Looking to do a latish breakfast at 11:30, I stopped into the Floridian. I never think about the Floridian, with good reason. Service outside is atrocious. Today it was 87 degrees, so I'd be sitting inside. I'd never been inside before except to stick in my head to see why nobody was serving me outside.
It's a fairly large space with old decor, mirrors and a counter on the East side.
The place has been around for nearly 80 years and it's accumulated a lot of wall pictures over time.
I order coffee and look over the menu. Servers have been working here for many, many years.
I have a nice view of the security camera display screen. There's a big, awkward conference type table in the middle of the room with executive business chairs surrounding the table.
An older dude sitting at the table, right in front of me, is talking on his phone in speakerphone mode. The phone call goes on and on. Finally a woman comes over and tells him to take it outside. I think they were the owners.
I order the Florentine Benedict, forgetting my experience at Country Ham and Eggs with the same dish. It comes out in 10 minutes.
Floridian Florentine Benedict
The potatoes were mostly fresh, which is unusual for a late morning diner. The hollandaise is particularly chalky. One of the eggs was poached correctly, which is the best I can hope for in Fort Lauderdale. Even the "good" restaurants can't serve properly poached eggs.
Floridian Frozen Spinach
The spinach, unfortunately, is packaged frozen and chopped; WHY I ask? How hard is it to steam or saute some spinach leaves. The spinach was tasteless and useless. The hollandaise didn't really test like hollandaise, but it had some taste. It was a good English muffin. Overall a passable meal.
I usually eat outside, where you have to deal with heat, bad service and smokers. Inside, the decor is too creepy and old for me to want to do it again. Think Egg and You, but darker. The owner on the phone and the security screen in the middle of the restaurant proves that this is an amateur operation. Perhaps the way things used to be 30 years ago, but we're used to something better now.
The good news is that they now take VISA/MC.
Open since 1937, this classic Fort Lauderdale restaurant is open 24 hours and is fundamentally a diner. They have a huge menu with just about everything you can think of, plus some you probably wouldn't think of. They have a Philly Cheesesteak omelet (shaved steak, onions and choice of cheese), a crab omelet and of course a make your own. You can get chicken salad on rye toast, as well as a club with bacon or as a sub. You can even get a snapper. They say that breakfast is served 24 hours, unless you're there at 3PM. They close the kitchen to clean it a couple times per day, so if you get there during those times you can't get any hot food at all. Prices are reasonable, but they don't take VISA or MC.
The last time I came here I ended up leaving. I sat outside and nobody came out. I went in and told them I was outside, and still nobody came. So I left; out $1.50 for parking. I said I'd never return, but that was 2 years ago.
This experience started out similarly; Most of the outside tables don't have setups, but the tables that had them were wet or dirty, so I sat at a table that was clean. After I didn't see a server for a few minutes, I figured I'd go inside and get a menu so I could look at it while I waited for her. Except they wouldn't give me one; "She'll bring it to you". "But I've been waiting a while already". No matter. So I waited a while longer.
Down at this end of Las Olas, there's a lot more traffic, and the view isn't quite as nice as it is further West. There's also a lot of foot traffic. I'm not sure where everyone is going, as there isn't much going on west of here.
I see a server working the other table occupied at the time, and she looks my way. "I'll get you a menu". Gee thanks. I ordered a coffee, and waited a while longer. She comes out with a cup filled to the brim, which she spilled on the table. The tables here are upholstered with a vinyl substance. She made no effort to wipe it up. Then she asked if I wanted milk or sugar. She came back with the creamers, a napkin and silverware, and she strategically dropped the napkins onto where the coffee has spilled. Of course now the bottom napkin was useless. "Sugar too" I offered. She shuffled a setup over from another table. I ordered my usual, not wanting to be too adventurous. 2 over easy, sausage, rye toast and home fries.
The coffee is weak and pretty dineresque. Music here is 50s,60s, 70s, mixing in Dionne Warwick with the Chiffons, the Beatles and The Crystals. The eggs come out about 10 minutes later.
They certainly don't cheat you portion-wise. The sausages would have been the good kind, if they hadn't been on the grill since Friday. I mean at some point you throw them out. The potatoes were just unseasoned grilled potatoes with no onions; they required heavy salt and pepper. The toast and eggs were just right.
Service outside is just a disaster. She disappeared for long periods; I had about 1/3 of a cup of coffee left when she asked if I needed more; "yes please, thanks". Ok, so she goes inside and I figure she's getting a pot, but it was another 3 visits outside and 10 minutes before she came back with the coffee; well after I'd emptied my cup.
Also, the little things are not a concern to them here. I purposely put empty creamers and sugar papers in the corner of the table so the server can scoop them up (as a good server will). But it just stays on the table until you leave.
The fun continued as you pay inside, and the woman who wouldn't give me a menu pressed me as to how much tip I was going to leave. I didn't want to leave much; I'd rather just leave $1 on the table when I get bad service.
A little bit of old Florida, still stuck in the days when customers were considered to be pariahs. I see no reason to come here again.