Archive for the ‘RESTAURANT REVIEWS’ Category

New York Marina Deli–restaurant review   1 comment

New York Marina Deli

This is a combination of 2 visits. We returned yesterday with a 15% off coupon on Thursdays. This time Allen and I split a corned beef sandwich and a pastrami sandwich. He had a side of potato salad which he really liked and I had a side of coleslaw which is on the dry side. With his diet cola (I am on water—trying to ‘cold turkey’ diet coke) and tax minus the 15% our check came to $21.38.

Between the New York Marina Deli, the Pomperdale and the Top Hat the only I wouldn’t return to is Top Hat for what you may think of as a silly reason but I thought it was a very simple, easy to do request. I ordered a combination pastrami & corned beef sandwich and I was told I would have to order one of each!

Earlier visit

I use to come here when the original owner ran it and a couple of times after he died and his wife took over. The last I heard it had closed but it seems she just sold it to new owners. I became aware it was still open after seeing a coupon in a coupon book.
I go every Thursday to this shopping center so we decided to give it a try and was pleased to see it was basically the same.
Allen ordered the Reuben (Hot corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand Island dressing and swiss cheese on rye) $11.50 with a side of Coleslaw ($1.25) and a diet fountain cola ($2.50) while I had the Rachel (Hot Pastrami, sauerkraut and melted cheese on rye) $11.50, Coleslaw ($1.25) and a cola ($2.50)
We decided to split the sandwiches. They were both piled high, in the center, making it a little difficult to handle but we managed. The Meat, at best luke warm, was tasty.
Though not a complete service restaurant the food is delivered to the table. You place your order and you pay at the cashier’s just telling what you had, which is, as far as I can tell, the honor system though the deli guy does write up a check when taking your order.
I don’t get the shouting of “Sunway” whenever a tip is put in the jar at the register–a reference to NYC? Or just advertising the Subway restaurants, which is what it made me think of when I heard it! LOL
Our bill came to $29.66 plus a couple of bucks in the jar and a “Subway”.
The New York Marina Deli does live up to the style of the Carnegie or Stage Delis in NYC but not as loud or crowded!


Bravo–restaurant revisited review–Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment

Bravo Restaurant collage

It has been awhile since I have been to Bravo, actually 6 years, and at that time I wrote “It being Allen’s birthday we had 3 desserts–like we needed an excuse–having the coconut cake ($8.50), brownie bash (($9.95) and lemoncello ($8.50) with all 3 not that good and overpriced”, which still holds true with the lemoncellonow $8.75.

Actually one of the disappointments this time was the service. Dirty, empty dishes, which were put near the end of the table, were ignored though the server passed the table a few times, refills of drinks were never offered, the busboy served the main courses getting them wrong (though we were also wrong in that case as we took each other’s plates by mistake.) We asked for a couple of more garlic rolls

Allen had the Amiriglia on linguini ($13.95) a salad and a soda ($3) while I had the shrimp with rigatoni ($13.95) served with an almost excellent mussels and clams soup and regular coffee ($2.95.) Both main courses were okay but nothing to rave about.

Allen, forgetting he had it 6 years ago once again ordered the lemoncello tart ($8.75) while I ordered a dish of half pistachio and half vanilla ice cream ($6.25)

The reason we came to Bravo was I found a ‘pay $20 for $40 worth of food’ at With tip ($10) and tax ($2.94) minus the $40 our check came to $11.79

With Bistro Mezzaluna just a few blocks away I would have preferred going there and will in the future as the service and food are better and lunch prices about the same.

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.

Ki’Na–restaurant review–Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment

Ki Na restaurant Jan 25 2018

Thanks to posts I kept on hearing about this restaurant which had taken over the building from a short-lived enterprise of a not so good restaurant. The new owners also run the Temple Eatery next door. On the top of their menus (both a lunch and dinner menu) is the following:

“Inspired by the memories growing up, Ki’Na, meaning “little kids” in Taiwanese, pays homage to the traditional Chinese cuisine. Our style of cooking startsfrom the freshest ingredients. We source non-gmo, hormone & antibiotic-free products as locally as possible. Currently, we proudly carry products from Harpke Farms, Sunfresh Farm, Springer Chicken Farm, Bio Farm Organics, Swank Specialty Produce, Cascade Organic, & Foods in Season.”

Daryl (called Darling on the receipt) the server was fast and efficient, answered what questions we had and made a few suggestions. We came in at 1:30 and there was one other couple but they soon left and the place remained empty though some did come in to look at the menu or read the one on the outside and left. It could be the prices seemed a bit high for lunch.


I had Spicy Sesame Noodle soup made with: ground chicken, soft egg, greens, wood ear mushrooms, scallions, chili oil with cucumber salad $14

Allen had Chicken meatballs: 2 meatballs, soft egg, braised Daiken, daily Asian green, soy glaze with cucumber salad $14 and Chocolate chili ice cream $5 of which I had a bite and just shrugged off.

Allen enjoyed his dish and I certainly liked the big bowl of soup filled up with tasty items but we both felt the cucumber salad consisting of 3 very small spears, along with the ice cream, was a major disappointment.

Also I appreciated the bottle of water, served in steel cups, with the bottle left on the table.

With tip and tax the check came to $40, about par for lunch in a full-service restaurant.

The service was good, the pleasant surroundings added to the enjoyment of the meal and the food tasted fresh and for a first time visit I would recommend it but, anddont ask me to explain why because I can’t, we probably won’t go back! 

Posted January 28, 2018 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, RESTAURANT REVIEWS, 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.

Cheddar’s Restaurant–Fort Lauderdale area   Leave a comment

Cheddar's Cafe Sept. 2017

Cheddar’s is a reliable restaurant with consistently good food at reasonable prices. I’ve been eating there since they opened every time I go out to Tamarac where Allen lives.
Allen had the dinner portion of grilled salmon ($10.99) (we were there for lunch) with two sides of vegetables and a diet cola ($2.69) while I had the New Orleans Pasta (a creamy version of jambalaya) ($10.79) and coffee ($2.59)
For dessert we each had a scoop of ice cream  ($2.99 each) with the check coming to a total of $35.13 plus a 20% tip.
Our server Nick was good from beginning to end anticipating our needs and that sort of attitude prevails from the opening the front door for us when we arrived with a warm welcome until we left when again the door was opened for us and was given a sincere invitation to come back, which I definitely will the next time I am near Commercial and North University Drive.
Cheddar’s (the Scratch Kitchen seems to have been added recently!) is a dependable place to eat for lunch and dinner and a definite place to eat when out west.

PS Always a plus is that I didn’t see any television in the dining room

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