We recently paid a visit to Troy's grandpa, and afterwards, decided to check out a seafood place I'd heard about in Indian Rocks Beach, a little town on the Gulf of Mexico, South of Clearwater.
Keegan's Seafood Grill was recently featured on a FoodTV special about the U.S.'s best seafood restaurants, and I'm happy to say it deserves the honor. What a great place!
The owners, Linda & Cesar, are very warm & welcoming, and the restaurant is clean, cute, and has an unpretentious atmosphere. Cesar is a Spaniard, and reportedly excels at grilling octopus, so that's what I had to try.
My mom used to make octopus, and it's very popular in the Mediterranean, but not so much here in America. I think it makes people slightly nervous, but if you have never tried it, please give it a chance. It's very tasty when done right -- in fact, it's much better than calamari, which everyone seems to eat despite it being served up rubbery and soggy 90% of the time.
Octopus is a little tough, and needs to be tenderized before being cooked. Traditionally, people beat it repeatedly against a rock to achieve this, and I remember my mom whacking it against the kitchen sink (I think she enjoyed this). But it also can, and should, be tenderized with a marinade, and this is part of Cesar's secret -- a flavorful marinade of red wine, herbs, and spices. The other crucial element to a good octopus preparation is to char it on a flaming hot grill.
Still, as right as it was, having this delivered to the table freaked out the boys, and no one wanted to try it.
Looks a little too much like a Jules Verne monster.
Thinking about it now, though, it's probably good for them to see their mom eat an octopus with a big knife -- it might give me a slight edge in future battles with them. You can see that Cesar adds little fresh chili bits to his marinade; it lent just the right degree of spicy heat -- delicious.
I also ate a Greek salad, which, in the Tampa Bay area always includes a small portion of potato salad tucked in. I don't know why that is, but it's a quirky local custom and it tastes really good! You get used to it.
Troy got a pita sandwich stuffed with crab salad, and the boys had linguine with butter, and a hamburger. All excellent and high-quality. Also, our waitress was very nice and friendly to the boys, which I appreciate.
For dessert, we all split two pieces of Key lime pie, a perfect prototype! This is exactly how a Key lime pie should look and taste.
A fine balance between tart & sweet, with a graham-cracker crust.
I look forward to returning to try some of their other dishes, like the gumbo & a fresh fish special.
Keegan's Seafood Grille 1519 Gulf Blvd (Mile Marker 17.5)
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785