I was going to go to OB/House for a late breakfast so I decided to check their menu. I was astounded that their regular breakfast: 2 eggs, roasted potatoes, sausage or bacon and toast is now $14! This is what you get for $6.95 at most breakfast places. When they first opened that dish was $9 here.
Ely has abandoned dinner. A breakfast place downtown should do well late night, but not at $14 for eggs. Ely's prices are now too high to recommend for breakfast. What's interesting is that his lunch prices aren't too bad.
I stopped by at 11:30 on a Friday and the lot was pretty full. I thought if I got there before 12 it would be no problem, but I guess people are already in brunch mode on Friday. There were 4 empty tables outside, 2 couples waiting, and they said it was a 20 minute wait. I left.
I'd been to the OB House a few times, but never for lunch. When they first opened, they only had a couple of lunch choices; but now they've expanded the menu so I figured I'd try something.jump-->
If you don't know about the O/B House; the place is all about the quirky owner, Rodney Ely. There are all sorts of rules at Ely run restaurants, and he's very meticulous about how he does things. Everything is exactly the same every time. They won't seat you until your entire party arrives. And if you dare to complain about anything; well you do so at your own risk.
There were a couple of people sitting outside, but just 2 people in the dining room, Ely and one of the servers grabbing a bite. Luckily he doesn't know what I look like. They sat me at the same table I've sat at every time I've been here. I ordered an iced tea and looked for new stuff on the menu.
The place reminds me of a small New England breakfast place in Newport, RI; nothing has changed since day 1 in the place.
O/B House Interior
The tea came out without the extra lemon; that's been happening a lot lately, as if servers aren't really listening.
O/B House Iced Tea
I reminded him and he brought out some slices. ugh, the lemon slice instead of a wedge.
O/B House Lemon slice
I'll re-itereate to restaurant owners; lemon is not a garnish for iced tea. You actually want to sqeeze the juice into the tea. And you can't squeeze a slice of lemon.
I ordered the Seafood Stew. Music here is superb and they have a good sound system. Tom Petty, The Foundations, Bob Marley and Van Morrison. Good stuff.
The stew took about 10 minutes.
O/B House Seafood Stew
I guess I expected this to be different. Stews have gravy; this is more of a soup. Nevertheless, it looked good. I had no use for the lime; the dish was well seasoned, I didn't even think of reaching for the salt. There was a very slight spiciness to it; it tasted a lot like a good thyme flavored clam chowder.
The "stew" is served with bread; Rodney's bread is thick cut and heavily buttered. I'm not really eating bread, but I did taste it and it's good bread.
O/B House Bread
It's not a lot of food for $13, but it's a very good soup. No refill on the Iced Tea; not sure if they give refills and I didn't dare ask. They do have free parking, so you save a couple of bucks there.
Not once did Ely look in my direction or acknowledge me; don't expect the owner to come over and ask how everything is. It's just not that kind of place.
O-B House, which is some sort of odd shorthand for Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House, opened just under a year ago. I tried it a few times when it first opened, and I thought it was a nice little place with quality food and fairly high prices. It was about time for a re-visit.
They have a section of a big parking lot that's also used for parking for the museum and iMAX; just pull into the section closest to the restaurant. There's an attendant who is just there to make sure you go into the restaurant. There's no charge for parking.
Inside, it's a pretty nice place. It has a New England feel; It reminds me of a place in Newport, RI.
The tables are close together and you'll feel like you're dining with the people next to you; the big flowers in oversized vases take up more table space than they should ; the tables here are tight for 2.
They have a good sound system and the music is pretty good: Jack Johnson, Blind Melon and Eric Hutchinson. The kitchen is open, and the place is well-staffed on a Saturday. Different servers will come by and during your meal.
When they first opened, the small coffee was $2.50 and it was $.75 for a refill. Now, its $3 and you get refills. One thing about the owner Rodney Ely is that he's set in his ways. Water still comes with unwanted lemon. There's no swaying him on this.
On my first visit here I ordered the O-B House breakfast, 2 over-easy with sausage and yukon gold potatoes. For toast your choices are multigrain or white; I opted for the multigrain.
O-B House Breakfast with Sausage, Yukon Golds and Multigrain Bread
They have good sausage here. This was $9 a year ago; now it's $10. I had an omelet my next time, and for $12 I didn't think that it was big enough to justify the price. Frankly their omelets are stingy and not enough food for me. I thought about eggs benedict but they don't have it here; their O-B House Hollandaise doesn't have any meat and I can't see paying $12 for spinach. So I thought I'd try the Mexican Shipwreck, which comes with black beans, guacamole, salsa, and sour creme. The food came out pretty quickly.
O-B House Mexican Shipwreck
The menu doesn't say that it comes with cheese, but it does. This is kind of a strange dish; the black beans are inside 2 soft tortillas, with the eggs and the cheese over it.
O-B House Mexican Shipwreck cut open
I can't say that this recipe excited me much. The tortillas and beans didn't taste like much, and I think it would be much better with Pepper Jack cheese instead of the plain jack. I like their version of guacamole, which has chunks of red onion. It was enough food; I was pretty full when I was finished.
If you go to their web site and go to the OB-House & Owner section, there's a fairly rude About writeup that's also on the front of the menus. He tries to explain his rigidity in preparation; there aren't a lot of options at the OB-House; bacon is served well-done ONLY. Frankly, I find the pricing explanation a bit insulting, as if I've never been to the supermarket and I don't know that even the best, organic eggs are only 35 cents a piece, and how much butter do they really use to make an omelet? Even if you're paying $12/lb for coffee, it's still only 30 cents a cup. The truth is that a totally organic, free range breakfast might cost $1 more than what everyone else uses; but they charge about $4 more here for the food. So it really doesn't fly.
Places are entitled to charge what they want without having to explain it. They take care in the preparation and the place is nicer than your typical diner. Just think of OB-House as a place where you can get brunch 7 days a week. Most places offer some fancier recipes for an extra couple of dollars at brunch; OB-house just does it every day.