I’ve been craving a perfectly fried hogfish sandwich, the one you can only get from the Hogfish Bar and Grill in Stock Island, Florida.
You’ve never heard of hogfish? You’ve never been to the Hogfish Bar and Grill? You are truly missing out!
Listen, this place is worth a weekend trip just for the ambiance, but when you add in the fresh seafood, it is a must do destination if you’re planning a trip to Key West.
Stock Island is a slip of land that serves as an entry-way to Key West and hosts some of the last commercial fishing fleets on Safe Harbor. The seafood at the Hogfish is literally hook-to-cooked, and outside patio dining allows you to take in the breathtaking scenery and sunshine.
The hogfish is a funky looking sea creature with a long “pig-like” snout. It uses this snout to root up crustaceans from the ocean’s sediment. Crustacean is the hogfish’s main diet. Because of its funky snout it is rare to hook a hogfish on a regular fishing line. Most hogfish are caught by spearfishing.
While the hogfish is not the prettiest thing on the outside, it is the inside that matters when it comes to taste and texture. Hogfish fillets are white like scallops because of their clean diet. The meat is mild and perfectly flaky once fried. Hogfish is often called the fillet mignon of fish. Even folks who shy away from fish are likely to enjoy it.
At the Hogfish Bar and Grill you can have your sandwich served fried, grilled or blackened. The sandwich is served on Cuban bread and the fish is smothered with Swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms.
It is mouth-watering good! I’m seriously considering the 12-hour drive (one-way) just to sink my teeth into one. I might as well call in sick for the rest of the week and go ahead and gorge on the rest of their awesome menu.
The fried hogfish tacos are great, but the blackened tuna tacos are out of this world fabulous. The grill has the best smoked fish spread in all of the Florida Keys (actually they have the best smoked fish spread I’ve ever tasted anywhere) and delicious soups and chowders. One of the cooks hails from New Orleans, so when you order a po’boy or gumbo it is the real deal.
If you manage to catch a few yellowtails or other fish during your trip, the diner will even cook your fresh catch of the day!
This place is where the locals go to eat, and it stays free of all the kitschy tourist stuff you find in most Key West eateries.
If I had to compare it to places I’ve discovered here in Georgia I would say the Hogfish Bar and Grill is like the Sunbury Crab Co., Old School Diner and Hunter’s Café in Shellman Bluff all rolled into one.
All these places feature down-to-earth friendly people, eclectic decor and ambiance and fresh seafood.
In other words, you’ll be sure to savor the BEST SEAFOOD EVER at Hogfish. And if you have any room left make sure you try a REAL KEY LIME PIE. You won’t be disappointed.
Do you ever find yourself craving that one place you used to visit often? Drop me a line and let me know. I might go check it out during my next food excursion.