Shuck N’ Dive Cajun Cafe

Shuck N’ Dive Cajun Cafe- 650 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale

Be a Cajun for the night and sample the fresh oysters, fried pickles, Po Boy sandwiches and Black Board specials. Quick Bites

I discovered Cajun food from watching the Cajun TV Chef, Justin Wilson. “How y’all are?” he’d say as he opened the show every week and then began to make his reddish brown Rue adding in the Cajun Three Sisters- Green Bell Pepper, Onion, and Celery. Whenever he used tomato paste he’d wash out the can with whatever jug wine he was using and pour it into the pot. He was witty and folksy and the food was hearty, rustic Acadian-Cajun.  Justin’s long gone and if you can’t make the trip to “N’awlins” you’ll need to get over to Shuck ‘N Dive to sample some of those unique flavors. “Staz” runs the show here and can be seen making sure the food is pumping out of the kitchen, the tables are clean, the beer is flowing and the TV’s are tuned to any available LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints game.

If you like freshly shucked Oysters, you’ve found a home. I’m told their Oysters are sourced directly from beds in Louisiana. Every Wednesday night is $1 Raw Oysters, which go well with beer…mine is Turbodog Draft Beer from Albita Brewing of Louisiana, of course!. It doesn’t get much better than that as the Wednesday crowd that searches out tables would probably agree. If raw Oysters don’t work for you, try the cooked versions. Best way is the Oysters 3-Way…I choose the Bienville, Rockefeller and Black & Blues. Now these are very indulgent dishes and not meant for dieters. Oh, just smile and scrape off the bits of cheese that dripped on to the iron skillet they’re served in…the diet will still be there tomorrow. Other starters I liked were the Fried Green Tomatoes, Country Gumbo and Red Beans and Rice, made with Andouille Sausage, Tasso and Smoked Ham. Some of the salads here are a good choice for lunch. I order the Big House with red peppers, onions and Parmesan cheese then add-on Blackened Chicken. Or kick it up a notch and order the Uptown, which adds crumbled blue cheese and candied pecans. The Down South Meat N’ 2 entrees come with choice of two sides from a list of twelve. I liked the Blackened Chicken Breast, Fried Oysters and Butterflied Shrimp entrees. Side dishes to look for are, Red Beans & Rice, Collard Greens, Tater Tots (crunchy good), and the Sweet Waffle Fries. Now that’s just the stuff on the menu. Weekly and daily specials are on the chalkboard…like Mondays Muffuletta Sandwich, which might be called “the Italian Stallion,” if I were back in the Bronx. Turns out this thing was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans and is popular not only for its namesake round Sicilian bread, but also for the Italian meats, cheese and a layer of olive salad, which gives this sandwich its distinctive taste.

Shuck N’ Dive is fun, the food is good New Orleans southern style and if Justin Wilson were still around he’d probably say you’re going to have a good time…”I Gawr-On-Tee.”

© 2012 alanEATS

Bozo’s Sub and Sandwich Shop (Friday Specials)

Bozo’s Sub & Sandwich Shop (Friday Specials)- 601 SW 12th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale

Her name is Rosa Bozeman and she is the owner and head chef of a smallish and Spartan Sub & Sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale called Bozo’s. If someone doesn’t take you there, you’d probably never bump into it.  Even so, Miss Bozeman does a fine job turning out breakfasts and lunches for the locals who gladly wait on-line for her food. But on Friday’s it a whole different menu. And that menu is on a handwritten sign on the counter, because the items will change from week to week…just cause they do! And what you’ll get, and be more that happy to wait for, is some homemade southern comfort food that’s guaranteed to fill your belly and put a smile on your face.  On the day I arrived, the menu was Meatloaf and Gravy, Smothered Pork Chops, Oxtails and Fried Chicken. With sides of Okra & Tomato, Collard Greens, Mac N Cheese and Pigeon Peas & Rice.  If you think she’d have no time to whip up desserts, you’d be very wrong.  I sampled the Banana Pudding and the famous Peach Cobbler. You definitely need to wash all that down with the homemade lemonade. This is not fancy schmancy dining. You order/pay at the counter and move out-of-the-way.  Al fresco dining is available outside on three tables. I’m told Miss Bozeman begins her cooking chores early in the morning and continues to dish out the food until the last customer is served. So about the name for the place…well, yes it is part of her name.  But it’s her motto on the menu that says it all…”When It Comes To Food We Don’t Clown Around.”

Update: Sadly, Rosa Bozeman has decided to close her shop after serving the community for over 34 years. Read more here.

Update: Bozo’s has re-opened.