Deering Seafood Festival

If there’s a food festival going on, I’m there!

Deering Seafood FestivalYesterday I had the chance to check out the 5th Annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay at the Deering Estate at Cutler.  It was my first time at both the seafood festival and the Deering Estate and I had a great time.

Grey skies and occasional drops of rain didn’t frighten away the crowds.  The appropriately named Seafood Alley was packed with people lining up to try the fresh offerings from local restaurants and catering companies.

crawfishGolden Rule Seafood‘s raw bar was my first stop.  Their oysters were some of the biggest I’ve seen and had a great creamy and meaty taste.  I normally eat raw oysters with cocktail or hot sauce but these were so good I ate them on their own.  I really wish I had saved room for Golden Rule Seafood’s cajun crawfish which looked and smelled delicious.

Next I tried a pair of dishes from Black Point Ocean Grill.  Their jambalaya was rich and well spiced, with large pieces of shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage.  Their grilled shrimp gazpacho was light and refreshing with a great kick to it — perfect for the hot and muggy afternoon.  Black Point Ocean Grill’s location in Homestead is a bit of a drive for me but after yesterday’s tasting I’ll be making a special trip.

I’m not sure if alligator actually qualifies as seafood but I knew I couldn’t leave the festival without trying some.  I’ve only had alligator fried beyond recognition so I was excited to try the smoked gator kabobs from the Les Seafood Express.  The gator meat was moist and tender, with a slightly more chewy texture than chicken.  The smoky taste suited the alligator meat really well.

garlic crabsMy eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I wish I could have eaten much more — especially the surf and turf nachos, lobster sliders and frog legs.  I should have gotten the seafood paella from Paellas R Us to go, I don’t know what I was thinking by passing that up!

The Bahamian Junkanoo enhanced the seafood celebration with an energetic and entertaining performance.  You couldn’t miss the brass band marching around in their bright neon uniforms.

I left the festival happy and very full — a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I’ll definitely be back next year!