Now I have to tell you, hubby and I thought we were the original discoverers of this wonderful little fishing retail store about 15 years ago. For that many years (or more) we vacation annually at Longboat Key for a couple of weeks in the month of May.
To find the Starfish Co. Fresh Seafood Market you will travel through narrow neighborhood streets dotted with cottage homes that display boats and ropes and anchors and such for "yard art".
The retail Market features fresh local seafood including Grouper, Snapper, Mullet and Stone Crab from local waters and local fishermen.
This is one of those places that if hubby and I get anywhere near this area we make a detour to purchase fresh seafood that I will cook up right away---usually mixed platter style. We've even been known to drive all the way down there just for their fresh seafood on certain occasions- like last Father's Day when the men wanted seafood instead of steaks for their special day.
A little over ten years ago the Seafood Market changed ownership and the new owners ingeniously added an open dockside restaurant (pictured above).
The sign at the order window - which was a good reminder for me - "Hey, Meems, you're on vacation!... no need to be in a hurry." Although I was so hungry I was about to eat my right arm.
You can see mangrove islands, Jewfish Key, Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach in view beyond dockside. Add to that the local commercial fishing fleet and you've got one of the most scenic outdoor 'old Florida' eating places found on Florida's Gulf coast.
Add to THAT the natural and abundant wildlife that literally perches in and around dockside within a few feet of patrons. There were several Great Blue Herons which in my observations make great fishermen themselves but if they find a hang-out that offers fresh seafood hand-outs they become the best loiterers (is that word?) as well.
Pelicans can do their share of loitering and perching. This one right next to the wooden picnic table we finally found to enjoy our lunch.
Happy to see the white pelicans are still in town for winter. We saw them in groups last month while staying on Captiva Island. What an amazing bird. With its long pink snout... errrr... I meant to say bill ... I found myself mesmerized by its graceful swan-like movement through the bay in and around the boats and docks as if it were the only bird in the water.
The food was well worth the wait as always. Now don't all of you run right over there to eat - we might NEVER find a parking place next time.