A trip to the beach just isn’t complete without lots of delicious seafood so while spending a few days enjoying Stump Pass State Park on Manasota Key we set out to find the island’s best grouper sandwich.
First, we tried Flounders, a place recommended by a woman at our hotel. She described Flounders as a fun place to eat, and I think she’s probably right about that. When we arrived at 3:30 a live band was playing music in the outside bar area.
Unfortunately, the staff at Flounders was preoccupied with the set up of the stage for a dueling piano show later in the evening. That could have been overlooked if the food was outstanding, but that was not the case. The grouper sandwich was average, and while the mango salsa was tasty, the fish tacos were dry. Unfortunately, we were looking for good food instead of fun.
On day two, we headed to Lock ‘n Key, located across the street from Flounders, it received a rating of ‘4’ on Yelp so it seemed like a good place to try. Again we ordered a grouper sandwich to split as well as a prime rib sandwich.
We were a little surprised to find that the prime rib sandwich was a hunk of meat on a slice of bread instead of an actual sandwich with sliced meat, a lesson to read the menu more carefully. And as for our grouper sandwich…it was large and the taste was alright, but again, nothing special. We did splurge on a unique dessert. Banana split pie with several flavors of ice cream with bananas and cherries frozen in the pie topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Yummy, but way too many calories!
Our final attempt to find a delicious grouper sandwich was at the Gulf View Grill, a restaurant with numerous awards plastered on the wall for everything from “Most Romantic” to “Best Dinner”. Gulf View Grill certainly deserves the award for best sunset view, but I hope there’s someplace else on the island with a better dinner. The grouper sandwich was about the same as the fish at the previous two restaurants, but the shrimp dinner came with only 4 fried shrimp and not nearly tasty enough to justify their $20 price.
I could go back to any of these restaurants for another meal, but I’ll need to try something other than the grouper sandwich I craved. Next trip, we’ll have to continue the great grouper quest…or drive another hour to Sanibel Island where I know I can sink my teeth into the World’s Best Grouper Sandwich.