The Pub Waterfront Restaurant
20025 Gulf Blvd.
Indian Shores, FL (727) 595-3172
In the warm waters of mid-Florida’s Gulf Coast are a chain of barrier islands. Hardly more than speed bumps to a hurricane’s tidal surge, the keys do provide, however, white sand beaches, beach front property, a playground for more inland communities and a protected Intercoastal Waterway. Once mostly accessible by boat, their isolation helped the islands take on unique and individual characteristics. Now most are connected by causeways and an extensive road system, but they all seem to have their own aura. Some of the islands host large homes, mansions by any standard. Others have condominiums, motels and apartments. In some places there are still cottages left over from the early settlement of Gulf Coast Florida. In places the islands are wide enough to host small communities. In other places the spine road has small beach front lots on both sides of the road.
It was in this sub-tropical archipelago we found ourselves Tuesday last. For her Uncle Gilbert’s birthday, my wife, Janis, wanted to take her aunt and uncle out to lunch. Gilbert and Effie had been to a Sand Key restaurant on the Intercoastal Waterway. They had liked it and that is why we were returning to The Pub Waterfront Restaurant in Indian Shores.
An eclectic building, one of many expansions, features shaded open air terrace and a Tiki bar on one side, and conventional dining room and cocktail lounge accommodations on the other. We chose indoor seating. The dining room is carpeted but there wasn’t the usual mustiness of a carpeted room on the waterfront. The carpet and the wall paneling are in darker colors that help to mute the bright sunlight that spills in through the wall of glass windows that overlooks the Intercoastal Waterway.
There were few customers in the dining room. From the happy-sounding commotion, I’d say most of the midday patrons were clustered on the patio desks and around the Tiki bar. The hostess seated us quickly and our server, Shanisty, was quickly there with menus and took our orders for beverages. The menu features seafood, much of it local, as well as beef and chicken dishes. There is also a large selection of pasta dishes. Being that it was lunch, we ordered off the Sandwich and Early Bird Specials (11Am to 6PM) page on the back of the menu.
The napkins: The napkins are remarkable for restaurant paper napkins. They are large, eight-inches square when folded four-ply, thinner than but stronger than a paper towel. You can wipe and sop to your heart’s content.
Sandwiches come with a choice of pasta salad, French fries, or coleslaw. Gilbert and Effie both ordered the Fish Sandwich ($8.49). You have your choice of either fried or broiled. They chose fries and French fries as their side order. Both only wanted water as a beverage and it was served with a slice of lemon. I chose the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich ($8.49). I also chose the French fries. Janis ordered from the Early Bird Menu. The early bird selection, “comes with a fresh house salad or a cup of chowder and your choice of baked potato, garlic mashed potatoes, yellow rice and beans, fresh veggies, pasta or French fries.” She chose the Jumbo Shrimp
($12.95) with clam chowder and French fries. The Pub features Coca Cola products and Janis and I ordered Coca Colas.
The sandwiches are not just served on any old hamburger bun. They use large sandwich buns. Gilbert and Effie’s sandwiches were both with very large, breaded and fried golden brown white fish. They were apparently cooked just about right ; I could see they had that nice flakiness when Gilbert took a bite. Both commented that the sandwiches tasted good and were satisfying just as their last visit to The Pub. It was a large serving of fish and there were abundant lettuce, tomato and onion as well as the large bun. I was
surprised, but they both finished all their meal.
Janis’ clam chowder arrived first; a nice serving size with a bag of oyster crackers. It was a nice thick and creamy sauce with lots of clam chunks. She said it was very good. Her entrée was a serving of five large shrimp, cooked well to a nice golden brown and a side of French fries. When I asked her about only five, she said they were very large shrimp, very tasty, and the serving was more than adequate for a lunch meal.
My teriyaki chicken sandwich was served open-faced. A nice portion of boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled, with a topping of grilled pineapple and a nice reduction teriyaki sauce, was served
with lettuce, tomato, slices of red onion on a large sandwich bun. Put it all together and at first you wonder how you will fit it into your mouth. The teriyaki sauce was thick, not runny and that was nice because the bread did not get soggy. However, it was sticky; more on that later. The sandwich had excellent flavor and it was a very ample serving.
All around the table, we had French fries. They were oaky as French fries go but they were not great. I think they need to put a little more effort into what constitutes about half of the food on a dinner plate. The fries were cooked, they had a nice color but they were not really hot nor did
they have that crispy texture we have come to expect of French fries.
When the food arrived, the fish sandwiches had a side of tartar sauce and the shrimp a side of cocktail sauce. We looked around. No ketchup to be seen for the fries. It took a moment to catch the server’s eye as she was delivering food to some other customers. Approaching our table, we could see that she had anticipated our request and brought a ketchup bottle and a big stack of those big napkins.
When I finished my teriyaki chicken sandwich, I had teriyaki sauce all over my fingers. Even with the big napkins, rub as I might, I could not get all the sticky off. I excused myself and went to the rest room. “Oh, well,” I thought, “I’ll do something I haven’t done before and check out the bathroom for the blog.” Small, it could accommodate two people at a time, it was clean and odor free. There was a big functioning soap dispenser and lots of hot water. It passed my casual inspection.
It was a pleasant lunch with good company celebrating a gala occasion, an eighty-third birthday. The food was good, and we had a nice table at the window overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway. We watched the manatees swimming in the channel. We had good, prompt and courteous service; Shanisty kept our glasses full.
It is an interesting place with outdoor and indoor dining at your choosing, a dock and slips to tie up your boat if you arrive by sea. They have been in business for about fifty years and it would seem that they have the right formula to bring back the regulars and add first timers to their return customer list. I think you will enjoy a visit.
You can get more information about The Pub or peruse their online menu at their web site http://www.thepubwaterfrontrestaurant.com/