Traditions. It is funny how a place can easily become a tradition. My family and I have vacationed in Bradenton, Florida for the last 21 years (every year I have been born.) My grandfather has a favorite restaurant that he has taken us to every year we have visited and in my opinion, this is the best seafood that you can find in the area.
My grandfather is the type of person to know the bartender, the waiters and even the restaurant manager by name. Every time we have visited this restaurant, my grandfather takes the time to introduce me to all of his friends. During this time, there is usually a bragging conversation on his part involving me. This is when I typically smile and shake my head.
Now when I say this place has the best seafood, it really does. My grandfather has taken me to countless seafood restaurants in the area, but we always seem to come back to this one.
The environment in this place is very welcoming. It is your typical family owned restaurant where the food always has a personal touch and the people are always friendly. Over the years, I have had countless different dishes, but one of my favorites was last night.
The First Mate Seafood dish is just a smaller version of the famous Captain’s Meal, but it is just as delicious. The plate consists of a yummy white fish – mahi mahi, fried rice, shrimp and scallops melted in warm, delicious butter and complimented with red skin potatoes. To also compliment this meal, I took it back home to California and ordered myself a Clos du Bois Merlot from Northern California. It was a sweet red wine but on the lighter side as far as flavors go. It was a nice addition to this meal.
Anna Maria Oyster Bar is by far one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Western Florida. It is a tradition every year my family visits. And every year, we sit down in this family-friendly restaurant and hear my grandfather’s stories while having amazing seafood. If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, this place should be first on you dinner list.