flip-flops-dockside-eatery-0Sometimes we forget what a tropical paradise we live in. In our offices all day, we often need a reminder that we’re in the “Venice of America.” When this happens, dining on the water is just what we need to remind ourselves about how good we really have it.

Fun awaits you at Flip Flops

Sometimes we forget what a tropical paradise we live in. In our offices all day, we often need a reminder that we’re in the “Venice of America.” When this happens, dining on the water is just what we need to remind ourselves about how good we really have it.

One step into Flip Flops Dockside Eatery, housed in the former Taverna Opa on the intracoastal, and you will feel relaxed and at ease. The views are spectacular, the staff is friendly and the food is delicious.

The casual, Key West styled establishment, owned by Anne Ginsburg and Dania Castaneda, is one of the stops on the Water Taxi Route, so while dining there, its typical to see people stepping off the boat and onto the pier for a meal and a cocktail.

J and I went on a recent Wednesday night for dinner. J had never been in that area on the intracoastal and was surprised at the hidden gem of an area. We parked across the street in a parking garage, which was very affordable. Managing Partner Michael Pinto later told us that soon they will be offering valet parking to customers.

We sat down in the center of the open air restaurant and took in the gorgeous view of the intracoastal. I ordered a cocktail – the Michaeltini – named after Pinto. The refreshing martini featured 3 Olive Grape Vodka, Grape Pucker, Sour and Sprite and was a pretty lavender color, which I particularly enjoyed because I like my cocktails to be as attractive as they are tasty.

The menu has something for everyone. They have a nice list of appetizers featuring nachos, calamari, mac n’ cheese, conch fritters and more. Their sandwiches run between $5.99 and $11.99, salads are priced between $6.99 and $14.99 and their entrees run between $12.99 and $17.99. The prices are right, plus, we found out, their servings are huge.

Our server, Reginald, brought us complimentary chips with a dipping sauce. J and I thought the chips were a tasty combination of tortilla chip and fried wontons. They sauce was like a salsa verde and had a kick to it. We found these very addicting and had to force ourselves to stop snacking on the chips so we’d have room for our entrees.

flip-flops-dockside-eatery-1Reginald explained to us that everything on the menu was made in house and indeed they have an open kitchen up front where you can watch all the action taking place. J and I sampled three different entrees – Baby Back Ribs ($13.99 for a half rack, $17.99 for full), JambaGumbo ($16.99) and Shrimp Scampi A La Flip Flops ($15.99).

The Baby Back Ribs are one of the house specialties at Flip Flops and its easy to see why. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and were served with a large helping of fries and cole slaw. The barbecue sauce was sweet and tangy and was very flavorful. I am a French fry fanatic and let me tell you, I loved the fries at Flip Flops. The cole slaw was also very good—not too creamy, not too vinegary.

Now onto the Shrimp Scampi. In my experience, this dish is often heavy on the pasta and light on the shrimp, but at Flip Flops, they don’t short you on your shrimp. As J said, “the plate was so overpopulated with shrimp, the pasta might’ve felt uncomfortable.” And that’s not to say there wasn’t a good amount of pasta either. The Scampi sauce was so buttery and garlicky and decadent that you feel almost guilty eating it. It’s a sexy dish.

flip-flops-dockside-eatery-2My favorite of the evening was the JambaGumbo. This jambalaya had chunks of chicken, shrimp and really amazing andouille sauce heaped upon their house rice. It was so flavorful and the very definition of comfort food.

We also tried out some desserts – the Classic Cheesecake, which was light, creamy and smooth and their Chocolate Lava Cake, which was warm chocolate cake with a deep chocolate liquid center.

flip-flops-dockside-eatery-3We spoke with Pinto after our meal to find out more about Flip Flops. He told us about their Happy Hour, which is every Tuesday through Friday, from 2 to 7 p.m. and their amazing deal on Sundays – they offer a $6 Menu all day, $2 Mimosas and $3 Bloody Mary’s. They also have Karaoke on Friday nights and Live Music on Saturday nights.

Flip Flops also has several flat screen tvs throughout the restaurant for those who don’t want to miss whatever game is on and they have a Wii game system in the corner.

This friendly, casual eatery is the perfect hangout where you can get a great meal and spend time with friends in the beautiful open air. Pinto said that he wants Flip Flops to feel like an extension of customer’s homes and I have to say, he is definitely on the right track.

Flip Flops Dockside Eatery

3051 NE 32nd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308