Our House of Sfihas Restaurant review is for two visits, lunch and breakfast which gave us a real feel for this restaurant in Deerfield Beach. This Brazilian/Middle Eastern mash-up concept faces stiff competition for breakfast and lunch since First Watch and Panera are both located in the same shopping plaza and maybe the unique ‘sfihas’ items might help them stand out.
House of Sfihas is has the same set-up, same floor plan, same tables and booths as the previous tenant, Shelby’s. The same old deli counter is still there, but now serves mostly as a storage case. They did clean the place up a bit with new paint on the walls and new mirrors along the back.
They had some lunch tables and I was sat at a booth immediately. The lunch menu was much different than expected with all regular diner fare like sandwiches, burgers and salads. The namesake of the restaurant, the sfihas, wasn’t part of the ‘regular’ menu. There was an inserted part of the menu that contained all of the sfihas and more unique items.
I noticed that the servers seemed to be very ‘new’ to the game. My server was pleasant, but lacked a genuine friendliness that you expect. When I asked him how to pronounce ‘sfihas’ he politely helped, but didn’t take that opportunity to educate this obvious ‘newbie’ to the cuisine. I ordered light with a bowl of soup and a sfihas.
Chicken Noodles Soup ($5.74) – Mafalda pasta, Golden Classic chicken breast, celery, carrots and peas. I liked how loaded with veggies and noodles this soup was, but found it to taste just like most average deli soups around and it lacked that ‘home made’ taste. While satisfying, my Mom has nothing to worry about as hers is still the best.
Sfihas with Mozzarella and bacon ($1.39) – A sfihas is an open face baked pie, originating from the Middle East, made with a special dough. Or can be described as a Brazilian mini-pizza. The texture and flavor of the crust is very similar to a bialy and an English muffin and just slightly larger. The cheese was loaded on the center and it was hot out of the oven. I really liked it and will definitely be back in to try more types. My server said to try the chicken and catupiry next time as it’s the most popular. I could easily see ordering a whole bunch of these for the table and all just sharing. The price is unbeatable and they were very fresh.
The sfihas was the standout of the two dishes I tried for lunch and I decided to bring Jeff back the next day for breakfast.
We arrived just before 8AM at House of Sfihas and we were the only customers at that time. Our server was over quickly to great us, but I immediately noticed that she had the same ‘uncomfortableness’ as my previous lunch server. She asked us if it was our first time here and Jeff answered “yes”. You’d think that would open up a conversation about the concept and restaurant, but nope. We got a nod and smile. Strange. Jeff then asked his “so what’s good on the menu” question and boy did this throw her for a loop. There was such a long delay and hesitation you almost expected her to say “nothing”. We asked for a few minutes to decide and she brought by our sodas. Suggestion to the staff is to use more than five ice cubes in the glass. It seemed that ice was in short supply as we eventually noticed that everyone around us also had a lack of ice. Is there an ice shortage?
The breakfast menu is strange. First, the slogan on the coverage says “…start your day better then never”. I think it should have read, better the “ever”. The menu combinations are odd and the pricing is makes no sense. You can order a plain three-egg omelet for $5.98. Or have three-egg omelet stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, onions, topped with Cheddar cheese and tomatoes for $4.34. Some selections come with pancakes, some with fries, some with hash browns and with some toast. I’m sure you can substitute the sides, but the menu is not easy to follow. Our orders went in and they seemed to have a computer issue with the kitchen. I could see the small commotion going on but our server never really touched base on what the long 30 minute delay for our food was.
Ham & Cheese omelet with hash browns ($7.47) – Jeff ordered with blue cheese and they were really generous with the cheese. Seemed like a whole container you’d get at the supermarket. Obviously, he was in Blue Cheese HEAVEN. The potatoes didn’t hold their shredded shape and seemed mushy in parts. But the crispy edges were good. Nope, nothing left on his plate.
HOS omelet with hash browns ($5.91) – When this arrived, it was quite confusing. You’d think that an omelet with bacon has the bacon ‘inside’, but this one didn’t. The egg was neatly folded and had a strange similarity to the egg on a McDonald’s bacon, egg & cheese biscuit sandwich. The bacon was ‘ok’, but a bit overcooked. The hash browns were a little crisp with some nice flavor. They added pancakes on the plate, which I didn’t expect but were almost too tough and rubbery to eat.
Chicken & Catpiry Sfiha ($1.59) – This was fresh out of the oven and showed up after we already got our main dishes. We liked the topping of chicken and the Brazilian cheese was ‘different’. This was probably the best item we ordered for breakfast.
Apple & Cinnamon Sfiha ($1.29) – Unfortunately, we do not know how this is. We ordered it, but it never showed up. We were glad to see that our server just forgot to enter it and we were not charged.
Our suggestion when visiting House of Sfihas Restaurant is stick with the sfihas. These are made fresh, very unique and you can’t go wrong with the $1.00-$1.69 price. The menu mentions an “All You Can Eat Shifas Promotion” which sounds promising. Fort Lauderdale is really not familiar with this new dish and we feel the House of Sfihas’ waitstaff and hostess missed an opportunity to educate these first time guests. We had an issue with our meal, the table behind us also had an issue and someone ordered take-out, but returned a few minutes later because the order was wrong. That’s three strikes with three pitches and you know what that means (except in T-Ball). Utensils could be set down when you are seated so help speed things along and the staff really doesn’t need serving trays for EVERYTHING brought to the table. Lastly, if you have televisions, they should be “on” when you’re open or taken down.
There’s lots of dining choices in the immediate Deerfield Beach area and we hope things improve quickly at House of Sfihas. Yes, they have a nice looking window art, crisp new fancy menus and cute little pizza-like pies, but people come for good food and service. They also return or not for that same reason. Located at 3952 W Hillsboro Blvd Deerfield Beach, FL 33442