Sometimes cooked just doesn't cut the mustard, and you need raw. Now I'm not talking raw fish, or Sushi, I'm talking raw oysters and clams. In southern Fort Lauderdale just a short drive over the 17th Street Causeway, headed west from the Fort Lauderdale Strip, with its beaches, fancy hotels and resorts sits the legendary Southport Raw Bar.
Southport Raw Bar is a throwback to a simpler time in Fort Lauderdale, born in the booming 70's when Fort Lauderdale's lifeblood was the five or six weeks of Spring Break, and the rest of the year, Fort Lauderdale became a steamy, sleepy beach town, with many businesses which closed all summer. The small 3-store strip center still looks pretty much like it did in the 70's, and I can tell you the inside doesn't seem to have changed much since the first time I went in the mid-to-late 70's (You don't really expect me to remember what year it was do you? I was in my 20's and it was the psychedellic 70's.).
The other thing that hasn't changed in thirty years is the "Florida Casual" atmosphere (shorts and flip-flops are the standard attire in this place) and the fast service of the friendly staff. Dinner or lunch at the Southport Raw Bar is like visiting the house of an old friend (who lives on the water and is a very lucky fisherman). There's no pretension here just good old Florida style raw shellfish, steamed shellfish, fried shellfish, and everything else you'd find at any respectable clambake or picnic. They also offer a full selection of sandwiches, subs, hoagies and chicken wings, but in all the times I've visited, I've never tried them, because I have never been able to get past the raw and steamed oysters, clams and mussels.
If you like fresh shellfish in a casual setting, give the Southport Raw Bar a shot, but you might want to take off your suit jacket and loosen your tie, then relax with a cold beer, and enjoy.
Southport Raw Bar
1536 Cordova Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sun - Thu 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. (food until 1 a.m.)
Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. (food until 2 a.m.)
Mon - Fri 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Sat - Thu 11 p.m. - closing
*** Good Bite $ - $$ (Inexpensive to Moderate)
$ = Inexpensive - Less than $15 / person , excluding drinks
$$ = Moderate - Between $15 and $25 / person excluding drinks
$$$ = Expensive - Between $26 and $35 / person excluding drinks
$$$$ = Very Expensive - Over $35 / person excluding drinks
Bill's menu recommendations: A dozen raw oysters are a great way to start any meal at Southport Raw Bar, shucked to order and served on ice. After the beers, the raw oysters are usually the first to the table. Steamed clams and mussels, peel and eat shrimp are always fresh.
Location: On Cordova Road just north of Southeast 17th Street.
Other locations: No
Type: Seafood, Raw Bar
Alcohol: Beer and Wine
Parking: Very limited free parking
Eat-in: Lunch and Dinner
Credit Cards accepted: VI, MC
Let us know what you thought of your last visit to the South Point Raw, take the poll and leave a comment.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45688285
Source: Southport Raw Bar.com