A Fork on the Road

Gluten-free eatery a mother-daughter production


If you go

Place: Fresh First

Address: 1637 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale

Contact: 954-763-3344, freshfirst.com

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Prices: Sandwiches $10.95-$13.25, soup $6.50, salads $12.75-$13.75, sweets $3.25-$5.75

FYI: Free parking in the attached garage


Banana-Orange-Kale Smoothie

In this recipe adapted from incrediblesmoothies.com, the orange can be replaced with two kiwi and spinach can be substituted for the kale.

1 cup almond milk

1 medium banana, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 orange, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups chopped kale leaves (remove tough spine and stems)

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Pour almond milk into a blender and add the banana, orange, kale and ginger. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until creamy and smooth. Makes 1 serving.

Per serving: 293 calories, 11 percent calories from fat, 3.9 g fat, 0 g sat. fat, 0 g mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7.9 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g fiber, 208 mg sodium.


A mother-daughter team has opened what they bill as South Florida’s only 100 percent gluten-free eatery. Set in an elegant yet earthy space in Fort Lauderdale’s yachting district, Fresh First eschews television sets and Wi-Fi to encourage diners to connect with one another.

Originally from North Miami, chef-owner Mary Siragusa lost her mother to cancer when she was 6, and helped her father cook for her six siblings. She raised her daughter, Francesca, as a single mom running a juice bar, and four years ago launched a gluten-free meal-delivery service.

They joined forces at Fresh First, with Francesca in charge of the baking. She makes puffy buns and waffle bread from rice flour and buttermilk, as well as raw flax bread.

The menu includes grilled cheese made with white Cheddar, apple slices, cardamom and cinnamon between golden waffles. Chicken salad is made with grapes and dill, nestled in a bun with romaine.

The raw lentil burger with sprouts and avocado is wrapped in a soft chard leaf. Quinoa is stir-fried with shredded carrots, purple cabbage, red pepper and scallions and topped with an egg.

Soups range from creamy cauliflower on Tuesday to chilled cucumber and yogurt on Saturday. Salads include the Moroccan with kale, spinach, sprouts, and walnuts in pomegranate dressing and Asian greens with golden beets in ginger dressing.

Other options include quinoa burgers, turkey bacon BLTs, tuna melts, smoothies, house-made sodas, gluten-free beer and organic wines.

Finish with a quinoa cupcake with blueberry-basil jam and goat cheese frosting.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who can be reached at lbb75@bellsouth.net.

Read more A Fork On the Road stories from the Miami Herald

Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Easter treats in Buena Vista

    The third operation in the culinary empire of Frenchmen Claude Postel and Cory Finot is Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine. The small shop is sandwiched between the Buena Vista Bistro and Buena Vista Deli. Glass cases hold a selection of artisan chocolates, and racks are filled with bottles of wine.

  • A Fork on the Road

    A Fork in the Road: Carol’s, Italian with Brazilian touches, opens in downtown Miami

    Life has come full circle for Carolina Moura since she opened her restaurant Carol’s on the same street as the department store of the same name her parents ran when she was a child. Now they help out in the rustic space with brick walls and faux weathered wood flooring. The menu is Italian with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches with a few Brazilian favorites.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category