Sunday, December 16, 2012

Matteo's Family Style Ristorante Italiano in Hallandale

"Welcome to Matteo's," the man holding the door open spoke as we walked through the doorway into a bustling dining room; every table full with people laughing and eating.

"Party of nine," we replied, "we have a reservation." Our table was ready and waiting for us and we were seated immediately.

We checked out the menu, ordered a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water, and a full size Italian antipasto. Everyone selected their entree of choice. Matteo's offerings are listed on the menu as "full" orders and "half" orders. Don't be surprised at the amount of food you receive. A half order is more than enough for one and a full can be shared by two or three.

Chopped Salad

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tacolu Baja Mexicana Jacksonville Beach, Fl
Awesome tacos! I had the Royale and it was superb. Also tried the Rojas echiladas and they were off the chain! Added a side of Cilantro-spinach rice, muey bueno. Washed it down with a Sangria Rita. Michelle had the $10.00 Taco: Filet mignon and only $4.99. Best tacos I've ever had and can't wait to go back.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Luca Bella Family Style Italian in Aventura

When you are ready for a Family Style Italian dinner think about going to Mickey Maltese's Luca Bella at 19088 NE 29th Ave in Aventura. Mickey, formerly with Matteo's on Hallandale Beach Blvd, has taken this family style restaurant to the next level.

Large portions, big enough for two or more are complimented with excellent service and great tasting food. Mickey makes the rounds stopping to talk with each patron asking whether their choices were up to their expectations and inviting them back. It just makes you want to come back again and again.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries in Boca Raton

My grandson, Dylan, loves this place and he thinks they have the best fries. I checked out the website and discovered that this burger joint started out as just Boardwalk Fries; adding the "decadent" burgers later on.

This place is just another of the many new-style hamburger joints that are popping up as the hamburger frenzy keeps going. Much the same as Five Guys and Burger Fi that are also opening up new locations weekly.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kings County Pizza is a Contender for Best Pizza in South Florida

I have been reading some great reviews about Kings County Pizza located on W. Dixie Highway a few blocks south of Miami Gardens Drive in North Miami Beach. Several food blogs have spotlighted this small place as possibly having the best pizza in South Florida. I finally had a chance to drop in and pick up a slice and talked with Rob, the owner for a few minutes.

I ordered my slice of cheese pizza to go as I had an appointment several miles away and took my first bite as I headed towards I95. I was totally surprised with the first bite. The crust held up well and had a perfect crunch as a bite snapped off in my mouth. The robust tomato taste was immediately followed with the feel and taste of melted mozzerella cheese.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

You Will Get Charmed at Charm City Burger Company in Deerfield Beach

You will get charmed at Charm City Burger Company in Deerfield Beach.
Charm City Burger Company's name has been popping up on almost every food blog in South Florida so I thought I really should check them out. I drove right by the place on Hillsboro Blvd in East Deerfield, hit the brakes and swung into the parking lot. I was lucky enough to find a spot around back and walked past the garbage dumpster through the advertised rear door and fell right into the "order here" line.

The place is small, maybe seats twenty or so, and has that "beachy" super laid back atmosphere that you would expect from a walk in place not too far from the surf.
I already knew that I was only interested in getting a hamburger and the same for Michelle. She ordered the "Good Ole" combo. Just a burger with American cheese, lettuce, and tomato; well done (their term is hammered), with fries and a drink for $8.25.

Cowboy Style with thick cut bacon, cheddar, sauteed mushrooms and grilled onions

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gilbert's 17th Street Grill

Gilbert's is a little hard to find. It's tucked away in the Harbor Shops of Ft. Lauderdale which is not on 17th street at all. The address is actually 1821 Cordova Road.

I've been there a few times for some family events and was pretty satisfied with the food. But my son sent me a picture of a burger that he enjoyed there and suggested that I stop by and sample one.

Michelle and I popped over the same night that the Miami Heat was playing and there were tons of people standing in line at Duffy's across the parking lot. Gilbert's was very busy also but we were still able to get in and order pretty quickly.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

J Marks Restaurant Ft. Lauderdale

I have driven by this location about fifty times and I finally had an opportunity to drop in. It was a rainy Saturday night about 8pm and I was lucky to find a parking space in their lot adjacent to the restaurant. We were greeted with a twenty minute wait which I thought was reasonable and took a lopsided seat on a padded bench which wrapped around a wall and walk way that went up to the bar on another level.

We were graciously seated and it appeared that we were going to have a wonderful time. Matt, our waiter, was friendly and seemed to know the menu. Michelle ordered an ice tea and I opted for plain old water. A basket holding a couple of delicious, freshly baked rolls and butter was presented, but the drinks did not appear for several more minutes. Since this was our first visit we asked Matt a few questions and finally made our choices. Matt stressed that the steaks were super and they made their own hamburger combo using beef, onions, bacon and worchestershire sauce which made the hamburger look well done no matter how it was cooked and that all the food is prepared fresh daily.

I ordered the Blue Peppercorn Burger and for a side I took the Cajun Fries. Michelle ordered Roasted Chicken with a baked potato.  The food was delivered promptly and looked great. I wanted a water refill along with some ketchup and mustard but Matt was busy trying to take orders from a table next to ours where ten or twelve men were seated, ordering multiple bar drinks and asking for individual checks.

After waiting several minutes for the condiments I just started eating. Michelle flagged down another server, and then a third in an effort to get the condiments. I had eaten half the hamburger before the tablespoonful of each arrived. I wasn't impressed with the hamburger and the fries were over-the-top salty. Michelle said her chicken had a funny taste, like some weird spice but she ate about half.

Matt refilled the glasses a couple of times and apologized for his lack of attention indicating that he was a bit overwhelmed with the large party next to us. I asked about Carrot Cake for dessert and mentioned that I really loved it at J. Alexanders, just down the street. He said his was even better! Well, it wasn't!

Once we left Michelle was complaining about having an upset stomach which continued for the next 36 hours. Maybe the funny tasting spice wasn't a spice at all; maybe the chicken wasn't as fresh as Matt said?

I think I could have had a better experience somewhere else for the same money. Michelle's funny tasting chicken was $14.99. My hamburger and cajun fries was $11.99. Add $6.99 for an overly generous slice of so-so carrot cake, soft drinks and tip totals out to $46.00.

I haven't crossed J.Marks off my list, yet. I would like to go back again and try something else.

J. Mark's on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, May 10, 2012


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Between The Bun

I finally got a chance to pop into David Korn's Between the Bun in Boynton Beach. It's just east of I95 in the opposite end of the Publix shopping center on Gateway Blvd. Even though it was almost closing time, Dave and his Dad invited us in. They both go way back in NY deli history having owned a few delis in lower Manhattan.

A Pair of Hotdogs from a Later Visit

The Next Big Wave: Tsunami Subs in Boynton

When I hear Tsunami  I used to think of that enormous wave that topples buildings as it batters the coastline. Now I think of the enormous sub sandwich available on Woolbright in east Boynton. Tsunami Subs and Wraps has moved onto my list of favorite sub spots in South Florida. The sandwich is kind of a "big brother" to what I have had at Lenny's or Jersey Mike's. Same kind of taste, just more of it.

For my maiden voyage I decided to try the Tsunami Italian #10. All meats and cheeses are freshly cut when the sub is ordered and piled on the house baked subroll which is one of the longest I've seen. Then goes on the lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and whatever else you're into. Wrapped up and presented with a smile.

I'm going back soon to try some of the other subs they offer and especially the philly cheesesteak. Check it out and let me know what you thing of this big wave sub shop.

Tsunami Subs & Wraps on Urbanspoon

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cadillac Ranch at Gulfstream Village

I've been wanting to check out Cadillac Ranch at Gulfstream for quite awhile and I finally had the opportunity to drop in on a recent Thursday evening. We walked around the outside of the building until we found the entrance which was completely opposite from the valet parking and we were promptly greeted by a hostess who scooped up a couple of menus and walked us through an almost empty restaurant area to an empty table surrounded by ten or twelve other empties. After seating I immediately excused myself and asked Michelle to order an iced tea and I headed for the restroom.

The bathroom was very impressive but messy with small puddles and used paper towels littered across the floor. Not a good sign for this "upscale eatery." I expected to return to our drinks but Michelle informed me that no one had been by to take the drink order. Finally our waiter arrived and we ordered drinks and at the same time he asked if we were ready to make our food order. I guess he was trying to hurry us along because we had been sitting so long.

Michelle chose the roasted chicken dinner and added a $5.95 cup of chicken and wild rice soup. I, of course, picked my all American favorite: the Cadillac Steak Burger. The soup arrived quickly and was just the right temperature. It was tasty but should have been called cream of chicken and wild rice to better describe the consistency. Michelle said that her chicken tasted just okay: cooked correctly on the outside but a little undercooked on the inside. My hamburger was good, cooked correctly and visually appealing. The accompanied french fries were about par for a cheap fast food joint.

During our meal a party of ten was seated right next to us even though the entire restaurant was empty. We felt like our privacy had been invaded. At about the same time another patron, who might have had a few two many drinks, tripped as he was going to the restroom and ended up face down with a very loud splat. A server close by turned and looked but did not offer any assistance or even ask the man if he was okay.

I observed some employees standing around making idle talk among themselves and blocking the way to the exit and we almost got run over by someone delivering a vat to the bar. The $55.00 check included an automatically added 18% tip and even though I usually tip in the 20% range it offends me to have the restaurant add it in automatically.

I had a fantasy that I would love this place before I arrived but that fantasy has been shattered and I will probably never return. Cadillac Ranch might be a cool place to go for a few drinks but the food is far from stellar. Had it not been for my $25 coupon I would have called the night a total bust.
Cadillac Ranch on Urbanspoon

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