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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hurricane Grill

     I can't tell you how happy I get when I find a place near home that John and I can add to our rotation of regular eateries. When my frequent foodie companion Jackie urged me to go with her, my expectations were simple: a quiet dinner with my friend after a grueling day preparing for the beginning of the school year. What I got was so much more.
      The exterior belies what awaits you inside except for the hint provided by the colorful high chairs for alfresco dining. When the doors open, the city is left behind and you are transported to a lazy beach town with more brightly painted chairs, the salty smell of fish frying, and walls decorated with surfboards, lifesavers, and oars, oh my! Even the restrooms use galvanized metal wash tubs as whimsical sinks.

     We both ordered the sangria and were disappointed. For me, it wasn't sweet or fruity enough. To Jackie, it seemed watered down. She tried a glass of Merlot and remained discontented, so she settled on a Moscato. I ordered a diet Coke and spritzed the sangria.
      It was hard for me to choose from the menu. So many things were inviting. I finally decided on the fish and chips, but changed the 'chips' for sweet potato fries at Jackie's insistence. She ordered the Mahi tacos, and two stuffed envelopes were delivered with one inch-sized stunning chunks of grilled fish.
      My basket of fish was the home of a long and meaty filet of fish with the perfect covering of battered breading. This breading took nothing away from the pulpy meat, and yet held its own in richness and texture. Jackie was right about the sweet potato fries. There's a science to making these fries, and if not done right, they can seem stale even if they're fresh. These were crispy and perfectly salted to combine with their sweetness.
     Three sauces adorned each of our dishes and they deserve a special mention. The obligatory tartar sauce was present, but it came in the company of a maple pepper sauce and a Parmesan garlic butter that made me want to bathe edibles and inedibles in them.
     By the time we got to dessert, I was giddy with gratitude for having found this place, and I waited with excited anticipation for our Sea Salt Caramel cheesecake. The caramel was there, the sea salt was not. The cheesecake was creamy smooth, a preferred quality for Jackie but not for me. I like the density of New York-style cheesecake, the kind you have to bite into and chew, not just swirl in your mouth. Nevertheless, our choice gave the meal sweet closure even if it wasn't applause-worthy. No matter. This polished shanty is a keeper. Good find, Jackie!

P.S. A week later, John and I returned with some trepidation. Could Hurricane Grill, so close to home, so reasonably priced, be consistently good? I feared that it might all be a mirage. It wasn't. I ordered the Shrimp Quesadilla with side orders of guacamole and broccoli in their garlic Parmesan sauce. Every element was executed deliciously. The quesadilla was crispy, the shrimp lightly breaded and well-seasoned, the guacamole savory and refreshing. The broccoli was crunchy, and that delightful sauce played happily with my taste buds.
     And if that wasn't enough to convince me, they serve a seasonal pumpkin cheesecake that can stand up to any from fancy bakeries or the "Factory". My neighborhood just got a little cooler!

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  1. I came in from the facebook group "We Blog...A Blogging Community" actual last I ate out. I had fish and chips.
    It was sure good. If you find the time stop in for cup of coffee.