Updated
Mar 6th, 2019
First Posted
May 30th, 2018

Random Stuff From Around Town

After my crappy breakfast at Java & Jam, I was motivated to whip something up myself. A USDA prime strip, asparagus, and real hollandaise sauce made with Julia Child method. This, my friends, is breakfast.

Once a year people put on santa caps and swarm Las Olas. Tonight (Dec 22, 2018) is the night.

A pretty bad accident was holding up traffic and then I saw the driver. Probably on her way to get another tattoo.

I voted the other day; voting is very slow moving this year. There are 12 referendums, so it takes a while to go through the ballot; which means that the line moves very slowly. This seemingly short line took 1/2 hour. Expect long waits on Election day. So plan accordingly.

If you were wondering why Las Olas was closed at night for a couple of weeks here it is. Instead of ticketing people for making illegal turns, they decided to put in an island. Pretty amateurish paint job; I hope that's just a first coat.

While I was waiting at the seafood counter at Penn Dutch I noticed this sign; "From the Gulf" and notice on the bottom it says "Wild Caught * Argentina". Last time I looked at a map, Argentina isn't in "The Gulf". No matter, they were pretty good.

It's pretty cool when you're driving on I95 and a plane flies right in front of you.

Losers of the Week

Some visitors from Nebraska caught my eye. They're not losers because they liked Bernie; they're losers for still having the bumper stickers on their car 2 years later. And why do you need 3?

Target in Fort Lauderdale has re-installed self-checkout, and there are twice as many as before. "Express" checkout in this store has always been a disaster; I just rolled through with the new checkouts. And nobody asked if I wanted to sign up for a red card.

I thought the tourists were mostly gone, but apparently there are still a few around. I don't think I've ever done anything like this while sober.

Who knew these little guys ran on gas?

This strange, head-turning vehicle was sighted cruising around town this afternoon. I'm not sure what it's all about, but they seemed to be supporters of President Trump.

Starting the New Year off right is important, and how better than with my personal Shrimp and Cheese Grits for breakfast? You're not getting food like this in this town people.

The City of Fort Lauderdale is systematicaly destroying this city; traffic has become bad and its going to get much worse. The intersection at US1 and Broward is a disaster; this is the backup at about 2:30pm; 4 or 5 light cycles. and you're absolutely trapped from turning around.E Sunrise has been equally ridiculous. And they keep building more and more apartments and hotels.

Fort Lauderdale is going to make Brickell look like a suburban mall by the time they're done.

Fort Lauderdale is spending our tax dollars on electronic no right turn signs; because illegal right turns is a huge problem. It's actually not entirely clear what the sign is at first; I thought it was equivalent to a red arrow. Later I surmised that it was no turn on red, since the light clearly had turn signals already.

Bike paths, crap like this. The bozos running things in this city sure have no regard for our money.

2 weeks after the "hurricane", traffic lights are still out in Fort Lauderdale. Here a worker fills the gas tank on a generator powering a traffic light at the corner of SE 3rd and Las Olas.

While waiting at one of the seemingly thousands of drawbridges in Fort Lauderdale, I notice cardboard cutouts of Trump and Melania in the bay window overlooking commercial. Funny stuff.

I'm wondering if the 7/11 over by Fresh Market is closed for good? On Friday, 5 full days after the storm, it's still boarded up with no gas. I get why they would be closed if they don't have electricity, but I don't see why they'd still be boarded up. Maybe they took this opportunity to bail out? The 7/11 on Sunrise closed a couple of years ago, and the convenience store over by New River Pizza closed as well. 7/11s are a big deal on Long Island, but they don't seem to be down here. On Long Island, they have milk, cream, light cream and 9 flavors and coffee is a huge deal for them. Down here, not so much.

UPDATE: It's not closed. It reopened a week after the storm.

The Escape Lounge opened up just in time for the big mess as they prepare to tear down the adjacent buildings. The road is a real mess. Some moron tried to park in front of Pita Pit while I was behind them; No, there's no parking on Brickell for the foreseeable future.

Coral Ridge Mall is getting a new floor, so you Mall Walkers may want to use an alternate venue for the time being.

There was some sort of accident at Oakland Park and US1; a stand-still traffic jam that had me turning around. As I was waiting to make a U Turn, this Fire Truck Ambulance pulled out of a driveway and started to go the wrong way down US1. OK, I figured, They didn't want to have to go down and turn around. Except they didn't cut over the the northbound side after they hit the light; they kept going the wrong way at full speed. Must have been fun for people seeing a Truck speeding towards them going the wrong way.

Breaking Bad

This is what happens when you take your eyes off the road. This was a 3 car accident (I just happen to be driving by), so it's likely that someone up front stopped short, so the 3rd car had little or no notice. Don't TAILGATE!

You know this disastrous area where sunrise meets US1 and cars are cutting across. City planning at it's worst. This section of Sunrise is a total mess all day long.

Oakland Park road is closed at the Railroad this weekend, so AVOID it at all costs. Combined with the nightmarish traffic for the Tortuga concert and you might want to just stay home (or head west) this weekend.

Amazon Locker is now available in downtown Fort Lauderdale. So if you're buying a blow-up love doll or a gift for your girlfriend and you don't want your wife to find out, you can now have stuff delivered to a locker.

The one pictured here is at the 7-11 across from Fresh Market.

Rainbows are real, sometimes you even get a double rainbow. Nice stuff.

A sure sign that taxes are too high is when you have police cars dedicated to investigate accidents. When you have a lot of 90 year olds driving around, fender benders are aplenty.

If you have a water cooler and lug your own water like I do (instead of paying $7 for 5 gallons to a service), you probably head to Publix every couple of weeks to fill up your 5 gallon jug of water for $1.75. If you're really adventurous you can go down to the Publix across from Galleria and get it for $1.60. And now, they've installed one at the Home Depot on E Sunrise for just $1.25 for 5 gallons.

Cheap water is back.

Flood last night at the downtown Valet. I've never seen it like this before.

While I see cars making illegal right on red all the time, usually you figure it's someone not familiar with the neighborhood. There are 2 signs at this intersection, and it's particularly dangerous because you can't see through the brick wall on the left.

However I DO expect cabs to know that you can't make a ROR here, but this cabbie didn't care. First he crept into the road to see around the corner, then he made the right. Where are the police when you need them?

Fort Lauderdale has rolled out their new stealth police cars. Pretty snazzy. This officer had stopped to deal with an abandoned bicycle.

This menu is hilarious and scary at the same time. It illustrates everything I've been saying about the restaurant scene. Every restaurant is selling the same junk; the same model from the same blueprint. It also shows how underdeveloped the palates are of modern diners.

Florida Powerball Winner

It was announced early that someone in Florida was one of 3 winners of the $1.5B powerball jackpot. The winning ticket was purchased at a Publix in Melbourne Beach. Sorry Broward Countians.

Road Rage

You can't even go to the supermarket these days without some asshole getting out of his car to give you the finger. This dude took exception to my blowing my horn at him. I was simply trying to convey that waiting to make an illegal turn across 3 lanes at rush hour wasn't a good idea. I hate people like this; they'll sit and wait for 10 minutes to save them from driving a half block to make a U Turn.

He ended up making the turn anyway, weaving across 3 lanes of traffic.

You have to be careful in modern times when you get out of your car as there might be a dashcam on you. Luckily he didn't come at me with a tire iron or anything.

Planes on Fire

A plane caught fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport today, October 29th. So expect some delays.

One bad thing about this time of year is that the City decides to fix all of the streets; even the ones that don't really need fixing. They're ripping up the roads in Lauderdale by the Sea, even though they just redid the entire town 2 summers ago. A1A by 33rd Street is closed on one side; you can't even get into the neighborhood with circling around the back.

And they've also ripped up Las Olas Boulevard; we all know about the construction further east that's been going on for 2 years. It's kind of absurd to think that so much road work is needed on main roads all at the same time. But nothing much makes sense when it comes to the City of Fort Lauderdale.

The real absurdity is the Bike Path logos that they've started putting on main road, even though there is no bike paths. The tens of thousands of people sitting in traffic simply must yield to the 5 people on bikes because a bunch of old ladies say so.

One bad thing about new cars is that they make minor non-issues seem like a big deal; like my tire pressure monitor complaining about 39.9 psi pressure like I had a flat tire or something. In order to get rid of the warning, I have to add air. I knew that the 7-11 next to Fresh market had an air machine, so I stopped in on my way to the supermarket.

When I pulled in, I was appalled at the cost. $1.25 for air? Are you F'ing kidding me?

The details in the fine print indicate that you can get 4 minutes for $1 or 5 minutes for $1.25. What a bargain. But adding insult to injury, they don't take bills. Only coins and credit cards. Luckily I had 4 quarters.

This is an abject rip-off. Anyone who know Air sources around Fort Lauderdale feel free to post comments. We need to end this Tyranny.

Part of a European Rocket washed up on Fort Lauderdale Beach Sunday morning; part of the European Union's Galileo rocket. The rocket was used to launch navigation satellites.

Broward Blvd Closure

They're going to close Broward Blvd at the railroad crossing from 10pm Wed July 22 to 5am Monday July 27 as work on the new All Aboard Railroad station is to begin. Expect major jam up on Thursday and Friday.

A Disturbing Trend on Las Olas

Last week, I noticed a banner offering a "summer special" on the street at the Tuscan Grill. I thought to myself "Are we allowing free advertising on the street now. What if every restaurant on the street decided to do the same thing".

Well Lo and Behold, today I saw that both Grill Republic and Noodles Panini also have banners advertising their specials.

Signs have to be approved, so why can someone hang a banner out on the street? If you let one restaurant do it, you have to let all of them do it. Which means that you can't let any of them do it. Today we have 3, pretty soon Las Olas looks like a NASCAR chevy.

Golden Globe Fort Lauderdale

Apparently, the World's Fair is coming to the Lime Green shopping Center. Inexplicably, the strip mall with Joe's Crab Shack and Lime Fresh Mexican has a gold globe in the middle of the parking lot. Are they trying to draw in new tenants? How about painting the buildings a DIFFERENT COLOR?

It appears that the Lobster Bar Sea Grill's Valet service has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. They have a sign sending customers to the general Las Olas valet next to Timpano. That's a pretty long walk for the jet-setters on a rainy day.

Note that this is only during construction, so at night the Valet is up and running normally.

2 More kids out of work because of the ICON.

There's a Smoothie King opening between Offerdahl's and Subway off of las olas. We don't list Smoothie Kings because smoothies aren't food and we've learned that a cup of sugar isn't really good for you, even if some of it used to be fruit.

Lobster Bar Valet Moved

I noticed that the Lobster Bar Sea Grill has moved their Valet down from the end of the street. It's probably not that great for them with the cement trucks running in and out of the Icon all day, but at least they'll clog up Las Olas less than before. I WONDER if my post a month or so ago had some impact?

Traffic in Hollywood

If you haven't been down to Hollywood beach lately; don't think about it. It's a complete disaster. The place is under construction, and the traffic system is still stuck in the 1970s. Want to wait 4 cycles to make a turn? Downtown Hollywood is also under construction, and the traffic jam at the Circle is another waste of 20 minutes.

I don't see how the 1 road in Hollywood Beach is going to be able to handle the new hotels and resorts. It's going to be a place that you'll have to stay; because just going for the day will be a day stuck in traffic.

Glass of Caymus

For some unknown reason, they were selling Caymus 2011 Special Selection for $18 a glass at the Royal Pig Pub. This stuff goes for $120/bottle retail, which means that it should go for $40 or more per glass. I wouldn't pay $40 for it, but for $18 it's a treat. Too bad I didn't have a nice steak to go with it.

Trucks in the Left Lane?

Is that law where trucks are banned from the 2 left lanes in Broward and Palm Beach still in effect? Where are the cops when you need them?

Tunies Coming Soon

Tunies will be opening in the old Office Depot space at the intersection of US1 and Sunrise Blvd. The idea here is simple; offer the same kind of products as Whole Foods at a much lower price point.

Tunies is a full service supermarket selling supplements and organic produce to those who believe that those things matter. While the "science" overwhelmingly rejects the idea that organic food is more nutritious; the massive health food lobby continues to convince people to spend more of their disposable incoming on alternative grains and organic foods. They've done a remarkable job selling snake oil to the masses.

Who would have thought that this area featuring frequent Gun Shows and abandoned buildings would be the home of Fresh Market and Tunies?

This is their 3rd location; all of which are in South Florida.

Lobster Bar Sea Grille Valet is a Hazard

Something needs to be done about these restaurant valet parking setups. The Lobster Bar Sea Grille had created a serious hazard. This picture illustrates the problem; they have cars parked in the street for an entire block. I can't tell you home many times there's a car that stops and swings the door open, right in front of me in the middle of the road. The problem expands to the other side of the street at night, when they'll have 2 or 3 cars in the road. It's just a disaster.

What's really bad about this situation is that cars turning on Las Olas are often faced with parked cars in the middle of the road. The city needs to address this issue.

Santa-con 2014

Once a year, thousands of people dress up in santa-like garb and go bar-hopping through downtown Fort Lauderdale. It's like a bad halloween party with everyone wearing the same costume. There was even a couple in their 60s. The good thing is that they all leave at once, no unlike locusts.

Having a Bad Day

I'm not sure why it gives those of us who drive cars worth less than $100K a certain pleasure when we see an expensive sports car being lifted into a flatbed: but it does.

An Accident on 95 is always a bad day. It also creates a nice traffic jam, which can ruin your lunch hour.

Imagine renting a U-Haul and having it break down while you're moving all of your stuff? As if moving isn't stressful enough.

Wrong Way

It's not unusual in Fort Lauderdale to encounter an automobile in the middle of the road facing the wrong direction. I'm sitting at a traffic light and trying to figure out what was going on. Apparently there was an accident and no police had yet arrived. Very bizarre.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Big Spender
Reply
I stayed at the W for my birthday two nights they charged $650 a night per room plus $40 a night to park and the steakhouse 954 a total ripoff....Crazy prices...but the tourists have big 401k's thanks to Trump so who cares....
Administrator
Reply
Avoid the Beach! All of the hotels are booked. It's a madhouse down there.
Administrator
Reply
Update: The 7/11 has reopened.
Jerry C
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Has New Times Broward/Palm Beach Food & Drink permanently shut down? They have not made any updates this entire month. You seem to be in the know about the local food scene so I thought you might know.
Administrator
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Hopefully. I have no idea. They haven't had a serious food writer in years. Eventually people catch on that they're just filling space.
Administrator
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Fort Lauderdale has sunk to a new low: There's going to be a "Taco Battle" this year, aka CretinFest. Good Grief.
J Allen
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What has happened to Restaurant Critic John Tanasychuk at the Sun Sentinel? He has not posted anything for about two months now. He was mostly only hitting the high end restaurants in Miami in the last year, regardless that it had little to do with Broward dining, Has he left or been fired? His tenure always gave the impression he was a Mariani type grifter critic, since he wrote many effusively gushing 3-4 star reviews for terrible restaurants. The new dining team seems pretty ragtag and even has the gossip columnist enlisted for the most recent reviews! Since you cover the local scene so thoroughly, I am surprised you have not addressed this yet, or perhaps I have missed it.
Administrator
Reply
Hopefully he's gone. The Sun Sentinel stopped doing effective reviews when he started. He was the first (AFAIK) to use his real name and post his image, so everyone knows who he is. Which makes a joke out of the process.

"Psst, there's a food critic in the house, beef up the portions and don't be snarky".

The funniest thing he ever did was review Big City Tavern (a Carma Client). It's 2 blocks from the old Sentinel Building and he'd never been there in 10 years; then he wrote about it like it was the greatest restaurant ever. A clear shill if I ever saw one. Of course everyone in the place knows what he looks like.

He was suspiciously going out of his way to review clients of Carma PR just before he left.

I've subsequently found out that Tanasychuk took a buy out when the Sun-Sentinel Publisher "retired'. Many of the higher paid old timers were bought out; The paper is now at the level of New Times; paying kiddie wages to anyone who can form a sentence to do what professionals used to do.
Dan I Cook
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Let me get this straight....you need be an anonymous food writer not be a joke? I disagree with you. What I don't like about these corporate food writers is they get a salary to write and their meals are paid for by the company. I wrote about the new Sun Sentinal Food Columinst and what a joke he is.
Administrator
Reply
You're not a joke just because you're not anonymous, but you're a joke if you work for a newspaper, post your picture everywhere, and convince yourself that you're some sort of objective observer. I understand that if a place knows who I am, the experience is going to be different. I'm more likely to observe how others are treated in those cases, rather than how I'm treated myself.

It's a joke when a restaurant reviewer shows up with his entourage and the managers and servers all know who he is. It's not unlike writing a review telling everyone how great the service is at a bar where you're a regular. Regulars get treated differently. If they know you're writing a review, they treat you differently.

As far as paying for things yourself, that's a factor that you never get from a professional critic, and it's a very important one. Price is the key reason I never go to Bossi's or Wild Sea or Lobster Bar Sea Grille. Or why I don't pay $11 for a glass of wine from an $8 bottle on Las Olas. If everything was free, we'd all act a lot differently.

Next: Top Hat Deli