Kendall, Florida, is a vibrant and diverse community known for its rich culture and growing food scene. In this article, we'll take a closer look at three of BYPPO's favorite up-and-coming spots in Kendall: Mellow Grapes, Apocalypse BBQ, and Jealous Fork. From tantalizing flavors to unique dining experiences, these establishments have something special to offer to all who walk through their doors.
We're just going to come out and say it...if you're looking for the BEST barbecue in South Florida, Apocalypse BBQ is the way to go. But be warned, after you have their sweet, smoky ribs and salty brisket you may develop an addiction!! From humble beginnings as a pandemic pop-up to becoming a barbecue sensation, let's dive into the fascinating journey of Jeff Budd, the mastermind behind Apocalypse BBQ.
In 2020, as the world grappled with the challenges posed by the pandemic, Budd embarked on a culinary journey that would soon evolve into Apocalypse BBQ. With a background in marketing and a heart full of love for barbecue, Budd journeyed into the world of smoking meats.
Budd has always been on the hunt for the best barbecue. "I was the kind of guy that would hop in my car and drive five hours to a barbecue joint," he said.
However, at 23, his life was put on a sudden pause when Budd was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. While he was forced to stay home, he realized how much he missed going out for good barbecue. So about a year into fighting cancer, Budd decided to order a Weber smoker and do it himself.
In time, he realized that barbecue wasn't just a hobby – it was a lifeline. With the support of friends, family, and a growing community of barbecue enthusiasts, Budd's passion began to take on a life of its own. Starting as a small pop-up, Apocalypse BBQ quickly gained momentum. The mouthwatering ribs, brisket, and burgers had people begging for more.
As demand continued to grow, so did Budd's aspirations. The transition to a brick-and-mortar establishment was a natural step forward. Budd said he wanted a location that aligned with his vision of creating a family-friendly, community-centered barbecue hub. Ultimately, the perfect spot was at the Killian Green Golf Course.
Apocalypse BBQ is more than just a restaurant – it's a testament to the power of a dream and the enduring love of BBQ shared among friends, family and the community at large.
About fifteen years ago, Joaquin Ortiz, and Henrik Telle, became friends over their shared love for food, sports and travel. Their friendship led them to partner up to create Jealous Fork, one of Kendalls most delicious dining experiences.
Ortiz and Telle have always loved to experiment with different foods in their kitchen, exploring a variety of food concepts. Pancakes, however, stole the spotlight—every time Ortiz posted his pancakes, he noticed a lot of attention and excitement . With their existing café, Tea and Poets, allowing them more time, the idea of a pancake-focused venture took root. However, if they were going to do it they would do it right. No trending diet fads, just some great pancakes. They wanted to be unapologetically indulgent, a place where cheat days weren't just accepted but celebrated.
The name, "Jealous Fork" perfectly captured the essence of their venture—irresistible pancakes that make your fork burn with envy. With the idea set, they focused on taste and aesthetics, ensuring every dish was as delightful to consume as it was to behold.
They had their sweet pancakes like their blueberry lemon curd and chocolate chip oreo. However, they also decided to branch out into uncharted territory: savory pancakes. They explored unexpected combinations like southwest tex-mex style pancakes and Vietnamese banh mi-inspired pancakes.
However, Jealous Fork's journey didn't stop at pancakes; it expanded into a full-fledged restaurant experience. While their pancake menu boasts creativity and indulgence, they have seamlessly integrated other dishes that showcase their culinary expertise. Customers can choose from dishes like ther seared ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes and a perfectly grilled churrasco with tomato-poblano jam.
What's remarkable is their commitment to preserving the quality and authenticity of each dish. Their pursuit of perfection led them to reinvent even the simplest dishes, ensuring that each meal is an elevated experience.
Ortiz and Telle's story reminds us that the pursuit of culinary excellence is an art form, a fusion of creativity and an unyielding passion for providing diners with unforgettable moments—ones that are bound to be cherished as deeply as any other beautiful memory.
Mellow Grapes is a rare find being one of the only wine bars in West Kendall. With an extensive collection of beer and wine, Mellow Grapes is the perfect spot for winding down with friends! Join us as we hear from one of the co-owners, Gabriel Bermudez, as he takes us through the journey of this family-owned establishment.
Mellow Grapes is not just a wine and beer bar – it's the culmination of a diverse set of experiences and ambitions. The Bermudez family has extensive experience in the real-estate industry; however, they've always recognized the value of diversification. They decided to venture further into the realm of hospitality.
The idea of a bar or restaurant floated around until they found the perfect location. With a strategic location and a clear vision, Mellow Grapes was born. The family dedicated several months to perfecting every aspect of the establishment, from redecorating to curating an exquisite menu. The focus was on creating a space where patrons could unwind, indulge in small plates and savor a diverse selection of wines and beers.
The Mellow Grapes menu pays homage to diverse cultures with meats and cheeses from around the world. Gabriel's father, Ramon, a talented pastry chef with a wealth of culinary knowledge, oversees the kitchen operations. The menu boasts a variety of small plates, sandwiches and flatbreads that each pair perfectly with a bottle of their wine. The family's passion for providing a unique experience is evident in the meticulously planned events at Mellow Grapes. From '80s themed parties to domino competitions at their Havana Nights, each event is designed to unite the community and create lasting memories.
A more recent event was their prohibition-themed soirée, where the establishment transformed into a speakeasy, complete with a password-required entrance. This dedication to creating immersive experiences highlights Mellow Grapes' commitment to fostering a sense of community and fun.
Through its carefully curated experiences, tasty menu and commitment to excellence, Mellow Grapes invites patrons to embark on a journey of relaxation, exploration and connection, one glass of wine at a time.
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