Bahia Cabana

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cabana_rumrunnerBahia Cabana is just the sort of place you’d hope to find in Ft. Lauderdale. True, it’s in a Days Inn hotel that doesn’t do anything to elevate the chain’s image as a low-end, almost tawdry night stop. The food is marginal, and the service is lackadaisical, often absent.

But it sits on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway, overlooking a bevy of boats -- no, not boats, ships and yachts -- both docked and parading by, a constant stream, if you will, of waterborne dreams.

And it serves strong drinks, so strong that you may want to consider arriving -- or especially departing -- by Ft. Lauderdale’s fleet of water taxis.

The food is the usual array of fish and chips, fish sandwiches, fish tacos, various burgers and other mundane sandwiches. I had the fish sandwich, a good-sized beer battered fillet that would have been better if it weren’t so greasy. My lunch companion had a Reuben, best described as sloppy. The fries fish_sandwichneeded a lot of improvement to just be OK. The server seemed genuinely disappointed that we chose her station to sit in -- it’s catch as catch can here, with the dockside tables at a premium -- and at one point referred to me and my friend as ‘boys,” which you would think at our age would be a compliment but isn’t.

Still, there’s that great location (I mean on the water, not at the Days Inn, which, it should be mentioned, could pay a little attention to the rest rooms; just sayin’.) So for that alone, it’s worth it. By the way, here’s a tip: valet parking is complimentary. The only thing easier would be the water taxis, which unloads just a few feet away. And if you pull up in your own boat, docking is free for restaurant patrons.

Bahia Cabana is at 3001 Harbor Drive (just off A1A), Ft. Lauderdale. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily. Here’s a link to the Bahia Cabana website. The phone number is 954-524-1555.

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