Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gator Done.

The title of this post will go over the heads of any readers from outside the US. Maybe some from inside the US too !! Just take it as extremely clever, applaud my way with words and carry on.................

I'm pretty sure my cardiologist doesn't read my blog but if he should stumble upon it, then I'd ask him to look away now. It's not for the faint hearted........bypassed or not.

(I suspect I could think up more uses of the 'bypass' word at this point but I'll not push my luck)

On Sunday Deb's brother and his wife (Don & Lana) called in for a visit with us on their way down to Key West. That evening we went out for a meal and went to The Watering Hole as it is nearby and serves great food. It also has a live 14ft gator somewhere on the premises and I put up a photo of their sign a few posts ago. I'd never been there myself.

So we get there, only to find they don't open on a Sunday !!

Plan B. Well we didn't have a Plan B. We never expected Plan A to fail.

We set off again hoping somewhere would spring to mind and along the road into Sebring, we decided to go to R.J.Gator's as Dennis really likes the place and it's not a nationwide chain - so maybe Don & Lana had never been to one before. I certainly hadn't.

R.J.Gator's (Florida Sea Grill & Bar) is a relatively small restaurant chain with only 20 locations, 16 of them in Florida. If you want to create a chain of restaurants here, it's really hard to think of a way to make them different as just about every theme has been covered. Gator's has done it by incorporating the word 'gator' into every aspect of their menu and decor to leave you in no doubt that their theme is...........gators.

Debby and her brother ordered alcoholic drinks while the rest of us settled for water. The drinks sure were different and the containers.........well see for yourself.

Deb ordered the frozen rum runner but it gave no indication of size (or price) on the menu.

When it came, we gave a collective gasp as it was in a fish bowl (ok American's have odd shaped fish if THIS was a fish bowl) and was huge even by US standards.

Car keys were rapidly swapped as there was no doubt that, after a few sips to gauge the alcoholic content, Deb or Don wouldn't be driving us back to the park.

In an attempt to try everything on this trip, I had a sip and can't remember the rest of the evening.

No seriously, it was potent and really should have had smoke pouring out of it like some sort of Shakespearian witches brew. Don's came in an even more bizarre container.......a pail !!

Despite what it says on the pail, I think he ordered the Swamp Juice as his had plenty of varieties of rum in it too.

And so we moved onto the first food course which came under the heading of 'gatorizers' naturally.

We went with the flow (probably already influenced by the alcohol) and ordered Florida Alligator Tail. Maybe I tend to take menu items too literally but when they served up a large plate of tiny deep fried battered balls, most smaller than a marble, I was quite disappointed that a more recognisable part of an alligators anatomy wasn't taking up half the table.

But that's another tail. Sorry.

So what did it taste like, I hear you ask ? Don't say chicken, I hear you add.

And so we moved on to the entree. Don had the Bonita Bay Broiled Seafood Combo but asked for it to be fried - and had salmon instead of mahi-mahi. Dennis had the Gulf Coast Bucket and Lana had the Buffalo Chicken Finger Platter. Debby just ate bits of our selections. I played safe and went for the steak although seeing the salmon on Don's plate made me want it next time.

Here you can SEE what Lana and Don had - even if I can't tell you what everything is.

Deep fried battered food takes up a lot of the menu content at this place !!

Lots of batter and loads of dips.

This made for good sharing opportunities which is always a plus when we eat out. Scallops, shrimp, chicken, steak..........everything was passed around and tried by whoever wanted it.

We effectively turned R.J.Gator's into a buffet. I'm all for that sort of deal.

I'd ordered the ribeye steak and I've never seen a cut of meat so thin in my life. A very odd cut.
As I had to take a photo of it, I put my finger into view to give scale. Sadly I didn't get it down close enough to the meat and so it gives the impression it was just burger sized. It wasn't.

The meal, as described on the menu, was supposed to come with a selection of fresh veggies but when I asked what they might be, I passed on them.

Instead they offered me onions but as you can see, even they came fully battered.

The batter machine in the kitchen must be enormous. It has to be big enough to drop in a full sized alligator as for special functions, I'm sure one of those, battered, would be on the menu.

Notice the baked spud on my plate. Oh yes, I can eat healthily when I want to !! Just avoid the onions and steak and we'll be fine.

So we had a fun time and although the meal plus tip came to over $100, there were 5 of us and remember those drinks. For once we didn't need doggie bags as we scoffed the lot. Well battered food is very hard to reheat.

That was our excuse anyway.

Oh and the alligator tail ? Chicken !!

1 comment:

Daphne said...

I put on three pounds just reading this, and another two whilst looking at the pictures. Surely, if there was a God, then things in batter would be good for us?

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