Glenn Musto | Thursday, September 1, 2016. TEAM MUSTO clients live in the most beautiful area of the United States: The paradise that we know as our Clearwater/St Petersburg beaches in Pinellas County, Florida.
Rather than writing today about the great deals we currently have available (and we have many) in homes and condos from Clearwater Beach south to Belleair Beach, Redington Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, St Pete Beach and beyond, I want to share something very special to sellers and buyers alike.
Locals in our area understand that you haven’t really lived until you’ve had a fresh grouper sandwich at the beach. The tender and hearty white fish is a mainstay on menus throughout the Pinellas County area of Florida. The number of ways to serve fresh grouper is limited only by one’s imagination. The most common preparations are grilled, blackened, or fried, but each of our local spots puts its own unique twist on the dish. If you’re a newbie to the juicy filet, the following restaurants will give you a great foundation from which to judge all future grouper sandwiches. If you’ve sampled your share of fresh grouper sandwiches before, these spots may just force you to reconsider what you once thought was outstanding.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach. The tropical beach hut is located right on the shores of the “Best Beach Town in Florida,” according to USA Today in 2013. This restaurant’s brightly painted tables display red, orange, blue, and yellow fish, while island music plays to beachgoers in bathing suits and flip flops. You may even see wakeboards propped against chairs by diners who walked up from the beach. As one of four Frenchy’s restaurants in the area, the Rockaway Grill receives its fillets fresh daily from its own fishing fleet. The grouper sandwich is so moist and delicious that you may wind up skipping the bun and eating the fish with your hands.
Guppy’s on the Beach
To the south of Clearwater Beach sits a quiet neighborhood restaurant where locals dine al fresco under golden umbrellas and oak trees. Open since 1992, Guppy’s sits across the street from Indian Rocks Beach and draws a casual crowd, albeit with shirt and shoes. The grouper sandwich prepared in a beer batter at Guppy’s is found alongside menu items like mushroom caps stuffed with crab meat and lobster salads. Families and fashionable singles mingle at the bar and inside tables. Many locals opt for takeout that can be taken to the beach for a picnic.
Salt Rock Grill
For diners who wish to take a fresh grouper filet to the next level, be sure to visit Salt Rock Grill . From its vantage point atop towering limestone rocks, the restaurant overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway at Indian Shores. They have grouper chowder as an appetizer and its menu of fresh fish from the Gulf changes daily. The restaurant also offers a good amount of turf for those not fond of the surf menu.
Experience the grouper Cuban-style at the Columbia Restaurant on Sand Key, in Clearwater FL – breaded with toasted ground Cuban bread and then grilled and topped with lemon butter, chopped parsley and egg. Pair the dish with Columbia’s 1905 salad (named for the year the original restaurant opened), and you’ll be properly introduced to the seasonings that make The Columbia a must.
The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant
One of the best things about beachside dining is the mix of casual and fine dining. The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant in the Pass-a-Grille neighborhood of St. Pete Beach, offers the best of both worlds at its three-story eatery overlooking the Gulf. The first floor has a takeout window and casual sit-down cafe for beachgoers looking for the fabled grouper. In addition to the traditional sandwich, there’s a Grouper Reuben made New York-style and served on rye bread, as well as a tropical jerk grouper wrap, smothered in papaya, avocado, pico de gallo, red beans and rice. After dinner, everyone is invited up to the rooftop deck to catch a glorious sunset.
SEA CRITTERS CAFÉ offers a casual dining experience on the waterfront of historic Pass-A-Grille, in St Pete Beach, Florida. Whether you arrive by boat, car, or on foot from the nearby beach, this truly is a slice of tropical paradise. The Sands of Pass-A-Grille are white and powdery, and beach goers can go for a swim or just sit and gaze at the hypnotic emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. On its own private inlet of the bay, Sea Critters Cafe was featured on ABC Television’s “Tampa Bay Taste Tour,” has been written up in The New York Times, and won the St. Pete Beach Chamber of Commerce “Hospitality Plus Award.” While their lobster rolls are fabulous, their Fresh Catch Sandwich is where you’ll find the subject of this writing- a delicious, moist, fresh Grouper sandwich. It is served on a Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce, with your choice of preparations – grilled, fried, char-grilled, blackened, Crunchy Almond Crusted, or jerked.
I hope you’ll appreciate and personally use this first-hand information from someone who appreciates quality food and unique restaurants. As experienced professional Realtors in Pinellas County, FL, my wife Peggy and I make an effort to visit as many of the restaurants in our area as possible. We believe in supporting our local businesses.
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