La Bonne Crepe has been serving up fine French cuisine in the heart of Fort Lauderdale since it first opened its doors in 1993. I can say that my initial meal there came just a couple years after that and I haven't stopped going since. Its location on Las Olas has watched many neighbors come and go, but La Bonne Crepe has held its ground and rightfully so. It offers a delicious menu from late morning until the evening hours, however my absolute favorite time to dine there is right at 1pm (don't let my family know I'm letting you in on our secret). The reason for this is because this is when the crepes become available, and if you're not able to enjoy a crepe at La Bonne Crepe, you are missing out.
After much anticipation and one reschedule, we finally made it to D’Angelo with Greg & Julie, our friends and huge advocates of this contemporary pizza parlor. Its location in Oakland Park, sits on top of US1, making the view from its chic outdoor dining area a little “congested,” but still satisfies patrons who wish to dine al fresco. The inside area is vibrant with bright lighting, a crisp appearance, and an energetic environment. While reservations aren’t available, we were fortunate to immediately score a table for four, which I assume to be rare for a Friday evening. Had we needed to wait, I would have been good to do so at the bar, which offers a full range of cocktails, beers and an extensive wine list.
First it was hula hoops, then came bell bottoms, and now, the latest fad is self-serve yogurt. It seems like everywhere you look, a new fro-yo shop is opening up. As an avid fan of this healthier option to ice cream, I am ecstatic about the newest craze. I frequent these places and have found one that I can call my favorite- Eco Yogurt Lounge, or as we like to refer to it, "Club Eco." At first glance, you really wouldn't have a clue that this place is featuring frozen yogurt. It's got a chic décor to it, from oversized white furniture to a bright lit, wavy wall that changes color every few seconds. There is sure to be an upbeat song playing, adding to the excitement of the fact that you are about to indulge in a great tasting treat. As you make your way into Eco, you'll notice that there are a number of delicious flavors offered from fruity (raspberry tart) to decadent (red velvet), all of which are low in fat. And when you're done filling your cup with your own concoction of desired yogurts, you can add on one or all of the 20+ toppings that Eco has (the Captain Crunch cereal is my latest obsession).
I am sooo happy to report that Galanga (Wilton Manors, FL) is back to its old self! This Thai/Japanese restaurant was always a favorite of mine, but a few months back, I noticed a change and we took Galanga out of our rotation. I was recently advised by my gal pal, and fellow sushi connoisseur, that improvements were made. I trusted Gina and wanted to believe that there was a revolution- and she was right. What created the turnaround? A new owner! And before I go on to tell you all about the dining experience, let me mention that Nita, a little Asian woman filled with a big personality, is everything a restaurateur should be. She plays a very active role IN her restaurant, from answering the phone to visiting with the guests to give that extra touch of customer service (she even did a sake bomb with us)!
Oh what a night, late October back in ‘89 (or some time very close to that). This was the first time I welcomed the thought of eating sushi. My parents continuously brought me to their favorite Japanese restaurant and I always opted for the chicken teriyaki, but for some reason on that one Fall night, my 8 year old brain decided it was time to “Go for the Roe” and try my first roll. I haven’t a clue what specific one it was, but knowing my folks ain’t the California roll type, my guess is there was some tuna, whitefish, eel or perhaps all three packed inside the spiraled rice and seaweed. From that moment on, I was hooked.
This past Saturday, I went back to where it all started, Su-Shin (Lauderhill, FL). I reminisced as we passed the private table in front where my love for sushi developed. We took a seat in the back of the restaurant, which is a relatively small space in a strip mall location. From the outside, it could be deceiving, but I urge you to follow the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” bit. Inside, there is a modern look complete with a beautiful, elongated fish tank. The sushi chefs are friendly and you are welcomed to sit at the sushi bar to watch them in action. The staff is attentive starting with a warm towel brought to you for cleansing.
I have been to many Mexican joints far from the border, close to the border, and actually across the border and can declare that my #1 choice for where to eat Comfort Mexican Food is La Bamba (South Florida). I added the word "Comfort" in there because there are some authentic Mexican meals that I have enjoyed unavailable at La Bamba (i.e. Fresh Ceviche served ocean side), but when it comes to the meat, cheese, beans, and some kind of tortilla combination, they are spot on. There are 5 different locations, all within an hour radius of my house, and I have been to all but one of them over the last 20 years. I don't actually have a favorite one because they all offer the same thing-consistency. It's always a casual, family friendly environment, with the Mexican and Spanish meals tasting the same each time and adequate service (nothing over the top, but they get the job done).
Lab coats, liquid filled test tubes, and a clouds of white smoke. We must have walked into a science lab right? Wrong! We’ve just entered Nitro Yogurt , a place where you can go to your frozen treat fix. That’s right, there’s a new cool way to get your fro-yo. While store fronts continue to fill up with self serve yogurt dispensers and topping bars, Nitro Yogurt offers a completely different experience.
Just a couple hundred miles north of Cuba, you will find one of the best places to get authentic dishes that the island is known for. Padrino's Cuban Cuisine (Boca Raton, FL), cooks up homestyle recipes that have been with the Padrino family for generations. Their flavors are spot on, the quality of the food is consistently good, and you will always leave feeling satisfied (and full, like a good Cuban meal should do to you).
Rocco is gettin' around and rightfully so! Rocco Mangel has been working the South Florida restaurant scene for quite some time and has established himself through his own chain of restaurants- Rocco's Tacos, now with 3 locations. The original is in West Palm, the second is in Central Boca, and the newest is in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I have experienced all three and can tell you that the upbeat, trendy atmosphere, the fresh guac (made table side), and the Prickly Pear Margarita are what keep me coming back.
Looking for a fancy schmancy restaurant to take your date for a romantic seafood dinner? Well, this ain’t it. Rustic Inn is a waterfront location in what I consider to be a tough to find spot in
The place is often filled with tourists and locals ready to indulge in a seafood love fest and get elbow deep in garlicky butter. The laid back atmosphere is lively and you’ll always be sure to find a number of tables celebrating special occasions. You don’t have to spot them on your own though- it will be announced on the PA and then the whole place collaborates as a dysfunctional drum line would do, pounding their mallets on the tables. This energy never really leaves the dining area and creates an environment you feel good to be a part of while you enjoy your meal.