Week in Ft. Lauderdale
- Hugh DeMann
My wife and I will be spending a week in late March in the Ft. Lauderdale area with our 15 year old son and his friend. Need recommendations for inexpensive (BBQ, Cuban, seafood, Creole, etc) restaurants with GOOD food - decor, service, and atmosphere not important.
Also - are there any motels on the beach?
Last question: is Dixie Crossroads in Titusville a tourist trap or the real deal?
Hi--we've found a bunch of "cheap but good" and other places, in addition to some suggestions we got from other chowhounds on this board (we're staying in Lake Worth, which has put us about 45 minutes north of where you're staying). Maybe you'll like some of these:
Cafe Tropical--a little roadside stand on the corner of Andrews and Sunrise Blvd. They have great cortaditos (strong coffee, milk, sugar)and chicken specials with rice, black beans and plantains. They specialize in Cuban sandwiches and other grilled sandwiches which are all in the $6 range. Good-sized portions. They're open 8am-5pm I think. Not sure about Sundays.
Doc's--Off the main drag of Delray Beach (ask anyone). Wonderful hamburgers and other sandwiches, homemade fried onion rings and french fries. Also shakes, unsweetened ice tea, vegetarian specials, ice cream. Definitely worth a detour for us.
Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q--This might've been mentioned 1000 times on this board-forgot to check. 1236 S. Federal Highway (522-5046 for hours). Went with a crowd and we all loved it. Chicken, ribs etc. with homemade french fries, onion rings, collard greens, corn bread, hush puppies. Some say it's the best bbq in FL. We wouldn't know. But it sure was good.
Your 15-y-o might like to walk up and down Las Olas Blvd, including the complex and shops that run along the river. Big Pink, which was mentioned on the board previously seems to have closed. There's a place called the Himmarshee (sp?) Bar and Grill near the Science Center off Las Olas, which is purported to be one of the better places in this incredibly touristy area. Very good but on the more-expensive-bakery side is "Gran Forno," a bread shop/cafe which has tasty focaccia ($4 for an eggplant slice) and glorious-looking breads and desserts--you won't feel like you're throwing calories away there (1235 East Las Olas).
Jaxson's Cafe--Homemade ice cream in Dania Beach. 128 South Federal Highway.
Emme's Place--225 E. Ocean Ave, Lantana. Pleasant ambiance, moderately priced fish, duck (including an interesting duck salad with cashews)and meat dishes. Staff was professional and warm. Relaxing place when you don't have reservations anywhere else (582-9208). Their chocolate souffle came warm from the oven--a little dry but a worthy splurge. Not worth a detour, only if you're around there it's got to be one of the better places. Don't mean to damn the place with faint praise, but it deserves a mention on this board.
Krispy Kreme donut shops, all over the place. Best when hot, but you probably knew that.
Dunkin Donuts iced coffee (the only good, reasonably priced iced stuff we've found here).
Pollo Tropical--chain of fast food chicken and pork, mostly. Really good deal for very good fast food. Make sure to ask for mojo (garlic and lime sauce) on the side. Probably mentioned elsewhere on chowhound.com.
Melting Pot--chain of fondue places that have received raves from respected chowhounds. We're trying it tomorrow and will try to report back. There's at least one in the Miami area, one in Lake Worth (you can check online, I think it's www.meltingpot.net.
A word about next week--Watch out for spring break! The beach was totally trashed when we went past. You might want to go north or south for cleaner sand.
Have fun. It'll be hard for us to leave the sun for NYC.
Before I forget, we agree with previous chowhound posters--loved the Melting Pot in Lake Worth.
If you're going anywhere near the Everglades, or want to travel 1-1/2 hours for the world's best milkshakes go to Knaus Berry Farm on 15980 SW 248th St. in Homestead. Their baked goods are terrific, and Miami New Times said their key lime pie is "the best." Haven't tried it yet, but we'd kill for their key lime milkshake or their strawberry one. Cinnamon buns right out of the owen alone were worth the trip.
The place is run by Old German Baptists, so it's closed Sundays. Service and goods could not be sweeter, in the best way.
Also if you want to make a trek to that area, check out the incredible "Fruit and Spice Park" on 24801 SW 187th Ave. It's a chowhound's dream museum--you see lots of rare trees (like the African sausage tree), and if they haven't changed their policy you can eat any (fresh)fruit that falls on premises.
We're trying to find the name of the bbq place we stopped at outside a native american village near the glades--will write in again as the excitement continues to build :o).
tips from a native floridian, and ft. lauderdale resident... so here's where the locals go.
creolina's on 2nd ave in downtown FTL. awesome creole food, good sweet tea. service makes you come back for more.
cohiba in delray beach, for the best cuban outside of miami's little havana. tell maria, the owner, that she has to take care of you. she will.
tom jenkins bbq on south dixie highway in FTL. i've had better ribs elsewhere, but i'm picky about that. everything else is phenomenal though. especially the mac n cheese as a side.
the floridian diner. great greasy spoon, cheap. on 15th ave and las olas. open 24 hours.
this will get you started. feel free to email me if you want more.
The advice arrived after we left. At any rate, we did eat at Tom Jenkins and found it great. Because we had kids along, ate at Pollo Tropical and Skyline Chili (both very good for fast-food chains). Would particularly recommend the beans & rice at Skyline.
Had one lunch at Eduardo de San Angel, which was very pleasant.