On a Saturday afternoon when people were waiting for the privilege of paying $20 for over-hyped "fancy" food at Tap 42, I decided to get a late breakfast at a little coffee shop.
Aside from Carrabba's, this is a very strange little shopping center with a lot of low volume stores, and in the corner is the Harbor Cafe. This place has changed hands a few times, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
It hasn't changed much; they have a counter and some booths. It's a classic, old-time coffee shop.
Harbor Cafe Interior
They have a small menu; this isn't a diner where you can get Romanian Steak or a Reuben Sandwich. I ordered coffee and took a look at the menu.
Harbor Cafe Coffee
I thought about asking how they made the Mexican Omelet, but I figured they just dumped some salsa on it and I didn't want that. So I ordered my usual; they used to have the big, good sausages here: 2 over easy, sausage, home fries and rye toast.
They play good music on their system; "Let it Be", some Doobie Brothers and U2's "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home".
A good-looking plate came out in about 10 minutes.
Harbor Cafe Eggs
Not a huge portion, but everything was cooked about right. The potatoes are the kind that have been on the grill all day, with a thick crust on the bottom. They still have the good sausages, although they've abandoned the bigger coffee cup.
Harbor Cafe Eggs
With only 1 other table, it was a nice, quiet weekend breakfast. And it cost about 1/3 of what I would have had to pay at one of the "Weekend Brunch" rip-offs that everyone seems to have now.
Harbor Cafe Bill
Perhaps the cheapest breakfast in town, and a good one. This place rises above Joe's Cafe on my list.
Harbor Cafe is as easy to miss as any restaurant on a main road in Fort Lauderdale. Its tucked in the corner of a deep shopping center that is populated with specialty stores that few have a need to ever visit. While it's one of only a few places for Breakfast in the area for nearby Hotels, this place is almost all local regulars.
The place is under new management and is registered with the name Blue Harbor Cafe, but all of the old signage remains. You'd never know on the surface that the place had changed hands.
Inside, its your classic coffee shop. Some green vinyl booths, lots of wood tables and a counter.
Harbor Cafe Interior
They have more tables outside than they did before; there was only 1 guy outside and he wasn't smoking, so I figured it was safe. Unfortunately, the this corner spot has an ally that serves as a smoking station for maintenance workers, who also frequently pass by with tools and garbage cans. I wouldn't sit outside here again; It's too bad because it's set back from the road so it's pretty tranquil as shopping center dining goes.
Harbor Cafe Outside View
There were the usual outside caveats as well; the salt shaker was largely non-functional and there were 2 sugar dispensers for about 8 tables; no regular sugar packets. Not a problem with only 2 tables occupied; hopefully they put out more if it's more crowded.
I'd had the Italian Omelet the last time I was here; the menu is largely the same. But I just ordered my regular favorite, hoping to get something better than my last few tries. Service was pretty good; the fully windowed cafe allows them to see what's going on outside so they see you when you sit down. Coffee was weak but not bad; typical diner coffee. The food came out in short order.
Harbor Cafe Eggs with Sausage
They're cooking on a clean grill here; this is no greasy spoon. a good portion of potatoes, the good sausages, eggs perfectly over medium (ordered overeasy; I've learned). They have rye toast. The only negative change is that they used to have big coffee cups; they have the standard, industrial diner cups now. But refills are timely, so no biggie. A good, solid breakfast, all for under $10 including tip. Free Parking is a bonus.
Harbor Cafe is as easy to miss as any restaurant on a main road in Fort Lauderdale. Its tucked in the corner of a deep shopping center that is populated with specialty stores that few have a need to ever visit. Yet there are always people here. There are a slew or regulars who call this place a second home.
They're only open for breakfast and lunch, and now that its cooled off a bit I thought I'd give it a try for a late breakfast. You can get breakfast here "all day"; well at least until they close at 3pm.
Inside, its your classic coffee shop. Some green vinyl booths, tables and a counter. The servers have probably been here for many years; its just that kind of place.
Harbor Cafe Interior (10/14)
They also have a few tables outside; where I decided to land. It turned out to be a mistake as a couple of smokers sat at the next table shortly; but thats the chance you take with modern outdoor dining. The menu has some interesting items; I asked my server how they made the "Italian" omelet, and she wasn't entirely sure. Sausage, mozzarella and "something else". I surmised tomatoes and decided to give it a try.
The omelet was made with chunks of italian sausage, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. You can't go too wrong with those ingredients, although it would have been better with some actual tomatoes and some onions. The home fries were pretty good and they lathered the butter on my rye toast.
I like that they give you a big cup of coffee so they don't have to keep coming back to refill it. The coffee was $1.60. I'm not sure if you get refills as none where offered, and my cup never was empty.
All in all, a decent neighborhood place for some light grub.