After a couple other dining establishments’ failed attempts at this location (Sea & Olive and Thirteen), it seems that Spencer’s has come up with the winning combination. At least it seemed so the night I stopped in for a mid-week meal.
A large group commanded the indoor dining space, taking up the majority of the tables, still we were lucky enough to snag the last table and were seated immediately. Later arrivals chose to dine at the bar or on the beautiful outside patio (which, I’m certain, will become more popular once temps drop).
Even with a large group of 12-15 occupying their time, we were still greeted promptly and warmly by Chris, the manager/bartender, and our charming waiter with a cute Ukrainian accent. Spencer’s menu leans mostly towards sandwiches and apps, although there are a few entrees listed on the menu. While the rest of the food is fairly priced the entrees are all priced a good five bucks more than they should be ($18 for meatloaf and $25 for a pork chop, really?). Sandwiches are a better bet as they are not only reasonably priced but offer generous servings.
The Reuben tops the list. Lean corned beef is the star of this dish with the Swiss cheese achieving just the right amount of gooeyness and just enough Russian dressing to augment, yet not overpower, the sandwich. The chicken salad sandwich is at least three inches high and features tender chucks of breast meat just held together by the herbed mayo mixture. Strategically placed slices of cucumber add crunch and keep the bread from becoming soggy. All sandwiches come with a choice of excellent onion rings, crunchy fries, potato or macaroni salad or coleslaw. Other sandwich choices include a turkey club, roast beef or burgers. At lunch the sandwich section expands a bit to include; a shrimp po’boy, chicken breast and cheesesteak. Notably missing from the menu is anything for vegetarians. Hey guys, it’s not too hard to offer a veggie burger, Gordon Foods has a great black bean burger all ready for the grill.
We started our experience off with corn fritters, which proved to be the only disappointment of the meal. Not only were they dense, but two of mine only had one kernel of corn in them. They were beautifully presented with a red pepper coulis and wilted arugula. We split a large Caesar salad and, while I wouldn’t say it was the best Caesar I’ve had (it was over-dressed and could have used some fresh Parmesan), it did feature a tasty dressing and toasty croutons.
Other app and starter options include; chicken wings with your choice of a half-dozen or so sauces, hummus, potato cakes, chili, soup of the day, wedge or garden salads and a mezze platter featuring charred shrimp, eggplant melitzanosalata, herbed flatbread and assorted dips and spreads. There are also a couple of dinner salads. You can add grilled chicken (for $9!) to any salad, as well as salmon (plus $12) or shrimp (plus $13).
We were too full to even think about dessert, so we ordered the Creamsicle drink, which tastes just like the childhood treat, but packs a wallop. Service was as friendly as could be and that more than made up for the bit of a wait for our food (understandable seeing how that large group ordered right before we did).
The problem with this location has always been parking, but the new streetscape project has actually made parking here easier. First there are more street spaces, surrounding the place, but it’s also easier to get in and out of Spencer’s parking spaces that align Wilton Drive. Also, keep in mind that there are two parking lots, each a block away, one to the north (behind Galanga) and the other a bit south and east. With the improved parking situation, charming staff and tasty food Spencer’s may prove the old adage, third time’s the charm.
Spencer’s Corner Bar
2390 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors