[FT. LAUDERDALE] 48 hrs of sunshine, mahi mahi and gator bites

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa

Dear Food Diary:
Winter storm Saturn is starting to take over… more cold winter days!? help me!

To soothe myself and hopefully you guys, I’m taking a visual trip back to my short but sweet sunshine filled 48hrs in Ft. Lauderdale. Just a short flight away from NYC, it’s an easy to plan, fun getaway from the chills of the city.  It’s no Caribbean, but hey, I’m not complaining about the warm sun, mahi mahi and gator bites.

STAY

Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa  3030 Holiday Drive · Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316 USA

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa 5

Since StalkerBoy and I both been to Ft. Lauderdale before, we didn’t need to explore. We just wanted to be beach bums. Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has their own beach which was perfect and hassle free. Specially since I had my soft cast on (sprained ankle).

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa 3
Talk is cheap! A welcome with fruit and cheese however is awesome. This is my preferred way to be greeted! A nice little surprise. Who would of expected this from Marriott!

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa 4

Their pool is nice and relaxing too… not too crowded in general…

ft lauderdale - riva restaurant - crab meat benedict

ft lauderdale - riva restaurant - corn flake french toast
Breakfast in the hotel was good. We didn’t have much sunshine time and wanted to squeeze every bit of it at the beach. A la carte food. Eggs Florentine and your usual eggs benedict with crabmeat. But the Corn Flakes French Toast was pretty unique and worth mentioning. Soft center and extra crunchy and sweet exterior. Made sense.

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa 2

Most of our time was spent drinking Frozen Pina Coladas and just chillin’. Since I had my little “fashionable” cast on, i couldn’t go in the water. Which was fine, no white sand, turquoise waters anyways. Though, I did make new friends because of it. People would either say “oh poor girl” or “I know your pain”, which was comforting and creepy at the same time.

ft lauderdale - blackened grilled mahi mahi
For lunch or whenever we got hungry (which was pretty often), we just ate  at the beach. Their Blackened Mahi Mahi Burger was fantastic! Really fresh and just juicy and tender. Enough flavor from the spices without overpowering the meaty fish.

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa - brownie pops

If you’re lucky, you might find treats in the afternoon by the lobby. I stood there for a while (don’t judge me).

ft lauderdale

Lazy as can be… For our 2 dinners we took a cab to nearby spots… easy breeze…

 

 

EAT 

Casablanca Cafe 

ft lauderdale - Casablanca Cafe

ft lauderdale - Casablanca Cafe 2
Try to call ahead and get a table outside. Great views of the ocean. Pretty romantic and nice, not formal. Friendly service.

ft lauderdale - Casablanca Cafe - gator bites
GATOR BITES
Cornmeal battered and perfectly fried. The texture is like fish and chicken combined. I love that little chewy factor with that tangy mustard dipping. Way better than popcorn chicken! It’s a really lean protein, too bad you don’t see if enough in NYC.

ft lauderdale - Casablanca Cafe - crab and mahi mahi
CRAB CRUSTED MAHI MAHI
Even though we had mahi mahi for lunch, I just couldn’t get enough of that sweet, flaky, tender love from the ocean. Pan roasted with lumps of crab and a umami filled lobster sauce, tasted like they used the lobster head to tail, roe and all. Creamy with chives sprinkled all over. Made me want to lick that plate clean!

ft lauderdale - Casablanca Cafe - swordfish
GRILLED ATLANTIC SWORDFISH
Really meaty, but not as juicy as mahi mahi. Nice chard flavors and fresh. The black bean vinaigrette gave it a nice acid touch and a hint of sweetness. Very festive.

Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 4
Casablanca Cafe 
3049 Alhambra St  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
954.764.3500

Casablanca Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

 

EAT 

Coconuts 

ft lauderdale - marriott harbor beach resort & spa - coconuts restaurant
Really casual and chill. The best time as you can see is during sunset. Dining al fresco.

ft lauderdale - coconuts restaurant - crab scooby
CRAB FINGERS 
These reminded me of the good old days when Mara’s Homemade was still in the city (they’ve moved to LI), though Mara’s were better, these weren’t too shabby. Buttery, with tons of garlic and spices to coat the sweet, delicate crab. Dunking the soft bread into that butter and soaking it all up. Finger lickin’ moment.

ft lauderdale - coconuts restaurant - conch fritters
CONCH FRITTERS
I love conch, so I had to order them to take my tastebuds to the Caribbean. These had a sweet corn batter. It was aight.

ft lauderdale - coconuts restaurant - grilled swordfish with crab meat
GRILLED MAHI MAHI topped with lump crab
Since it was our last meal, we thought we’d go with the theme. I guess I had my full year’s worth of mahi mahi in 48 hours. Fresh and basic, but I’d say the beachside Mahi Burger and the version I had at Casablanca Cafe were far superior.

ft lauderdale - coconuts restaurant - keylime pie
KEY LIME PIE
The waitress highly recommended  and for good reason. Light, sweet and tart. Citrus bliss with that buttery and crumbly crust. It was a nice way to end our short stay in the sunshine State.

Chubby’s Rating: chubby rating 3.5
Coconuts
429 Seabreeze Blvd  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954.525.2421

Coconuts on Urbanspoon