Keese's Simply Delicious lives up to its name. The Lauderdale-by-the-Sea nook is known for its Mediterranean dishes and scrumptious fried chicken, a recipe that dates back to 1953 when the original owners opened the place. The chicken disappeared from the menu when the place was first sold nearly 20 years ago, but when Denise and Sammy Goff took over in 2003, "the original owners stopped in and gave it to us,'' she said.
You can buy the chicken by the piece, starting at wings for $1.60 or get eight pieces for $18.95. There's no magic ingredient, but the chicken is perfectly cooked, juicy, golden and crisp but not greasy. Customers won't yet find the chicken at the Goffs' new Miami Beach location, but both sites offer the couple's Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. Denise, who is from Bulgaria, and Sammy, from Montenegro, make everything themselves from the cool and creamy tzatziki to the tasty tiramisu.
Go for any dish made with ultra silky Bulgarian feta, especially the summer-fresh salads and light spinach pies. Other hits are chicken or lamb gyros and flavorful falafels. Keese's may be a small place - about 30 seats inside and out- but it has an extensive menu including seafood dishes like our nicely charred grilled grouper, served with rice and grilled mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes, a generous plate for $14.95.
For a real taste of the Mediterranean, one last treat: Grab a piece of classic baklava and walk down the street to the beach. Now that's sweet.