Make like a grouper and get stuffed.

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.

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