Here at the FTL Collective we are always seeking the best deals in town to share with our loyal subscribers. When I stumbled upon Empire Pizza Cafe on a hungover Saturday afternoon, the cheap beer specials drew me inside; not because my dehydrated withdrawaling body was craving one, but because I wanted to share this information with our readers. Empire Pizza replaced the failed Le Bonne Crepe crepe restaurant in the Palm Court Pavilion located off the NW corner of US1 and Broward Boulevard. The owners changed up the theme from lackluster French ‘fast food’ to a New York City style pizza joint, complete with a large gorilla statue out front – as if King Kong is going to inspire patrons to come inside. Out front also sits a white board complete with beer specials, which is highly more likely to attract guests than a fake, and overly friendly-looking gorilla.
All day, every day you can quench your thirst with bottles of Peroni for $3.25, Amstel Light for a mere $2.75, and Miller Lite for just $2.25. The seating outside was minimal and receives an FTLC rating of C- because the tables are severely lopsided and you will most likely end up with pizza in your lap.
Take the risk, or sit inside at a small table lining the north wall. In true NYC pizza joint fashion, one side of the restaurant holds the kitchen/counter and the other side is lined with small, but comfortable, tables. The menu was quite impressive for a tiny place that also delivers (with a minimum $10 purchase) and in addition to pizza, includes calzones, hot/cold subs, pasta, salads, and wings. Personal 10-inch pizzas range from $9-$13 and large sixteen-inchers cost $14-$26.50. You can elect to devour your own pizza creation or choose from a variety of, as the menu calls it, ‘pizza with personalities’, such as the Caprese topped with melted mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, and fresh basil. With a pizza you receive thin aluminum plates, reminiscient of a plate you would use in a prison dining hall, not that any FTLC bloggers would know this. Don’t let the prison-esque plates scare you away because let’s face it, with these beer specials you might get so blitzed that acting out the Greek tradition of plate smashing probably will not be the worst idea you’ll have that night.
Overall, Empire Pizza Cafe is a good place to go for a quick and inexpensive meal or if you are having serious yearnings to see a map of the NYC subway lines. A pizza for two and two cold ones will set you back less than $16.
Empire Pizza Café
15 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale 33301
Monday – Friday 11am-10pm
Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 12pm