Update: Coupons for Efes added at bottom. Efes Bistro is one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants in South Florida. Due to its location you may not have noticed it – it’s hidden in the interior of Somerset Shoppes, the plaza with the Michael’s craft store, the new Saks Off 5th, and Original Pancake House. They’ve been there for eight years. Here’s a video showing how to get there from the parking lot on the Lyons side of the plaza.
You can also enter on the Glades side near Original Pancake House and OrangeTheory Fitness. What we love about Efes is that the quality is outstanding. It has many of the typical Greek options but because it’s Turkish it has other items.
I started with the lentil soup. It’s hearty with great flavor and texture. Next up we had the cold appetizer platter. There’s a lot on this platter, including dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice), hummus, two different eggplant appetizers, two different yogurt-based spreads, and another veggie spread. There’s also a hot appetizer platter on the menu which comes with falafel, zucchini pancake, kibbe, spinach pie, and more. We didn’t get a shot of the platter but here are two of the items it comes with.
The entrees are another area where you really see and taste the quality. My favorite item has always been the mixed grill platter, which comes with a variety of meats. When you have a group or family eating, the appetizer platters and mixed grill platter are a great way to sample a lot of the options on the menu. There are simpler entrees including chicken, lamb and beef shish kabob: These dishes come with either rice, bulghur (pictured) or steak fries. In talking with the owner she said we had to try the meat pie, and she let us video her making it:
It was delicious, but might be a little spicy for some. For some regular customers the highlight is the fish. All in all it’s great food with a wide array of choices, healthy and tasty. In addition to dine-in they do take out, delivery, catering as well as parties in the restaurant.
It was an impressive “pre-opening” for the new Saks Off 5th store in Somerset Shoppes. We stopped by a little after 6 pm and the place was packed, as you can see above and in our 360º video below:
Parking was a little contentious immediately in front of the store, but if you went down toward Men’s Wearhouse there were plenty of spaces available. The grand opening is tomorrow (Thursday). For details see our Facebook post. We took a little time inside to record a more news-like video. But we’re still pretty new at video so this one isn’t the greatest:
Video from the Saks Off 5th pre-opening event today. Article to follow soon.Still working on our video skills. This one is slightly out of focus, but we'll get better at it.
We previously reported that Saks was coming back in October. It’s a pretty big store, taking the place of the old Loehmann’s. While it seems large to us, we learned from their VP of Marketing Robby Schnall that they have larger stores in places like Aventura. Due to the smaller size they had to make some choices and to our disappointment they have chosen not to carry kids clothes at least for now. We did notice a very large array of women’s shoes: There is, of course, a men’s section. We’d guess it’s around a quarter the size of the women’s section but that’s only a guess. We were also impressed with how young the customers seemed. This time of year we typically see a lot of seniors. But we were told that the senior crowd came earlier in the day, closer to the 4 pm opening. We also just like the look of the store. It’s bright and although it’s got a lot of merchandise inside, it has nice lines and is very bright.
We’ve noticed progress on new stores and restaurants that are open or will be opening soon. Above you can see that the Saks Off 5th in Somerset Shoppes is looking closer to ready. We’re guessing it will open in a couple months. In the same plaza, near Original Pancake House, it looks like the Orange Theory fitness center is up and running. We see some progress on the Armadillo Cafe, both outside (above) and inside (below). This place has a lot of buzz as well as interest from customers of the old location in Davie. We’re told to expect a soft opening soon, sometime near Valentine’s Day.
It’s next to Sybarite Pig, and you can see where the outdoor seating will be on the right side of the picture below.
On the south side of Glades at 441, the new building everyone’s asking about looks great on the outside. Again we don’t see much done on the inside so don’t expect anything to open for at least a month and maybe 2-3 months. We’re also pleased that there’s a lot of parking. Also in Westwinds we just learned that a new Mathnasium franchise will open to serve West Boca. There used to be one in the Boca Lyons plaza but that closed a couple years ago but still operates just east of Town Center near the Hooters. A new franchisee is giving it a shot and we’ll cover that in more detail soon.
The Four Seasons restaurant is up and running and we see customers giving it a try. We’ll get there soon. Next door in the photo above the lit-up store front is Creative Heart Dance Studio with a lot of dance classes for kids. They’re using this space as well as an area upstairs next to the FitRX gym.
Anyone passing by Somerset Shoppes recently may have noticed work is under way on the old Loehmann’s. We stopped by today and took a closer look. An inside source tells us that it will be a Saks Fifth Avenue, though our expert on retail says it will more likely be their discount version, a Saks Off 5th
Originally conceived as a clearinghouse for Saks Fifth Avenue merchandise, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH has reinvented itself as a major national retailer in its own right and, most recently, a compelling place to find the same exceptional deals online. An engaging environment, abundant exclusives, remarkable savings and assortments from the most notable names in fashion
Somerset Shoppes is on the northeast corner of Glades and Lyons. The old Loehmann’s is at the eastern end of the plaza. We attempted to contact Saks for confirmation but have not received any reply yet. Their corporate website appears to be down at the moment.
However, thanks to a reader we did get confirmation from another source: BizJournals.com. It’s a 10-year lease on roughly 23,000 square feet of space. We also noticed a new fitness place coming in toward the middle of the plaza, not far from Original Pancake House. Orange Theory Fitness is “coming soon.” We were able to confirm this one on their website and have asked for a target opening date. However, the signs in the plaza indicate there is a “pre-opening” sales location near LensCrafters. We were unable to find that.
We stopped by the temporary Walmart Hiring Center today. We had the pleasure of meeting David Bonutti, who will be managing the reopening West Boca Walmart.
The temporary hiring center is in Somerset Shoppes between a Day Spa and a medical imaging facility, and close to Michael’s. Bonutti was hopeful that they will be moving into the store at Palmetto Park and 441 in early August. They are aiming for the 4th but it’s still up in the air. Once they’re in, they expect to open the store six weeks later. That means mid to late September. For now those looking for work can visit the temporary hiring center.
Bonutti seemed upbeat and friendly. That’s a good sign.