Updated
Oct 3rd, 2017
First Posted
Oct 3rd, 2017

El Mar Cafe

4405 El Mar Dr
Lauderdale By The Sea FL, 33308
954 769-1764
Overall Rating
2.6
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
10/03/2017

Details

Pros

Handsome Cafe
Convenient to the Beach
Decent food

Cons

Overpriced
Broken Music System

Critic's Review

There's a shortage of new places to try (that I actually want to try), and while it's still too hot to eat outside after 8am, I took the long drive down to LBTS anyway. Lauderdale By The Seas was ruined when they remodeled it last summer; you used to be able to come down here and put 50 cents in a meter and grab some food. Now it's $2 for an hour; plus the cheap breakfast place is gone.

The landlord pushed out long time tenants "Country Ham and Egg" and the newfangled El Mar Cafe has opened selling breakfast at brunch prices.

They have some makeshift shades out front; I guess at 7am the sun is pretty annoying if you're outside

I walked in at 11:15 and there was 1 table who were in the process of cashing out. There's an unwritten rule that you must eat breakfast before 11am. I reject such things.

I grabbed a booth and was offered coffee right away. There were 3 servers and no other tables. They have creamers on the table; the bad thing about creamers is that you don't know what you're drinking (and you don't know now long they've been out). I asked what it was "Non-Dairy Creamer". I nearly spit it out. "Good Grief", I said. She offered me some half and half and brought me a fresh cup of coffee.

No WiFi in the place although I was able to use 101 Oceans Free WiFi. They have 3 TVs but no TV programming; they have a TERRIBLE music feed that cut out so often it was annoying to listen to. Would have been good; duran duran, Aerosmith, Stray Cats. Play a CD or the radio. What they have is a disaster.

The food came out quickly. Everything looked OK except for the potatoes that looked a bit dry.

As suspected, the potatoes were completely unseasoned. I SAW onions, but didn't taste any of their flavor. Salt and pepper made them edible, but barely. The eggs and sausage were fine, as was the toast. The previous owners here never learned how to make eggs. These were properly over easy.

Coffee refill came at reasonable intervals; in a small room with no other customers it's easy to be well monitored. I was here for 45 minutes and not another soul entered the restaurant from 11:15 to a bit after noon.

I cashed out and she asked if I wanted a receipt; do people really not take a receipt for a CC sale? You're SUPPOSED to get a receipt and in fact one is required by CC providers for chip transactions, so it seems silly to ask. Are they trying to save paper?

The bill game to $13.20, which is too much for this breakfast.

Conclusion

With $2 for parking and a $2 tip, this breakfast cost me $17.20 plus gas. So you think I'll ever come back here again? If you're on vacation and you don't care paying $5 extra for breakfast, this place would be fine. It's simply not an option for locals unless you're on foot, and even then it's not worth the price.

And bring your ear buds; you don't want to listen to what they have playing here.

Previous Musings

They have an extremely annoying menu on their web site that changes pages while you're trying to read it, so we only have part of the menu. Enough to show the pricing.

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