1419 NE Jensen Beach Blvd
Jensen Beach, FL 34957
Date of Last Visit: Tuesday, December 19th
The Victims: Mom, Mary, Carolyn
The Damage: $92 USD total with tip
The Background: My Internet friends at Chowhound recommended a couple of different places to try in Florida. Mom had never been to New England Fish Market, so given the ridiculously-in-my-favor Bush Conversion Factor, I offered to treat her and her gal pals to a Tuesday night out.
The New England Fish Market is located off a busy road on a somewhat less busier road. It’s a combo retail fish market and restaurant, and my mother tells me a number of restaurants in the area get their fish from the NEFM, which is always a good sign. The decor is rustic-y…maps on the tables, wooden lobsters on the walls, seascape murals, etc.
The Pre-Starter: As soon as we sat down, our server dropped some small plastic cups filled with mysterious beige goo down on the table. There was a big basket of Saltines there already. Apparently, the goo is the NEFM’s smoked fish spread. It was very very good. I had to hold myself to 6 crackers. I just wanted more and more.
The Starters: I talked everyone into the mini crab cakes. I felt bad later because apparently, Carolyn is allergic to shellfish. BUT this meant more crab cakes for us (6 to an order, so we got two each) so I honestly didn’t feel THAT bad. The crab cakes were EXCELLENT. Crabby and just a little spicy, and the perfect size. The NEFM was off to a very, very good start and I couldn’t wait for my main.
The Mains: I love softshell crab, so I asked our waitress how she recommended it. She very clearly preferred it fried, and the guy at the table next to us had it fried too. So I did the same, and ordered sides of red beans and rice and mixed vegetables. Mom ordered the starter mussels, but asked for it as an entree. Interestingly, she asked if she could have it with linguini, and our waitress said she could, but she’d have to pay $8 more for it with linguine. Now I don’t know about you, but the last time I was at the grocery store, I could get a whole pound of linguine for less than $1. I’m OK with wine mark-ups (why, I don’t know), but linguini mark-ups? 800% linguini mark-ups? This seems a bit severe. (Granted, they need to put in a mark-up painful enough to prevent everyone from ordering an appetizer as a main.) Food for thought.
Mary and Carolyn both ordered the grouper sandwiches and were very satisfied.
Now–back to the soft-shell. It was salty. Very very salty. As in I started thinking that I hadn’t had my blood pressure checked for a while. I couldn’t figure out if it was salt from the crabs (three small ones) or salt from the friedness. Whatever the case, it was too salty for me. You know there’s something wrong when I a. leave food on my plate AND b. Leave 1.5 soft shell crabs on my plate. Sadness. But the beans and rice were good. Mom said the sauce on her mussels was too salty too. Odd.
The Verdict: Loved the smoked fish spread. Loved the crab cakes. Liked the decor. Appreciated the power of the Internet in introducing people to new places. But did not enjoy my main (I did, however, enjoy the red beans and rice). All that being said, I loved the spread and the crab cakes so much, that I would still go back. But first I need to try Conchy Joe’s. And understand this Floribbean thing.