This is the time of year that Jeff enjoys using his “can’t-eat-meat-on Friday-because-its-Lent” excuse just so we can do a seafood restaurant review. Why argue if he’s buying. We realized we hadn’t been to the Flanigan’s location in Pompano Beach on Atlantic Blvd and Federal Highway. And as we expected, also half of Fort Lauderdale also decided to eat there tonight as well. But really the 30 minute seating wait seemed longer than it really was.
The building inside seems smaller than other locations we’ve visited and the neon lighting really gave us a challenge when taking photos. You have the choice of four dining areas. The largest is the main dining room which you can see straight ahead when standing at the hostess stand. Right across the half-wall is the very popular and busy bar section. It had to have been happy hour tonight because it was standing room only.
Another option is to sit on the outside benches, probably a good choice tonight when there’s dozens of hungry waiting people standing over you watching you eat. The last section is the front room filled with several high-top tables. This high-top section also has a little audience of waiting guests facing your table watching you eat. Our number was called and luckily we had a main dining room table.
We noticed an odd mention on the menu that “imitation crab is used in all crab recipes” which seemed unusual for a seafood restaurant. So we avoided the crab dishes and picked an appetizer and two other seafood entrees.
Tumbleweed Onion ($4.99) – Many of the chains around town have their own version of this popular appetizer and we feel that Flanigan’s has the best version around. The coating is light and mild with some hints of salt that really works well. We found that, while fried, it wasn’t greasy and overall a great way to start the meal. Tip: The portion is very large making it a great value as well. The two of us couldn’t even finish the dish. And YES, these were right up there with Outback’s Bloomin’ Onions.
Deluxe Side Salad ($1.99 with entrée) – Fresh lettuce with onions, bacon and croutons make this a great meal starter. The lettuce was an iceberg/romaine mix and was crisp and fresh. A bit overdressed this evening, so we might suggest requesting the dressing on the side.
Dinner Caesar Salad ($1.99 with entrée) – The lettuce was crisp and fresh and it was loaded with bacon, croutons and parmesan cheese. The dressing was a bit heavy handed, but we find that common with most Caesar salads.
Grilled Salmon with Baked Potato and Cole Slaw ($15.99) – This salmon was amazing. We love when we find great salmon and it seems to be few and far between. Nice grill marks and the fish itself was fresh and flaky without any ‘fishy’ elements that is usually a sign of older fish. The flavor chosen, lemon garlic, was the perfect choice. While ‘extra garlic’ was requested and listed on the ticket, it arrived a bit on the lighter side. But this was forgiven especially with the taste and quality of the salmon received. The potato was your standard baked potato, no complaints there. The coleslaw was more of an afterthought or garnish and really should have been left off of the plate.
Fried Shrimp Dinner with Fries and Cole Slaw ($14.99) – This was quite an impressive portion for the price. The coating is very thin, but packs a lot of flavor. You could see the plump shrimp through the breading, so you can see what you are getting. The shrimp were fresh and the breading was packed with flavor with hints of Italian seasoning. We might have hit our ‘fried food’ virtual wall at this point, especially with the curly fries. The curly fries were tasty, but seemed to have a slight coating on them which isn’t our favorite version.
We used to think that the $2.59 price tag for a large soda at Flanigan’s was a bit steep, but by today’s standards, it’s a deal. Not only do you get unlimited refills during your meal but you get to keep the large plastic glass to take home.
Will we be back to the Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill at Pompano Beach? Absolutely. We enjoyed our seafood dinner tonight and left satisfied with no complaints. Only next time, we’ll avoid visiting on the busy holiday Friday nights.