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Where to take company on the water around John's Pass?

f
floridaeater Nov 22, 2011 04:35 PM

My boyfriends parent's are coming to visit from Indiana next week. I have never met them but get the impression they are most familiar with the classic mid western meat and potatoes. They have kindly offered to take us to dinner and asked us to choose a place on the water with nice views and fresh seafood near John's Pass. I had suggested Salt Rock Grill the bf says Woody's. Any ideas where we might meet in the middle? I have seen Walt's good reviews. How's the atmosphere? Thanks

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Salt Rock Grill
19325 Gulf Blvd, Indian Shores, FL 33785

  1. c
    coloradosmom Feb 12, 2012 07:17 PM

    I too, have tried to go to Waltz many times but they are always closed. Since it's only one meal out, I would choose Salt Rock. Unfortunately, they're aren't too many places around that have good food AND a good view. Woody's is o.k. but the food is just typical bar food.

    1. k
      kitben Feb 11, 2012 12:41 PM

      Middle Grounds or Salt Rock, for sure. We live here and had heard good things about Waltz, so tried it out last night. The atmosphere is lovely and adorable, service pretty good. And, admittedly, we just tried something small, but, based on that experience we would never go back. We each had what was probably the worst, most inedible conch chowder -- ever. It was so spicy that that alone would've been reason enough to make it inedible, but there was this truly horrid sweet taste, and we couldn't figure out what it was, except for . . . sugar? Neither one of us could eat more than a couple of bites. At 6 p.m. they were inexplicably out of crab cakes, but this is something they seem to be proud of (the general attitude being our food is so fabulous this is what tends to happen). So we tried the grouper cakes and, honestly, just kinda meh. They were just uninteresting, with a deep-fat fried crust to them, although I'm unclear as to whether they were deep fat fried. Just . . . uninspiring. Not really even good. So, there's my mini review, but I realize I'm one of the dissenters.

      1. Jimonthebeach Nov 23, 2011 06:33 PM

        Middle Grounds in Treasure Island. Between Woody's and Salt Rock geographically and gastronomically.

        1. l
          laboheme Nov 23, 2011 04:43 AM

          Waltz Fish Shack is laid back and does super fresh fish simply and well. I was there last Saturday for lunch and had terrific lightly fried grouper cheeks, yucca fries (amazing!) and split a cup of so-so crab corn chowder. It has been nice enough out that you could sit outside like we did and enjoy the water view. Just call before you go...their hours can be erratic, as when they sell out of fish they close.

          2 Replies
          1. re: laboheme
            j
            joan Nov 23, 2011 05:06 AM

            I have driven by Waltz at least ten times on my bike and it has been open only one of those times, and they were in the process of closing (it was still light out, early evening). Even during the Johns Pass Seafood festival in October, they were closed. The atmosphere is very cute, picnic tables, across the street from the dock. But as laboheme says, call first.

            I am with you, floridaeater, Salt Rock Grill has always been our go-to place. But it is more expensive than Woody's for sure, but that's like comparing a Cadillac to a Pinto! If you wanna go "downscale" then try Sea Hag's - much better food than Woody's, and they do have a small section outside with a view of the marina.

            Unfortunately, the best seafood is "near" the water but no views: Middle Grounds. You can't go wrong there, but you are facing Gulf Blvd...maybe you could eat there and take a walk across the street on the beachfront sidewalk after dinner.

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            Salt Rock Grill
            19325 Gulf Blvd, Indian Shores, FL 33785

            1. re: joan
              k
              kenr Nov 23, 2011 06:19 PM

              Joan, you're always right on. Agree!

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