Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dockside Dave's, Madeira Beach, FL

I had a light appetite and a hankering for some smoked fish spread last Friday night.  More specifically, Walt'z Fish Shak's smoked fish spread which I recently officially identified as The Best Smoked Fish Spread on Planet. As it happened, on the evening of our arrival Walt'z was exercising its well-publicized policy of  reserving the right to "open late, close early or remain closed for any reason".  FML.  I wanted smoked fish spread.

Underdog, sensing the imminent danger and potential fallout posed by a hormonal woman's unmet needs, swung into Dockside Dave's parking lot clinging to the hope that his instincts hadn't failed him.  With a name like Dockside Dave's, smoked fish spread would almost certainly be on the menu (he prayed).

Look...I love a fresh seafood dive doing things well as much as anyone (reference Frenchy's, Keegan's and Swordfish Grill), but there has to be a semblance of care going on as far as the quality of the food, regardless of the simplicity of the menu.  The offerings we tried at Dockside Dave's were totally devoid of "love" and its crusty interior only added to the feeling that I was trapped in a hamster ball tourist mill from which it was too late to escape.  At least the beer was cold and the 32 oz. condiment bottles instilled confidence that one will never run short of ketchup and tartar sauce at Dockside Dave's (as a point of reference, that's a 16 oz. beer flanking the tartar sauce).

The smoked fish spread I'd been craving was sorely disappointing.  What was presented was the homogeneous, uninspiring version that is sold in tubs to restos up and down the beaches to those too lazy to make their own.  I will award kudos to DD for not skimping on the Captain's Wafers and piling on a plethora of jarred pepperoncinis and Vlasic pickle slices in an effort to make it more "special".

The "famous" Seafood Chowder (fresh grouper scallops and shrimp in a creamy base - their description, not mine) was one of the most vile concoctions I've ever dipped a spoon into.  First of all, the creepy pink color of it was majorly off-putting.  We could've gotten past that if not for the fact that someone in the kitchen clearly lacks the concept of a roux and how to execute it properly.  This hot, floury mess had the taste and consistency of overly thick, lumpy gravy and looked like dog barf.  Neither of us could get down more than a spoonful (reluctantly at that). To her credit, our server took it off the bill with no questions asked.

The grouper on our Lightly Blackened Grouper Sliders tasted fresh and was perfectly prepared. The fact that the mini fish filets were presented on a ripped off row of right-out-of-the-bag Winn Dixie slider rolls (no steaming, no toasting no separating) kept them from reaching their full potential.  Slaw gets bonus points for being cold, fresh-tasting and crunchy.

There's really nothing more I can say.  We both hated it and probably left skid marks as we peeled out of the parking lot. "Yuck" is word.

Dockside Dave's on Urbanspoon

My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.

1 comment:

  1. Next time you are in the Madeira Beach drop in and give us a try...Tikanis. Constructive criticism or compliments are always welcome.