Just returned from Lauderdale and my attempt to review Newtimes' Best of 2002" suggestions for "Q", inexpensive Italian and Bagels. Here's the skinny...
First, their recommendation for Italian (Vita Bella) is now a soon to be Pizza Hut. No matter - we ended up at Marios and it was wonderful as usual - see my response to Neil's post below.
Next, I decided to try Tom Jenkins, which lots of Hounds posted re. I went on Sunday afternoon and it was closed. No problem here either - I ended up back at Jack's BBQ on East Oakland Park Blvd for a second round of "Q". Already posted once on this place for their wonderful chopped pork. This time, I got the rib dinner ($11.50) with a good portion of "bones" and two sides and a drink. The ribs were sweet, smokey and "fall of the bone tender." They were wonderful - slow cooked (meat was a deep dark reddish color).
Ordered baked beans (love theirs with a hint of jalepeno) and mac'n cheese. Last time it was great, but this time the mac'n cheese was too watery. Asked for a change - no problem. Again, I found these people to be absolutely concerned with how everyone liked their food - you can tell when staffers really are just saying it but these people absolutely want to know - they are terrific.
While eating at Jack's two things happened. First, I read a framed CityLink review of the place and found out that the owner was also a realtive of the family that established Tom Jenkins and their secret sauce is the same as Jenkin's - I liked it much better this time - Its good. I make a tomato based BBQ sauce with 21 ingredient BBQ sauce that everyone loved in Pittsburgh and so I am very fussy about sauce - Jack's/Jenkin's is very good.
The other thing that happened is a guy came in who apparently knew his "Q" and asked for a sample. No problem. They pulled a fresh port shoulder out of the holding cabinet and gave him a sample. He then ordered 2 lbs ($12 per) to go. I heard him mention North Carolina and my eyes lit up. After I finshed off my ribs I asked him how this "Q" compared to North Carolina "Q" and he said it was good. But, he went on to say NC "Q" melts in your mouth! Still have not experienced that.
I know this is long post, but I have lots to report. Anyway, I lived in Pembroke Pines for 5 years and Aventura for nearly 10 and never went to Jack's Famous Hamburgers on Fed Hwy between Oakland and Commercial. What an idiot I was!
Hounds, if you are ones who really appreciate a burger you can relate to this. Ever go to the store, pick out a good piece of chuck or top round, get it ground up, take it home, lightly (never press too hard) patty it up, and cook it on the BBQ or in a hot cast iron skillet with some kosher salt?
There's nothing better than a freshly ground burger and that's what Jack's serves - what a wonderful product. Silky smooth with an incredible fresh taste. It is not cheap, but man o man, what a burger. GO THERE as CovertOps has said!
Never got to Soul Food 2 Go, but went by the place - Its in a small Davie shopping center on SR7 - I don't know about this one. Help Hounds...
Some other stops included one many of you may not know of yet. Its called BigFoots on Griffin Road heading east from SR7 on right side of the road - GO THERE! if you want a terrific Gyro. Tommy, the owner, use to own Tommy's on SR 7, but sold it to a real idiot and got out of the business. Tommy is back better than ever! The dude is the absolute King of Gyros! They are fresh, made to order, carved right off the gyro broiler with loads of chopped tomatoes, lettuce, onions and that great sauce. He heats the pita up with butter - its wonderful
Also hit Original Pancake House in Plantation - love the 49'er flap jacks. You know it Pittsburgh, that type of pancake is the basis for a chain of very successful restaurants. They are paper thin and terrific.
Well, that's about it.