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7th Annual Boca Burger Battle

Posted on 20 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Sanborn Square Park was packed for this year’s Boca Burger Battle on July 14. More people than ever found their way to vendor after vendor and stuffed themselves with taste after taste of delicious burgers, as well as craft beer, wine and other spirits. The night was made complete with well-placed mood lighting strung up high on the tall palm trees by Jan Van Der Baan (also of Birthday Comp.) and the musical stylings of the Gypsy Lights. They even had cornhole to play.

This is my first time attending,” said Peter Wein (of WEI Network.) “I am amazed at how many incredible burgers we have to choose from. Unfortunately, only one is going to get an award.”

Each of the chefs was battling it out to win, judged by a long line of judges. In the end, the Best Grill Master was Funky Buddha Brewery. 2nd place was Tucker Duke’s and 3rd, Cheffrey Eats. People’s Choice for Best Battle Burger went to ROK: BRGR for the 2nd year in a row.

Burton’s Grill & Bar served up a Mediterranean stuffed burger slider, with feta and herb alouette, grilled zucchini, tzadeki and charred tomato ketchup.

October will be our one year anniversary. This is our first time here,” said Stephanie Hammer, who marveled at how they had not slowed down the entire event. “Our Boca restaurant is the first in Florida… We are from New England.”

I love it. This is our first year. We are having an amazing time,” said Ting Shen, director of training of Batch Gastropub, which is located in the Delray Marketplace.

Barrel of Monks Brewery owner Kevin Abbott said, “This event just makes sense for us. It is a Boca event and we are a Boca brewery,” saying he works with most of the restaurants in attendance. “We have been here [in Boca] for 3 ½ years. We have Belgian style ales, tours, food and beer pairings … We like to educate people that beer is just as complex as wine.”

The Voss,’ who seem to be at every event, participated here for the first time, bringing their coconut tool and fresh honey, along with their bees.

It has been pretty good. The people are really friendly…” they said.

Flair for Fudge, which also seems to always be here yearly, created a fudge just for the event — Pecan BBQ Bourbon. But they have so many other flavors, including salted black truffle and Tropical Temptaton, made with coconut, pineapple, banana, and mango in dark chocolate. [This reporter really liked the chocolate peanut butter]. They also had samples of key lime pie and others…

We ship all over the US. We customize products for corporate, gifts for holidays, realtors, financial advisors, etc.,” said Hilary Saporta, who runs the company with Bernie Diaz. You can find out more and order at www.aflairforfudge.com.

We come every year. It has gotten bigger. Every year, there are more vendors. There are a lot more breweries,” said Natalie Batmasian, who attended with her husband, Jimmy.

This event may be over, but Russell Spadaccini, who runs the event, will have no time to rest. He is already gearing up for his next soiree, the Boca Wine & Food Festival, which will take place Nov. 10. Find out all the info., at www.bocaratonwineandfoodfestival.com.

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FLICKS: Battle of the Sexes nice, but disappointing

Posted on 05 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


While IT retained the box office crown, for the most part it was a disappointing weekend. Despite the multimillion dollar marketing campaign and much hype from the recent U.S. Open Tennis Championship, Battle of the Sexes was a major financial disappointment.

Battle of the Sexes reviews the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that filled the Houston Astrodome on a Thursday night on Sept. 20, 1973.  The match was a special edition of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and was a ratings winner.

With consultation from Billie Jean King and her longtime companion Ilana Kos, we are presented with the behind-the-scenes drama. While Riggs and King trash-talked each other in the public eye, off camera it appears the couple had a professional relationship with one another. 

It is the relationships away from tennis that fill up most of the running time. While Riggs’ gambling addiction is the core of his domestic woes, it is Billie Jean King’s emotional growth as a lesbian that is given most of the spotlight. It is ironic that so much time is devoted to King’s relationship to her former hairdresser Marilyn Barnett, because eight years later Barnett sued King for palimony. 

As the reigning Best Actress Winner, Emma Stone does a fine job. She mixes Billie Jean King’s public professionalism with silent moments of reflection that is soul searching. As the rude, crude and socially unacceptable (by today’s standards) Bobby Riggs, Steve Carell gives a sympathetic performance. It would have been easy to make Riggs a villain, but Carell’s vulnerability makes one root for him.

Battle of the Sexes is an entertaining slice of history for those who lived in 1973. One is reminded about the fashion trends when hearing the pop music associated with the time. Yet, there is a mechanical feeling to the screenplay for this movie. There is no need to rush out and see it, for it will be played on television during Women’s History Month.

Battle of the Sexes is likely to be forgotten this weekend as the much anticipated Blade Runner 2049 opens, a sequel 35 years in the making. 

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