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Apr 13, 2010 03:15 PM

Wanna eat like a local

Hi all, I will be traveling with the family to Ft Lauderdale for the first time for a week at the end of this month. We always find the best way to really get to know a city is to eat where the locals eat.
To that end, I have been doing some research on restaurants in the area. I thik I have found a few that would be worth trying. So all you chowhounds chime in and let me know if I'm on the right track. Should I avoid any of these places ? Anything I shouldn't miss that's not on the list?
Anyway, I would love to hear about where the local chowhounds chow down. So here's the list so far

Aruba Cafe'
Candela Cafe'
Catfish Dewey's
El Tablazo (Miami)
Green Street Cafe' (Miami)
Joe's Stone Crab (Miami)
Jungle Queen
Le Tub
Mai Kai
North Ocean Grill
Southport Raw Bar
The Floridian
The Mess A'round
The Palm
The Parrot
Vicenzo's Pizzaria

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  1. Won't be much help and only my opinions...
    Joe's Stone Crab - good but very expensive. better to go to a fish market and but a couple of pounds cracked, get some mustard sauce, a couple of six packs, and have a feast.
    Le Tub - if you don't mind the wait the atmosphere is great and food ok.
    Mai Kai - they have been around forever so they must have something going.
    Jungle Queen - way too touristy
    Tarks - my absolute favorite, probably because I grew up with them. Whenever I go for a visit they are 1st on my list. You won't find fresher clams or oysters and the wings are great.

    Joe's Stone Crab
    11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

    Le Tub
    1100 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019

    1. Wow...I think you are on the wrong track with many of these...Aruba Cafe-pretty location.... That's it.
      For an island feel, try Coconuts.
      Bravo-Very mediocre Italian food that you can find in any town.
      For great Italian, try Valentino's

      1. Mai Kai you can go for the atmosphere but forget the food, and you're going to drop a lot of dough.

        Calypso in Pompano has been a locals favorite for a long time. Casual Florida atmosphere, excellent food all around. Family friendly. Southport, Tarks, Aruba are good somewhat similar choices - but if it comes down to food Calypso wins by far.

        1. Have to agree with Jungle Queen, Mai Kai being too touristy. If you want to do the boat thing there are many other options that come without bad food. If you want to do the Polynesian thing, go for drinks and an appetizer and have dinner someplace good. I also agree with Bravo being mediocre Italian. There are many other choices. Valentino's is delicious, but a lot more expensive than Bravo. Joe's SC is very overated IMHO, but the food is good and it is a local institution. I can't comment on many of your other choices because I've never been there. I agree with the comment on Le Tub. As far as Tark's and Southport they have a strong following so they must be doing something right. The Floridian has been around forever, too, but whenever we're having breakfast or brunch or lunch on Las Olas, we go down the street to the crepe place or YOLO or Johnny V. I also agree with Calypso. Food is fresh and delicious. Have a good trip.

          Johnny V
          625 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

          Le Tub
          1100 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019

          333 East Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

          1. For something with a much more local feel, I'm going to have to third Calypso. It's not fancy, but the food is excellent and definitely popular with the locals. I'd also agree with everyone about cutting out the Jungle Queen.