Updated
Dec 9th, 2018
First Posted
Jul 7th, 2017

Bar Rita

1401 S Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
954 990-6658
Overall Rating
1.6
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
12/08/2018

Details

Hours: M-F 4p-11p, Fri-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-10pm
Parking: Valet, Street Metered
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: Yes

Pros

Open Air Rooftop Bar

Cons

Awkward Space, Ugly Decor
Haphazard Service Upstairs
Predictably Bad Food

Insider Tips

Bring Sunglasses during the day

Critic's Review

Bar Rita isn't open for lunch, and I rarely want to drag myself to this neck of the woods at night; plus this isn't dinner food, so I wandered in on a Saturday afternoon at about 4pm,

Parking here is downright goofy; there's a forced valet (free, so WHY not allow self parking?), and a fence around a gravel lot. Meanwhile every spot all around the place is taken; nobody wants to valet. I found a metered spot 1/2 block away which was close enough.

The photos they have on their website are "saturation enhanced"; the place is dull and brown, at least during the day.

They have a big outside space with umbrellaed picnic tables and some high tops; it didn't appeal to me at all.

The downstairs inside space slaps a bar with no people; not a very appealing space. Probably good when it's raining or windy or cold.

Downstairs dining room is dark space with the obligatory orange lamps. I wasn't eating down here either.

To get upstairs there's a narrow hallway where you'll get to bang hips with people coming down the stairs. There's also an elevator for old-timers, the handicapped and those with baby strollers.

Upstairs is freestyle; no hostess and apparently no assigned tables. I sat at a table but nobody came over, so I went up to the bar to get a beer.

$6 for a Corona Light. What a deal. I sat at a table with no menu and waited for someone to care. Eventually someone came over and asked if I wanted anything. "A Menu?" I reasoned.

The menu here really blows; $17 for a bowl? I went with the pork carnitas tacos, without the rice and beans. I didn't want a full meal.

There's a great view of the concrete slab out front and Andrews Avenue. I hesitate to call the slab a parking lot, because it's not marked as such and there were no cars parked there.

I found the upstairs space to be very uninspiring. The posts are in the way, the afternoon sun creates harsh lighting, and the decor is quite boring. The bathroom matched the drab decor; ugly wallpaper is the theme here.

The Tap 42 guys have succeeded once again in finding incredibly uncomfortable chairs; the upstairs seating doesn't LOOK comfortable, and they're not.

They have their own hot sauce and some other infused oil that I couldn't see trying. If Mexican food needs hot sauce it's not very good Mexican food. More "Look at me, I'm a chef" nonsense.

Music is the worst possible; all junk all the time. Kodiak Black, Bieber and Cardi B. It's unbearable.

The crowd here is low-end Millenial; the kind of people who think Tacos are a dinner food. It's predictably the same crowd as Tap 42; this place is an overflow for Tap 42; probably mostly an industry crowd.

The tacos came out in just a few minutes; they looked like hardly a snack. What's this, about 50 cents worth of food?

I was taken by the lack of freshness; over refrigerated tomatoes, pork that looked wet. Where's the Verde sauce? Tiny bits of cilantro. Good grief why did I come here?

There were a couple of unexpected cracklin's; the "mojo cream" had some flavor but the meat had none. Pico had no tang.

Carnitas are supposed to be "crisped" to finish them, but they didn't bother with that step here. It's as if they made this in a pressure cooker and then slapped them into a taco. Like meat out of a can. Easily the worst carnitas I've had in recent memory.

Conclusion

I didn't expect much of Bar Rita, but it's much worse than I expected. I'm not a fan of Tap 42, but it's a handsome space. This space is ugly; not intuitive or interesting. Hard to believe that this is what they came up with after so many years of construction.

I know these guys can't cook, but these tacos are embarrassing. I'm glad I didn't try anything more expensive.

With El Camino hopping on Las Olas with a much nicer space and better food and prices, you have to wonder how this place fits into the big picture. If I lived next door I'd never come back here. That's how much I loved it.

Previous Musings

Bar Rita opens today; after 34 years of construction, they open without a web site or even a menu on their facebook page.

The menu is predictably bad with forced "I am a CHEF" recipes; truffled corn guacamole, cauliflower tacos, Tuna Poke Bowls, a chimichurri lamb shank. Hawaii meets California meets South America. Make no mistake about it; this is a bar for Millenials. I don't even know if they have entrees.

I never had anything very good at Tap 42 so I'm not expecting much here. At least they got it open.

Pre-Opening Musings

The fence is down. Landscaping is in.

Doors are in.

11 months later, it's still crawling along Should be done by 2024. First permit for this was in April, 2014

4 months later, it looks like they've done about a day's worth of work. they build 2 floors a week on the Icon, and this place takes 4 months to put up a wall. Here's a photo from May 4, 2016.

I'm getting ready to take the "Coming Soon" Label off of this listing. What a debacle.

The Tap 42 people bought this building for 600K and they're about 950K into the remodel. Seems to me they could have bought a place for way less than 1.5M and opened a year ago.

-----------------------------

Over a year later, it looks like the Tap 42 guys gave up on Cult Taco and are going for an all-out Mexican Restaurant. Just what we need; another place to get tacos and overpriced "hand-crafted" cocktails in Fort Lauderdale.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Gino
Reply
This place is a candidate to have trouble meeting their 50% food quota.
Administrator
Reply
They don't have entrees, but they're not open for lunch. And they're only open until 11p Mon-Thu.
Rikki
Reply
What are they going to do when it's cold or raining or windy? Close down?
Administrator
Reply
This might have been a good idea in 2012, but with El Camino and Rocco's on Las Olas you have to wonder if the only thing this place is going to do is shift some customers from Tap 42.
Admin
Reply
Here is this year's pic of the Bar Rita Construction.
Laura
Reply
In answer to Chris, my friend who moved here from Texas says that Taqueria Dona Raquel in Pompano is the only authentic Mexican food down here.
DB
Reply
Dona Raquel is good as is Mexican Supermarket in Pompano. Both hole in the walls but good food.
Administrator
Reply
I wasn't impressed with Dona Raquel. There's a lot of bad food in Mexico, to be fair. I'd rather just go to La Bamba. Commercial, but consistent.
The gourmet Gardener
Reply
Ive already sampled their wanna be Mexican take on food at The Chefs showcase in Oakland Park, without the alcohol samples the food was mediocre at best.. no authenticity what so ever
Chris Brown
Reply
I have been waiting for over twenty years for a real Mexican restaurant in South Florida (I hail from Tex-Mex land) which should serve tacos with corn tortillas, as an example. I am crossing my fingers for Tap 42\'s version. I believe they can do it
Administrator
Reply
Based on the junk they serve at Tap 42, I give them a 0% chance of that. I'm sure there will be plenty of booze, though. I'd settle for a comfortable chair.

Next: Cabo Blanco Restaurant