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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
My wife and I are big NASCAR fans and one time while watching the Friday night show "Trackside," we saw a TV spot for this restaurant. My wife made a mental note and we made it a point to go there the next time we were in the Space Coast area. Our visit came around 1pm on a Sunday afternoon.
We were immediately seated and noted just how big this place is. I don't know how many dining rooms they have but I can tell you they have several. We were seated in a room my wife dubbed "the manatee room" because everywhere you looked, there were pictures of the gentle sea cows.
Our waitress arrived at the table armed with a large, paper basket full of corn fritters liberally laced with powdered sugar. This was a complimentary starter and they were hot and great! Very addictive!
The menu is on the placemat and offered a large selection of seafood and some meats. They brag at this restaurant that they use only wild, ocean shrimp, which is pleasant. Nowadays most shrimp come from somewhere in Asia or South America. We studied the menu and decided to start out with an order of krabby bites. They were tasty but for some reason came with no sauce. There were several pepper sauces on the table so we found one we both liked and used that.
My wife ordered a dozen shrimp and sweet potato along with a salad. I went with a seafood platter that came with fish, shrimp, scallops and a crab cake. I chose shrimp soup for one of my sides and a baked potato.
I was really looking forward to my shrimp soup. When I make it, I use the shells to make a nice, rich stock. It arrived piping hot but was a disappointment. It was very thick with corn starch, had loads of potatoes, a few teeny, tiny shrimp about the size of a half dime, and some celery. If I had shut my eyes, I would have thought it was celery soup. That was, by far, the predominant flavor. You couldn't even taste the shrimp.
My wife's shrimp were perfectly fried and excellent. And she enjoyed the sweet potato and salad. My seafood platter was good. Nothing out of the ordinary, just your typical Florida fried seafood plate. When we first moved down here, we were thrilled to find tasty fried seafood. But as we segued to more and more restaurants, we found that it was all pretty much a clone. That was the case here. The "block" of fried fish was cod. I'm sure it came to the restaurant frozen but it was good. The shrimp were good. Ditto for the scallops. The crab cake was more like a deviled crab. I've had better.
Would we revisit this restaurant? Probably. Would we drive out of the way to eat here even thought it says it's "world famous?" Probably not.
We would certainly suggest it to anybody who has not had a fried Florida seafood platter in a long time and if you're tooling along I-95 in the Titusville area, it's only a short dogleg to the east. But look carefully for it or you'll drive right by it. Despite its huge size, it's pretty well camouflaged in a rustic setting with lots of big trees. It'll be on your right if you're heading there from I-95.
For more on this popular restaurant including vectors, go here.