by Fat Hand
While Black Friday is supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year, the day following the day following Thanksgiving has been declared a day to shop at small businesses. Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express (I can’t decide if that sponsorship is ironic or not).
As we begin our holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday is a reminder that although the BestBuys and Targets of the world offer convenience, many of us would rather purchase our gifts at small, locally owned businesses. So here are a number of gift ideas from some of the region’s locally owned businesses:
1. Check out Discount Train & Hobby on Oakland Park Blvd. for an unbelievable selection of models and trains (211 E. Oakland Park Boulevard).
2. Buy your favorite blogger a record album from Radioactive Records, now located just south of Searstown (845 N. Federal Highway).
3. Quirky and artsy gifts geared toward girls at the funky Jezebel (1980 E. Sunrise Boulevard, in Gateway Plaza).
4. Give the gift of transportation by picking up a bike at George’s Cycle Shop (1029 S.E. 17th Street).
5. For that friend of yours that needs to relax, pick up a gift certificate for yoga classes or massage at Red Pearl Yoga (918 N.E. 20th Avenue).
6. If you must give a gift to a co-worker, pick up a bottle of wine at the wonderful and helpful 7th Street Wine Company (701 S. Federal Highway).
7. Be locally and globally conscious in one fell swoop by checking out the fair trade products of all kinds at Mission Gifts (1200 E. Las Olas Boulevard).
This list is just a starter of course, as there are many wonderful small and local businesses in our medium-sized city. So as you are out there looking for the perfect retail items to show your loved ones how you feel, give a small business a shot.
by Fat Hand
I’d like to apologize for the FTLC’s blogging hiatus: we were stuck in traffic. But like the Beatles in the USSR, we’re back.
This past Wednesday was opening night for Tap 42, the new beer bar south of downtown Fort Lauderdale (located on S. Andrews Avenue two blocks north of 17th Street). I, along with what seemed like everybody else in Fort Lauderdale between the ages of 25-40, wanted to be first to check it out. It was crowded on opening night my friends. Actually, I didn’t arrive until 9:30 and people said it was way more crowded earlier in the evening, which hardly seems possible.
As the name suggests, Tap 42 has 42 beers on tap. Plus it has another 103 bottled choices. But if that does not satisfy you, there are also 50 different bourbons to enjoy. One interesting thing I noted about Tap 42’s menu is that it does not list prices of the beers or bourbons. For beer that’s probably not a big deal, as most are in the $5-$6 dollar range that one would expect (although a bartender told me a few are priced as high as $11), but if you are ordering bourbon, choose wisely. A friend of mine was all excited about his $17 glass of the outstanding Pappy Van Winkle, which is great as long as you know what you are ordering. Just saying, be careful.
Tap 42 has what appears to be a good menu with a variety of appetizers, a few salads, some tacos, and a promising list of burgers. I enjoyed the mole chicken tacos and I heard raves about the burgers and sweet potato fries.
Tap 42 took over the spot of the old Brownie’s, which hosted legends such as Louie Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald way back in the day. Sadly I never visited Brownie’s before it closed, but from what I have heard it had gone downhill a bit, and was not the sparkling swinging spot it had been in its heyday. But the new place looks wonderful, from the reclaimed parquet wall running the length of the room, to the copper colored background behind the taps (which on closer inspection is a bunch of pennies glued to the wall), to the concrete flooring installed by local green-friendly hardware and construction company Eco Simplista. The décor is classy and the bar feels very comfortable.
Outside is a huge patio with plenty of tables and space to enjoy the fresh air of Andrews Ave., plus tons of free parking. No bands played while I was on scene, but supposedly Tap 42 will have live music.
The bar has about 5 flat-screens but this is not a sports bar. This is a place to drink good beer and great bourbon and to hunker down with your friends to plan your shady real estate deals or your PIP scams or whatever it is you are doing in this shitty economy. This is a bar to drunkenly describe your next great conquest, and to even more drunkenly find yourself in a good old-timey duel. Indeed, the parking lot outside of Tap 42 is sure to become the official dueling spot of Fort Lauderdale, which is ok because Broward General is only a block away.
The FTLC raises its collective glass to the new and exciting Tap 42.
Some more photos, after the jump…
Stopped into the Riverside Market (that wonderful gem of a spot just southwest of downtown) for a sandwich and stopped short upon seeing this sign on the entrance:
No drinking beer or wine on the premises? Preposterous! That is the best place to drink beer and wine. Sure, you can take it to go, but you can do that anywhere. Give me some atmosphere. Give me some craft brew on a barstool next to a table full of cops. Give me a drunken evening wine-tasting with accompanying appetizers. This is bullshit.
The guy working the deli counter said they were having licensing issues but that they are getting it sorted out. Well Riverside Market, not to sound ungrateful, but why don’t you go ahead and sort that out. You have a beer and wine dinner scheduled in three weeks that I would really like to attend.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything I can do to help. I know absolutely nothing about liquor licensing.
Just as we were readying a “Battle of the Barts” for the two St Barts Coffee Companies on Ft Lauderdale Beach, we discovered that St Barts on Sunrise and A1A was changing over to “Oceanview Delight”: a “privately owned cafe featuring homemade food and fresh ingredients”. From what we understood, the two did not share the same owner, and, for the record, we were leaning towards the original St Barts on S Ft Lauderdale Bch Blvd. (Note the difference in portion size of the eggs and cheese at both St Barts below)
Farmer's Favorite at St Barts original location
Farmer's Favorite at St Barts Sunrise and A1A
But after seeing these yummy photos below from Oceanview Delight’s Facebook page, perhaps cafe breakfast food was just not their forte. Not pictured here but also on their Facebook are a “Lamb Burgini” (homemade lamb burger, spicy pepper sauce, and feta cheese) and an “SB Angus Burger”. So far a menu is not available online. Oceanview Delight offers free wifi and delivery to the “lifeguard stand nearest you”.
Middle Eastern Chicken Taco from Oceanview Delight
Ahi Tuna Burger, Wasabi Slaw, and Avocado from Oceanview Delight
View from Oceanview Delight on Sunrise and A1A
Oceanview Delight (Facebook, Twitter) is located at 845 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Call (954)630-1351 for current hours.
Like most, we’ve been excitedly waiting for O-B House to open. Though the prices on their all-breakfast menu seem a little high, we were eager to see if their mouth-watering descriptions could make it worth it. Read on for the FTLC breakdown of Saturday brunch at the new O-B House.
O-B Oven Pancake $9
O-B D-Clawed $14
Old black and white photos of South Florida and some maritime decorations adorn the otherwise somewhat minimalistic green walls of O-B House. (It’s a bit of a small space so it looks just right). The dark wood tables looked like mostly 2-tops and each had their own single, fresh flower- Gerber daisy, perhaps? It’s super clean and obviously everything has that brand new feel to it. There is also an area for outside seating with speakers, which, when we were there, seemed to probably be playing a Jack Johnson Pandora station of sorts- Sublime, Michael Franti, DMB, and the like were heard. O-B House definitely is trying to get some laid-back sea vibes out- servers even wear some type of boat shoe.
Our server was really friendly and followed standard restaurant procedure in a timely manner- greeting, drink order, check back after our food was out, etc. She even gave us unwrapped straws by holding them with a napkin! Our food didn’t take very long at all (probably under 10 minutes) but there were only a handful of tables at the time. Either way, she was on top of it and if there’s one thing the semi-hefty prices might get you it’s at least great service.
We decided on the D-Clawed, the O-B Oven Pancake (both pictured above), and 2 cups of coffee (which brings you to about $28 after tax). The D-Clawed (soft, fresh, free range egg O-B omelet filled with jumbo lump crab, cream cheese, fresh, chopped cilantro, and served with O-B oven roasted Yukon golds or cheese grits and O-B toast) was very tasty but a little underwhelming in size. We went with the 6-grain toast and was very fresh and hearty. The omelet was quite simply almost crepe-consistency and had the crab, cream cheese, and cilantro rolled in the middle. Though the menu does state the omelet is “filled” with the ingredients, I was kind of expecting them folded in instead of wrapped. Nevertheless, it too tasted fresh and did it’s job without leaving you feeling grossly overly stuffed. We should also note everything was nicely buttered but in a non-greasy diner way. The O-B oven pancake is just as it is described on the menu: a thick and fluffy, cast-iron baked 8″ buttermilk pancake made with organic flour, sour cream, and fresh, free-range eggs, served with real Vermont maple syrup. If you want pineapple pecan, banana, blueberry, or strawberry, it’s $3 more, and if you want an extra side of syrup that’ll also cost you $3. Technically, it could cost you $15 for this pancake, but if you go for the basic (pictured below), you will not be disappointed. It’s huge, light but filling, and truly tastes homemade (if you bake your pancakes in the oven, that is). It came to our table steaming hot and fresh, and a perfect harmony of moist center and crispy edges. Honestly, it’s so good you may not even need to put syrup on it.
If you haven’t already noticed, O-B House isn’t exactly going to get us in the door with their prices. But if you’re looking for an occasional splurge on breakfast, and/or excellent service, this place is for you. And while we make a stink about their That’s-not-Folgers-in-your-cup coffee policy, it’s still pretty reasonable that $2.50 (that includes a 50 cent refill of the small cup) get’s you two cups of coffee.
The Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House is located at 333 Himmarshee St, FTL and is open 7 days a week from 7am-3pm Mon-Fri and 8am-3pm Sat-Sun.
Coming soon: Tap 42 (pictured above) is set to open off of Andrews Ave. and SW 14th St in September. They recently took part in the Seminole Hard Rock Rock N Roll Beer B Que (pictures here) and seem to already have a following, considering this is “just two brothers who are opening a new bar, and want to make it a cool place for you, and us to hang out”, according to their page on Facebook. The venue will have 42 beers on tap and 100+ bottled (largely crafts), live music nightly, food, and an outdoor patio. A quick visit to their website and you can sign up for their mailing list and send over your personal beer suggestions. Sounds like Tap 42 is making a genuine effort to become the area’s newest neighborhood bar. Located at 1411 S Andrews Avenue, FTL.
Open: In the spot that used to be Barbara Young Bake Shop, and a different cupcake place before that, East End Eats has opened up. The cafe has breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, pastries, coffees, and more and is open Monday through Saturday 8:00am-5:30pm and Sundays 8:00am-3:00pm. East End Eats is at 1523 Las Olas Blvd, FTL.
Coming soon: The much-anticipated, and needed since Bluejays’ closing, Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House that we posted about in June will be opening Friday, August 5. Where Village Pie never opened, O-B House is just about ready to go with their breakfast menu and plan to be open 7 days a week. While a little pricey and no coffee refills, they do have some interesting choices such as the “D-Clawed”: soft, fresh, free range egg O-B omelet filled with jumbo lump crab, cream cheese, fresh, chopped cilantro, and served with O-B oven roasted Yukon golds or cheese grits and O-B toast ($14). Located at 333 Himmarshee St, FTL.