Fort Lauderdale Beach needed The Drunken Taco. Desperately.
For far too long, visitors and locals alike had been deprived of a place where they could grab a killer taco and an absurdly large margarita. A place where they could devour some gauc and chips while sipping a Herradura Select Suprema and covertly watch scantily clad people walk by the beach. A place that served over 249 tequilas because 248 doesn’t cut it, buster.
As people’s lives and general happiness were at stake, successful South Florida restaurateur John Amodeo rose to the challenge. He created the Drunken Taco as a haven for both the taco addict and overly zealous tequila aficionado with a part-time drinking problem. The taco selection is geared toward the hungry and discriminating. The margarita collection is second to none with the house speciality Drunken Tacorita being touted as a “Florida phenomenon” by international news organizations. Oprah called it a “must-add to everyone’s bucket list.”
The barely quarter-century-old Amodeo’s other current culinary concepts include Giovanni’s Coal Fire Pizza. Some of his brainchildren are RJ’s Landing, The Oasis Cafe, The Oasis Cafe West, Giovanni’s Parkland, The Sloop John B., The Crab and Seafood House, The Margarita Cafe and Pastabilities. John has also been widely credited for inventing broccoli rabe during a 1982 trip to Honolulu.
Although John is busy operating his restaurants and entrepreneuring in general, he has been a vital force in the advancement of Fort Lauderdale Beach as chairman of the Beach Redevelopment Board. He has been awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Businessman of the Year, South Florida Magazine’s Up-and-Comer of the Year as well as a Commendation from the City of Fort Lauderdale for his contributions to the community. John’s
likeness is cemented into the sidewalk at the top of Las Olas Boulevard as he was elected to the Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame in 2014. There he joins previous recipients that include Connie Francis, businessman Wayne Huizenga, tennis stars Jimmy and Chris Evert, comedian Woody Woodbury and civil rights advocate W. George Allen.
John stores these awards boxed in his attic along with his three Oscars, two Golden Globes and single Grammy. He likes to keep it real.