Last Update
Sep 18th, 2019

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

429 S Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33316
(954) 463-0777
Overall Rating
2.6
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
09/18/2019

Details

Hours: Mon-Thu,Sun11am-10pm,Fri-Sat11am-11pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Street
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Entree Prices: Moderate
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: No
Delivery: No

Pros

Decent Cajun Food
TGI Fridays type Decor

Cons

Clunky Service
Chain Restaurant Quality Food

Critic's Review

The disaster that is Fort Lauderdale beach is generally to be avoided; but this time of year tourism is limited and who would want to vacation in Fort Lauderdale in the summer when half the place is under construction?

I have a parking pass so to get free parking I have to park in the Beach Park rather than the closest available spot. With the Las Olas lot gone I'm surprised the businesses on this side can stay in business. The beach park lot is like 1/4 mile wide so you could have to walk a LONG WAY to get to Bubba Gump. Luckily I got a good spot on the north side of the lot.

This place is a disaster personnel-wise. There's nobody manning the hostess stand, and nobody inside. One dude told me to wait by the menus, but nobody came. You can't really distinguish between the servers and other employees. The bar is closed (seemingly); and the patio with a nice waterfall was too hot on a 90 degree day.

A server plopped me into a booth with a menu, where the wait began. Tick Tock.

A guy serving the next table blew by me twice without a glance. The 3rd time he came by I spoke up. "Is anyone assigned to this table; I've been here quite a while". I guess nobody told him (or they don't have assigned tables); he promised to make it up to me but getting my gumbo right away.

And he did.

The gumbo today was better than the last time I had it (and better than what I got at Walk-Ons a few weeks ago).

No bits of mystery fish this time. But the soup needed a kick. There's hot sauce in the bucket; they have their own brand.

Just a couple of drops, but it did the trick. A bit too much rice and just the tiny shrimp, but a pretty good gumbo.

I also ordered the "Accidental Flounder", which comes with rice and grilled shrimp.

A decent portion for $18.95. This is $29 without the shrimp at one of the many rip-off restaurants in town.

This would have been a lot better if they slathered the fish in the sauce that the dripped into the corner of the plate. Salt was needed; and the shrimp were also unseasoned; how hard is it to add some seasoning to the shrimp?

Not a bad choice if you're looking for something not deep fried.

I got a refill (which I took for the ride home) and paid with a Morton's gift card. This is a Landry's restaurant.

Conclusion

This place is a clear chain restaurant; poorly managed with sort of a random feel. But it's also the best cajun food restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Not that great, but better than the others.

Review 6/18/15

It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years since I've been to Bubba Gump. I had a surprisingly good jambalaya back then; I figured I'd try it again.

It's always dead inside during the say; everyone seems to want to sit outside on the park benches even though it's 90 degrees out. I got a nice big booth all to myself. Iced tea was delivered with 3 nice big lemon wedges.

They have a full menu, but Bubba Gump is about shrimp. They have a seafood gumbo that I wanted to try, and I thought the scampi would be way too much food, so I ordered the shrimp, mac and cheese appetizer.

My server was downright perky, particularly for a dude. The gumbo came out quickly.

Luckily the rice wasn't all mixed in, so I was able to scoop most of it out. The gumbo was disappointing; based on the good jambalaya I'd had before, I thought this would be better.

First, there wasn't much "fish", and it wasn't good fish. That reddish stuff is some sort of fish-food; who knows what it was. Maybe chunk light tuna? It had tiny shrimp and the broth was pedestrian; no roux taste here. Way over priced too at 5.29.

Music here is quote a potpourri of oldies: Bruce, The Rolling Stones, Anita Ward. A bit of Freddie King. Mostly good stuff.

When the Mac and Cheese arrived, my first thought was that it looked better in the picture on the menu. A layer of bread crumbs on top, as if Mac & Cheese isn't starchy enough.

I mixed it up to get a better idea of what I was dealing with.

A taste also disappointed; it didn't have that cheese pop that Mac and Cheese can have. The worst part was the shrimp, which were the small crappy kind, that barely taste like anything. Do they grow these on a vine or something?

I ate most of it, but it wasn't the crazy comfort food I was hoping for. Boo on this visit.

Conclusion

One thing that impressed me the last time I was here was that they used good shrimp in the Jambalaya; I don't know if Landry is bean counting or if it was just the particular dished that I ordered, but I got a completely different impression this time. Without good shrimp, the Bubba Gump brand is severely damage. Sort of like when you server a $57 steak and you don't even designate it as USDA Prime on the menu.

I used to be a big shrimp lover, but restaurant are now using cheap, tasteless shrimp so I've avoided ordering them. It will be a while before I can get interested in Bubba Gump again.

Review 7/18/12

After 6 years in Fort Lauderdale, I'd never been to Bubba Gump. I've also never seen the movie. I may be the only 5+ year resident of Fort Lauderdale who can say that. Everyone tells you that it's just a tourist trap. From the sidewalk, it doesn't look like much; a bunch of picnic benches and their big, stupid logo. But I was looking at their menu the other day, and it looked really good. A lot of cajun dishes. So I decided to try it.

Bubba Gump is owned by Landry, who also owns the Chart House and Mortons; not exactly in the same genre. My opinion of those places is that the food is good but that they are unnecessarily overpriced. So I was curious how they'd do with a lower end place.

The hostess station is on the sidewalk; which isn't great for the hostess on 90 degree summer days. I asked for a seat inside, and when a cutie pie blonde says "follow me", I do. I'd never been inside; who knew that they had a pretty nice bar with big TVs?

"Would you like to eat at the bar", she asked. "Absolutely not". Ok, so I got a booth with my very own license plate on the table.

Looking around, the place reminded me a lot of the old TGI Friday's decor, before they went retro plastic. In fact, if it weren't for the big Bubba Gump logos all over the place and I woke up here, I'd say it was Fridays for sure. Since I didn't see the movie, I don't "get" the decorations. I assume that the license plates and croquet equipment have something to do with the movie. It just seems like random, odd stuff to me.

I looked over the menu to see if anything was new, but it seems that their web site is up to date. I'd already decided on the jambalaya; it sounded like it was made right, and I've been pining for a good version for quite a while.

The service here is decent if not arbitrary. Different people took my order and brought me iced tea refills, but the waits were pretty minimal. When they placed the food in front of me I have to admit I was a bit surprised.

I expected this to come in a big messy bowl, but this was nicely organized. And it looked really good. Maybe I expected a bigger portion at a place like this, but I didn't need more rice than this anyway.

The balance of chicken, andouille, shrimp and rice was just right; it was nice and spicy. The rice was white rice with some seasoning on it, but it was good seasoning. It was much better than I expected from a place called Bubba Gump. In fact, it's probably the best regular menu jambalaya I've had in South Florida. At $16.95 for lunch, it's no tremendous bargain but not overpriced either.

Bubba Gump. Better than you might think. With a pretty nice bar and a lot of interesting menu choices, if I were staying at the beach in Fort Lauderdale I think I'd come here to eat whether I was on my own or with a family. I have to admit that I'm surprised.

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Kimber
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Love Bubba Gumps....
If you saw the movie --- then you would get it and the atmosphere would make more sense :)

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