Food Issue 2017: Seafood

Whether you like it fried, grilled, diced or blackened, we got you.

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click to enlarge Food Issue 2017: Seafood
Chip Weiner

BLACKENED GROUPER SANDWICH at BIG RAY’S FISH CAMP

Big Ray’s is the type of place you walk into and know you’re gonna land a satisfying meal. However, the menu item that’s really worth a trip to the fresh seafood slinger’s Ballast Point base is the blackened grouper. It’s everything you could want in a grouper sandwich: a soft roll, tangy tartar sauce and a big, spicy, juicy, flaky helping of grouper (along with the standard LTO). I just got hungry for one all over again. 6116 Interbay Blvd., Tampa, 813-605-3615, bigraysfishcamp.com. Chris Fasick

click to enlarge Food Issue 2017: Seafood
Scott Harrell
FRIED SHRIMP PO’ BOY at CAJUN CAFE ON THE BAYOU

OMG what a glorious mess. This one packs a mountain of nicely seasoned, lightly fried shrimp and super-skinny onion rings on a soft hoagie roll with shredded lettuce and mayo; remoulade comes on the side. Don’t wear your nice shirt when you’re getting ready to chow down on this reverent take on a Big Easy classic, but definitely peruse Cajun Cafe’s voluminous beer list and pair it with a nice cold one. 8101 Park Blvd. N., Pinellas Park, 727-546-6732.SH

GRILLED GROUPER SANDWICH at THE TAVERN AT BAYBORO

For someone who squirms at any “fishy,” dirty-water taste, I can safely say that The Tavern’s grilled grouper sandwich is the exception. Crisp lettuce and tomato complement the fish, which arrives fresh, fluffy and subtle, and the tartar sauce is to die for. Though the big slab of grouper quickly overwhelms a rosemary bun, the mess is worth it. 120 Sixth Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-821-1418, thetavernatbayboro.com. —Lis Casanova

LOBSTER ROLL at CASEY’S CRAFT BAR KITCHEN

A light, summery take on the Northeastern classic, technically a part of this eatery-drinkery’s apps lineup, forgoes tons of mayo in favor of lemon confit and a little truffle to hold its diced chunks of Maine seabug together. Served on a heavenly sliced roll, there’s plenty here for two to tackle before sharing something else on the menu. 17669 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz, 813-302-9189, craftbarkitchentampa.com.SH

click to enlarge Food Issue 2017: Seafood
Scott Harrell
TUNA SALAD at BROOKLYN SOUTH

This ain’t your mother’s bland, mayo-saturated standby. Big white hunks of tuna, kicky capers and warm, creamy Gruyère on a texture-laden square roll make for a unique bite that’s big on fresh flavors yet still comfortingly familiar. 1437 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-914-4967, brooklynsouthcheese.com. SH

For more of our 50 Best Sandwiches, follow the sounds of growling bellies.

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