I spent my adolescence in South Florida, and it’s one of the places I call home. A lot has changed there over the years, like most places. Many of my favorite restaurants that were not expansive chains are now gone, but the upside to that is the chance to discover something new when I visit. Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill launched in Plantation in 2008. It has grown to six locations in the south and southwest Florida areas, including Miramar, Estero, Naples, and two Fort Lauderdale outlets, with Bo’s Beach now open at Fort Lauderdale Beach. If the name Bokamper sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that. The restaurant was founded by former Miami Dolphins linebacker, Kim Bokamper – a member of the team’s famed “Killer B’s” defense that led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in 1982.
We recently had the opportunity to check out the flagship location tucked away on a lush, cozy corner at Pine Island and Peters Road. This location offers indoor and outdoor seating at tables, hi-tops, and the bar. I honestly don’t believe I have ever seen more TVs in a sports bar… and I’ve been to my fair share. The vibe was a comfortable mix of casual and classy, and even with so much audio-visual presence, the environment was not overwhelming – perfectly suitable for a sociable outing with folks you actually want to talk to.
Entrees: When asked for recommendations, our server immediately went straight to the diverse selection of hamburgers. Though the menu really does provide a wide array of options, the hamburgers are a staple, and there are a couple signature choices that genuinely stand out. Remember that “substantial entree” I mentioned? Meet the Southern Comfort: pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon, over medium free-range egg and bacon maple syrup on a waffle bun. There is no part of this burger that isn’t huge, and there is nothing subtle about any of it. This is a fork-and-knife entree, for sure – if not for the size, for the ooey gooey syrup that packs a powerful taste, but mysteriously mingles deceptively within the sandwich. I didn’t know how I’d feel about the waffle “bun”. I’m a traditionalist… it took me a while to adjust to potato rolls and pretzel burgers! I’m glad my hesitation was only momentary because waffles can now replace my buns anytime – especially if they’re this good! The generous layer of pimento cheese seals the deal… this may very well be my favorite gluttonous discovery yet. I chose sweet potato fries for a side, and they capped these with a fabulous dipping sauce that I believe was a marshmallow icing! All Bokampers hamburgers feature their proprietary blend of Jackman Ranch Wagyu short rib and 1855 Angus chuck, so you’re going to be hard-pressed to rival the quality, even in today’s saturated craft burger market, and pricing is on par with the norm – less than $15 across the burger menu, with one exception. I did mention a second burger that really calls attention to itself. Check out “The Beast” on the Bokampers menu. As they say, “TAME THE BEAST IN UNDER 1 HOUR & IT’S FREE”. Considering it’s based on four pounds of beef, I’d love to hear from anyone who’s experienced this behemoth – and lived to tell the tale!
Will you think less of me when I confess that dessert also happened? I was all steeled up to say no way when I heard those magic words that always leave me speechless (and maybe drooling just a little)… Fried Oreos! Of course, I was not informed that they were the size of tennis balls! In fairness – I was not dining alone, so let me regain a tiny bit of dignity in that. Again, I really have no words. There’s just no way that a Fried Oreo can be bad, am I right? There are a few other dessert options, including TRUE Florida Key Lime Pie, but… Fried Oreos, y’all! (And they’re only $6.99!)
This is the kind of place that makes me slightly regretful I moved away, but thankful I’m still near enough to visit! Great food, stellar service, and a cozy place that feels welcoming. If you’re visiting the South Florida area, you’re likely to find a Bokampers location convenient to your destination. If you’re staying in the Orlando area, South Florida is an easy day trip, and there’s a good deal to see, do, and eat during your visit. Locals tip: Take US27 down from the Four Corners area near Disney. This is a smoother path than I-95 or the Turnpike with a lot of nifty, unique sights along the way. If you take US27 all the way down, you can very easily glide into the Plantation Bokampers for a rewarding arrival meal on your way into the downtown/beach areas!