Rosie’s Bar & Grill

Rosie’s Bar & Grill– 2449 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, (954) 563-0123 – http://www.rosiesbarandgrill.com

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From the way it looks now, its hard to believe that Rosie’s occupies a building that was once a Burger King, however many folks also remember that site as Hamburger Mary’s. Today, everyone in Wilton Manors is well aware that Rosie’s Bar & Grill is the place to go for Burgers, sandwiches, salads and unique dishes that keeps both locals and visitors coming back for more. Try the Burger Nirvana, Rosie’s top prize winning entry in the 2013 Riverwalk Burger Battle IV, and you can try 24 additional specialty burgers on the menu. Some other standout items for me were a grilled chicken sandwich called Young Ranch Hand a Grilled Shrimp, bacon, cheese thing called the Key West Club and a spicy chicken tender wrap with the name The Gypsy Rosie Lee Wrap. The menu is large so take your time. Also check out their Sunday brunch menu. Try any of their Belgian waffles with fresh fruit toppings!!! Wow. Sunday brunch is extremely popular so go early or be prepared to wait. Not too bad if you’re enjoying one of their wonderful Mojitos.

Rosie's Bar & Grill – Burger NirvanaRosirs- Chicken QuesadillaRosies- Ham & Swiss Club Rosies- Young Ranch Hand

© 2013 alanEATS | A Food Blog

Taps & Tapas at The Manor

Taps & Tapas at the Manor- 2345 Wilton Drive,
Wilton Manors http://www.themanorcomplex.com/html/dine.php

Have you ever had writers block?  You know what I mean…you sit in front of a blank piece of paper or computer screen for days and pour out dribble, which as it turns out, makes no sense.  So it was with me after I accepted an offer to write about a place that sits on a site with an old history and a new one in the making. Ok, let’s go back in time a bit. Before the Manor was the Entertainment Complex it is today, it was the site of a wonderful small neighborhood restaurant/bar named Costello’s. The food was good American/Continental fare with reasonably priced food and a terrific bar menu that became half price during happy hour. In time the restaurant was sold and the new owners tried to upscale the place. They changed the name to “Food Amongst The Flowers”, renovated the interiors, added to the menu, increased the prices and provided the only “fine dining” experience on the drive. That lasted a relatively short time closing in 2009. The Manor Complex is on the same site, but housed in a greatly expanded building comprising a two-story dance club, several bars, with places to sit and observe & be seen and a restaurant. The original Manor Restaurant opened with much anticipation and an elegant and ambitious menu. Perhaps too ambitious. As time pasted they must have realized that a change was needed. Today the Manor restaurant has evolved into a more informal venue, Taps & Tapas. The trend toward Gastropub style food fits this location better than past efforts. It’s the right fit for before, during or after a fun evening. In addition to the regular full bar They built a separate bar where you can order 24 tap beers with an additional 100 available in bottles.

So what did I try and enjoy, you might ask. I joined a few friends for a visit recently and was immediately impressed with the smaller more focused menu.  We started with several “Small Plate” dishes. The standout was the Grilled Manor Wings 3-Ways. I have no idea why many places deep-fry the life out of these poor things and then smother them in a sauce. We ordered ours nude with all of the sauces on the side. Grilling the wings gave us the flavor without the extra grease. Flatbreads are perfect pub food. We tried the JD BBQ Chicken version with Red Onions, Tomato and Monterey Jack cheese. On another visit I had the Cajun Sausage; Mozzarella, Red Pepper & Onion with Chipotle Mayo Drizzle. There two meatless flatbreads that I must try on another visit. The Shrimp Orzo is sautéed shrimp and orzo in a Parmesan and Jack Cheese Cream Sauce topped with Marinara. While rich and decadent the marinara sauce levels it out.

Although the menu lists several Salads, Sandwiches and Burgers we chose from the “House Plates” offerings.  Dishes I tasted and enjoyed and would order again include; Grilled Skirt Steak, Grilled Argentinian Steak and the Bronze Roasted Salmon. The steaks like all the grilled items here are done to the temperature ordered. Be advised that they have a really good grill man here. The salmon was good, simply done and reasonably priced. I couldn’t help thinking, however, how that salmon would be, brushed with a little Teriyaki or Tamari Sauce and lightly grilled. Just think’n.

Clear your mind of the past. In the restaurant business its who are you now that counts? The folks at the Manor have done their soul-searching and are their way to make new history in this location. If you find yourself on the “Drive” or enjoying one of the Manors other venues, a visit here is definitely worth it.

See more photos with descriptions on my Facebook site. http://on.fb.me/LFTAlV

© 2012 alanEATS

Coconuts

Coconuts- 429 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale    http://www.coconutsfortlauderdale.com/

I admire and appreciate this place for its unpretentious style and good food. Originally recommended by a friend whose food choices are way different from mine…it took me a while to pay them a visit. At first glance you might mistake it for one the places that specializes in quick meals near the beach. Big mistake! Locals and savvy travelers know and love it here and get nervous with just the thought of sharing this gem with vacationers. The food is New American and has several seafood and, to my delight, pork selections. Hints of the Bayou, Caribbean and Southern California can be found all over the menu. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided in advance to have a particular dish only to find that the Special is more intriguing. I rarely talk about staff or ambiance, but I’ll make an exception now.  I found the youngish staff to be competent and knowledgeable about the food.  All servers I’ve come in contact with have told me they’ve tasted most if not all the dishes and can explain how they’re prepared.  And let’s face it…what could be better than dining Al Fresco beside the calm waters of the bay side of Fort Lauderdale Beach? Simply put, the food here is consistent, the portions ample and the specials are always tempting.

So what do I eat here?  Haven’t tried it all yet, but here’s a short summary so far. The Coconut Shrimp can be had as an appetizer or entrée and is prepared with panko then lightly deep-fried with a dipping sauce.  When offered, try the Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes with Blue Cheese. For lunch I’ve had the Mahi sandwich and the fish taco, both good. For something a little different, try the Comfort Bowl and the Jambalaya. There are always one or two fish selections available broiled or blackened. I prefer the blackened. All I can say about the side items is…YES, please. Now, I almost never do desserts, but for lunch the other day they came up with this banana, caramel, granola and rum infused thingy, that was wonderful. On Sundays, Coconuts offers an off-the-menu Brunch that starts at 10am. If you get there early you may be rewarded with Beignets to enjoy while you peruse the menu. As usual I had pre-selected one of the three Egg Benedicts. However, the Special was the Cuban Confit Sandwich.  An open-faced assembly of Pork Loin slices, Swiss cheese, Onions, Mojo sauce topped with a Fried Egg. Somehow this chef knows the inner me!!!  Not to be missed is the French Toast Special, which was decadently delicious. The dictionary defines decadent as unrestrained gratification…yup, I agree!

© 2011 alanEATS

Blue Moon Fish Company- Sunday Brunch Buffet

Blue Moon Fish Company- Sunday Brunch Buffet, 4405 West Tradewinds Avenue, Lauderdale by the Sea  http://www.bluemoonfishco.com/

I must admit I was amazed when I first heard that this upscale fish joint on the intercostal was doing a buffet brunch.  At around $35, it’s not the most expensive in Fort Lauderdale, so I couldn’t imagine how they were going to pull it off.  If you’ve never been to The Blue Moon Sunday Buffet, your waiter will give you and your guests a tour that includes the four buffet food areas and two display areas for entrées and desserts. After the tour you are urged to go forth and eat…a lot! You’ll find a variety of salads and garlic steamed muscles setup on the restaurants main bar.  Nearby is the bread & waffle station. It’s no surprise that Blue Moon has a wonderful fresh raw bar stocked with oysters, clams, peel-and-eat shrimp and sauce options. Adjacent to the raw bar is the custom omelet station. When you’ve consumed your fill of the buffet your waiter will be pleased to bring you an unlimited number of specially prepared small plate entrées. Subject to change, these may include; Salmon Strudel, Crab Cakes, Louisiana Seafood Gumbo, Blackened Mahi Mahi with Vanilla Rum Butter; and Applewood Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Breast of Chicken. One Bloody Mary, Mimosa or Champagne is also included in the deal.  Did I mention dessert! If you’re able, your waiter will bring you one of several on display. Reservations a must!

So what do I recommend here? After ordering my Bloody Mary, I go directly for the Steamed Muscles, some of the Salads and some bread. Trip 2, has me at the raw bar for a plate of those wonderful oysters, clams and shrimp. Believe it or not I pass on the omelet station, which is top rate, only because I have my sights on the wonderful entrée items. Try the Salmon, the Chicken and the Crab Cake. As for dessert, I usually ask my server to bring me anything Chocolate…and I’ve never been disappointed!  Go! …have fun! …and yes, the view is nice too.

Tropics Restaurant and Piano Bar- Sunday Brunch Buffet

Tropics Restaurant & Piano Bar- Sunday Brunch Buffet, 2000 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors  http://www.tropicsftl.com/

Tropics restaurant is synonymous with Wilton Manors and “the drive.” Sunday Brunch started out here many years ago as a once a month thing and became more frequent as time went on. Now every Sunday the restaurant transforms into one of the most extensive Breakfast Buffets around. Everybody goes there including “alanEATS.”  After years of Sunday brunching at Tropics, I have a plan of attack for this monster feast.  First, as with all buffets…get there early to avoid the crowds of the uninitiated buffet eaters…those are the ones that scurry around piling on the food. I prefer to gently graze and enjoy the experience. So here’s what I recommend. You’ll want to grab your breakfast stuff first. Choices range from Eggs Benedict to an assortment of Quiche.  The usual scrambled and fried eggs are there too, accompanied by Bacon, Sausage, Corned Beef hash and Potatoes O’Brian.  There’s even some tame Sushi Rolls with all the extras. You’ll also notice a tray marked French Toast.  It actually tastes more like Bread Pudding, so I usually pick some up later to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Now on to the main dining room buffet for Salads, Shrimp, Nova Lox and a Carving Station, which can include; Roast Beef, Ham, Pork and Turkey. In addition, Chef Nate and his staff prepare three main dishes that change weekly. Some favorites you may find are Lasagna, Kielbasa and Sauerkraut, Chicken Purses, Fish & Chips, Beef Pot Pie, Stuff Shells and Jambalaya. Let’s not forget about dessert.  These are plated and are lined around the main bar. Here you’ll find an assortment of cakes, pies and cookies. Some are done in-house so please ask your waiter to point them out. All of the above with two beverages will run you under $20. Amazing! Reservations are a must. In season you may have reserve several days in advance.

Update-December 2011- The Tropics Omelet Station is back! Returning this year is omelet Chef extraordinaire Danny, equipped with double burners and an assortment of omelet fillings to make your perfect meal. Just this alone is worth the price of admission. I order one with spinach, bacon and cheese…yum. The omelet station is only here during the winter season so catch it before Chef Danny packs up his pans and heads north.

Click the link to see more pictures from Tropics with comments. http://on.fb.me/tpdVLC

© 2011 alanEATS