We made a return trip to Dearborn Street in Olde Englewood for dinner to fill our bellies at the tropical-themed Mango Bistro. Mango Bistro is owned by an energetic and friendly couple, Marie Laforge and Ricardo Roggero who hale from France and Brazil respectively. Their hospitality was marvelous, and we enjoyed wine and conversation with Ricardo while Marie personally crafted our delectable fare.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Black & Bleu Crepe which featured tender beef, bleu cheese, yummy horseradish sauce, crispy bacon & tomato (I had them hold the onion). I will absolutely order that again! It was such a rich, while not overpowering, and creamy deliciously unique flavor, unlike anything I have ever tasted! A fresh side salad with house dressing also accompanied my crepe. I was hesitant, I admit, not being the most adventurous eater, by far, and having only ever had dessert crepes, I didn’t know if I was going to like it. What a pleasant surprise! All too often I regret ordering out of my comfort zone, but was so delighted with my choice that I will certainly entertain the idea of being slightly more adventurous on future menus!
My friends agreed that the food was excellent and all enjoyed their choices as well. For dessert we treated ourselves to something small since we were all full from cleaning our plates, but we couldn’t resist when the waitress stopped by with a tray full of already prepared “Mini-Delights” in flavors including Tiramisu (which I jumped right on), chocolate mousse, Almond Joy, and others. The tasty little temptations are a brilliant idea! She comes over with the cute and harmless looking little glasses, hardly bigger than a shot glass, and they are so pretty with layers of chocolate yumminess–how can you say no? They are so small and cute!
We were entertained the entire time by the live music and dancing on the covered front porch. Ricardo was full of interesting stories including the birth of Mango Bistro from Marie’s dream and love of crepes and French cooking combined with his small computer business and how they persevered following a flooded shop, remodeling troubles and battles over business permits. His Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas seems hardly relevant to this unique business.
Marie’s lovely art exhibit is almost as enticing as the food. She designs on canvas, converts to digital and has them produced in China to create silk sarongs.
The food, the music, the making of new friends….This dinner was the perfect end to a day spent exploring the Olde Englewood shops and beautiful area beaches. We look forward to stopping in Englewood again and visiting with Marie and Ricardo over another bottle of wine.
Take a walk down Dearborn Street today through Olde Englewood, and sadly about a third of the shops will be closed with signs in the windows that state “See you in October!” Since the season in South Florida runs contrary to most other destinations in the country, the shop owners there head back, we are told, to sister stores in destinations with a more traditional “season” in places like Mackinaw City, Michigan. That is what we heard about the owners of Mermaid Cache, a whimsical looking beach shop with items in the windows including handmade jewelry, colorful dresses, beach wraps, and other finer quality looking gifts and collectibles. The passerby wasn’t a hundred percent sure about the locale of the sister store, but she said if her “memory served” it was Mackinaw City. That is one store, we hope to find open on our next trip to the area.
Luckily, we did find Girlieman Chic’s doors open year round. Girlieman Chic is a women’s consignment store that packs a ton of bargains into a tiny space and is opening in a new larger location down the street October 1. I would highly recommend starting from the back and working your way to the front since I discovered a Chico’s brand dress in the Final Clearance room in the back for only $3 that fit me like a well worn glove and was in like new condition! In addition to clothes they have a very funky collection of shoes and handbags and some rather amusing buttons, cards and trinkets. The owner’s sense of humor shows through in her store, a trait we greatly appreciate!
Additionally, the Life is Good store: At Home with Style is open year-round and is full of all the neat items that make that brand so fun. They also have a variety of upscale home decor items that would make planning for your next cocktail party a blast! Another section of the retail shop includes pampered pet specialty products like bowls, leashes and outfits for your 4-legged companion and carriers for the smallest of the species deigned to resemble couture handbags.
After checking out a few other beachy shops, some open and some not, and making notes of the ones we hope to explore on the inside during our next stop over in sunny, (and HOT!) southwest Florida, we decided to make a stop in a local eatery for a snack and cold libation. It was late afternoon and as they say “five o’clock somewhere!” so we decided a cerveza and some chips and salsa might be a nice snack. We had spotted Compadre’s Mexican restaurant when we first arrived on Dearborn Street and thought the front porch there looked like a beckoning spot to sit and take in the scenery while cooling down with a cold one. The staff was friendly and we enjoyed the authentic chips and salsa along with a couple of Coronas and decided that while Englewood is certainly on the sleepy side, it was a very relaxing stop in our tour around South Florida.