Archive for the ‘FORT LAUDERDALE’ Category

Di Valles Cucina Italiana & Wine Bar Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment


After discovering the 22 year old gem Ferdo’s I figured that would be it for the year but within a month we found another gem called Di Valle’s. On the small side it looked romantic even in the afternoon light!

I have been looking for a good, old fashioned Shrimp Scampi for awhile now and after 4 different restaurants I had given up. One place breaded the shrimp, another put it in a heavy sauce and I still haven’t figured out how the other place made it.

As Keyrl, the server, put the bread and bruschetta down in front of us—which by the way was perfect with the outside of the the bread crunchy and the inside soft–I told her I was sort of hoping I would find Scampi on the menu and without hesitation said the chef could make it. He did and it was excellent with a very good garlic and oil sauce and 6 large shrimp on a bed of linguini that melted in my mouth as I took bite after bite!

Allen ordered the Stuffed Spinach Ravioli which they didn’t have and the chef offered the Stuffed Lobster Ravioli instead, at the same price. Allen’s complaint wasn’t about the ravioli but that there weren’t enough of them so he made it up by eating more of the bread!

We had a groupon so the check came out to about $20 each with tax and tip, which is average for lunch in COVID days!

The service and food was excellent, the surroundings pleasant and now that Nabu has closed the huge parking lot is more than adequate.

Posted October 15, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Food!   Leave a comment


I hope ‘they’ are wrong but I just read that Marchi’s, my favorite restaurant in the whole world, which is in New York City, has closed after 91 years in business!!

In any case while the last post was about restaurants this one is more about food! When I want a certain food or I have guests from out of town that request something special there are restaurants I recommend.  In the last post I said, “There are a few restaurants I go to for specific items such as the Quarterdeck for Jambalaya, the IHOP for a cheese omelet with a short stack, the Outback or Gilbert’s for cheeseburgers, not to forget Subways for a turkey hero and, yes, the Cheesecake Factory for cheesecake, especially their Godiva’s chocolate cheesecake.

The list goes on from there such as Catfish Dewey’s for all you can eat Fried catfish every day, in addition shrimp on Monday and Tuesday and, believe it or not on Wednesday the best beef ribs! For higher scale fish dinners the 15th Street Fisheries on the water where they have all kinds of fresh fish plus the best bread or the Sea Watch on the beach.

As far as Italian restaurants we have many but, in my opinion, the best are: for upper scale home made Italian food tops is Cafe Vico while for your neighborhood restaurant and the best pizza it is Big Louie’s. For Mexican food there is Tequila Sunrise for fajitas, Jalisco for their Macho Combo and The Tipico Cafe for stir fry. The Chima Brazilian steakhouse with their every item buffet is going strong

A restaurant I love, and tried all of their 20+ lunch specials, is the Peruvian Cabo Blanco with a shrimp and noodle dish that melts in your mouth. Honestly I haven’t been there since COVID-19 closed most places as their second store is a bit away and the first one we went to was shut a couple of years ago but I am ready.

There are two excellent delis one being called the NY Deli and the other Pomperdale’s but—and don’t laugh—when I want a corned beef sandwich I will go to Arby’s!!

I recently discovered, after passing it by for 22 years, a gem called Ferdo’s known for kebobs and haven’t had a bad kebob yet!

It has been years since I have found a restaurant serving good Prime Ribs on the bone since 2 I used to go to have closed, the last turned into a seafood restaurant!  Their are over 30 barbecue rib restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area but not any that I can’t do without though I keep on looking. We do have old fashioned diners such as Lester’s and Peter Pan along with chains such as Denny’s, Morton’s, Ruth Chris’s, Shake Shack, of all kinds.

We have restaurants from every country in Broward county and I haven’t gotten into German, French, Chinese—just to name a few countries represented here–but if you have a special type of food you like such as sushi we have it here. I believe the last figure I saw was that there are 2,000 restaurants in this area so I have a few more to try to eventually book for my 22nd Leap Year birthday party on Thursday, February 29, 2024!!

Posted October 10, 2021 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE

Dogs, a baby, weather & Mother nature October 2021   Leave a comment


1) Dark clouds are the warning we will be getting our daily rain–for 10 minutes or, maybe, longer!

2) My October Calendar dogs

3) Gateway’s latest charmer–Payton’s baby brother

4) Bette Davis changes her outfits as much as Mother nature changes the weather—and both are right!

5) Jeff, who is legally blind. is in the process of having his guide dog trained–she is a beauty but, I think, a little too big for a studio apartment–hopefully he will be able to move to  a larger bedroom though it might be easier for him to handle a smaller space–right now she is too friendly with all the neighbors so I guess that will be part of her training–it is an interesting process to observe.

6) The purple and white orchids are really a standout on the tree–hope no one picks!October is starting off beautifully and hope it continues that way but until ‘hurricane’ season is over we don’t know.

Posted October 4, 2021 by greatmartin in animals, FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, GATEWAY, MOTHER NATURE

It is Still Summer!!!   1 comment

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#1 I got up this morning to find my Christmas cactus loaded with buds and a few blooms but it is only September!! Okay people are already talking about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and wishing their life away but not me. I don’t celebrate the end of summer until it is the end of summer! So we only had a high of 91–that doesn’t mean it is winter!!

#2 Can’t pick on the Cuban flower because that blooms all year round–this plant is on the edge of my desk–all I have to do is break off a piece from the original plant and I have a bloom in a few days.

#3 Allen has had a pizza ‘thing’ so we go to Big Louie’s a few times a month–best in town!

#4 The first one is an reflection of me in the water at The Point while the others are what I am surrounded by—love it!

#5 The orchid in the tree outside my window–getting a darker purple every week

#6 Don’t tell me summer is over!! :O)

#7 Back to where we were summer 2020

Posted September 13, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, WEATHER

Last Week of August 2021   Leave a comment

We have been lucky so far as far as storms go as we have had 11 around or near by but except at late nights/early mornings we have escaped all storms, have light rain showers, which right now is not good for us.
Looking at the first picture the second half shows that we normally have 5.66 inches of rain in August but have had only 2.84 inches. We are going to need rain soon but I hope it doesn’t come in the form of a tropical storm or hurricane! As the other pictures with number 1 they show we are having hot, hazy and dusty (from Africa) days, temperatures in the  90s which usually ‘feel like’ is around 100 degrees though without rain the humidity does stay down—a bit!

\#2 pictures–Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have a ‘thing’ for history–if something is old that just means tear it down and/or remodel it! Right now they are putting the finishing touches on the Parker Playhouse, one of my favorite theatres anywhere and I am hoping they aren’t ruining it. The Parker (as it is now being called—playhouse being old-fashioned!) is in Holiday Park and was built in 1967. Also at Holiday Park the War Memorial,  erected in 1950 as a tribute to members of the military, the city is now redoing it as a skating rink for the Panthers hockey team and also to be made available to the public. I am hoping they will leave the Memorial Wall honoring members of the Coast Guard.

#3 In the past few years the city has been painting the many water and electric power tanks around the city reflecting the areas of the city they are in such as this one is near the performing arts center.

#4 And, as always, Mother Nature has her job to do. In our backyard, a few years ago, Irene who lives on the ground floor planted an orchid in the tree outside my window and every year it blooms! The picture next to it had me a little concerned because these egrets usually only show when it has rained but, of course, by the time I get up in the morning the rain is gone and they are looking for their worms and crabs!  In the last picture we have a bluebird (I didn’t get close enough to show its color) keeping an eye on the parking lot–hey, everyone has  a job here, including birds!August 2021 has been a good month!

Posted August 29, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

Fred, Grace and Henri   Leave a comment


It is a combination of rainy and hurricane seasons which means hot, humid and wet days.  For a week Fred, first a storm, then a tropical storm and maybe when it gets to Florida a hurricane. It was supposed to hit sometime over the weekend and everyone got prepared. Friday came and a little shower in the morning (well, someone told me as I sleep in the mornings!), Saturday came and went and on Sunday there was talk of another system in the Atlantic and it would be called Grace and possibly head to Florida.

On Monday it seems that Hurricane and/or Tropical storm Fred decided that they didn’t want to stop in Fort Lauderdale and went into the gulf and turned north heading for the northwest coast of Florida and going through Louisiana up through the Carolinas. Instead we were presented with Grace and Henri with the latter going towards Bermuda and then north over water but Grace might be a threat to Fort Lauderdale.

On the 6 PM news Bette Davis shows Grace going south of us and I looked out the window, the sun was shining a group of gliders and canoes was going by so, even though I know the weather here from now until November can change on a dime, I decided to just sit back, relax and maybe, just maybe, plan a walk tomorrow!

Posted August 16, 2021 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

The Eye, restaurants, peppers, weather August 7 2021   1 comment


Though not completely clear the eye is almost clear of red so that, with the conclusion I don’t need a pacemaker, health news is good!

I don’t know how old that pepper plant is now—at least a few years–and still sprouting peppers, red, yellow and green!

Thursday Allen I went to Tipico Cafe for lunch after shopping and, as always, it was good. Allen had the combo stirfry while I had the Ropa Veja.

The next day, after seeing “Swan Song” it was Subways and though Allen had his usual meatball and and I had my usual turkey I made a mistake by ordering both on one of their new wrap breads which we both didn’t particularly care for as it wasn’t toasted nor did the wrap bread taste good–next week back to the garlic cheese bread!


So far yesterday and today has been rain free and full of sun and now at 6 PM the sky is clear so we may not get those evening showers!

Life is good!

Posted August 7, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, WEATHER

Summer/rainy season in Fort Lauderdale 2021   1 comment

We are having a HOT day here–‘feel like’ over 100 degrees–but that is expected in Fort Lauderdale in the summertime—only problem is the older I get the less I can handle the heat!! And you can’t jump in the ocean because the water is warmer than the air temperatures and the sand burns your feet but I LOVE living here!!This afternoon:  

CURRENT WEATHER

2:25 PM90°F RealFeel® 102°Real Feel Shade™ 98°

The ‘rainy’ season is from May to September while the ‘hurricane’ season is from June to November so we have a double whammy from June to September. You’ll often hear ‘Well the rain will cool it off,” but that’s not true as it raises the humidity.

Mother Nature keeps in mind that we have many tourists here so it usually ONLY rains in the morning OR evening so they can go out and spend money!

I, usually, get up at 10 AM and by that time if it has rained everything is dry except for the water around the trees and in the driveway outside our building door! Another good sign that it has rained are the birds out on the fence looking for their meal whether it be fish from the canal or worms from the land.

By the way rain or not, morning or night you can always spot a few canoes in the water.

We have been pretty lucky in Fort Lauderdale as we have only had 2 hurricanes that have caused damage in the past 16 years and we can do without another one for the next 16 years!!  It seems Miami and north Florida get more hits than we do.

Time for a walk down to The Point.

Posted July 31, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

Empire Pizza Cafe plus comparisons   Leave a comment


Coming out of CVS and it being lunchtime plus I like trying new places we decided to give this place a try being it was right next door.

Entering the ‘restaurant’ the feel, look and layout were negative and the lack of response from 3 people behind the counter was nil!$32 for a pizza with 3 toppings (and 2 sodas) served in a box with paper plates, plastic forks and only interaction with ‘staff’ is giving order and picking it up. Only 3 size pizza choices: individual or large with the former too small and the latter too big for just 2 people for lunch or by the slice and the slices in the showcase were very unappetizing!

Comparison, for example, with Big Louie’s where we paid $21.55 for a medium-sized pizza, 4 slices each, including 5 toppings, plus 2 sodas and full service including dishes, real utensils and glasses plus a $5 tip!

Sorry but nothing positive to say about the Empire Pizza Cafe!

Another comparison–the next day we went to the Quarterdeck–Allen had the Jambalaya ($17) and I the All American Burger ($14) with complete service and with tip & tax check came to $40.Service, ambiance, food at both Big Louie’s & The Quarterdeck well worth the money PLUS I got a free dinner plate size freezbee at The Quarterdeck—hey it was the 4th of July weekend!!

Iguanas and Hurricane Elsa   1 comment


All of a sudden there seems to have been an explosion of Iguanas around. The thing is they are so well camouflaged you are almost on top of them before you know they are there! (Except for the 2-3 babies I have seen who are too fast running away to get a picture of!) These two didn’t put their head up until I stepped on a branch alerting them I was around. As long as I didn’t get too close they continued eating until they felt I was a danger to them and then they ran, very quickly, to the nearest tree and climbed it as fast as they could!

They really are fascinating to watch and so far they don’t seem to do any harm to humans and/or animals but I binged the following https://thepetfaq.com/are-iguanas-dangerous/ so if you want more information here you go!

Regarding Hurricane Elsa—right now we are having sunny, hot, humid weather with what looks like rain clouds starting to drift in. Most weather reports have Elsa missing us here in South Florida but not sure about North Florida. Here is the latest report: https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/fort-lauderdale/33301/tropical-weather-forecast/328168?eventkey=al052021
Will keep you up to date!

Posted July 5, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

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