Updated
Jul 26th, 2019
First Posted
May 26th, 2016

La Bamba III

4245 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33308
(954) 568-5662
Overall Rating
2.8
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
07/24/2019

Details

Hours: M-Th 11:30am-10pm, FriSat 11:30am-11pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: No
Reservations: No
Delivery: No

Pros

Cheap Lunch Specials
Large Comfortable Restaurant
Lots of Booths
Decent Grub

Cons

Lunch Menu Could be Better
Food is just OK

Critic's Review

I hadn't been to this Bamba location in quite a while; time for a hearty lunch.

At 2:35 the afternoon happy hour was already rolling in; get your pitchers of margaritas mid day.

The upper section here has the bigger boths; they used to seat me up there but now they have mini booths. The last 3 times I've been on the lower level.

The rear dining area is the nicest, but they don't seat anyone there for lunch.

With 2 minutes of being seated, I had a beverage, chips and salsa. This place runs like a well-oiled machine.

The medium sauce is pretty good; the chips always fresh and crisp.

You get a choice of soup with your $10 lunch; I selected the broccoli cheese.

Not great, but not bad. The food comes out 12 minutes later.

Discard the bananas, load the food onto the plate. It's a good portion of fuel.

Not the best Ropa, but not bad. Today the check came out quickly. In and out in 50 minutes.

Conclusion

La Bamba has a bunch of big restaurants and keep expanding for a reason; they offer decent grub at a fair price. It's one of the better lunch spots in Fort Lauderdale.

Not great. But you leave satisfied and not feeling like you've been cheated.

Review 5/24/16

La Bamba was re-modeled this past winter, and it's one of my regular stops for a latin lunch. They're in the process of opening another location in Harbor Shops over on SE 17th Street.

The front porch is newly constructed. Very suburban. But it's 90 degrees out, so not such a good spot.

Inside the place hasn't changed much. Cheap decorations; it doesn't look much like a Mexican restaurant. White chick man the bar. It's very gringo here.

Service was slow today. They used to fly around like fleas, but today it was about 10 minutes before a server came over to offer a beverage. They have lemons here; and you get chips with mild and hot salsa.

The chips weren't that fresh. No need to eat stale chips. They only have 1 thing on the lunch menu that I'll order; $10 for the Ropa Vieja. They have wireless but it didn't work .I wasn't able to connect to either of their servers.

They've increased the price, but something new is a cup of soup. Broccoli cheese today.

Pretty pedestrian stuff. A bit too chunky; this needed more time with the immersion blender.

The Ropa doesn't require cooking, so it came out right away; before I was done with the soup.

This was never great, but this is much worse that what I've gotten before. No red peppers, No onions in the beans. And this wasn't flank steak; maybe chuck, maybe a bottom round. Not too tomatoey. Kind of bland. Very disappointing.

As usual, when I wanted my check my server was nowhere to be found. No offer of a refill on my tea when he did show up. 15% tip seemed generous.

Conclusion

There's nothing new here; same menu, price up $1, and service seems moribund. No different than the other Latin choices around town. Ok food, good lunch value, indifferent service. The food used to be better. It's becoming a large chain restaurant.

Another restaurant gone bad in Fort Lauderdale.

Review 8/5/14

Felt like some "Cuban" Food. La Bamba serves a host of Mexican and "Spanish" dishes, and it's a pretty comfortable restaurant to roll and and roll out for a quick lunch.

90% of what happens here is purely mechanical . You don't really have 1 server; lots of people will be brining you stuff and checking on you. I order tea; they even have lemon where a lot of the latin place only have lime.

Chips come out immediately. I think they have a guy who just watches for new people to come in and he brings out the chips.

Tea comes seconds later. You have a drink and chips within 2 minutes of sitting down.

They have a bunch of good menu items but their regular entrees are huge for about $12.95, and I wasn't eating that much today. The only lunch special I like is the Ropa Vieja, so I ordered that.

The chips are good; the salsas vary. Today the mild salsa was good; sometimes it's too mushy, so I ate a bunch of chips.

The ropa came out shortly.

The first thing I noticed was that the bowl was filled with beans. No cheaping out on the lunch special like at other places. I got a 1/2 bowl at Jalisco. The beans are good hear; they have onions and I pulled a bay leaf out.

The ropa isn't the best here; it's more like a brown gravy than a garlicky tomato sauce, but it's a solid lunch and a great value for $7.95; under $10 with a beverage.

Review 7/1/13

The plan to lunch at Ferdo's didn't work out as they're on vacation for the week, so I just went across the street to La Bamba. La Bamba is always a solid choice; consistently decent if not remarkable.

They tried to seat me in front of the register, which is always a mistake, so I requested something further back. Chips come almost immediately.

SOS here. Good chips, good mild salsa, and I don't like the "spicy". I was planning on having a big dinner, so I wanted to keep lunch light, but I didn't want anything on the Lunch Menu. Lunch comes with soup and a drink with no refills. I went for the La Bamba combo, which includes a beef taco, chicken enchilada and a chile relleno.

Music here is festive Mexican. My idea for a light lunch was struck down by the portion.

Adding to this, another plate came out with the taco.

All of it pretty good, none of it great. Another 3 star meal at La Bamba.

Review 7/17/2012

Two years; time for another visit to La Bamba, the mini chain restaurant with the standard Latin Menu. A relatively comfortable restaurant.

Servers are flying around. There's not a lot of English being spoken here.

My server was an older guy who moved more slowly than the others.

My server was an older guy who moved more slowly than the others.. I got some iced tea and looked over the lunch specials, which are smaller portions for about $7.95 each. I wanted something different from the usual small steak or enchilada. I decided on the Chiles Rellenos. They have wireless but it's locked; too much trouble to ask for a password. The food came out in a few minutes on a piping hot plate.

This is a lot of food for $12.95. I could have split this into 2 meals but I ate it all except for 1/2 the rice. The ranchero sauce wasn't that good, but the peppers where done just right and there was plenty of gooey cheese. Canned refried beans I think, but they're pretty nasty regardless. $1.50 for iced tea; you get a whole day full of calories for $15.

La Bamba is a very popular place mainly because its inexpensive, they have a large menu and you can get in and out fast. The food is as good or better than the fast food places; and it feels more like a restaurant.

Review 8/6/10

The La Bamba mini-chain of Mexican restaurants bridge the gap between fast food and authentic Mexican. La Bamba is not a take-out place; its a full-scale restaurant. Inside, you almost feel like you could be in Mexico. The decor, the music, and the fast but impersonal service.

La Bamba III is a loud place. Its inexpensive, which lends itself to families, so expect some crying babies and kids running around. The place is mostly booths, some for 2 and most for 4 people. The walls are painted like old-world mexican architecture. There's a bar up front, but its closed at lunch time.

The servers are efficient and very formal. there's a lot of them running around. At lunchtime, its pretty busy. But ordering here is easy. They have lunch specials that include a soft drink with no refills. You just tell them which of the 10 or so items you want and they're off. I was asked about a beverage as soon as I sat down and it arrived quickly along with a big bowl of fresh chips and both hot and mild salsa. The cilantro was still dry. So far so good until I went to sweeten the iced tea. No Splenda. Good grief.

Not much later another server marches over with a big tray with 4 dishes on it; one of which was mine. Ropa Vieja, white rice and a bowl of black beans with onion.

The food is better than fast food, but doesn't quite make the grade as really good either. It seems mass produced. While Ropa Vieja is a slow simmered dish, there are just no real flavors and too much pedestrian gravy. Its just ok.

La Bamba is a very popular place mainly because its inexpensive, they have a large menu and you can get in and out fast. The food fine if you want to go to a restaurant but don't want to pay restaurant prices.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Concerned Citizen
Reply
What are those whites things floating on top of your beans in that picture?
Administrator
Reply
Reflection from the too bright flash of an iPhone. The first picture is with no flash; maybe the iPhone 11 will have a natural light option. The non-flash picture I took didn't focus properly.
Administrator
Reply
Facelift Complete.

Next: Sicilian Oven