Trying to find seafood in South Florida is about as easy as finding snowbirds in the winter (in other words, a dime a dozen). However, trying to find fresh and flavorful seafood that is reasonably priced and well executed, is definitely makes for a rare commodity. Thanks to the wonderful recommendation from a friend, managed to track down Captain Charlie's Reef Grill with some help from the very convenient GPS. The quintessential hole-in-the-wall, it's easy to pass by without ever noticing it's existence in the back of a little shopping center.
Since they don't take reservations, the wait was about 50 minutes, however they had another "waiting area" that was actually another restaurant entirely, three spots down in the shopping center. Complete with a couple of booths and a long bar, you can choose to pass the time imbibing in a glass of wine or with a cold, frosty beer. Even more impressive was that their wine list including selections from around the world and their beer list managed to branch out a teensy bit from the standard selections, offering Longboard and Anchor Steam among others.
When we were seated in the main dining room, it was hard to decide from the lengthy menu of daily specials. The room itself had typical sea-faring kitsch, including the giant taxidermized fishes on the wood plank walls. Started the meal with a bowl of the artichoke, fennel and crab soup. Luscious and thick, it was a splendid shade of pea green. There was plenty of crab meat and lots of flavor. Next was a conch carpaccio, fresh, without being gummy, the conch was thinly sliced and served on a delicate bed of mixed greens. It was served with a light sauce that I didn't really touch much of since I felt the conch alone was substantially tasty.
Overall though, this was truly a hidden gem for basic seafood and for dishes with some innovative twists. I'd recommend seeking it out if you're in the area and looking for a high quality seafood meal at an affordable price.
12846 US Highway 1
Juno Beach, FL 33408