Bonefish Grill

18 Jul

 Rating: 1 Clusterfuck

I had been wanting to try this place when I was given a gift card to it. Sweet, I thought, I love seafood and I think that’s what this place does. Awesome. I found out online that they have some sort of happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday where select appetizers and cocktails are $5-6 and thought, hey even better! Oh what happy, innocent times those were.

The first thing I hated about this place was the weird vinyl tablecloths topped with brown butcher paper. I mean I get it if you’re a legit seafood place that throws boiled crabs on the table, or if you’re an upscale place doing it ironically. But from where I was sitting (in this shitty place) their menu is a schizo mix of asian and seafood dishes. But not fusion. Just like the owners are a bi-racial couple that spent months pissing each other off and destroying their marriage only to say fuck it and just jam all their shitty ideas onto one menu. On top of this weird butcher paper there was a flickering fake candle (why bother?) and two retail salt and pepper grinders. Save whatever money you’re spending on the fucking butcher paper and just buy some decorative grinders. Or at least something without the brand name on it.

My first impression based on just the table had me annoyed, but then the waitress showed up….. in a fucking chef’s coat. You read that correctly. I would give up booze for like 5 whole hours just to watch what Gordon Ramsay would have to say about that. I mean what know-nothing fuck thinks it’s a great or even passable idea to give a jacket denoting a life dedicated to the culinary arts and a certain position in the kitchen to the fucking dish jockeys?! It’s insulting. I know they aren’t chefs and if I were a chef I would be pissed to see that trivialized. What’s the point? I went from confusion, to disbelief, to annoyed all in the span of 10 minutes. But I was there to eat and review so for your sake (that’s right, fuckin’ you) I continued with this charade of a restaurant.

Bang bang Shrimp I ordered the Bang Bang Shrimp, ceviche, and their blackberry twist cocktail to start with. Everything arrived and long story short, was genuinely mediocre. The bang bang shrimp ($8.9) were okay, but missing some of the flavors which I associate with this dish. There was no sweetness from the mayo, or acidity from a vinegar, it was just kinda, sorta spicy and the breading was soggy from the sauce instead of crunchy and amazing. They would normally charge $9 for this one-note joke of an app. I was barely okay with it being $5, especially when Okami has a vastly superior version right down the road for $7.50.

CevicheThe ceviche ($7.9) was just kinda limey, one note, and in no way special, interesting or worth anywhere near that they charge. For insanely cheaper (under $4) and more delicious ceviche try Taqueria la Tapatia, also down the road. Even the seafood didn’t really pop but just blended into the sad background of lime juice. And look at those sad 7 chips they gave us. The avocado was good, but seeing as the chef or waiters or whoever fucking cooks the food didn’t grow them that’s through no fault of their own.

The drink ($5). Oh the fucking drink. It was advertised as rum, coconut water, blackberries, sage, and lemon. That’s like 12 of my favorite things all in a row! No way to screw that up. Sounds like a crisp and refreshing cocktail with a hint of herbaceousness and a tart blackberry twist! Wrooooooong. Try an overly sweet sangria rip off. The best part about the drink were the 3 blackberries they threw in as a garnish. Do you know how hard it is for me to actively dislike a drink? I’ll give you a hint… they put fucking booze in them. Why not just write “Shitty Sangria Ripoff” on the menu? Then I won’t order it and be pissed off that it is not delicious. I even like sangria for christ sake. But if I order a steak don’t send me a fried banana.

Blackberry Twist

To round the whole thing off and finish off the gift card to assure no chance of a repeat lapse in judgement, I ordered their Thai Coconut Shrimp ($8.9). It was promised on the menu to be some sort of asiany coconut shrimp which I was ok with. When it came out I was shocked to discover it was actually a decent starter. Six jumbo shrimp breaded in coconut served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce and a hint of ginger. Between the chili sauce and the coconut breading the dish was very sweet, enough for me to joke that it was kind of our meal’s dessert. Honestly, I think this would be a really cute cheeky idea for a dessert menu. It was good if only for the fact that it had more that one thing happening. And the actual dish it was served on, which I believe I’ve lusted over at Target before.

Thai Coconut Shrimp

Bonefish Grill completely disappointed with 2 out 3 dishes; 3 our of 4 items. The food lacked any dimension and was shockingly mediocre for the prices they charge. I don’t want to write this off as “another chain restaurant” because most chains, while suffering from a watering down of their menu, have at least a couple stand out items that are sure to please. In fact, there are a few chains I visit a couple times per year for those kinds of guilty pleasures (Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana and breadsticks with peach bellini tea I’m looking at you). This went beyond just being boring chain food – it was insulting.

I went with a gift card on a day when the starters were on special and thought I overpaid. These appetizers would normally be $8-$9 and that is unacceptable for something so uninteresting especially taking into account that the two most disappointing have much cheaper and far superior alternatives less than 10 minutes down the road. The restaurant hovers in a weird place between asian and american that is less fusion and more chaos. The servers in chef coats only add to that perception. This place is an overpriced trap selling asian dishes to people who don’t like asian food… or maybe any food. Take my advice, and try Taqueria la Tapatia for ceviche, Okami Japanese Steakhouse for “Bang Bang Shrimp” (aka Hot Shrimp), or Indochine for coconut shrimp/any thai dish. Friends don’t let friends eat at Bonefish Grill.

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon

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One Response to “Bonefish Grill”

  1. sw0rdf1sh July 19, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Fair assessment. You have me thinking about going to the Japanese place in the barn for that shrimp. Wasn’t sure that was ever going to happen.

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