Sip and Savor Local Cuisine and Art as You Tune in to a Tale of Two Cities
Story and photos by: MARITZA COSANO
From the artsy sights of Delray Beach’s “Avenue” to the scenery of downtown Boynton Beach, let’s travel through the history of two cities you’ve probably read about—now yours to discover aboard the Taste History Culinary Tour.
A culinary tour is your chance to sample a city’s most culture-packed, historically rich region. For a few hours, you can stop the clock’s hands to wander the streets you probably often pass, and find out about the stories behind those charming historic houses, blossoming gardens, art sculptures, small shops, restaurants, and meandering canals in a storybook setting.
The Taste History Culinary Tour is a non-profit cultural tour program blending food, local art and Florida’s multicultural history. They offer many tours, and as you travel through Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, you get to explore Florida’s natural beauty of the year-round sunshine and pristine beaches. Have more time? Book your next tour, then push on to West Palm Beach to relive the 1920s’ golden era, now retro 2017.
This culinary adventure gives you not only a real taste of these local regions in the east coast of Florida. You get to eat, drink, and immerse yourself in history and culture as you explore these exciting cities, as told by Lori Durante, Guest Relations Manager of Taste History Culinary Tours, who’s an expert South Florida tour guide. Her well organized, four-hour “field trip” takes two steps forward and one step back into Delray Beach and Boynton Beach’s past.
Durante shares anecdotes about neighborhoods, residents and iconic buildings, including tours about the bohemian and artsy downtown Delray Beach best known as a beach town with plenty of style, happenings, and places to find serenity. Durante leads most of the tours herself, which she enlivens with insights culled from her years of scouting the South Florida area, specifically Palm Beach County.
Boynton Beach and Delray Beach are the perfect walking towns. The streets are easy to navigate, due to its great numbering system, which was introduced in the 1950s as requested by the Post Office to help with mail delivery.
Now, journey with us from Boynton’s busy streets to Delray Beach’s iconic downtown, as we make our way along the east coastline of Florida and highlight some of the tour’s best stops and history lessons…
“Downtown Boynton Beach is going through a revitalization,” Durante says as she sits behind the bus driver and directs her to our first stop. “The downtown became a distressed area, until nine years ago, when the city turned to the arts and designated the Avenue of the Arts. Directly east of us is the Ocean Avenue bridge over the intracoastal waterway, which is formally known as the Florida East Coastal Canal.”
The Florida East Coast Canal is one of the many canals that Henry Flagler created to help construct the Florida East Coast Railway. And directly east of that bridge, at the foot of it, was the location of Mayor Nathan Boynton’s house, who completed a round in 1897. According to Durante, the building no longer stands, but it was the land marked for this area.
While we learn that mail was delivered by foot from Jupiter to Miami in the late 1800’s, we breeze through the bus’ doors and continue our tour on foot.
1st Tour Stop: Hurricane Alley Raw Bar & Restaurant in Downtown Boynton Beach
Boynton Beach has a diverse culinary scene brimming with global flavors, and several great, fun bars where you can enjoy cool drinks. Voted one of the top ten best raw bars in Boynton Beach is Hurricane Alley Raw Bar & Restaurant. It has a cool vive, eclectic bar and fresh seafood, delivered by their own Sea Mist III ship, out of Boynton Marina. Our tour, a wonderful group of lady friends determined to learn more about their own town’s history and backstreets, try several of Hurricane Alley’s most popular small plates. My favorite dishes are the “Tropical Wave,” a seared thinly sliced tuna with sesame seeds, and the “South Florida Roll,” a mix of lobster with a spicy mayo, avocados and cucumbers, with white rice on the outside. Read more>>
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