Frenchy's Salt Water Cafe: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

A friend of mine from Clearwater, FL has been raving about Frenchy's Salt Water Cafe for ages. They source their fish locally - even better, they do their own fishing - just walk across the street to their boat. Whether it is for the stone crabs, famous smoked fish spread, or the grilled grouper sandwich - it is all supposed to be the bees knees. I finally made my first visit this past weekend. Did it live up to the hype?

First of all, I missed stone crab season by two days, but that is not their fault. I will just have to visit again between October 15th and May 15th. I ordered the Cajun Fried Gator Tail, the Famous Smoked Fish Spread, and the Grilled Grouper Sandwich with coleslaw.

(Pacifico, the monthly beer special and cajun fried gator tail)

The Cajun Fried Gator Tail is served in small bite sized, deep fried pieces and comes with a spicy dipping sauce. Although my first bite was chewy, the rest were tender, juicy, succulent, and delicious. Richer and more interesting than chicken, but a similar mild taste to both chicken and pork. The Famous Smoked Fish Spread comes with basic crackers and if you enjoy fish spread, this is worth a try. Slightly smokey, not too creamy, just a lovely balance. The Grilled Grouper Sandwich was perfectly grilled and juicy. Served on a soft onion roll, it's worth the visit. The coleslaw that came on the side with the sandwich was not my favorite. I don't always enjoy the sweet and savory combination and this version included pineapple. It was quite refreshing, but it just was not my thing.

(Famous Smoked Fish Spread)

Yes, my friend was definitely right, it is worth the hype. I would love to go back to try the octopus, the cracked conch, and of course the stone crab claws.


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