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“Great Food!”
Review of Hi-Life Cafe - CLOSED

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Hi-Life Cafe
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
47 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Food!”
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Great food, but not pretentious. If we're going out for a nice meal in Fort Lauderdale, but don't want to make a fuss or get dressed-up, this is one of the first places we think of. It's a small, comfortable, neighborhood kind of cafe, but you wouldn't know it from the sophisticated dishes that come out of that kitchen! Give it a try!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank PuaEnaPackRat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    7
    8
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Anticipation turned to disappointment”
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Last night was our first time dining at Hi Life Cafe. We had visited the website and were impressed with the menu and the accolades. Once we arrived however, it didn't take long to realize we were going to be disappointed.

I'll start with the service- our waiter was completely distracted, mumbled so badly we had to keep asking him to repeat himself, and he had to ask us two and three times about our orders.
We placed our appetizer order and he disappeared. We had no refills on our drinks, empty iced tea and water glasses while we ate the jalapeno appetizers, until finally the hostess came over to the table to help us.

My side orders were wrong. I asked for corn and carrots, and ended up with asparagus and mashed potatoes. The table next to us, who had the same server, ended up with the sides that I ordered and I got one of theirs. During our meal, the server dropped and tray with glasses on it, sending shattered glass everywhere and it hit people at three tables. Instead of apologizing, he made a joke about it -"I was making sure everyone was awake" and spent the next 5 minutes sweeping, making people stand up and move their chairs to get under their tables.

The beef tips appetizer were completely overcooked and dried out like they were sitting under a heat lamp for an extended period of time. My boyfriend had the bolognese and it was so unbelievably salty and over seasoned with oregano. My grouper was dry and the potatoes, which I hadn't ordered, were tasteless.

We won't be returning.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Esqnole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“no longer on our list of must go places”
Reviewed 31 May 2012

HI Life Cafe has been on our list of MUST GO restaurants when in Ft Lauderdale. Sadly, It is off the list for us.

The departure of Carlos has had an obvious impact on the food. The CRAB CAKES were a crown jewel, virtually all crab and fell apart when you touched them. THis time they were hard with a clearly dark coating from the frying. In addition there were capers in the cakes...odd.

My partners Salmon dinner was well prepared but not memorable.

The Cesar Salad we ordered to share had almost no dressing.

Hi LIfe was noted for their Half Portions which allowed guests to enjoy multiple flavors. The owner told us this change made the kitchen more efficient. In the past we never saw the multiple half portions delaying the arrival of food.

Their website continues to use award references to Carlos and Chuck. As neither of these great guys are still involved the only thing the same is the name.

I see frm several of the recent posts that our opinion is not unique.

SAD

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tomac108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Gone down hill”
Reviewed 23 May 2012

I have to say I really used to enjoy going to this restaurant, I was there about 6 months ago and it was not close to what it was before, but I thought I would give it another try, big mistake.

Was there on Tuesday May 22, 2012, and the place was pretty busy and they only had 2 servers, who were seating people, waiting on them and cleaning the tables so I really can't blame them for the bad service as they were just way to busy, but I do blame the restaurantant for this.

Once we received our food we saw our waiter again until we tried to get the bill, once we asked for the bill it was 20 - 25 minutes before we received it.

On top of this the food has really good down hill from what the Hi Life used to be, my meal Chicken Fried Chicken was cold, had almost no gravy on it just was awful. The Shrimp Pil Pil used to be incredible, again totally not the same as it used to be.

At least the wine was good, not much they could do to make that bad :)

That would be my last time going to this restaurant, and it is a real shame as it was such an incredible place in the past.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
2 reviews
“bowling banquet from hell and too pricey for nothing good!”
Reviewed 21 May 2012

was looking forward to our bowling banquet of 70 bowlers on the 20th of may, 2012. arrived to find only a handful of hors duerves being passed around. when we sat, we were never even given a slad or soup. the water was tap water which was like drinking from a fish tank. our entrees came out, mine was the chicken marsella, which was just frozen bag chicken, like tyson....some nasty gravy and a few if that, mushrooms. rice and under cooked asparagus. waited for about another hour to only realize there was no dessert to be given.....boy all this for $42.00 per person. also as this rstaraunt was a sponser to our bowling league, myself and a few others had gift certificates of $25.00 we had won at our bowling nights. since there was only a cash bar of wine / beer...we figured hey good time to use these certificates. but only to be told by the owner, a women who was dressed like she should have been at Hooters, that we were NOT allowed to use them towards our drinks. nothing states on thes coupons that they cannot be used at any time or for any purpose. left there hungry and with such an upset stomach. $42.00 times 70 people! can you figure this out......i warn everyone. such a shame from what we have heard and read in reviews and around town......this is not a place to go for a good meal. i would have rather went to Burger King and spent $12.00 for a value meal with a drink and dessert. at least we , my partner and myself, not too mention my team mates would have been full and satisfied.......never again! i would like to know who put these recent reviews online here, they must be the wait staff.......trying to lure the public in so they can make some money. was the worst banquet i have ever attended.......so bad we did not even sign up too bowl again for fear of having to go back. 3 choices of restaraunts and the misers decided to save $3.00 a plate.....good job gentleman and not a good job for HI Life.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Daniel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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