Florida, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Restaurant Review: Owens Fish Camp, Sarasota FL

I don’t know if I have ever posted about my lack of enthusiasm for restaurants in Sarasota.  I am not a food snob—but you have to understand, we have just moved recently moved here from Honolulu–one of the most diverse and eclectic places to eat.  If you want food–you have so many choices–Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Hawaiian, American and various combinations of all of these.  And not one of each type of restaurant but many many different choices.  Some of these places are fancy, (think:  Nobu) but many are casual and places that you could just pop into for a quick dinner.  And we did—we would regularly eat out at Genki Sushi, Yummy Korean BBQ, Balle Vietnamese.  All great and all reasonably priced.  Places we could retreat to when I just don’t feel like cooking.

I haven’t found that in Sarasota.  There is only so many times that I can go to Chipotle.    And besides that, I have struggled to find anything else that is worth my time or money.

The other night I did not want to cook dinner.

I had remembered walking by “Owen’s Fish Camp” near the Burns Court movie theater awhile back so I suggested that we try it out.  I like fish and I like the location–tucked away downtown in an area that makes you feel like you live in a big city. So, we quickly dressed and dashed down to the restaurant.

Even though we had called ahead, we were still met with a 35 minute wait time.  No worries though— they have a nice outdoor garden and allow guests to buy drinks at the bar and take them outside.  And to our surprise, they had Red Hook IPA on tap.  The first sip was a  bit skunky (Aaron’s word) but we got used to it.  (Note:  We have not found many restaurants that serve good beer in Florida.  So, although Red Hook IPA is not my favorite–it sure beats Yuengling)

We were seated outside surrounded by fishing nets and buoys—it was cool.  The kids were occupied.  We were ready to order.  Aaron was adventurous (and expensive!) and ordered the scallops , I ordered a fried green tomato salad with goat cheese and a side of clam chowder.  The kids got their usual—cheeseburgers.

Aaron and I both liked the clam chowder.  Although, it wasn’t particularly memorable.   And, we ended up giving most of it to little Rosie–who has developed a strong liking of the stuff.   Maybe that will be a fall recipe to test out….

I loved my salad!  Fried green tomato, goat cheese, buttermilk dressing on mixed greens.  The combination was perfect and I was very pleased with my decision. Oh, and the little pieces of bacon on top–I ate them too!

Aaron enjoyed his as well.  Nice sized scallops served with braised pork and some of “Owen’s Succotash”.  He thought it was great and still raves about it.  Although for $21.00 for his entree alone—it seemed a bit pricey to me.

We were very disappointed with the kids burgers.They looked good and they were good sized for a kid’s burger—but they refused to eat them.  They said they were ‘gross’–that from kids that will usually scarf down a burger and then ask for more –was surprising.  Aaron tested the burger and found them to be rather dry. Bummer!  Over twelve dollars down the drain and food wasted to boot.

Of course, the kids perked up when dessert was mentioned and were so excited to see Root Beer Floats on the menu.  Our friend, Anastasia had recently introduced them to the root beer float phenomenon and they were eager to try one at a restaurant…..The waitress was nice and let the kids split one root beer float—and plopped down a big mug of ice cream and a full bottle of specialty root beer–the good stuff.  The Bean and Rosie loved that they could pour their own….and drink the root beer right out of the bottle.

Aaron and I split the “Fried Blackberry Pies with Vanilla Ice Cream” and I was pretty disappointed.  $7.50 for a couple little pies and they were nothing special. (So, sorry for the poor picture quality…I have got to work on that.  Maybe someone will be getting a new camera for Christmas?)  I love the idea of fried blackberry pies—so it is definitely something that I will be working on.

So,  would we go back?  Very likely.  Although with the tourist season (or snowbird season) starting soon–it is likely to get more and more crowded.  But, the weather will soon (I hope) be so pleasant that it will be perfect to sit outside, have a beer or a glass of wine and wait for a table.

We were impressed with most of the dishes we chose and we love the atmosphere and the beer selection.  However, next time we will go without the kids and enjoy a little grown-up time.  Our bill, including beer, was about $85.00–not exactly a weeknight type of place–more of a date night kind of place.(Although there is no children’s menu–our server was very accommodating to the kids and we never felt as if they shouldn’t be there.  The place is casual and loud–perfect for our little ones.)

Check out their website for directions and their menu. If you decide to go, I’d love to hear your opinion.

And, it still leaves me with the question of where to go for an easy, reasonably priced dinner in Sarasota? Any suggestions?

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