Sunday, August 22, 2010

Guppy's On The Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, FL

Guppy's has been one of my favorite spots on the Pinellas beaches for almost 20 years.  It's a consistently shining star in the sea of mediocre, fried-seafood-on-a-paper-plate-with-limp-fries-and-wilted-cole-slaw tourist traps that pepper the barrier islands (what makes you think I'm talking about YOU, Crabby Bill's?).  The quality of the food is unwaveringly high, and the menu is quite creative for the market and the price structure.

Fearing that I was approaching an almost certainly dangerous state of caloric deficit after a grueling hour of yard work, I rationalized that (for health reasons) a hearty lunch was imperative and implored UD to hop the pond with me to hit Indian Rocks Beach for a seafood treat.  At 2:30 in the afternoon the restaurant was still slammed and service started out a bit slowly (honestly, service at Guppy's is often slow...but it's always polite and makes for a nice, liesurely meal), but the food was worth waiting for.  The host who seated us brought us a Mich Ultra and a glass of Wente Chardonnay right away, which was a blessing because it was a good ten minutes before we met our server. 

Nothing like a cold beer to help UD feign patience:

And probably another ten before our hot, crusty Ciabatta Bread with Herb-Infused Olive Oil arrived...wonderful as always.

We started by sharing the Escargot appetizer. I love escargot and order it almost every time I see it on a menu...and Guppy's really has this dish down.  The snails were melt-in-your-mouth perfection and swimming in butter, herbs, garlic and minced green onion. We sopped up every bit of the remaining sauce with our bread and it was divine.
I had to have the Salmon Dill Bisque (which I have ordered on a few previous occasions).  It is SO thick (but not that overly-floured kind of thick), creamy and wonderful...and full of fresh dill and salmon bits.  Lobster Bisque, move have real competition here! 
Dogboy went with one of his tried-and-true faves, Indian Rocks Fish Chowder.  A spicy, hearty, red chowder, it is also delicious and is presented with a duo of Black Rum and Sherry Pepper decanters so you can spice it up to your personal liking. 
In spite of being sorely tempted to try one of the specials of the day (Seafood Crepes with Grouper, Scallops and Shrimp, in particular), I already had my mind and heart set on one of my favorite salad offerings on the menu...the Firecracker Shrimp Salad, which is a lovely medley of Sauteed Large Shrimp tossed in Chili Garlic Sauce over Cool Green Tea Soba Noodle and Cucumber Salad with a Ponzu Vinaigrette. It's delicious, and so cool and refreshing on a hot day!
UD ordered one of the Daily Specials...Honey Pecan Crusted Trout with Sweet Potato Pecan Salsa.  This dish came with fresh steamed broccoli with hollandaise which was perfectly cooked (I snarfed it all up, as the hub-unit doesn't DO cruciferous veggies) and a choice of french fries, rice or cole slaw.  Guppy's fries are always perfect, so he went straight for the tubers.  This was a wonderful, lightly sweet fish dish which the salsa enhanced with a slightly crunchy, nutty finish.  Doesn't that look nice?
Despite bursting seams, we decided to share a dessert.  The hub-unit offered to arm wrestle me for the first bite.  Granted, I don't ordinarily do much arm wrestling...but was it really fair of him to ask me to use my left arm?  
Our Apple Walnut Upside Down Pie was described as "Sliced Granny Smith Apples in a Cinnamon Mix, Baked Between Two Pie Shells with a Walnut Sugar Crust (Flipped for its Name Sake)". It came with a choice of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream. Soooo good...especially the pastry, which almost tasted like a cookie and was sooo flaky.  *thud*
Guppy''re still my "go-to" place on the beach for seafood after all these years! <3

Guppy's on the Beach on Urbanspoon

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