When we arrived on Anna Maria Island to begin our anniversary getaway, we took a stroll around the tiny island in search of somewhere to have a late lunch. Just around the corner from our hotel, a sign that said "Voted Best Bar & Grill on the Island" caught our attention. A young ginger-haired man swiftly moved in to greet us warmly and lure us with reassurances that the sign was valid and promises of tasty treats.
The Dockside Bar is the outdoor half of this eatery and it consists of a no-frills tiki bar surrounded by metal tables and chairs located so close to the bay water, the sand under your feet feels moist. On this lazy afternoon, live entertainment was provided by Larry, and ex-DA with a sweet, melodious voice and a binder full of beach bum songs. Even John, the discerning musician, enjoyed his cool stylings.
The menu offered a variety of frozen tropical drinks but the one called Banana Cream Pie was the most intriguing to me. It wasn't bad, just not thick enough. I like my frozen drinks to go down like milk shakes. Not that this one didn't go down smoothly. So much so, that I had a happy buzz for the rest of the day after my one-drink limit.
I ordered the grouper Reuben with a side of coleslaw. John ordered the blackened saba (Japanese for mackerel) with chips. The twist on the Reuben worked. The grilled rye bread was buttery and crunchy, and Mr. Grouper goes quite well with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing, thank you very much! I didn't even mind that they mistakenly switched my side from coleslaw to fries. Actually, they were fresh out of the fryer, crispy and well seasoned. John's sandwich was not remarkable, but he liked that it wasn't overtly 'fishy', as he described it.
I can't conclude without mentioning the friendly service. Young Redhead and our server, Samantha, project a casual contentment that is enviable. If that is what island life does for your disposition, I can't wait until retirement!
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