Last Update
May 11th, 2018

PDQ

1207 SE 17th St
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
954 644-5208
Overall Rating
3.0
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
05/10/2018

Details

Hours: 10:30am-10:30pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private lot
CC: Yes
Outdoor: Yes
Delivery: No

Pros

Fast Casual Feel
Good Chicken
Good Beverage Station

Cons

Meal Deals Aren's much of a Deal
It's Just Chicken

Critic's Review

I drive past this huge restaurant all the time and the place is always dead empty around 2:30. They invited me to their openings and I gave them a fighting chance, but chicken tenders just aren't that interesting to me. I make chicken at home a lot; I don't usually eat it when I'm eating out. But they seem to have a new menu; they haven't said it out loud, but it seems they've moved away from the dreaded "tender". The word tender doesn't appear on the new menu.

They've also redesigned their cornhole boards. Too hot to eat outside. I've never seen anyone sitting outside at this restaurant. Or anyone playing cornhole for that matter.

Inside the place was dead empty with 1 other patron. They have a cheerwine display at the register; cheerwine is cherry soda; not wine and I opted not to try it.

I wanted to try the tomato salad, so I opted to sub out he fries for the salad for a .99 upcharge. It's not much of a bargain; the meal is $3 more so you're paying $3.99 for an iced tea and a side, which is only a 49 cent savings.

They have green tea and unsweetened tea and sweet tea; I did half unsweet and half green and one of them turned out to be flavored. Not sure what it was but it wasn't plain tea. They have fresh lemon so that's a bonus.

In the rear section they have some booths; they had lacrosse on the TV which shows that nobody was managing the TVs; it happened to be my Alma Mater SUNY Albany playing. I have to confess that in 4 years at Albany I never went to see a lacrosse game; nor did I know we had a lacrosse team. It certainly doesn't belong on a TV in a restaurant.

I'm always baffled by how this place can be so empty at 2:45.

I'd ordered the "Buffy Bleu" sandwich, an unfortunate name for a chicken finger sandwich with a buffalo blue cheese sauce. This tray of food and drink was under $10, but not much.

The Feta Tomato Salad turned out to be a waste; the lousy grape tomatoes are never welcome, and the salad was a lot smaller than I was expecting for $2.49 in a fast food restaurant.

The sandwich, however, was excellent. The chicken fingers reminded me of the soft, tasty fingers I used to crave at Houlihan's back when Houlihan's was a good restaurant. The buffalo blue sauce was well balanced and not too hot or cheesy.

The lettuce served no purpose and the bun was a non factor.

This sandwich reminded me of the great buffalo chicken sliders they used to have at the Royal Pig when they first opened. Better than Spatch by a wide margin. I highly recommend it.

Conclusion

This place has expanded to over 60 locations and frankly I don't get it; it's a pretty simple idea and just about every restaurant has chicken sandwiches. And who wants to compete with Chick-Fil-A? It's not as good as Chick-Fil-A, but they have some interesting stuff on the menu.

Review 9/15/14

I got a mailer with a no-strings free "meal" and I'm not one to miss a free meal. I've tried most of the menu among the 3 locations, but I hadn't had a salad yet.

New since my last visit is the patio with nice colorful umbrellas. They also have cornhole, which I presume is free.

Not much action on the patio when it's still 90 degrees. It was pretty late, almost 3pm, so the place was pretty dead.

I feel kind of funny ordering something for free in a place where there's no tipping. But they're getting their money's worth with this writeup, so I wasn't going to order more calories just for the heck of it.

I didn't want crispy chicken and I didn't want candied almonds, so my only choice was the chicken caesar, which is normally $7.99 for the "meal". A salad meal is just a salad and a drink and it save you 50 cents over the regular prices. No big deal, but at least they're not forcing you to get something you don't want.

They do a nice job with the atmosphere, as fast casual goes. Good music from Duran, Duran, Lifehouse and 5 seconds of Summer.

I grabbed an iced tea; they have sweet, unsweetened and green; my name was called out while I was at the beverage station.

I asked for both Caesar and Creamy Garlic dressing on the side as I wanted to try both. I'd sampled the Garlic before and I liked it.

I was confused by the dressings. They weren't marked; the darker one was nice and garlicky but the lighter one was sweet; neither tasted like caesar. I asked an employee who said that the darker one was caesar, but as I tasted it more, I think that they may have given me honey mustard. The lighter dressing wasn't anything like the garlic dressing I'd tasted at the Oakland Park location

All in All, nothing unexpected with the salad. I'm just not certain which dressing I liked best.

Conclusion

PDQ is fast-casual chicken joint with an atmosphere that is more conducive to adults than fast food places. You're still eating a salad out of a flimsy plastic bowl with a plastic fork, but you are doing it for $5 less (or more) than at a restaurant, with no tipping.

Pre-Opening Review 6/12/14

Like all of their other restaurants, there's a complicated drive through that wraps around the building, and a big parking lot. The buildings are all pretty much the same inside and out. For this location, the entrance is away from the parking lot; just follow the arrows.

All 3 of their area locations are virtually identical inside. They have boisterous music and sort of a DJ calling out your name when your order is ready.

I wanted to try the grilled chicken sandwich (unbreaded) but I didn't want the wheat bun, so I exercised the cashier by ordering it with the egg bun. You get a side and a drink with a "meal", but not a shake. I convinced them to give me both, as I wanted to try a Chocolate "Malt".

One good thing about PDQ is their beverage station, particularly if you drink Iced Tea. They have the 100 choice soda machine, but also freshly brewed green, unsweetened and sweet tea, as well as fresh lemon. No begging for extra lemon here.

Someone offered to carry my tray, which I thought was odd since I don't use a walker. I found a table and pondered my take.

I opened the chicken sandwich; they gave me a big wad of lettuce; I had to remove some.

The chicken had a spicy glaze on it; I can't say that I liked it. The crunchy chicken is definitely better. I dug into the slaw, which I loved when I had it at the Pompano Location. This one had a lot more blueberries, which was the part I didn't particularly want.

I was saddened and disappointed that this slaw wasn't anything like the one I'd gotten before. It had no taste at all; even salting and peppering it couldn't save it. I can't say if they changed their recipe or if someone didn't make it right, but this was no good at all.

The shake was decent; make sure you use the fat straw because the shake is too thick to drink with a regular straw.

Frankly I couldn't tell much difference between the Malt and the regular chocolate shake. The kids will like it but it's not a plus shake compared to what you get at a real ice cream place.

PDQ sort of bridges the gap between fast food places and fast casual; it's fast food in a much nicer atmosphere with better service and a higher end beverage experience.

As an operation, they're the exact opposite of what we're used to on Las Olas. They invite locals to try their food while training, they send out information (not propaganda) about the business so the community can be informed, and they open on a Sunday so they don't have a disaster on opening night with untrained employees trying to service a mob. The Restaurant People could learn a lot from these guys.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Jay
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We went the other night to the location on N Federal, as they were offering 50% off for nurses, and have always had a pleasant experience. Sadly, it seems 9pm is not the best hour to visit. I've been there when it's insanely busy, and always been impressed with how tight a ship was being run... I guess during the later hours, there's no management and everything gets sloppy. We ordered 2 sandwiches amongst some nuggets and tenders, and upon getting home found only a single sandwich - a sorry looking tender with a piece of lettuce. The rest was poor in comparison to previous visits too. Guess visiting during rush hour is the way to do it!
Roslynn
Reply
PDQ wasting their money on a Yelp event. It's chicken tenders. It's not that interesting. Raving reviews from teenagers who got them for free isn't going to help.
Administrator
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Restaurants think that bogus, rosy reviews help them, but they really hurt. They create unrealistic expectations, and then they end up getting a lot of bad reviews, because people get pissed that they've been deceived.

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