Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Hot and Soul (Fort Lauderdale)
Well they certainly nailed the name. The food is Hot and it has Soul.
Hole in the wall, neighborhood gem, mom and pop, good for groups, family-friendly, fit for food lovers and craft beer connoisseurs. You can classify it any way you like, but the bottom line is that they're serving flavorful food prepared with passion and soul. It's a casual and comfortable place without pretense. It's the kind of place that every neighborhood needs.
Hot & Soul opened about a year ago and is tucked away in a strip mall on the corner of Oakland Park Blvd. and Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. It's the love child of chefs Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy who attended culinary school together in New Orleans. After spending years gaining experience in various kitchens in New Orleans, San Diego and South Florida they decided it was time to open their own spot.
I was immediately intrigued by Hot & Soul because of the New Orleans influences seen throughout the menu. Big Easy hits include, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, beignets and now barbeque shrimp. Christy shows off her Filipino background via chicken adobo and tocino. Other global influences play a role too.
There are staple dishes that remain on the daily menu and are featured during lunch on Thursday and Fridays as well as Sunday brunch. They offer nightly specials that allow them to experiment and be creative while offering new dishes for regulars to try. They also wisely offer small portions of most dishes allowing diners to sample more of their tasty fare.
Great food, interesting menu, daily specials, small plates, neighborhood vibe, casual, comfortable and reasonably priced. It's a recipe for success and my kind of place.
If you are a fan of fresh, flavorful food prepared with passion and some soul you need to go.
They've embraced the craft beer scene and rotate six on tap that usually pair well with their menu.
A light, refreshing and clean flavored Soba Noodle Salad features cucumber, edamame, marinated tofu along with sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mint and "rooster sauce."
New Orleans Style BBQ shrimp are a recent addition to the menu. Here, Mike does a great job replicating this famous New Orleans dish. Think pepper, butter and worcestershire sauce. Plump gulf shrimp are served with heads and tails on and plenty of bread so there is no excuse to leave any of that addictive sauce behind.
Aunt Dewey's Gumbo is littered with delicious bites of Duck and Andouille Sausage and paired with a flavorful roux and long grain rice.
"Catch the Craw" Crawfish Etouffe with Scallion Rice. Who's your Crawdaddy?!
"Yumbalaya" is their riff on jambalaya and includes Chicken and Andouille Sausage.
"Hop into your Mouth" features Frog Legs with Crystal Butter and Jalapeno Slaw.
Mushroom fans will enjoy the Mushroom Manchego Toast w Sherry Cream.
"Gnaughty Gnocchi" Housemade Gnocchi paired with Oxtail, San Marzano Tomatoes, Basil and Pecorino.
Chicken Adobo consists of delicious Thighs, Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Vinegar, Bay Leaves, Peppercorn and Jasmine Rice.
"Pillowy" Beignets with Buttermilk Cream Anglaise are a perfect way to start and/or end your Sunday brunch.
Tuesday - Saturday 4 - 11pm
3045 N Federal Hwy, Suite 60B
(the corner of N Fed Hwy/Oakland Park Blvd same shopping center as Fernanda's International Market and the Culture Room - in the back corner)
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306