I had exhausted the appealing barbecue options in Palm Beach County, so Nancy and I turned to Frigate’s, and seafood with a view. We’d gone to Frigate’s back in November for a latish dinner with our good friends, Joyce Deroy and Willie King. We sat inside that time, but after dinner we walked across to see the outside seating. Frigate’s fronts on a street and parking lot, but the rear overlooks a nice stretch of water. It looked like a wonderful place for a meal.
On our February return trip to Palm Beach Shores, Nancy was eager to go back to Frigate’s, as was I. The food had been just okay, not worth a blog post, and not as good as some other places. It was the prospect of sitting outside, sipping a nice glass of wine, and looking across the water as the sun was setting that was enticing. We went early enough to get an outside table with a view.
Three levels of outdoor seating at Frigate’s step down toward the water. Nancy and I were seated just outside the main floor of the restaurant.
Lower down there’s a covered bar and additional table seating,
and a few step farther down, there are more tables right by the water, and a path down to a pier.
Beautiful, isn’t it? But there’s a problem. As you sit overlooking the water, your gaze runs smack into an IHOP (which I have been at pains to avoid photographing). I can’t understand how we missed it on our first visit. I have nothing against IHOP. I’m perfectly happy to eat breakfast at an IHOP, although I’d much rather eat at a national treasure. But the architecture is … unprepossessing. Let’s say you pick a place for the scenery and setting. And let’s say you’re paying over $30 for a piece of fish and $9 for a glass of wine bad enough to make you switch to a beer (specifically, a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Dan Kenney). And throw in that the scenery turns out to be an IHOP, the effect is disappointing. It’s a mood-killer, a skunk at a picnic.
The food was a disappointment as well. I ordered a special: CharGrilled Yellowtail Topped with Shrimp and Jamaican Spices, which was served over rice and a few pigeon peas, and it came with some steamed vegetables.
Now tell me. Where is the char on the CharGrilled fish? Hint: it isn’t hidden by any of the three shrimp (which had been steamed). And where are the Jamaican spices? Hint: not on the fish. The yellowtail looked and tasted as if it had been baked and barely seasoned with the odd fleck of thyme and parsley.
Nancy ordered the hog fish, blackened, with a salad and the, ahem, Frigging Potatoes, which are hash browns baked with cheese and sour cream.
Nancy out-ordered me. The blackened fish actually had been blackened, and was pretty good. The potatoes were, as you probably have guessed, really good. They’re a lot like the U Tiki potatoes, which also are delicious.
I think that we’ll skip Frigate’s on our next trip. There are a host of places nearby that do a much better job with seafood at a better price. Stay tuned for some of those good ones. Meanwhile, proceed at your own risk. Or go for an order of the potatoes and a Dogfish Head.
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