When I first started planning my family’s trip for last December I narrowed down my search to New Orleans. But the original plan had to be changed due to my husband’s schedule and the NOLA trip had to be canceled. We were left with a few stops along Northern Florida.
But I still had that sad feeling nagging me. I really wanted to taste real New Orleans grub. That’s how I found Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill, a restaurant that calls itself ‘A New Orleans Style Restaurant’. Just reading that motto convinced me.
As I kept searching and planning I learned that they have a few different locations, one of them being in St. Augustine. I was attracted by the food, but after learning from a review about their courtyard I was sold. My sons’ energy has to be burned off somehow and this restaurant had just what we needed.
Sadly, it rained the day we visited it so we weren’t able to use their garden. But the restaurant turned out to be extremely kid friendly and had enough for my boys to keep busy while we waited for our food. Plus, the kids menu had plenty of options with absolutely insane portions at low prices.
I never had a Po Boy in my life and was able to get the classic one here, with both crawfish and shrimp.
We had a lot of fun during lunch but I still wanted to try the creole cream sauces and other dishes. After studying the map we realized that there was another of these restaurants on the way to our next location – Crystal River, Florida. We were going to pass through Ocala and decided that would be the perfect dinner stop.Surprise Family Picnic – Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill in Ocala, Florida
I typically do reservations but it was Monday night, not a lot of people on vacation during that time and kids are in school in the US so I didn’t worry about that.
We got to the restaurant at 6pm to find a line outside the door and a 45min wait. How disappointing! But by this time the kids were already excited about the yummy food that there was no turning back. As every other parent on this earth knows, a 45min wait can be deadly. So we had to come up with plan B.
Luckily it wasn’t raining anymore and the weather was perfect for being outdoors. So I inquired if they had to go orders and they did. Also the restaurant is located on the corner of Ocala’s central park and it was lit up. We decided to have a picnic.
My oldest boy had been begging for a picnic for a long time but the time was never right. So I thought, what better timing than now?
And what a picnic it was.
We got some fried shrimp from the kids menu and a delicious Shrimp Etouffée. This came with the traditional Grits and Corn medley.
We ended up having the best family dinner ever – It was probably one of the most memorable ones for the kids by far.
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill has several locations. Find the one closest to you and enjoy.
They also have several different menus for different times of the day and seasons.