That' s it! That is the place, Primanti Brothers on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. I recognize it from the Google map street level photo. I also ate at the Thai place above it on the second floor.
If we had one of those here that is the only place I would eat pizza as well. I was walking down the beach looking for lunch, saw how packed it was with local looking people (a good sign), and figured it was worth a try. Really, it was the best slice of cheese pizza I think I have ever had.
Here is a great hi-res YouTube video of the launch. Very close up shots, multiple cameras. Watch the "vehicle ascent statistics" window to see just how fast it climbs and accelerates, particularly with the SRBs lit (up to about T +2 minutes).
I ran the calculation today and it took about 23 seconds for the sound to reach us where we were at. Though I intended to listen for this, I honestly could not remember how long it took being so transfixed by what I was watching.
Here is an amateur video that I am 95% sure was shot at the causeway, about 1/4 mile West from where we were standing (it does not say in his comments where it was shot). This exposure level is pretty close to what I remember so this is what it looked like if you were there. Look at the sky light up and turn blue around the launch area. Also notice the sound takes about 22 seconds to reach the camera which is consistent with a causeway location.
Man just watching it gives me goosebumps all over again
That's from the intercostal bridge just 13 miles from my house (and 150 or more from the launch). I've never thought of watching a launch from there, but it's a great idea. I have heard of people watching from the beach though.
If you want to see a shuttle launch, you had better act quickly. Only 4 more launches... EVER!
Cut and pasted from here:
The Shuttle Discovery is preparing to launch on mission STS-131 to the International Space Station on April 5 at 6:21am EDT, 47 minutes before sunrise and a night launch with just a drop of blue on the horizon if it goes April 5. The launch window opens five minutes before this time and closes 5-8 minutes after depending on the day. The launch time gets 23-25 minutes earlier each day.
LAST THREE LAUNCHES (EARLIEST DATES):
STS-132, last flight of Atlantis - Planned for May 14 at 2:28pm EDT
STS-134, last flight of Endeavour - Planned for July 29 at 7:51am EDT (sunrise 6:43am EDT)
STS-133, last flight of Discovery - Planned for September 16 at 11:57am EDT