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Visited this area in late Feb/early March,before and after a cruise, with the travel closures and bans nipping at our heels. here are some reviews of places we hit for our sustenance:
Mom’s Kitchen Fort Lauderdale - really enjoyed this place. Kitschy, “grandma’s house” style décor and friendly/gruff servers. Big menu. Fresh oj was delicious. Wife just ordered standard eggs and bacon but thought the bacon was some of the best she’s had in a restaurant. My order was egg/sausage but added the banana bread French toast. The French toast portion was HUGE. Caramelized bananas, pecans, thick slices of banana bread made for an extremely tasty and filling breakfast. If you love a good diner check this place out if you are in the area.
Sonny’s Famous Steaks - Hollywood very well done Philly style steak sandwiches. Uses real fresh rib-eye, makes and bakes their own bread and has many other sandwiches, pizza, and salads. We split an 8” steak sand with onions, mushrooms(appeared to be canned), and American cheese. Probably big enough for most twosomes. Roll was fresh and sturdy, crunchy without being hard, and held up well to the fillings. Beef was very tasty, like a grilled steak. The sandwich was served with a small cup of homemade marinara which complimented the sandwich quite nicely. Small dining area in a non-descript strip mall and looks like it might not even be open but do go in and check it out if you are craving a Philly sandwich while in the area. Recommended.
Smoke BBQ - Ft Lauderdale - saw this mentioned numerous times online while planning our trip so made a point of getting here to eat BBQ. Wide ranging menu with a mainly Texas style leaning-Post Oak, brisket, sausage, etc. but also pastrami, wings, and pork items. Smelled awesome on arrival so that was a good sign IMO. Huge chalkboard menu which we noticed had some items covered up with sold-out signs. And of course they only do my favorite, beef ribs, on a night other than our visit. Oh well. By the way, they advertise 5 different rubs for different meats so that’s something you won’t see everywhere. Neglected to inquire further on how that works. 3 sauces offered (maybe more?) house made all, there was a mustard based, a spicy, and a more traditional Texas style not to sweet or spicy. We stuck with the flavorful Texas.
My wife ordered the baby back ribs plate with slaw and tots. She felt like the ribs were overcooked but still had a strong, enjoyable smoke flavor. Slaw was standard issue but she felt the tots were also overcooked-or maybe just too long out of the fryer. My order was a 2 meat 2 side plate with brisket and half chicken plus root beer beans and mac & cheese. Most places only give a quarter chicken in a combo like this but these guys do a full half chicken! Great value. Beautifully smoked, sliced brisket with a rub strong on black pepper but not too much. Very moist and flavorful. Chicken had glossy, crispy skin and moist smoky meat. Mac & cheese tasted house made and the root beer beans were pretty standard just much sweeter than most. A real stand out was the yellowcake cornbread, made just how it sounds with yellow cake mix added to the cornbread batter. Served with cinnamon butter. Man, could have eaten a lot of this! May try at home. All things considered, glad we came in and think this is a definite stop if looking for BBQ in the area. Recommended.
Pan’e Dolci Bakery - Fort Lauderdale by the Sea - had an outstanding dessert here. Sorry I don’t remember the true name. smooth chocolate mousse enrobed in a chocolate ganache shell all on top of a moist flavorful chocolate cake. A++
Joanie’s Blue Crab Café - recommended by staff at Big Cypress National Preserve. Really the only dining spot nearby. Florida seafood specialists. Kitschy, swamp style décor and a waitress full of p*** and vinegar. Quick with a dirty(ish) joke. My wife went with the crab cake sandwich which she enjoyed but also lamented the lack of sweetness that comes with our Dungeness crab at home. I chose the days special, a chili lime sautéed catfish filet that I chose to do as a sandwich. The fish was very fresh and cooked perfectly. A little light on the chili lime flavor but overall, with the added sautéed onions and house sauce, delicious. The roll it was served on was not quite up to the task of holding the sandwich together but not a big deal. Both meals came with crinkle fries straight from the freezer that were undercooked. Finished with a slice of Key Lime Pie which had a delicious light filling and flaky crust. Surprisingly-to me anyway-it was topped with a dollop of Cool Whip. This meal was good but, being out in the sticks, you’ll pay a premium price-$60.00.
Crossain’time Bakery - Fort Lauderdale - chose this spot for breakfast and boy were we happy with our choice. This place was a foodie heaven breads, pastries, cakes, tarts, cookies, and many different imported French food stuffs. Delicious looking charcuterie and cheeses. Quite busy this AM but lots of friendly smiling faces ready to help customers. My wife chose the bacon omelet croissant sandwich and she thought it was totally delicious. Perfectly cooked omelet served on a fresh baked, buttery croissant. This is what a breakfast sandwich should be. I chose a ham & swiss small quiche. This was exceptional. Light, fluffy filling and a crust with a flavor reminiscent of a croissant but firm enough to fully hold thing together. Wow, was this great. Wish that I had an opportunity to return here just for one of these quiche! In addition, I chose what they called a beignet but it really was a jelly filled doughnut. Covered with crystal sugar and overstuffed with sweet berry filling. Delicious but very sweet. This place knows what they are doing and is a must stop if you are into baked goods and are in the area. Highly recommended.
El Cristo - Cuban food in the heart of Little Havana. Chose this place for it’s well reviewed Cuban sandwiches. Neighborhood and restaurant extremely busy. Got an outdoor table and waited for our waitress to stop by. Everything took a while during our visit. But the servers were very good at keeping us informed on our meal. Wife ordered a traditional Cuban sandwich-ham, roast pork, swiss, mustard, and dill pickle. The sandwich was under grilled, still tasty if a bit heavy on the mustard. I chose a roasted pork sandwich with grilled onions and a house sauce. Unfortunately it lacked flavor, many onions, and the pork was dry and bland. We shared each sandwich and decided that the Cuban sandwiches we can get at home are just as good, possibly even better. I’d give them another try on a less busy day.
Il Mulino - delicious Italian meal here. Busy dinner hour but we were seated promptly and everyone was really friendly and welcoming. We love Bruschetta so chose to start with that. It was a bit different than most any we have had before. It was served on a small pizza style crust rather than bread slices and instead of being a chopped tomato with herbs style topping, it was more reminiscent of the Spanish pan con tomate. Finely crushed tomatoes with lots of garlic and olive oil. Very flavorful and a unique presentation. For entrees we both chose rigatoni dishes. The wife chose an Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom presentation with a sauce similar to a marsala. I elected to go with a Rigatoni Saporiti-grilled chicken, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, & roasted garlic. Pasta is made in-house and all sauces also homemade. Both dishes were really delicious. Would return here anytime for a meal. Recommended.
Lester’s Diner - small mini-chain (4 locations) serving 3 meals a day in an all-american diner setting. As we approached the Pompano Beach location, we ran into closed streets and police directing traffic. People were lining the sidewalks, sitting in lawn chairs, and even tail-gate style grilling. Our first thought was a parade but turns out the city was moving a huge historic house a couple of blocks to a new lot. An amazing sight. This created a big crowd at Lester’s. The staff was seemingly taking it in stride and was very friendly and welcoming. 50’s style diner décor and a large menu covering a wide range of choices. To start our day, I chose country fried steak and eggs that also included home fries (for which I subbed in fruit) and 2 biscuits. This meal was huge! And for the price a great deal. Steak was perfectly cooked, not dry, and covered with a smooth gravy that had a nice peppery bite to it. The biscuits were on the small side and that was okay. They were fresh baked and delicious. My wife chose her favorite, Eggs Benedict, and was quite pleased with the meal. Especially the flavorful, lemon accented hollandaise sauce. And the fresh squeezed OJ was really delicious. Lester’s is a great choice for breakfast if in the area.
Moonswiners BBQ - Fort Pierce FL - chose to eat lunch here as it was most highly rated BBQ in the area according to Google. Arrived to find a packed parking area and no empty tables when we entered. Funky roadhouse style décor and lots of guys wearing baseball caps digging in to BBQ meat. Unfortunately we cam away a bit dissatisfied. Wife chose the BBQ beef sandwich combo. This came with fries, slaw and a drink. The fries were standard issue, the slaw made in house, and the drink came in the largest cup I have ever seen served with a combo ever. The beef in the sandwich was served more like a sliced roast beef rather than say, sliced brisket or chopped beef and it lacked any discernible smoke flavor. The taste was really enhanced by the tomato based sauce which was a nice balance of sweet and spice. They serve two other sauces, both vinegar based I believe. I chose the BBQ sampler for my meal and it included 2oz sliced beef, 2oz sliced pork, and 2 pork ribs. As with the wife’s sandwich, my beef was lacking smoke flavor and needed sauce. The sliced pork had same issue. The pork ribs had somewhat more smoke flavor but could have used a bit more cook time. My sides were mac & cheese (standard) along with green beans which were really enhanced by the pork (ham?) chunks mixed in. Would really like to rave about this place because I enjoyed the atmosphere but all in all a bit disappointing but I would probably give them another chance on different items.
1940 NE 45th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL
1857 N 66th Ave
3351 NE 32nd St
Fort Lauderdale, FL
613 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL
39395 Tamiami Trail E
1201 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL
1543 SW 8th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3900 Okeechobee Rd
Fort Pierce, FL
5500 St Lucie Blvd
Fort Pierce, FL
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