pie) has a light, internally bubbly crust that takes me back to Gravesend, Brooklyn, with every bite. The regular pizza isn’t shabby, either. I’ll be back at Angelo’s whenever I’m hungry and feeling nostalgic. His storefront eatery is in a small strip center opposite Saturnia Isles and about a mile south of WaWa on 441 (SR7) and Atlantic Ave.

Angelo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante

16145 S. State Rd. 7 

Delray Beach, FL 33446



Hoisin BBQ Baby Back Ribs at Kapow Noodle Bar in Boca Raton. This trendy pan-Asian gastropub in Mizner Park (another unit is on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach) offers a range of tasty Asian-inspired dishes, but to me the sparerib plate ($17 on the small -plate menu) is the most memorable thing on the menu (aside from the Pineapple Brulée dessert).The meat slides off the bone on these tender Hoisin soaked ribs ($17), which arrive prettily plated with vinegary cucumbers and hot red peppers.

Kapow! Noodle Bar – Boca Raton

402 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432

Kapow-West Palm Beach

519 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, FL. 33404

(561) 933-4011                                                                

White pizza with clams and bacon.

White clams and bacon pizza at Ah Beetz New Haven Pizza in Delray Reach.  This is a New Haven-style pizzeria in western Delray Beach. It bakes Apizza (“ah-beetz”) – as pizza is called in New Haven – in a coal-fired over. The flavors on this thin-crusted, charred pie – that’s standard on New Haven pizza – a mélange of briny clams, savory bacon, flavorful cheese and zesty garlic, had my mouth happily dancing. The small white pie is $18.99, with bacon another $1.25.

Ah-Beetz New Haven Pizza

15200 Jog Rd. #3, Delray Beach, FL 33446

(561) 908-2466


Sauteed Veal Sweetbreads in Port Wine Sauce at Le Rivage in Boca Raton. This side-street, strip center restaurant will make you feel like you’re dining in a French farmhouse. The dishes are classic French, made with lots of butter and cream. The sweetbreads ($28 a la carte), tender and sweet, are my go-to dish here. They arrive crispy on the outside, mildly flavored, soft and creamy on the inside, and bathed in a rich wine sauce.  Sweetbreads, let along any organ meat, are a rarity these days on restaurant menus. Le Rivage offers a fixed-price menu ($49) that includes appetizer, entree and dessert, which adds to the attraction.

Le Rivage 450 NE 20 St., Boca Raton, FL 33431
561 620 0033

Crab cakes entree.

Crab Cakes at Eagle Grill in Greenacres. There’s much to commend the Eagle Grill, which while a bit divey, offers sensational food. The fluffy crab cakes may be among the best outside of Maryland is the restaurant’s signature dish is its crabcake entree ($34 for two on Tuesday, plus two sides; $40 regularly). The crabcakes, almost pure lump Gulf blue crab, were ethereal, cloud-like delights. The accompanying remoulade was all that was needed to add some zip. A single crabcake was available as an appetizer for $20 at the time of my visit last spring, but they are usually market priced.

Eagle Grill and Oyster Bar

4636 S. Jog Rd., Greenacres, FL 33467



Smoked wings.

Smoked wings at M.E.A.T. Eatery and Tap Room in Boca Raton.  Tucked into a strip center on Federal Highway (the original is in Islamorada in the Keys), M.E.A.T offers burgers, smoked meats and fine craft beers. My favorite on the menu is the sextet of extraordinary smoked honey chipotle barbecue chicken wings ($15.99).  Brined overnight in water, salt, bay leaf and garlic, the wings then are given a house barbecue rub and cooked at 180 degrees for up to six hours. After smoking, the wings are heated in a pan with the sweet-hot sauce and then tossed in with bleu cheese crumbles. It’s a shame there are only six of these flavor-bursting wings to an order.

M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom

2831 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton, FL. 33431


Madurai Lamb soecial, 

Mdurai Special Lamb at Taste of India in West Palm Beach. This strip center eatery west of Florida’s Turnpike on Okeechobee Boulevard offers an array of dishes not found in other eateries representing the Indian Subcontinent.  The slow-roasted lamb ($29.99) in a spicy aromatic masala with curry leaves was incredibly tender and flavorful. It arrives on an enormous platter with salad, raita, garlic naan bread, biryani rice and gulab jaman (an Indian cheeseball dessert).

Taste of India

7750 Okeechobee Blvd #11, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 


Rijisttafel at Krakatoa Indonesian Cuisine in Hollywood. For those in Palm Beach County, this tiny, albeit authentic eatery, can be a trek, but it’s worth it to try rarely seen Indonesian cuisine. The rijisttafel, which bursts with a variety of flavors, is essentially a sampler filled with salad, rice, sticks of chicken satay and, in our case, dishes of chicken and beef. It’s designed to feed two, but with another dish would suffice for four. The spicy sambal sauce, which I had on the side, is not for the spice averse.

Krakatoa Indonesia Cuisine

1910 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 33030



Windy City Pizza’s Italian Beef sandwich.

Italian Beef Sandwich at Windy City Pizza. A French-style roll overflowing with slices of tender, juicy Italian-spiced top round roast dunked upon request into au jus prior to serving ($11.85).  The beef is topped with giardinara (picked and marinated chopped vegetables) and bits of jalapeno peppers. It’s a messy experience as the juices ooze into your mouth.  Also worth ordering is the Chicago-style hot dog ($5.97), topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, neon green sweet pickle relish, a dill spear tomato slices, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt and served in a poppy seed roll. It’s a riot of tastes and textures.

Windy City Pizza

401 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 33444

(561) 266-2811



Pho at Yen’s Kitchen in Lake Worth. If for nothing else go to Yen’s Kitchen on Lake worth Road for the rich-tasting pho, which I had with rare eye round steak and brisket, and which is served with hot (Siracha) condiments on the side along with sprigs of mint, a slice of lime and slices of jalapenos. Add them, if you wish to kick up the flavors. Basic pho is $8.50 with meat upgrades extra. Try a banh mi sandwich, too. There’s a multitude of homemade Vietnamese dishes on the menu of this mom and pop, where many of the customers are Asian.

Yen’s Kitchen

7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth FL, 33467

(561) 619-8255

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