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Bonefish Grill

We have reservations for Bonefish Grill in Willow Grove this weekend. I'm usually skeptical of large chain restaurants, but we are going to use a gift certificate. What is good on their menu? Any suggestions or recommendations?

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  1. We have them here in Florida and I have to say, I was not impressed. They are part of the Out Back Steak house and Caraba's Italian chains. They focus primarily on seafood but offer some steak dishes, They will do ok but dont expect anything really memorable,

    1. I personally have not been there but a friend of mine recommended me to go. I think he mentioned something about the crabcakes and white-fish being really good. Hope that helps a little:)

      1. Actually, for a chain restaurant, Bonefish is great. Their coconut shrimp appetizer is very good and their grilled fish (esp. tuna, swordfish, and mahi mahi) are excellent.

        1. A vendor of mine always gives gift cards to the Outback chains and we've used them at Bonefish in Florida. I might feel differently if I was paying but I thought it wasn't bad. I did really enjoy the mussels.

          1. I have never been a fan of them but living in Florida there are sooo many better places for fresh seafood. I usually stick with the specials.

            1. Crabcakes are good. They only list them as an appetizer but I often request them as a dinner and they have always done that for me. I love the bang bang shrimp appetizer. Also their pasta with shrimp (can't remember the name).

              1. I went with a gift certificate also. It was, on the whole, uninspired chain restaurant food. I wish I could remember what I had......it wasn't bad.......just not memorable. Despite this the joint was PACKED.

                1. We found this place in Clearwater, FL last week and liked it so much we went back a second time. I think it's a very good middle-brow restaurant. Much better than Shells (another southern chain) but not as good as Charthouse (but Bonefish is 1/2 the price of Charthouse.) The bang-bang shrimp appetizer was very good as were the mussels. The calamari were lightly cooked and tender. Grilled shrimp and scallops linguine were very good. The chilean sea bass was appropriately undercooked and very good in a commercial teriyaki glaze. They had a small selection of decent wines that were priced about 2X the usual store price; I consider that a fair markup. There was an enormous wait staff of enthusiastic servers so service was crisp, although both nights the servers were prone to interrupt our conversation more than I'd like. The prices were about what I'd expect for a restaurant of this level, but the quality of the food and service was much higher than I expected. Therefore, I thought it was a good value.

                  1. We went, with a gift certificate as well. Try the "Bang Bang Shrimp". For a chain, the experience was predictable. The place was really crowded, tables too close together, and extremely loud. The food was better than I expected.

                    1. Never have been there but lookin at the menu the Fontina Chops sounds really good.

                      1. For the price point it is very good. The independents in my home town are around $5/entre higher. For less than $10 the mussels & bread make an excellent light dinner.

                        1. It looks like a nice restaurant from the exterior and they have valet parking at the location I went to.
                          The wait was 45 minutes on a Sat afternoon at 4:45 but we were able to sit in the bar area in a booth right away.

                          The Parmesan Pisctachio Trout was pretty unremarkable and covered in too much sauce to let the fish flavor come through (maybe that is the idea). Good portion of artichokes on top.

                          The potatos au gratin were horrible - obviously scooped out of a vat somewhere and all clumped up in a crusty ball. The breadcrumbs were a single mass "glued together" like a cap on top of the scoop instead on a nice, tasty crust as you'd expect to see on this side dish.

                          Service was excellent and the decor is nice and understated. We also had a gift certificate. Good thing because we were underwhelmed by this restaurant.

                          1. If you're somewhere that doesn't afford availability to really fresh fish then it's not all that bad. They basically take relatively fresh fish and serve it with different sauces. Beware of "altenative names" for fish, especially grouper and snapper that may or not be what you think you are getting. We do love the Bang-Bang Shrimp. All in all, its better than Red Lobster, but it ain't our local places down here where the day boat just off loaded.

                            1. I do agree with most of the others. You can only expect so much from them. I would recommend the Chilean Bass with the lump crab topping.

                              1. Not thrilled with Bonefish, they are pretentious and expensive but their dishes have a 'heavy handed' chain restaurant feeling. They have commonplace items on the menu (Coconut Shrimp, Crab Cakes, deep fried calimari, their ahi tuna recipe for instance), and they don't distinguish themselves in preparation of these dishes. Their sauces are pedestrian. Honestly, however dramatic Bananas Foster is, it's not a big deal, considering it's composition. This place is pulling the wool over the eyes of diners. But I will give them credit for a higher level of quality, but you're still food prepared with margarine and bleached flour and waaay to much salt.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: vstoklosa

                                  I ate at the Bonefish in Mesa, AZ 3 times. The first time, I was innocent and the food was BAD! The next two times I WAS STUPID and it was still bad. I didn't want to offend anyone by refusing to go there. However, refuse to ever go there again. I will sit in the car with the windows closed in 110 degree heat before I ever return there. Death is preferrable to eating at the Bonefish.

                                  1. re: recipelover

                                    For the most part good seafood = fresh seafood. Given that this is a chain there is way more chance that the fish they serve traveled many, many miles and days to get there. My rules for seafood....if it is a chain restaurant, avoid it (better yet, avoid chain restaurants altogether). I would imagine their supply chain does not take into account local sources. And if you live in the midwest or the desert or anywhere over, say 400 miles from a body of saltwater, seafood is probably not your best bet. Get the chicken.

                                2. I agree with others who've said it's fine for what it is. Hubby and I had the 2 for $36 special which included fried calimari appetizer (neither the best or worst I've had), smallish caesar salads (amply dressed with cheese), and very nice seasonal veggie (zucchini/yellow squash with tomatoes). He ordered the Norwegian salmon and I had the grilled shrimp and scallops. The entrees were fresh tasting and correctly cooked. The service and ambience were pleasant and professional. We didn't think it was terribly high-end but we did find it a good value.

                                  1. This is one of the few chains I visit. The service at the one in Boise, Idaho is excellent. The Happy Hour is an incredible deal...half price apps and discounted drinks from 4-6 and 9-11 PM. Their salads are excellent and the appetizers I have tried have been good. The current $18 complete dinner special they are running is a bargain especially for the scallop and shrimp combination.

                                    1. In all honesty it's a bit like a more pretentious Red Lobster to me - and most of the time I'd rather have Red Lobster given the choice :-/ (If I have to make that choice at all...which does sometimes happen on the road). Very heavy-handed with the sauces and greasy/fried appetizers...I had one of the worst-cut and prepared tuna steaks I've ever seen there once (and drowned in a completely nasty sweet sauce). Go for as simple a preparation as possible and I find you'll do better there than with any of their attempts at more fancy dishes.

                                      Also the patter from the waiters there annoy me with the whole canned spiels and having to explain the menu...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: sockii

                                        Iv never had a problem getting a dish sans sauce or with sauce on the side.

                                        1. re: beteez

                                          Yeah, as an addendum to my positive review above, my husband and I both ordered the lemon butter sauce on the side. It wasn't particularly "heavy" anyway.