Boca

Boca Winter Park

At the end of Park Avenue, on the corner, rests Boca. Boca is a very popular restaurant on the Ave and one of my personal favorites. I’ve been to Boca on multiple occasions, and it has become a go-to for me and my friends. On my last visit, I ran into a friend, and chef, who was there having brunch just a few tables away from me. We discussed the menu a bit and exchanged our orders with one another. I know how I feel about Boca but running into him made me realize that my instincts, along with everyone else’s, were correct; Boca is one of the best restaurants around.

Boca is a Personal Favorite

I was first introduced to Boca a few years ago. My office had rented out Boca one night in December for a Christmas party. Ever since then, I was hooked. From the bar to the carving station and sushi buffet, I was overwhelmed. I don’t believe that’s something that they have available regularly but that was my initial taste. My taste test if you will. Oddly enough, I usually go to Boca now for brunch. We’ll get into all of that in a minute.

Boca’s Bar Has Everything You Want

First and foremost, when you walk into Boca, you’ll notice their gorgeous bar with everything you could want. My go-to was Basil Hayden’s small-batch whiskey. To this day I haven’t been able to find Basil Hayden’s at another bar, only at Boca and the liquor store. Although, I’m sure some other restaurants around stock Basil Hayden’s, Boca just feels like the place to order it. Usually, I stick to beer, but, on occasion, I am a whiskey/scotch drinker and Basil Hayden’s became a favorite of mine; based on that initial visit to Boca. Aside from the Basil Hayden’s, they have a fantastic selection of beers and other spirits, wine, and more. Their cocktails are traditional favorites with their own spin such as their Hail Mary and Watermelon Collins. Truly they have a well-stocked bar for anyone interested in stopping in for a drink.

The Boca Brunch Vortex

I speak about brunch a lot in my reviews. It’s my favorite meal, with some of the most flavorful options of traditional breakfast foods available, and Boca does not disappoint. If anything, some of their dishes are, almost, too rich and decadent. Take their Grand Mar French Toast for example. It’s described as “Thick-cut white bread, burnt sage butter, Grand Marnier crème, candied oranges, and rosemary maple syrup” Doesn’t that sound unique and sophisticated while still being a traditional American breakfast? My girlfriend ordered this dish on our last visit, and for a moment, I thought she might leave me for the French toast. Simple items using fantastic ingredients, with a twist, are my happy place.

In opposition to the Grand Mar French Toast, I opted for their BBQ Pork, Benedict. Oh man, what a dream come true it was to have barbecue for breakfast. Just so you know what I mean, they describe their BBQ Pork Benedict as “Sweet and sticky smoked pork, poached eggs, pretzel toast, cilantro béarnaise, and potato hash.” I finished my meal in its entirety and shortly after had to be loaded onto the back of a flatbed truck and taken home for a nap. Absolutely incredible. The BBQ Pork Benedict is a must-try for anyone visiting Boca for brunch.

Boca Offers More Than Brunch

Brunch is not all that Boca has going for it. If you read my review on Atlantic Beer and Oyster (ABO) you may remember that ABO is a sister restaurant of Boca. So, as ABO offers burgers from the Boca kitchen, Boca offers grilled Gulf oysters. I am not an oyster fan myself, but I have it on good authority that these are fantastic, high-quality, oysters. Their burger is another smash hit for many patrons. The OMG Burger boasts a 100% pasture-raised beef patty with bibb lettuce, sharp white cheddar, pickled onions, tomato, and sweet relish aioli all paired with parmesan tru­ffle fries. I am a sucker for truffle fries and have been ever since I was on the line at Jack Steakhouse in Baldwin Park about 12 years ago. Before Chef Chris Lacey introduced me to truffle oil, I had no idea what I was missing, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

If you haven’t been to Boca, it’s truly an experience that should be had by everyone. In my opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to find better, American, cuisine in the area. Or a better farm-to-table restaurant in the area. It is very clear to me and should be to anyone who walks in, that Boca is a top-tier establishment with a great business model, reputation, and head chef. Don’t just take my word for it, check out their menus here and stop in for a bite. Tell them Park Ave Magazine sent you. Check out Bocas’ website here.

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