Canyon Southwest Cafe

Cute little modern American cafe in Fort Lauderdale. My DH and I went with a friend on Tuesday night for dinner.

What we had:

We all shared small plates.

Indonesian spiced bison medallions with scotch bonnet blueberry crema and anjeo tequila roasted corn salsa. This was a great dish, with perfectly mid-rare buffalo, and a well-balanced sauce. The blueberry didn't come through, but the overall fruitiness of the peppers did. The spice rub wasn't my DH's favorite thing in the world, but that isn't his thing on red meat, either. I liked it and our third had no complaints.

Wasabi ginger marinated beef with soba, carrots, scallions, cilantro & crispy wontons and a fermented brown rice vinegar soy sauce. A nice dish, if a bit on the oily side, with juicy steak nuggets that we all clamored for at the bottom of the plate.

Blue corn fried oysters with toasted sweet corn, mixed organic greens, cascabel chili vinaigrette and cilantro cream. These were the best fried oysters I have ever had. The oysters were perfectly, barely fried, still briny jewels. The salad was a great accompaniment, cutting the fat of the fried corn oyster coating and sauce nicely. This was also my DH's first time eating oysters, and I'm kind of sorry the bar got set so high. Really happy we got to taste them, but now the standard of what a fried oyster should taste like is going to be impossibly high.

Pork & shrimp dumplings. Aside from pasted shrimp and pork, the dumplings were bursting with flavor from fresh ginger, garlic, scallion, and an unidentifiable "wow factor" ingredient. These tasted better and just more than pork dumplings have a right to.

White truffle manchengo cheese potato chips. When they came out in a mini fryer basket, we just couldn't help but smile. These were great little chips, with a nice saltiness from the cheese and richness from the truffle. Addictive.


Tiny and cute in warm golds and icy purples. Be forewarned: this place is very cozy. The plate choice must also be mentioned here, because they were large and fun.


Good service, especially considering the servers have to battle their way from the kitchen or bar.

Overall impressions:

This was a great find. We went on recommendation from another FTL-based foodie friend, and she hit the nail right in the head. I'm also glad we arrived when we did--at 7, we snagged the next-to-last table and by the time we left (on a Tuesday!) it was standing room only, with bar patrons waiting to get in. This is a happening little spot, and as they warn 10 times on their website, they don't take reservations.


4 out of 5 salamanders

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