Fish shacks are wonderful little gems peppered throughout the state where fresh means the fish was swimming in the morning and this afternoon it’s on your plate with tartar sauce and a side of fries. Fish shacks can vary from long established businesses to new-fangled wannabes. They are eclectic places with fishnets on the walls, stuffed gator heads over the doorway, and picnic tables on the patio.
Last Sunday, Larry, my husband, and I headed south to Punta Gorda to the Peace River Seafood & Crab Shack, conveniently located about 2 miles east of I-75 at exit #164 in Punta Gorda. The owners have fashioned an old Florida Cracker house into a small informal seafood restaurant with 8 tables inside and 5 picnic tables on the back patio and front porch. The walls are papered with dollar bills signed by previous diners. Decorative fish nets are held in place by fish themed art and signs bidding “Beware of Pirates” and “The place where crabs get steamed.” The two page menu features specialties of the house such as “A Night at Whorehouse Point,” “Dog Leg Shrimp,” and “Thornton Branch Gator Gumbo.” One of the most popular dishes is the Myakka Slew Shrimp Creole made with large succulent shrimp and andouille smoked sausage. And for those of you
who love to work for your dinner, there’s the all you can eat blue crab served in a large shell (a great deal for $20). The wooden mallet and picking tools will come in handy to retrieve every last morsel of butter-dripping crab. Everything is fresh and made in-house. Don’t forget the real Florida key lime pie for dessert. Beverages include beer, wine, and soft drinks. Take out, wholesale seafood, party trays, and a seafood market are also available.