Archive for the ‘FLORIDA’ Category

Rainy Tourist Season in South Florida   1 comment

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When I lived in Miami Beach in the late 1950s, or right after the FountaineBleau hotel opened, the theory was that it rained around 4 PM to get the tourists off the beaches and pools so they could go up to their hotel rooms, take a shower, a nap and then get dressed up to go out to eat dinner or see one of the many sights available.

The only problem with that theory was back in the 1950s there wasn’t a tourist season due to the hot, humid weather and/or the rainy season was June 1 to November 30. It was mainly in the 1960s that teachers who were off in the summer learned how cheap the fares and hotels were, offering a respite from their job that they could afford and started coming down with others following.

Theory or not you can depend on the sky getting very dark every day around 4, heavy rains coming down for an hour then the sun would break out and we would have about a 30 minute ‘sun shower’ and within an hour everything would be dry as if nothing happened!Yes, the rain cools things off but it also raises the humidity after the sun comes out again! Still you will see tourists and natives walking around with light jackets or sweaters.

Back in the 50s most of Miami Beach was closed from the end of Easter to the beginning of Thanksgiving so life was quiet, peaceful and not a line of people to be seen anywhere.Then air conditioning came in big and South Florida became an all year round resort but because of that a/c walking indoors going to movies, eating out, shopping in stores required most people to wear some light sweater or jacket indoors. Oh, yes, and to get used to glasses fogging up when you walk out of doors!

Welcome to our ‘rainy season’ where the weather forecaster will predict at least a 30% chance of showers and when a hurricane heads this way they will broadcast from the beach being battered with sand and rain.  It is a sure thing just like seeing a picture of a fat French-Canadian (sorry Canada but that is always who the picture is of) in a Speedo sitting on a beach chair in the rare day in winter when it is 70 degrees proclaiming, “Well it is warmer here than where I am from!”

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Posted August 11, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

My July 2019 Diary!   Leave a comment

Posted August 3, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

A question asked–my answer   Leave a comment


Someone asked me a question about my restaurant reviews and this is what I answered–hopefully it will help and not add to the inquirer’s confusion.

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale in Broward County where there are over 2,000 restaurants and it is too hard to keep a record of how many open and close within ONE year.

I have/had been in the restaurant business 38 years, all positions, now retired and the biggest problem I have found is that too many restaurants open before they are ready to open and/or don’t have enough money to see them through a year.

With all that said I am pretty easy with restaurants as I really don’t expect much except a clean place, good food—doesn’t have to be great!–good servers–not necessarily super stars but at least show that they have been trained well. With prices as high as they are today, with a choice of 4 types of restaurants starting with full service, followed by buffets, then the new fast casual and finally fast food, a restaurant really don’t get a second chance Added to that is the fact there are too many choices of each types of food. In 1970 we had 2 Mexican restaurants now I can count 23. Italian restaurants? There are 9 within 2 miles from where I live. Just recently, within 1 mile we have 3 Cuban restaurants and Peruvian restaurants are growing faster than I can count.

I eat out twice a week, one usually fast casual or lower priced full service and another a new one. I have 5-6 favorite restaurants that I try to get to 2-3 times a year at least. Add to that I am a Leap Year baby which means I have (and only celebrate) a birthday every 4 years with a dinner party at a restaurant, usually a new one, that I have tried in the intervening years and comes Saturday, February 29, 2020 I will be celebrating my turning 21 at the Nabu restaurant if #1 They are still open and #2 I haven’t come across a newer, better one. My last birthday was in 2016 and I held a dinner for 22 people at Cafe Vico and I couldn’t have asked for better food, service, atmosphere or evening.

I usually will try to speak to a manager if I find something wrong–some listen, some don’t. I see over 100 movies a year in theatres–maybe, if I am lucky, I will see 5 or 6 that I would want to see again. Why do I bring this up? Too many people today don’t have the money to go to movies anymore and certainly not to eat out. I don’t like to see any business close or employees lose employment but I know I read reviews for restaurants, movies, plays, etc., so I won’t waste my time and money.

I soon learn who to trust when when reading their reviews and who not to. For instance there is a critic in South Florida that I know if they dislike some place chances are I will love it!

Didn’t mean to go on so long–I appreciate your note and just wanted to explain a little–which turned into a lot!–of where my head is at regarding my posting reviews! I reviewed 2 restaurants recently–VALE FOOD CO and CAO Bakery & Cafe–each had something good but I won’t be returning to either because there were too many negative things that should have been taken care of before they opened if not after customers brought it to their attention. Hope you find some great places to eat!

Martin

VALE FOOD CO–restaurant review   1 comment

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The second time in a week that I was to a restaurant in a location that has failed before, the dish I had was excellent but everything else was either blah or downright not good.

We had other plans but with the water situation the few places we wanted to go to were closed and I had a coupon for this place  that had been another restaurant for a short time. Vale has kept the same set up which is fats casual, line up for your food, get it, pay and go look for a table, hopefully to find one that isn’t dirty, sticky and still have used plates on it.

I had the small Aci bowl which is normally $7.99 but with the coupon I got it free as long as I bought a drink, which I did and cost $3.52 with tax.

The Aci bowl was really good with bananas, strawberries, granola, something like a blueberry cream sauce but the drink, organic lemonade made with sugar cane and blue agave that tasted like gasoline

If nothing else that ‘drink’ would keep me from ever going to that place again but the dirty tables was/is even more of a reason not to go back.

Summer–Fort Lauderdale July 2019–Part 2   1 comment

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Rainy season runs from May to mid-October while  hurricane season is June 1 to November 30 and so far we haven’t had much rain in Fort Lauderdale. Other towns and cities seem to get more than us but I am not complaining.

Contrary to what people think rain does not cool down the temps but does send the humidity sky high!When it does rain it is usually in the morning or around 5 PM but an hour later you would never know it had rained!

One pleasure I have in the summer is sitting at my dining room table, have supper and watch the moon rise. Doesn’t take much to make me happy but Mother Nature does her best!

Right now at 5:44 PM in Fort Lauderdale we are not allowed to use the tap water without boiling it–will explain over the weekend–right now I want to enjoy the blue sky, puffy clouds, sunshine and everything that makes living here so great!

Only a high of 92 today!!

Posted July 18, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks—sometimes   1 comment

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For a guy who spent 3/4s of his life (so far) being impulsive, not planning, doing things on the spur of the moment I don’t know when it happened but all of a sudden I had my life, my days planned. I don’t care if Thursday is a holiday, it is my day to go to The Dollar Tree, Winn Dixie, sometimes CVS and then lunch afterwards and if anything interferes with my schedule I get teed off!
 
With that in mind I went to The Dollar Tree, Winn Dixie and then #1 to Big Louie’s for lunch. Friday? Friday is movie day and lunch after so went to the movies #2 and then lunch at Arby’s. Thursday evening sitting at my dining room table and looking out my window I watched the fireworks #12 going off at the Fort Lauderdale beach.
 
Saturday, long story short, I had lost my neck pillow that I especially bought for when I go to the Gateway Theatre and thinking I lost it I ordered a new one #4 through Amazon #3 and it arrived Saturday only to find out Friday when I went to the Gateway Movie I had left my other one there! (Another sign of getting old? NAH!)
 
#5  I have been throwing seeds into a planter and something is growing—tomatoes? peppers? pickles? all 3?–as I just throw seeds in there. And #6 my pepper plant blossoms continue to turn into peppers!
 
# 7 I must confess that I have become a couch potato (well, a recliner potato) and am addicted to netflix trying to catch up on 6 seasons of the “Orange is the New Black”  and #8 “Ozark” before both come back with their new seasons later this month.
 
Something I never get tired of–walking along the canal to Karen Bay. You can catch a bird #11 scanning the water for some fish, #10 a dog at Gateway going for his afternoon walk or #9, if you can see it between the yacht and shore patrol boat, a green speed boat getting a ticket for making too large a wake and speeding in a manatee area.
 
Now it is Sunday afternoon and after reading the Sunday paper, bringing it over to John, watched 3 minutes of golf—hey, it is my Sunday schedule!–at his place, came home, writing this and then into my recliner but no netflix tonight, strictly a CBS evening.
 
Ah, life is good with a routine but I admit leaving Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday for some impulsive living is part of my routine!!
 
Have a great week!

Posted July 7, 2019 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, Uncategorized

DoughBoys Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant Review—and sobriety!!   5 comments

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If I’m not mistaken it was in March of 2015 that I was here last. Though I am a man of habit I am not rigid, pretty flexible if a change is required. As an example every Thursday I go shopping at the Dollar Tree on 17th Street, then lunch at a full-service restaurant.
For some reason (Alfredo talking about it is THE reason!) I woke up this morning wanting chicken cacciatore which I haven’t had since January 1981 when I gave up drinking alcohol. After all this time I decided I wanted to go to either Big Louie’s, Bistro Mezzaluna or Cafe Vico but riding down to 17th Street I remembered DoughBoys being in the area. Doughboys Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant has been in business for over 30 years for good reason.
They have a huge, varied menu which offers different size meals for different people. All over their menu you can see: “can serve two”, 4 different size pizzas, “mini, small, large” Calzones and Stromboli’s, 2 different size wraps, ‘half and whole’ subs, cups and bowls of soups, ‘huge’ salads, ‘Smaller versions by specific request only’. They have 19 different categories of food such as Italian Specialties, Combination Entrees, Seafood, Fresh Pasta, Homemade Pasta–okay I don’t know if the fresh pasta is different from the homemade pasta but that’s for another day. They have everything BUT NO CHICKEN CACCIATORE!!
Instead of leaving we decided to stay. With all the above the food doesn’t disappoint and things run fairly smoothly I remembered why I haven’t been there in 4 years! I prefer going there after 5 PM instead of for lunch. The exact same menu is offered for lunch, dinner and late night bites BUT you don’t get table service for lunch. You line up at the counter, give your order, pay and then wait for your name to be called. I don’t understand why it is full price at both the evening and day time but not the full service.
I had their chicken Sophia (small $15.50 which surprised me as for $2 I could have had the larger one! It is a baked chicken cutlet topped with ricotta, pepperoni, ham and sausage covered with sauce and mozzarella. Though it was supposed to be baked the cutlet certainly tasted fried. In any case, I don’t think anything would have satisfied except–yeah, you know what. It was a large portion and served with a large salad and big portion of spaghetti along with a fresh salad All were certainly enough to be shared by two though Allen got his own which was a White Albacore Tuna Antipasto (small one for $9.95). My only major complaint was the lack of full service.
The folks behind the counter were friendly but it was lunchtime with people lined up to order and dirty tables all around with their looking/acting a little ‘in the weeds’ . Though there is no way of knowing it you are expected to clean up your own table as you would in most fast food places the staff does that with the dishwasher helping. Parking is free but if you don’t know the area chances are you will wind up having to make a U-turn if you are driving east as chances are you will go right by the end of the shopping plaza they are in. Going west it will come up surprisingly so you might find yourself taking a last minute right turn.
The cry of most restaurants is “Location, location, location” and after 30 years Doughboys proves that isn’t a must just as they show cutting back on service along with small inconsistencies doesn’t discourage business. (I still haven’t had my chicken cacciatore but writing this I realize I am celebrating 38 years of sobriety–hurrah for me!)

 

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