KEEGAN'S SEAFOOD GRILLE


UNDERWHELMING  √√-√√√  Sometimes Good

Our barrier beaches from Clearwater - Sand Key to south Vina Del Mar are home to many small restaurants and "beachy" style diners and dives. Perfect for a guy like  Guy Fiere, the host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.   

Guy Fiere is a United States restaurateur, author, television personality, and game show host. He co-owns five restaurants in California and is widely known for his television series on the Food Network.  He has done some great places but the shows are taped when the place is either empty and then he jumps in when the place fills.

In fact the DDD crew shot an epic, (epicurean) here at Keegan's some time back and his picture is predominantly featured on the wall. I have eaten at this place when on the beach route for many years.  

Usually this place was a three, sometimes plus not quite, almost a four, nothing extravagant, common area foods for beach service and a few exotics.  Lately, the usual smaller portions are starting to show up as costs go up. I have watched  the cost of the product and scarcity drive "eating out"  to be called Dining. Same food, different label and higher prices.
 

THE LOCATION
This small stretch of beach known as Indian Rocks has thirty places to eat and for the past millennium, Keegan’s is a popular place as this part of the shoreline has smaller hotels and motels. 

People can walk to the the food services and not get caught up in the hustle and bustle (Parking and traffic) of the huge hotel complex just north of them.  Face it, waking up to the cackle of seagulls is nicer than the blaring of horns as people fight for the parking spaces at the beach.

Many times I get emails asking me about the places I write about since I live here most of the time. And heres the rub. Depends on when you get there. Everyplace because of the hours has a "A" and a "B" team. Our team was further into the alphabet.  Down with the S’s and T’s.

That guy on the grill can make or break you. Combine that with a server who did nothing to appease, or offer another selection and thats a cardinal breakdown. Service was slow, forgetful and indifferent.  Rather than ask for the manager/boss/owner and make a scene which is against my policy of three trips, and a letter.

It was not one of the better meals I have had out in 2012.  It was the other direction.  I picked the wrong night. It was Sunday at about 7:PM. The summer tourists were here and they were busy, but not overwhelmed. This I understand. But bad food I cannot tolerate and even Guy Fiere's endorsement can't fix a bad meal.

I ORDERED - Blackened Grouper, Corn on the cob, a baked potato and Wings with mild hot sauce on the side since my friend can’t take the hot and likes the wings plain.

I RECEIVED - I received a Crusted burnt to a crisp Grouper, maybe started at 6-8 OZ reduced to a 1/2 inch thick slab of Charcoal, Wings so hot I couldn’t handle them. (My taste is like Guy Fiere’s and leans toward hot foods).  The potato and the corn were the hit of the evening. The corn yellow, fresh and not overdone. the potato, salted but just right. A vegan could love it here.

HER ORDER - My significant frequent flyer food cohort ordered Char-broiled grouper, a salad, a baked potato and grabbed two of my wings.
SHE RECEIVED - A flat grille grouper minuet, like processed patties, overcooked and rubbery, we had to remind the server, the salad never came and one bite of the Wings and she was done with them.  I told the waitress the wings were beyond normal and she giggled…yes, the mild is like Medium here.  

Me bad, I didn't think it was that funny especially at their prices and since I couldn’t eat the rest.   When I questioned the waitress about the Black rubber tire sitting on top of my Grouper, she told me thats just the caramelization of the sugar in the Blackened Mix. 

SERVICE - POOR BUT SHE IS AN EXCELLENT CREATIVE WRITING STUDENT
She would get a “D“ in my class.  She had all the answers, all wrong.  Bearing in mind that I do cook commercially and have restaurant time under the belt both in a large city like NY,  and  a fair amount of charity catering locally... I have a sense of food and whats right in a service organization.  This was Chaos and Maxwell Smart was talking to his shoe.  We just showed up with the wrong team on duty at the wrong time.


SERIOUS SUGGESTIONS:

  • Get there earlier before they get busy.
  • Do not sit in line with the doors because at sundown you will be blinded by the glare every time they go outside to wait on the patio tables.
  • If you are smart order nothing Blackened.  Caramelized and Carbonized are not the same thing.
  • Remind your waitress when she forgets.    Remind the cook not to burn the food.
  • Remember most of the scenes shot for these TV shows are done when the place is closed and what you see GUY eats may not be what you get, It's called TV editing and you have no idea what really creative people can do to make things look good.


FINALI
Two pieces of undersized grouper, a small salad, two potatoes and corn, eight nuclear wings, too hot for normal people to stand for a grand total including tax of 46.00 dollars. Thats just a tourist rip.. I checked with other blogs and food commentaries and found the place runs hot and cold. It varies between a two and a three, with tourists sometimes a four.  Thats digging into value received.  I didn't think it was worth it but many who stay in that area prefer to eat locally and thats when a place like this prevails.  Location, Location, Location!    When I have the gumption to waste some more money, we’ll try them again, but so far once was enough.  I wrote the owner, never received a reply so things sit the way the cards were played.


copyright 2017 aljacobskitchen.com