Shooters Waterfront Cafe

Last Activity: Mar 11th, 2015

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Shooter's Waterfront Cafe

Location

3033 NE 32nd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
(954) 566-2855
What's Nearby

Critic's Rating

Rating2.9
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review: 03/10/15

Information

HoursSun-Thu 11:30am-11pm, Fri/Sat 11:30am-12pm
Dress CodeCasual ParkingValet, Garage
CCYes AlcoholFull Bar
OutdoorYes ReservationsYes
DeliveryNo

Pros

Waterfront Location
Decent Food

Cons

Expensive
Seems like the Old Shooters with a Facelift

NOTE that this Venue is a Yelp Advertiser

Critic's Review

Believe it or not, the New Shooters has been open for over a year now. Time sure flies when it's sunny and warm every day. Today it was 81 and Sunny; a downright perfect day for outside dining. One thing you learn after being down here for a while is that it's going to get real hot in a few weeks, so you need to take advantage of the low 80s weather while it lasts.

I was running very late; I punched in at my parking spot at 2:58. $1.25/hr in the garage across the street. They have a "free" valet", but it's not worth waiting for my car and tipping the guy $2 to save the short walk from the empty garage.

It was pretty busy for 3pm on a Tuesday; I didn't want to sit at a high top or at the bar, so I asked for a table on the patio.

Shooter

Shooter's Bar

As mentioned in my previous review, this place has just gotten a facelift. The bar still has the same sun problem in the afternoon; sunglasses are required to watch the late football games here.

Luckily there was 1 table available outside. I didn't expect to have a problem at this hour. What a beautiful day.

View from Shooter

View from Shooter's Patio


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I ordered an iced tea and began to contemplate the menu. The prices are pretty high; they have a few more items that they did when they first opened. If you haven't noticed I'm doing a serious low-carb thing, so no sandwiches or flatbreads for me. I'm not paying $23 for a $4 piece of salmon ; or $22 for a "steak" salad. Cobbs and Wedges work well on the diet; I figured I'd try the wedge if they could leave out the apples; and I was going to take a chance on the NE clam chowder. If they don't load it up with flour and I pick out the potatoes it's not too bad.

The tea came out with an extra wedge; they're not trying too hard with their $3 glass of colored water. At least it looked like tea this time.

Shooter

Shooter's Iced Tea

I was sitting right in front of the newly decorated bar-level room, which is probably the nicest spot in the restaurant to dine in terms of open air ambiance.

Shooter

Shooter's Bar Level Dining Room

The soup came out right away; I ordered a cup which is $6.

Shooters Clam Chowder

Shooters Clam Chowder

A nice tasting soup; they didn't load it up with flour to thicken is so it didn't kill my diet. There was an undue amount of bacon in the soup; typically NE Clam Chowder is flavored with bacon fat but you don't leave all of the bacon in the soup; maybe a bit as a garnish. This was a cup of bacon and clams.

Shooters Clam Chowder

Shooters Clam Chowder

I like bacon so it wasn't a big deal. Not a lot of clams but a decent soup.
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I had to wait longer than expected for the salad; 15 minutes. The place was thinning out; a very serene place for a late lunch.

Shooters Outside Patio

Shooters Outside Patio

Finally a runner brought out the salad; I'd asked for extra dressing. $12 is no bargain for a wedge, but there was no scrimping on the bacon or blue cheese. This was a lot of food.

Shooter

Shooter's Wedge Salad (no apples)

Another wedge without onions; The lettuce had some brown spots but overall it was a very filling salad; in fact I didn't even finish it. Forks full of bacon and blue cheese.

I was about 1/2 done when the water taxi pulled up; not the little tin can one, but the big monster taxi. The place went from tranquil to being like a Chinese wedding in a heartbeat.

The Water Taxi at Shooters

The Water Taxi at Shooters

I'd only put $1 in the meter so my parking was running out; I was afraid they'd get busy and it would take a while to cash out, so I asked my server for my check. He brought the check, but didn't pick up the card for 10 minutes. I was hoping that the Parking Police wouldn't be too efficient, as I wasn't going to make it back in time.

5 minutes expired but no ticket. That could have ruined my day.

Conclusion

Compared to other restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Shooter's is competent with decent food at waterfront dining prices. It's worth paying the extra price for a unique ambiance, particularly on a perfect, sunny afternoon.

Review 2/25/14

As everyone who lives in this town knows by now; Shooters Waterfront Cafe is under new ownership. The people that owned Grateful Palate; the yacht provisioners who also ran a restaurant, bought the property and gave it a massive facelift. Therein lies the problem in more ways than one; the ghosts of the past remain, and in many ways it doesn't feel any different than the old Shooters.
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The first thing you need to know is that this isn't your Father's Shooters. If you haven't been to Fort Lauderdale in 10 years and you're looking for a party spot with a hot body contest, you won't find it here. Bootleggers, which was the part of the property where the contests were held, has been replaced with a special events venue that acts as additional seating for the restaurant when no events are in progress. The pool is gone; there are no more Bikinis at Shooters.

Grateful Palate Events (formerly Bootlegger)

Grateful Palate Events (formerly Bootlegger)

If there is one word to describe the new Shooters, It would be "Beige". Everything is beige and gray; a polar opposite to the colorful motif of FlipFlops next door. Old furniture has been replaced with new beige furniture, but the layout remains the same.

Shooters Covered Patio

Shooters Covered Patio

The area between Shooters and the old Bootleggers has been cleaned up and serves as a covered patio. There's also a bar; an idea that Shooters toyed with at one point. It still doesn't provide the kind of outdoor experience as a Paddy McGees in Island Park, NY; one of the cooler places to go with a boat.

Shooters Outdoors New Decor

Shooters Outdoors New Decor


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Inside has been fancied up, but somehow feels the same. They didn't solve the TV glare problem; you still can't see the TVs if the sun is out.

shooters_bar.jpg

They did restructure the dining area on the bar level to make it feel more like 1 big space, but by and large, it's just more beige to me.

Shooters Bar Level Dining Room

Shooters Bar Level Dining Room

Another issue is that the servers are recognizable as ex-Shooters folk, which just adds to the Beige makeover conspiracy theory. My server was the dude who used to work the bar. I got a menu and ordered an Iced Tea with extra lemon. The tea took way too long to arrive, and was delivered without extra lemon. I had to go to the bar and ask them for lemons.

Shooters Iced Tea

Shooters Iced Tea

The tea was very weak; barely more tasty than ice water. It served as a no-calorie beverage nonetheless.

I'll take this opportunity to try to describe how much I hate their menu here. Another typical Fort Lauderdale menu where you can hear some yacht chef in the kitchen proclaiming "Look at me, I am a chef!". The lack of solid food on the menu is staggering. I hate Tartare's; we have both tuna and salmon as choices. None of the salads were acceptable; a caesar made with Kale and Gran Padano, a Cobb with beets, and Fish and "Chips" that comes with potato salad instead of fries. Can't you just get a steak or a grilled chicken sandwich anywhere in this stupid town? They also don't have one "healthy" vegetable; I suppose you could order the asparagus without the cheese and caesar dressing. How about a light lemon/butter sauce? For the record, Kale tastes like crap, and people who eat it are the kind of delusional sheep that made gauchos popular in the 70s.

The soup of the day was some sort of Mahi Chowder, so instead of blowing $30 on a short rib I decided to go small; ordering a bowl of the soup and a 1/2 dozen clams. I told my server I didn't care what order they were delivered; the soup came out first.

Shooter

Shooter's Fish Special Soup

A decent portion for $7, particularly considering that it was loaded with fish. Take out the fish and make a cake out of it and this is $18. The broth was flavorful; more like a bisque than a chowder, but it was under seasoned. One of my problems with Mahi is that it's completely tasteless, so if not properly seasoned it just brings down the entire dish. Attempts to season with the available shakers proved to be an exercise in futility.>

Shooter

Shooter's Salt and Pepper Shakers

The one with two holes was salt; 2 salt granule sized holes in an outdoor venue in South Florida? Clearly this is the work of a designer and not someone familiar with running a restaurant.

Music attempts to provide an "island" ambience; Bob Marley and Prince Jazzbo fill the air. The clams came out just as I was finishing up the soup.

Shooter

Shooter's Clams

My server asked if I wanted extra horseradish; I declined, which was a mistake. Tabasco is terrible on clams, and the cocktail sauce was a weak offering that leaned more towards straight ketchup than the hoped-for spicy condiment. The clams were very good; with a clean, quality shucking and big, plump clams. My server kept emphasizing that their fish was "local", which doesn't impress me. I'd rather have good fish from Maine than mushy warm water junk from the Gulf. But these clams were well worth the $7; not like the tiny ones you get at 15th Street Fisheries or Southport.

It took way too long to get the check, and I got to sit there with an empty glass; a refill was never offered by my server.

My overall impression of the place is "eh". I think that they made the same mistake that Rare and Grille 401 made; by keeping the place the same and freshening the decor; it just looks like a makeover. I'm wondering why they decided to keep the name, which just adds to the feeling. Perhaps they were trying to capitalize on the Brand; but the brand is different. This isn't the Shooters that was THE place to be 20 years ago. And they haven't done anything to make it into the kind of place that people will pack on a Sunday Afternoon, unless you own a big yacht and you're too cool to be seen at Bokamper's.

The food is better than the Original Shooters, but this will not be a dining destination. At most, it will kill the Chart House; it's a better property and now is more attractive to the kind of higher end clientele that would have chosen Chart House over Shooters previously. Although frankly, the Chart House has a much better menu.

On the positive side, they've adopted the Tarpon Bend happy hour MO; It's 2 for 1 where you get a token that can be used on another day; so if you only feel like 1 (or 3), you don't have to drink more to get the deal.

Related Articles

Shooters draws a $5.3 Million Bid (12/18/2012)
La Playa is gone, Bootlegger is back (09/10/2010)

Shooters Waterfront Cafe on Urbanspoon

Showing 7 Comments

Comment Policy Add Comment
the guy who says i want a "healthy" option states why not a butter sauce?1? Yeah, real healthy.
AdministratorReply
There's nothing unhealthy about 36 calories of butter. It's certainly healthier than a baked potato with butter and sour cream. The idea that avoiding fats altogether is healthy is not only a fallacy, it's actually unhealthy. You make a butter sauce "healthier" by adding lemon and/or olive oil. 1 pat of butter is all thats needed to create a very satisfying dish. Or 1/2 pat in some olive oil or lemon juice. Learn how to cook and you won't sound like such a Bozo.

The difference between good food and food that tastes like crap is the inclusion of fats. Balance. Yes, Virginia, you don't have to east tasteless food to be healthy.

If you seriously think that Asparagus with a 36 calorie lemon/butter sauce is unhealthy, then you not only need to learn more about nutrition, but you need to see a therapist, because you are badly brainwashed.
how does adding lemon to butter make it healthier? and if i add olive oil at the end of making the sauce its going to break and separate, but i must not know how to cook.
AdministratorReply
Um, you use less butter? Obviously you don't know how to cook; you add the butter last to a sauce. Tossing vegetables in garlic sauteed in butter and olive oil is fantastic. Too bad none of the fake chefs in Fort Lauderdale know how to cook; they apparently just teach presentation at the Culinary Institute.

I'm assuming that you're one of the incompetent morons from Wild Sea? Since you keep reading that review and your IP is at the Hotel? Usually hotel guests aren't such loudmouths.
JulieReply
People don't understand that "healthier" is about substituting without sacrificing. Raw vegetables are healthier than cooked ones, but that doesn't mean that if you eat cooked vegetables it's unhealthy. In the same way, Asparagus with a light sauce is WAY healthIER than a 350 calorie load of mashed potatoes or French Fries. Without fat and salt you'll die. Not overdoing it should be the strategy.
We went last Thursday night, which was a real pretty evening, and wanted to sit outside. But the music was so loud that we couldn't speak over it at the outside bar. So we walked through the grounds to find a table or place not so loud, only to discover that they have put speakers everywhere outside! We mentioned it to our servers, and they tried to get someone to turn down the volume, but no one knew how to operate the system. After a half hour of watching various personnel try, unsuccessfully, to reduce the volume, we gave up and went elsewhere.
AdministratorReply
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