Last Update
Jan 11th, 2020

Southport Raw Bar

1536 Cordova Rd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
(954) 525-2526
Overall Rating
2.4
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
05/06/2017

Details

Hours: 7 Days, Opens 11am-2am, Open til 3am Fri and Sat
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Beer and Wine Only
Entree Prices: Moderate
Outdoor: Outdoor Area Patio Only
Reservations: No
Delivery: Tue, Wed, Thu
Happy Hour: 4pm-7pm "Select" Specials on Drinks and Raw Bar

Pros

Good Seafood Value
Free Parking

Cons

Dated Decor
$3.50 for Soft Drinks, no refills without Asking
Seedy 80s Ambiance

Critic's Review

Every once in a while I check the daily specials for Southport; they usually have the same items that they just rotate out, but every once in a while they have something different. Today they had Grilled Oysters, so I thought I'd stop in for a snack.

As I entered I looked at the board they have at the front door with the specials, and grilled oysters weren't on it. Hmm, I didn't want anything else. It was a bit drizzly out; maybe they weren't running the grill?

Nothing has changed here in 25 years; you walk in and no-one acknowledges you. If it was your first time here you'd be totally lost. I know enough to grab a menu and grab a seat and eventually someone will come over. They have blackboards inside which also didn't list the grilled oysters. Was I going to have to walk out, or should I just leave? I opened the menu and they had an insert listing the grilled oysters. Ok then. I grabbed a booth along the wall.

A server slogged over and took my ice tea order, and I also ordered 6 grilled oysters. She seemed disappointed that was all I was having. The tea arrived rather quickly.

If you've never been here before you might enjoy reading the ceiling; the ceiling tiles are like the wall at one of the old tourist tee-shirt shops where you could make a shirt from your favorite stupid line. It's not as interesting the 5th time you've been here.

Just about every condiment available but no cocktail sauce or tarter sauce; the 2 sauces you actually need for most of the stuff they serve here. I suppose I could make tarter sauce with mayo and relish in a pinch, but no horseradish for cocktail sauce.

80s Music fills the air; The Pointer Sisters, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson.

The oysters came out 12 minutes later.

Ok, the Oysters looked good, but what where those little slivers on the side? Ah, garlic bread. Could they spare it? Still no oyster forks at a "raw bar", but at least they have metal utensils now so I don't have to eat these with a plastic fork.

The oysters were quite good; nice and tender, buttery. Of course the way they put cheese on the it dried before you could eat it. One of the oysters was still oozing like a beating heart when she put it down though. It would have been nice to have more than the slivers of bread to sop up the sauce.

It doesn't take long to eat 6 oysters, so when she came back to check on my I asked for the tab. As seems to be the trend in bad restaurants these days, she just brought me the CC signature sheet with the total rather than an itemized bill. $16.83 total. How could that be? The oysters were $11.99. My first thought was that they added in a tip without telling me. When another lady came by to gather the check, I asked her for an itemized bill. When she brought it out I knew the answer.

$3.50 for an iced tea with no refill. "You guys charge more than Lobster Bar for Iced Tea", I quipped, as I handed her the check.

Conclusion

I used to find this place charming; now I'm just annoyed.

Today was my last visit ever to Southport Raw Bar. Between the slivers of bread and the $3.50 for colored water, I've gotten the hint. They don't want me coming here anymore. They've also dumbed down their happy hour. Why should I sit in this shithole, eat oysters with a full sized fork and pay more than a Las Olas restaurant for a soft drink? Never Again.

Review 4/15/14

When I first moved down here, Southport was I place I'd go now and then; the word casual is synonymous with this place. I've grown to appreciate modern restaurant service, so I've kind of left this place in the dust.

I sat at a table for a few minutes without anyone noticing; an artifact of the no-hostess "Seat Yourself" service; so I decided to sit at the bar for a change. They have 2 bars, both with cooks behind them where you can watch them shuck oysters and put them onto paper plates. There are rags on the counter and paper towel dispensers; sort of like Hooters without the Chicks.

Only the back bar has a view; it's a nice time of year to eat out on the dock, but it's usually difficult to get a table there at lunch time.

My initial request for extra lemon was ignored; a second request resulted in an entire lemon dropped in front of me. Ice Tea is served in styrofoam. They charge $3 for soft drinks here, which is absurd considering that they only charge $2.75 for an espresso and $4.25 for a cheeseburger.

The only reason that I was here was that I saw that they had the mussels, which are a frequent special. It's about the only thing I like on the menu. The bartender suggested "half and half", which is half garlic half marinara.

There's nothing going on while you wait; music is good with Neil Young and Journey. One bad thing about the back bar is that the cashier station is in the back, and all of the servers gather and gab in the back corner.

Fifteen minutes and the mussels are served.

This seemed like a bit more than I got the last time, but it's more likely just an optical illusion with a different bowl. The mussels are good stuff, with the sauce perfect for dipping the garlic bread. If you want mussels and you're in this part of town, avoid Kelly's where the marinara tastes like bloody mary mix and get them here.

No refill on the iced tea.

Southport is a 1 register store; there's no POS here and your "ticket" is transformed into a bill by your server manually adding it up. Unfortunately, math isn't a strong point, as he charged me over 12% tax; "rounding" my $14.25 check to $16 even. I pointed it out and he dragged $1 out of his tip bucket as he'd already put my CC through. Hopefully they're reporting the extra tax collected to the FL Dept of Revenue.

A bit of the 80s leftover in Fort Lauderdale.

Review 11/23/12

Southport Raw Bar is a bit off the beaten path with a following of locals that keeps the place busy even in the off hours. It's one of those place leftover from the Old Fort Lauderdale: Chuck's, The Floridian, the Elbo Room. It's more about history than anything else.

As for ambiance; you don't come here for romance or white glove service. The place plays like a diner in more ways than one; it's part of the Old Florida network of still-standing restaurants from days gone by. The servers have probably worked here for 20 years. There's a feel of urgency in the waitstaff, as if they're exhausted and they just can't keep up. In between running food and taking orders they're sorting silverware. Physically, the place has dark wood booths and the ceiling tiles are stamped with the stuff they use to have at the Tee Shirt shops at the beach back when Fort Lauderdale was a Spring Break destination.

There's a back bar with a large screen TV, where you can look out the window and view the marina; also a front stainless steel bar where the cook's work in full view. They have TVs showing sports throughout the room. There's an outdoor deck with white resin furniture that's nice this time of year.

The first thing you notice is that half of the items on the menu just say Market Price. I've always hated the Market Price. I don't like ordering things if I don't know how much they cost, and I'm not going to ask how much 10 different things are. Just about all of the clams, mussel, oyster and shrimp dishes are marked Market Price. They generally don't gouge here, but the price of shrimp doesn't change so often that you have to put every dish as Market Price.

Everything here is wildly mediocre. I've had nicely steamed mussels in a too-loose marinara with good garlic bread for dipping, and a soft shell crab sandwich with sriracha/mayo hot sauce that were the best things I've had here. Clams are OK but served with a plastic fork, the Conch chowder is a loser. They still have the one-ply paper towels on the table, so if you have something messy you'll have a big pile on the table.

Today they had a crawfish bisque as the Soup of the Day, so I ordered that. I want's something else that wasn't too much, so I ordered a Kraut Dog.

It's the first thing I ever got here like this that didn't come with saltines; maybe they've moved on to bread? $5.95 for soup at a place like this is no bargain, but the soup was good; not too thick, not too salty and with some crawfish chunks that made it pretty satisfying.

They play good music here, Jane's Addiction was playing as the hot dog was delivered.

The Sauerkraut was bone dry, which is very strange for sauerkraut. They only have yellow mustard, but it wasn't a bad hot dog.

My server disappeared after dropping off the hot dog. They tout their 20oz Iced Teas, for which they charge $2.75; other places charge less and give free refills, but here I had an empty glass and no server, so no refills for me. Why is a bigger glass worth more if you get refills?

I had to flag down another server to get my check. Their menu emphasizes that they only take Discover, MC or VISA, but they took my American Express. Maybe they just don't want to take AMEX?

The crowd here is generally crusty, but there's a mixture of all kinds. You'll find old pickups and mercedes and Camrys and BMWs parked in the lot here. It's a good, casual spot to grab some grub, but nothing you need to go out of your way for.

Review 12/2/11

Southport Raw Bar is a bit off the beaten path, but it doesn't stop locals and tourists from filling the place for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night. Seafood is the game here, and they have just about anything you could want. The specials are posted on a marker board just outside the front door, so check them out before you go inside.

As for ambiance; you don't come here for romance or white glove service. The place plays like a diner in more ways than one; it's part of the Old Florida network of still-standing restaurants from days gone by. The servers have probably worked here for 20 years. There's a feel of urgency in the waitstaff, as if they're exhausted and they just can't keep up. In between running food and taking orders they're sorting silverware. Physically, the place has dark wood booths and the ceiling tiles are stamped with the stuff they use to have at the Tee Shirt shops at the beach back when Fort Lauderdale was a Spring Break destination.

There's a back bar with a large screen TV, where you can look out the window and view the marina; also a front stainless steel bar where the cook's work in full view. They have TVs showing sports throughout the room. There's an outdoor deck with white resin furniture; but you don't want to sit there for lunch in the summer. When things cool down, the view is nice outside but its also where the smokers hang out.

The first thing you notice is that half of the items on the menu just say Market Price. I've always hated the Market Price. I don't like ordering things if I don't know how much they cost, and I'm not going to ask how much 10 different things are. Just about all of the clams, mussel, oyster and shrimp dishes are marked Market Price. They generally don't gouge here, but the price of shrimp doesn't change so often that you have to put every dish as Market Price.

Everything here is wildly mediocre. I've had nicely steamed mussels in a too-loose marinara with good garlic bread for dipping, and a soft shell crab sandwich with sriracha/mayo hot sauce that were the best things I've had here.

They have raw oysters and clams here, but they don't have oyster forks; they give you a plastic fork with their raw seafood. Their fried seafood is packaged and not freshly breaded. Tartar sauce is packaged. How hard is it to make tartar sauce? I don't like their cocktail sauce either; just mix some ketchup with horseradish and it's much better than what you get here.

Their conch chowder has a strange flavor; there was a bay leaf in the soup but little evidence that the soup was freshly made. It's tomato based with micro-cut vegetable and conch that's been cooking too long to the point where you can barely chew it.

Everything comes with Saltines, and your fork and knife is in the little bag. One thing is that they could really use better napkins. You get one little napkin and they have single ply paper towels that just don't suffice for the messy foods they serve. Charge an extra nickel and put out some bounty.

The crowd here is generally crusty, but there's a mixture of all kinds. You'll find old pickups and mercedes and Camrys and BMWs parked in the lot here. But I don't know why you'd come here if you could afford to pay more for better food.

Comment Policy Add Comment
FranklinAcadamyLoser
Reply
Dude you're [censored]. All you do is hate on things and hide behind some anonymous blog.
Administrator
Reply
Posted by a guy with a fake name, fake email address on a VPN proxy server. You can't make this up. You know someone is a total loser when they call you a "hater". Its the term that stupid people use to call everyone with a point of view that differs from their own. Probably some pretend chef serving up $15 cheeseburgers somewhere.

Some people have a higher bar than others. This city is built for cretins who think $15 for tacos and chips is a good meal. Grasp the perspective that more sophisticated people set a higher bar. Read New Times if food trucks are more your speed.

Next: Beef Eater Steak House