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Ft Lauderdale / Deerfield Beach

Visiting Ft Lauderdale / Deerfield Beach area next week...I've actually never been to south florida. Looking for good hole-in-the wall type places for various types of food...a nice non-touristy seafood joint would be great...and if there are any ethnic cuisines the area is particularly strong in, I would love to check something out we don't have much of in DC. I will be alone so places comfortable for solo diners are a plus. I don't know the area well but will have GPS working for me.

Thank's so much for your help!

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  1. For a completely non-touristy, Caribbean seafood place, we highly recommend Calypso in Pompano Beach. It's one or our favorites! Enjoy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pilches

      Thanks. The rec's I've gotten other than this are Catfish Dewey's (doesn't seem to appealing to me) and Old Heidelberg (could be promising if good).

      1. re: Lowbar

        Catfish Dewey's is sort of an all you can eat fried catfish place. Definitely unpretentious, favored by the older folks, has a certain charm, but may not be what you're after. Old Heidelberg isn't a seafood restaurant, it's a traditional German meat-haus with a butcher counter attached. My recommendation: go to Himmarshee's, sit at the bar and get their snapper and a glass of wine for $25.00.

      1. I definently recommend Japango in Parkland for what you're looking for. It is a very comfortable sushi place with a long sushi bar perfect for single eaters.

        1. not ethnic, but you would probably enjoy JB's on the Beach - the food is good, not great - salads, sandwiches, etc. - but you can't beat the view. Go for lunch so you can sit outside by the ocean - you can't get that in Washington, DC. It is just north of Hillsboro & AIA.

          1. Great seafood at Hobo's in Deerfield Beach. New location. Food was always fantastic at Coral Springs location.

            1. We were at the new location in Deerfield and VERY disappointed. Very expensive and mediocre food and service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gblcsw

                that is what did them in at the coral springs location - expensive mediocre food

              2. Go to Hobo's for lunch. The entre├ęs are reasonable or you can just order a few appetizers.

                If you like Dim Sum, try ABC on Hillsboro and Military in the far corner of the CompUSA plaza.

                Or check out the Pickle Barrel on Hillsboro, just east of the railroad tracks for a great pastrami sandwich.

                Most of the Mexican joints down here also have Cuban dishes on the menu, so the Cielito Lindo places are well worth checking out, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rockin Rich

                  is the dim sum good there? do they serve only on weekends? is it like NY dim sum?

                2. The dim sum there is only ok! Try The Whale's Rib on the Beach. Their Lobster Bisque is amazing!

                  1. If you are in the Catfish Dewy's neighborhood, you must try Las Colinas just a few blocks south. THE BEST CUBAN SANDWICH in the area and a great place for breakfeast as well! Inexpensive and good!

                    1. Dim Sum is fine. Not exactly like NY's (but what is?) They serve it every day, but the selections are limited at night.

                      Also, Toa Toa in Plantation has fine Dim Sum, and a good "regular" menu. Ditto with Hong Kong City Barbecue in Ft. Lauderdale on 441 just north of Commercial.

                      (No lobster bisque at any of these places...that I know of)

                      1. My DH and I had our first date at Whale's Rib. Nice little raw bar - definitely a hole in the wall.

                        1. go to tarpon bend in ft lauderdale (good food and live music some nites). also try baja cafe for mexican in lighthous point.

                          1. you have some really good suggestions here. So instead of telling you where to go, I'll tell you where not to go--Oceans 234 right on the beach next to JB's. I ate there this past Friday and had the worst of all experiences. Bad Food, Bad service High prices. They think they can get away with it because they are on the beach. --but not if I can help it.

                            1. Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I just returned home this evening. My dining itinerary was largely limited by the fact that two of three meals (breakfast and lunch) were provided as "working meals," so I only got out in the evenings. That was unfortunate as the Pickle Barrell was very close to my hotel (the hilton). We were also working 14 hours/day or so, so drives outside of the direct Ft Lauderdale - Deerfield Beach corridor lost out to those in direct range. Also, I ended up not having an opportunity for solo dining, instead being in 6-8 person groups of associates.

                              On Tuesday, i convinced everyone to go to the Whale's Rib. It was decent...well-suited for what we were looking for. I was not very hungry so I just had some stone crab claws since we don't get those many places up here. People were disappointed with the appetizers but most were satisfied with their meals. The service was quite good I thought.

                              On Wednesday, we went to Olde Heidelberg. I was discouraged when I got there that it would be a little too kitschy (right down to eastern european waitresses trying to pass themselves off as Germans), but the food was legit. I had an excellent Schweinshaxe. Highly recommended. And of course, a nice little selection of German beers is nice as well. We don't really have a good German place in my immediate area.

                              Thursday, we went to JB's on the Beach, a conclusion which the group arrived at independent of my suggestion. Most of the dishes were good, a couple duds (including my cornmeal-encrusted redfish special)...all of it was overpriced (both food and alcohol) but you're obviously paying for the view. I was pleased that they at least still paid attention to their food...at a lot of "view" places like that, the view is an afterthought. We sat at a large table in the corner of the outside patio area, which was extremely loud, creating a problem for some of the older folks in the group.

                              After JB's a small subset of us did some barhopping in the immediate vicinity. We liked Flanigans the most of those bars we visited...good welcoming people in there, cheap beer, and wings which were actually pretty solid (these came "free" with our pitchers, but not sure what constitutes free since we soon found it cheaper to order $2 pints.

                              One other note....I couldn't believe how hard it is to get a cab in Deerfield Beach. We waited almost 50 minutes at about 12:30 a.m, and the bartender said that though this was toward the long side as far as the range wait is concerned, a wait of an hour isn't particularly unusual. For an area that I'm sure does quite a bit of tourism business, that seemed strange...but it did give us an excuse to keep drinking.

                              Today I tried to get out to the beach but apparently there were some warnings of sea lice. Since I react quite badly to jellyfish stings since a run-in with a man-o-war as a youth, I avoided the water. Oh well, I'll have to come back to beach (and eat) another time.

                              Thanks again for all your suggestions!