Smiling Fish Cafe
37 Town Center Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, 850-622-3071 map

I stopped in at one of my fav lunch spots recently – Smiling Fish Cafe at Gulf Place in Santa Rosa Beach – for a quick bite. My Smiling Fish Cafe standard is one of their wraps, which I always order with a side of their baked potato salad, but decided this time to be a good girl and go with the Panko-Shrimp Caesar Salad ($11.50) instead. I’m glad I got out of my comfort zone!

I wish I had a picture (sigh…my camera was not with me on this day) to share – a generous portion of hand cut romaine was dressed with a lemony-garlic Caesar dressing (which, if I had to guess, I would say was homemade), grated parm, and croutons. On top, and the best part of the dish, sat at least 1/2 dozen perfectly sauteed panko-crusted fresh shrimp (FYI – panko is a Japanese breadcrumb that makes THE best bread crumb coating on just about everything that can be coated!) In all honesty, I could’ve eaten a bucket full of these things with a few lemon wedges and a chilled glass of rose. The dish was excellent and definitely worthy of SoWal Scene’s stamp of approval as a “Quick Bite” to try!

Smiling Fish Cafe at Gulf Place specializes in Casual Coastal Cuisine and is located at 37 Town Center Loop Suite C-8. Their phone is 850-622-3071.

Reviewed by Jill Gaupin

Jill is die-hard foodie and a big part of her life revolves around eating, cooking, and drinking wine…oh, and talking about eating, cooking and drinking wine, too.