FTLToday Quik Bite: Tropical Acres Steakhouse, Ft. Lauderdale
Tropical Acres Steakhouse has been a Ft. Lauderdale staple for years. They first opened their doors in 1949, which is quite impressive. I've always seen the sign on US1 pointing the way to Tropical Acres down West Grifin Rd by the Airport, but never made it. I've also seen them mentioned in every 'Airline Magazine' with the 'best Steakhouses' listed in some cities around the US. When I saw a Groupon for Tropical Acres a few weeks ago, I jumped. The Groupon cost me $25 and it gives you a certificate for $50 worth of food and drinks. Not bad!
(Tropical Acres - outside)
As you dive up to Tropical Acres, you notice that this place is HUGE. I'm sure back in 'the day', this was one of the only Steakhouses in the area and they packed them in. Well, for a Friday after peak and prior to the 4th of July, this place was starting to fill up as we ate our dinner. They have a lobby area to wait, which was cozy and kind of dark. The bar was off the lobby, which didn't have many people waiting in. The dining room is split into 3 areas from what I could see. The main area had high ceilings and ceiling fans making it look very Hawaiian. The room to the side has a lower ceiling and that is where we were sat. There was a room in the back as well...which had a Birthday Party going on.
(Topical Acres lobby)
(Tropical Acres bar area)
(Tropical Acres - side dining area)
While looking around...the place looks about what I expected. While it was clean and maintained well, the look of the place made you feel like you were in 'Old Florida'. Which can be kind of fun. It looks like they do keep up with keeping the place looking freshly cleaned. The wait staff for the most part seemed to match most of the customers. The average age of both was the over 55 crowd, which is also what I expected. Most of the 20-30's would stick to the more 'trendy' places...but the older crowd usually knows where the no frills good food is.
Our server was actually younger than most and appeared to be a new hire this year (the name tag shows the year they were hired). He was quite attentive and friendly. When we showed our Groupon, he explained that it's good for any menu items EXCEPT for the Lobster Special (2 Main Lobsters for $21.99). We were fine with that since we already knew we were both going to get the 25-26oz. Porterhouse Steaks (King Cut). They menu also has seafood and other meats (Pork Chops) along with burgers and Italian dishes. Each steak dinner is served with the bread basket, salad and choice of side item. I went for the Caesar Salad and Fries. Jeff chose the side salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Backed Potato.
(Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing)
(25-26 oz. Porterhouse Steak with Baked Potato)
The Caesar Salad was crisp, fresh and nicely chilled. The dressing was perfect and was just the right amount. I actually liked this salad quite a bit. Jeff's side salad was good...with fresh components, but the Caesar was the star.
The bread basket wasn't show stopping, but good. The rolls were fresh and warm and the flat bread had a nice onion type topping which was tasty.
The steaks came out on sizzling platters and you can hear them from across the room. They are char-grilled prior to resting on the platter/dish. Of course the platter are hot and they actually are still cooking the meat as it rests. Both steaks were ordered 'medium' and done to perfection. The char-flavor made me remember how good a steak can be (uh, not you Outback!). The top the steak with 'french fried' onions...which probably could have been left off of the the plate. The fries were 'ok'. They had that 'coating' on them to make them more crispy and you know how I don't care for that too much. The baked potato was the better choice. They actually bring out a sort of 'tray' with the butter and sour cream and top it on request at the table.
We only ate about 1/2 the steaks and had enough for another whole meal at home. We didn't have room for anything sweet so we can't really say how the desserts are.
Overall, we liked Tropical Acres. It's a piece of Old Florida that seems to stay current with keeping the food quality high. If you like steak...you should like it here. While our Porterhouse steaks were $29...they do have more reasonable cuts of beef and other lower cost items. I think anybody can find something here...even the picky eater. While not 'trendy'...the decor works.
Tropical Acres Steakhouse location:
2500 Griffin Rd
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
FTLToday Score: B