FTLToday Quik Bite - Rodeo - A Southern Restaurant and Bar , Wilton Manors, FL
(Inside Rodeo Restaurant)
Rodeo opened not too long ago in Wilton Manors. The hype surrounding this place was quite high and it seemed to take them longer than expected to finally open. The concept of Rodeo is 'Southern Cuisine'…but after our visit, I feel it's more Southern/Tex-Mex/Cajun. Usually when a restaurant says 'Southern', you tend to think of the more Fried Chicken and Biscuits type of fare. Rodeo is not very large…but they can fit a nice sized crowd at the bar (only beer and wine is served) and tables spaced out so you are not too close to your neighbors. The décor is very Southwest actually with lots of stone and woods with dark browns.
(Another look inside Rodeo Restaurant)
We arrived a bit early…maybe 6:30PM on a Friday and were sat right away. When we approached the host stand…there were 4 employees (servers) hanging out there and we did have to wait for the host. Was kind of strange to have the servers lined up at the front like that. We were sat at a table along the side not too far from the front windows. The look of the restaurant is quite nice. The restaurant slowly started to fill up as our meal progressed…I'm thinking this is more of a late spot to eat. One thing to note, is that since there is so much stone and tile…it does get kind of loud here as the customers fill the place up.
Our server was friendly and greeted us right away. He went over a few of the specials for the night and over their 'wine-arita and beer-arita' selection (these are mixed drinks using beer and/or wine). We chose a diet soda and iced tea. We decided on the Guacamole with lump crab meat for our appetizer and Jeff ordered the Jambalaya Pasta and I chose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The drinks came fast…but I was brought water instead of the diet soda. Not that big of a deal…I figured I'm probably better off with the water anyway.
The appetizer came out and looked great. It's served in a glass on a plate…but the design of the glass made scooping kind of difficult. The stem was a bit too long too. I think they should have went with one of those short martini glasses instead (stem less). While the portion didn't look that large for the cost (the crab was $2 extra)…the taste more than made up for that. It tasted fresh and the tomatoes were nice and sweet. The crab meat was a great choice to add in and the chips were thin, crisp and warm. We loved it.
(Guacamole with Lump Crab Meat - Rodeo)
Not long after we finished our appetizer, the entrees came out. Jeff's Jambalaya Pasta was in a huge bowl. This same entrée was recently spot-lighted on News 7…so we figured it would be a smart choice. The sauce was thick and spicy. The meats were also quite good and went very well with the Jambalaya recipe. The only 'miss' in the dish was the pasta. It was overcooked. We all know that overcooked pasta is a no-no. As you ate…it fell part in the bowl so Jeff picked around the pasta. The flavor was great and he didn't even miss not eating much of the pasta.
(Jambalaya Pasta - Rodeo...featured on News Channel 7)
The chicken sandwich is served on 'flat bread' and is topped with guacamole, lettuce and onions with a side item. I chose seasoned curly fries. The chicken was grilled and moist and had a lime flavor it was good…but a strange choice of white meat….2 tenderloins. I guess they felt it would be easier to eat on the flat bread? The sandwich was held together by toothpicks and as I ate it…the flat bread started to fall apart. While the overall taste of the sandwich was good…they should re-think the bread choice. The curly fries were crisp and hot…but nothing too 'special'.
(Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Flat Bread with Curly Fries - Rodeo)
When the bill came…we had to have the 'diet soda' removed since I was only brought water. The server looked confused a bit at first…then realized his error. Overall this wasn't a big deal and the service was good. The total bill was a bit high for a pasta dish, sandwich and appetizer, so I can only imagine how you can run up the bill if you have a few beers. Total with tax was $42.13.
Overall the trip to Rode was 'good'. Maybe it's more of a 'lunch place' since the burgers sounded pretty good. We'd give them one more shot.
Rodeo - A Southern Restaurant and Bar location:
2033 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL
FTLToday Score: C (a 'high C)