There are a lot of catch phrases these days when it comes to defining restaurants and cuisine. Everything from ‘gastropub’’ to “farm to table.’’
Here’s another: “Authentic Neighborhood Cuisine.’’ The term is not an originally idea – it comes from a certain red-headed friend of mine. But regardless of its origin, “authentic neighborhood cuisine’’ certainly fits the menu at The Office in Delray Beach, Fla. (www.theofficedelray.com). The Office, owned by Brooklyn-born businessman John Rosatti, has been the anchor to the ever-changing restaurant scene on trendy East Atlantic Ave. for the past six years – an eternity in the Delray Beach culinary world.
The main reason for its success? Let General Manager Marcel Buruiana tell you:
“We keep everything consistent and it’s a place where people feel comfortable,’’ Buruiana said.
Those people come from all walks of life and destinations, as East Atlantic Ave. the past few years has become a mecca for tourists, snowbirds and South Floridians who want to experience one of the country’s top seaside communities.
And The Office, located only about a 15-minute walk west of the beach, as well as within close proximity to town hotels, is one of Delray Beach’s more popular eating and drinking destinations, featuring inside and outside dining, each ideal for people watching up and down “The Ave.’’
The open, outside bar is a popular spot for Happy Hour, which features good example of The Office’s “Authentic Neighborhood Cuisine,’’ including a Slider Trio of angus beef, chicken salad and (my favorite) braised pulled pork. The deviled eggs are a good choice, too. Guests also have the choice of the inside dining room or even the sidewalk patio, complete with white table cloths.
The Office also has an extensive craft beer, wine and spirits menu that features hand-crafted cocktails such the “Pink Slip,’’ “The Avenue Lemonade’’ and “Host The Toast.’’ For Sunday brunch, The Office has a bottomless Bloody Mary pitcher that goes great with the pretzel bread and bacon-glazed donuts.
The Office’s main menu features steaks, chops and seafood, but its real claim to fame is the Prime Office Cheeseburger with cheddar cheese and Office sauce. The top of the bun is branded with the restaurant’s familiar logo. Big, thick and juicy, the Prime Office Cheeseburger is a staple for restaurant regulars and a fine example of The Office’s strive for consistency. For those who want to take it up a notch, there is the Prime CEO Burger with tomato jam, bacon and blue cheese.
“Best burger in South Florida,’’ Buruiana said.
For those who want something a bit different, try the Spicy Braised Taco, Meatloaf Grilled Cheese sandwich with white cheddar cheese (awesome), or even the Florida Blue Crab Burger with avocado and Cajun Remoulade.
But whatever your choices, you’ll get “Authentic Neighborhood Cuisine’’ at its best.