Biker bars. Not something you would normally associate with great food. However, I have been presently surprised in South Florida!! Here a couple that I have hit lately:
Quarterdeck on Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale. Although not really a biker bar, it draws a large crowd of motorcycles, probably due in part to its location on Las Olas, right near A1A. The food here is not bad, and it’s fairly inexpensive. Their lobster bisque is good but rich, in fact a little too rich for me, but sharing to expand your plate variety is a good idea. Their hamburgers aren't bad either. I don't think I would head there specifically for a hamburger, but it’s always an option... But the main thing that draws me to Quarterdeck is the steamed clam dish. They aren't the best steamed clams but they are good and you get three dozen for what you pay for one dozen everywhere else!
Alabama Jack’s is on a waterway in the top of the keys off Card Sound Road. The atmosphere open air, live band and sheer fun!! Most of the food is fried seafood, but there are a few chicken dishes and hamburgers common to a bar. We ordered crab cakes, a hamburger and the chicken fingers. Absolutely delicious. I am particular when it comes to food, although I will try most anything often time nothing sounds good, and I usually stay away from fried foods or too many carbs. I think the chicken fingers were the best I have had in SoFla, and the crab cakes were incredible. I didn’t try the hamburger, but my dining partner, the Rican Rocker is a picky burger eater and really enjoyed the AJ Burger. Neither of us were in the least bit disappointed. We sat at a table by the water, watched the fish, the birds and the passing boats. The service was great and I really enjoyed this bar. Even though its known as a biker bar, it closes at 7:00 pm. Plan accordingly, but don’t pass this one up!
Shipwreck’s Bar & Grill we found on a whim, we were escaping a moment of adrenaline and passed a sign directing us and we obliged. It was a typical seaside/waterway bar for the north Keys area, and it wasn’t busy when we were there. However, the setting was nautical awesome and even had a Cuban exile raft that had been towed to shore. The service was great, the view was so serene and the service was really wonderful; very personable. I ordered the ahi tuna, which I absolutely loved! The tender without being mushy, slightly seared and came with a s0y/Thai dipping sauce and wasabi. It was absolutely tuna heaven. Sitting waterside we had a great view of the incoming storm, plenty of boats and some local kayakers. If you come upon this place, don't pass it up, it was definitely worth the stop.
Nicks Bar & Grill on the Broadwalk in Hollywood is one of my favorites!! Again, I think it draws a large biker crowd due to its location, open windows, door and bar that serves mostly bar food, a lot of fried seafood, but they do by far have the best steamed clams. I have eaten both a burger and chicken fingers there (I can't help it - watching what I eat I try to go safe when everything is fried!) but the clams are by far my favorite. They are simple, yet have the best flavor. I have yet to eat them in SoFla that have been better than Nick's. The bar sits right on the Broadwalk in Hollywood so regardless of the time of day, people-watching is always guaranteed! When its hot the people constantly flow by in every variety, and when it is stormy and raining, the cool rain scented air flies in through the plastic "walls" into the simple yet cozy bar. I absolutely love Nick's. I take everyone visiting from out of town here and sometimes seek solace alone there. If you have never been to Nick's, make a point to check it out, if you like low key (even just on occasion) this is a place not to miss!!!
The Last Chance Saloon you will be familiar with if you have ever driven from Miami to the Keys. It is the last stop in Florida City on the west side as you head south on Route 1 to the Keys. The first time I stopped there, it was dead, but the service was good and the bar was dark. I stopped again, on the way back home, to find a much more vibrant crowd. It was more of a local and biker crowd but comfortable just the same. The beer is cheap and the pool and jukebox at your own discretion can be such a blast!! I did not notice any food though so I have only experienced this as strictly a bar sans food.
And finally, Fuddrucker's in South Miami. Every Thursday night is "Bike Night" and this has emanated loud and clear through the biker community in South Florida. It was a rare COLD night this past Thursday when I ended up here, so it wasn't as packed as usual. However, I was still impressed with the amount of people and the number of bikes. The food, which is no place for someone on a diet, was worth what you pay and more. The burgers, deemed best in Miami, were actually very, very good! You build them to your own taste with an entire condiment bar at your disposal. I also noticed a "dessert counter" which served cookies, ice cream, milk shakes, all those things that are outside my boundaries at the moment. The hamburger really was, if nothing more, worth the trip south down Route 1 in the freezing cold on the Harley. Aside from that, the bikes on display were impressive. If you are into motorcycles, Bike Night at Fuddruckers is a must!! There were the classic Harleys and Indians, and the built Choppers, to the Hondas and Crotch-rockets, and even some tiny cruising bikes built from ground up. I love to see the choppers with the airbrushing; some are so impressive. At any rate, if you dig bikes, definitely go. If you dig burgers, make your way there. I am looking forward to going again on a warmer night, and hope to be even more impressed.