Seeking good values in Ft Lauderdale and South Beach
I am taking my children (age 14, 16) to South Florida for a week.
I will be staying in Fort Lauderdale (on the beach) for a couple of nights, then South Beach
(Marriott). I am looking mostly for moderately priced good food (Cuban definitely, other Latin,
Chinese), steaks, BBQ, sea food (crab houses ?), anything really, for breakfast, lunch dinner .
We will probably visit Little Havana for 1/2 a day or so, as well as drive down to the Keys
(most certainly around Key Largo for some scuba diving, maybe all the way to Key West). I am looking mostly for clean, casual places with good food, good value. We will go upscale a couple of times just to change the tempo, and give the kids some new experiences.
We will have a car, and don't mind driving a litlle bit (15 minutes, say ?) in the evening.
Thanks much in advance for any help,
Some suggestions for you in Fort Lauderdale, on or close to the beach, clean, casual and highly recommended:
Chinese: Hong Kong City BBQ...excellent, fresh dim sum for lunch. They also prepare their own barbecued duck and pork (hanging right there) which are phenomenal. Unassuming place but popular, clean and casual.
BBQ: Tom Jenkins...just love their spare ribs and sides.
Steak: You might choose this as one of your "upscale" nights at Chima on Las Olas....your teens will probably enjoy the huge, exotic salad bar and the rodizio, all you can eat service. Or....Steak 954 at the W (on the beach)....great steak (and burgers too), both are extremely gorgeous venues.
Pizza: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. The name says it and the choices are varied. I'm not a wings fan but they do some coal fired wings....not breaded or dipped....just roasted...like the ones you steal off the chicken when it comes out of the oven....and their big salad with gorgonzola is great. Nice family meal.
Indian: Madras Cafe....best Indian in Ft. Lauderdale area, IMHO. Their lunch buffet is $11 and dinner is a la carte (except on Sunday night when it's buffet). Lots of variety, fresh, and the spicier dishes are labeled so.
Seafood: Off of I-95 and Griffin Road near the airport is the Rustic Inn Crabhouse. Great crabs, landmark, casual, outdoor seating.
On South Beach, I love El Chalan....excellent Peruvian with a huge menu.
When I go to Little Havana, I start at El Palacio de los Jugos on Flagler....order (and usually share) a huge portion of some the best roast pork I've ever had and sides for about $8....it's served in styrofoam and we sit on picnic tables outside (cash only). Best food, amazing variety, definitely an authentic "Cuban experience in Miami." Then we drive over to Versailles to stand outside and drink coffee, maybe order a pastry.
Hope you can work all this off scuba diving when you get to the Keys!
Check out Catfish Dewey's just west of FLL. Teen-aged kids who like seafood will be pleased with the "all you can eat" specials they offer. Here's my post on the place from January:
CATFISH DEWEY’S 4003 N. Andrews Ave., Oakland Park FL (exit I-95 at Commercial Blvd. and go east to first traffic light - Andrews. Turn right and Dewey’s is about 1 ½ miles south of Commercial.)
Dewey’s was mentioned on the boards in connection with finding good stone crab claws and that was a good recommendation. On our first visit, the all-you-can-eat crab claws were going for $45; but I opted for the 2-pound platter at $30 and got 12 medium claws which were cracked open, thus easier to enjoy the meat. They were excellent, with a great dipping sauce, and accompanied by French fries and homemade cole slaw. The Friday night special was fried sea scallops, but wife prefers them grilled, so we got a regular order ($17, not AYCE). Her platter had 18 good-sized sea scallops, all perfectly grilled with a slight amount of seasoning – she had more than she could eat, but left none on the plate. They were excellent and came with side and salad. Service was prompt and professional and all restaurant personnel were very friendly.
We went back to Dewey’s about 2 weeks later with friends and tried the house specialty: fried catfish ($15 AYCE) and for $2 more, I got AYCE steamed shrimp included. What a great decision that was! The catfish (offered as whole fried fish or fried boneless fillets) were delicious and the shrimp had a great flavor, as they may have been steamed with some spices as well. Wife went back to scallops, but they were broiled this time and not as good as the grilled ones – but still a full platter was served.
In short, this place is a great bargain, but more importantly, the fish is always very fresh and prepared very well, no matter which you choose. If you haven’t been there, try it out!
4003 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309