Archive for the ‘RESTAURANT REVIEWS FORT LAUDERDALE’ Category

Courtyard Cafe–A Restaurant Review   Leave a comment

 Courtyard Cafe collage March 30 2017

It has been four years since I wrote a review of this restaurant but basically it stays the same: pleasant surroundings (one unobtrusive TV behind the counter), good service by Douglas, good food not overpriced, with the feel of what it is, being a neighborhood restaurant. In the heart of Wilton Manors, the city island,the Courtyard Cafe has been a mainstay of the community for years.

I had the cheeseburger ($8.75) with potato salad, just one of the side dishes offered. It was cooked the way I asked, served on a fresh bun, and the potato salad was tasty. With it I had a cup of fresh coffee ($2.50) and no problem getting a refill.

Allen had a hamsteak, eggs, toast, potatoes for $6.80.

Our check, for two, with tax and tip came to $24.13

As always a pleasant afternoon lunch at the dependable Courtyard Cafe without hassles though the parking system has changed.

It has a wide ranging selection of foods on its menu with various special items. While it is starting to get too warm to eat outside their courtyard dining is always comfortable and fun.

(Being a creature of habit it is Thursday which is my cheeseburger day but, I promise, my next meal will be something else.)

 

For the complete menu, and a free meal on your birthday, go to: wwwWiltonManorsCourtyard…

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RUBIO’S COASTAL GRILL–RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

 Rubio’s, Chipolte, Fresca, Lime, etc.,  seem to be all of the same places. Yes, they are all clean, have some good service, use fresh items, are bright but none stand out from the other while their prices all seem to be a bit high. For a dollar or two more you can go to a full service restaurant, have your order taken, your drinks served, have cloth napkins and, in most cases, tablecloths.

 I went to Limes once which was enough and it looks like this place that has taken over that location and remodeled will be the same experience as there was nothing that said to me “You must come back here!”

Rubio’s claims to be the originator of the fish taco so I decided to order “The Coastal Trio” consisting of their ‘three signature tacos.’ They consisted of a fish (what kind I don’t know) taco, a Shrimp taco and a Wild Mahi Mahi taco for $9.49. My reaction was the plate would make a nice appetizer but that was it. On the menu, under seafood tacos, I saw they were served with ‘no fried pinto beans and chips but the trio had neither. The taco shell was small and each could be eaten in 2 bites. Along with taking over 10 minutes to get them in a ‘fast casual’ restaurant. With the soda ($1.99) and tax the total came to $12.17

 In the future I think I will stick to Tequila Sunrise, Carlos and Pepe’s or Tipico and go full service.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkBZ4hldQTQ&feature=youtu.be

THAI MOON BY THE SEA–A FT. LAUDERDALE RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

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You get off to a bad start when you have ‘by the sea’ in the title of your restaurant and you are lucky if you will even smell the salt air let alone see a sea!!!

Okay we went for lunch around 3 PM and the place was empty. They had a sign wait to be seated and it took some time for someone to acknowledge us. There was a little to do about the menu since we had a groupon that said nothing about ‘only dinner’ which we discovered was changed after we bought ourgroupon. The manager came out and said he would give us the lunch menu like he was doing us a favor.

In any case, red being my favorite color and the predominant color of the decor is red, it made up for the menu ‘fuss’.

Our waitress Ailene G was pleasant and did her best to make the whole meal but sadly she couldn’t make up for the food.

We started with a dumpling appetizer $7.00 which really was very bland. Anthony had iced tea–without ice ($2) and I had a diet coke ($2) He ordered the Pepper Steak ($10.95) and I had the Fried Rice combo ($12.95) Anthony said he liked the Pepper Steak while I found the Fried Rice combo dry and tasteless. The combo consisted of 1 shrimp, 1 piece of meat and 2-3 small chicken strips served with onions, tomatoes and two slices of cucumber.

The check came to $36.99 while minus the groupon it was $5 and change and we left a $10 tip. Having been given the dinner menu first I thought the prices were very high and they were almost double the lunch prices. If the food is made the same way as the lunch meals were it is a losing proposition. It is a new restaurant in the area where there are Italian restaurants, the PomperdaleDeli across the street, steak houses, seafood restaurants, a German restaurant, etc. With the groupon it cost us $31 for lunch

Thai Moon By The Sea needs something special–actually good food at reasonable prices–if they want to make it here.

Meanwhile, right now, Cabo Blanco is the best restaurant deal for lunch!

 

RESTAURANTS IN FT. LAUDERDALE 2016 THE BAD, GOOD & EXCELLENT!   Leave a comment

As far as I can figure it I have eaten out about 164 times last year which includes sit down full service restaurants on Thursdays while out food shopping and running errands, fast food restaurants usually on Fridays for a bite after the movies, new restaurants introduced to me by groupons  plus some classic restaurants like Big Louie’s, The Quarterdeck where we usually eat before going to the theatre and those I take people to who are visiting from out of town which are above average.

This year I remember finding 2 excellent restaurants that are what I call ‘special occasion’ places to eat because they are pricy but memorable. The first was the Bistro Mezzaluna which is white glove all the way and Bamboo Asia Bistro within a couple of blocks from the former.

The best all around restaurant from the prices to portion sizes to variety and good service was/is Cabo Blanco serving Peruvian and Cuban cuisine. I have been working my way through their 37 lunch specials and each is as good as the first which was/is a prize winner—that is all Allen ever orders when we go—which is called Tallarin Saltado Con Camarones consisting of 12 large shrimp sautéed with onions and tomatoes over linguini in what I believe is a light teriyaki sauce and is served with bread with two different spices and butter plus a cup of soup. The latter takes getting use to as it is chicken soup which is cooked, and served, with the bones attached to the small bites of chicken! This is one of their most expensive lunch specials at $8.99 and looking at the size and amount of shrimp I don’t know how they do it. I have eaten their 8 times since finding it and will be going there Thursday for my first restaurant meal of the year and I plan to go through all the specials!

One of the worst restaurants I went to and, surprisingly, was through a groupon, called the Rustic Pizza. It was one of the most uncomfortable, smallest, dirtiest restaurants I have ever been in.

Another restaurant I went to, Kelvin 3200, closed within a month and my review on Yelp’s reflected why it did. There are some restaurants that are good but for whatever reason I don’t go back and many are way too expensive for what they offer. Regarding the latetr I have had more sticker shock at restaurant prices last year than I ever had before.

The highlight of my eating out was my 20th Leap Year Birthday party at the Café Vico. I couldn’t have asked for a better meal, better service and the group of people celebrating with me were first rate, first class. Sadly a few I invited couldn’t make it but I am expecting them in 2020!!

I eat all kinds of foods in all kinds of restaurants and love discovering new places plus returning to old places that I know are reliable. Many restaurants come and go in the Fort Lauderdale area while others stay around for decades. There are certain restaurants I will go for seafood while others for steak or a good cheeseburger but, eventually, I will get to them all.

Here are some of the over 58 restaurants I have eaten in this year while on the video there are some of the dishes I have had—enjoy and come on down and have a meal with me!

Peter Pan diner, Thai Moon by the Sea, Tequila Sunrise, Arby’s, IHOP, Denny’s, Rok Burger, Fuego Latino, Jalisco, I heart Mac ‘N Cheese, The Deck, Lester’s diner, Cheddar’s, Sage, Red Cow, Coco Asian Bistro, Chef’s Palette, La Bamba, Burger 21, Spring Chicken, Subways, Il Mulino, The Cheesecake Factory, 15th Street Fishery, Smokey’s BBQ, Sea Watch, Boatyard, 2 Girls and a Grill and the list continues!

This week Cabo Blanco and next week the first new restaurant of 2017 The Tilted  Kilt.

A few of the places and plates–note the picture of Allen with the bib–I bought him a package of disposable bibs for adults! LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtc2ou8oXko

LA BAMBA–RESTAURANT REVIEW–FT. LAUDERDALE   Leave a comment

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With opening day offering a ‘50% off your complete check special’ it was surprising that we only had a 10 minute wait plus everything, as far as I could see, went smoothly. I believe this is La Bamba’s 6th restaurant in the area and, probably, one of the most brightly decorated one in the area including the new ‘thing’ of the ceiling being a special part of the restaurant interior.

To start off our server Jason was excellent. (An aside: am I just old or do all servers look 15 years old today?!) The ladies at the front desk didn’t have an easy job but they handled it professionally and with a smile which is always a good introduction to a restaurant.

The portions are huge and the food tastes good which I suppose justifies the high prices for a Mexican restaurant though sticker shock isn’t new these days.

Anthony had the  Flautas ($13.50), asked for a side of guacamole ($4.50) and his iced tea without ice ($2.50) which always makes me laugh.. I had the Supreme Fajitas which consisted of chicken, shrimp and steak ($19) without too much shrimp but a good portion of steak and chicken along with a diet coke ($2.50) We both cleaned our plates at the same time saying we weren’t hungry!

The only disappointment were the chips–sort of tasted stale–as did the 2 mild and one spicy salsas served with them, neither having a homemade taste.

It was good to see a working manager going to and from tables and even helping a server here and there plus cleaning a table along the way.

Our check came to $44.52 with the 50% off making it $22.26 plus tax and tip.

For the past 20 years my favorite Mexican restaurant has been right around the corner on 17th street but with La Bamba open for lunch, and the former not anymore, I may be seeing Jason again–as when I find a good server I will always ask for them as they are one of the reasons I am coming back to a restaurant.

PIZZA RUSTICA–WORST ‘RESTAURANT’ IN FORT LAUDERDALE   Leave a comment

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Don’t go–I was horrified that groupon was selling for this place. First time EVER, and I have been with groupon for awhile and have used many of them, to see that they were associated with any place like this–and I am not alone–I just read yelp reviews and there are many 1 star reviews as mine will be when I post it.

I looked at the home web page and if you want the opposite place of a restaurant on Lincoln Road on Miami Beach then come to this restaurant but, please, please, don’t eat here. It is mainly a place to take out or have a pizza delivered. There is really no table service and the very small tables are so sticky that the pizza box sticks to it. Oh did you expect plates, silverware or service? Not here.

Sorry, I don’t mean to be so hard on a place but if this is a franchise operation or owned by a corporation or even a family it should be closed immediately

Regarding the food, they didn’t have any of the 8 Panini’s, some of the pizzas were crossed out. We did order the Rustica meat pizza ($19.75) which had on it: ‘tangy plum sauce, melted mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, fresh diced tomatoes, prosciutto ham, sun dried tomatoes, garden grown basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil’. Their Supreme pizza was more of a meat pizza then their ‘house specialty’ was but that’s another story. The cheese was excellent while the rest of the pizza’s items were overwhelmed with the taste of the basil.

When I ordered the homemade chocolate sweet cannons ($3.95) for dessert we were told that it would take 35-40 minutes and, yet, the pizza wasn’t even started on. Long story short, the cannon (singular) came about a minute after we were served the pizza. It is described as ‘homemade Rustica crust filled with Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella ™ and creamy cheese.

I had a can of diet soda and Anthony a can of iced tea—I have no idea of how much they cost though on the menu it says ‘2 liter soda’ $3 and combined they weren’t a liter.

I was not given a check or a receipt—my fault as I didn’t ask for one—so I have no idea what the total bill came to but though he didn’t ask for any more money I have to assume I reached thegroupon $30 limit.

This is not an easy place to get to even if you know how to get to it and it certainly is not worth your time and money when they are so many full service excellent Italian/pizza/Panini restaurants in the area.

CABO BLANCO–PERUVIAN/CUBAN RESTAURANT–FORT LAUDERDALE   Leave a comment

Cabo Blanco Collage

Excellent service by a male and female server who looked like teenagers but in all likelihood weren’t. Restaurant is bright, inviting and comfortable. Food portions are large, taste excellent and fairly priced. The whole atmosphere was completely different, all in a good way, then it was years ago as a Jewish Israel restaurant.

I asked the server for a suggestion and when she immediately answered I told her fine. Now I wish I had asked her what it is and more about the dish and sauce because it was delicious. I usually will take a copy of the bill so I can get the server’s name, prices and dish name but this time all I got was the credit card receipt which didn’t tell me anything of that!

I am guessing that the dish was Picante De Mariscos ($16.99) from the description on the take out menu: Chef choice, shrimp, calamary, octopus in special sauce, served with rice but then it might have been Pescado A Lo Macho which also included a breaded filet of fish. In any case the sauce was delicious and I cleaned my plate not leaving a drop.

Anthony had the Arroz Con Pollo, Peruvian style, ($10.99) which was cooked in dark beer and had a cilantro sauce and raved about it.

I just had water and Anthony had an iced tea (no ice–it was fun seeing the server’s reaction!) so now that I am looking at the receipt I am sort of questioning the total as I had a groupon that was worth $30 so how I had to pay an additional $10 isn’t right as the food came to $27.68 plus 6% tax means the iced tea cost over $10???

The only reason I am pointing this out is that I was a waiter for over 38 years and I know to check a check before paying as mistakes do happen!

I left a $10 tip so altogether it came to $50 whereas it should have been $35 total including a 20% tip.

 

With all that I will definitely be back as I was impressed with all aspects of the restaurant and I want to try many items on the menu!

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