Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue June 14 2016

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  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | June 14, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Savory Stops: A West Palm Beach Food Tour

    Savory Stops: A West Palm Beach Food Tour

    Photos by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

    Flaunting 47 miles of coastline and palm fringed beaches everywhere you look, the eclectic West Palm Beach food scene is usually overshadowed by its dreamy landscape. But don’t be fooled, food is as much a part of the culture as the surf and sand. I discovered the city’s history as well as the story behind many of the eateries on the West Palm Beach Food Tour. The mile-long, three-hour walking tour inspired me to sample several dishes that I would never have discovered on my own.

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    Starting out at the chic Blind Monk Cafe in downtown West Palm Beach, I was joined by a group of about 10 fellow taste tourists. Our guide Kristl prompted us to introduce ourselves and then we found ourselves sipping prosecco mojitos. Since it was 11 a.m., the flavorful cocktail qualified for breakfast but it was followed up with plates of garlic rubbed toast and fresh tomatoes, then ahi tuna tostadas topped with mango salsa. It was an impressive introduction to the food scene that tends towards fresh and light fare.

    But we weren’t there to just try out food. West Palm Beach boasts vibrant murals and Kristl pointed out several bold images that covered walls and alleys, especially a quirky painting of Einstein in board shorts and rainbow colors, by Brazilian art collective Kobra. We strolled down the main thoroughfare of Clematis where most of the trendy spots were located and Kristl showed us that West Palm Beach streets are all named after plants and flowers and organized alphabetically, so if we got lost, following the street name letters would get us back to our original spot.

    A stop by the gastropub Hullabaloo showcased craft cocktails named for pop stars with cute song lyrics tied to the ingredients (my fave was the Rick James “I’m In Love With Mary Jane” with Jameson, Tremontis Mirto, Foro Amaro, orange bitters and oregano.) paired with fire-roasted brussel sprouts.

    We were treated to a coconut demonstration at Ganache Bakery Cafe, since coconut palms are such an important part of the area’s history. According to the local legend, Providencia, a ship filled with Cuban coconuts, crashed on the shores in 1878. Coconut palms are not native to South Florida but the settlers planted them and now the trees line every other street. Ganache co-owner Jamal cut open a ripe coconut with a machete and offered us samples of the fresh coconut water, after explaining the nutritional benefits (more potassium than 10 bananas!). We noshed on mini key lime pies afterwards, another notable dish connected to the region.

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    We stopped by several more restaurants and explored a bit more of the city’s architecture before the tour ended with smiles and me toting several doggie bags of treats that I was too stuffed to finish. Food tours offer great insight into a destination and the West Palm Beach Food Tour convinced me that there’s so much more to the sunny enclave than I expected.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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