Well, the word of the day is "meh". Until yesterday, I hadn't been to PJ's in 15 years...and it didn't take me long to remember why.
Crusty walls laden with remnants of 30-year-old dollar bills, snarky signs reminding patrons that THEY are the fortunate ones and dangling paper towel rolls are all the ambiance you'll be getting here. Couple that with a dated, pedestrian menu and you'll be wondering why you didn't drive the extra mile to Keegan's or Guppy's. The beer was cold and our server sweet, which were the only real saving graces.
Smoked fish spread was the same standard-issue variety served up and down the Pinellas beaches (scraped from a distributor's tub) and presented with stale Saltines. I. WANT. CAPTAIN'S. WAFERS. DAMMIT!! Gloppy, homogeneous and mayo-heavy. Somebody, please...dial up Waltz' Fish Shak to find out how this should be done.
The Clam Chowder was so thick with roux that it was like eating a soggy biscuit. I couldn't even gag down a spoonful. To her credit, our server noticed that it was left virtually untouched and removed it from our bill without being asked to do so.
Grouper sandwiches were okay...fish tasted fresh, portions were generous and the cornmeal-dusted roll was a nice touch. I'm not a big fan of tartar sauce sitting out on the table at room temp all day, which it was. I ordered mine lightly breaded with a side of slaw...
...and UD ordered the beer-battered rendition with grocery store freezer aisle french fries.
Apparently, something has kept the lights burning at PJ's for three decades, although I'm not sure what that is. Perhaps it's the tourons, or maybe a it's a case of habit triumphing over hate. I didn't cry too hard after receiving my $44 check, but I won't be back. EVER. A combination of mediocre quality and environment plus too many better choices for the price on the beach left me unimpressed.
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.