Editor's Update: Had a hankerin' for some Rosie's grub yesterday (2/17/2015) and we were saddened to discover that Rosie's is closed. Something called Champions is going to take over that space. It sounds like a sports bar which is something we really need more of ... whoopee!
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined 49th Street in Pinellas Park to be a culinary destination, but twice over the last several days my bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, and I found ourselves drawn to this boulevard of nondescript strip malls.
Terra Mar Brazilian Steakhouse where we enjoyed a very flavorful and affordable churrascaria. As we were pulling into the parking lot, there right before my very eyes, I spied Rosie's Clam Shack. Oh, be still my thumping gizzard. I considered a change in dining venues, but we had already made reservations at Terra Mar. I am glad we kept those reservations, but a return to 49th Street was in our future.
Editor's note: Restaurant parking lot photos seem to be the new big thing on Urbanspoon reviews, so I felt obliged to include one here.
So it came to pass this past Sunday that the Belle and I made that trek across Gandy Bridge to Pinellas Park to answer the Sirens's call of Rosie's.
We were immediately greeted by the vivacious and ever so charming Janai who would be our server, guide, and instructor on our dining adventure. The early dinner crowd had not arrived yet, so we were fortunate to have Janai pretty much to ourselves.
The first order of bidness were beers to wash away the road dust. Next on my agenda were appetizers. I couldn't make up my mind, should it be oysters on the half shell or Whole Belly Steamers in Shell. To break this mental impasse, I decided to have both.
The oysters were perfectly shucked to preserve that delicious salty liquor and brought to mind these lines written by Hemingway, "...as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the
crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy
and to make plans.”
My happy plans were to polish off the supremely delightful clams, after a quick lesson from Janai. She correctly observed that I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing and suggested that I remove the sheath from the clam appendage before rinsing it. Who knew? We didn't have "them there Yankee" clams when I was growing up in the Florida panhandle.
My only disappointment while at Rosie's was finding out that some hog-dawg before me had scarfed up the last of the whole Maine lobsters. What now, thought I? I remembered that a previous visitor to Rosie's had commented on how good the fried oysters were. I haven't had any fried oysters since Altman's Drive-In burned down on Panama City Beach, and that was over fifty years ago.
Rosie's fried Oyster Plate was piled with lightly breaded, perfectly fried oysters. These mollusks were still plump, flavorful, and juicy. The oyster plate comes with a two sides. I chose extra crispy fries with a bowl of coleslaw.
My dining partner was mulling over the Fresh Catch of the Day. "I wonder what it is?" queried my bride. "Haddock," called out Janai who was cleaning a nearby table. So, a lightly battered, succulent haddock it was, with a side of parsley potatoes.
Even if the food had not been delightful, the trip across the bay still would have been worthwhile just to enjoy the company of the very professional and personable Janai.
We were seated in the main dining area, but as we were leaving I discovered a rather cozy looking full liquor bar with a happy hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rosie's Clam Shack was a great food find, and I can definitely suggest a return trip or two. The food, adult beverages, and 20% gratuity for Janai came to a very pleasant $86.72.
Editor's other note: The Oracle dines anonymously and we pay for all that we consume. We do not 'ho' great reviews for money or free anything. We do have an abundance of scruples. They are not for sale either.