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A Week in Broward

Spent a week with friends & relatives in Broward, and wanted to report some of my restaurant experiences. This area is LOADED with chain restaurants and strip malls, but there were a couple of good food adventures. Here's some of what we did:

Stir Crazy, Pembroke Pines. The relatives l-o-v-e this place, a real gimmick as far as I'm concerned. Fill your bowl with veggies, and the "chef" stirs it up on a wok. The veggies are fresh, but the saucing and cooking was absolutely TASTELESS. Another anomaly: an "Asian" restaurant with NO pork! Proteins they add are frozen, anyway. A big fail, for me, anyway. The natives love it.

Sonny's Hogies, Hollywood: For lunch-- It was OK. The way they raved about it on TV, you'd think it was the second coming-- Not enough onions in the #90, and the bread was a little soft. (I'm tough to please, I suppose). I mean, it was tasty, but not extraordinary like the reviews say.

Las Vegas, PP. (Cuban) Another strip mall, but excellent Cuban food. Lechon Asado among the tops I've ever had. (I'm in NJ, where Hudson County proliferates with Cuban food) Black beans were fabulous. A very very good food experience.

La Brochette, Cooper City-- Trying to be high end, highbrow, but misses the mark. Very very overpriced, especially for this area. Food is good, but not worth the telephone # pricing. The best deal is Tuesday, with either 1/2 priced wine or BYOB for free.

Amazing Thai-Japanese, PP: Excellent! The whole fish was among the best I've had. It was fresh, too (snapper) which apparently is a rarity in S Florida, astoundingly. (Right on the coast!) The other Thai dishes were very good, as were the Japanese. A winner, and very very reasonable.

OK, so lay it on me. Tell me what a food snob I am...

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  1. Any other reports on La Brochette? Anybody have thoughts about Las Vegas and Amazing Thai?

    3 Replies
    1. re: lemarais

      Went to La Brochette and was underwhelmed considering the price point...would not choose to go back. Las Vegas (Stirling Road) is straight forward and I felt my wife and I got exactly what we expected.

      1. re: lemarais

        We did not like La Brochette at all...Don't understand the reviews, as the food, atmosphere and service are all VERY mediocre.

        1. re: lemarais

          We're not big fans of La Brochette either. The food is ok, but just ok. We went a couple of times and found that they put the same 2 or 3 sides on every entree, regardless of protein/sauce/etc which seems kind of lazy and uninspired. But hey, some people love it so I guess they're doing something right.

        2. Looks like we have agreement on La Brochette. Are there any better upscale, non chain restaurants in this area?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lemarais

            Not for dinner but Bogart's Bagels (a few doors down from La Brochette) is pretty good for breakfast, brunch, lunch.

          2. "This area is LOADED with chain restaurants and strip malls"

            Unlike your apparent home area of Bergen County, NJ, right?

            Is there a suburban area in the USA that you can't say the same about?

            BTW, NE Broward (Deerfield and the Ocean) is over 40 miles from SW Broward (Pembroke Pines, Mirimar, etc).

            So more specifics about which area you're interested in might help.

            6 Replies
            1. re: CFByrne

              Sorry you took it so personally... Yes, we have strip malls, but not nearly to the extent that I saw in Broward. Miles and miles of Pines Blvd.

              If you know Bergen, you know of the pretty downtown areas of Ridgewood, Westwood, Englewood, Tenafly, and Closter. These are real vibrant downtowns, with shopping, dining, and a bustling commerce.

              But relax, CF. You have much better weather in the winter.

              Barry-- Is Bogart's considered upscale? ..

              1. re: lemarais

                Sorry Lem...

                After 23 years in FL (from NY) I've heard no end of "Everything sucks in FL, where is the good ____ like we have back up in ____".

                So probably an overreaction when my emotions read "Hey I'm from Jersey, and FL sucks! Nothing but strips malls and chains".

                BTW my sister lives on a farm near Philipsburg, my cousin in Montclair, my nephew in Toms River, and my aunt on the top of a gorgeous mountainside overlooking Lake Mohawk. So I'm no enemy of Jersey!

                1. re: CFByrne

                  I doubt that I ever said that FL sucks, CF. I did have a great week of weather when I was there.

                  I was reading a blog and they mentioned a place called Bash, in Sunrise. Menu looks pretty good, a lot better (and cheaper!) than La Brochette. What's the word on Bash? And what about JAlexander's in Plantation?

                  1. re: lemarais

                    Tried Bash in December after reading a favorable review. Found it to be mediocre at best. The restaurant was packed although mostly with one large holiday party. The menu sounded better than the execution. Attempted to order plain grilled fish instead of a breaded filet, but couldn't accommodate as the fish was Pre-breaded(per the waitress) which I found unusual. Prices fairly reasonable. Not much in the way of ambiance. We were not impressed and will not return.

                    1. re: lemarais

                      We've go to Bash pretty often and always look forward to going back. The food is consistently really good and they always have interesting beers and wines for great prices. I usually get the short ribs or pork chop and my wife usually gets a pasta or chicken and we've never had a complaint. As for ambiance, they just moved about a week ago to a nicer plaza (their old location was definitely somewhat uninviting from the outside). We haven't been to the new one yet but plan to get out there in the next week and expect the same delicious food with the added improved atmosphere. We would definitely encourage anyone to try it, especially if you're out in the Western part of Broward.

                  2. re: lemarais

                    Hardly - it's just a breakfast/lunch place with good bagels and good food.

                2. I've had Amazing Thai and Las Vegas many times and agree with you on both. Great curries in Amazing Thai - glad you discovered it.