We would like to thank those who post the link to our restaurant page when someone is looking for information, as we aren't able to keep up with the Florida board in real-time. There are two valid links:
We have been in Brevard over 20-25 years, and started the list over 10 years ago. It is not the upscale list that many visitors would like, but many of the Chowhounders will appreciate the ethnic variety. Here are some places we would like to highlight:
THAI KITCHEN - They just opened in December 2003, so few are aware they exist. A nice couple serves excellent Thai food. The woman ran a restaurant in Thailand before, cooking the recipes her grandma taught her. There are a variety of homemade sauces on the table, besides the ones that come with the meal. Chowhounders will be glad to know that she will prepare it Thai-style if you ask, and will probably cook anything you request, if she has the ingredients on hand! For those stuck on Pad Thai, it is is very good, and not like the too-sweet ones so many others serve. They are in the middle of the shops in the SE corner of Wickham and Aurora. M-F 11-2:30, 5-9. Sa-Su 12-9:30. 254-2283.
KEBAB MIDDLE EASTERN CUISINE - The food improved suddenly when these guys took over a few years ago. It is also a very comfortable place to relax and talk with friends, while sipping an endless supply of sweet sage tea. The decor is continually evolving, and looks decidely upscale at this point, along with the dinner prices. They have a good variety of Middle Eastern meals and pita wraps, including shawarma, shish tawook, and falafel. However, always ask what they have prepared special for that day; they start serving around noon, and can run out sometime in the late afternoon or early evening. One of our favorites is the the charbroiled rack of lamb. The kafta kabob in yogurt sauce is another worth trying. Also on the grill are the eggplants, which is why the baba ghannouj has a nice smoky flavor. If you still have room, they have an excellent homemade kanafa, a hard-to-find dessert of cheese in bulgar wheat. When you are done, you can go next door and buy a pint of mango, coconut, or guava ice cream. If you appreciate good baklava, take one of those to go too. They are in the SW corner of Babcock and Palm Bay Rd, facing Palm Bay Rd, across the street from Staples, a few shops west of Blockbuster in the strip mall. M-Sa 11-10, Su 2-9. 984-0058.
PINERO CUBAN CUISINE - About six months ago, Señor Pinero reopened his restaurant with the same great menu he had at Islamorada. Start off with Cuban coffee or a mango shake. The roast lamb shank is the best we have had anywhere. Sometimes they serve seared, sesame-seed-covered, sushi-grade tuna with a mango sauce. Other nice meals: roast pork (to die for); crab cakes with papaya-mango sauce; coconut mahi-mahi with orange-dijon mustard sauce; sweet coconut chicken breast topped with coconut, raisins, pineapple, and toasted almonds; arroz con pollo (chicken and rice); mofongo (mashed plaintains with pork). Side orders: the yuca is prepared perfectly, as are the plaintains and the black bean soup. Conch fritter appetizers. They also serves Cuban sandwiches. For dessert, tres leches or the flan (try the coconut version). They are in the large shopping center on the west side of Wickham Rd, north of Pineda and south of Suntree Blvd. Tu-F 11-2:30, Tu-Sa 4:30-9:30. Small establishment with no reservations, so try to miss prime time. 253-8205.
SMOKEHOUSE FOODS - We keep this lower down on the list simply because it is a lunch place with a limited variety. However, we wouldn't want it to be overlooked, since it is some of the best BBQ we know. They smoke the meats and seafood for quite awhile, and have a large variety for sale, since they ship it all over the country. They also have huge salads with quality veggies, covered with smoked marlin or mackeral. The "Fish Taco" is the same thing, just stuffed into a huge burrito! The pork sandwhiches are addictive. Very good beans. Smoked salmon dip to take home. Large selection of hot sauces on the tables. Free refills on sodas. They are in Port Canaveral, along restaurant row, but not on the water. 784-9300.
THAI VILLAGE - Good Thai food, even if the ownership has changed a few times over the last 15 years. The important news is they recently added a $5.25 lunch buffet on Mon, Wed, and Fri. It is small, but enough variety that you will be full and happy! They are at the west end of the shopping center, on the north side of Sarno Road, at Apollo Blvd. M-F 11-2, 5-9. Sa 5-9. Su 4:30-8:30. 259-0706.