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Tropical Cafe

When you walk into a local joint and encounter a table of cops tucking into the grub, it's generally a pretty good sign. After all, peace officers, like couriers, often have a leg up on some of the best out-of-the-way places to score a solid meal at a good price. Cuban sandwiches are a big draw and a permanent banner above the entrance boldly proclaims it as the best in Fort Lauderdale. Breakfast-offered all day, add $1 after 11 a.m.- calls for watching as your server grabs an orange or two to make your fresh-squeezed OJ, while the café con leche is appropriate no matter the time of day. Sink your teeth into any number of hot or cold sandwiches (including about five variations of that vaunted Cuban) or regional specialties like ropa viepa, palomilla steak and about half a dozen pork offerings. Sides at Tropical Cafe are almost superfluous at this point, but the fried yucca with garlic mojo is nice; the fried sweet plantains better.

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