(Note: I’m experiencing difficulties with my camera but as soon as I resolve them I will update this post with a few pictures).
Sometimes I’m amazed about the many wonderful eateries that seem to have escaped my attention during my ten years living in Miami. But I’m glad that as a result of this blog, many people have been forthcoming with suggestions and stories about where they like to eat. Some are even happy to volunteer their company on my food excursions.
My friend had been telling me about Garcia’s Seafood along the Miami River for a while. The name sounded familiar but I never gave it much thought. This week, he came back with stories about his meal there last Sunday. You have to go there, he said. So off we went for lunch yesterday.
I realized when we arrived that I’ve driven past Garcia’s several times, but it’s one of those places that you may not go to unless someone takes you or tells you about it. And its location is not one that most often drive by. I also noticed that it sits next to the Casablanca Fish Market, which I happen to love but haven’t visited since it was thrown out of Watson Island thanks to, what else, development.
Part-restaurant, part-fish market, Garcia’s has an outdoor seating area overlooking the river — with all its warehouses, docks and boats. The wait was 15-20 minutes to sit outside so we opted for the just-opened upstairs area, which my friend tells me used to serve as storage and opened last Sunday. A full bar runs along the space and it is equipped with several big-screen TVs. The black and white tile almost clashes with the blue walls and burgundy couches but somehow it has charm. It struck me as a place to go to on a lazy Sunday afternoon for some ceviche and cold beer.
Its menu is just one page of all-seafood appetizers, sandwiches and entrees. Heaven. We first ate fish spread on crackers, which Garcia’s serves all its customers. Then we both ordered a cup of lobster bisque. I couldn’t resist. Everytime I see it on a menu, I have to have it and it was well worth it.
As an entree, I ordered one of their blackboard specials: yellowtail with shrimp in a champagne sauce. All entrees at Garcia’s, including their specials, are served with two sides of your choice. Choices include tostones, sweet plantains, house or Caesar’s salad, and rice among others. I chose plantains and house salad. My friend ordered swordfish, his favorite, which was served blackened and I can say tasted delicious. I almost wished I had ordered that instead of my champagne sauce special — not that it was bad but the sauce tasted a bit like my lobster bisque and I guess I was expecting something different. The yellowtail and the shrimp, however, were good and fresh.
I didn’t even touch my house salad. The portions at Garcia’s are generous and adding up the entree with the bisque and the fish-spread-topped crackers, there was no room for anything more. Not even the Key Lime pie which sounded rather tempting. But I’m not worried, after this experience there will be many more visits to Garcia’s. And now I know a good place to take out-of-towners when they want seafood without necessarily breaking the bank.
Lobster bisque ($3.50 cup); Swordfish entree ($13.99); Yellowtail special ($16.99).
Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market
398 NW North River Dr. (Map)
[tags] miami, seafood restaurants, fish, Miami River [/tags]