Updated
Oct 12th, 2018
First Posted
Sep 19th, 2017

Tipico Cafe

1910 E Sunrise Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33304
(954) 463-9945
Overall Rating
3.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
09/18/2017

Details

Hours: 7 days 11am-10pm, open til 11pm on Fri and Sat
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Wine and Beer
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: No

Pros

Fast Service
Good Lunch Specials
Decent Food

Cons

Bad Location with Strange Parking Lot
Limited Selections on Lunch Menu
Cheap with the Black Beans

Critic's Review

I as in the mood for a Chile Relleno, and there's only 1 place in town that has is on their lunch specials menu. I checked to make sure they were open, and I got here at just after 2pm.

The place was dead, with 1 other person in the small but comfortable dining room. I've always been able to get a booth after 2pm.

Service is mechanical and quick. Fresh chips arrive. The chips are unsalted, but today the salsa was surprising bad. Both of them. Usually one is good and the other a bit too hit, but today they tasted off.

Music seemed random with Taylor Dayne and Daft Punk segueing to Michael Jackson.

The food came out in 4 minutes.

A full plate of stuff. Not really health food, but a lot of gooey flavors. The pepper has less cheese than usual, but not unacceptable.

As I was eating this the taste seemed a bit off. I thought it might be a new sauce; it just tasted kind of sour. As I was just about the finish, I had a horrifying thought. They didn't have power from Sunday to last Friday; what if the food was spoiled? A big place will throw everything out, but a mom and pop might try to save what they can; I was hoping I wouldn't get sick. I didn't, so whatever it was wasn't too bad.

Conclusion

The $9.95 lunch deal remains the same price, including chips and drink, and it's quite the contrast from the places charging $4 for chips. Don't go to those places, come here instead. Just wait a week or so unitl whatever it is that's off in their pantry is used up.

Review 1/20/16

I was in the mood for a chile relleno; something I don't have the ingredients generally to make myself, and I didn't feel like going too far. I also didn't way 2 of them, and the only place that has them on their lunch specials menu is Tipico. That's how you get business.

There's no hostess; there was an open booth so I just sat down and waited for someone to notice. I got a menu, checked to see if there was anything new, and ordered an iced tea. Chips and the drink come out immediately. If you're in a hurry, this place will get you out.

It's a small place but I've always been able to get one of the 4 booths after 2pm. The place hasn't changed a lick in 5 years.

No wireless here. The view is of Sunrise. One of the bad things about this place is that the Sunrise / US1 corridor has become a total traffic disaster. It's just a traffic jam from Sears down to the bridge, which is perpetually under construction.

The food is just what you expect. They've been cranking the same stuff out for years.

It's a smallish portion, but enough for lunch.

When I was done, I got a server's attention and I had my check quickly. In and out. Just the way it should be.

The price is up $2 in 5 years, which may not seem like much, but has your salary gone up 20%? With the drink include, still a good deal.

Conclusion

There's nothing great about the food or service here, but it's a reliable place to get lunch. This kind of Mexican food is all about the same.

Review 11/24/14

Pressed for time, I had to drop off a big order at Fed Ex and didn't have time for an adventure today, so I stopped at Tipico for a skirt steak. I usually get the lunch special, but they don't have anything on the special menu that I like other than the Chile Relleno. So I had to go off the lunch menu to get a "Churrasco".

At 2:45pm there wasn't one person in the place; I grabbed a booth and checked the menu; The menu is the same, except now the price is $13.95.

Chips come immediately; the "hot" salsa was good today. Chips are always fresh and crisp.

I ordered iced tea ($1.95) and asked for yellow rice instead of white. Skirt Steak Medium rare.

Music isn't bad for a Latin place; Hall & Oats, Mariah Carey's version of "I'll Be There" and the obligatory Michael Buble.

I hadn't even sugared by iced tea and the food came out.

My first impression was "Thick and Juicy" it was not. Small and paper thin, this reminded me more of a lunch portion at Las Vegas Cuisine. The container of black beans was barely half full; a lunch special trick that I didn't expect when I was paying the dinner price.

There was some ugly salsa (see top of photo) that I just took off the place. I cut the skirt, and realized that there was no Chimichurri. While the menu didn't say it was included, they did call it "Argentinean", which implies Chimichurri. I asked about it, and they gave me some nonsense about having to ask for it to get it.

It seems way too smooth; tasting it, it was interesting, but certainly not the Argentinean stuff. It was just some sort of green sauce. The steak was better with the sauce, but it wasn't what I expected.

Conclusion

While the skirt was fine, I was disappointed. This didn't resemble the big skirts with the crazy garlic Chimichurri you get at an Argentinean place. Perhaps when they first did the menu this offering was "thick and juicy"; overall, the nickel and dime-ing on portions makes me want to take this place off of my list.

Breakfast Review: 4/11/14

I'd seen a sign at the Tipico Cafe that said they were starting to serve breakfast. I haven't been out to breakfast in a while; home fries and toast don't fit a low carb diet, but the prospect of getting a real Spanish omelet or chorizo and eggs was too compelling for me to not want to try this out. They have no web site and no menu on their Facebook page, so it was a total crapshoot.

When you go to a place that does no marketing and has little online presence, it's easy to get a table. When the server brought me a menu, I was totally disappointed. This is a completely American menu; there is nothing Spanish or Mexican on it at all. No cafe con leche. Ham, Sausage, Corned Beef Hash. What was I doing here? I could make this at home. Oh well, it was cheap, so I ordered 2 over easy, sausage links, home fries and rye toast.

Coffee is very dineresque.

Ok, so this is a better atmosphere than the old Victoria Park diner anyway. They play dance music, which kinda sucks, but better than a Spanish language TV station blaring.

The eggs came our in about 10 minutes.

A good portion. Who would have thought: diner food in a latin cafe. The sausages were pretty sagey; the eggs more over-medium than easy, but not ruined. There was something I didn't like about the potatoes; either they used some odd spice or their oil was rancid; I didn't need a big load of potatoes anyway.

$10.40 with tip. Another place for an American Breakfast in Fort Lauderdale.

Review 12/10/13

I avoided this place for a long time, mainly because all of the places in this center seem like they're left over from a day when tastes were more modest. The first time I came here I was surprised by a good meal. I was in the mood for a good Chile Relleno; so I thought I'd try them again.

The place is a bit nicer that most Mexican/Latin joints; it's clean, comfortable and it was nicely decorated for the season.

I got a menu and an iced tea; they even have lemon. Catering to Gringos gets you an extra half star.

A lot of places have fresh but not so good chips, but the chips here are outstanding. Almost as good as the Santana $2 bag chips. I didn't care for the hot salsa, but the mild was pretty good.

I almost ordered a skirt steak, but I went with my first idea; the same dish I'd gotten before. I like the yellow rice also.

They've got this down. Everything was just right; Its nice to get the same dish you liked before just the same as the last time. A rare event in our culinary challenged city.

Service was excellent if not doting. They hover in front of the kitchen; refills were just when needed and the bill came promptly.

A helluva deal for $7.95. I think this is my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. Time to try something else.

Review 5/17/12

To Hell with Fresh Mexican Grills; who needs that stuff when you can get real Mexican food at Tipico? With one of these fast food "Fresh Mexican" places opening every month, it's easy to forget why we like Mexican food in the first place. The Tipico Cafe refreshed my memory.

It's easy to miss this place in a shopping center where it partially hides behind some shrubberies. There are a couple of tables outside, and the inside is one small room with a bar where I wouldn't want to dine; no TVs and music you might not expect; from Teenage Dream to Smashmouth.

I've gotten a lot of wrong impressions of this place from Yelp, which is why you can't use Yelp to make your choices. There servers here are professional; no nonesense; they just take your order and bring you your stuff. There's nothing wrong with that. Their menu sounds a bit rude. NO SUBSTITUTIONS! Only 1 refill on Iced Tea; but the place doesn't really play that way. They have a bunch of lunch specials for about $8 that include a drink; I knew what I was having; the Chile Relleno. They promptly brought me a big basket of chips, with mild and hot salsas.

The chips were good, and I really liked the mild salsa. The only minor annoyance is that everything is open and the employees are omnipresent; so privacy is non-existent. The food came out pretty quickly.

Now this is Mexican food. The Poblano was stuffed with gooey cheese and it was soft enough to cut without a knife. This was really good; just what I was hoping for. While I was eating this I was thinking about the pathetic version I'd gotten at Zona Fresca.

This was $8.95, so our menu is a little out of date. The new menu does still say only 1 refill on iced tea, but I got 2 refills without asking for anything. So things aren't always the way they seem on the surface.

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