Sunday, October 11, 2009

Port Aransas - FINS Grill and Icehouse

On another suggestion from my best friend, we drove down Mustang Island to Port A. FINS Grill and Icehouse is located next to the ferry landing (which is usually a long wait for a short ferry ride). Once again the fried oysters (can you tell I love oysters?) was recommended. Our food arrived in tin pie plates lined with checkered tissue paper. My friend must have had a better cook or better seafood because the oyster/shrimp po-boy was not something I'd order again. I found the seafood to be heavily breaded and overcooked. I couldn't tell the shrimp from the oysters until I took a bite and by the time the breading was pulled away, there wasn't much seafood there.

Rich ordered the mushroom Swiss burger which he said was okay, stating the best part were the sauteed onions, mushrooms & melted cheese. Fries came with both our orders and they were the real thing, scoring an A+.

The view is really beautiful whether you're sitting inside or out. We chose inside because it was that really humid hot weekend at the beginning of October and mosquitoes were on my mind, especially with the cans of insect repellent perched on a ledge near the door. We had arrived at FINS a little before noon and by the time our lunch was over, the place was packed and very loud. I walked outside before we left and wished I had done so sooner. Although hot and humid, a pleasant breeze was blowing off the water and the ambiance was much more soothing.

Now that it sounds like I'm giving FINS a bad review, let me say a few things. I found the inside charming and friendly, except for the Jaws poster mounted on the wall between the restrooms (just kidding, it really was there but it didn't detract from the atmosphere). They also offer a unique service, U-Hook Em, We Cook Em. You can pull up to the marina after a good day's fishing, hand over the cleaned seafood and relax out on the deck while your meal is cooked (fried, grilled or blackened). They also have a decent assortment of cool t-shirts, koozies, hats and other FINS merchandise. I thought the t-shirts were a bit high(kids - $13, adults - $20, tie-dye $21), but then again, we paid $9.95 each for the burger and po-boy.

At first I didn't think I'd go back, but now I believe I'd give it another go. Any cook can have a bad day (just ask me). My friend said she had the largest fried oysters she'd ever seen (the size of 3 silver dollars) and there is a diverse menu from burgers, chicken & steaks, salads, starters and FINS catch of the day. When I'm back down at Port A, I'll grab a can of insect repellent (just in case), relax out on the outside covered deck, enjoy the scenery and study the menu a little closer. I find it's always interesting to walk around and see what the majority of people are eating (I've learned to be very discreet with this technique).

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