Let me say right up front that this is a bar so leave the kids at home, please. It’s a pseudo-Irish sports bar, to be exact, but it has a full menu of some really down-home good food. During the holidays they offer traditional home-cooked ham and turkey meals with all the fixins.
The interior is all about dark woods and huge TVs everywhere showing various sports channels. Soooo every time the Panthers play an away game while we’re here, you can find our butts planted firmly at Flanigan’s. You can sit at the bar if you like, but we usually prefer to sit in the dining area… go early if you want a booth. They start filling up fast starting at around 7PM.
The staff is very friendly and fun. They did screw up one time and brought Lars a half rack rather than a full rack but they were quick to look embarrassed and bent over backwards to atone. They understand customer service well here. Major points for that.
2721 Bird Road
Coconut Grove, FL
Shorty’s BBQ –
Now, when ya walk in it looks like it is going to be a very good time. It’s all about wood and done up in a decidedly Wild West motif. Very fun, that. Wanted posters and related items abound. The only thing kinda out of place was all the over-head TVs set to sports channels. I think they’d be better off sticking to the theme and playing Country & Western over the speakers… or at least having a rodeo on the TVs.
Usually you would go here for their wonderful BBQ Chicken or ribs, but over the holiday period they offer up some tantalizing turkey and ham dishes for a reasonable price.
11575 SW 40th St.
Miami, FL 33165
Mr. Moes –
Moe’s is in the heart of the quaint shopping district, nestled in down there by Senior Frogs and several little boutiques. It’s all about rustic wood and huge flat river rocks here. Kind of a log cabin theme, with stuffed animals everywhere. I mean like big ol’ taxidermied bears and elk heads, not cute little stuffed teddy bears. There is a big full bar in the center and huge televisions blasting various sports channels all over the place. They even have NTN trivia and Texas Hold ’em. Tuesday night is Karaoke night, and they live bands on the weekends.
You can sit outside in the swinging booths (where you can still smoke!) or inside to watch your favorite Swedish Hockey team beat the pants off the US… HA! The booths both places are very cushioned and comfortable. This is a good thing since it may be awhile before you get your food. Oh, they warn ya right up front. The menu clearly states that those steaks and burgers are so big that you can expect to wait about 20 minutes if you order those. I’m always too hungry for that delay.
Their Thanksgiving fair is absolutely huge! If you leave hungry after all that turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, it is your own fault. Very good indeed.
3131 Commodore Plaza
Coconut Grove, Fl
Southport Raw Bar –
Anytime I visit or move to a new place the first thing I do is poll the locals for their fave hang outs and eateries. I like tourist traps, don’t get me wrong, but when push comes to shove I want the good stuff, and the locals always know where the best can be had. The Southport Raw Bar is definitely a local’s heaven for seafood.
I’ve eaten here several times now. The first time we pulled up into the parking lot just across the 17th street Causeway coming off the beach I wasn’t impressed. You won’t be either. Go ahead and park anyway. Once you get inside, walk to the back past the bar and out onto the deck. How ya like it now, huh? The plain facade would never lead you to believe the wonderful Intracoastal seating to be had inside, and in the back outside. If it’s one of those rare bad weather days, go ahead and sit at the bar or one of those cushioned booths.
As far as the food goes… Ooh la la. Do try the Catfish for under 10 bucks. This is a big filet and is cooked to perfection every time I’ve ordered it. It comes with a healthy portion of fries too. Enough to feed a hungry soul after a long day at the beach, that’s for sure.
Then there’s the awesome Clam Chowder. I love this so much from here that I go order a quart of it to go at least once a week ($8.95 for that size). It reheats well throughout the week and they are very generous with the crackers. This just may be the best New England clam chowder I’ve had to date.
They do stay open on Thanksgiving to feed the locals and the emphasis comes off the usual delicious fish and focuses on more traditional fair, along with some not quite so traditional menu additions. If you find yourself in Northern Miami/Ft Lauderdale over the holidays, you should give this place a go.
1536 Cordova Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
The Floridian –
Now although this is on Las Olas, don’t be expecting yet another uppity specialty place. No, oh no. The Floridian is a down-to-Earth friendly kinda place that makes you feel right at home. It’s a bit out of place in its surroundings, but that just adds to its charm.
It’s a big place that reminds of a diner, only bigger. It’s spacious and welcoming and almost has a truck stop feel to it, only with better food. The best part is you can sit outside on the sidewalk and watch the beautiful people of Lauderdale primp and posture to your heart’s content if you wish. You can also smoke out there. heh.
I’ve heard a few (very few) folks snicker when this place is mentioned, but that just tells you they are clueless because a great deal of Lauderdale’s mover and shakers conduct business in this low-key place. That guy at the next table in the board shorts and sandals may own that 2 million dollar condo you just saw over on the Intracoastal. Ask any local and they’ll tell you. This is a happening spot.
Being open 24 hours a day every day of the year, you can bet they have holiday meals down to a science. I’m telling you now that if it is a good facsimile to Grandma’s Thanksgiving meal you seek, this is your spot, bar none.
1410 E. Las Olas
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33304
La Cantina –
You walk into a kinda cheesy yet fun place that is over-done in the Mexican theme on purpose. I mean stuff everywhere. We were seated at an old worn out (yet comfy) booth and chips were immediately brought out to us, along with some pretty decent chunky salsa.
They offer the usual items you will find everywhere such as burritos, tacos, chimichangas and the like, but also some pretty decent barbeque ribs and fish platters. This day I went with a Machaca Burrito for around 8 bucks (I can’t recall exact prices and can’t find a website for them). This is a burrito with shredded beef (not hamburger! yay!) and scrambled eggs along with various Mexican seasoning and peppers and what have you. It is huge and comes with both refried beans and Mexican rice. I couldn’t even finish half of it and it was really very good.
This one doesn’t open its doors until 4 or 5 pm; so do be sure to call them for an exact time of opening Thanksgiving Day. Their holiday meals do of course have a slightly Mexican-American bent to them, but why stick to tradition? Go ahead and give them a try if you want something just a little bit different this year.
2870 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Cafe Del Mar –
As with most of the strand restaurants here, Cafe Del Mar has an inside, and lots of tables out on the sidewalk where you can sit and watch the ocean, the sky, the cruise ships going out and coming in, or simply watch the tourists whistling at each other and getting silly. I love people watching. The best time to come here though is for lunch. At dinner they have a bigger menu and it’s all perfectly good, but they also have a live band outside which gets very loud. If you don’t mind that, then this is a good bet any time of day… but if you want to sit and chat with your date then like I said… this is a lunch spot, usually.
On Thanksgiving they open early and begin your feast with a wonderful breakfast menu, then at the usual lunchtime they switch it up to include their Thanksgiving options. Cafe Del Mar puts a slight Mediterranean flare into everything they do, and the holidays are no exception. What you can expect here is very good food, and plenty of it. They give you huge portions and smiling service.
213 South Fort Lauderdale Boulevard (North A1A)
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
The building is an L-shaped white adobe with burgundy awnings and very inviting. We arrived just prior to lunchtime and the place was hopping already. One of the waiters signalled to us to go ahead and sit at a table. Inside is very spacious with an open feeling. It’s all multi-paned windows with crystal chandeliers and etched mirrors. The color scheme is white and green with wood pillars. The white-topped tables are surrounded by green vinyl chairs encased in chrome. Sounds a bit cheesy, I know. It’s a mixed decor but it all somehow worked and made us feel very welcome.
This is the premier Cuban food spot in the Miami area, and as such will give you a Thanksgiving meal with a Cuban slant to it. You can expect fried plantains and rice with your ham or turkey here, and you will be glad for it. A bit higher priced than some places, but worth it. People drive from hours away to eat here for a reason.
3555 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
Greek Islands Taverna–
If it a Greek flare you are craving for your holiday meal, look no further than Greek Islands Taverna. This is a wonderful place with loads of character and an extremely friendly staff. This is a favorite hot spot for Lauderdale locals. There was even one couple that drove down from West Palm Beach (100 miles away) just to eat the Gorides Tou Sotiri (shrimp- $20) here. I’m not lying. They’re that loyal.
The walls have grape leaves hanging, there are wine racks everywhere, and interspersed are a lot of Greek woven handicrafts. The atmosphere is low-key yet decidedly Greek, and the owners are full blooded Greeks. Very out going and friendly. They care a great deal about the quality of their food, even down to growing their own marvellous tomatoes.
3300 N. Ocean BLVD
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33308
Sometimes a person has just got to have a Schnitzel. I mean once you’ve had one, you begin to crave them badly. When I’m in Lauderdale, Bier Brunnen satisfies those cravings quite nicely.
Now, this isn’t really on the beaten path here. I mean, it is, sorta, but you gotta kinda look for it… look to the south of the infamous Elbo Room there, just below Los Olas Blvd… see that alley kinda lookin’ thang? Yeah, walk back down in there. Bingo!
Now see all those folks with the silly grins? That’s cuz they’ve done drank a few too may Wolfsteiners. heh. Yeah folks, it’s a pub. A German Pub. And it rawks hard. They have every kind of German beer imaginable. On weekdays you can get them 2-for-1 even… and in really tall glasses. heh.
During the holidays in general, and on Thanksgiving in particular, they offer up a mean Turkey with a German flair. Ever had German Potato Salad with your turkey? Try it. You can thank me later.
425 S Atlantic Blvd
Ft Lauderdale, FL