Florida Favorites with Erin Amasan Masala

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Erin Amasan Masala (the multi-talented performer, foodie, and travel buff) dropped some jewels (sage advice) to all of the lovely ladies (and their gents) on amazing Florida experiences.

Name: Erin Amasan Masala

Alias: Amasan, Girl, Jefa, Doer of Things

Occupation: Lighting and Scenic Operations Coordinator, VP of Masala Middle Eastern Dance Fusion Inc., Aquaticat

Hobbies: Who has time for hobbies? If I did have time, which I will in the future, it is gardening, cooking, reading, gaming, making art.

Town: Hollywood, FL

Must-do’s in Florida for visitors:
What kind of trip is the person looking for? Are they an adventurer? A lazy traveler? A history buff? A foodie?
One of my favorite trips that I took solo was to Key West. I spent as much time doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I spent hours just sitting in the garden watching the Hemingway cats, and I spent hours in the Pirate Museum. And Peppers of Key West is a must-stop if you are into spicy things.
For someone that’s never been to Florida I think Orlando is required, Disney, Universal, I hear Disney Springs is great. If you are a foodie then I’d go during the Food & Wine Festival.
I haven’t really been able to do much touristy things the past few years. I remember enjoying St. Augustine when I visited as a kid.
And I did enjoy Weeki Wachee Springs, they have crystal clear water and the first Mermaid show in the country.
And of course, come to see the MeduSirena Aquaticats at the B Ocean in Ft. Lauderdale Beach!

Fave restaurant and dish/es to get there:
I could go on and on in this category. Favorite all around restaurant that’s also a good date night restaurant: Market 17 in Fort Lauderdale. They have really creative dishes that are also delicious with locally sourced produce. They have an award winning mixologist and one of the owners is a sommelier with some pedigree so the drink menu is phenomenal. They also have hands-down the best charcuterie plate in Broward. Most of the meats on the board are house cured and all the pickles are house made.
Best Steakhouse: Adena Grill. I love their concept. The owner of the restaurant also owns the farm that the proteins come from except for the lamb because they are building up their stock. Everything is organic and humanely raised on a 96,000 acre farm. The beef is grass fed and grass finished. They have one of the largest wine collections in Broward. You can actually book your dinner in the wine cave. The decor is stunning, the service is attentive. My favorite items on the menu (barring the steaks which are great) is the bone marrow and the almond cake. The bolognese is tasty as well as the french onion soup.
Best fish: Divino Ceviche in Doral. I love ceviche and they are ALWAYS packed and the fish is super fresh.
Best Vegetarian/Vegan establishment: Eat the Tea in Fort Lauderdale. Their food is delicious and satisfying. Sometimes when eating just vegetarian or vegan I feel like my meal is incomplete. But not here, they’ve got a menu that has variety but not too much variety (sometimes too much is too much, you know?). And I love tea and it’s so great to go to a place that has a wide selection! This is obviously not a chain and everyone should go eat there so we can keep this unique gem.
Best Italian: Il Gabbiano in Miami. The place was transcendentally good when I went several years ago, they started us off with a nugget of Parmegiano Reggiano and a 25yr old aged balsamic vinegar that was deeply sweet. Although you will be coughing up a lot of dough to go to this one, probably the most expensive of the restaurants I listed.
You think I could have a career as a food critic?? 😛

Soundtrack to your life right now: Oh I don’t know! Depends on the day. (Laughs.)

Three things you cannot adventure without: My cellphone, a game plan (even a vague one), and the right mindset. If I am going on an adventure with my family then this list would be WAAAAAYYYY longer. (Laughs.) Packing with a baby is no joke….

Fave books:
Harry Potter
Night Watch by Sergei Lukynenko
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
he first three books in Frank Herbert’s Dune Series. Very cerebral.
The Sword Dancer Series by Jennifer Roberson. Very strong female character.
The Pern Series by Ann McCaffery. Also very strong female characters.

Favorite Florida Band:
The Resolvers. They are a “Big Band” Reggae band. I love love to listen to them play, they have great stage presence and musicality. http://www.theresolvers.com/

Favorite Florida Artist:
I have SO MANY talented artist friends. Right now I’m really digging the Art of Robert Jimenez. Full of vibrant color and fun themes. http://tikitower.com/

Favorite Drink: I could go on and on. My go-to drink is one that every Trekkie knows. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I also enjoy a cider every now and then.
And my new favorite rum is Florida Mermaid Rum, and not just because of the name, it’s actually a very good rum. http://www.wildbuckwhiskey.com/#!mermaid-rum/yg87c

Adventure Attire: Comfortable jeans and good walking shoes in case there is a zombie apocalypse. 😜

To find out more info about the performance groups I am in or the belly-dance class I teach, go to:

If you are interested in donating to our GoFundMe campaign to help out our Mermaid Swim Show go to: www.gofundme.com/aquaticataquarium.

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