I'd been to Lime Fresh twice after they first opened and I wasn't very impressed. It was time to refresh my memory.
My first memory was that the place was always empty; it does a good jump-->job of making Joe's across the lot not feel bad about not having any customers. I was thinking of a salad, but for some reason all of the salads have carrots, and they aren't much different than a burrito bowl. I decided to go with the 8th Street burrito, Nude (which means in a bowl).
They have a salsa bar with nothing too exciting. I grabbed a couple of red salsas. Of course you don't get chips until your meal is ready, so you're stuck at the table with your beverage and salsas for a while.
The music here is as bad as it gets, with "Dance!", "24 Horas" and "Wake Me Up" making me want to get out quickly. In a way they have captured a bit of Mexico; you feel like you're eating at a Mexican Club; The only thing missing are the Mexicans.
The food comes out pretty quickly.
A medium sized bowl, not quite as much as you get at Chipotle. The prices on the menu are higher than the prices on their website, where this is listed at $7.25. Actual price: $7.99. > The chips are pretty mundane:
I didn't care for either of the salsas, which saved me from eating the chips. This bowl is supposed to include chicken, bacon, black beans. Pico and rice, but there was very little bacon; just a few bits. There were big clumps of hardened rice which is always nice to bite into. And who was the one who came up with the idea of putting strips of tasteless chips on top of a salad? Tortilla strips are the dumbest thing ever used as a garnish. They just get in the way.
I scraped off what I could and headed home. With Baja Fresh now closed; this is the worst of the "Fresh" Mexican places; it reminds me more of Moe's than Mexico. I should have gone to Chipotle.
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is a chain run by Ruby Tuesday. How lucky are these guys to find an empty space right on US1 in a Lime colored building?
Mexican restaurants are getting like Delis on Long Island now; in the past 2 years we've seen 2 Tijuana Flats, Rocco's Tacos, Dos Camino, Guacamole, Burrito Loco, Casa Frida, Chipotle and JoJo's Tacos open in Eastern Fort Lauderdale between E 17th and E Commercial. Chipotle is opening 2 more locations and the Whole Enchilada will be opening across from Jalisco in a couple of months. Guacamole has already closed. I have to wonder why these places think that there is such a huge market for Mexican food; or maybe it's just arrogance in that they all think that their food is so much better.
The place has a clean, simple layout; sort of an open air feel with the patio.jump-->
Lime Fresh Fort Lauderdale Interior
The model here is broken, in my opinion. Up front they have girls that are a bit too bubbly; I don't need someone standing next to me pointing out suggestions when I'm looking over the menu. They push the salsa bar "Make sure you hit the salsa bar for your chips". They give you a big plastic number, your receipt and you can either grab a bottle drink or they give you a cup.Then they send you on your way. >
It wasn't too hot, so I grabbed a table on the patio. It's physically nice outside, but you're 10 feet from US1, so its a quite noisy.
The music here is bad; Chris Brown, David Guetta. Some of Taylor Swift's lesser works. The problem here is that you find yourself sitting at the table with a drink and salsa; no chips, waiting for a server. They don't bring out chips in advance; they come with your food.
So I sat at a table with water and salsa and no fork to even sample the salsa; in about 10 minutes a tray comes out with the 2 tacos I ordered and some chips. But no utensils. I like to taste stuff with a fork before diving in, so I go inside looking for a setup area. But there are no forks out. I had to ask a server.
The steak taco comes with some sort of beef, peppers, onions, cheese and pico de gallo.
Lime Fresh Steak and Cheese Taco
This is a winner. Not prime beef, but the whole thing works. The fish taco is another matter.
Lime Fresh Fish Taco
A small finger of fish, this is supposed to come with a "special sauce", but there isn't enough fish or sauce to notice. It reminded me of the tacos I had at the hard rock last week; too much lettuce and not enough food. A loser.
To me, these Fresh Mexican places are all about the same. The failed model here and the unimpressive salsa bar puts it at the bottom of my list.