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Non-chain restaurants in Sunrise?

Hi, all,
My mom and I are flying down from the NYC area to Sunrise at the end of April to visit my great-aunt. I know nothing about the area but it seems that there are a ton of chains, and I'd prefer to avoid those. We're up for any cuisine and any type of place, from holes-in-the-wall to high-end restaurants. Thanks so much!

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  1. I work in Sunrise and here are our favorite lunch places - little neighborhood hole in the walls where the food is good and the ambiance is non-existent. :)

    Udipi Cafe (Indian)
    2100 N University Dr
    Sunrise, FL 33322
    (954) 748-566

    Sunrise Pita & Grill (Israeli)
    2680 N University Dr
    Sunrise, FL 33322
    (954) 748-0090

    Thai Thai Restaurant
    1861 N Pine Island Rd,
    Plantation, FL
    (954) 424-0808

    Chef Carlin (Cuban) [don't let the location scare you]
    6941 Sunset Strip
    Sunrise, FL 33313
    (954) 749-7472

    Have a nice visit.

    --Lisa

    10 Replies
    1. re: ldkelley

      Hi, Lisa,
      This is very helpful—thanks so much!
      Just curious: What's scary about Chef Carlin's location?
      -Carolyn

      1. re: Brikka

        It's in a scrubby strip mall and not in the greatest part of town. The area isn't terrible, just iffy, but I would have never gone into a restaurant in a strip mall that looked so rundown and dirty if I hadn't been with friends who eat there regularly. :)

        Actually, now that I look back, *all* of them are in strip malls. Welcome to Florida.

        --Lisa

      2. re: ldkelley

        I second Sunrise Pita & Grill

        I get the lafa schwarma (not sure of the spelling), and I tell them to make it spicy and I trust them. I sometimes get the fries with friends, and the desserts are little tasty treats.

        I live down here and I have to go try Udipi Cafe and Chef Carlin. (Been to Thai Thai, but prefer Suko Thai in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale)

        1. re: CmdrTulkas

          Thank you! I suspect we won't be straying too far, but if we do get to Ft. Lauderdale we'll check out Suko Thai.

          1. re: Brikka

            I third Sunrise Pita! It's one of my favorite places to eat in all of Broward. I dream about their hummus!

            I've been wanting to try Chef Carlin, Lisa. Is the food sort of "down-home" or more artfully prepared? What's good on the menu? Tell me more!

            Also - it's not in Sunrise, just a little bit North on University, but Woodlands Veg Indian is amazing. I think it's a little better than Udipi. :-D

            1. re: johnmlinn

              The food at Chef Carlin is definitely down-home: white plates and no bread plate. I particularly like their palomilla and their roasted chicken quarter (on the specials on the door). The lechon asado is also very good. (I'm not a big fan of their vaca frita - I prefer La Carreta for that.) My lunch-buddy gets the picadillo every time we go there - she loves it. It's worth a trip for a $15 lunch for two!

              I haven't tried Woodlands, but I have heard of it. An Indian coworker brought me to Udipi, so I figured it had to be good. I also live close to Royal India, so I am well set up for Indian food, fortunately.

              I've been meaning to try Nirala Sweets but haven't made it yet. Any thoughts on that one?

              --Lisa

              1. re: ldkelley

                That sounds stellar, I'll have to check it out. I love a picadillo. I've never been to La Carreta either, so looks like I've got some Cuban to catch up on. ;-P

                I haven't tried Nirala either, but I've heard great things. I used go to either Madras or Little India, but I've been pretty faithful to Woodlands since I've started going there.

              2. re: johnmlinn

                Oh, yum. Thanks John—and everyone! I'm feeling better about my food options on this trip....

            2. re: CmdrTulkas

              Suko Thai is a definite favorite... but it wasn't in Plantation. :) I think that it is my favorite Thai in South Florida, actually.

          2. Hi- if you love amazing sushi, try Osaka. Totally Mom and Pop, in a strip mall (corner of University and Sunset Strip)...actual address is 8250 Sunset Strip
            Sunrise, FL 33322
            (954) 747-1101
            Next to Planet Fitness

            My husband and I eat there all the time and I have never had better sushi- and I've eaten sushi at the best restaurants in LA, etc. very very fresh. Ask for a side of the spicy ponzu. The cowboy roll is amazing too! have fun in Sunrise!

            1. Hi, all,
              Just want to say thanks for the input.
              We only had time to try one of your suggestions—Chef Carlin—in between meals with my great-aunt, who likes to stick to her basics. Mom and I split a media noche and some sweet plantains (so sweet! almost carmelized). My great-aunt took us to Inverrary Diner a couple of times, and the Greek dishes were quite nice. I think one of them was called Greek-style snapper—just lemon and olive oil, very simple and tasty. There also is a shrimp dish with tomato and very assertive (in a good way) feta. Definitely worth a try if you find yourself headed toward a diner—but longer lines, I swear, than places I go in NYC!
              Thanks again,
              B.