Lee Be Fish, Marco Island, Florida

Lee Be Fish has just that: fish.  There’s a small fresh fish counter for the retail trade, and grilled or blackened fish served to eat there — or take away.  They do have a cooler for soft drinks, water and beer.  You can bring your own wine.  There are a few indoor tables and some outdoor tables they share with a breakfast place next door.  And they have a choice of cole slaw or black beans and rice as a side.  They have plastic utensils and those red plastic baskets for the food. There’s nothing fancy about Lee Be.  They just have fish, caught that day and cooked on the grill.

And oh, is the fish ever good.  Here’s  my blackened mahi mahi basket, in progress —

lee be

It is fresh — whatever someone caught that morning — and it is cooked pretty close to perfection.   The yellow stuff is their tartar sauce, which has some curry.  It’s good, but the fish really doesn’t need it.

What’s really remarkable is that they never seem to have more than one person working there at a time.  The first time we went it was laconic middle aged guy.  He would look at customers expectantly, saying nothing at all unless compelled to ask  “grilled or blackened?” or cole slaw or beans?”  On our next visit it was a young guy who looked kind of like Matt Damon and had a strong blue collar Boston accent and a St. Louis t-shirt.  Whoever is on duty, that person takes orders (after answering more questions from a customer (who had been standing in line for at least 10 minutes perusing the single-page menu) than is mathematically possible given that the only choices were (1) mahi mahi or grouper, (2) grilled or blackened, and (3) cole slaw or beans and rice*), grills the fish, prepares the baskets, hollers when the food is ready, and does anything else that needs doing.

A second person would help move things along more quickly, and you want to avoid peak hours, but Lee Be is a gem.  Uncut, maybe, but a gem.

______________

*After waiting forever and listening to this with no end in sight, I helped myself to a beer from the cooler.  Drinking at a leisurely pace, I had almost finished it by the time he completed his order.

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