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The Shrimp Boat at Historic St. Andrews
(850) 785-8706 (They do not take reservations.)
The Shrimp Boat has reopened. After a long process of rebuilding, Loren Smith has at last seen the crowds enter through those front doors. My husband and I visited on the Saturday night of the weekend of its November 1st, 2008 Opening. We usually don't do that because we think it takes a while to get the kinks out of the running of a new restaurant. But, Loren Smith is a pro. He brought his popular chef D.J. from his restaurant on the beach, Pompano, to head up the kitchen and appears to have hired a superlative staff.
We decided to walk down to the Shrimp Boat from our condo at Harbour Village and have supper after a marathon of football games on Saturday. As we walked along the marina we were almost run over by Porter Thrower (old Dothan friend) who was actually jogging along the boardwalk. He stopped to chat and told us he'd attended a Gala Opening on Thursday night and was impressed. We hoped he was right. He was. From the moment we entered building, we were impressed. Who wouldn't be when Elvis himself had returned to attend the Grand Opening? While we waited for our table, we sat at the bar and followed the recommendation of the Bar tender/Server by ordering Sipsey's Fried Green Tomato Crab Stack ($12). Described as "Flash fried green tomatoes topped with our rich homemade lump crab salad" it was delicious. The gentleman sitting next to us ordered the Bruschetta ($9) and I almost found my fork in his plate it looked so good!. It is described as "Sourdough croustinis topped with our very fresh roma tomato, basil, feta cheese and olive bruschetta mix." While the glass of Zinfadel was $7, it was a good pour.
We were called to our table quickly (the wait staff is friendly and efficient) and our server (Paula, a Brazilian native with amazing English, but a charming accent) gave us helpful suggestions for our meal. First she handed us a Martini menu with drinks ($9) it might take me the rest of the year to try. If I use the excuse of telling you about it, I might just be able to justify the "analysis"! We decided on the Seafood Platter ($19 for Joe) and the Stuffed Shrimp (for me). The platter consisted of Grouper, Shrimp, Scallops and Stuffed Blue Crab perfectly fried. My Stuffed Shrimp rivals Captain Andersons and that is saying something.
I like having a salad and vegetable come with the meal rather than ordering a la carte. It was a very good salad. We both got the baked potato, but I wish I had gotten the steamed brocolli and carrots because there is an art to baking a potato. I guess I am a potato connoisseur. I must say Red Lobster has the best potatoes, always steaming hot and just the right texture with the skin so good, dredged in sea salt, you have to eat it as well. I could have had fries or mashed potatoes. Maybe that is a "kink" and I should try the baked potato once again.
(We returned the next weekend with friends. The baked potato was perfect. I had the stuffed flounder and found a new favorite. I also had a hurricane and recommend it highly. The wait was immensely pleasant with the hurricane, friends, the bench on the wharf, and the pleasant weather. There were passing "new friends" wearing Alabama jerseys with whom to share a few "Roll Tide" pleasantries. What more could one ask?)
While we waited, we watched the sun set in a glorious profusion of color, a blushing backdrop for the glittering lights of the high rise condos across St. Andrews Bay on the Beach directly east that sparkled "on" as the sun went down. Some of the guests tested the dock by arriving on their deck boat to eat at the New Old Shrimp boat.
Not being sushi eaters, we did not linger at the Sushi Bar, but it looks remarkable. The menu is extensive. It is almost tempting to try, but then again.... However, if Sushi is your thing, you will definitely want to try the Shrimp Boat.
They do not take reservations at the moment...unless you have a very large party which might need the upstairs facilities.
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