Archive for the ‘High Tide Harry’s’ Category

Make like a grouper and get stuffed.

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Under the reverberating hum of low-flying planes, you will spot a big gaudy sign. This sign sports the name “High Tide Harry’s.” Personally, I love a big gaudy sign, especially when it’s posted in front of a fish restaurant. We scuttled into the entrance and put in our names. The seat attendants seemed a little lost, but they eventually found a place for us to sit and we slid into the booth.

The decor settled somewhere between cheeseball fish fry joint and the movie Jaws. The lamps were pretty interesting, though.

Is that a happy crab, or is it just me?

Our waitress arrived out of breath and had a seat. We waited patiently as she described to us all the hours she’d worked throughout the week. We agreed all around that it’s tough all over, and dived into the giant menu. There were cascades of fried delights, a thousand seafaring puns and wonderful pirate-like banter peppered throughout the menu. I do love a good menu theme. We decided on an order of frog’s legs and gator bites. To drink, I spotted something that I was curious about and decided I must try. A “fish bowl” of Blue Moon. When it arrived, I was not disappointed. It was literally, a fish bowl. 32oz of cold, beautiful Blue Moon. I’m drooling now, just thinking about it.

For dinner, Man Biscuit ordered a plethora of seafood. I ordered the crab stuffed grouper with a side of New England clam chowder and hushpuppies. The appetizer arrived, bringing gleefully golden frog’s legs. They looked like little chicken wings. If you’ve ever had frog’s legs, you’d know that they’re kind of watery and gamey. These were not much different, however the fry was delightflly crisp and seasoned well. The gator bites were also typical gator meat, like a chewy, fishy chicken and coated in a flour and cornmeal fry. The dips were flavorful and complemented both items well. So, given a pile of odd game – reptiles and amphibians, they managed to pull out a tasty and unusual appetizer.

My chowder arrived. It looked thick and smelled amazing. It was a great chowder- just the right ratio of clams, potatoes, onions and other stuff. It was warm and soothing – the perfect comfort food.

Dinner arrived in it’s golden crusted glory. Plump grouper, stuffed to the gills with crabmeat stuffing. It was delightful. If anything ill could be said of it, it was slightly oily, but that may have been the fish oil. Very tasty, savory fish with a light crisp on the exterior and delicate flavors. It was a nice surprise, amongst all the fried fare. To go along with my grouper, I had some classic fish-house food – hush puppies. They were classically delicous, perfectly fried and moist on the inside. Delicous!

I was feeling like my grouper when it was time to go. Stuffed.

We left with a boatload of leftovers and happy taste buds. If you want to experience a classically styled casual cuisine with a fishy flair, don’t go to the Krusty Krab, go to High Tide Harry’s.

Green Grass and High Tide Harry’s (and rain)

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Let me tell you about how we got to High Tide Harry’s. This place was chosen almost at random my me during a dark and stormy night. I’ll start at the beginning. My brother called us up and asked if we’d like to join him and his wife for dinner. “Great!” I thought, “This will give us an excuse to write another review.” His only stipulation was that it be some local Orlando seafood. They were thinking about some kind of chain restaurant. Not that I have a problem with chains but Applecheeks and I like to check out local joints that maybe, people haven’t heard of. So I began my search for a seafood place. Thanks to Googlemaps it wasn’t hard to find. I informed Bro and Wife that danger is go, and to head on over. By the time they showed up however the sky had opened a portal to the lightening ocean and cats and dogs were falling from the sky in droves that would have made an ASPCA commercial jealous. It was a torrential downpour or Ark proportions.

Wouldn’t ya know it, the moment we roll up to lights signaling Harry’s, the rain stopped. At least we didn’t get wet on the way in. On the way in, it’s apparent the place is popular. We get on the waiting list and enjoy the scenery for a bit. There’s plenty of interesting things to look at, High Tide Harry’s is definitely a ‘fun’ place.

As it turns out we were among the last groups on the wait list. After we sat down the crowds seemed to have thinned out entierly. The hostess brought us through the resturant, which was quite large. We passed the bar which looked like good times as well. Lots of TV’s playing sports and whatnot. Finally arriving at aour destination of a huuuge booth. I had time to take in the surrounding nautical oddities.  I felt very close to the seafood I would soon be eating in that moment.

Our server showed up to tell us about the specials. There were FISHBOWLS! Fishbowls full of alcohol! What a great idea, sadly I was driving so I couldn’t partake. That didn’t stop everyone else from enjoying their decently priced drink specials. They had quite a large selection of drinks which is always a nice addition.

The menu’s were pretty huge, both in price and in physical size. Hefty menu’s. We decided to get some seafood entree’s and settled on Gator Tail and Frogs Legs. These we shared among the four of us and the portion seemed like plenty to go around. The gator tail was of course deep fried, and my favorite of the two. The meat texture was somewhere between tough chicken and meaty fish. The flavor was somewhere between chicken and fish. When i say somewhere between I mean of course that it tasted like gator, I’m just trying to relate the ‘idea’ of gator flavor. The dipping sauce complimented the crispy bites well. The frog legs were an interesting sort. I’ve never had these before and didn’t know what to expect. They came lightly battered and fried. The make up of these reminded me a lot of chicken wings. Specifically the wing part, there were two fine bones you had to wriggle the meat off. Having been my first experience with them, I can’t say if they were specifically good or not compared to others. I felt like they were overly fishy (again could be how frog legs roll) and greasy. Definitely paled next to the meaty gatorbites.

For dinner I had a special not on the menu. A pound of snow crab legs for 18 bucks. This came with two sides and some such. Basically I don’t remember because for the next 25 minutes I was in Crab-topia. This crab was tasty! I know it’s not hard to get crab right as far as cooking, it requires no seasoning. Just that you don’t overcook it. Regardless it was amazing, love me some crizab. The sides I think there were fries which i remember were thin and tasty but they were only getting in the way of more crab.

The only problem I remember was only a small issue, was our waitress. She was fairly attentive, could have come around a bit more. But she was the kind that liked to share her problems with you either in the hopes of playing the pity card for tizips or because she just likes to get sympathy.

All in all, the whole place was totally worth the drive through gale-force winds and pelting rains. We had a great time and left with cleaned plates.