Updated
Nov 5th, 2018
First Posted
Oct 20th, 2017

Lil Reds Cookin

1705 W State Road 84
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33315
(954) 463-7883
Overall Rating
3.2
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
11/02/2018

Details

Hours: 7 Days 7am-10pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: $10 minimum
Alcohol: None
Outdoor: No
Reservations: No
Delivery: No

Pros

Very Inexpensive
Better than Diner Food
Plenty of Parking

Cons

They Stop Serving Breakfast at 10:59 Sharp
Off the Beaten Path

Insider Tips

Stick to Breakfast.
Germaphobe Alert

Critic's Review

I planned on going to Red's on a Saturday a couple of weeks back but the place was packed and I ended up at Lester's. During the week it's a lot easier.

The rules start at the entrance: Please Seat Yourself. No hostess here.

Another is that they stop serving breakfast at 10:59. This isn't a real diner. Get here after 11am and you'll be eating tuna melt instead of eggs. I got here at 10:45.

I got a seat in the back, because I always sit in the back here.

Coffee comes right away. I thought about steak and eggs for a minute but then just ordered my regular breakfast; 2 eggs, home fries, sausage links and rye toast.

Butter and Jelly comes like clockwork. No wandering around looking for butter like at Lester's.

The food comes out in 7 minutes. A good haul of food for $5.79. Eggs are properly over-easy.

Coffee refills just happen. At 10:58 they make sure you don't need anything as they get ready to cut over. I'm good.

I'm astonished at the people coming in at 11:05 and ordering lunch. Who eats lunch at 11am?

The check is on the table before done eating. No waiting to pay here.

Same price as last year. Imagine that, a restaurant that doesn't systematically rip off their customers.

The sign says there's a $10 minimum for CC, but the cashier said "Don't worry about it".

End of Review.

Conclusion

Lil Red's is the same every time, the way a good breakfast restaurant should be. You sit, you eat, you pay and you leave. Nothing more to say.

Review 10/19/2017

My choice today was between a $19 frittata at Terra Mare or a full breakfast here for $5.79. i went for the value.

One of the things that really sucks about Fort Lauderdale is the ridiculous freight trains and the draw bridges. I got to the tracks here an 10:21. One of the things you need to know at LIl Red's is that breakfast ends at 10:59. No exceptions. Plenty of time.

Two trains; one in each direction today. The northbound train was short; maybe 20 cars. The southbound train was endless.

The train was moving less than 20mph. Barely walking speed. Not everyone was willing to wait.

The car behind the truck was parked and didn't move up, so I moved up for a better view.

At 10:35 the last car passed. 16 minutes. Eastern Fort Lauderdale is cut off for 15 minutes for a 200 car train. How could this kind of thing be allowed?

They seemed to have lost their signs in Irma. Does it take 6 weeks to get a new sign? Does it take 6 weeks to get lettering for the awning? I guess when you've been around for 30 years you don't need no sign.

Decorated for Halloween, I realized that is was just about exactly 3 years since my last visit.

No booths available; one in the corner but it seemed kind of weird. I grabbed a table in the back. The table was wobbly; I tried to move, but they were all wobbly.

They should have menus at the entrance. It's seat yourself, but you have to wait for a menu. I ordered coffee and pondered the choices. Water comes without a straw and the cup comes with stains on the side.

One thing strange is that they don't have cheese grits. Plain grits are nasty; No grits for me. I went with the standard breakfast with links, home fries and rye toast.

The clientele here are people who still appreciate value; not the spendthrift Millenials you find on Las Olas.

There was even a dude reading the Sun Sentinal.

Old School. The music fits the crowd; Survivor. Men at Work. Simply Red.

The food came out in 8 minutes.

No side plate; everything is piled onto one plate.

At 11:01 2 dudes in suits come in and order lunch. Who takes lunch hour at 11am?

Frankly, one of the most enjoyable breakfasts I've had out in a while. Nothing great about the food; just a standard breakfast in a comfortable setting.

And you don't feel cheated when they bring the bill.

I made a stop in the way home and came down Davie Blvd. I hit a draw bridge on Davie and then AGAIN on SE 3rd. What a mess this city is.

Conclusion

A bit off the beaten path, but Lil' Red is a sure thing for a big, value priced breakfast.

Review 10/9/14

My internet was out this morning, so I decided to go out to breakfast. It's really nice out this time of year, but I felt like steak and eggs. I hadn't been to Lil'Reds in a while.

They have a rear parking lot; but there's always plenty of parking, which is the good thing about places off the beaten path.

At 8:30, the place was about half full. I still landed a booth. The place is well decorated for Halloween.

There's no hostess; you sit down and wait for someone to notice you and bring you a menu. This is a diner-type establishment, as coffee is delivered before the menu.

While they have an outdoor patio, there are no tables. It's just for smoking.

A server came over, and I ordered "Steak and Eggs, Over Easy, Home Fries, Toast, Medium Rare". "Ok", she said, "A man who knows what he wants".

Music here is pretty good with the Doobie Brothers, Human League and Lonestar tracks playing; the TVs are on the news. They've replaced the massive tube TVs with modern flat screens and now have wifi; just about the only things that have changed in 5 years since my first visit.

8 Minutes and Breakfast is served.

The cooking is competent; the eggs are just right. Lot's of potatoes, although the "Texas Toast" was a lame version. The price is up to $8.95, still less than anyone else charges for a strip steak breakfast.

This is a place where they top off your coffee every time they walk by, so be ready to wave them off unless you want to re-cream your coffee every few minutes.

Conclusion

I wasn't crazy about Lil'Red's lunch, but breakfast is always good here. You can add a pork chop for $4.65. This place is MUCH better than Waffle House, at Waffle House prices.

And it's a very friendly place.

Review 11/26/12

The first time I went to Lil Red's I got there at 11:04 and they handed me a lunch menu; they stop serving breakfast cold at 11am on weekdays. I was none too happy about it, and I didn't reward them by eating there that morning. On weekends this place is the exception to the rules; while tourists and the brunch crowds pile into the popular places along the strip; Lil Red's truck stop location provides a sleepy, yet competent alternative. They also serve breakfast until noon on weekends, which gives you a bit more time to get organized.

You'd think that a place named Li'l Reds would be owned some some old couple, but that's not the case here. The owner is Chinese.

I've had some decent breakfasts here but they now are pushing the BBQ, so I thought I'd try lunch. I'm not used to eating in when I order BBQ, but Lil Red's is a shade nicer than your typical BBQ joint. Although the cushions on every one of the booth benches were ripped. One positive is that they've replaced the old tube TVs that were on carts with wall mounted flatscreens; not that anyone in the place was watching TV, nor would you come here to watch a game.

The ice tea is $1.89 and comes in a very big cup; I don't know if you get refills because I didn't finish it. My server asked if I wanted lemon properly, but they don't have splenda; not even if you ask for it.

I set myself up for disappointment because is misread the menu, thinking that I was getting a 1/2 rack of ribs. But their 1/2 BBQ ribs is a half pound, which isn't very much.

I also ordered the collard greens and cole slaw, thinking I was doing a low carb thing. Frankly, it's not a very good price regardless, because $8 for 3 ribs and 2 sides is no bargain. Making matters worse was that the ribs didn't have a lot of meat on them. In fact they has surprisingly little. The cold slaw was pedestrian and the collard greens bitter and swimming in foul liquid. The Texas Toast was lame also; a smallish, not very thick slice of bread. I left the place hungry, which is never good.

Service kind of sucked as well. It took a while for her to take my order and then she kept passing by after I was done without giving me the bill; I had to yell at her as she was passing. And she never asked if everything was ok, or if I needed extra napkins.

I like Lil Red's for breakfast, but I don't think I'll do lunch again.

Review 8/13/11

The first time I went to Lil Red's I got there at 11:04 and they handed me a lunch menu; they stop serving breakfast cold at 11am on weekdays. I was none too happy about it, and I didn't reward them by eating there that morning. On weekends this place is the exception to the rules; while tourists and the brunch crowds pile into the popular places along the strip; Lil Red's truck stop location provides a sleepy, yet competent alternative. They also serve breakfast until noon on weekends, which give you a bit more time to get organized.

A place that's been around at a really bad location since man has walked erect has to have something going for it; what they have here is solid food at ridiculously low prices.

The place looks a bit nicer on the inside than it does on the outside.They've just recently started taking credit cards; but there's still no wifi. As you enter there's a big sign that says "Seat Yourself", but there are no menus by the door, so you have to wait until someone notices you to get one.

The place is very clean and has a bit of country charm; they still have monstrous tube sets on carts that make the place seem out of date.

On my first visit here, I got the steak and eggs; a 6oz charbroiled sirloin with Texas Toast which is a helluva deal for $8.25.

While I was eating this I just kept thinking what a great deal it was. They give you a mount of red skin potatoes with onions; the toast is really just thick cut toast. But the steak was cooked just right and had a nice char-grilled taste as well.

Today I was going to go back to O-B house, but then I figured that it might be crowded given it's newness. I was hungry; not looking for anything fancy, so I though of Lil Red's.

I just ordered the regular breakfast with sausage, home fries and rye toast. I was talking to someone about grits earlier in the week, so I ordered a small side of them just to give them a try. I've never been a huge fan.

There was nothing special about this breakfast; it was just plenty of really good food. I couldn't do anything with the grits to make them edible to me; salt, butter, it made no difference; they just remind me of the Cream of Wheat that my Dad used to try to get me to eat when I was a kid; The sausages were decent links and the potatoes were good. I ordered the eggs over medium and they came out a bit overdone; my fault for not adhering to the proper South Florida principles.

The total for all of this with 3 cups of coffee was $8.73; it would have been $7.14 without the grits. I don't need to say much more.

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