Updated
Jan 16th, 2019
First Posted
Mar 31st, 2018

Andy's Live Fire Grill and Bar

1843 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
(954) 523-8636
Overall Rating
2.9
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
01/16/2019

Details

Hours: 11:30-10p
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Valet Only ($3)
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
HasWifi: Yes
Wifi password: None
Entree Prices: Overpriced
Outdoor: Rooftop Bar
Delivery: No

Pros

Flame Broiling
Rooftop Bar

Cons

No Booths, Zero Privacy in the Restaurant

Insider Tips

Park at Pollo Tropical to escape the Valet

Critic's Review

Andy's finally opened for Lunch, so it was time to check it out.

Andy's is a new concept from Anthony Bruno; owner of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza; "Andy" was his father's nickname. Anthony continues his "I don't need no stinking marketing" approach by opening with no website and no description of the concept on their poorly conceived Facebook page.

I was hoping they wouldn't have their $2 valet at lunch time, but no such luck. The parking lot seemed bigger when this war Ernies; I'm not a fan of valets in general but this place looked too much like bumper cars to me. I parked at Pollo Tropical a block away.

The joke about Runway 84 is that the only reason they have a valet was to create jobs for the nephews; and younger Anthony seems to have adopted the same approach. This place must be a disaster at dinner time.

It was a bit nippy so the upstairs outside bar wasn't appealing to me; from the pictures I couldn't see sitting up there on a 65 degree day

I was seated at a table in front of the kitchen.

The schtick here is the open wood fire grill where the meats are cooked; the smoke odor is substantial at the front door and even more so inside the restaurant. I didn't see them grilling anything but the flame was pretty impressive.

The dining room has many of the same unappealing traits as Anthony's CFP restaurants; no booths, lots of wood tables, a bad bar; one difference here is that there's just 1 big TV.

The servers here are also different; mostly middle aged men. I ordered tea and they didn't scrimp on the lemon.

The menu here isn't very appealing to me, but they did have pastrami. While I swore off smokehouse pastrami after my experience at Smoke BBQ, I couldn't get exicted about a "black angus" strip steak and I certainly wasn't ordering a jerk lobster roll.

Music here are old classics, with Rod Steward, The Beach Boys and Van Morrison detected.

It took 12 minutes to get the sandwich; with 2 tables occupied downstairs I was wondering if they were smoking the meat to order.

A well organized sandwich. Clearly Anthony isn't from NY because grilled bread should certainly be optional. I could have ordered this without the onions (because who the hell would put caramelized onions on pastrami?), but I wanted to see how the stock offering worked.

The big chunks of cap fat weren't looking too good to me; I don't want to eat a big piece of fat like that. I took a couple of bites and the predominate impression was the heavy smokiness of the meat. Pastrami is smoked corned beef; this didn't really taste like either. Of course when you cover it with onions and cheese it has a bit of an impact on the taste as well.

As suspected, the onions don't work with the pastrami. I had to disassemble this to cut off some of the fat. Great pastrami has a nice, spicy crust, some marble fat and doesn't have a 1/2 inch of fat cap on the end. The meat itself was very lean and dry and the myth that the fat will "melt into the meat" is just that; a myth.

The salad was a good size and definitely a plus over the fries. An iced tea refill was delivered before I was done with the first glass.

The check came back like a flash of light; the fastest turn-around in recent memory. One of the benefits of sitting 20 feet from the register.

Conclusion

Andy's is in a bad location with a small parking lot that makes you want to keep on driving as you get to the place. While there's a renovated space upstairs when it's cold, windy or raining it's not really an option. Supposedly there's an inside space upstairs but with zero pictures on their FB page I decided not to check it out.

My feeling is that their menu doesn't take advantage of the main focal point of the restaurant; the flaming grill. Aside from the grilled oysters, bringing back poutine, stroganoff and clams casino seems like a stretch to me. And they seem to be serving cheap meats; they make no claims of quality meat; surmising that a superior grill will make up for the quality. But a choice or select strip steak is shoe leather no matter how you cook it. They seem to be going for the lowest common denominator of diners with the "black angus" nonsense; that didn't work in 1990 and it's not going to fool anyone now either. Supermarket beef is black angus. It just doesnt tell you anything worth paying for. They should have more meat choices; this was the same problem with Grill 401; they had the fancy wood burning ovens but had very little on their menu that could take advantage of it.

The pastrami here wasn't as good as Smoke BBQ or the now defunct Blue Willies, but I didn't have to pick any peppercorn husks out of my mouth, so that's a plus.

I guess the burger might be better here than the sous vide stuff you get at most places these days; but they get away from the basics with edgy toppings. Caramelized onions on a grilled cheese pastrami; "mimosa" chimichurri (why not just include orange juice in the marinade rather than trying to improve on a classic sauce?). Maybe it works but it just seems they're trying to cover up the main event; of course I doubt their pastrami could hold up on its own. Jerk lobster sounds so wrong to me I can't even put it into words.

That being said, Andy's is a new idea in a town with a dearth of ideas in general, so it might be worth a try. Too bad I can't get a premium steak cooked on this grill of theirs.

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Andy's got nailed for not having proper approval for their smoker. It's likely that some neighbor complained. BBQs have always had problems with people complaining about their smokers. This is a residential area so it could present a problem. Ernies was probably grandfathered in from the 1800s.

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