Had Some Cake by the Ocean 3030

During my business trip to Fort Lauderdale, staying at the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, we went to dinner at one of the hotel restaurants – Ocean 3030.

The restaurant is nestled within the hotel, and does not really offer many views of the water, which is a bit disappointing. Dining out on the terrace, overlooking the ocean would have been nice, but not so.

This restaurant calls itself “casual chic” bistro style , serving american cuisine specializing in seafood. I think less casual, I would refer to this more as “pretentious chic”.

The menu is very limited, offering a selection of well though out, well prepared dishes, but limited nonetheless.  A small sampling from the raw bar, minimal starters and a very few specialized dishes.

We ordered a variety of dishes from the specials and the standard menu. The meals were all beautifully plated, interestingly paired and tasty.  With entrees averaging $36 though, the meals lived up their pretentiousness.

All in all, a relaxing meal, in a nice restaurant, with friendly, knowledgeable staff. I am not sure I would visit again intentionally, but if staying at the Marriott again, I would certainly consider it!


Chillin’ at the Aruba Beach Cafe’

A beautiful day enjoying the sunshine in Sunny Florida. I was there for a business trip, but extended a few days earlier, brought my honey with me and we stayed a few days with my sister. Saturday we took a trip during the day to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach and the Aruba Beach Cafe. This restaurant, nestled in a small quaint shopping area, boasts beautiful views of the bay, right next to the Anglin’s Fishing Pier, which one must take a walk out on.

The restaurant is a stand-by we always seem to go to when I am in town. The food is good, views are amazing and atmosphere is awesome, especially when you can catch a steel drum musician playing out on the patio.

We decided to split a bunch of food since everything sounded so good. Oysters on the half shell, fish tacos, seafood quesadillas and of course, a loaf of their famous Bimini Bread with Aruba glaze. Warm chewy delicious bread with whipped honey butter. Pair that with some fruity boozy deliciousness and you are hooked up. Light breezes weaved its way through an opened patio, overlooking palm trees and the white sands of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

We ended our meal and headed out to the pier, stopping at Anglin’s Beach Cafe to grab yet another fruit and booze filled drink before heading out for the great views off the pier.  Here I met a lovely pelican, who was quite friendly.

A great day and a great restaurant! Don’t miss this great spot if in the Lauderdale area!!

Cake, Cookies? Oops, I mean Brownies on the Lake

Omar and I spent a much deserved day together on Saturday.  We decided to return to Brownies on the Lake.  Our last visit there, we just enjoyed a few cocktails and listened to the band on the Tiki Bar.  This time, we decided to try the food too, since everything coming out of the kitchen looked so good!

We arrived about 3:30, and were surprised to get a prime table again, just along the waters edge.  It was HOT though, although I hate to complain since the weather has been so questionable lately.  I started things off with a frozen rum runner.  Tasty, but sweet.  Too sweet to drink all day, but the cold frozen drink was so refreshing on this 90+ day.  Omar just stuck with a classic micro-brewed draft beer (Porters/Stouts limited here, but with seafood and hot day didn’t really matter).

We decided to split a couple appetizers, and split the fish taco entree, as everything sounded so good. I ordered peel and eat shrimp.  You can see from the picture they were large shrimp and plenty of them!  Seasoned perfectly, cooked in what they described as cooked in an “aromatic court-bullion” which is typically a rich and complex poaching liquid, with cilantro and lemon.  Very tasty!!

Omar got Ceviche.  I am not a fan, so I did not even try it. I did eat the tortilla chips, which were obviously hand made, came out warm, crispy with just the right amount of salt.  Omar said the Ceviche was refreshing, fresh with just the right balance of fruit and heat.

As for the fish taco entree, I am afraid I can’t discuss the rice, since I was simply too full to try it. The tacos however, although they were skimping a bit on the mahi mahi, had great flavor with a chipotle cole slaw, guacamole and a flavorful mango chili sauce. A nice combination of sweet and savory.

The band was pretty good.  A bit loud for the Tiki Bar area, as we had to yell to talk when the band was playing.  We met a lot of interesting characters along the way.  Our waitress Ashley (or was it Amanda, geeze I am horrible with names!!) was efficient, fun and very cheery. Even when it was sweltering!!  We must have stayed for about 4 or 5 hours.  We just couldn’t get enough of the view and atmosphere.  It is so nice watching the boats come in! I must say we ran up quite a tab, but we did have a great time.  Good food, good music and fun crowd.  Yes, we will most definitely be back!!


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