Archive for the ‘FORT LAUDERDALE’ Category

Toast Restaurant–Fort Lauderdale–Review   Leave a comment

Toast Restaurant Feb 15 2018 collage

In spite of what some people may think I really dislike writing negative reviews of restaurants but I worked in the field 38 years and have eaten out since I was a kid plus having seen, literally, thousands of restaurants go out of business it is not an easy business to succeed in though many think it is.
I worked in this plaza on the diagonal corner in a small Italian restaurant over 20 years ago and no longer exists which was then followed by a very popular restaurant that featured a chef who was on a TV cooking contest and then closed. In the current location where the Toast restaurant opened was another restaurant though I never went there.
So many people refer to Toast as a diner but it is as much as a diner as Peter Pan is which isn’t my definition of one.
In any case, I only have two positive things to say about my first experience at Toast and that consists of all the ladies working there do their best, and succeed, working as a team and making the customers feel welcome. (There was a man ‘working’ there and I wasn’t sure if the owner or a manager but didn’t do anything and when I tried to catch his eye to correct something he never looked or acknowledged me.) The second positive thing was the open atmosphere with the restaurant having many large windows making the room bright and inviting.
Okay, let’s get to the food. Allen and I split a housemade Spanakopita (family spinach pie recipe baked in a flaky phyllo dough $5.95) which, and I agree this is a pretty out complaint, was too flaky ‘flying’ all over the place including table, clothes, and seats. Allen had the ham and cheese club ($11.95), which he complained, with a smile, was too big but he ate it all.
I ordered a Cheddar Cheeseburger ($9.95) but it came without the cheese and was more medium than medium rare as I ordered. (This was when I tried to catch the owner/manager’s (?) eye but without success.) When the waitress came over she immediately corrected the mistake. The burger tasted like it had been under the heat lamp for too long a time. The sweet potato fries were definitely overcooked as were the 5-6 regular French fries that must have been in the fryer that wasn’t cleaned out when the sweet potatoes were put in it.
Allen had a diet cola ($2.45) and I had coffee ($2.45) and the server made sure his glass and my cup were always full which in itself was an accomplishment because the coffee was served in the smallest cup I have ever seen in a restaurant except for a demitasse or cappuccino.
I never did get her name as she wasn’t wearing a name tag and there wasn’t any name on the check receipt (except ‘Server #: 1’). Though normally I would have asked her name I failed to.
By the way let’s not even get into the old cash register type they were using.
As we were leaving the new sign for the restaurant was being put up. I hope it is not a waste of time and money.


A few of my favorite things!   Leave a comment

Posted February 5, 2018 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

Go ahead—laugh   Leave a comment

Posted January 19, 2018 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, Uncategorized

Moonlite Diner Fort Lauderdale restaurant review   Leave a comment


There are plenty of diners in Broward County including the Moonlite, Lesters, Peter Pan and Flashback. Put a blindfold on and be taken to either and you wouldn’t be able to tell which is which because most of the food is the same. and there is nothing wrong with that as they all serve good tasting food, good portions and are in the mid-price range.

Take off the blindfold and you see the difference. The Flashback Diner has small TVs with remotes on all tables, Lester’s has remodeled their original place with an additional dining room (outdoors) to the two inside while no way does Peter Pan resemble a diner. Of the 4 mentioned the Moonlite Diner has the look of diners all over the country though it may be a little bit shinier.

I had the turkey wrap ($9.89) and next time would probably just have a regular turkey sandwich. I ordered hash browns done on both sides and they came just as ordered. I had coffee ($2.59) which was good and a scoop of vanilla ice cream ($2.99) while Allen had the Rueban (($10.49) and a chocolate milkshake (($3.99).

With tax and tip the check came to $39.27 We left a little more than a 20% tip because  Christin, our server, was excellent at her job giving us all and not more than the attention we needed, subtly suggested add-ons to the check and being prompt with refills on the coffee.

Besides the food, at all 3 diners, I have found that, as a rule, they usually have the most efficient servers and Moonlite was no exception with Christin.Moonlight Diner Dec 8 2017 Collage

2 Fort Lauderdale Chinese restaurants reviews   Leave a comment

Henry's China House Dec 28 2017 collage

Henry’s China House

It is hard competing with memories but that is what happened when I walked into Henry’s, a restaurant I haven’t been into for over 25 years and that wasn’t at this location.

For many years they were located a couple of blocks south of State Road 84 on Federal Highway located near a roller skating ring and The Copa, a gay bar and nightclub.

Did the food taste any better then or was it as pedestrian as the food we had today? I had the shrimp with lobster sauce ($7.25) and a diet cola ($1.25) served with pork fried rice and 2 fried wings while Allen had the Sweet and Sour Shrimp with rice and an egg roll ($7.25) and diet cola ($1.25) and Anthony had the Egg Foo Young with rice and a Spring Roll with ice tea ($2) no ice. With tax and tip, the check came to $33.50.

The food tasted like the food I ate in the Bronx many years ago, no better, no worse and certainly no fresher!

(And I hope the kids waiting on us–and they were kids, young kids–were just off for the holidays!)

I wish it was as good as I remembered but even this small ‘new’ place has no resemblance to what it once was.

By the way, don’t bother going to their web page–prices are all wrong–at least for lunch.

Lotus Chinese Kitchen

Lotus Chinese Kitchen Jan 12 2018

There is nothing really to differentiate the Lotus from over the 1,000 (probably) Chinese restaurants I have eaten in my 82 years (well started eating out when I was about 4 so let’s say 78 years.)

The fish tank, the menu, the food, the pot of tea, the dish of cold fried noodles is all par for the course. I had the Moo Gai Pan ($13.95) which came with an egg roll, brown rice and tea was as bland and ‘manufactured’ tasting as ever. Okay, it is a standard dish on every Chinese restaurant menu but sometimes you just want some familiar dish.

I’ve heard that most of the food here is homemade but certainly didn’t taste like it.

There is nothing wrong with the food and service while the main dining room is elegant looking but there is nothing that sets the Lotus Chinese Kitchen apart from the many other Chinese restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area or, for that matter, in the Bronx!

After not having Chinese food for a couple of years and eating at Henry’s China House on 17th Street last week and this week at the Lotus I can go for another few years without the run of the mill Florida Chinese restaurants for a while and will stick to Nabu when I have a yen for Chinese food.

For the record, both Henry’s and Lotus have been around for decades so they must be doing something right.

Yesterday   Leave a comment

Who says we don’t have 4 seasons in Fort Lauderdale? Last week it was in the 40s and today it will be 81 degrees!

Posted January 11, 2018 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, Uncategorized, WEATHER

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”–touring company review   Leave a comment

Imagine being an actor who is playing 8 different roles, each requiring a change of costume, mannerisms and even gender, while remembering which one who says what and where on stage they should be interacting with the rest of the cast. James Taylor Odom has that job and does it to perfection. Oh, yes, let’s not forget he is singing and dancing also.

Equally in his expertise and talent is his co-star Blake Price who seems to be on stage the whole 2 hour and 10 minutes the show takes. He has a couple of outstanding solos but he, Colleen McLaughlin and Erin McIntyre doing “I’ve Decided To Marry You” stops the show.

The story of “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” is about Monty Navarro (Price) having to kill 8 people (all played by Odom) in order to get the title, and all the wealth and respect that goes with it, Earl of Highhurst, while at the same time dealing with a fiancée and mistress.

The story can be summed up easily but the production starting with the opening set by Alexander Dodge, takes a lot of work. The many changes of costumes designed by Linda Cho involving the whole cast, the comedy ranging from satire to slapstick and everything in-between, with choreography by Peggy Hickey who also directs the tour, based on the original direction by Darko Tresnjak, comes down to split timing from everyone on and behind the stage including the 9 piece band directed by Josh Cullen. Adding to the fun and wonder are the art projections by Aaron Rhyne

The book, lyrics and music provided by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak offer the complete cast of 14 to shine plus makes a very unfunny subject of killing people very funny.

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” is a laugh filled way to start the 2018 theatre year.


Running time including a 20-minute intermission is 2 hours and 30 minutes. The next show of the Broadway Across America series in Fort Lauderdale is “Wicked” opening on Valentine’s Day February 14.

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