Today’s post features one of my favorite fast casual foods: tacos! I received an invitation to dine at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago and I’m happy to share my experience with you today.
Since opening its doors to their original location in South Beach, just steps away from the famed Lincoln Road Mall on 16th Street in 2015, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, founded by Menin Hospitality’s Keith Menin and Jared Galbut and led by Culinary Director Bernie Matz, has been offering traditional Mexican favorites as well as unconventional and innovative interpretations, Bodega specializes in tacos and tortas, homemade sodas and authentic beverages in a dynamic, eclectic “puebla” inspired setting.
“We’ve always loved Fort Lauderdale andhave been waiting for the right moment and location to open a Bodega Taqueria y Tequila there since we opened our first flagship location in South Beach in 2015,” said Keith Menin, Co-Founder & Principal of Menin Hospitality. “When we saw that they were developing and re-envisioning the riverfront, the new towers, and the Wharf, we found an iconic historic corner that just felt like Bodega. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests to Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale.”
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila has been revered as one of the hottest Mexican restaurants in America. GQ Magazine has named Bodega “the most popular restaurant in the entire state of Florida for late-night eats”; InStyle Magazine said it’s one of “4 hot spots worth visiting on your next trip to Miami”; HuffPost called it the “hottest Mexican restaurants in America”; and Elite Daily boasted it as one of “Miami’s hottest nightspots.” A favorite among celebrities, fans include Michael B. Jordan, Niall Horan, Brody Jenner, Diplo, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Travis Scott, Nina Agdal, and Joe Jonas, to name a few.
Inside the taqueria, a door leads guests to Bodega’s late-night speakeasy – the perfect spot for happy hour, daytime fun, and late-night debauchery – that features an extensive cocktail menu and live music by local bands and DJs. Signature cocktails include the Pico Picante (Herradura Silver, Ilegal Mezcal, Cucumber, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Lime, Orange Bitters); La Diablita (Don Julio Blanco, Apricot, Blackberries, Ginger, Fresh Lime); and Mezcal Old Fashioned (Casamigos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Old Fashioned Syrup). Additionally, every Monday, Bodega is activating ‘Margarita Monday’ specials, where guests can enjoy a curated $5 margarita menu from 6 PM-close. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 6 PM – 8 PM, and offers $2 Classic Tacos, $3 Chips & Salsa, $4 Chips & Guac, $4 Bottled Beers, $5 Frozen Margaritas, and $7 Bottled Cocktails.
Open daily from 11:30 AM – 12 AM, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale mirrors the flagship South Beach location, doubling as a fast-casual taco joint and a late-night speakeasy-style lounge. The front half of the venue is a taqueria featuring an authentic Mexican street food menu created by culinary director and Chef Bernie Matz. Signature menu items consist of Loaded Carne Asada Nachos (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Chili Queso, Cotija, Red Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, Chili Crema, Sliced Jalapeno); Late-Night Burrito (Guajillo Braised Short Rib, Roasted Pork, Roasted Chicken, Mexican Rice, Black Bean Refrito, Oaxaca Cheese, Potato Sticks, Salsa Rosada); and Steak Chimichurri Tacos (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Purple Cabbage, Tomato, Potato Sticks, Radish, Cilantro, Chimichurri Aioli). Guests order from a full-sized, retrofitted vintage airstream trailer turned into a taco truck and then dine in the garage chic seating of picnic tables, neon bar stools, and graffiti walls. In addition to the regular menu, a weekend brunch menu is available.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Fort Lauderdale is located at 21 W. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL and can also be experienced in South Beach and in American Airlines Arena. For more information, please visit BodegaTaqueria.com and follow on Instagram @BodegaTaqueria.
*Hours of operation are in accordance with mandated COVID-19 regulations and are subject to change.
I received an invite to check out Juniper on the Water, located in Hallandale Beach, on the Intracoastal Waterway. This hidden gem is a great waterfront venue ideal for group events such as wedding rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, day after wedding brunch and corporate team building/client appreciation events.
About a year ago, owners Scott, Sho and Chris put their heads together and transformed an industry passion into reality. Juniper, meaning strength and “to bloom or flourish”, symbolizes the vision, heart and culinary passion combined by the owners.
Scott and Sho had been in the hospitality field for many years and learned every aspect of the restaurant business by working their way up the ranks. It seemed a likely progression for them to take this next step in opening a restaurant of their very own. “It really helps you learn when you start at the very bottom and learn from both the good and bad experiences,” says Scott.
The duo quickly crafted the idea and space for Juniper on the Water, and after 18 months of renovation, the restaurant opened its doors, emitting a warm and welcoming atmosphere to all. Juniper has a one-of-a-kind understated elegance, quite different from any other restaurant in the South Florida area. Besides the magnificent view, its upscale, Mediterranean, American and Seafood influences add the right touch of refinement, while its beach-like feel instantly helps diners feel at ease.
My dinner companion and I decided on a bottle of Rodney Strong Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley to take us through our appetizers and entrees. I would say that it was just about perfect, although had it been served slightly chilled, it would have been perfect, in my opinion.
Our first appetizer was the burrata cheese served with farm fresh tomatoes, micro basil, with a balsamic reduction over mixed greens & arugula. The tomatoes and micro basil and mixed greens were dressed nicely and were tasty. The buratta was a little small for two people to share and wasn’t as flavorful and robust as the ones I am accustomed to having.
Large head-on prawns; served with a spiced romesco, micro cilantro, and grilled lemon. My companion and I both really enjoyed this dish. The charred lemon was a nice touch and I enjoyed the added layer of freshly squeezed citrus over the prawns.
The braised lamb au jus with dried cranberries served over a creamy polenta was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. The lamb was so flavorful and tender it fell right off the bone and I just loved each bite of the polenta and au jus.
The house specialty, the Seafood Paella, (toasted Israeli couscous, clams, mussels, shrimp, fresh fish fillet, chorizo, green peas, & roasted bell peppers) was a flavorful mix representing Juniper’s Mediterranean culture and is an absolute MUST.
Juniper on the Water is open Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 10pm; Friday – Saturday: 4pm – 11pm
Sunday Brunch: 11am – 3pm and Sun Dinner: 4pm – 10pm; Dinner Menu starts at 5pm daily; Happy Hour from 4pm – 7pm daily.
They are located beside The Hemispheres condos at 1975 S. Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach. For more info or to make a reservation, call: 954.544.3370 or visit their website juniperonthewater.com.