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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille, Lakeland, Florida

As many of you know we have a vacation home aside of our primary residence.  One thing we love doing when at our vacation home is eating out.  It's a great way of finding inspiration for home cooking in trying to duplicate the dishes we enjoyed at home.  One of our priorities when eating out there has been finding family friendly restaurants.  Our kids and grandkids will certainly be visiting our vacation home so we developing a list of good restaurants we can go out to when they visit.  I should note that our grandkids while still quite young have very discriminating food tastes.  They definitely are not the plain hot dog on a bun type of kids.  Part of that is due to the fact that they are surrounded by lots of great food all the time and they are exposed to foods that many adults would turn their nose up at.  So Grandma and Papa are making a list for when they visit.

Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille, Lakeland, Florida
Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille is located in the heart of downtown Lakeland, Florida at 101 N Kentucky Avenue.  They also have locations in Gainesville, Ocala, St. Augustine and Tallahassee.  The atmosphere is warm, welcoming and extremely friendly.  This restaurants is a New Orleans style restaurant.  They are family friendly with a children's menu for those under 12 years of age.

We arrived on a Thursday evening during the very busy holiday season.  The restaurant was quite busy and it was during happy hour yet we were seated promptly.  The wait staff here are some of the very best you will ever come across!  Not only were they fast, courteous and beyond friendly to the patrons they treated each other the same way.    I got the distinct impression they really enjoyed their jobs as much as we enjoyed their company.  So major kudos to Harry's for fostering this type of work environment!

bacon wrapped scallops chef's special
My husband ordered the bacon wrapped scallop Chef's special as an appetizer.  This was a special that wasn't on the menu.  You just can't go wrong with scallops although I can recall a time I did not care for scallops at all.  Now I find they have a rather delightful sweet flavour.  We make bacon wrapped scallops at home some I'm always interested in how restaurants present this wonderful appetizer. 

The scallops were wrapped in bacon then placed on a bed of grits,  topped with a light citrus glaze and garnished with a baby lettuce mix.  It was a delighful presentation that tasted every bit as good as it looked!

she crab soup
My husband ordered She Crab soup.  She Crab soup is a cross between a bisque and a chowder made with blue crab meat and crab roe.  The soup is accredited to the Scottish settlers who arrived in the Carolinas in the 1700's.  One bite of this soup and it was instant delight.  The soup is actually sweet due to the crab meat.

My husband just raved about the soup!  It was that good.  I found an authentic she crab soup recipe that I will be trying at home.  It is a fairly straight forward recipe with ingredients I shouldn't have much difficulty finding at home.  I'll report back on my results.

baked stuff shrimp
My husband had the baked stuffed shrimp entrée.  The shrimp was stuffed with lump crab meat finished with Louisianna beurre blanc and garnished with parsley.  The stuffed shrimp was served in the cast iron pan it was baked in.  Seasonal sides completed the dish.

Louisianna beurre blanc is also known as lemon butter sauce.  I have not made this sauce at home yet but found this beurre blanc recipe to try at home.  This recipe is straigh forward made with ingredients found in most kitchens.  I think it will be quite a lovely addition to the many broiled and pan fried dishes we enjoy at home. 

blackened tilapia
Tilapia is a mild white fish.  Harry's offered it seared, fried or blackened.  I ordered the blackened tilapia that came with a choice of one side and lemon sauce.    The lemon sauce was rather interesting as it was rich and creamy, accenting the fish nicely.  The creamy mashed potatoes were accented with red onion, potato pieces and garnished with parsley.

The guys enjoyed a Big Easy which is an impressive looking tropical drink made with Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum, Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Banana liqeur, midori, pineapple and sour.  This cocktail can easily be duplicated at home.  Our meal with beverages (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), and dessert for the little one came in at $85 for 3 adults and an 8 yr old.  We enjoyed this restaurant so much that we bought a $100 gift certificate taking advantage of a bonus $30 gift certificate with the purchase.  Harry's has made it onto our must visit when in the area restaurant list!

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