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Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill, Boca Raton - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Dining

We first visited this restaurant when our daughter was working in Boca Raton, as part of her degree course. Although we visit our villa regularly each year, while she was in Florida we would drive down to see her, and one day she took us to this unusual restaurant. Flanigan’s Seafood Bars can be found in Palm Beach County and Martin County, where there are 5 of them, and there are 15 in Broward and Dade Counties, around Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Located at 45 South Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Flannigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill has a covered veranda outside with tables and extraordinary swinging seats, and this is where we usually eat, watching the world go by and soaking up the warmth of the sun. Inside, the décor is simple, with booths and larger tables, and a bar area. The walls are decorated with a variety of nautical artefacts, as well as photos of the Flanigan family, with their ‘catches.’ There are numerous televisions, too.

Although Flanigans had been around since 1959 it was known as a night club chain, but in 1986 its founder, ‘Big Daddy’ Joe Flanigan opened up his casual dining concept. It has become very well known for its Baby Back Ribs which literally ‘fall off the bone.’ Amazingly, they sell over a million lbs of baby back ribs each year. Portions are huge, as the full rack of baby ribs weighs in at a mega 1 3/4lbs. But there is a wide range of items available, such as their humungous 10 oz burgers, USDA Steaks, enormous salads, pasta dishes and lots of freshly caught fish dishes.

They pride themselves on the freshness of their fish. You can try dolphin or tuna, shrimp or steamed clams. But don’t mistake this dolphin with those charming creatures you see at Sea World or Discovery Cove. They are, in fact Mahi-mahi, which is also known as dolphin. Whilst dolphins are mammals, these Mahi-mahi are actually fish, and an unrelated species, who happen to share the same name. It is a beautiful fish, with an iridescent bluish green and gold body, golden yellow fins and forked tail. So you can eat this delicious fish without feeling guilty.

The starter menu is just huge, and it can be difficult to know what to choose, but there are the usual chicken wings, soups and chowders, as well as chicken fingers, and dolphin fingers – yes, I hear you say, dolphins don’t have fingers, but these are strips of dolphin, deep fried with lemon and tartare sauce, delicious! You might like to try their tumbleweed onions, fantastic battered onions. But the loaded ‘nachos’ is a huge plateful, so don’t be afraid to share one. There are shrimps, too, and a smoked fish dip.

You really won’t know which main course to try – there is a great range. The fish is delicious, a 10 oz fillet of fresh tuna is one of our favourite dishes, maybe some deep fried shrimp, scampi, dolphin which is blackened, broiled, grilled sautéed or deep fried, or if it is too difficult to decide between fish or beef, then the surf and turf is the answer - an 8 oz prime NY strip steak with 6 deep fried shrimps.

If its pure steak heaven you want then there is a 12 oz N.Y Strip, or Rib Eye, or even prime rib – all 12 oz of this fantastic aged Angus beef. It melts in your mouth. There is chicken, of course, in the form of half a barbequed chicken. All are served with rice or fries and free coleslaw, or you can add a dinner salad if you so wish. The fries are unusual too, as they are curly fries. As for burgers, well you will be spoiled for choice – all of them a huge, 10ozs, and served with a Kaiser roll, lettuce tomato, pickle and seasoned fries.

And when you have feasted on these delights, if you still have room, then there are tempting desserts to entice you. Our personal favourite is the Banzai Brownie – as its name suggests it is a super sized triple brownie, with lashings of vanilla ice cream, huge chunks of Oreos, surrounded by Kit Kat bars, and if that is not enough then it is topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce! Seriously fattening! But you are on holiday, after all!

If you want something lighter then try their Key Lime Pie, a lovely tangy dessert, or their cheesecake. But for chocaholics there is Chocolate Ecstacy – chocolate layer cake with a dark fudge icing, surrounded with chocolate chips. My husband always chooses Flanigan’s Shenanigan – a big slice of walnut apple pie topped with mountains of ice cream, topped with caramel and Heath Bar crunch. You really WILL need help to eat this one!

Of course there is a large wine menu, including bubbly, as well as beers, and the usual sodas, juices, iced tea etc.

So if you are down Boca way, stop off at this interesting venue, its no- frills, fresh food, and lots of it. Sit outside on one of their huge swinging seats, and chill out.

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