During my recovery for my first hip surgery, I decided to recycle some of the older entries from Road Tips. I didn't really want to do it, but I got a lot of positive feedback from people, so I thought, "What the hell?" This original entry was posted in February of 2006. As you'll find, I don't quite go into all the details of my visit like I do in most of my recent entries. But it still captures one night of frenzied seafood eating in Daytona Beach, FL.
I was in Orlando on business about four years ago and I came in early so I could go up and see relatives in the Palm Coast area. I got in on a Saturday evening and went up toward Daytona Beach. On the advice of a good buddy, James Harned, he told me to go eat dinner at The Ocean Deck in Daytona Beach (see map).
The Ocean Deck is a funky little beachfront bar/restaurant that is famous for their seafood selection. They have live music downstairs every night featuring local reggae bands. The atmosphere is very relaxed and they encourage people to "come as you are". In fact, no shoes and no shirts (for the men) are encouraged.
I sat at the bar on that Saturday night in late March (my seat was actually that stool at the corner of the bar in the picture to the right). I was seated next to two guys from Minnesota who were in town vacationing for a long weekend. The NCAA Men's Hockey National Championship game was on TV, the beer was cold and they were happy.
I told the bartender that I wanted a "seafood overload". I've only accomplished that about four or five times in my life where I've eaten so much seafood in one sitting that I thought I was going to explode. He suggested getting The Shipwrecker - a plate of steamed peel and eat shrimp, scallops, oysters and clams in the shell, rock shrimp and crab legs. All of that for $17.95.
The bartender brought that out to me and I dug in. After about 5 minutes I was done. I said to the bartender, "Listen, I want a seafood overload. That was just an appetizer." He suggested the Gulf Shrimp - a half pound of peel and eat shrimp for $10.00. I said, "Bring it on!"
He brought that out and I ate those in about five minutes. The guys from Minnesota were just sitting there in amazement. I said, "Hey, I'm from Iowa. You guys should know just as well that we don't get this good of seafood back in the Midwest."
The bartender came up and said, "Have you hit the overload yet?"
I waved my hand at him in kind of a "bring it on" fashion and I said, "Bring me another Shipwreck."
The guys next to me about fell off their chairs.
It took me a little longer to polish off the the second Shipwreck. Oh, God! Was it great! The bartender said, "Listen, if you want any more food, I'll pay for it. That's some eatin', cowboy!"
I told him I appreciated the fine gesture, but, no, I had hit the wall.
The guys from Minnesota bought me a beer and we watched some more of the hockey game. Suddenly, we looked up and the place was overrun by cheerleaders - high school and collegiate cheerleaders. Turned out the National Cheerleading Championships were being held just down the street at the Ocean Center arena. I had to stay around for a couple other beers after that.
The Ocean Deck was everything I was told it would be. Great food, cold beer and the best place to go to in Daytona Beach to achieve seafood overload.