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Fresh Seafood in Madeira beach and Tampa

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I will have 2 days in Madeira beach and limited opportunity to explore - sadly. I would like to get my hands on some fresh seafood (any stone crabs yet?). I will be with a group of about 8-10 women most of whom could care less about good food. I am not looking for fine dining. In fact, just a nice bar with some simply prepared, fresh fish and/or seafood would do me well. I've searched the Florida board and there aren't any current posts that I could locate.

Also, we need a lunch spot in Tampa and, again, any fresh seafood spots would be nice. Something nice yet casual and easy to find. Bonus points for innovative and creative. I've read good things about Oystercatchers, Mitchell's, and Frenchy's although, I couldn't find a Frenchy's location relatively close to 275.

Thanks in Advance!

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  1. In madeira beach the friendly fisherman is good and the best at John's Pass. Conch Republic is close by in Reddington and very good as well. Both of these are casual, local and sound like what you're looking for.

    If you do decide to go out for something fancier Middle Grounds on Treasure island is fantastic. The nut crusted grouper is one of my favorite dishes anywhere.

    What part of tampa will you be in?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kellykatherine

      Thanks so much! We'll just be passing through Tampa on our way to Madeira Beach. We'll be coming from Orlando and wanted to stop for lunch on our way to Madeira Beach. So anything not too far off our travel route would be great.

    2. I second Middle Grounds in T.I. for upscale semi-sorta upscale. Or hit Dockside Dave's right there in Madeira beach for the best around. You might also go up to Indian Rocks (couple miles up Gulf Blvd.) and give Keegan's Seafood Grille a try.It's a bit less upscale but very good. John's pass, in my humble opinion, is aimed a bit at tourists. Let us know where you go and what you think.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jimonthebeach

        I will definitely report back. Now I just have to get my fellow soccer moms on board for these recs. Wish me luck! ;)

        Oh, also, what food things are special to the area? In other words, do y'all have a special sandwich or dish that the area is known for that I should seek out? I saw something called smoked amberjack spread on Keegan's menu - is this a regional fish dip?

        And finally, is there any good Cuban restos around? I love Cuban food, but it's hard to come by in NC.

        1. re: lynnlato

          Special to the area is grouper sandwich, smoked mullet and cuban sandwiches. Several places around here have amberjack.. I prefer it over mullet. I don't really know honestly if it is not popular outside of this area. I have to assume so?

          As far as Cuban restaurants to eat at: The Floridian is on Treasure Island, which isn't very far from Mad Beach. Though I've yet to ever dine there. Also, Perera Cuban Cafe in Kenneth City (which is on your way to Tampa via 275). This place is new and again, I haven't been there but the reviews seem fantastic.

          Good luck

          1. re: Little T.

            Thanks Little T.! I would love a grouper sand and a Cuban sandwich. Maybe we'll hit up Perera's on our way into town.

            1. re: Little T.

              Well, I had 48 hrs in the area and very limited time to explore... but I did manage to get to Perera's Cuban Cafe and had a delicious media noche. Wow! So glad you sent me there. My travel buddy was mistaken for the mayor of Kenneth City by the owner. Ha! We told him that she was not the mayor. He was kind and brought us out some hunks of roast pork while we waited for our sandwiches. The woman making the sandwiches was a sweet as could be and she kindly showed explained to us from where they source their bread and how they make some of their dishes. It was a very pleasant experience and the sandwich was unbelievably good.

              Our host wanted us to see the beach and a sunset so she took us to a place called Caddy's for dinner. It was very touristy and was fried fish and french fries and not very good... but the sunset was lovely.

              Thanks so much everyone!

               
              1. re: lynnlato

                Wow, that sandwich looks awesome! Glad that Perera worked out for y'all. I definitely need to stop by there.