A taste of Florida

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  March 11, 2009

Another word about grouper: read menus carefully and always ask questions. We were at a to-remain-unnamed spot in Sarasota, staring at the "fresh catch sandwich," when I realized I wasn't imagining the words "grilled used-to-be grouper." Say what? The cook explained that they carry a grouper-like fish from Mexico — i.e., a cheaper supply source, but after a big flap in 2007 over non-grouper substitutes, he had to be very careful about his menu descriptions.

Our last intriguing seafood meal in Florida occurred quite unexpectedly in St. Augustine when, after a long day's drive, we were looking for something other than a raucous pirate bar. We found a haven at Opus 39, an upscale restaurant with a dedication to local produce and seafood. We had snapper and triggerfish. The snapper was good, but the triggerfish was outstanding, with a slightly pungent but earthy kick to its sweet taste — not at all "fishy." Turns out it feeds mainly on sand dollars and sea urchins to give it that distinctive taste.

Three last recommendations for Florida foodstuffs: a fish called "wahoo," a sport fish related to king mackerel; the Bahamian specialties of conch fritters and conch chowder, which use Caribbean conch; and the tropical taste of "coconut water," the liquid inside a chilled coconut, exotic and addicting, even without the rum!

Johnette Rodriguez can be reached at johnette.rodriguez@cox.net.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Foods,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   EMOTION IN MOTION  |  April 02, 2014
    When Festival Ballet Providence started their in-studio series, “Up Close On Hope,” more than 10 years ago, the vision was to give up-and-coming choreographers and dancers a stage less overwhelming and more intimate on which to find their footing.
  •   A SOUND APPROACH  |  March 05, 2014
    When the Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance Group takes the stage at the Vets this Saturday at 8 pm, the audience will get a lot more than just the expressive movement of dance.
  •   THE EVANGELIST OF TAP  |  January 29, 2014
    “Tap dance has been around since air,” Glover says, “and I want to bring more awareness and seriousness to the art form."
  •   LASTING IMPRESSIONS  |  November 06, 2013
    In the current “Up Close On Hope” series at Festival Ballet Providence, there are two stunning and emotion-drenched pieces that are an excellent example of what dance can do.
  •   AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY  |  October 30, 2013
    With renewed appreciation of circus performers in the ’70s (Big Apple Circus) and the elevation of circus skills to artistic performance (Cirque du Soleil), many incarnations of circuses and cirques have followed.

 See all articles by: JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ