PJ’s Oyster Bar
500 1st St
Indian Rocks Bch, FL 33785-2544
Florida. How best to describe Florida… sweltering, ball-soup hell? I believe this accurately describes the Tampa area in August. So, in this oppresive heat, Sia and I ventured out for some fresh seafood to commemorate her birthday. On the advice of a friend we decided to visit PJ’s at Indian Rocks beach.
(I cribbed this shot from “princessangel” on Flickr)
After being seated I began to take in all that PJ’s had to offer. Paper Towel holders hanging from the ceiling. Dollar bills stapled to anything that doesn’t move. Landshark beer signs (along with other generic beer paraphenalia). Cramped seating, and last but not least… some extremely overweight families. You have to imagine me, an already large guy, multiplied by 3 and crammed into one person. The atrocious thing was that the parents of the family closest to us ordered their kids each a pizza and a chicken finger meal. Hey kids, say hello to early onset diabetes! Hell, I remember sharing meals with my brother when we went out to eat as kids, but maybe that was because we were poor.
Aside from my fellow patrons, this is the atmosphere at the kind of joint I like to eat at. My biggest beef with the joint were the prices which are delivered at tourist rates. May I bring the court’s attention to Evidence 3c below:
We opened the evening with two appetizers, Calimari and Hush Puppies. Calimari is battered (not emotionally), deep-fried squid. Hush Puppies are deep fried nuggets of cornmeal and onions. The calimari came with a sweet sauce that reminded me of pineapples. The hush puppies were undeniabley the best hush puppies that I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. They were fresh, homemade… crunchy on the outside yet tender and fucking delicious on the inside, the buttery-corn flavor burst in your mouth:
My lady of course ordered the crab, I neglected to take a direct picture of it, but I did have a bite and it was alright as far as crab goes. I decided to order the Keywest Delight Grouper, and to be frank I would never order it again. It appeared to have been broiled in a butter soup and then covered in a creamy garlic pimento sauce. The dish was then topped with little fried crispy bits, thus making an overly greasy dish… greasier. I was waiting for Bubbles to pop out of Trailer Park Boys and mutter something along the lines of, “I dunno Matt, that looks greeeeaaaaasssy.” My eyes didn’t lie to me, the dish tasted liked it looked.
The service was fairly poor, and I think it was just the server we happened to get. She was slow taking our order, getting our drinks, getting our food, and shit… you name it, she was slow at doing it. The other servers I observed seemed to operate at a normal pace.
Overall PJ’s wasn’t outstanding aside from their hush puppies, I would likely be more verbose in my description but I feel I owe PJ’s another attempt before I write it off.
-Matt at Indian Rocks Beach