2519 McMullen Booth Road
At this point I’ve been to the Bonefish Grill on three separate occassions. The BFG is not particularly inexpensive. Considering how stingy I can be, that speaks volumes for the Bonefish. Each experience has been fairly pleasant; the waitstaff are courteous and quick with your food. Each time it looked like they were over-staffed but considering the level of service we received on each trip it makes sense that they have 50 people to be at the server station at all times. This would be the perfect time to include a picture of the server station stuffed to the gills (har har har), but me being ‘Johnny-come-lately’ I didn’t think of it at the time.
The atmosphere of the dining room is a very ‘polished’ casual dining feel. You will see folks in button-downs and sports jackets, but you will also see folks like me… just wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I do like the layout of this particular restaurant. The design lends itself to a degree of spaciousness but the lighting and tables help provide a warm and cozy feeling without being cramped.
The occasion that I took all of these pictures was the night before Sia’s sister flew back to Michigan. This was our first visit to the restaurant and we were worried that they wouldn’t be open when we arrived (the county I lived in felt like it went Amish after 9pm on a ‘weeknight’, lights-out son! Grow them beards!) As this was our first trip to the Bonefish, we were unsure of what to order. Being the bright-bulbs we are, 2 of us ordered red-meat dishes. Now, don’t get me wrong, the food we ordered was perfectly fine but it wasn’t stellar. A word from the wise, if a restaurant denotes what it’s serving in it’s name you may want to stick to that; for instance, don’t go to a Steak House and order the Vegan platter… why do that? This being a ‘fish’ joint, we should’ve ordered a fish-dish.
To kick off the meal we ordered Edamame (edamame is a recurring theme for appetizers. My old lady loves it, at this point I don’t know how many times in my future edamame will be the appetizer of choice, I’m guessing 1,794 with an over/under of 300. It’s alright though, I enjoy edamame).
On this trip I ordered the “American Style Kobe Beef Burger.” The burger was satisfying, but it was a generic burger that you could pretty much get anywhere that cooks burgers (fast-food aside); it’s like ordering Chicken Fingers, there are no surprises when the food shows up. The Burger was juicy but despite being ordered medium it showed up as well-done. They also served the burger with these in-store-made chips that have been seasoned with salt. The chips were alright, but I didn’t eat all of them. If someone drags you to the Bonefish Grill and you absolutely hate seafood then you’ll have something to order.
One of the ladies ordered a side-salad. What’s strange is that the salad came with a whole cheese-stick… like the kind you buy from the store to pack in your kids’ lunches. Other than that, the components of the salad looked delicious:
The other poor lout of the group ordered a Steak. The knife and fork look a little gross, but she was cutting the steak and I asked to get a shot before the plate got butchered. Thus, the dirty fork and knife.
Sia ordered the reason to come back. The dish she ordered was called “Huge Wild Shrimp Pad Thai.” The food showed up with its own little carrier of spicy-oils, red pepper flakes, and other accoutrements to spice and garnish to your own eye-watering delight.
The shrimp were quite large but didn’t lack any flavor considering the size. We all ended up having a bite of her dish and became surprisingly and unfortunately aware that our dishes sucked in comparison. I mean, they sucked HARD, like Dyson vacuum suction. Sia would later go on to order this dish one more time on a subsequent trip, and it was stellar that time as well. On subsequent trips we ordered the Ceviche (my first experience with ceviche and it was great), received free appetizers (One time the manager just gave my old lady a free-appetizer-card after she ranted that her food was the best thing she had all week. I did a survey over the phone to get a free appetizer, pretty-girls have it easy), and ordered moderately priced drinks.
At the end of our first trip, I asked for a picture of our server and she obliged but with a quizzical look. The girls didn’t help make the situation any less awkward as they proposed that I was some kind of sexual deviant. Either way, this was our server on my first visit but I don’t recall her name. Thanks nameless girl for letting me take your picture and showing up with our food and drinks in a timely manner:
Atmoshphere: Rating: (it’s a little too polished, I like being in a dive)
Overall: Rating: (I’d give it a 4.8, but rounded up for the sake of the rating system)
On the whole, the Bonefish Grill has been a good experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to eat with a nice atmosphere, great food, and good service.
-Matt in Tampa