We are more than familiar with heat waves in South Florida. But how do you know you’re in the middle of a meat wave? Your photo files have been commandeered by images of steaks, burgers and roasts. Your story notes are popping up with references to prime rib, wagyu and barbecue. And you’ve got National Burger Month plans for May.
From prime rib to porchetta, this week’s food-news buffet is a carnivore’s fancy.
Let’s start with the porchetta.
Raves about the Roman-style porchetta sold at Swank Farm’s Saturday farmers market in Loxahatchee Groves led me to chef Tiziano Fioretti’s busy Pork-etta stand last weekend. The native Rome has sparked a following, thanks to the fragrant pork he cures with rosemary, fennel, garlic and Mediterranean sea salt, then rolls and wraps in pork belly before roasting.
The result is the most aromatic, juicy, herb-swirled roast pork. It’s street-food majestic. Fioretti cuts the roll in a way that’s ideal for onsite sandwiches (or for serving later however you’d like). He offers stacks of rosemary-scented focaccia, freshly baked by his wife Alejandra, for making sandwiches.
The porchetta alone costs $25 a pound. The rosemary focaccia is $8 for a large wedge (makes at least two hefty sandwiches), and $4 for a smaller wedge. If you are taking your porchetta to go, here’s a market tip: For a peppery contrast to the rich pork, grab some upland cress from Swank Farm’s own market stand, which offers a nice range of fresh-picked produce.
Fioretti’s culinary career includes prominent positions at various Los Angeles and Santa Barbara-area restaurants, the Eataly marketplace in LA and Dallas and, most recently, Deerfield Beach’s Royal Blues luxury hotel. He went to work for a food distribution company after food allergies forced him to give up a full-time chef’s life. But Fioretti says he found a way to stay connected to his passion for cooking and to his roots by making porchetta.
“It reminds me of my family. It reminds me of Italy,” says Fioretti, whose mother is from one of the Castelli Romani villages, the area that claims porchetta as its own.
Fioretti brought his Pork-etta stand to the Swank Farmers’ Market last October, selling out in an hour and 15 minutes on the first day. It has been a hit ever since.
If you’d like to try it at Swank’s Saturday market, you have until May 27, when the market closes for the off-season. Fioretti also sells the pork roast for delivery in Palm Beach and Broward counties. It costs $25 a pound with a three-pound minimum order, or $20 a pound for the entire pork log (about 11 to 15 pounds each). There’s no delivery fee.
You can follow Fioretti’s porchetta enterprise or contact him via Instagram @PorkettaRomana.
Swank Farmers’ Market: Saturdays through May from 10 am to 1 pm at 14311 North Road, Loxahatchee Groves, 561-202-5648, SwankSpecialtyProduce.com
Craving a prime rib special?
It’s a recurring question I’ve heard from readers through the years: Where do I find a good prime rib special? I thought of this recently during an interview with Eric Anderson, who co-owns The Butcher and The Bar in Boynton Beach (where they make a stellar porchetta sandwich, by the way). He mentioned his restaurant/butcher shop had launched a Sunday night prime rib special earlier this year.
A few rabbit holes later, I put together a mini-guide to prime rib specials in Palm Beach County. They range from the ceremonial (carved table-side in Palm Beach) to the casual and affordable ($29 with a side of live music).
Here’s the guide: six restaurants serving prime rib specials.
Burgers on the brain?
Maybe that’s because Burger Month starts Monday. We’ll have some favorite burgers coming your way soon (in story form). Meantime, here’s a tempting Burger Month special to know about:
Throughout May, West Palm Beach’s Tropical Smokehouse will offer a Miami-inspired tribute to the Cuban frita, the beloved smoky burger that’s topped with crispy potato sticks. At Tropical, chef Rick Mace uses smoked beef and chorizo in his frita patties, which he tops with hand-cut shoestring fries and kicky sauce and serves on a Martin’s potato roll.
The frita special ($15) is offered for dine-in, carry-out and delivery.
Tropical Smokehouse: 3815 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, 561-323-2573
New modern steakhouse coming up
The chef/restaurateur behind downtown West Palm Beach’s popular Avocado Grill wants to open a different kind of steakhouse in the city. Julien Gremaud told me about his plans to bring a retro-chic, Miami-inspired spot called Pink Steak to the city.
The location is a place my colleagues and I know well — the space where The Palm Beach Post’s printing presses once stood. Gremaud wants to shatter a few steakhouse clichés, particularly the expected “manly” trappings and ultra-rich side dishes.
Read all about the upcoming Pink Steak here.
Farewell, Grilled Cheese Month.
Before National Grilled Cheese Month dissolves into National Burger Month, I thought you might enjoy a nice cheese melt. So here ya go:
This one is a variation of Aioli bakery and café’s popular Grilled Three Cheese sandwich, which combines cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan on grilled buttered bread ($11.50).
The cranberry aioli spread you see on the bread was a request from Palm Beach Post collaborator J. Miller, who wrote about her long-standing love for a great grilled cheese sandwich in this 2021 story.
Speaking of melting cheeses, Aioli’s owners Michael and Melanie Hackman recently opened a long-awaited pizzeria called Pizzaioli just steps away from their bakery. Here’s that story!
Food events to know about
Boca Bacchanal time.
Boca Raton’s big culinary weekend has arrived. The three-day Boca Bacchanal (April 28-30) includes a grand-tasting event, three intimate wine dinners and a Macallan whiskey dinner. The 20-year-old Bacchanal benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society. The weekend at a glance:
• Friday nights — Tickets remain for the Macallan dinner at The Boca Raton resort’s glam MB Supper Club ($350 per person), and they are sold online. Saturday night’s wine dinners are sold out.
• Sundays — The Bacchanal’s Grand Tasting goes from 1 to 4 pm at the historic Addison events venue. Participating restaurants include chef/restaurateur Eric Baker’s AlleyCat and Big in Japan, The Seagate Hotel’s Atlantic Grille, Max’s Grille, Lemongrass Asian Bistro, Ramen Lab, The Capital Grille as well as The Addison’s culinary team. They will be joined by winemakers and distributors, who will offer samplings. Tickets, which cost $125 per person or $160 including a wine or whiskey seminar before the event, are sold online.
Culinary night for nature school.
If a walk-around, food-and-drink event with a charitable component sounds like a Saturday night plan, you may want to check out this weekend’s culinary tasting at the Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach.
The tasting event features bites from local restaurants such as Dada, Kapow Noodle Bar, Amar Bakery, Prezzo and others, an open bar and deejay-spun music. It benefits Delray Beach’s Cocoplum Nature School, which promotes nature-based learning for early childhood and elementary school children.
The tasting, which costs $125 per person, goes from 6 to 9 pm Saturday. Tickets are sold at this link. The Arts Warehouse is at 313 NE 3rd St. in Delray Beach.
Have a delicious weekend!
Hungry for more restaurant news?
Here’s how to stay up-to-date with your local dining scene: follow our food & dining writer, Liz Balmaseda on Twitter @LizBalmasedaInstagram at @silkpalm or sign up for our free weekly foodie newsletter, At the Table.
Read recent columns by Liz Balmaseda
◾ Local gem celebrates a big birthday. New BBQ debuts in West Palm.
◾ Hip West Palm Beach district says hello to one restaurant, bye to another
◾ Brunch, beer and hot pizza news
◾ The joy of finding new treats at old neighborhood favorites
◾ What to eat at Guy Fieri’s local ‘DDD’ picks? Some favourites.
◾ New Southern Sunday brunch, Instagram-loving noodles and hot Irish bar bites
◾ Fish fry-days, a new bottomless brunch and great charcuterie
◾ Five hot restaurants to visit in Lake Worth Beach
◾ A new Lebanese restaurant, great BBQ + vegan burgers.
◾ From ribs to rotis, Black-owned restaurant favorites to savor
◾ Dine at the farm. Meet the ‘Oscars of Food’ contenders in the 561. Find a great croissant.
◾ What’s hot? The best restaurant of 2022
◾What I’m craving, loving, ordering. Plus pizza obsessions + a new high tea
◾ Best reasons to visit Florida’s oldest steakhouse in Palm Beach County.
Liz Balmaseda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today Network. She covers local food and dining beats. Follow her on Instagram and Post on Food Facebook. She can be reached by email at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: West Palm restaurants: Best Italian sandwich, prime rib, new steakhouse