I joined Poul on his layover in Fort Lauderdale, and one of the days we rented a small Cessna and went for sightseeing along Florida’s coast. None of us have a valid certificate for small piston engine airplanes, so we went up with an instructor. It turned out to be a really good idea, because then we had our hands free to take photos and videos of the beautiful flight.
Fort Lauderdale Blog
Fort Lauderdale has not always been known for its bustling dining scene, but things are changing and meh is turning into yay. I have made a list of restaurants that I particularly like, and I hope it can serve as a starting point if you are visiting Fort Lauderdale and wonder where to eat. It is the U.S. so you will need a car or an Uber to get to most of the places mentioned, but I hope you will agree with me that these restaurants are worth the ride.
We ended up having Christmas dinner at Ruth’s Chris, which is a chain of old school steak restaurants. I’ve previously dined at Ruth’s Chris in Dubai and Atlanta, and I’ve always been happy with the steaks, which are all USDA prime, and the service, which is always prime too.
After a short stop at the hotel to change our clothes, we went straight down to Fort Lauderdale Beach. This part of Fort Lauderdale Beach is very similar to JBR Beach in Dubai. There are lots of restaurants (and tourists) and if you have a thing for luxury cars, you will also find plenty of eye candy cruising the promenade, even though the Ferrari-per-capita ratio might be slightly smaller than in Dubai.
Joe’s Stone Crab is a South Beach classic that we didn’t want to miss. I love crab, but I’ve never had stone crab before. In Denmark, the most common kind of crab at restaurants is brown crab, and while the stone crab claws actually looked a bit like brown crab claws, I found the flavor slightly sweeter and the claws bigger and more meaty.
We had a set consisting of 2 big claws, a lobster tail and a big lump of crab meat as well as a lobster roll on the side. So much delicious food! I had to pinch my arm to make sure I was awake and not in the middle of a seafood fairytale dream.
The staff were warm and friendly and greeted us as if we were regulars. Who knows, maybe they mistook us for someone else? Even though we were full, they strongly recommended that we also tried the key lime pie, and I’m happy that they insisted, because that was the most amazing key lime pie I’ve ever had. It was served chilled, so the zesty, tart lime pie almost tasted like gelato. If you visit Joe’s whatever you do, don’t miss the key lime pie.
We were at Joe’s for lunch, and even though the restaurant was empty, when we arrived, it filled up quickly, both indoors and outdoors, so a table reservation is probably a good idea if you consider going.
The restaurant is only open October to May, reflecting the stone crab season.
Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Tel: +1 (303) 673 0365
Usually, I’m not much of a resort person, but I had a complimentary night through a rewards program I’m in, so when Poul flew back to Dubai, I decided to check in at Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale to extend my stay in the Florida sun.
We were on our way to another restaurant that Poul had found online, but the Uber driver mentioned that Coconuts was the place everybody was talking about these days..just sayin’…! Quick change of plans, take us to Coconuts instead!
Thursday morning, we went to have breakfast at Jet Runway Café, which is located right by the apron at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. You would think that as an airline pilot, you get more than your dose of plane spotting at work, but no, not Poul, he never gets tired of looking at airplanes.
After our dinner at American Social, we went for a walk along Las Olas Boulevard. We didn’t take many steps before we stumbled upon La Bonne Crepe, and even though we were both full after our dinner, we also knew that there’s always room for a crepe or two. They were about to close down for the night, but if we were just having dessert and didn’t mind them cleaning up around us, we could some inside.
My Crepes Suzette might not be the most visually appealing, and at several times during the flambéing, I feared that the waiter was about to set his fingers on fire. The crepes tasted really good though, and there were no traces of barbecued fingers.
Poul’s Peach Melba looked like something from a dessert fairytale. The crepe was light and crispy, and it was delicious together with the ice cream and the (canned?) peach. We didn’t want to stay for too long, but it was a nice little place, and I wouldn’t mind going back some other time during ordinary hours.
La Bonne Crepe, 815 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
On our first night in Fort Lauderdale, we went for dinner at American Social which is located right on vibrant Las Olas Boulevard. American Social is one of those places which look like any other American bar, but with ambitions that go beyond chicken wings and hot sauce.
Sawgrass Mills is the biggest outlet mall in the U.S. so we thought it would be the perfect place to spend a day in jetlagged zombie mode. The mall has a nice mix of stores ranging from high-end designer brands to discount shopping, and there’s something for every budget. The biggest savings are probably in the big outlet stores such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington, Century 21, Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth.
Good morning Florida! I’m at Marriott Fort Lauderdale North together with Poul, who arrived from Dubai yesterday. He has a 5-day layover here, so I flew in from New York and keep him company.
Yay! I’m in Florida! I just touched down an hour ago and now I’m at the airport hotel, Quality Inn & Suites, which I’ve booked for the night. When it comes to airport hotels, I’m not that picky, as I usually just stay one night on my way somewhere else. The only things I look for are free wi-fi and a free airport shuttle. Usually the cheapest hotels don’t offer transportation to and from the airport, so you end up spending the few bucks you’ve saved on the room on cab rides instead, so I always go for the hotels with free airport shuttles even if they’re a little more expensive.
Now I’m at the airport, waiting for my flight to Las Vegas. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning (thank you jetlag), and I wasn’t able to fall asleep again, so I called Poul, and we talked for more than an hour. There’s an 8-hour time difference between Dubai and Florida, and an 11-hour time difference between Dubai and Las Vegas, so I have to get up early to catch him anyway, before he goes to sleep.