Friday, February 16, 2024

Small Bites: Allen Susser & Nader Jaouhar

Two new restaurants to our south to keep your eyes (and taste buds) on…

Set to debut any day now just off Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale is the second branch of celeb chef Allen Susser’s ode to the food ol’ grilled cheese sandwich, The Daily Melt (350 SE 2nd St., 954/713-MELT). This somewhat larger location than the original Midtown Miami Melt expands on its offerings, adding a “gourmet pickle bar,” with house-made pickles ranging from sea salt-dill to lemon-ginger to bread & butter.

There’s also a lounge with free WiFi, a roster of craft wines and beers, and a grab ‘n’ go menu. Breakfast and lunch melts include bacon, maple syrup, egg and cheddar on sourdough and barbecued pulled pork with swiss, caramelized onions and jalapeno potato chips.

Already up, running and getting some good word of mouth is Dixie Tracks Cafe (4820 N. Dixie Hwy., 954/223-2456), a tiny but smart looking little eatery in a nondescript Oakland Park strip mall from the former chef of Cielo at the Boca Raton Resort, Nader Jaouhar, and partner Kareem Lakchira.

Dishing upscale diner fare with a chef’s twist and focus on natural, sustainable and organic ingredients, Dixie Tracks offers an array of inventive items at breakfast and lunch, among them the Dixie Sub (fried chicken, egg, potatoes and black pepper cream sauce), Pigs & Waffles (Belgian waffle with apple-bacon marmalade and chocolate bacon strips), a double-stack grass-fed beef burger with barbecue-peppercorn sauce and a sub called the Philly Mac (Philly cheesesteak with smoked Lyonnaise onions, bacon and truffled mac ‘n’ cheese). That should keep your motor running until dinner.

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