By Fat Hand
There is a new bar on the way in our city’s highly successful Riverfront development. Just when it seemed it would be empty store-fronts all the way down, we get the Tap & Cork. Lucky us.
The upcoming Tap & Cork is just south of Argie’s Grill, right across the street from The Brick. From its window dressing it promises to be a beer, wine, champagne, and sake bomb bar. I could be wrong, but from my semi-professional drinking at Himmarshee bars that makes it the only place to get a sake bomb downtown.
Now, seeing as how the Tap & Cork is directly across from The Brick and just down the block from ArtBar, that means one of two things:
1) You will be able to see the bottom portion of the female bartenders’ asses; or
2) It will be the classiest bar on the block.
Either one sounds good to me. Bring on the sake bombs.
Downtown Ft. Lauderdale has a new breakfast locale coming this July, and with the recent closing of Bluejays Cafe (can someone please turn off their Christmas lights), this couldn’t come at a better time. In the spot where Village Pie never opened, Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House will be making its debut. By glancing at their website (and listening to the auto-play banjo music), it’s evident that the owner Rodney Ely is banking on the quality and farmer freshness of his food. According to his bio, Rod is an old school local who has been a part of many successful restaurants from FTL’s past. The walls inside are decorated with vintage photos, further emphasizing his roots in the city. Even though there are no free refills on coffee (“that’s not Folgers in your cup”) and it’s a little pricey for breakfast, the FTLC staff will be eagerly waiting for the announcement of the OB House grand opening. Take a glance at their tasty menu and share in our excitement.
The restaurant is located at 333 Himmarshee St, Ft Lauderdale.
By Fat Hand
Stopping into Macabi’s Cigar Bar on Las Olas for an after-dinner drink on a recent weekend evening, your blogger had an interesting time. Macabi’s Cigar Bar is a relatively small but nice establishment with a bar on the right and a large case of cigars lining the full length of the room on the left (plus a full liquor store adjacent to the bar). An interesting mix of patrons were at the bar this evening including, for you single ladies, a smart and attractive bachelor orthopedist named Brian that volunteered months of his time in Haiti immediately after the earthquake. But this post isn’t just about good-looking, rich heroes or the wide variety of cigars, wine, and beer available at Macabi’s Cigars. It’s about the crazy proprietor Pat Patel.
Pat is nothing if not sociable. Exceedingly talkative to his guests and quite full of himself and his nice bar, at one point he bragged about winning a NewTimes Best Of award. Not surprised, considering the delicious wines and good cigars, I expected to see an award for Best Wine Bar or Best Cigar Bar. But no, the award he chose to show me was a framed NewTimes award from several years ago for Best Bar To Get Yelled At (turns out he has won Best Cigar Bar in other years). A little strange but believable from the salty behavior Pat had exhibited towards his bartender and patrons that evening, plus the stories Pat shared about kicking people out for spilled drinks or whatever other behavior Pat found offensive.
Pat is too interesting to ignore. Not only did he provide us thirsty customers with delicious wines, he broke out a couple of mystery dishes gratis, challenging us to guess what we were eating. An especially ambiguous plate turned out to be chili-spiced mango slices tasting nothing like what one might expect of a mango, but quite good and hot. And when nobody knew what the hell that spicy crunchy dish they were eating might be, Pat ostracised us for our lack of knowledge.
Again, like I said, you cannot stop talking to Pat, partly because he will not stop talking to you. Pat’s nationality is hard to determine. I was pretty sure he is either Turkish or Middle Eastern, but I was wrong; turns out Pat is from Uganda. And then, as Pat was listing the offenses for which one might be ejected from Macabi’s Cigar Bar, he included that being Muslim would earn you that fate. Yes, I don’t know why, nor do I really care, but I will tell you this: Pat does not like Muslims. I was of course surprised by his statement. I even informed Pat I was planning to write a blog post about his bar and that some people would not like that detail. But Pat is Pat and was not to be deterred: “I don’t care, Muslims are not welcome here,” said our outspoken proprieter. Which leaves your blogger in a strange position: I would like to recommend this quirky bar with its good wine, fine cigars, and its beyond-quirky owner. But the FTLC is also a supporter of multiculturalism and, although we appreciate crazy, only to a certain extent. So we recommend you make your own decision. Hate Muslims but love cigars? This is your place. Love cigars and rationality? We cannot fully endorse. Muslim and offended? Pat doesn’t care. That is Macabi’s Cigar Bar.
By Strawberry Jam
Breakfast is awesome. There’s really no other way to put it. There’s nothing like a huge well-rounded breakfast chased by a cup of diner coffee. Typically, I like to make massive breakfasts on the weekend with all of the things I like, the way I like them, since diner breakfasts are not always what you expect. The eggs might be too runny, the coffee too watered down, or you just can’t get the combo you want without spending more than ten dollars, which, if you ask me, is a little ridiculous. Read our take on three area diners and their strong points.
Lester’s- The Classic
250 W State Rd 84
Most Ft. Lauderdalians, especially those that drink, probably know this joint. It’s open 24 hours, and pretty much a staple, having been around for forty plus years. The staff is friendly and fast, the place is huge so nine times out of ten you won’t have to wait a long time for a table, and the extensive menu has all the items you’d expect from a diner. Lester’s got atmosphere, coffee, and attentive servers; all the things a classic diner should have yet oftentimes don’t, and, bonus, it’s clean and the food is fresh.
A scrambled veggie omelette with peppers and onions, hash browns and toast will set you back about $8. The pancakes are rich, fluffy, and filling, and run about $5 for two big ones with butter and syrup. A breakfast like this will easily keep you full for a good part of the day. Add coffee and conversation and you’re all set for a great day : )
Tip: Go here for breakfast foods or sandwiches, not dinner. Order the “salsa” at your own risk.
We don’t want to assume anything but we can only hope this doesn’t mean what we think it means: that Bluejay’s Cafe on Himmarshee might be closed for good. The restaurant which was suddenly and mysteriously packed up almost three weeks ago now has the card of a Ft Lauderdale business tax worker taped to the front doors. Bluejay’s opened last summer and quickly hit it off with their gourmet Southwestern dishes and popular breakfast burritos. It seemed to be the perfect addition to the area and appeared to do well, its outdoor seating area frequently full. Check out our review from last year, some mouthwatering breakfast photos here, and let’s cross our fingers that this tasty joint isn’t gone for good!