Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 8:10 a.m.
Seems a Fort Lauderdale farm-to-table breakfast spot is a big enough deal to make news all the way down in Miami.
The day after it opened, a couple of friends and I defected to visit Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House
) to check it out. Here's the skinny out of the gate:
Service: Peter Hardy, a salty mate from across the pond, entertained us with tales of his 20-plus years of living in Fort Lauderdale. Service was pretty great too.
Décor: Clean, bright, and open, it's retro diner meets Pottery Barn, with marine pendant lighting and chocolate accents. The crowd was more fashion-forward than at most restaurants I've so far visited. Guys in oversized nerd glasses and gingham checked shirts dined with lovelies in maxi-dresses. Ink, per usual, was the accessory.
Food: I found myself coveting my friend's crab hollandaise of two soft poached eggs with spinach on toast ($16) that -- stacked with fresh crabmeat and dripping with yolk -- was very near obscene.
My choice, the O-B BLT, was fun for making a mess. Decked with six slices of maple bacon, a stack of dark leafy greens, and a decent tomato, the Gran Forno
thick-sliced bread was -- alas -- not toasted. Sigh. ($13).
We were intrigued by the cast-iron pancake, a thick, eggy number baked in a cast-iron skillet, for which each batch (which serves 12) contains 27 eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream. Owner Rodney Ely says he made up the recipe, but it's suspiciously similar to a French clafoutis
. Go with a fresh fruit 'cake rather than plain ($9 to $12).
Coffee: Community Coffee from Louisiana is great. What I didn't love is the $2 for the first cup and the $.75 a refill. I'd rather pay more for bottomless brew or drink from a bigger mug.
Price point: I get that we're paying for free-range eggs and farmers' market produce, but will Lauderdalians shell out $12 and $25 a head for breakfast fare? Our table of five did; with half of us drinking, the bill came to $92 before tip.
I was charmed by the mix-it-yerself Bahamian take
on the Michelada
served with Tabasco and Worcestershire. And my friend Debi liked the mimosa served with super-fresh-squeezed OJ in a stylish glass, but I have to say I was missing the booze for a bloody mary. Perhaps the permit gods will grant a wish soon.
For round two? I'm looking forward to the simmered seafood stew of grouper, tomato, asparagus, vidalias, and spinach ($12). If only I could cruise over by boat
Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House
333 Himmarshee St.
Fort Lauderdale 33312
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