Fort Lauderdale

May 23, 2013

Dinner at Canyon Southwest Cafe Fort Lauderdale

This longtime Fort Lauderdale favorite sits quietly and modestly smack dab in the middle of the Sunrise Boulevard traffic loop; Canyon is so inconspicuous that if you blink you’ll miss it. Thus making it one of those favorite places for locals who know how to maneuver the traffic and parking. This Southwestern adobe-esqe structure lures in legions of fans for its prickly pear margarita and keeps them there with its unyielding menu of interesting food options.

Prickly Pear Margarita, Canyon Southwest Cafe

Canyon’s menu has always been known for its fusion of flavors; imaginative uses for chipotle, wasabi, jalapeño, and a host of other dynamic culinary elements fuel the menu for some very creative dishes. We got to Canyon about 7:30 on a Wednesday night, all but one table was taken, it was near a table, sitting a very loud gaggle gals and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to deal with that so we opted to sit at the bar and have dinner. Which worked out perfectly for us, we were two of four people at the bar and practically had the bartender’s undivided attention.

We started with the Maine Lobster and Avocado Salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette; the was the dish we fought over.

Maine Lobster & Avocado Salad, Canyon Southwest Cafe

Moving onto one of the popular menu items, the Chicken Tostada with goat cheese, arugula, and carmalized onions; drizzled with an avocado white truffle crema. I see how this simple dish is a big hit with its flavors and textures.

Chicken Tostada, Canyon Southwest Cafe

Next we had and order of Mussels, a chefs special that evening and the Swordfish. The picture of the mussels did not do the dish justice, so no picture but it was an excellent dish with tender sweet mussels, my only gripe,  not enough broth. I like to scarpetta, you know, take a piece of bread and sop up all the fabulousness left in the bottom of the bowl. No Mussel broth scarpetta, no Mussel broth fabulousness. So I set my sights on the Swordfish with White Beans and Sausage Crumbs, which was a very good dish; there was enough of the white bean potage, if you will, to satisfy my scarpetta urge. That sort of made up for the mussel mishap.

Swordfish with White Beans and Sausage Crumbs, Canyon Southwest Cafe

Serving only dinner, Canyon does not accept reservations, if you go, be prepared to wait, with a prickly pear margarita, of course.

Canyon Southwest Cafe 1818 E Sunrise Blvd  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Canyon Southwest Cafe on Urbanspoon


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  1. Julie Daniels

    Canyon also has a happy hour with some specials on appetizers at the very small bar if you are lucky enough to grab one of the seats. But the Prickly Pear Margaritas alone are worth going for!

  2. SFLFoodandWine Editor

    Karen, this is so weird…I was just thinking about you! Yes you and your husband will love Canyon. Just east of the restaurant next to the Gateway Theater and Chill Wine Bar is a side street where parking is free at the meters after 7pm….or 6pm can’t remember exactly. If you are unable to find a spot on the street there is free parking in the lot adjacent to the street and behind the restaurant.

  3. Karen

    This is going on my “must do” list. If it’s half as good as it looks, maybe will have to put it on the top of my list. Thanks Christine. Can you suggest a parking option?

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