good eats near Port St. Lucie
my wife, 16 year old son, and I are heading down to see the Mets play several spring training games in Port St. Lucie over Easter Weekend. We will be staying in Stuart, FL, near Port St. Lucie and Jensen beach. We would appreciate recommendations for informal, inexpensive to moderately priced, dining options, primarily for dinners, as we will likely eat most lunches at the park. Because my son is a picky eater, exotic ethnic choices are out of the question. He/we like seafood, sandwiches, pizza, barbeque, brewpubs, and/or burger joints. We are willing to drive up to 30 minutes in any direction from Port St. Lucie, and we recognize that because of the Easter holiday, we may face some crowds. Thanks!
Quick update. Back again for what has now become the annual kickoff for the "Mets Bataan Death March" (2013 version 2.0) to survey the participants in this year's upcoming slaughter. (To Fred Wilpon...and the rest of the usual gang of idiots who thought it was a good idea to jettison Dickey...all I can say is "You broke my heart, Fredo. You broke my heart".)
Rant completed. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
Immediately following a 4-2 loss to the Braves, we headed to Stuart (about 20 min drive) to check out the AYCE ($9.95)ribs at Cowboy's BBQ on US1. On Mondays and Fridays, you can drown your sorrows on $1 margaritas while ingesting your own weight in darn good baby backs (with 2 sides---jump all over that fried okra, kids). It's the deal of the century...no Groupons necessary. And take care of your waitresses. They're workin' hard to ease the pain you suffered earlier in the day at Digital Domain Park.
Hit Palm City Grille (Shoppes at PSL West) for lunch. Nice neighborhood place. Their fried grouper sandwich hit the spot.
For a great bang for the buck try FINZ in Stuart's happy hour from 3-6 Mon-Sat. 1/2 price appetizers like the fish dip, fried calamar and mussels. Delicious crab balls (better than crab cakes) for $2 a pop and raw local oysters for $1 each at the happy hour. On the water and great for boaters pulling in. Very casual.
Crawdaddy's in Jensen has the best (and maybe only) Cajun/Creole in the area at the end of Jensen Beach Blvd. The jambalaya and the titular crawdads are winners.
El Cubanito in a strip mall on Port St Lucie Blvd about two blocks west of US1 is a primo homestylke Cuban joint. Don't leave town without trying this place, Best Cuban I've had in Florida. The lechon pork and marinated chicken are worldbeater.
CrawDaddy's really has good food and fun atmosphere....Unfortunately it's a place that's very, very popular...especially during "the season"....and there is a tendency by the wait staff and the hostesses to really not give a damn whether you ever come back....because they're that busy....and that popular....and they're level of service...attentiveness....and respect is reflected in that belief.....When I pass by there in the dead of summer....and it's dead empty....I sometimes thing....they should have treated me a little better.....but they're in business and kicking butt....
thanks for all the replies; here is where we wound up eating dinners:
Archies's Seabreeze in Ft. Pierce i\on A1A. great atmosphere, as we sat outside during happy hour and drank beer (soda for son), ate burgers and hot wings, and watched the locals and not-so-locals enjoy Fri evening.
New England Seafood Market in Jensen Beach. as others have posted, this was very fresh and very nicely done at moderate-to-slightly high prices. son had fried clams (his standard seafood fare), wife had a hot lobster roll (lobster was hot and dipped in melted butter as opposed to being mixed with celery and mayo and served cold), and I had Florida grouper steamed in parchment paper with veggies. Excellent and delicious hush puppies with pieces of corn in 'em. a little tight on the seating but comfortable nonetheless.
Bare Bones Brewery and Grill in Stuart on Dixie Highway. apparently this is the second outpost of a brewpub that started in Maryland; unfortunately, beer is not brewed at this location. had a great Belgian wheat beer, however, so all was not lost. Son has a humongous rack of baby back ribs, wife had a large salad with grilled chicken, and I had tempura-battered dolphin fish. service was outstanding, as were the coconut cream pie and snickers cheesecake desserts.
Duffy's Sports Bar & Grill in West Palm Beach - we hit this on the way back to our hotel in Stuart from the Mets-Orioles game in Ft. Lauderdale. standard sports bar fare, although with several seafood items. son had a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, while wife and I had specials" she got the skewers of 20 grilled shrimp while I got grilled ahi tuna with grilled zucchini and slaw. not bad for a chain and we got to watch NCAA women's tourney as well.
ball game fare was OK - the best variety was at Tradition Field (Mets), whereas Ft. Lauderdale Stadium (Orioles) was fairly standard. Roger Dean Stadium (Cardinals) has good variety but also is adjacent to several restaurants if you want to chow down prior to the game.
re: Mike in Rhinebeck
re: Mike in Rhinebeck
Four of us went to Archie's Seabreeze on a Wednesday night in February 2009. It's a funky place, crowded, beachy, and pretty much open-air. Since it's open air, smoking is everywhere, so we ate outdoors to get ventilation. My friend is diabetic, and took his reading and gave himself an insulin shot in the car before going inside.
We ordered drinks, which came right away. We ordered burgers and chili, which came about an hour and a half later. In the meantime, we asked for and got onion rings, then french fries, to keep us from starving and to keep my friend from having a diabetes problem.
We asked the waitress why the extra-long wait for food. Well, she told us they had brand new cooks, and they couldn't keep up the pace, and the owner was in the kitchen screaming at them. We should have walked out at that point.
Finally, the food came. It was adequate. Not worth the wait. The burgers were ordinary. The sweet potato fries were tasty. The chili was pretty bland -- meaty, with beans, but no heat to speak of.
It is very unlikely that we'll return.
The Palm City Grill (PSL West / Publix Shopping Center) is a very solid, reliable choice...Chris' Hurricane is also located in the same shopping plaza...very informal....and their wings there are tasty....The West End Grill just up the street and on the south side) is also a local favorite....
Monkey King in Stuart (as previously mentioned here) is quite good and we like the Fish Tacos.....Peter's Steakhouse in Jensen Beach is like Peter Luger's in NYC....The New England Fish House on Jensen Beach Boulevard has a great seafood market and restaurant and their Mahi GreeK Salad is unbelievable....For Pizza we recommend Europa Pizza on US1 in PSL...it's outstanding......For sandwiches / wraps....Sebastiano's Italian Deli is awesome....It's located on US1 just south of PSL Boulevard on the east side.....Tropical Smoothies are located all over the place and their smoothies / wraps are reasonably good but a bit pricey......Conchy Joes?....Not so much......
The Ashley might be up your alley for dinner. Also, the Monkey King (private owned brew pub), Bono's BBQ (decent food), and Duffy's Sports Grill for good food beyond just your average bar fare. All are in Stuart.
Please see this thread, as someone asked almost the exact same thing about 2 weeks ago. Go Braves!
the ashley right in downtown stuart is very good, however may be a little fancy for what you described..
conchy joe's in jensen beach (right by the hutchinson island causeway) would prob be absolutely perfect for you.
i also recommend the sailfish marina on Singer Island if you are willing to take a short drive south. it is a beautiful place, and the food is great