Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/12 Isabella's Pizza and Pasta

I went back to Isabella's Pizza and Pasta on US1 just north of 17th St. Causeway. I ordered the Chicken Siciliano, which is basically chicken Parmesan with a slice of eggplant under the cheese. $8.95. It came with a side of penne which I took home and garlic rolls for the table. The chicken was excellent and a very generous portion. The service at Isabella's is always fast and friendly. 8.5/10

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8/10 Skyline Chili

Ventured up to Skyline Chili on US1 between Sunrise and Oakland Park Blvd today. I hadn't been here in years but was in the area. I ordered the regular size Chili 5 ways, which was Chili served over spaghetti, with cheese, onions and beans. $6.45. Although far from the healthiest lunch, it was quite tasty and the service was extremely fast. Again, I won't be making this a regular lunch stop because the amount of fat and carbs left me unable to do much work the rest of the day, but once in a while its an interesting item for lunch. 7.5/10

Monday, August 9, 2010

8/5 Texas Hold 'Em BBQ

I went around the corner to Texas Hold Em BBQ and picked up the 1lb brisket dinner with two sides and brought it back to my office to split with a co-worker. $15.95. I got the mac and cheese and Collard greens as sides and they accidentally gave us an order of fries too. In my previous review of Texas Hold Em, I noted that the food was excellent but the portions on the lunch deals were rather small and when you get BBQ, you aren't looking for small portions. By getting the 1lb brisket dinner and splitting it, we definitely solved the small portion issue as there was plenty of food for both of us and leftovers. The brisket was excellent. As a certified Florida BBQ Association Judge, I can tell you that brisket is the hardest of the categories to cook. It often comes out very dry and tough. The did a great job on the brisket as it was quite moist and very tasty. The mac and cheese, though very heavy, was great too. My only complaint was the collard greens. They were way to salty and contained to many stems. Although I do not typically put a lot of sauce on my BBQ, they make an excellent sauce that is both bold, sweet, and spicy all at the same time.
As mentioned above, I would recommend avoiding the small portions of the lunch specials and just spend a few more dollars and get the dinner portions. 8.5/10

Friday, August 6, 2010

8/4 Mermaid Cafe in Neiman Marcus Galleria

While doing some shopping/returning at the Galleria Mall, we stopped in for a quick lunch at the Mermaid Cafe inside Neiman Marcus. Many people do not even know that this place even exists so they go to the food court while shopping in the Galleria. That particular food court is terrible, so the Mermaid Cafe is a great alternative. It is a classic luncheonette, with just a few tables but then about 15 seats around the lunch counter. They offer a number of different sandwiches and salads and soups. I got the double grilled cheese with tomato soup. $8.95. Both were excellent. Pictured half eaten below. I highly recommend trying this place if you are in the Galleria during lunchtime. Stay away from that food court. 8.0/10

Thursday, August 5, 2010

8/2 J Marks Fort Lauderdale

I visited the new J Marks in Fort Lauderdale, in the place formerly occuppied by Bennigans on US1 just north of Sunrise Blvd. This is the 2nd location for J Marks as they also have a location in Pompano. J Marks is very similar to places like J Alexanders and to a lesser extent, Houstons, where they have a large menu and a large range of prices on their entrees. I usually don't care for places like this as I find they all offer food that is decent to good, but never great. I would classify my meal at J Marks as exactly that. It's a nice place to go with a group that can't agree on a place and everyone will at least be satisfied with their meal, but its nothing really worth going out of your way for.

I ordered the fish and chips, which was a plentiful portion of cod fish, lightly battered and deep fried. The very friendly waitress told me that the chips where the kind of very skinny/stringy fries that I don't particularly like, so I substituted mashed potato's, which was pretty good.

Overall, J Marks is a decent choice for predictable food and an easy compromise for a group.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7/30 Update

Back from my Wedding break on Monday with new lunch reviews...... J-Marks Fort Lauderdale and Mermaid Cafe in Neiman Marcus Galleria,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Short Break

I'm getting married on Friday so no posts this week and next probably.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7/16 Bravo Peruvian

I went back to Bravo today for the ceviche. 2925 NE 6th AveFort Lauderdale, FL http://www.bravosandwich.com/ Bravo is a small Peruvian place that has about 5-7 sandwiches and a couple of entrees and ceviche. The ceviche is prepared in the traditional Peruvian style with sweet potato, giant white corn, and corn nuts. I order it spicy. It was excellent as usual and tasted extremely fresh. A great healthy yet flavorful lunch that won't leave you feeling hungry. 9.0/10.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7/14 Las Colina

I'd been to Las Colinas, 2724 N Andrews Ave, Wilton Manors, a number of times for breakfast on the weekends but never tried it for lunch. The breakfast is excellent and a terrific value, so I was sure the lunch would be equally as good. It was.

Las Colinas looks like any number of local Cuban joints, located in a nondescript strip mall in Wilton Manors, but the food and prices are excellent. They also have a number of daily specials. Next time I want to try the Ceviche, which looked excellent. Today I ordered the roast pork with yellow rice and black beans. $7.95. All orders come with Cuban bread. The roast pork was excellent and not mushy like in other places. Ask for their home-made hot sauce. It is not very spicy but extremely flavorful and goes great on the roast pork and on the rice and beans. I definitely will be going back here often. 9.0/10

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

7/12 The Global Grille

Thanks to the recommendation of a reader of this blog, I discovered the Global Grille Cafe. It is located in the huge Baptist Church on Broward Blvd and 3rd. Ave. They have free parking in the back and you enter the main church entrance and go to the 2nd floor.
It is a huge space with really cranking A/C and very comfortable booths and tables with big, cushy chairs. You order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. The menu has a about 7-8 different salads and about 10-12 hot and cold sandwiches. Everything is priced at $7.50, which is a great deal. I ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Hoagie, which was a freshly grilled teriyaki glazed chicken breast served with lettuce and tomato and excellent steak fries. My friend got the Grilled Chicken Pita. Both were quite good.

Overall, I highly recommend this place. Although the food is good, it's nothing spectacular, but it is a very comfortable place for lunch.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

7/9 Pita Pit

Visited the recently opened Pita Plus in that new building across from the riverwalk. 200 SW First Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
This is a chain that makes both cold and hot Pita's similar to Subway where you order the meat or main ingredient then they add the vegetables and sauces that you choose.
I ordered the falafel and topped it with a number of vegetable and taziki sauce since they did not offer the traditional tahini that usually goes on a falafel.
The sandwich was pretty awful. The falafel was dry and tasteless. the sauce was thick and tasted like paste. They had a pretty decent lunch crowd but I am not sure why as I did not find a single redeeming quality of the place other than that it is quick and convenient. Certainly will not be going back. No picture as I forgot my phone in the car. 4.0/10 (My lowest rating yet I think)

7/8/10 New Hong Kong Chinese Takeout

Stopped in to the New Hong Kong Chinese Takeout, 1303 SE 17th StFort Lauderdale, FL 33316, in the shopping center with the office depot and Ross off of 17th St. Causeway. I just got an order of steamed dumplings to go as I wasn't looking for something to heavy today.

The dumplings were quite good. I've had a number of other items here before and for take out it is very good quality. They do have 3 tables inside but it is very hot. I do wish this was more of a sit down place though as I would frequent it often if it was. 8.0/10

7/7 Lauderdale Grill

Visited the New Lauderdale Grill in the Harbour Shoppes off of 17th St. http://lauderdalegrill.com/ This location has already had 2 other restaurants fail and I'm not so sure this one will make it either. I don't think they can compete with the myriad of other dining options in the same shopping center, especially Duffy's.

The Lauderdale grill has a large menu but they offer a special lunch menu too with about 6-7 items to choose from for $6.99. I ordered the grilled vegetable sandwich, which was fair, but nothing I couldn't make on a panini maker at home in 10 minutes. My friend ordered the Mahi Fish tacos, which the server raved about, but they were just decent.

Service was fairly slow given that the place was not crowded at all. Overall, not a place that I would rush back to. 6.5/10




Thursday, July 1, 2010

7/1 Slice Pizzeria

I gave Slice pizzeria another try today. It is located in that area of luncheonettes near the library in downtown Fort Lauderdale. http://www.slicefortlauderdale.com/

They offer a special of 2 slices of pizza and a medium fountain drink for $4.95. Although the taste of the Pizza was very good, I did find them to be a little small, especially compared to the 2 slice special at New River Pizza. Slice's Pizza was definitely better then New River's, but I would say you get about 50% more food with the new river deal. Overall i give them a 7.0/10. Would have been an 8.0 or higher if the slices were bigger.



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6/30 Kelly's Landing

Back to Kelly's landing today. 1305 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Although I was tempted to get the special "Bucket" of Ipswich Steamers for $15, I instead decided on the blackened Mahi Sandwich, with beans and cole slaw $9. The mahi was nicely cooked, appeared to be fresh, and was fairly flavorful. I like to put the cole slaw directly on the sandwich instead of an tartar sauce.
The beans were also quite good.
My friend got the meatloaf slider special $6 (not pictured), which she did not particularly enjoy.

Although much of the good stuff at Kelly's is fried, they do have some broiled or grilled options for lunch which are fairly good. 7.5/10

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29 Subway for breakfast

Although I'm not usually much of a fan of Subway, after hearing their radio advertisements for their new breakfast items, I decided to stop by and try one out. I ordered the egg white breakfast sandwich. It came with a drink for $2.50. The sandwich came with a pre-prepared egg white, ham, cheese, green pepper and any other vegetable of your choice on a whole grain English muffin. I added spinach, which worked out well. Was it the best breakfast sandwich I've had, far from it, but for $2.50 with a drink, it was a very good deal for a small, quick breakfast on the run. And without the cheese, it would have been fairly healthy too. 6.5/10

Monday, June 28, 2010

6/28 Don Arturo's

So much for eating healthy. On Saturday night we went to the Capital Grille (I'll write a review later this week) and I followed up that very healthy meal with a trip to Don Arturo's today and ordered the Breaded Steak.
As pictured below, it comes with sweet plantains and beans and rice. $8.95 Ask for a side of Chimichuri and Jalapeno sauce to put on the steak and mix in with the rice and beans.
It was fantastic as usual but since returning to the office, I haven't been able to move out of my chair and I really haven't done anything productive. Still, when really hungry, Don Arturo's is a reliable spot with excellent and speedy service at a good value. 9.0/10


Thursday, June 24, 2010

6/24 Ernie's BBQ

Today I visited Ernie's BBQ, at 1843 S Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale. Although I find there BBQ to be just average at best, I do enjoy their conch salad and conch chowder. Today I ordered a large conch salad, $9.99. It comes with 2 slices of homemade Bimini bread which is excellent. It has a sweet/sugary or honey covered crust on the bottom.

The conch salad was excellent as always, though I do wish they wouldn't cut up the conch so fine. I'd love bigger chunks of conch instead of the very small diced pieces. But, despite this the seasoning is spot on, spicy but not overwhelming. I tried to not eat both pieces of bread but I couldn't resist. As you can see from the photo, I almost forgot to take a photo and only remembered after I had eaten half of it. 8.0/10

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

6/23 Duffy's

I went to Duffy's Sports Bar in the Harbour Shoppes of off 17th St. Causeway this morning at 10am to watch the world cup game. I'm not really much of a soccer fan but I do enjoy the world cup for some reason. Anyway, after the game we stayed for lunch. After having a few drinks during the game, I forgot to take pictures of the food.
I ordered the Ahi Tuna Burger :$8.95. It was chopped up pieces of Ahi Tuna formed into a hamburger patty and grilled, served rare, with lettuce tomato and wasabi mayo. Although I would have preferred an actual tuna filet, the chopped up version actually worked fairly well. The offer a choice of sides and sticking with the healthy eating kick, I got the grilled zucchini, which was quite good. For a sports bar they actually have pretty good food. A number of other sports bars have tried and failed in this exact location, but Duffy's, with over 20 other outposts, mostly in palm beach county, has the formula for a sports bar/restaurant down pat. 8.0/10 for the food. 9.5/10 for a place to watch sporting events (Especially in the front/bar area, with 20+ projection size televisions)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6/22 Cafe Vico

Although I had been here for dinner many years ago, I was unaware that Cafe Vico, 1125 N. Federal Hwy, Ftl, was even open for lunch until a friend recommended it today. It is a little bit more money then I normally spend for lunch, but the food was quite good.

I had a mixed green salad topped with grilled shrimp and char-grilled calamari. $14.95 Although it could have been a little bigger, overall it was an excellent salad and the shrimp and calamari were very fresh and cooked nicely. My friend was a little adventurous today and ordered the beef carpaccio (raw thin sliced filet) served over arugula. $13.95 It was excellent though was more of an appetizer to be shared rather then an entree.

Although I normally don't have the time to spend nor the money on a lunch like this, it's an excellent choice for a nice, long lunch once in a while. 8.5/10