Monday, April 12, 2010

Little Moir’s Food Shack

Ever look at a menu and wish you had five stomachs? The menu at Little Moir’s Food Shack makes you want to pig out. So instead of ordering everything on the menu, we came back for a second visit. But that only left a few items from their vast menu which I actually got to taste. This is a place I look forward to returning to and wish there was one in Virginia.

On our first visit we enjoyed a frosty mug of Monk in the Trunk Organic Amber Ale while we waited for a table. The place was packed and usually is so be prepared to wait and you will be reward with yum. This beer is made locally in Jupiter and was light and crisp with notes of citrus. Once we were seated, we started with an order of Toasted Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Fruit and a Sweet Chili Ketchup dipping sauce. These were some fat tasty shrimp and I got so excited I forgot to take a picture until it was too late.

The Spicy Fruit was a mix of pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon with a bit of a kick. I never would have thought to spicy up fruit like this and don’t enjoy super spicy hotness but this was nice and didn’t burn. Some other starters that caught my eye but didn’t hit my belly were the Homemade Potato Chips Tossed in Lemon, Garlic, Black Pepper, Olive Oil, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Red Onions, Capers, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese. Then there was the Fried Tuna and Basil Roll with Wasabi Dipping Sauce and the Warm Bruschetta with Sweet Balsamic Marinated Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, Red Onion, Artichokes, Green Olives, and Feta Cheese and I wish I had tried the Grilled Sea Scallop Tostada with Roasted Corn and Poblano Pepper Salsa, Melted Manchego Cheese, Avocado, and Smoked Jalapeno Pepper Aioli. I love how the names of the menu items include all the ingredients.

For dinner I had the Sweet Potato Crusted Hogfish which was served on a bed of greens, green beans, and a garlic lime dressing. This was a special and I no longer remember all of the ingredients on my plate but I do remember it being delicious. The fish guide on describes this fish as “Very Mild, very white, slightly sweet and buttery.” I was unfamiliar with this fish but heard a server recommend it to another dinner.

Their menu changes daily and they often run out of featured fish. I see this as good thing because it means they get their fish daily and in small quantities. I was told by my friend’s sister that it wasn’t fish season which made the prices more expensive but the fish didn’t seem any harder to come by. They have so many tempting items on their menu that if they run out of something you can rest assured that there will be something else on the menu that won’t disappoint.

On our second visit they had just run out of Tripletail and some in our party were very dismayed but they did have Wahoo which made my friend very happy. They offer so many different types of fish that it was almost overwhelming because I had never heard of most of them. You could pick your fish and get it grilled or blackened and served over coconut rice with a side of Cucumber Pineapple slaw and Spicy Fruit salad. You could also pick your fish and have it battered and fired in the style of fish and chips or get your fish crusted a variety of ways and served on greens. Their menu was so vast and tempting that I only looked at the long list of specials from which to order my dinner.

I had adjusted to the their bountiful menu by my second visit and ordered the Wahoo grilled over coconut rice. As I had never tasted this fish which my friend had talked up I really wanted to focus on its flavor. I know this is a cliche but it tasted just like chicken. It is described as "mild flavor, low fat content, steak-like and white. Recommended undercooked" on their website. It was basically flavorless and I regret not getting it crusted.

I did familiarize myself with their take out menu while we waited for our seat but sometimes when I look at a menu with too many words I shut down and can’t read. Which is why it’s a good thing that I brought the menu home with me, I only wish I had snagged the list of specials. Some highlights from the menu which I did not get to eat include No Name Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms, Artichokes, and Asparagus in a Toasted Macadamia Nut Roasted Pepper Pesto with Coconut Cream Topped with Shaved Parmesan Cheese as well as the Far West Paella with Mussels, Fish, Shrimp, Calamari, Bacon, Chicken, Sweet Peppers, Okra, and Pineapple with Tandoori Seasoning and Coconut Rice.

On our first visit I managed to leave enough room for dessert and was impressed by their offerings. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and was happy to get more refills there then I did at Denny’s the day before. My friend wanted to order something very specific which she had enjoyed there before but there was some confusion. Was it the Chocolate Whosiwhatzit?!? or the Dark Chocolate Nut Mash. After our patient and busy server described the items it was clear that she wanted the Nut Mash. This was similar to a mousse or an unmeltable ice cream. I opted for the Sweet Potato Cake which made we stop after the first bite and force everyone else to try some. It was wonderful, similar to a carrot cake but a touch drier, sweeter, spicier, and just a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. It had just the right amount of cake to frosting for me as I hate thick layers of sugary frosting.

Aside from the food being great, the ambience was nice too. As it was called The Food Shack, I had expected it to be a little hut on the beach but I was totally wrong. It was located in a strip mall. They had a hostess stand outside to take names and a few benches outside on which to sit and wait for your table. You could go in and order drinks to enjoy outside as you waited for the gatekeeper to call your name. Inside, there was a surfboard table at the end of the bar which is their most popular table. The bar itself had a tiki hut feel to it and on the other side of the bar was the kitchen.

I love an open kitchen and many restaurants will charge top dollar for the privilege of dining in the kitchen and watching the magic. At Little Moir’s Food Shack you can sit at the bar and enjoy the show free of charge. I did not get this opportunity but had plenty to look at as I faced the wall. Covering almost every inch of wall space were pictures and paintings of sea life and tropical scenes. The place had recently been remolded and the floors were brand new. The bathroom was clean and single serving which I like.

As this place is so busy, they know how to use the space creatively without exceeding maximum capacity. They will turn their tables sideways to accommodate parties and what I would take as a two top comfortably sat our party of three and we each had our own side of the table. On our second visit we were a party of 8 with 3 kids and we were all comfortable, happy, and well taken care of. The kids all ordered the mac and cheese from the kids menu and loved it. I tried a bite and was impressed by its creaminess.

Little Moir’s Food Shack is a place that really knows what it is doing and how to please their customers in surprising ways. You don’t have to worry about not getting enough fruits or veggies when you order here. You can please any type of palette and be impressed by their flavor combinations. If you are ever in, around, or driving through Jupiter, Florida be sure to stop here, just come hungry.

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