boater's grill

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boater's Grill is the kind of place people get mad at me for exposing on here - but you know that means it's the kind of place I feel I've been cheating you for not yet writing about. Boater's Grill, on Key Biscayne, in No Name Harbor, in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (or, you know, El Farito) goes way back. If you've been there, your memories are likely of pulling up on the boat with your family and lunching there as a tanned little Caribbean youngin'. At least that's how I remember it.

One thing I didn't remember was that it's a pretty fancy menu of large dishes - think paella and seafood pastas, not sandwiches. In a city completely on the water, you would think a fish sandwich would be easier to come-by. Luckily, they accommodated our fish sandwich craving and it was both fresh and delicious. We started the meal with fried manújas - or whole fried tiny fish. I like food that makes you think, even if it's about how weird it is to be eating an animal whole. Plus, I can never pass on a Fear Factor type of eating experience that makes me feel brave. 

Next time, I'd like to try one of the paellas and the smoked fish dip (long live my fish dip obsession - I will keep requesting it to be added to menus of places I frequent with limited success), frituras de bacalao, fried fish roe and, the true test of a good seafood restaurant in Miami, conch fritters. Maybe that will take me two visits... 

Turns out, they serve breakfast too, so if you're looking for eggs with ham, buttered toast and a harbor view for $4.60 - now you know where to get it. If you're not arriving by boat, and have access to a Key Biscayne apartment on the south end of the island, you should take the time to walk along the beach and through the park. Our half hour walk included sightings of tons of man-o-war varieties, iguanas of all shapes and sizes, raccoons (the smartest raccoons in town, those little guys probably feast off the BBQ remnants from the public grills in the park), birds and more. One animal we didn't spot - a single mosquito. So go now, while the weather is nice and you can walk and won't leave with some unwanted animal experiences - except maybe the manúja experiment. 

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