Allen's 2 Go gourmet market in Aventura is going, going ... gone. But not really. The shop that Chef Allen Susser had set up next door to his signature restaurant is merely moving -- into cyberspace. Within six months, he says, customers will be able to log on to www.comfortfood2go.com to order Susser's own brands of dressings, sauces, marinades and, as the name indicates, homemade comfort foods such as sirloin meat loaf and lobster potpie. (Not to be confused with the Chef Allen's Website, www.chefallen.com, where you can scan daily menus, weekly recipes, and reservation information.) "It's a bigger project [than the market] to get the Website running the way we want it to," Susser says. "We're going from a local to a national perspective. It's a whole different world." It sure is, and one that doesn't require a schlep to Aventura to be part of it.
"It's still a big party at David's house," says event coordinator/manager Mary Hoertz about David Wallack's café, Mango's, when I asked her to describe the scene at the salsa funhouse on Ocean Drive. Mango's kitchen is currently under renovation. But, notes Hoertz, "We're not going to change the concept. We're just going to have better food." The new menu, debuting on November 24, will feature Latin-Continental cuisine courtesy of freshly installed executive chef Alex Bruger. But the waitstaff will still be gathering on the sidewalk to sing and dance salsa for patrons and passersby. Phew! Wouldn't want anything to get in the way of that kind of talent.
The Italian restaurant Julian's down on SW 40th Street had one of the best comments on the typical American family I've seen in a long time: Kids under age twelve ate free, but only two children were granted such gratis privileges per set of grownups. (Wonder if you got a free plate of pasta for the family dog left in the minivan?) Seems like the limit on family size didn't do any good anyway: The place recently went out of business.
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Kvetch: It's the name game again. Shalimar, the Indian restaurant in West Kendall, has changed its moniker to Great India. (Like we don't go to Nirvana's on the Beach anymore; we go to Shiva Indian Restaurant.) But everything else has remained the same: menu, management, and even the 1998 Best of Miami award hanging in the eatery. Hey, I believe we awarded that to Shalimar. What will newcomers think when they see a rival's award hanging in their evening's choice of eatery?