This colorful restaurant was designed to look like a salt marsh fish camp from a hundred years ago. Looking around at the weathered wood floors, bentwood chairs, and dusty swampland bric-a-brac on the wall, it is hard to believe that it isn’t, in fact, a century old. One thing that never changes is the sunset over the marshes and the intercoastal waterway: a spectacular setting for supper, or for waiting for a table for supper, as you likely will do at this very popular place that takes no reservations.
Seafood stars on the menu, from freshly-opened oysters to fancy preparations, including a slew of such deep-fried cracker specialties as gator tail, catfish, cooter, and frog legs. The first thing the waiter does is to announce what fish are fresh that day; on my visit in mid-April, they had red snapper, mahi mahi, and yellowfin tuna. You can get them broiled or grilled however your like. The day I visited, the blackboard preparation was to smother the fish with a cucumber dill sauce that was very good on the meaty snapper. Alongside the meal comes a basket of unctuous cheese rolls, no doubt made from some ersatz buns but transformed into a very naughty addictive breadstuff by the infusion of oil and cheese.
Fish-Camp-Fare-Frowners can select from a menu of open-pit barbecue, including ribs, chicken and shrimp. Other people’s plates looked good, but for me, this setting demands seafood.
Note: Saltwater Cowboy’s was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew at the beginning of October, 2016, and had to close. It reopened in April, 2017.