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Because it’s one of the few places to get South African grocery products and meat, business was going so well at Dutchy’s Gourmet Sausages they shut down the Plantation store.
And opened a bigger space three blocks away that allowed owners Izak and Natasha DeWet to add a restaurant with a scratch kitchen.
Now Dutchy’s has a small, well-curated menu of dishes that skirt flavor profiles recognizable to both South Africans and South Floridians.
For example, some of the Afrikaners (people of Dutch descent in South Africa) might find a bit of their homeland with the biltong snack platter of dried, cured meats as a shareable appetizer for $18, or the Lamb Bunny Chow with its baked bread bowl filled with lamb curry prepared Durban-style, a city in South Africa, as an entrée for $15.
“Our best seller is the South African biltong, which a South African jerky,” explains Natasha DeWet. “It’s a very lengthy process to make. You hang pieces of steak cut from the bottom round. That gets several kinds of spices and then it’s natural air-dried for a long time.”
Other popular dishes are the peri peri chicken livers for $11 (peri peri is a chili pepper the Portuguese cultivated in southern Africa), the pork belly lollipop for $10 and the New York or ribeye steaks at market price.
“We make and use all the traditional South African sauces,” she adds. “Like with the Monkey Business Burger. The locals look at the menu and say, ‘What is monkey gland sauce?’ Of course you get many, many questions. There is a story behind it. It’s just a great barbecue sauce that we make ourselves with onions and chutneys. We love our chutneys.”
The eatery can seat 26 people indoors at five tables and eight outside at three tables.
“We gutted this whole place,” DeWet recalls. “We moved in December in 2019. We had planned a grand opening but that’s when everything started shutting down due to COVID.”
Dutchy’s — with the tagline “It’s not a party til the sausage comes out” — was open just shy of seven years before moving to bigger digs. DeWet says spring break saw a big bump in traffic at the store and that they regularly get Afrikaner customers from all over the country.
“They leave the airport and their first stop is Dutchy’s. I hear just from the immediate neighborhood there are 20 South African families that live 20 minutes from the store. I’ve read somewhere that there are 30,000 plus in Florida. I kind of think there has to be more. I get customers from the Keys right through to about Stuart coming here for the shopping. I had a couple here from Coral Gables Saturday to do lunch and shopping.”
Afrikaners have seen their few and far between options for Afrikaan cuisine dwindle even further recently.
- Big Easy Wine Bar and Grill in Miami’s Brickell City Centre closed last year.
- Meal In A Pie in Oakland Park is a grocery store and takeout restaurant that’s been open for over 25 years.
- The Angry Warthog Saloon is a Cooper City gastropub that opened on Valentine’s Day last year, only to shut down a month later due to coronavirus, before recently reopening.
DeWet says Dutchy’s was well suited for takeout and delivery service during the pandemic.
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“Unlike a lot of other businesses around, we had the upside of having products on hand that were necessary and needed. And we made a lot of meals-to-go, things you could just take out of the refrigerator and heat up at your house. I got a couple of drivers so people could just order online.”
By the way, that name came from a nickname given to Izak DeWet when he was the only Afrikaner working with South African men in Colorado. Before opening the store in 2013, he was a yacht mechanic here in South Florida and she was in the hotel industry.
She also says they have “an amazing range of South African Wines” and do wine and food pairing dinners for $20 a person and for a maximum of 20 people. Guests can then get a 10-20% discount on bottles of wine. For more information, go to Facebook.com/dutchysgourmetsausages.
Dutchy’s is at 401 S State Road 7 in Plantation.
Restaurant hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. The store is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays (closed Sundays)