While I'll admit that Frenchy's isn't dishing up anything cutting edge, I have a soft spot for this place. Okay, TWO soft spots...one on the inside of each thigh, thanks to all the breading and deep frying they do. Which is how God intended fresh seafood to be prepared...and the seafood is alway fresh, as these guys have their own fishing boats and harvest most (if not all) of what they serve. When you factor in the price and view, Frenchy's Rockaway Grill can't be beat for casual dining.
Speaking of the view...I present to you our stunning surroundings photographed from the vantage point of the patio dining area at one of the few remaining Gulf-side restaurants on the Pinellas beaches. Gotta love November in Florida! We had to arrive at around 11:00 AM to snag our primo outdoor table...by noonish, there was already a wait for al fresco seating.
A visit to Frenchy's wouldn't be complete without slurping some of their creamy, crab-laden She Crab Soup. It's always delicious and never has that overly-rouxed thickness you find in so many local restaurant versions. The generous bowl is plenty for two to share.
Being famous for their stone crab, how could we not order some here? I thought $22 a lb. for large claws was fair price, having paid the same for medium claws at Land and Sea Market a few weeks ago. I've said it before...you can't screw up fresh stone crab. Every time I eat them, I think they must be my favorite food on the planet...but then I feel the same way about foie gras every time I eat that. Note to self: Must find a place that serves both for final determination face-off. I digress, however...the chilled crab with dijon dipping sauce was awesome!
Underdog, who had enjoyed a relatively hearty breakfast a mere two hours prior, got in touch with his feminine side by ordering "light" with his selection of Tropical Chicken Walnut Salad served with fresh fruit and a slice of moist banana bread, beautifully presented in a tortilla bowl. I've had this many times myself and it's perfect, meaty, cool and contains just enough mayo to bind it. "Ladies' Luncheon" caliber...so good!
I love tamales, so when I saw a special of Grouper Tamales I was torn between choosing them or one of my long-time favorites...the Grilled Grouper Reuben. I went with the tamales (against my better judgement) and was sorry I did. They were okay...the masa and corn husk wrappers were authentic, but they were seriously grouper-light. I found the verde version to be more enjoyable than the rojo, the flavor of which I thought overpowered the delicacy of the fish. The cost of this basket was around $5, though, so I didn't suffer buyer's remorse for long.
In fact, all was forgiven/forgotten when my Red Velvet Cake Colada showed up. Vodka is not usually my friend (that's another story) and I'm not ordinarily attracted to sweet frozen drinks, but this cake-flavored vodka colada called my name...and it was priced at only $5.50, so I thought "why not?". This thing was so. freaking. good. Even UD couldn't keep his paws off it. Who knew there was such a thing as red velvet flavored vodka? Hmmm...Vodka made such a Herculean effort to make amends today that I may have to make it my new BFF. Okay, maybe that's not a good idea. :p
This was an extremely pleasant experience overall. We were greeted warmly when we walked in, our lovely server Chappy took great care of us, and we got to sit on the beach and eat all of this plus two draft beers apiece for $64. What's not to like?