For my first Food Blog Friday, I will be doing a restaurant review of The Lucky Pelican in Sarasota, Florida. Now, I am all about trying out the local cuisine, I am not the dude who eats at Chili's when on vacation. I will literally go out of my way to find something you can't get anywhere else. I gotta admit though, I probably wouldn't have found The Lucky Pelican had it not been right next to our hotel... It's kind of off the beaten path, and since its in a strip mall, it doesn't exactly look like much as you pull up to it. We decided to give it a try, because we are triathletes and we were hungry and didn't feel like going far.
Well, we weren't disappointed. The Pelican offers all kinds of fresh seafood (I was seriously drooling as I walked by the display case with crabs, salmon, and tuna on ice) as well as some great beers on tap. The service was great both times, and the atmosphere is what I would call a lively family place. Maybe not the best for a romantic date night (unless your girlfriend is a bit like mine...) but perfect for group gatherings. The servers bring out this warm, yeasty bread before your meal, and unlike most places where the server rolls his eyes when you ask for more bread (yeah, I've totally been that server) they gladly bring out more without you even having to ask.
The first night we went I tried the fish and chips. They used cod, which was very flaky and juicy, although the breading was a bit on the greasy side for me. The coleslaw was better than your standard grandma's recipe, and the fries were, well, fries... French fries to me are a bit like sex; when they're good, they are REALLY good. But when they are bad, they are still pretty good! These were somewhere in between drunken hook-up and... well OK let's just say they were some solid fries. What stole the show for me was the sauce they brought out. It was some kind of garlicky/ranchy/aioli sauce that I wanted to drink with a straw. That brought the whole meal together for me and is the reason I'd order the fish and chips again.
The next night I split a mussel hot pot with a friend and had the ocean burrito myself. The mussels were a huge portion, definitely split them with a couple people if you're having them as an appetizer. The broth was a white wine and garlic cream sauce that again, I wanted to drink with a straw, and the mussels were the perfect blend of briny and garlicky. The bread they brought out was perfect for sopping up the sauce.
Now the burrito... oh my, the burrito... This thing had shrimp, crawfish, more fried cod, as well as beans, cilantro, jambalaya rice and corn salsa. And of course, they brought out a side of that nectar-of-the-gods dipping sauce. The spiciness of the shrimp blended perfectly with the jambalaya rice and the salsa, and the crunch from the fried cod absolutely made this dish. I don't feel like I need to tell you that the sauce was absolutely delicious on this. Go to the Lucky Pelican, get the ocean burrito.
Now I only tried the seafood here, but if the rest of their menu is anything like that, it should be pretty awesome. If you don't like seafood though, you might not want to go here... also, we can no longer be friends. I will definitely be back for more of that damn sauce....
Hope y'all enjoyed my first Food Blog Friday! Until next time, FOLLOW THE PACE RABBIT! #FBF