We previously reviewed Best Restaurants in Apalachicola listing places we’ve tried and ones we plan to try in the future based on restaurant review sites.
The two restaurants we profile here were also on the list of Top 10 Apalachicola dining in Zomato and Trip Advisor. Unfortunately our visit to these two didn’t support that generous rating. Read on.
Restaurant Review Boss Oyster
Another top-rated restaurant we sampled was Boss Oyster , also on the river, but with views of Apalachicola Bay. Boss Oyster also owns their own oyster harvesting boat and crew, so they cover the entire process from the sea to your palate! We dined on their outdoor deck along the waterfront, with pelicans waiting in hopes of a handout. We loved dining on their outdoor deck with the breezes and views and our grilled Red Fish was tasty. But the side salad and hush puppies didn’t measure up. The hostess who seated us was quite a frosty babe, not one you should have on your front line. An extremely sharp contrast to the welcome we got from the host at “Up the Creek Raw Bar.” Our server was friendly but also inattentive. The place was packed so it must have a good reputation. The reviews on Zomato and Trip Advisor show most everyone enjoys the dockside ambiance and some people rave about the food, particularly the oysters. But several reviewers also experienced the poor wait service and middling quality food that was our experience.
Restaurant Review Hole In the Wall Seafood Raw Bar
We were enjoying some Hooter Brown Ale on the patio at Oyster City Brewing wishing we had something more substantial than the popcorn offered by the brewery tap room when we realized that next door was the Hole in the Wall Saloon, a Seafood and Raw Bar we knew had gotten good reviews on the Internet.
So we finished our brews and trotted next door to have lunch. The Hole in the Wall isn’t a very big place, much of the seating is at the bar itself, but we found space at one of the banquet-style tables. One of the bartenders saw us come in so we expected a wait staffer to show up soon. After waiting patiently for several minutes, a gal sitting at our table who was already eating warned us we may have to flag down the waitress in order to get served. That we did and that’s when the fun started. Our waitress was “five sheets to the wind” and in a surly mood. She cleared the dishes in front of us from the previous customers with some agitated comment we didn’t comprehend. Then we waited some more but she never returned. Eventually we caught the eye of the bartender and one of the guys behind the bar came and took our order. The inebriated waitress was still floating around in the bar laughing it up with some of the local customers she knew but by this time the guys behind the bar were having to do most of her job.
We ordered grilled grouper sandwich baskets and were surprised to find it was pretty good; hot, moist, and tasty with veggie toppings of lettuce, onions, and tomato. The fries were OK but a bit short on quantity. And Jo felt her grilled grouper was tiny compared to mine. No one stopped by to see how we were doing or whether we wanted a refill on our beers. So we stacked our plates on top of one another and pushed them aside as a signal we were finished with our meal. Many minutes went by until it was apparent no one was going to come around. We could have easily walked out without paying but we went up to the bar and told them we’ve been waiting for a bill that never came but wanted to pay for our meal. The bartender did some calculations and gave us a total which we paid. No apology for the poor service and they were well aware of what was going on with their grossly tipsy waitress.
The food at the Hole gets 3 stars; the service gets a minus 1 star, a personal world-record worst service at a restaurant. The previous reviews on Zomato were generally favorable, however they are 2 to 3 years old. A comment on another restaurant review site from two weeks earlier than our visit echoed our experience to a tee: “This was by far the worst service I have ever had in a restaurant. It is run by and husband and wife team: bartender and waitress. That is the only reason she can keep her job, she complained to everyone, had no patience, eventually took orders and then delivered the food to the wrong tables. No follow up service, it is every guest for themselves. To leave you, go to the bartender and straighten up your bill.”
See our recommended Apalachicola dining options here.
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