Joey's Seafood and Grill
In a word: Decent chain seafood, if a little underwhelming.
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JM ate the crab cakes with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the fish tacos with an iced tea.
The bill was $21, or $10.50/person, plus tip (thanks, Bucky Book!)
JM gave Joey's Seafood and Grill an A-; Nichole gave Joey's Seafood and Grill a B- (see our grading rubric).
With not much to go on other than some mixed experiences from family in the Twin Cities area, we sailed to Joey's with little expectation other than it would be a seafood restaurant (we managed to cleverly deduce this from its name). Upon arrival, we were well taken care of despite the obnoxious overabundance of FOX news on the TV screens and the proximity/crampedness of the bar vis-a-vis its placement relative to the seating and a large saltwater aquarium.
The menu was fairly long, and some nightly specials on the chalkboard above the kitchen door edged towards something more adventurous than breaded and fried filets. A caddy of condiments adorned each table and included a huge cylinder of French sea salt and a tin of Old Bay.
Nichole ordered 2 fish tacos, each made of a generous slab of fried pollock, sliced cabbage, grated cheddar cheese, and salsa in a soft flour tortilla. This seemed to Nichole like an incredibly, well, white interpretation of a fish taco. (Only after some research did we learn that, like Boston's the Gourmet Pizza, Joey's is a Canadian chain. Maybe their Albertan roots are an explanation.) The portions were big and the flavors were bland, with only an occasional kick from the mostly tepid salsa. Still - and embarassingly enough - it's not hard to imagine us making fish tacos like this at home. OK, we'd use corn tortillas. But it'll be awhile before we're pickling our own red onions to get flavors more robust than this Northern version.
The dinner of crab cakes didn't look like much food on the plate, but JM found that the dense cakes, hush puppies, and a corn muffin were more than enough to be filling. Hoo boy, were these crab cakes crabby. Like the tacos, though, they seemed one-note and needed some sauce to make any bites after the first interesting.
Would you believe that Joey's key lime pie is among the top slices Nichole's had? Food Fight's (Hubbard, Monty's, Bluephie's) are too chalky; Norske Nook's too gummy; and most others, if they can be found, not limey enough. (Of course, Fyfe's is better, but not long for this world.) Every bite of this petite slice on a graham cracker crust packed a tart kick that smoothed into sweetness. Maybe it came frozen from a central supplier, but darned if it wasn't great anyway.
Nichole's other favorite bit of the Joey's experience was a little orange fish that flitted around the big tank, literally perching on a coral or right on the sandy floor of the tank. Spunky little critter. Too quick to get a picture of, though.