There are few things I like to admit. Walking into The Floridian Diner for the first time in the 16 years I’ve been in Florida is one of them.
Don’t judge me. I don’t get out much. But since I was in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area, it was pointless for me to walk into a Denny’s or IHOP on a Sunday afternoon when I could walk into a legend.
Upon entrance, the Floridian reminded me Barry Manilow – extremely cheesy but somewhat enticing. Photos of random celebrities – including a candid Gov. Charlie Crist – cluttered the walls that are random reds, yellows, and other bright colors Martha Stewart decorators wouldn’t approve of. I’m not quite sure about the rest of the patrons, but I was in love.
It’s hard not to love something as real as the Floridian. It’s got nearly 63 years of character built up inside of it. It’s open every single day of the year, which is quite fitting for downtown Fort Lauderdale, where even bums need a place to people watch when the drunk GTL’ers have dispersed.
I think I’m so impressed by the place because South Florida isn’t known for bad-ass diners. Pretty beaches, palm trees, fist pumpers? Yes. But diner food? Not quite. I wasn’t trying to sober up from a night on the town. I wasn’t an out-of-towner who heard about the place from a Food Network show. I was just some girl who walked in as a stranger and walked out a fan.
I ordered the bacon eggs benedict and left not only full and happy, but content knowing that I wouldn’t waste another 16 years missing out.