And here I sit fishing for words to describe the indescribably delicious seafood feast I was served today at the Mad Beach Fish House on, where else but Madeira Beach. This delightful eatery is located at 13205 Gulf Boulevard. Before I blather on any further, allow me to pause and suggest that if you like "Old Florida" style seafood at affordable prices you must visit Mad. You will leave happy...I did.
Just off Gulf Boulevard, you park in front or a convenient side lot and enter in front. You have a choice of using the stairs or the elevator to get to the third floor. We were promptly greeted at the door and invited to sit where we pleased. The Belle of Ballast Point and I had arrived just ahead of the lunch crowd, so we had a choice of seating options: inside at a picture window with a view or outside on the deck with an even more spectacular view.
Katherine, our most pleasant and efficient server, presented us with menus and took our beverage orders. After returning with our drinks, she inquired if we had any questions about the menu choices. Mad Beach has a Seafood Feast listed under Buckets, and I was curious about the two sizes after a disastrous "bucket" outing last weekend at a Gulfport venue. The bucket for one for $24.95, or the bucket for two for $36.95? Katherine assured me that the bucket for one would serve me well.
I could hardly believe my eyes. That bucket was filled to the brim with succulent, perfectly cooked seafood: a nice sized crab cluster, huge shrimp, mussels, and clams, a full ear of freshly cooked corn, red taters, and all seasoned just right with an Old Bay spice. The shrimp were so tender and juicy swimming in garlic butter that dribbled down my chin and arms. This might not have been a real appetizing sight, but I enjoyed the dickens out of that bucket. And just look at that shrimp!
My bride surprised me with her order since she is not known as an aficionado of seafood. Her choice for today's feast was the Crab Cake Sandwich that was loaded with lump crab meat and topped with tomato and onions on a Kaiser roll adorned with a savory Creole mustard sauce. She declared the crab cake to be an excellent choice with more crab than breading and the meat had been picked over to remove any cartilage. The side of French fries was prepared just the way she likes them: extra crispy, s'il vous plait.
The Mad Beach Fish House was an excellent choice for lunch and with frog legs on the dinner menu, I can envision a return trip. The only ever so slight negative for my bride was that we didn't arrive a little earlier so that she could chow down on the breakfast menu treats.
We dined anonymously and paid full price for all that we consumed. With adult beverages, our bill was a trifling $40.25. We also left a greater than 20% gratuity for Katherine.
Editor's Update 6/7/2014: We were back on the beach for a wedding and decided to visit Mad again for lunch. Those frog legs were still calling to me, so I asked our server if I could order them for lunch. "Why sure," she replied.
Those legs of frog were divine: lightly breaded and cooked to tender, juicy perfection. Again, the steamed corn was just right, not raw and not cooked to death. The red beans and rice were about the best I have ever tasted. Those beans were so savory and delicious I came close to a gastronomic swoon.
I saw that my friend Tina of Not Your Momma's Kitchen also tried those red beans and was similarly impressed, "Those beans were creamy, flavored heavily with a Cajun kick, full of peppers, onions, sausage chunks in a slightly thickened broth. Tender rice underneath, I could have eaten two cups."
Well said, Tina, well said.
My only negative on this visit was the size or quantity of those frog legs. They could have been bigger, or there could have been more of them. They are just so good!
For your further enjoyment, the Oracle presents a few photo outtakes.
|Indoor dining area and bar.|
The next two were taken by my loving bride and posted on Facebook for the world to enjoy (ridicule).