Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cocktails & Dreams

South Floridians have been familiar with names "Big Daddy's" and "Flanigan's" since 1959. This comfortable, hometown, raw bar, pub, and restaurant has been a South Florida staple for four decades. Joseph "Big Daddy" Flanigan passed away in 2005 but Junior has done a admirable job of keeping the family namesake going. This family establishment has 21 locations exclusively in South Florida. They originally started off as a nightclub chain and eventually branched off into a chain of liquor stores and restaurants. Little known Flanigan's fact: the company is actually a publicly traded company on the American Stock Exchange (ASE) under the symbol BDL.

Think Ribs, Burgers, Chicken Wings, Fish Sandwich, Fries and of course, Beer. My favorites are the Ribs and Blackened Tuna Hoagie. The ribs are baby back, fall-off-the-bone, with a tangy barbecue sauce, served with a side dish. The sandwiches also come with a side. Anything you order as an entree comes with your choice of their signature baked potato, fries, cole slaw, dirty rice, black beans and rice, or vegetables. In the increasing world of everything being ala carte, it's nice to see them continuing to throw in the side.

Lunchtime is Flanigan's time. they offer a $4.99 lunch deal: a 10 Ounce Burger with Fries, BBQ Chicken Half with fries, Pasta Salad with Crab, Tuna or Chicken Salad, BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Fries, Ten Wings with Fries, Soup & Sandwich or Soup & Salad. Available Monday - Friday, 11am-4pm, with a beverage purchase. This is a plum of a lunch special.

Usually I order the Blackened Tuna Hoagie with a Baked Potato on the side or the Ribs. The tuna is always cooked medium with peppers, onions, and cheese. The potato is salted and wrapped in tin foil and always comes out right. The ribs are what people know Flanigan's for and they deliver. Get a half, or a full rack and the meat will melt in your mouth. Incredibly, any Flanigan's location you go to clones these ribs to the molecule and they always taste the same - great.

Flanigan's is loud, dark and relaxed. They have a full service bar, and can almost pass themselves off as a sports bar-but not quite. I keep Flanigan's on my short list. They are open late, diverse menu, good service, reasonable prices, and generous portions. Visit Flanigan's for a meal you will appreciate. I highly recommend it.

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