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Ft. Lauderdale - ISO great fried chicken, baby back ribs & ice cream! (Not necessarily at the same place!)

We're staying 2 nights pre-cruise and 1 night post-cruise in Ft. Lauderdale at the end of July and are looking for the best fried chicken and bbq (preferably baby backs) and great ice cream. Any and all recommendations appreciated!

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  1. Here is a great date scenario.

    Rustic Inn Crab House http://www.rusticinn.com/contactus.html

    and Jaxson's Ice Cream Polar http://www.jaxsonsicecream.com/

    both places are over 55 years old and a few miles away from each other.

    5 Replies
    1. re: 2top

      thanks for the suggestions.

      What are you recommending at Rustic Inn?

      Looked at the menu at Jaxson's -- wow, they are very pricey!

      Anyone else?

      1. re: mdepsmom

        for ribs i would definitely hit flanigans , several locations and all good, fried chicked for real authentic its maryland chicken on sample rd near us1 and bettys soul food on sistrunk and 22 avenue, a little rough area but day time nothing but cops and court people eating there daily, downhome southern to the bone

        1. re: mdepsmom

          The ice cream portions at Jaxson's are huge & are really too much for one person, but they frown on people sharing. They also have an outside take-away window were you can get a single scoop in a cup or cone which is enough for me.

        2. re: 2top

          Rustic Inn is great and unique, but not fried chicken or ribs or ice cream, which OP specified. However, you DO get to bang on tables with a wooden mallet to open your crabs.

          I also like Tom Jenkins for ribs. Jack's on Oakland E of Andrews is also great for BBQ. Best baked beans ever...great ribs too...

          Jaxson's is fun for ice cream - unique and interesting. However, it's not homemade or incredible ice cream...just sayin'.

          1. re: 2top

            Jaxon's has a really fun atmosphere. But for better ice cream, just get a pint of Ben n Jerry's.

          2. tom jenkins for baby back ribs..... properly smoked and their house bbq sauce addictive, great atmosphere and friendly. nothing better.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rizcake

              i second tom jenkins for ribs. do not detour for ernie's, you'll be sorry unless you like salsa for bbq sauce.
              theres a kilwins and a new make-your-own-yogurt place down on las olas, but jaxsons is a real destination.
              for fried chicken, i also second the suggestion for Betty's Soul Food on Sistrunk. Also try the red velvet cake!


              1 Reply
              1. re: netmover

                thanks -- but I am looking for Ft. Lauderdale.

              2. I'd go to Keeses in Lauderdale by the Sea for Fried Chicken. You can eat there or bring a blanket, walk a hundred yards, and have a picnic on the sand.

                Ribs - The baby backs at Coconuts are pretty good as is the rest of the food. And the atmosphere is great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mvilla

                  For ice cream----I love Kilwins at 809 East Las Olas Boulevard. It's located right in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.....I looooove the coconut ice cream with pieces of toasted coconut shavings! But all of the flavors are terrific. Kilwins also makes a wide variety of chocolates, candy apples, fudge, etc. (http://www.kilwins.com/) Jaxons is pretty good too but its more old school and, in my opinion, I think Kilwins tops it. Enjoy!

                  1. re: Debbie

                    ooooh, Kilwins! I grew up in Michigan and whenever I'd go up north, I'd have to stop at Kilwin's for their Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream. I found a Kilwins in Sarasota years ago -- totally forgot they were in FL. Thanks!

                2. Just back from our trip, and wanted to post some of our finds.

                  First night, had dinner at Tom Jenkins BBQ. Wow. Those were some of the best baby backs I have had in a long time. Not fall-off-the-bone tender, but full of flavor and lots of yummy crispy edges. Great sauce, too. I also loved their mac & cheese, and fantastic corn muffins. I'll definitely go back on my next trip.

                  Second night, had dinner at Betty's Soul Food. This was a disappointment. I ordered the fried chicken and it was dry. I ordered the mac & cheese and yams as sides, and they were very mediocre, and both were served at room temp - not even slightly warm. Their corn muffins were also just fair - not very flavorful and mushy from being held in a steamer for who knows how long.

                  Had ice cream one night at Kilwin's on Las Olas, it was good but not great. Much better ice cream at Frieze (Plantation location) - fantastic chocolate and mint chip.

                  Dinner our last night was at Jaxson's . . . yes, I know I said in an earlier post that they were pricey, and they were, but it was a fun atmosphere, great hot dogs (and some of the best fries I've had in a long time), and good ice cream. And now that I've been there once, I don't need to go back.

                  We had a good lunch one day at Primanti Brothers, I had the pastrami sandwich and it was tasty.
                  Another "now that I've tried it, I don't need to go back." But man that place is a gold mine, what a great location and open 24/7.

                  Yesterday on the way to the airport we had lunch at Lester's Diner, I had an excellent tuna melt. I wanted to get there for breakfast one day but for some reason my GPS couldn't find it based on the address (I had better luck yesterday by plugging in the name).

                  Thanks for all the recommendations, we had some really good food thanks to you guys!

                  Lester's Diner
                  250 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mdepsmom

                    Oh no, I am sad to hear about Betty's! I really wanted to try it one of these days. :( Glad everything else was good though.

                    1. re: OysterHo

                      I ate there 2 weeks ago and did not have that same experience at Betty's and did not have that experience, I was there durnig lunch time rush, which might have made a difference.

                      1. re: SaminSFL

                        bettys is hit or miss. i've had both an incredibly good and really pretty bad experience at Bettys, not necessarily in that order. However, it is really the only soul food restaurant around so it's worth taking a chance.

                  2. Wife and I finally made it to Betty's Soul Food last night. I've been wanting to check it out for years, and was hoping it would be a big hit.

                    It was not.

                    Wife ordered Fried Chicken dinner (white meat) w mac & cheese and collard greens sides. I ordered Fried Chicken dinner (dark meat) w candied yams and collard greens sides.

                    Waitress was friendly and prompt. We ordered and were told it would be 20 minutes, and that's exactly what it was.

                    When food came out, I was immediately surprised at the *extremely* small portions of chicken. Wife had one wing and one small breast. I had one small thigh and one small drumstick (see photo attached of my dinner). Photo does not do justice to how meager these pieces truly were. Most of my thigh was nothing but bones.

                    The breading was indeed good. It's not that hard folks - put a ton of salt and a ton of pepper in some flour - Walla! Cooked nice and crispy. But the amount of chicken underneath was so minimal, it was like eating half breading and half chicken.

                    Yellow rice w gravy on the side was tasty. Probably best part of meal.

                    Wife loves mac and cheese but this was dried out and she stopped eating after two bites.

                    Collard greens had too much bitterness. I've had great collards and these were not great. No sign of ham or any other flavor-inducing tidbits common in greens.

                    My candied yams were bright orange/red and obviously had some sort of food dye/coloring added - you could see the droplets of it forming on the plate. Stopped eating after two bites. Likely from a can.

                    Corn muffins on the side were unremarkable.

                    Three TVs blaring 3 different shows, along with juke box occasionally turning on and blasting music, made for non-stop annoying noise.

                    After dinner we were still hungry so we held out hope the sweet potato pie would salvage things. How many times have I had great sweet potato pie at BBQ joints that tastes as sweet as pumpkin pie! This however was also a disappointment.

                    I really wanted to like this place. But I'm afraid the food here was a MAJOR disappointment. I’d love to somehow be proven wrong. But I can’t imagine anyone thinking the food we had was good, never mind special.

                    PS: Wife and I got 2 small pieces of chicken but menu says dinner is supposed to be 3 pieces of chicken. So not sure what else went wrong there.

                    Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

                    601 NW 22nd Road

                    Fort Lauderdale, FL

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: CFByrne

                      Where can I buy Walla brand flour for breading?

                      1. re: southocean

                        > Where can I buy Walla brand flour for breading?

                        Oops my bad - sp mistake...

                        Same place you get Voila flour :-)

                      2. re: CFByrne

                        That's a shame. Those are kind of tiny pieces.

                        Whenever I have a negative restaurant experience I have to make it right with a good one.. To undo the damage. Where did you go for brunch today? :D