Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Flounders at Pensacola Beach, Revisit

Pensacola Beach gets crazy this time of year – and what is not to love? Days of sunshine, surf temperature in the 80’s, and fine white sand, really white – it’s gorgeous.

If the Blue Angels are flying, or if it’s the 4th of July weekend, we can forget about the beach – the traffic over the bridges to the beach is blocked for miles. When the Blue Angels were flying, we could see the traffic backed up all the way to Cervantes, in central Pensacola. People were gridlocked on the bridge, and just watched from there – there were no more parking spots, none, out on Pensacola Beach.

But the madness has passed, normal times have returned, and I have a yearning for Flounder’s Fish Tacos. Ahhhhh, comfort food, with so much lettuce and tomato and salsa that it SEEMS healthy, even though the fish is undeniably . . . umm . . . . er . . .. fried.

00FloundersFishTacos

These are listed in the appetizer section. Who on earth could eat this as an appetizer? At my hungriest, I can eat two, and still have one to take with. But so delicious, so perfect for a hot summer day.

AdventureMan has the seafood platter, which he loves, and he, too, has plenty to take home, the portions are so huge.

00FloundersGrilledSeafood

Life is sweet – we found a parking place close to Flounders and while it was a drizzly day, it didn’t rain on us. Flounders was full of people, but not so packed we had to wait for a table. Service was, as always, fast, fun, efficient and very welcoming – they are so attentive, no matter how busy.

We left happy, and once my fish taco meter starts going up again, we will head back.

Advertisements

July 31, 2014 Posted by | Eating Out, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Weather | , , | 2 Comments

My View at Flounders on Pensacola Beach

“They’re all asking to have what you are having!” the waiter shouted across the aisle as I saw eight people watching me eat a Baja Fish Taco, not a pretty sight. They caught me with a mouth full, so I could only smile and nod good-naturedly, trying to indicate it was delicious – if messy. AdventureMan had a grouper Po’Boy and a bowl of their matchless seafood chowder.

In spite of the messiness – Baha Tacos was a three napkin meal, all the lettuce and tomato and jalepeno slices keep falling out, it is so stuffed, and holy smokes, it is so delicious. Four people at that table ordered the same. It is a wonderful dish. It is on the appetizer section of the menu, but it comes with three huge fish tacos, more than I can ever eat, so they bring me a box when they bring the entree. Yes, it is just as good later in the day. It tastes so fresh.

The weather is perfect now, crawling up into the 80’s, cooling down into the lower 70’s at night, sea breezes blowing, humidity . . . well, bearable. Reminds us of November in Kuwait.

Here is my view at Flounders:

00Flounders

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Eating Out, Florida, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Restaurant | Leave a comment

Flounders in Pensacola Beach

“We’ll have to take you to Flounders.” our Pensacola friends said, and we wondered, because we hadn’t seen Flounders on our trips to the beach, and we hadn’t seen it advertised. One day we Googled it, found it on the map and headed for the beach.

They don’t seem to need to advertise. Even if there is a parking spot in the parking lot (not a given) you are likely to have to wait. Even on a weekday, when you think no one else will be there. And what a very cool place.

The place looks beachy, there are usually people sitting out front, waiting, and you can see this huge boat, The Flounder:

Now that the temperatures have dropped about ten degrees, the entire restaurant is open, and it is heavenly. If it gets too hot or too cold, there are garage-door-like barriers against the elements, but for most of the year, Flounders can stay open to the sea breezes.

Prices are reasonable, portions are too big, service is quick and friendly without being overly intrusive. There are volleyball courts, a landing and a large area for children to play in.

We’ve seen a lot of birthday parties at Flounders; children’s and grown ups. 😉 They are owned by the same group that owns McGuires and Crabs: We Got ‘Em. Each of those restaurants has a unique menu, and we really like that each has such GOOD food.

So for our first visit, there are two MUST-ORDERS; to test a Florida seafood restaurant, you have to try their Seafood chowder and you have to test their hush puppies. Both were spectacular and memorable:

They were so good, in fact, that less that a week later, we went back for more.

We also had appetizers for lunch; I had the Baked Parmesan Oysters and AdventureMan had the Fish Tacos/Nachos. Both were SO good. Worth a trip across the bridge, which only takes maybe 20 minutes from our house. 🙂

The next time we went back, we also tried the Fish and Chips – very very good, served hot and crisp, lightly battered, tasty fish – and a slice of the Key Lime Pie, which was also very good, although not quite as tart as we like it.

Not only would I go there again in a heartbeat, but keeping a gallon of their chowder in our refrigerator for dinner sounds like a winning idea to me.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Florida, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola | 1 Comment

. . . Red Fish, Blue Fish on Pensacola Beach

I remember reading the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to my son – maybe about a hundred thousand times, you know how kids love Dr. Seuss. This was a restaurant people started talking about months before it ever opened. Great location. New concept, re-using metal shipping containers, very environment-friendly – what’s not to like?

00RFBFExterior

Our son and his wife got there first, not too long after it opened. Their experience was less than stellar. They loved the ambiance, sitting out by the lapping waves on Quietwater Sound (except when hit by an errant bean-bag, one of the risks you take sitting near the bean-bag toss section, but hey – when you’ve already waited 45 minutes for a table, you take what you get.) They loved the food – when they got it. It took them fifteen minutes, and tracking down a waitress themselves just to get a menu, more time to get their orders placed. All in all, they said, a great evening with some annoyances. That is not a stellar recommendation.

00RFBFOutdoorLoungeArea

We tried it a week or so later, at lunch. No crowd, but neither was there a hostess, people just kind of wandered in looking around, a little lost, and some waiter or waitress would holler “just seat yourself!”

No sooner had we seated ourselves – every table has a great view – than our waitress appeared. We have NO complaints about the service; the service at lunch time the day we were there was great. It was one of those perfect Fall days in Pensacola, temperature maybe 75° with blue blue skies, a Blue Angel takes a whirl over us as we are sipping our iced teas, the waves are lapping, breezes breezing – lovely.

00RFBFIndoorLoungeArea

The wait staff wear Tshirts indicating they are “CREW”
00RFBFWaitstaffCrew

AdventureMan ordered the BLATT, bacon lettuce avocado tomato and tilapia, which came hot and fresh and tasted . . . OK. Fine. Nothing special. Sort of small by Pensacola standards.

RFBFBlatt

Fries are a side. You pay extra for fries, they don’t come with the meal.

00RFBFFrenchFries

I ordered Asian Slaw with fish on top. When it came, I was delighted that the fish was not deep fried, but grilled. The fish was delicious. I was not delighted that the Asian slaw was barely there, and had a Caribbean lime flavor. The waitress brought me some soy sauce. Not the same. Tiny portion – by Pensacola standards.

00AsianSlawWithFish

Great location. Nice, beachy, casual ambiance. Lots of local groups trying the place, having a good time. We had great service, but date nights you might experience slow service.

Here’s the thing. Just a short walk up the walk is Flounders, with great french fries, truly superb, so crispy delicious that people who are not supposed to eat fries have to succumb to the temptation to try a fry or two or three or . . .

Beach food isn’t cheap, but at Flounders, fries are included with the meals. Service is almost always pretty good. You rarely have to wait longer than 20 minutes at a really really busy time to get seated. Larger menu, more entrees than Red Fish Blue Fish.

It’s a tough comparison, but it’s a reality,and inevitable, especially when you are almost next door neighbors. Red Fish Blue Fish is going to have to step up its game.

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Restaurant | | Leave a comment

Perfect Pensacola Evening

After weeks of early and sultry heat, Pensacola has had a spell of cooler weather, nights down into the 50’s and even high 40’s, and days in the mid 70’s – and not humid. Great weather for working in the garden or going to a park, weather that just makes you want to be outside.

Last night we went to a meeting of the Gulf Coast Diplomatic Council at a beautiful home out in Gulf Breeze, with a view of the water that goes forever. As you walk in, you can smell wood – or at least I can. I grew up with houses that used a lot of wood, and I love the smell. The heart of the house was a kitchen – dining room – sitting area with that forever view.

It was a lively group. The group only gets together a couple times a year, but what a fun group – all people who are willing to host foreign visitors when they come to Pensacola. I am guessing one of the reasons that Pensacola gets so many groups (besides those glorious sugar-white sand beaches, and the multicolors of the Gulf, and all the seafood and palms and balmy weather) is that the GCDC has developed a sterling reputation with visitors, and the Department of State is happy to send them to a place where they will get such a warm reception.

Attending also were some delegates from other countries. We spent some time with a Namibian farmer, who wants to find market outlets for poor rural women in Namibia. We spent two weeks in Namibia – it seems a lifetime ago – and loved our time there. We made a circuit of the country, from the farms in the east to the great Etosha game park, to the Demaraland, and down the Skeleton coast to Sossossvlei, where we climbed the mountainous sand dunes. It was a great adventure for us, and we have such happy memories of Namibia, and our delegate was so happy to meet people who had spent time in her country, We had a great visit with her and a great time altogether.

There were mountains of food available, but you know how awkward it is to be talking with people and they ask you a question just as you have taken a bite of something that needs to be chewed and swallowed before you can answer? We passed on the food so we could focus on the conversations. In the back of our minds, too, we knew we were close to one of our favorite places, Flounders, so we popped over there for a bowl of chowder, grilled grouper po’ boy (AdventureMan) and grilled shrimp Ceasar (me). The evening was perfect – no humidity, temperature perfect, slight breeze but not too hot or too cold – perfect.

This weekend we are taking care of Happy Baby while our son and his wife head off to a family wedding. Happy Baby is fifteen months old, and a live wire. So much energy and no inhibitions! You have to watch him every minute. He loves climbing, but he has no sense of danger. It takes both of us to keep up with him! He is so much fun to be around, that although it will be exhausting, it will also be a lot of fun.

May 20, 2011 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Eating Out, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Florida, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Pensacola | | Leave a comment

Stormy Beach Day


Oyster platter at Flounders:

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Florida, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Photos, Weather | 6 Comments