It's not as though anyone needs an excuse to visit the charming burg of Safety Harbor, but if you're a Key West junkie with limited free time who's craving a fix, Bar Fly Saltwater Grill could be your Subutex. This casual little slice of the Keys dishes up uber-cheery and caring service, a bona fide island vibe and good pub grub. Icy-cold beer is bargain-priced with most domestics available for $3 per bottle or 16 oz. draft and only fresh local seafood is served.
My Grouper Reuben (a generous portion of perfectly grilled fish sandwiched between two slabs of grilled Texas toast along with melted Swiss and delightfully sweet and crunchy tropical slaw) was outstanding. The menu gave me the sense that there's no frying going on here...but the accompanying high-end kettle chips were perfectly acceptable since I couldn't finish the generously portioned sandwich anyway. Blah...bad picture, good sandwich.
Our teen dining companion, Grace, who has made it her sole mission to snarf every Cuban sandwich she can wrap her hands around since relocating to Tampa from Charleston last year, bestowed her coveted "two thumbs up" on this massive beast. More tropical slaw and a side of spicy black beans were included...not that she could shoehorn much of that down, as she elected to focus her undivided attention on her sammie muse du jour.
Bar Fly/Saltwater Grill's riff on seafood nachos had all five of us double-dipping incestuously. This diabolical tower of decadence is comprised blue corn tortilla chips layered with pineapple salsa, shredded cheese, red cabbage, zippy remoulade sauce and fresh grilled fish and shrimp...and is a masterpiece of sheer genius. I was in sloppy blogger mode after eating and drinking myself silly on Valentine's day, so no pic. Trust me, though...you want it.
Finally, grilled mahi tacos were also well received and snorted in veryshort order.
If a "low point" must be identified, the clam chowder left a lot to be desired. It was neither particularly "clammy" nor flavorful (although salt was present in abundance) and the potatoes were cooked to mush. I think these guys can do better.
Final word: This is a fun, relaxing, friendly and inexpensive dining destination with an extensive offering of affordably priced craft and domestic brewskis. Good times!
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 interne