I couldn't wait to return for Betty's breakfast (served all day long, seven days a week). This time, four of us walked into a crowded restaurant midmorning on a Saturday (we were the only white folks in the joint). Although the service wasn't as warm as it had been at dinner, several patrons greeted us with a pleasant "good morning" as we seated ourselves and ordered drinks. Specifically, Kool-Aid.

Now, the flavored drink mix has been quenching sugar cravings of Americans for more than 50 years, but Betty's mixture deserves a special accolade. You order by announcing which color you'd like. My dining companions Mike and Justin ordered a glass of "red" (cherry-flavored) served over ice. Their tongues smacked against the roof of their mouths after each sip. "Damn, this is sweet!" said Justin. Mike swears he experienced significant sleep disturbance as a result of consuming two glasses.

I ordered the country ham. Where I come from in the South, the country folk pour coffee directly onto country ham to soften the bold flavor of its almost unbearable saltiness. Me, I relish in its salty glory. Besides, I rounded it out with stolen bites of sweet buttermilk pancake soaked with warm maple syrup from Justin's $5 blue-plate special (which also came with two servings of eggs, bacon, and sausage links). If that hadn't worked, I'm sure I could have downed a Pedialyte to replenish any lost electrolytes and save me from dehydration.

Fried jumbo shrimp, collard greens, and mac 'n' cheese.
Candace West
Fried jumbo shrimp, collard greens, and mac 'n' cheese.

Location Info

Map

Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

601 NW 22nd Road
Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33311-7756

Category: Restaurant > Soul Food

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Betty's Soul Food Restaurant, 601 NW 22nd Road, Fort Lauderdale. Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Call 954-583-9121.

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Unfortunately, I wasn't the one who ordered the breaded pork chop — which forced me to barter for tastings. The tender chop was barely breaded before being fried to a light golden color, then deliciously smothered with luscious brown gravy that paired gloriously with the sweet homemade biscuits. Choosing between bites of country ham or that pork chop was like deciding who to put the emergency oxygen mask on first — yourself or your best friend?

My daydream took me from my oxygen-mask dilemma to memories of eating grits most mornings during my childhood in North Carolina. I had stopped ordering grits at restaurants after being disappointed too many times — they were never prepared quite right. I like mine Southern-style: lots of butter and salt with a smooth texture. Forget gimmicks like cheesy-style grits or bacon bits; all you need is the right combination of butter and salt.

Mike interrupted my fantasy when he picked up some thick-cut country bacon, scooped up some grits, and declared, "These grits make you wanna slap yo' mamma!" I give that an "amen."

It's possible that I was overcome by nostalgia or still high from the mac-’n’-cheese, but I think Betty's self-proclaimed "back-home, country-style" soul food is enough to have anyone "drinking the Kool-Aid." If you think I'm wrong, feel free to slap me.

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3 comments
CantFoolMe
CantFoolMe

What a coincidence! A positive review of bettys by the same person who had "advice" for Market 17, and then like magic, Betty's ads start appearing on New Times.

Lcbnt
Lcbnt

The greatest review ever. Sign me up for a soulful meal here. Not sure if it's gonna be breakfast or dinner, But we will check it out!

Dennis
Dennis

With 2000 other restaurants to choose from, there's no reason to risk your life trekking deep into the hood for some biscuits and chicken. It's just plain foolish.

 
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