Clearwater/St. Pete's Beach - Specific Questions
We are 6 adults staying in a vacation rental in Reddington Shores in mid March. We will have a vehicle. Fifty somethings (although behave a little younger). We will be cooking and preparing most of our own meals but are specifically interested in the following:
1. One casual lunch/dinner to enjoy some local specialties and cold drinks – grouper/conch. Preferably on or near the beach and reasonably accessible (i.e.no overly long waits or line ups to get in).
2. Stone crab claws. We would like to enjoy a meal/feed of these either at a restaurant or for purchase and eating at the condo. Can you recommend a spot to enjoy (perhaps the same as above) and/or a fish market or the like where they can be purchased.
3. Re number 2 above, looking for a recommendation for a market/spot to purchase fresh fish which can be prepared at home. Any recommendations for fresh in season produce would be appreciated as well.
For your #1, grouper and conch - Mid Peninsula Seafood in St. Pete. I'm not aware of any other place that serves cracked conch. Conch cannot be legally taken in Florida, and they source it from the conch farm in Providenciales. I buy my stone crabs and fresh fish in Cortez at A. P. Bell and Star Fish, but someone will offer a closer source. Definitely enjoy the stone crabs at your rental rather than at a restaurant - you'll have twice as many for half the price.
Edit: As I recall, Mid-Peninsula sells claws in their retail section.
The "Season" traditionally ends after Easter, this year that is April 8th. so a wait just about anywhere is to be expected. With the economy still off perhaps there will be fewer visitors and the wait won't be as bad.
I live near Redington Shores and for a fresh seafood store that hasn't let us down yet, I suggest Trappman's J-n-K's Seafood Shack in Largo. From Gulf Blvd. take the Park Blvd. Bridge - also called 694) east until you get to Seminole Blvd. Turn left and go just north of 102nd Ave. N - it's on the right-hand side. You can buy the fish raw or they will cook it for you for take-out. http://www.trappmans.com/