TooJay’s 2980 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
TooJay’s is a small locally owned chain of restaurants with about 30 locations across Florida. They started on the Island of Palm Beach with their first location. They are known for serving hearty portions of homemade comfort foods, handcrafted sandwiches, and made-from-scratch soups, salads, and baked goods. There is also a catering menu for your next gathering.
This location recently opened up a few weeks ago. Jerry and I thought we would check it out since the few times we drove by it, there was always a full parking lot. Speaking of the parking lot, there is a good amount of parking in back of the restaurant. Being that the restaurant is new, it’s very clean and nicely appointed. It looks like any other TooJay’s you might go into with a mix of booths and tables.
We were greeted by a nice hostess who sat us quickly as there was no line. She gave us a booth by the windows so we would have a view.
The hostess was a nice lady with a pleasant personality, however she did not give us the seasonal menu which is supposed to accompany the regular menu. Once seated, it took about 10 minutes for our waitress to come over and take a drink order. For fear of not seeing her again soon we also ordered our meals since we had plenty of time to look at the menu. I also asked her about the seasonal items since we did not receive that menu when we were seated.
Jerry chose to check out TooJay’s Broiled Cod. This is an Atlantic Cod Filet simply broiled with a lemon dill butter and served with rice pilaf, fresh vegetable, and fresh herbs. This dish also comes with a soup or salad, and Jerry chose Split Pea Soup. Now you will notice that we do not have a picture of the soup to show you. That is because Jerry never got his soup. Another waiter/runner brought out our meals and we asked about the soup. He seemed shocked that it was not given to him, and offered to bring it out now or to package it up to take home.
Jerry politely declined, because it was a starter afterall, which means he wanted it before his meal. Most restaurants when they have a snafu like this would offer you something like dessert instead, but no such offer was made. He also did not tell our waitress, who really could have cared less when we told her on her only trip to see how everything was. Which by the way was near the end of our meal. As for TooJay’s broiled cod, Jerry received a ton of lemons which he likes. The cod was seasoned nicely and cooked perfectly, served over a bed of rice pilaf. Their vegetable of the day was broccoli which is one of Jerry’s favorites. He said that the fish was very good and he would recommend the dish to anyone.
For my dinner, I decided to try one of their seasonal specials called the Blackened Everything Burger. I’m not really sure where the name comes from because everything was not blackened. TooJay’s serves a blackened sirloin burger topped with chive, caper, and everything spiced cream cheese. Then they add balsamic caramelized onions, arugula, and thinly sliced dill pickles. All of this is served with a side of french fries, cole slaw, and another pickle.
The burger was cooked perfectly to my liking. The cream cheese topping was enjoyable as the chive and capers gave it a really nice flavor. I wished they had spread it out more, but that is just me being picky. They probably could have done without the arugula, as I did not find it adding anything to the flavor of the burger and actually got in my way. The burger is just the right size, fits easily in your hands and mouth, and has a great mix of flavors. TooJay’s also give you one of my favorite types of french fries, the steak fry as your side. I gobbled those up pretty fast as I love my fries!
My coleslaw was very bland and lacked mayo in it. Not being a fan at all of that, and would have preferred something else, which I found out after my meal was done from the manager that you can substitute it for fruit. Our waitress never mentioned this to me.
We both have to say that our meals were very good. That is the bright spot for this TooJay’s. Their wait staff and level of service on the other hand is very bad. They are definitely not in a rush to get you in and out. We waited another 20 minutes for our waitress to come back by after we were done so that we could get our check to leave. As we looked around, we noticed that all of the staff seemed to be in this turtle like pace around the restaurant. Guess they are not looking to turn over alot of tables during a service. Several other people that we know who have gone have the same complaint about the service, with some of the waiters/waitresses being too pushy.
Since this place is new, we will give them a few weeks to replace some of the staff or better train them, and then we will go back and try again. Or next time we just might have to do takeout since the food itself is very good.
Give TooJay’s a shot, and let us know how your experience was in the comments.
Pricing $$-$$$ depending on what you order
Our group had a very bad experience there also. Waiting forever, wrong orders and a very rude waitress Christine I believe. She was only interested in flirting with the young waiters and customers. At two other visits we had a good waiter by name of Sean, asst. manages Geoff and Chris. Potato pancakes need more onions and come to the table less burnt.
Hopefully it will get better over time as they weed out the inexperienced staff and settle on a new one.