If you’ve never set foot inside Tropics in the 25 years since it opened, you may want to get there — immediately, if not sooner.
Thanks to Gary Hillis and his new ownership partners, you’ll notice a bit more in the restaurant. There’s an updated game room that features poker three nights a week. There’s still a piano bar with entertainment every night. There’s new televisions and much more lighting, but it’s the dining upgrades that you’ll notice the most.
Don’t worry, you can still get amazing drinks for super cheap, but try coming in for lunch. What was once dead at Tropics, Hillis and his team brought lunch back. There are features like burgers your way, made with certified angus beef burgers. There’s also other sandwiches like the French dip or Reuben, but don’t skip over the salads, like the pepper-seared tuna.
If lunch isn’t your thing, you’d be hard-pressed to skip dinner. When Hillis and his group took over last June, they made sweeping changes to the food quality at Tropics. He admits he heard from a lot of patrons that the drinks were great, but no one was staying for meals. He went right to work updating ingredients and his kitchen staff to create the best options for customers.
New Executive Chef Dylan Cole has been running the kitchen for a couple months and is already showing off his talents. From appetizers to entrees to desserts, everything at Tropics is fresh, made from scratch, and sometimes, if you show up on a good day, one-of-a-kind.
If you’re looking for comfort, try the classics. Start with spinach dip, massive crab cakes with cranberry coulis, or the decadent lobster bisque (if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, go for all three). If you finish any, though, you may not have room for an entrée — but you definitely should.
For entrees, they might change depending on the day you come. On Mondays, you can get a select choice of 10 entrees, all priced at $10. Choose from favorites like baby back ribs, stuffed shells with meatballs, or the fresh catch of the day. While the prices may have gone down for this Monday-only special, the portion sizes are still very much the same. Bring your appetite!
On Tuesday or Thursday, enjoy 2-4-1 entrees on everything from pot roast to mojo pork. A fan favorite is the salmon your way — try it poached, grilled, blackened or oven roasted. Make sure you dip it in the dill cream sauce — it makes a great dish even better! Cole says the salmon is the king of dishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as the restaurant goes through 60 pounds each week!
If you’re on the hunt for red meat, come on Wednesday for the prime rib. The slow roasted slab is coated with garlic, thyme, and other seasonings and cut into 8-ounce pieces, but additional ounces can be added for $1.49 each. Order your preferred temperature and chefs will dip it in au jus before plating it. This adds all those juices back into the meat before you dig in — a truly exceptional dish! Wednesday also offers a full rack of baby back ribs for $12.95. They’re slow cooked until they fall off the bone and basted with a homemade BBQ sauce. You can try all-you-can-eat ribs for $17.95.
If you can handle dessert after a meal selection like that, ask your server what Chef Cole has whipped up that day, as desserts are made from scratch and usually vary. On a recent visit, we enjoyed a brownie ice cream mousse cake, completely chocolate, and drizzled with raspberry sauce.
No matter what you do, make time for Sunday brunch. For $20.95, enjoy all you can eat from the raw bar, carving station, waffle station, omelet station, and dessert station. Other stations and features rotate in and out, depending on what Chef Cole has decided to serve that week.
Of course, you can always come in for the expertly made drinks, as there may not be a better martini in town. But don’t look for a happy hour. The drinks are always a great price, so every hour is happy hour!
If You Go:
Tropics Restaurant + Bar
2000 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL 33305