Mangrove Mattie's is off the beaten path, located on the Inter Coastal Waterway on Hutchinson Island, east of Fort Pierce. The location offers pleasant views of the water and the boat traffic. Too bad the welcome wasn't as nice - the host was crabby, the server indifferent and not very knowledgeable about the menu. And his shirt was dirty. The place seems to attract the locals who come for the happy hour drink specials. Food here seems hit-or-miss. The smoked fish dip is excellent even if you have to slather it on Town House crackers straight out of a box. The grilled fish we had was good, although the portion was pretty small. Crab-stuffed grouper might better have been described as "goop-stuffed grouper." The gluey filling seemed to be mostly bread and the "lobster sauce" was congealed by the time the plate arrived at the table.
Maybe the place was having an off night, or maybe they're experiencing the end-of-season blahs. Go for the views, a drink and some fish dip, and then have dinner at home.
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