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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lunch Report: Shells in Clearwater...

We had no intention of going to the beach in some sort of a "get wet, get sand on ourselves, get sunburned" type of fashion, but it was worth a drive over to Clearwater just to show off the place to my daughter's husband who had never been to Florida before. Make no mistake, there are loads of more finely tuned beaches within the price of gas, but I have always had a fondness for Clearwater, and it is easy.

We all agreed that we were ready for lunch and with the help of Garmin, decided on Shells.

You can't come to Florida and not get yourself some seafood, and this was as good a place as any. We opted to sit outside at Shell's Bridge Bar on a deck with a Tiki Bar. There was a light but solid breeze that kept it somewhat cool, but thankfully we had an umbrella for shade.
Our waitress Angie, was Johnny on the spot with iced teas and some incredible, warm and very soft rolls that were simply awesome. I think they could have brought us a few baskets of the rolls and sent us on our way, and we would have all been pleased.

But we ordered lunch and got even more of a treat.
Our son-in-law got the Fried Seafood Combo which is loaded with an assortment of shrimp, calamari, coconut shrimp and catfish. With the fries, you could feed a small family of vegans.My wife and daughter shared the same combo but opted for whitefish as opposed to the catfish. My son ordered up a Beer-battered fish and chips platter and he described it as being "Sorta like Long John Silvers, only good."

I got another one of the platters that contained whitefish, bay scallops, shrimp and clams. The plates came with an incredible Cole slaw with a surprise - mandarin orange slices mixed in with it. Who comes up with these little twists? Good choice. As our waitress said, it makes the Cole slaw almost like a dessert.
Speaking of the waitress, we had a seasoned pro who worked the entire Bridge Bar area almost unassisted and pulled it off without a hitch. She was quick with a refill of tea, knew all the daily specials and was quick to make suggestions when anyone hesitated with the ordering.

And I darn near stiffed her on the tip. Let me explain. You may recall me complaining about my crappy cell phone that has a mind of its own. I know, I probably should have replaced the stupid thing months ago, but I just haven't. And, since I use the handy Tip Calculator that comes complimentary with my cell phone service, it is often jacked-up just like the rest of the phone.

So, when we got the bill, my wife asked me how much the total was so she could use her phone (which works) to give me a tip amount. I know - we could have avoided all this had I simply demonstrated as much interest in mathematics in school as I do eating. The long and the short of it is, I told my wife the total, she heard a different number and thus, gave me a lesser tip amount than what I think the outstanding service deserved.
As we were driving away, everyone totally stuffed and ready for a nap, somehow the cost of lunch came up (I think it was about $78.00 for the five of us) and my wife said, "That's not what you said." Suddenly, I was horrified with the thought that after having such good service, we looked like total cheapskates. My wife had told me a Tip amount of $10 and I left $12.00. I guess, technically $12.00 is fine but I would ask this of those of you who might find yourself in Clearwater, FL and get a hankering for a seafood platter. If you go to Shells, can you give an extra buck or two to Angie, and let her know we appreciated her service.

1 comment:

jeri said...

Hey neighbor-We've eaten there-it's been years, but as I remember it was delicious!

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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