Thanks to you all, Ft. Lauderdale food was a terrific success. I did not get to Rustic Inn or Tom Jenkin's (because my colleagues were too cheap to spring for a cab), but we did sample the following:
Max's Beach Place, 17 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Excellent!!! This was the best meal of the trip, though the most expensive. The crab cakes were near perfect, and the shrimp with saffron cream sauce was outstanding. The service was attentive, but not pushy or overbearing, and the atmosphere was about as good as it gets.
Sally O'Brien's, 17 S. Atlantic Blvd.
This was a big disappointment, 0or perhaps we are just too old. VERY loud and crowded. The food was a step above Appleby's and the service was completely inept. When I asked for a glass of port, the waiter informed me that they didn't have that brand of beer; when I pointed it out on the menu, I was informed that "we don't have that any more. The food was edible, but so is McDonalds.
Shirttail Charlie's, 400 SW 3d Avenue
This was a good surprise. The food was very good, and the service was terrific. We were a party of 12, and all of the orders were correct, and promptly served together with drinks and special requests. The food was interesting, well prepared, and reasonable priced.
For an interesting nostalgia trip, the "Mermaid Cafe" in Neimann-Marcus (in the mall on East Sunrise) was a blast from the past! Terrific salads, "ladies' sandwiches" and servers who called us "dear". We felt like we should have worn gloves and hats! Good food, great service, and a very quick, inexpensive lunch.
Thanks again Chowhounds!!!