Kristof’s Kafe is the type of neighborhood restaurant we’d all love to have nearby. It’s a place you can count on for comfort food, but that doesn’t translate to boring and predictable. Chef and primary owner Kris Kristof’s expertise — 22 years in the restaurant business, mostly at hotels and country clubs — is apparent in his skill, quality ingredients and attention to detail.
Growing up mostly in Cooper City, Kristof went to work at 15 as a busboy at a neighbor’s Italian restaurant. He attended culinary school at McFatter Technical Center in Davie, and climbed the ranks to become executive chef at Weston’s Wyndham Resort (now the Hyatt) and manager and executive chef of catering services at the Bonaventure Country Club. With all entrees under $15, you wouldn’t expect ingredients like real crab, fresh fish and New York strip (even in salads and sandwiches). His sauces, soups and desserts are house-made, as are his Sunday morning biscuits and gravy.
Ambience: Servers are as warm and welcoming as the cozy, 62-seat storefront space brightened by seasonal touches (pumpkins, scarecrows and colorful fall leaves at the moment). Kristof’s mom is often out front, and his parents and brother helped him refurbish the former burger joint.
- Chicken and dumplings, based on a recipe from Kristof ‘s Grandma Lucy.
- A fun tower of 14 crisp, panko-crusted onion rings stacked on a spindle and served with a kicky mayo-horseradish dipping sauce spiked with smoked paprika, dried Mexican oregano and cayenne Light and creamy “Krab Kakes” with lots of lump crab, served with a perky mango salsa with a hint of vanilla and citrus
- Rich cream of mushroom soup
- Scrumptious, challah-based strawberry French toast stuffed with a cheesecake-style filling
- Pumpkin and banana pecan pancakes
- A popular broken-yolk sandwich (like grilled cheese with fried eggs, bacon and Cheddar). Herb-marinated mahi-mahi sandwich (grilled, blackened or fried) on a whole-grain ciabatta roll
- The steak salad – a huge mound of greens with 6 ounces of perfectly cooked New York strip plus Kalamata olives, feta and house-made croutons in herbed oil plus shaved asiago dressed in an assertive balsamic vinaigrette
- Meatloaf — tender slices served with mashed potatoes, gravy and julienne vegetables
- Nicely done chicken francaise with a well-balanced lemon-butter sauce
- A side of sweet potatoes in a butterscotch glaze
- Fabulous funnel-cake fries
- Peach cobbler with a wonderfully flaky crust, slow-cooked peaches and a scoop of ice cream
- Deep-dish pumpkin pie