This is exactly how it’s supposed to work: the Funky Buddha Brewery opens along the FEC tracks in Oakland Park in June, its made-right-in-the-other-room craft beers and food-truck friends attracting the bearded and the pierced, the musical and the munchied, the FSU fraternal and the MOM maternal to a corner of Broward County unused to such colorful activity.
Its arrival followed the nearby April opening of another trailblazer, Hot & Soul, a small restaurant run by reformed rocker Mike Hampton and wife Christy Samoy, where you can sample items from its globally soulful menu on a communal table made from the wood of 100-year-old Kentucky tobacco barns.
The newcomers quickly found each other, and this week announced a little audience cross-pollination in the form of an Aug. 21 beer-pairing dinner at Hot & Soul, located in the Culture Room strip center at Oakland and U.S. 1. (Tickets: $50. Reservations: FunkyBuddhaHotAndSoulBeerPairing.Eventbrite.com)
It is just such organic relationships that help create a dynamic community in a destination where none existed.
Hampton, whose Hollywood home has a small music studio (“I walk by it and look in” on the way to work, he says with a somber laugh), was born near Pittsburgh and took a track scholarship to Florida State, where he met his wife. They learned to be chefs in New Orleans, were relocated by Katrina to San Diego (where Hampton played in a few indie bands) before arriving in South Florida. Hot & Soul is the couple’s first restaurant.
Hampton and Samoy attended the opening of the Funky Buddha, brewery employees soon started showing up at Hot & Soul, and Hampton and the Funky Buddha’s Ryan Sentz discovered a similar vision for their craft.
“We do different things, but our heads are in the same direction,” Hampton says. “They do really ballsy brewing. When they brew beer, they don’t really care what people are going to think. They feel if they have a good product, and they like it, it will translate to other people liking it. We believe if we do something and we believe in it, we’ll be OK. The Funky Buddha is the epitome of that.”
The Funky Buddha recently introduced a porter called Last Snow, an unlikely layering of coffee, chocolate and coconut. It was their top seller. (And gone for a while.)
For the uninitiated, this is a great weekend to test-drive both spots.
The Funky Buddha recently introduced another ambitious release: Cucumber Jones, a cucumber-and-basil wheat refresher ($5.50). Its food-truck lineup is strong, with the Purple People Eatery (bison burgers a specialty) Friday from 5:30-11:30 p.m., Nacho Bizness 12:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday and Rolling Stove 5:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday. And there are tasty behind-the-fermenters tours of the 19,000 square-foot brewery at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The Funky Buddha is at 1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park. Info: 954-440-0046, Facebook.com/FunkyBuddhaBrewery.
At Hot & Soul, you’ll find the sake jello shots that were instantly popular, and they make gnocchi fresh every day. The weekend menu was still a work in progress, but maybe there are a few hints on the menu for the beer-pairing: Dishes will include braised short-rib ravioli with an OP Porter and marrow sauce; a “beer-iaki”combo of Doc Brown-beer glazed tuna over sesame soba noodles and fried ginger; Hop Gun IPA-braised pork cheeks with Yukon gold potato cakes and braised kale; and, riffing on the Cucumber Jones (“It’s beautiful,” Hampton says), dessert will be sweet avocado-and-basil empanadas with Cucumber Jones jello shots. The Hot & Soul is at 3045 N. Federal Highway. Info: 754-206-2155, Facebook.com/HotandSoul.
The free monthly barbecue social put on by the arty and entrepreneurial crowd at C&I Studios returns to FAT Village on Friday, with free hot dogs and burgers (veggie, too), courtesy of the Riverside Market. (This month there’s a potluck theme, with prizes offered for the best side dish.) This community outreach event (they are reaching out to give you a hug, hot dog in hand, almost literally speaking; please hug them back) is a BYOB event, co-sponsored by Exposed PR & Events, and runs from 6-8 p.m. C&I Studios is at 541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Info: 954-357-3934, Facebook.com/CIStudios.
SEE SARAH SING
Someday we’re going to look at Sarah Packiam and say, remember when she played around here … for free?! Packiam has a new EP called “Dream” (which I am embarrassed to say was released more than two months ago without a word in this space) and it’s just more evidence of a talent that should be difficult to keep in South Florida. Packiam is a woman of the world, born outside Dublin, raised for several years near Barcelona, where she played in a band with her brother and her father, Peter, a jazz-blues guitarist from Agra, India. And her five new original songs, produced by Grammy Award winner Tim Mitchell (Bob Seger, Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Shakira), include contributions from members of Shakira’s band (Albert Menendez, Olgui Chirino). But the EP is pure pop that wears its indie-Americana aspirations on its rolled-up sleeves. The jangly, harmonica-fueled rocker “Lenny” would be perfectly at home on a setlist at a show by Lucinda Williams or John Mellencamp. It’s astonishing to hear Packiam rock out like that. Anyway, you can hear for yourself, because the singer continues to perform on her two regular South Florida stages: Friday nights at 8 at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St.; 954-977-6700, SeminoleCoconutCreekCasino.com) and Aug. 15 at Balans Lounge (901 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-534-9191. Info: Facebook.com/SarahPackiam
Pam Bruno is one of our favorite South Florida comics, her languorous and laconic observations about the single life providing laughs in rooms ranging from Fort Lauderdale’s intimate Catskills Comedy Club to the Improv at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. On Saturday night she performs in a totally different space: Plugged Comedy Night at the Wynwood styling salon Junior & Hatter (2750 NW Third Ave., Miami), where the bill will also include locals such as Mike Giangrade, Milton, John Gregory and John Wynn. Show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free, as are the cocktails courtesy Mandarine Napoleon. Info: 305-571-8361, Facebook.com/JuniorAndHatter.
PUT ON YOUR JERSEY
It has come to this: “Real Housewives of New Jersey” rabble-rouser Teresa Giudice will host the Saturday night party at Pangaea Lounge at the Hard Rock in Hollywood. In keeping with the party’s “Absolutely Fabulous” name, there will be free “Fabetinis” for the ladyfolks from 10 to 11 p.m. Table reservations are “highly suggested,” an advisory you don’t often see on a Pangaea invitation. Info: 954-581-5454, Pangaea-Lounge.com.
WILSON & BECK
Rock icons Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck will kick-off a co-headlining North American tour on Sept. 27 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, with tickets on sale Friday at 10 a.m. The genius behind the signature sound of the Beach Boys and the guitar legend who has propelled the Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck Group and multiple solo and side projects, recently united on Wilson’s upcoming Capitol Records album. They’ll be joined onstage by former Beach Boys originals Al Jardine and David Marks, the so-called “Lost Beach Boy.” Reserved-seat tickets are $84, $69 and $49 at MyHRL.com, Ticketmaster.com or at 800-745-3000.
MIAMI, IT'S DIFFERENT DOWN THERE
Woody Allen’s new film, “Blue Jasmine,” will open in South Florida theaters this weekend with reviews not seen for an Allen film in some time. “Woody Allen, in rare form, puts [Cate] Blanchett front and center in this homage to Tennessee Williams' ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ spinning hilarious but mostly harsh truths about love in the time of financial cholera,” wrote Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. One theater at which you will not find “Blue Jasmine” is the Coral Gables Art Cinema, where its announced opening has been postponed by the record-setting reception for Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited.” “It’s our most successful film on a per-week basis ever. It’s been amazing,” said CGAC director Robert Rosenberg. Both films were released by Sony Pictures Classics, which asked Rosenberg to hold off on “Blue Jasmine” for at least one more week. Info: GablesCinema.com, 786-385-9689.
Woody is unavailable, but Max Bialystock is in. Certain movies need to be seen in a crowd of like-minded cineastes, and “The Producers” is one of them. The Zero Mostel-Gene Wilder comedy about the unwelcome success of Bialystock’s sure-fire flop “Springtime for Hitler,” will be screened at 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday as part of the free summer movies series at the Lyric Theatre (59 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart). Yes, in Stuart, but make a day of it. Downtown Stuart is lovely. Info: 772-286-7827, LyricTheatre.com.
The Duvel Single came by its name for the single fermentation it goes through, leaving it with a milder taste and lower alcohol content (6.8) than the Belgian brewer’s original beer (8.5). Certainly not because you can only drink one. As they’ll prove Saturday night at Gramp’s, when the quipster watering hole (176 NW 24th St., Miami) is home to the Duvel Beer Garden, a Wynwood Art Walk-pegged event from 6 to 9 p.m. You’ll find free plates of Sparky's Roadside BBQ and beat-the-clock specials on the new Duvel: $2 from 6 to 7 p.m., $3 from 7 to 8 p.m., and $5 from 8 to 9 p.m. Info: 786-752-6693, GrampsBar.com.