Updated
Aug 15th, 2017
First Posted
Aug 15th, 2017

Tropical Cafe

915 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33304
(954) 828-1234
Overall Rating
2.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Last Review
04/27/2013

Details

Hours: 8am-4pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Beer
Entree Prices: Moderate
Outdoor: No
Reservations: No

Pros

Lots of Free Parking
Authentic Feel
Good Cuban Sandwich

Cons

Low End Feel
Gruff Service

Insider Tips

Stick to the Cuban Sandwich

Critic's Review

The sign is down, but I believe they're still open.

Review 4/27/13

You know this place. It's that place on US1 with the big "Home of the Cuban Sandwich" sign next to Sears. You probably didn't know the real name of the place. And you've probably never been inside. At least that was my story.

Taking the bait, a few years back I stopped in and got a cuban sandwich. It was, in fact, a very good sandwich for $7.25; it even includes tax and a bag of chips.

A short while later, I decided to order some Ropa Vieja for take out; I called in advance and picked it up on my way home from Publix.

When I opened the container I was a bit surprised; it was the first version of ropa vieja that I'd seen without any onions or peppers. It was quite dry, usually quite a bit of the braising liquid is included. And it was a pretty small portion. They don't have a lunch menu, but this seemed like a half portion. For $8.95 it wasn't such a good deal. It wasn't bad but I wouldn't be ordering it again.

Today, my plans to eat breakfast out were squashed by an unexpected special event which caused a usually empty part of town packed with no parking. I'd psyched myself up for some food; I was thinking of the chorizo omelets they had on the menu at Senor Cafe, and then I remembered that Tropical Cafe served breakfast and it was on the way home. So I stopped in.

They've changed a bit for the better, the cheap vinyl tablecloths are gone.

They have a counter with a couple of seats, which is typical in these small, Cuban cafes.

I was looking at the menu choices; there is no sausage at the Tropical Cafe. No chorizo. So my hope for a spicy omelet was down the drain. I'd had no service at this point, and a Cuban guy came in and sat at the table next to mine. Immediately the owner dude came bounding out to take his order. After taking care of him, he stopped by to see what I wanted. I ordered the steak and eggs, mainly because there was nothing else of interest.

First came the coffee. Cafe con Leche is served in a styrofoam cup.

There was was too much sugar in the coffee, to the point where I couldn't drink it. I've weened myself off of loading up my coffee with sugar and you really don't like it once you're used to it without it.

He dropped off some bread also, which is an entire loaf of cuban bread with some sort of butter- like spread.

Can't complain about the portion. Soon enough, the eggs came out.

Not exactly a porterhouse steak; slightly thicker than steak-um. I think it was the McDonald's style hash brown which threw me the most, although the hash brown block was the best part of the meal.

Kind of a wonky breakfast; sort of like eating at your Aunt's and you have to deal with home cooking that isn't quite what you're used to.

Stick to the Cuban Sandwiches here. They've got the sign right.

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