Last Update
Jan 30th, 2019

Bahama Breeze

3339 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33306
Overall Rating
1.9
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
01/30/2019

Details

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-12pm, 11am - 1am Fri/Sat
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Happy Hour: M-F 4-6p, Sun-Thu 9p-Close 1/2 price Apps, $2 off wine $4/$5 Cocktails Discounted Beer

Pros

Free Parking
Big Restaurant

Cons

Amateur Staff
Lousy Food
"Bottomless" Weekends require an entree purchase and have a 2 hour limit

Critic's Review

I don't usually like to go to a restaurant the 2nd day they're open, but there's a shortage of new places worthy of a review, so I made an exception.

On a plot of land that used to house a large strip club, a Thai/Sushi restaurant and a Subway sprouts a 385 seat "Island Grill"; a chain restaurant brought to us by Darden.

There's a massive, ill conceived parking lot here; no valet and all free parking (Andy's take note). The concept is largely contrived, with the big beach chairs on a big front porch.

Inside, there's a big bar on the east side with 2 big TVs with a great view of US1.

The restaurant has a big main room and a couple of side dining rooms. At 3p getting a booth is usually no problem, but not at Bahama Breeze. They initially tried to seat me in the middle of the big room, which wasn't going to work. NOTE to hostesses:

People don't like sitting in the middle of the room when a restaurant is 2/3 empty.

Why do people look right at people taking a picture?

After much ado, they seated me on the bench seating. Not because there weren't any booths available, but because they didn't have any servers for the booths.

It took about 5 minutes for a server to come over; she was very pleasant but I was surprised at her choice of banter:

Her: "Is this. your first time here"?
Me: "What have you been open for, an hour? I've been to the strip club that used to be here".

I ordered an iced tea with extra lemon and the Cuban Sandwich combo with black bean soup. Seemed safe as a first try.

The tea arrived with 1 extra lemon wedge; this isn't TGI Fridays. $2.99 for a soft drink in a chain restaurant.

Inner Circle and Harry Belafonte fill the air. Report of too loud music has either been corrected or are unfounded.

The food came out in 7 minutes.

Not a lot of food. This is a pretty small Cuban; I took a bite hoping for a burst of flavor but was roundly disappointed. I opened it up to see what was going on inside.

The pork was completely bland; boiled meat. Pork is the entire point of the sandwich; the ham was a thin slice and it wasn't a very distinctive mustard. A bad chain restaurant Cuban for sure.

The soup was horrible; inedible. Surprising, because I liked it when I had it at the Pembroke Pines location. This is what happens when you have amateur chefs making soup; too much tabasco can ruin any dish. This didn't taste anything like black bean soup should taste.

I asked for my check and there was still no offer of a refill for my $2.99 tea. She did offer me one to go when she brought my card back, but I declined the offer.

Something I don't like is they don't give you the itemized check after they run your card; they just give you the CC slip with the total. So you can't double check the prices after you give them your CC.

Conclusion

When we first found out about this place, we wondered how they would make it work. There was a small strip mall center with a side entrance to a large strip club. They solved the problem by tearing down the center and building a monstrous structure from scratch.

Chains tend to get worse over time, and my first impression of this place is that it's just a bad chain restaurant. Amateur servers and hostpeople, $3 for soft drinks and kitchen staff that can't put together the recipes properly. Whoever made the soup seriously screwed up; taste soup before serving it to customers. I doubt they've changed the recipe since I had it at their other location.

I thought I was ordering something safe and I got junk. I have Darden gift cards so I'll likely try again; but for now I've lost a lot of interest.

Comment Policy Add Comment
BJ
Reply
Lousy service...served the wrong meal not once but TWICE, after being in restaurant for about 90 minutes. Then got snippy response from waitress.
Fred
Reply
This was the worst experience i have had in Fort Lauderdale in 20 years that i Have lived here...
Angie
Reply
Bravo on the honesty. The restaurants industry has become about ripping off it's customers rather than wanting to serve people a nice meal. It's so sad!
Chris
Reply
Darden dropped the ball here, they should have opened a YardHouse on this property. I'm surprised Bahama Breeze is expanding they way they are, thought they were fizzling out years ago. Surprisingly this corridor of Fort Lauderdale is lacking an upscale-casual eatery with a big varied menu & extensive beer list. Bokamper's is a huge disapointment it's a beautiful place ,but they have sub-par food, & bad service. And the Alehouse is just old & played out. Anyway, central Fort Lauderdale area is ripe for a YardHouse, you have to drive at least 30-35 minutes to get to Mizner, Gulfstream or Sawgrass from this area.
Joyce
Reply
I'm happy they finally opening one on the east side.
Rick
Reply
Darden sees Mai Tai surviving and they salivate.
Administrator
Reply
Bahama Breeze, Olive Garden and Long Horn are their free-standing concepts; Capital Grille and Yardhouse are usually in malls or shopping centers.
Administrator
Reply
This lot has been completely flattened and they've started to frame out a new building (wood). Looks like it's going to be a full blown Bahama Breeze like the one on Pines Blvd
Preddick
Reply
I’m so happy and excited about this❗️Love Bahama Breeze...they can create their own island Breezes w fans❗️
Administrator
Reply
The one on Pines Rd kind of blows, so I hope this one is better.
CaptDBJ
Reply
It looks like the whole location will be demolished. All the stores are empty

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