TUO ZAAFI WITH AYOYO SOUP
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What: Mahi-mahi, also known here as dolphin fish (though it is not related to the dolphin), is a mild-tasting white fish found off Florida’s Gulf coast that lends itself well to the heat of blackening (coated with spices including cayenne and pan-fried). These sandwiches are common in fish shacks and fancy seafood restaurants alike in south Florida. From an ecological standpoint, U.S.-caught mahi-mahi is preferred for consumption over the popular grouper, which, although still legally sold just about everywhere, is in danger of being overfished (and is sometimes misrepresented on menus here).
Where: In Boynton Beach, Hurricane Alley (529 E. Ocean Ave, map) does stellar seafood in suitably quirky, laid-back (including, well, the service), loud, over-decorated environs with a “hurricane” theme. Very Florida.
When: Sun-Thurs, 11am-11pm (kitchen closes 10pm); Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight (kitchen closes 11pm)
Order: The mahi-mahi sandwich ($13.95), which stacks the fish along with leafy green lettuce, fresh tomato, and a bit of tartar sauce on a big kaiser roll; plus the delicious raw oysters, rich seafood bisque, and homemade smoked marlin dip. We also hear the deep-fried softshell crab sandwich is a winner here, though the restaurant had sold out of it the night we visited.
Alternatively: Look for good renditions of this sandwich at one of South Florida’s timeless seafood dives, like Deerfield Beach’s Whale’s Rib (954-421-8880; 2031 NE 2nd St., map), where you can have it regular or “Key West” style, with Swiss cheese, purple slaw, and Thousand Island dressing; or our beloved Tarks of Dania Beach (1317 S. Federal Hwy, map), further south in Dania.
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