When I was a kid, reruns of the Three Stooges were on TV constantly. I wasn’t a big fan, but one particularly campy bit stands out in my memory.
The Stooges are with their dates and Curly’s (a big girl, natch) squeals, “Oooh look! They’ve got a car! Let’s go places and eat things.”
Sometimes my life seems to be that scene replayed all the time. I’m always going someplace to meet friends for a meal. I try to go to new places (or at least new to me) so that I can report on them for you, my dear readers. These last few weeks I’ve been to quite a few places that were either new, or new to me.
Mystic Lobster Roll
753 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale
If you like lobster, this brand-new spot is just for you. Mystic Lobster Roll is nothing fancy, simply a storefront with a few tables and a brisk take-out business, but the options are numerous, and the staff is eager to please. In addition to the classic cold New England lobster roll and the warm Connecticut version, there are eight other versions. Try the LBI (with avocado and grape tomatoes, but oddly, no bacon, so I don’t know what the B stands for) or the Deep South version (with chipotle mayo and candied jalapenos.) The shrimp and corn chowder is great. They also offer lobster tacos and lobster mac and cheese. A diet place this ain’t! There is another location in Boca.
Blue Steel Pizza Co.
2460 E. Commercial
Blue Steel Pizza recently opened in the space that used to be home to Gatsby’s, and not much has changed on the interior. It has that lived-in feeling (the seat cushions collapse under you). Blue Steel specializes in Detroit-style pizza, and for those that like that sort of thing, it is an excellent example of it. I am a Chicagoan and a pizza snob. Detroit-style pizza to me is more of a pizza bread, but I did appreciate the crunchy edges and soft pillow center. We tried the classic pizza (tomato sauce and cheese) and the shrimp scampi (bechamel, mozzarella, garlic shrimp, bacon, and chives), and both were excellently cooked.
The pizzas are about $18 each and can easily serve two, especially if you split an order of the wonderful crab fries. The $15 dish (again, enough for two to share) features “sidewinder” fries (almost like nacho chips) topped with blue crab, butter, kimchi, yuzu aioli, scallion, and togarashi. It’s an addictive combination. Service is friendly and casual. Tuesday and Friday from 3-6 p.m. drinks are at reduced prices and the second pizza ordered is half-priced.
2525 Marina Bay Dr. W., Fort Lauderdale
Tucked away in a marina in the middle of a residential neighborhood, Rendezvous has been around for 20 years but seems to be a secret the locals keep to themselves, and I can see why. The waterfront dining is picture-perfect, the staff is friendly and efficient, and the food is not only delicious but reasonably priced.
The menu is extensive and seafood-centric, with just enough meat dishes for the meat and potatoes folks (steaks, chicken, and burgers). We began our meal with seafood spinach dip, which features crab and lobster in addition to the spinach, artichoke, and cheese usually found in this recipe. It was $18 for the app, but there was easily enough for four of us. A good glass of imported sauvignon blanc was reasonably priced and featured a hefty pour.
I was, for once, listening to my doc and eating light and had the sesame-crusted tuna steak salad, topped with a tropical pico de gallo and a wasabi, sriracha, and ginger dressing. The dressing was a little heavy on the wasabi for my taste. Luckily, I asked for it on the side and just enjoyed the salad without it. The tuna, cubed and coated in sesame seeds, was a tad too well-done. I would have preferred a steak, seared, and then sliced. But it was tasty, nonetheless. My husband opted for a seared mahi sandwich and loved it. Our dining companions, Roz and Loren, enjoyed their grilled sea bass and pasta with chicken. We passed on dessert since were introducing our friends to Wilton Creamery later that night. (They fell in love with it. Doesn’t everyone?)