Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Salt Life Food Shack - Coral Springs, FL

Floridian's. The brand you see labeled on the back of every truck & visor of every fisherman has brought its "Salt Life" beach-living ways to the South Florida restaurant scene. Coral Springs, FL to be exact. You know. That quiet little beach town cornered in-between the Everglades, Sawgrass Expressway and I-95. Wait? Huh? That's not right, is it? A brand dedicated to living your own "Salt Life" in Coral Springs? Seems a bit odd. But who can blame them for opening up their first S. Florida location right in the heart of restaurant row on University Drive in Coral Springs.

When you first walk in, you are of course greeted by Salt Life shirts, hats, and the famous stickers. With a nice sized bar area, it was pleasant to see locals just hanging out on a weeknight. Something a little different for Coral Springs. A nice sized salt water aquarium separated the bar from the dining room, leaving a nice open feel to the restaurant. But let's get down to the goods...

The theme of the evening seemed to be "fried." We didn't really notice it until afterwards, when (spoiler alert), we were over stuffed and exhausted from eating. Joined by members of local rock band FUSE (fuserocks.com), we ordered a few appetizers to keep us entertained. First up were the Bimini Conch Fritters. Lightly fried. Moist & full of flavor. Not overdone on the filling & the Shack Sauce was a nice compliment for dipping. Also on the table was a Crunch Roll - tempura battered shrimp, carrot, cucumber & cream cheese rolled in panko bread crumbs, flash fried and served with eel sauce. Lastly, a GIANT plate of Chorizo & Shrimp nachos joined the flavor party. These were topped with corn, black beans, jack and cheddar cheese, pico & finished with a cilantro-lime cream drizzle... YOU FULL YET? I know just from typing out my meal that I can skip lunch today.

With 3 burgers on the menu, the 3 of us thought it would be a good idea to just order 1 of each and share... Mistake? Probably. Seeing as how the appetizers were enough to feed a all 17 of Octomoms kids. (awkward reference)... moving on.

There was the SHACK BURGER - wood-fired served with lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle. My first reaction to this burger was "it looks and tastes like a restaurant-made Whopper." Nothing fancy. Simple and too the point. Fresh ingrdients. Just no wow factor. But again, we are in a seafood restaurant.

Next we had the BURGER CLUB - applewood bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo. A nice twist on a classic club sandwich. Great thick cut bacon. Sliced in quarters like a typical club would be. Served on skewers, making it fun to grab and eat.

Lastly, we had the TUNA BURGER - grilled yellow fin tuna, drizzled with a wasabi cream & asian sweet sauce, topped with "fried" avocado fries. To enhance the overall flavor of the tuna, the patty was mixed with quite a bit of peppers. It was a solid sized, hand-made patty. Partly overcooked, but they did explain that they cook them one way to ensure proper temperature of the fish when served. The burger had a lot of different flavors, that I don't think came through all that well together. Got a bit messy to eat. The avocado fries were a bit large to top a burger with... Now are you full? I may be even skipping dinner tonight as well after all this...

Over rating: Rare (worst-1) to Well-Done (best-5):
Salt Life Food Shack: Medium (3)

Salt Life Food Shack on Urbanspoon