We came to stay at a relative's condo on the beach for a week, and wandered the "wasteland" in search of good food at reasonable prices. We sat down at the crab place on the inland waterway to be told about the "specials", which started at $65 and ran up to well over $100 - per plate. Not including salad or drinks. Special is right - we got up and walked out.
Did I mention that the porch tables are next to the stinky inland waterway? Not unbearable, but not an "atmosphere" for sucking on $120 worth of King Crab.
Other decent-looking restaurants want $26 and up for a steak, several were almost double that. And when we looked at the menus of others, $29 was the basic price of any entree on the list. Remember, we're not talking high-fallutin' properties or dining rooms here, these are ALL "holes-in-the-wall" with lots of sand on the floors which anywhere else would be called "dives".
Tip: When you see a "lectern" stand in front of a small shabby looking restaurant, don't even bother looking at the menu. We are not cheap, just looking for value, but from what we have seen they apparently think a lectern out front means they can double their pricesl!! Beware the RIPOFF!
But tonight we discovered the Hollywood Grill, where we ordered the Chicken Tabac ($15) and a cabbage with red onion salad ($8). The salad came first, was ultra fresh and laced with cilantro,and was EASILY enough for four people. They delivered it with flatbreads and PC butter pats, so we nibbled on salad in buttered flatbread until the chicken came, and each of those was enough for two people. It was all well laden with garlic, the chicken was crisp, and the potatoes browned and reeking.
We washed it all down with Coronas, and by the time we were ready for dessert the last of the best feuille custard pastry had all been used up - now THAT's an indication of how good a place's food is... when they run out of the prepared stuff!
From the conversations we knew the place was almost full of Eastern Europeans when we arrived and, as they finished their meals and left, more came. Good indications of genuine ethnic food.
We will be back at the Hollywood Grill again before we leave next week - maybe twice!
I know some people will be picky about service, but get real... you're on a beach in a laid-back atmosphere, and the food is being prepared fresh. Don't sweat the small stuff, take your time, and try to enjoy yourself!!
(Unless complaining is your idea of a good time, in which case maybe you would be better off somewhere deep in New York City instead of relaxing at the beach).
So far, the Hollywood Grill has given us the best deal with great service. From the excess we took home a doggy bag that will serve us well for delicious nibbles over the next couple of days. Let me say this again... we WILL be back at the Hollywood Grill again before we leave!
Five stars - in this league, anyway.
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