One major perk of living in Miami, near the ocean, is the abundance of fresh seafood dished out in local markets and restaurants. Growing up in the Florida Keys, I’d admit that I’ve been spoiled when it comes to enjoying super fresh seafood — and I can’t ever get enough of it. That’s why I was stoked when discounted tickets were available on Groupon for the Coconut Grove Seafood Fest. Live steel drum bands, cold beer, an October day spent outdoors noshing on scrumptious seafood? Count me in.
A bright-blue, sunny sky played backdrop to the annual Coconut Grove Seafood Festival on October 19 at waterfront Peacock Park. And the festival itself packed in a little something for everyone: Live music on stage, cooking demos by South Florida chefs for the foodies, bounce houses for the little ones and, of course, a generous selection of seafood from local purveyors.
As you can see from the photo gallery, we hit up a variety of food booths throughout the afternoon, while enjoying a couple ice-cold Bud Lights. We decided to tackle the longest line at the event first and were lavishly rewarded with a platter of Monty’s raw oysters and large stone crab claws. Stone crab season just opened this week, and yesterday I was reminded all over again why I absolutely love those sweet, succulent shellfish.
After a disappointing round with Clyde’s conch fritters, which lacked much flavor and featured even less conch meat, we chowed down on tempura shrimp and fish tacos from Naked Taco. Miami New Times named them “Best Taco in Miami” this year — and rightfully so, as we thoroughly enjoyed their tempura-fried crunch and spicy mayo topping.
Once the band took the stage, playing a medley of Jimmy Buffett and Allman Brothers hits, we took a seat on the grass and got to work on a colossal portion of garlic blue crabs from Golden Rule Seafood. Beyond the war wounds we endured from trying to crack open their claws (we wished they had done so prior to serving), our palates couldn’t help but fawn over the crabs’ tender meat and spice-laced flavors.
My only regret from the day was not taking home leftovers for dinner. But luckily, now that we live in Miami, we’ll have the chance to relish such divine seafood all year long.