I recently got to spend a delightful day sailing on my friends Steve and Robert’s boat. They belong to a group called Boys with Boats and several members sailed with us, before meeting up with more members at Pirate Republic for lunch.
For a group of (predominantly) gay guys, it was refreshing to discover that this is a group where size doesn’t matter, at least in sea craft. They don’t care if you’ve got a mega-yacht or a dinghy; as long as you’re interested in boating, you are welcome. In our group there were first-time boat owners and experienced sailors. Even a land-lubber like me was made to feel welcome.
Of course, one of the favorite activities of the group and its individual members is to pull up to one of the many dockside restaurants in the area. They simply sail up, tie up their craft, and hop on deck for a relaxing meal in the sun by the sea (or more precisely, intra-coastal or river).
On the day of our outing, Robert and Steve brought their rag-tag group of sailing companions to meet up with some other members of Boys with Boats at Pirate Republic, one of their regular places.
Pirate Republic Seafood & Grill
400 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale
The lunch menu offers a number of salad options and a few dishes for those not fond of seafood (pasta, chicken, hamburger, etc.), but the star section of the menu are the half dozen dishes that make up the seafood specialty options. All of the dishes start with the same seafood medley (squid, clams, mussels, shrimp and fish filets) sautéed and topped with sauces ranging from mild to spicy sauces. The Pirate’s bowl features fragrant white wine sauce, there’s a traditional Italian Cioppino, as well as dishes featuring coconut milk and peppers, a spicy blend of Latin spices and a Portuguese version, with white beans. All serve up a hefty bowl of goodness for $15.99. A couple of slices of toast to sop up the extra juices would have been a nice touch.
Service was friendly and playful with our large group, but we would have preferred to have our drinks and dishes served in a timelier manner. It took nearly 30 minutes to get our first round of drinks served and nearly an hour until our orders were taken. When our dishes did arrive, they did so haphazardly with a more than 10-minute gap between serving the first and last of our party. Presenting the separate checks was equally time consuming. I never got my bill and had to track the server down to get it and pay her. I could have easily walked away without paying she completely forgot about my order.
One of the reasons the Boys With Boats like Pirate Republic is its location (right across the river from the Broward Center) and the fact that the restaurant’s free dock slips can accommodate numerous boats in a variety of sizes, up to 100 feet
I asked the guys from Boys with Boats to send me a list of their favorite places to stop for a bite to eat or a libation while sailing.
429 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
1536 Cordova Rd., Fort Lauderdale
125 N Riverside Dr., Pompano Beach
3300 E Commercial, Fort Lauderdale
Blue Moon Fish Company
4405 W Tradewinds Ave., Lauderdale by the Sea
3115 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale
3051 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale
3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale
2301 SE 17th St., Ft Lauderdale
15th Street Fisheries
1900 SE 15th St., Fort Lauderdale
1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale
10 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale
305 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale
6200 N Ocean Dr., Hollywood
5 o’Clock Somewhere
1111 N Ocean Dr., Hollywood
Margaritaville Beach Resort
G.G.’s Waterfront Dining
606 N Ocean Dr., Hollywood
If you’d like to get to know they Boys With Boats guys, check out the group at its monthly “Meet and Greet” parties, the first Sunday of each month from noon to 6 p.m. at Flip Flops.