I'm always shocked by the cost of living in Florida, at least the part I'm familiar with around Fort Lauderdale. Deals, deals everywhere, and me saving money for Italy! Breakfast: waffles and coffee for $3.50. Early Bird specials: three course meals for $6.99. And, not to be left out, flea markets the size of a suburban mall.
While I was in Florida last weekend, my grandparents escorted me to the Festival Flea Market, a yooge indoor market stuffed with booths overflowing with merchandise from watches to shoes to canned goods to really expensive dresses to used VHS tapes.
We took a brief detour through the flea market's 99 cent store, where Papa insisted on laying out $1.07 to get me a pair of sunglasses. These aren't just any sunglasses, either; the sticker on the left lens proudly states "400% UV Protection". Unfortunately, the sticker neglects to inform me how it's possible for the sunglasses to protect my eyes from 4 times the UV radiation going through their tinted plastic. They're cute, though, and I did need some sunglasses.
After a little browsing in the flea market, we repaired to the food court for some lunch. Now, with few exceptions, all of the mall food courts here around Austin contain a McDonalds or two, a Chick-Fil-A (Closed on Sundays!), a non-chain burger place, a Mexican place or two, a Chinese steam table, a "Japanese" teriyaki stand, and perhaps a place with "Cajun" food.
This food court, being in the heart of Jewish/Cuban South Florida, was a little different...
There was a Cuban place, not shocking... and a McDonalds...
No less than four separate places to buy a knish.
I decided to try out Pita Nosh, the Knish Place. (Don't ask me why it wasn't called Knish Nosh; maybe the name was already taken?)
My mind was completely boggled by the array of knish choices before me. Also, just what, pray tell, is a Grape Leaves Knish? Or a Corn Cutlet Knish, for that matter?
The bakery case was most inviting.
The Knish Nosh (I've renamed them in my mind) even had a salad bar; I don't believe I've ever seen one of these in a food court!
I decided to stick to the traditional, and purchased a potato knish, a beef knish, and a cup of split pea soup, figuring I could always pawn bits of my food off on my unsuspecting grandparents. My plot worked, by the way, helped along by the fact that Papa chose poorly when he bought a bacon and cheese topped baked potato. I've never seen cheese congeal like that.
My knishes, on the other hand, were stick-to-your-ribs tasty.
And then they were gone. What? I had help!
I would say that my first knish experience was a positive one. Plus, I got to see the flea market!
That night - Cuban. And sangria. Yum yum.