Travel and Food Bloggers Who Refuse to Grow Up

Go Fish!

The Ugly Grouper - Anna Maria Island - fresh seafood - Gulf of Mexico- metal sculpture- Food Blog - Travel Blog

 

With almost a week on a Florida barrier island where the Tampa Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, you are bound to have amazing seafood.

During the week, we ate our fair share. Here are a few of the places we checked out on Anna Maria Island.

The Feast Restaurant

Located at 5406 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach, The Feast Restaurant is located in Island Shopping Center, we passed by here on our way to our rental and decided it was the place for our first dinner.

Anna Maria Island - The Feast Restaurant-Gulf of Mexico - Florida seafood -

We enjoyed it so much that Chuck and I went back for a date night on our last night on the island.

It’s on the smallish side with maybe a dozen or so tables divided between two rooms, so be sure to make a reservation. We didn’t on our first night and had an hour wait. (be sure to check out our blog post on The Doctors Office where we went during our wait.)

The Cracklin’ Calamari, flash-fried with sweet Thai chili sauce was crunchy, well-seasoned, and delicious.

Anna Maria Island - The Feast Restaurant - Cracklin Calamari- food blog

We also shared an appetizer sampler special with Conch Fritters, Coconut Shrimp, and Shrimp Wraps. They were all crispy and flavorful, each had a unique texture, and it was perfect for sharing.

The Feast Restaurant - Anna Maria Island - Gulf of Mexico - Florida seafood - Food Blog - Travel Blog - conch fritters - coconut shrimp - wrapped shrimp

On my first visit, I tried the American Red Snapper Captiva, a good portion of red snapper with gulf shrimp, lump crabmeat, and a garlic cream sauce.

The Feast Restaurant - Anna Maria Island - fresh Florida seafood - American Red Snapper - Gulf Shrimp - lump crabmeat

My second visit I tried Hog Fish Provencal, a popular gulf fish typically caught by spearfishing. I was light and meaty and topped with two jumbo gulf shrimp and a seared scallop.

Anna Maria island - The Feast Restaurant - Hog Fish- Gulf of Mexico - Florida seafood - Gulf Shrimp - Scallops

Chuck, to my surprise, ordered their White Pizza with Garlic, olive oil, ricotta cheese, feta cheese, and mozzarella. I’m the pizza junky, and he’ll eat it if I order it, and he RAVED about this one.

The Feast Restaurant - white pizza - Anna Maria Island - pizza - food blog - travel blog

Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier

We were wandering around Bradenton Beach and exploring the shops on Historic Bridge Street when we decided to stop in for a few beers. The Oyster Bar sits at the far end of the pier with a large outdoor patio as well as a bar and tables inside.

One of our friends and I decided to each order a half dozen raw oysters. They were fresh and sweet, served with lemon, very fresh horseradish, saltines and bottles of their own hot sauce.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier- fresh oysters - Florida seafood - Gulf of Mexico - Historic Bridge Street

In addition to an extensive menu, they offer oysters steamed, fried, Rockefeller, Tequila Lime, and Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle oysters.

With several locations, we’ll make the trip from St Pete.

The Ugly Grouper

Located on Marina Drive, we passed this place all the time, and they are always packed.

The Ugly Grouper - Anna Maria Island - fresh Florida seafood - grouper - food blog - travel blog

They offer outdoor seating serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a full bar, specialty drinks, beer, and wine.

Known for their giant grouper sculpture made from recycled car and motorcycle parts, they offer a lot of merchandise with this iconic metal sculpture.

The Ugly Grouper - Anna Maria Island - fresh seafood - Gulf of Mexico- metal sculpture- Food Blog - Travel Blog

I went for the Grouper Taco, two flour tortillas filled with blackened gulf grouper. The tacos have a lining of melted cheese that forms a ‘skirt,’ that crispy hard cheese edge, and a filled with shredded cabbage and salsa.

The Ugly Grouper - Anna Maria Island - grouper taco - grouper - cheese skirt - blackened grouper - food blog

The Sandbar

This place is the place to go for sunset. They have both inside and outside seating with great views of the gulf. Unfortunately, the night we were there it was cloudy, and we didn’t see much of a sunset, but it was a beautiful night.

The Sandbar Restaurant - Anna Maria Island - sunset - sunset on the Gulf of Mexico - Gulf of Mexico

The Sandbar Restaurant - Anna Maria Island - Gulf of Mexico - sunset - sunset on the Gulf of Mexico - outdoor dining

They offer an appetizer of local Tampa Bay Clams; Gulf Shrimp steamed with kale, garlic, wild boar sausage, garlic, and white wine. The clams were light and fresh, and the dish was well prepared.

Anna Maria Island - The Sandbar Restaurant - Gulf Shrimp - Tampa Bay Clams - Wild Boar Sausage - Florida seafood

I skipped a seafood entrée and tried their Wild Boar Sausage Pizza with Peppers and Onions. It had a thin, crispy crust and was packed with sausage.

Anna Maria Island - The Sandbar Restaurant - Wild Boar Sausage - Pizza - food blog

It seemed like everywhere we turned, there were restaurants with incredibly fresh seafood. Anna Maria Island is absolutely a seafood lovers paradise.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: