In all things, "best" is a subjective matter. The best vehicle for dragging trash to the Southwest Regional Landfill isn't the best vehicle for dropping your daughter off at the prom. In this post, we explore five of what may be Broward County's top restaurants, all suited to very different occasions and experiences. When you've been to those that best suit your purposes and culinary needs, we're sure you'll be calling for the services of a moving company in Fort Lauderdale!
Dixie Tracks Café
Close to both I-95 and the beach, this great little diner boasts an extremely eclectic board. From sensibly-priced salads (all organic) to tuna melts, from chimichangas to waffles, much of the flavor is Mediterranean and all of the attitude is explained by the album sleeves which cover the walls. Do not miss out on the fresh juices and smoothies.
This local oddity delivers food you'll love at prices which won't break the bank, but what's best is the disco-ball ballet of characters who bump and grind in the loud-loud-loud bar right beside the dining area. No formulaic sports bar, this; if your requirements are to attend a rowdy wedding to which you weren't invited, this is the place. Unpredictable promotions and artisan cocktails shouldn't eclipse the dessert menu, with its New York style cheese cakes.
La Cucina Veneziana
La Cucina offers the best blend of great cooking and non-stuffy atmosphere. The servers almost make you feel you're dining in an authentic Italian home, with good friends, while the food is all you'd expect from a moderately expensive menu.
Owner Fabio Cracco was a yacht chef for eight years, before spending five years at Panaretto, on 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, as co-owner. He revels in this relatively small location (45 covers), and greets many regulars by name. His board of fayre runs from salads and 16 styles of bruschetta to canederli, the house-special no-one should miss.
For sophisticated seafood dishes served in an elegant and upscale environment, 3030 Ocean is the best place for diners with deeper pockets (or who are celebrating something spectacular, and want to do so with traditional South Floridian cuisine).
Alongside the obligatory raw bar, and some meat and veggie dishes that are always available, choices such as roasted Atlantic cod, seafood paella, grilled swordfish and sautéed Maine scallops will have many guests returning time after time.
This restaurant succeeds in catering to both vacationers and year-round residents, with a constantly changing Specials menu and truly inventive one-off dishes (as an example, try the Parmesan-flavored grits that accompany their roasted wild striped bass).
New River Groves
At the other end of the spectrum, but still the best of its breed, Bob Roth's New River Groves is old-time Florida done the way it should be. Many residents (including relatively recent incomers) bemoan the loss of diners that were original -- or evoke -- road-side stands selling local produce to local folk.
The eponymous Mr Roth opened his citrus packing house half a century ago, to sell and ship local Broward County oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. That industry's a part of the past for our county, but Bob isn't. Now a septuagenarian, he still takes an active part in running the restaurant that sprung up in his building as the gas pumps, which used to fill the grove-owners' tractors, were taken down.
The front-piece of a three-acre tropical-fruit farm, this old-time farm store feeds you with Key Lime tarts and coconut patties; breakfast omelets and lunchtime sandwiches; mango pies and seasonally-flavored homemade fudge. This place has everything you want, nothing you don't.
Chris Lang, Bekins of South Florida