Updated
Mar 21st, 2018
First Posted
Jan 19th, 2018

Doc B's Fresh Kitchen

425 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
(754) 900-2401
Overall Rating
2.4
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
01/18/2018

Details

Hours: M-Thu 11-10pm, Fri-Sat 11-11pm, Sun 11-9pm
Parking: Valet Only
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
HasWifi: yes
Wifi password: freshkitchen!
Outdoor: Yes
Happy Hour: 4p - 6p $4 Beer, $6 Select Wines Bar Bites Menu

Pros

Handsome Restaurant
Friendly Service

Cons

Wildly Overpriced
No Lunch Menu or Specials
They Nickel and Dime you with Ingredients
The Entire Concept seems Bogus
Everything is on a Bun, even the Corned Beef

Insider Tips

Bring your own Mustard and Ketchup

Critic's Review

Doc B's has changed their happy hour once again; now it's every day from 4p to 6p. I thought I'd check it out after dropping off a package at Fed Ex.

When they first opened, the outside space didn't have this wall, but now it does. Not sure what that's about.

I walked in shortly after 5p and they had about 50% of the bar seats occupied. No scene here; just the usual older and gay couple crowd trying to save a few bucks by drinking before dinner time.

The seats at the bar are a bit too high. I'm not a tall guy, and I felt like I was in a high chair.

The TVs here serve no purpose; no news on; just ESPN and the NFL network. There aren't any brains at work here.

The only real deal here is on liquor; bottom shelf most likely, for $6. They also have the dreaded "select wines", which means you can't get what you want, for $6, but most of them available are only worth $8 - $9 / glass and I choose not to drink something I don't like just because it's on sale.

All of the tap beers are $4, which to me isn't really much of a deal. Ridiculously, they don't have a menu for the beer. Not even a page with the beers listed; do they have a printer in the office? Print out a list. It's a restaurant.

Rather than trying to have the bartender explain 10 beers to me, I just ordered the Stout.

Now in order to understand the "Happy Hour" here, you need some context. They've tried a few really stupid things here, and the current thing they're trying really stinks. First, for the insult. Check out the Tampa Happy Hour:

Now that's a happy hour. Nothing like that in Fort Lauderdale. Now take a look at the nightly specials menu in Tampa; there's a reason I'm showing this to you.

Notice the description of the items. Now take a look at the Fort Lauderdale Happy Hour food choices. Pretty lame, right? Sides of French Fries and Cole Slaw? Seriously. I didn't want a piece of Fried Chicken. The only thing edible seemed like the $6 burger. With no description on the menu, I had no idea if it was a real burger; What the hell is a "roadside burger". Made with Road Kill? I asked if it was an actual burger rather than a slider, and after getting an affirmative response, I ordered it medium rare. The bartender girl seemed disappointed that I didn't want fries or a side with the burger; I wasn't falling for the $3 for the fries game.

They have 3 WiFi networks and I initially didn't see the "Guest" network, which is what you need to connect to. The music here is completely mismatched with the middle aged crowd: "Teenage Crime", Kygo Feat, "Latch". Absolute garbage music.

The burger came out in 14 minutes. I opened it up and it seemed like your basic burger special burger. I was actually surprised that it came with cheese; Closer examination shows that it's EXACTLY the description of the Tampa "Homage Burger"; the $5 dinner special in Tampa. How innovative!

The burger was delivered without salt, pepper or ketchup. A runner actually had to go into the kitchen to get me ketchup, because they make their own ketchup here, which is never a good thing.

Quote of the day:

He who thinks he can make a better ketchup than Heinz is lost

I cut the burger to see the doneness. Burned and medium. What do I expect for $6 at a wildly overpriced restaurant?

The ketchup, not as good as Heinz of course, was edible and overall the burger was fine. Better medium than raw. But it's delusional to serve this without salt or ketchup.

The Stout exemplifies my experience with "craft" beer. It wasn't as good as Guinness. So what's the point? Why not just sell Guinness? How stupid are Millenials?

Conclusion

LIke my first impression of Doc B's, this happy hour BLOWS. If you drink cocktails at 5pm then maybe you'll like it better than I did. There's no scene, a poorly conceived food menu that isn't that much of a bargain, and cherry picked wines,

Here's what's going on here. They're trying to figure out how stupid we are. Why is the happy hour here not nearly as good as the one in Tampa? Why is there no "daily dinner special" in Fort Lauderdale? Before this offering, Happy Hour was only Thursday through Sunday. I suspect they had an empty bar all week.

Maybe in 2 years they'll have something competitive. What they have now is a joke and is somewhat insulting.

Review 2/23/17

The first big new restaurant to open in Fort Lauderdale for quite a while. Spatch kept us occupied but it's fast-food chicken. This is an actual restaurant.

The first thing you need to know is that this restaurant doesn't understand Florida pricing. They're charging the same price at the Walton Street Chicago location, where the rents are $130/ft, as they are in Fort Lauderdale. The second thing is that the parking is a disaster. They have a valet lot with a one car wide entry in the Fresh Market parking lot. I'd hate to see this place when Fresh Market is open and there are more than 10 people in the place.

Today wasn't one of those days, at least not at 2:30pm. It was a beautiful day and they have a nice outside space, but I wanted to get a feel for the restaurant from the inside. I parked at Fresh Market surmising that they wouldn't have me towed. Doc B's isn't a threat to them at the moment, but they need all of their spots so I expect that to change eventually.

There's a bar in the front with some edgy chairs; I don't particularly like it when places line up the rollups and menus like this. A bar should be inviting; Maybe I just want a beer. I don't want to feel like they don't want me here if I'm not having a $25 lunch. I wasn't sitting at the bar anyway, particularly with nobody here.

"Sit Anywhere", greeted the hostess. Music to my ears. I didn't want to sit near the bar, and I needed to take some good pictures, so I opted for a booth for 2 in the back, figuring I'd have full privacy.

I was wrong, of course, as 5 minutes after I sat down they seated a group of 4 a couple of tables down. A girl who wasn't my server came by to take my beverage order. I ordered an iced tea with extra lemon, as always. I asked her if there were any specials, but she said "Not Yet". She's apparently not trained to tell me the Soup of the Day. Remember this for later.

My dude server came over and asked if I wanted to order an appetizer. The hard sell is in full play here. "No, I'll just have the Cobb Salad, Please". Just after he left, my tea was delivered with a generous supply of lemon.

I kind of like the mini ice cubes. Something different that isn't a bad thing.

One thing clear and obvious is that the music is way too loud; like Yolo on a Saturday night. I think they heard that Fort Lauderdale is a party town, but that doesn't explain why they close at 11 on weekends. Music is pretty good, however, with "People Watching", "Love Myself" and Tim McGraw's "Losing You" detected.

Something else worthy of note is that the booths for 4 are designed for slimish or smaller people. The men in the group of 4 across from me where on the large side and they looked like they were hanging off the end.

No picture as I know one of the guys and I don't want him yelling at me.

The salad came out after 11 minutes.

Ok, well this isn't a Cobb salad in any way or form; and I don't see why they call it a "Knife and Fork" Cobb, because everything is cut up. Let's figure out what we have here.

First, why is there cornbread in my salad? I think they use it to make it look like there's more than there is; cheaper than actual ingredients.

3 pieces of avocado that was much less than 1/2 an avocado, and virtually no egg. See those little white squares? That's the egg. How much is an egg, 18 cents? I expect a whole hard boiled egg in a $15 cobb salad. 1.5 tiny tomatoes. Blue cheese barely detectable.

The dressing was quite good. The point of a cobb is that you get rows of ingredients, so you get about the same amount of each. At Doc B's you get lettuce and cornbread and just a spattering of the other ingredients.

And then there was the chicken.

I thought about ordering this with grilled chicken, but the crispy chicken sounded interesting. I had a picture of a steak sandwich up before that looked like it was stitched together with meat glue, but I took it down because it wasn't my photo. This chicken has the same look.

Chicken Roll? It was dry and tasteless; nothing crispy about it. The breading kind of scared me; it came off in sheets; it wasn't skin; look at the line around the "meat". It's like it was glued on like a bad hairpiece. The chicken "cutlet" may have been completely constructed in an Arts and Craft class.

Does this look like Fresh Chicken to you?

For a place touting a "Fresh Kitchen" this was a sad piece of meat. This is what I'd expect to get at Checkers on their $1 chicken sandwich. After a couple of bites I'd had enough of the chicken.

So the service was cheery and good until I got my food; with only 3 tables in the restaurant and lots of servers probably still training, there were plenty of people. Until 3pm when they all started having lunch. My iced tea was empty and I was almost done before my server sauntered over. His instincts on seeing a table with an empty glass was to offer me a piece of double chocolate cake. "Can I interest you in some double chocolate cake". "No, but I'd like a refill on my iced tea". By the time he went back to the bar and brought back the refill, I was done with the salad.

I fiddled a bit with my phone and he brought over the check so I didn't have to wait for it. Surprisingly, the iced tea wasn't on it, so I can't tell you how much it is. I suspect that because someone else got me the tea it was never entered into the system, but you'd think the server would notice particularly when all I had was the salad and the tea. Is a beverage included with lunch? Are servers already giving out free stuff? I can't say what happened here, but it saved his tip.

Conclusion

My expectations were rock bottom here, mainly because I already knew that they were selling weird food at luxury mall prices. The dining room is nicer than I expected, but I'm surprised at the food. What's worse than an overpriced restaurant that nickels and dimes you on ingredients the first week open?

Frankly, I don't mind paying $15. for a really good cobb with generous portions of ingredients, but what I got didn't measure up. They insult you by loading up the plate with cornbread (or a soggy crouton), while leaving out most of the avocado, egg, bacon and blue cheese. I like to SEE my food. Was there really bacon in my salad? Were those white cubes really egg? No onions, scallions or chives at all? Was that really a chicken at one point in time?

My view is that restaurants like this are cheating their customers. When you charge high prices and use tricks to cut back on ingredients, you're not really providing the product advertised. I suspect that the entire restaurant is a trick, much like Lobster Bar Sea Grill. We shouldn't support such operators. They're not providing a needed service; they're taking up space where an honest restaurantaur could be.

Previous Posts: What Were They Thinking?

So I did a bit of research into Doc B's and learned something quite interesting. Here is a picture of one of their Chicago locations:

This location is in downtown Chicago in between a Nordstrom's and Pistachio accessories store. Inside the Mall:

You girls know what Louboutin and Louis Vuitton are. This is a VERY high end mall, $2500 handbags and $700 pumps.

The Other location is located right across the street from Gucci.

I previously mentioned that the prices at the Fort Lauderdale Location are the same as in Chicago. So this would be the equivalent of a restaurant on 5th Avenue in NYC opening a location in Fort Lauderdale and charging the same prices. It's totally ridiculous,

Their Tampa location is in a mall that is about the equivalent of the Galleria, but it's right next to the airport; so it's designed for tourists. It doesn't show on Google maps as it's fairly new.

Previous Musings

Well, they put up the menu; we previously had the menu from Chicago, and you'd expect that since salaries in Chicago are 10% higher than down here, that prices would be $1 less, right? Wrong. They've raised the prices in Chicago since November, and the prices here are the same.

The Bar menu is even more ridiculous; The least expensive Red is $13/glass and the least expensive white is $11 (for an $8 retail Moscato, which nobody will drink). Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc is $15/glass (I found 1 restaurant with this for $8/glass and another for $11).

Add to that no Free Parking; they have valet only parking, and you have to give the guy a couple of bucks. So add that to your $27 lunch.

The parking is crazy. There's an entrance and an exit that's 1 car wide in the Fresh Market parking lot. No marked spots. So if there are 4 cars on line to get in, you can't get out? How can that possibly work?

Doc B's has made a serious miscalculation. This is not an appropriately priced restaurant for this location. This would be overpriced on Las Olas.

And there's nothing ground-breaking about the food, Kale Salad anyone? Not only do they have a cajun chicken sandwich (let's sprinkle some Tony Chachere's on chicken and charge $14 for it), but also cajun "white fish". Can you see me Yawning? Their $23 lobster roll positions them as the most expensive restaurant in the City; $4 more than Lobster Bar Sea Grille and $2 more than Capital Grille. Admittedly Lobster Bar's lobster roll sucks, but CG's is good, and you have the white tablecloth thing to pay for.

Comment Policy Add Comment
PSA
Reply
[Delusional Shill Removed]
Sara
Reply
My problem with this place is that there's nothing going on. Just a bunch of boring people at the bar. I just can't wait to get out of the place.
Administrator
Reply
Their introductory happy hour is over; they now have one of the worst happy hours in the city; Only Thur-Sun and $3 off all drinks except bottled beer. Problem is that their wine and liquor prices are $3 too high normally; so you can get that $14 glass of wine for just $11 at happy hour with your $15 app.
Karley
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Stupid people overpaying for decent food. That's my impression.
DMC
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WOW... I didnt stop the other day because the parking looks like a nightmare. BUT NOW... I think I will just keep driving by because of these reviews!
Terri
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What are the chances that this place is really serving Diver Scallops? Can you even get diver scallops in March in South Florida?
Administrator
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It would be pretty difficult. Based on the lack of good ingredients I got in my Cobb I'd say pretty darn low.
Gina
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Police deployed to keep people from parking in Fresh Market. What a mess.
Administrator
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Just remember that if Fort Lauderdale becomes "the place" to find stupid people willing to pay any price no matter what you put in front of them, more and more restaurants whose only motive is to pick your pocket will open. And we'll never improve the culinary scene in this city.
mike
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This place is a joke from the overpriced menu, very average food and utterly ridiculous valet-only parking. What's the over/under on how long they last?
Administrator
Reply
Of course that's what I said about Bossi's.

*some* people think that this area is the place to be; but I think it's over saturated. Who is going to get a $28 pizza at Mellow Mushroom after Medici opens? How can Kitchen 420 compete with the big, fancy chain restaurants?

I'm mystified by people who have zero sense of value. Talked to a couple of guys the other day "The lobster roll is great". "But it's $23." "Who Cares?". I said "When do you care? $28? $35? How much is too much?" $19 is too much. And it's probably frozen lobster meat from a bag, too. They don't have live lobsters, do they?
John
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Certainly not live Maine lobsters.
moi
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I would have to agree with the admin here, The 954 and Broward in general is a culinary joke, a vast wasteland of wanna be restaurateurs and chefs trying to make a name in a no name needed zone... when Petrillo and the restaurant guys and or Mafia are the only go to guys in town something is wrong... 3030 Ocean is sinking as is every other upscale place here in town if there is even a 3 star establishment...and no chef worth anything is actually creating anything here, there is no farm to table as there are no farms..i guess we get beer and concrete!!!!


Foodlover
Reply
The only real review on the net. Thank you.
Steve Rossman
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I'm from Chicago and I too was surprised that they're charging the same prices are they do in the luxury malls. This review is totally spot on. Like buying Florsheim shoes at Gucci prices.
moi
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Gucci at least tastes good
Administrator
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Yelper Marqus, after 2800 reviews, doesn't know what a hanger steak looks like. Funny stuff. Looks like a sirloin with a spattering of chimichurri. This place counts on people having no idea what the actual ingredients are supposed to look like; I've never seen a restaurant with such overt arrogance.

A hanger steak is 2 thin strips of flap-like meat separated by a membrane. In a restaurant, the membrane is removed and they usually give you one of the strips. Some places try to pass off flap meat as hanger steak. Hanger steak is a more desirable cut.

Note to pretend food critics; if it was a hanger steak, the menu would say it's a hanger steak. Even though hanger steak isn't an expensive cut of meat, people think it's expensive. Before making a fool of yourself, why not Google "Hanger Steak" so you can see what an actual hanger steak looks like?

He posted his bill: a 6oz Sirloin should be maybe $14, $12 for 4 oysters, $18 for 2 makers, so for a place like this the bill should be $44. The cost at Doc B's: $72. That's 60% overpriced.
Sheela
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Imagine eating out every day for 5 years and still not being able to identify a steak!
Administrator
Reply
He got totally fleeced. That's like a $7 lunch steak at Outback.
Bob
Reply
SuckerTown USA
Tina
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It looks like you get 5 wings for $13. How do you even try them without feeling like a fool? This place reminds me of Tony D's
Todd
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I saw that steak sandwich on Yelp. That's no filet mignon. It's leftover something. People are so gullible.
Administrator
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I think you could spoon out Alpo in front of these people and put a piece of kale on it and they'll rant and rave about how tasty it is. It's disheartening.
Samantha
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I agree. It's really getting out of hand. Charge a lot, fine. But I don't want to feel like I've been ripped off by some rich guy. It's not like there's some nice couple trying to earn a living. These are rich people trying to give us as little as possible for as high a price as possible.
Administrator
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What I'm amazed at is how stupid people are. You see the picture of a bowl of crap, and they rant and rave about how fresh it was. They have no idea what they're talking about.
Kitchen Worker
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If you see cheap Filet Mignon on any menu, it's not Filet Mignon. Trust me.
Brenda
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How can you charge the same for corned beef as you do for chicken?
Administrator
Reply
Bad restaurants don't charge based on the cost of the food; they charge based on a price point. They've calculated that people who come in will pay $20 with a soft drink so everything is priced accordingly. If you order a $15 salad, the joke is on you.

That's how all of the bad, modern restaurants operate. The business has gone from people who wanted to feed other people, to a bunch of guys in suits with calculators. The Houston's model. The problem is you can't keep pushing the price up forever. So then the dopey culinary school managers start cutting portions or cheapening ingredients. Then they lose their customers.

"white fish" cracks me up. They won't even tell you what they're serving you. Would you order a "Steak" without knowing the cut? They're playing people for fools.
Jake
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5 star reviews just saying how great a place is tell me nothing I want to know. Why do people bother? they're not fooling anyone.
Administrator
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Another dopey "Elite" complained that they only gave them 2 little pieces of Avocado in their $14 California salad and then proceeded to give them 5 stars for service. Ripping you off is a service issue; they're trying to make a fool out of you. Ingredients should be listed in order of predominance in the dish; if you list Avocado first it had better not be an afterthought in the salad. Overpriced restaurants that nickle and dime you on ingredients are the worst kind.
Terry
Reply
This site is a hoot
John Boy
Reply
This site is becoming (or is) the best in FTL.
Administrator
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Doc B's is opening today, Saturday Feb 18. Thai Peanut Kale lovers rejoice.

I was in Fresh Market and noticed that they have Valet Only parking. I thought they had a couple of spots but they commendeered the entire space for the valet. So add another $2 and the annoyance of waiting for the kid to retreive your car from God Knows Where. What a disaster.
Rita
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No social interaction with Fort Lauderdale whatsoever. How can you operate a business like that today?
Administrator
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Another restaurant that nobody has ever heard of rolling into town and declaring itself the best and most expensive restaurant in the city.
Mike C
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And they don't even think they have to convince us that they're worth the price.
Administrator
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The word "Fresh" is a magnet to dopey milenials and women who are just happen to have "their own money".
MikeN
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This place seems pretty similar to Alexanders. I doubt millennials that rent the $2000 one bedroom apartments across the street and downtown will care about their prices.
Administrator
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Right, because 2 guys sharing a 2 bedroom or a couple sharing a 1 BR probably make, what, $50K each, so they obviously have unlimited disposable income.

J Alexander's is a MUCH nicer restaurant than this. This doesn't even look comfortable. The outdoor space looks like something you'd find on a beach; except the only view here is the old ladies playing bumper cars at Fresh Market
Administrator
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They've moved openTable to next Monday. Do people make reservations to go to a place like this?
Rita
Reply
Wow. What are they thinking?
Administrator
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They're starting to take Reservations on Mon Feb 13th, so they may be opening this weekend. No FB or Twitter to confirm.
Jack
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Food looks like what you might get at Kaluz. Remember when food looked like food?
Robby
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lI am sorry, this is just too funny. I still say Ft lauderdale has very few really good restaurants.

Need to get somebody like Sean Brock of Husk Nashville or Charleston..Would they pay for it? Not along as they have fried chicken fingers everywhere
Administrator
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Oh no, please NO. Another "chef" selling $14 cheeseburgers with a menu that changes daily. That's EXACTLY what we don't need. "Southern" food sucks too.

We need someone whose big idea isn't "How to rip-off stupid people". You don't need some big time chef to make good food. You just need owners who aren't greedy.

Next: Mini Pita Cafe