CORAL SPRINGS, FL – For Coral Springs food writer Jason Perlow, his passion for eating well started while growing up in Queens, New York.
In his Jewish home, there were always big eating events on the holidays and during family gatherings.
But the meals didn’t come from bubbe’s old-world family recipes.
“We didn’t cook. We ordered in,” Perlow said.
It was New York, after all, so they ate a lot of different foods that got him interested in the tastes, the preparations, and the stories behind the meals.
That awareness turned to fascination as he grew older and became a technology consultant who often worked in Lower Manhattan and went lunching with other techies.
“Us tech people love to eat, and we love going to the latest places,” he said.
Today, the fast-talking and proudly opinionated 52-year-old spends his work hours making a living as a full-time technology writer. He spends the rest of his waking hours eating, reading about eating, and writing about eating.
“When I go out to eat and try something that’s really good, I take photographs, I post about my experiences, and try to give people an on-the-plate experience,” he said.
From his home in Coral Springs, he runs a 5,000 member foodies review group on Facebook offering critique of restaurants across South Florida. (He’s also the food reviewer for TAPinto Coral Springs and TAPinto Parkland.)
“In Florida we go out to eat. That’s our main form of entertainment. I like to tell people what’s good and not so good,” Perlow said. “There’s a lot of expensive, overpriced food and I don’t want people to waste their money on it.”
Leslie Fine has known Perlow since moving to South Florida from Columbus, Ohio, in 2017. She was used to eating well and worried about her culinary options in her new hometown.
Then she started reading Perlow’s reviews and found lots of tasty foods based on his recommendations.
“He learns about chefs, about ingredients, and about preparations. He’s very knowledgeable,” she said.
Perlow isn’t just passionate about food.
He got involved in the push to permit marijuana dispensaries in Coral Springs a few years ago. That resulted in getting to know and meet more people. And that, of course, led to exploring new places to eat and talk.
For him, Coral Springs, where he’s lived since 2012, has the potential of creating a new destination for foodies interested in tastes from other parts of the world.
“We’re getting a lot more people coming here. We’re getting a lot more people from India, from China, from the Caribbean. As a melting pot, we’re getting an interesting mix of people. And they are influencing the restaurants,” he said.
The question is, as Coral Springs sets out to redevelop its downtown, what kind of destination does the city want to be known for, especially when it comes to food.
“Do we really want to be East Boca? Or do we want to be a place where families live?” he said.
No matter what, he expects Coral Springs to have more food options. They just may not be in the new downtown.
“We’ll be getting more interesting restaurants and eaters. As to what form they take, it will be up to the population and what people want,” he said.
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