Winner: Cajun Grouper Sandwich
Restaurant: Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, Clearwater, FL
Sandwich creator: Michael “Frenchy” Preston
Inspiration: “To create the freshest, best-tasting grouper sandwich on the West Coast of Florida.”
Key ingredients: Grouper, Cajun seasoning, lettuce, tomato, house-made Parmesan and Romano cheese tartar sauce on an onion roll
Why it’s special: Frenchy’s fishermen deliver grouper daily.
Price: $11.50 for a regular sandwich, $13.50 for a super
Food cost: 40 percent
What the judges said: If you live up north or away from the ocean, when you order a grouper sandwich in a restaurant, more often than not, it’s an impostor, not grouper. It’s false advertising, a bait and switch, if you will, and we don’t like it. What we do like is a place like Frenchy’s, where the cooks know the local fisherman and the catch they bring in. There is no pretense here, just a little zing from Cajun spices. A sandwich this pure and uncomplicated would have made that miserable polar vortex last winter so much more tolerable.
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