Francine Sweet likes to call her outdoor eatery a hybrid. It’s got “gourmet-style food; casual, fast-food prices and a takeout format.” Simply, Hot Stuff Grille is the type of neighborhood destination most of us would love to have in our neighborhood.The place is an odd sight on Broward Boulevard, a picnic-style setting with four large tables plus walk-up and drive-through windows where you can order anything from bacon and eggs to burgers from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The tiny nook has a huge menu of more than 50 items, all available all the time. You can have burgers and onion rings for breakfast and eggs for dinner. Call ahead and your food will be waiting. On the way to work, we grabbed a fried egg and bacon sandwich on an English muffin that was much better than the usual drive-through options, plus a cup of fresh-brewed coffee. Cappuccino and cafe con leche are also available, though we’d skip the standard home-fry patty next time. Hot Stuff’s burgers (half- or full-pound) are fat and juicy, with a choice of 30 toppings including sauerkraut, peach mango salsa, potato sticks and onion crisps (most free; a minimal charge for some). There aren’t many drive-throughs where you can get house-made chili (with beef and chicken, no beans), salmon burgers and chicken sausages. We also like the grilled spinach and Asiago cheese sausage, which, I’m embarrassed to say, we had with fried macaroni and cheese. They’re wickedly good, as are the corn nuggets. You’ll also find more healthful fare like salads, veggie burgers, yogurt and mixed fruit. For the kids, do your best Tiger Mom impression and skip the pepperoni pizza sticks and waffle fries in favor of items like baby carrots, fruit and PB&J. Rochelle Koff rkoff@MiamiHerald.com
If you go
Place: Hot Stuff Grille
Address: 4300 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation
Price range: Breakfast items $1-$4.99; burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs $2.99-$6.99; sides $2.99-$4.99; desserts $1-$3.99; kids’ menu $3.99-$4.99.
Contact: 954-791-3900, www.HotStuffGrille.com
Hours: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.
FYI: AX, DS, MC, VS.