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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Food Thoughts: Indiana Seafood

Last night the girl and I went out for her birthday dinner.  At her request we went to Red Lobster and had a nice meal with very good service.  However, this got me thinking about our choices for quality seafood here in the hoosier state.  Unfortunately, the short answer is that there aren't many. 

Because of Indiana's geographic location if you want to go out for seafood your choices are mostly limited to chain restaurants most often with premium prices or low quality fare.  Most Hoosiers probably don't even know the difference.  Many of the people I know either don't like seafood at all or only like it when it doesn't taste "fishy" or is deep fried.  I would probably feel the same if my family hadn't taken yearly vacations to Florida and Mississippi when I was kid.  Down there it's a different world.  Fresh seafood choices abound at almost every restaurant big or small, chain or independent.  Your shellfish is more likely to come broiled, boiled or grilled rather than fried.  The flavors are more sharp and sumptuous.  In fact there was once a place here in Castleton that was an offshoot of a Tampa based restaurant called Shell's and it was the closest thing I've had in Indiana to coastal seafood.  However, there were closed less than 2 years after we discovered the place.  I don't know the specific reasons why, but I'm guessing it was due to both lack of a customer base and the inability to sustain a successful business with fresh seafood at lower prices.

The purpose of this post isn't to complain about the seafood choices in Indiana.  I'm just missing something I used to have.  Then again considering all the snow coming down outside at the moment maybe I should just head south. 


Shane said...

The Indianapolis area does have quite a few more options for seafood aside for Red Lobester :) We have the amazing Oceanaire Seafood room downtown (a must try if you haven't been), plus Bonefish Grill in the Castleton area is pretty decent. We also have the local Rick's Boatyard on Eagle Creek and McCormick & Schmicks downtown.

Brent said...

Hey Shane thanks for the input and feel free to keep commenting. I dig it when people comment. Although to clarify one thing about my post I wasn't saying that there are no other options for seafood here in Indiana, as a matter of fact I'm aware of all the places that you mentioned. What I was trying to say is that people living in coastal areas of have the benefit of better higher quality seafood in more casual readily available environments. I remember on one vacation my uncle from Tampa took us to the most run down out of the way place that had sheet metal siding on the outside, but the seafood was some of the best I can remember having anywhere. That's not an experience you can really have in Indiana.