Hey there! It’s been another week, so I suppose it’s time for me to start rambling again. Instead of the usual, I’d say it’s about time to do another food review! This month, I think I’ll give St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin over in Deep Ellum its due. It’s on Commerce for all those familiar with the area. Everyone else should check their website (linked above). Now, I know I promised you something different in the last food blog, and it is different. I swear it’s not JUST seafood. They have all sorts of things. At least it’s not another oyster bar. Anyhoo, here’s your reminder of the rating system:
MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.
As usual, let’s start with accessibility. It’s a bit of a tight fit navigating the tables for larger wheelchairs (like my own), especially if the Dancing Marlin is packed. We usually go on Sunday evenings or late afternoons during the week to avoid crowds. Aside from that, the tables are a great height. Most of them are rectangular, but they do have some round tables if those work better for you. Occasionally, the floor feels like it’s going to give way (not technically an accessibility issue, but extra scary when you’re in a heavy chair), so it’s kind of an adventure!
The service. The wait staff at the Dancing Marlin gets bonus points because they don’t normally act like I’m invisible. That’s always a good thing. The waiter today was attentive (kept our drinks full, answered questions, etc.), didn’t bring our food out too fast (we had time to finish things), and never once made us feel rushed. The staff also consisted of people who calmly dealt with someone who was sitting outside complaining about a fly in their drink (it’s summer in Texas and you’re drinking wine outside. Put something over your glass if you don’t want flies in it. C’mon, now). No complaints there.
Now, the important stuff: food! For an appetizer, we got calamari. It was good. Not too chewy. Had a nice crust. It wasn’t my favorite thing there, but it was tasty. Now, if you like garlic half as much as I do, I definitely suggest the baked garlic appetizer. Yes, they bake garlic. For the not-so-garlicky people, there are other delicious choices as well.
As far as entrees go, they have a decent selection from pizzas to pastas, burgers to hot dogs. The Dancing Marlin also has a tuna steak (it comes in a number of ways). Dad got the grilled tuna salad (tuna steak on a salad) with grilled mushrooms, onions, and jalapeños. They sure know how to cook a tuna steak! Dad always gets it rare (how else would you eat it), so it’s pink and tender and delicious. And the salad definitely wasn’t skimpy. It was a real meal.
I usually get penne with red clam sauce (highly recommend it), but I decided to get something different this time. I went with the F. B. Combo (catfish fillet and shrimp) with pasta salad instead of fries. The fish and shrimp were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The breading wasn’t salty, but seasoned nicely. And the pasta salad… I normally don’t like pasta salad, but I figured I’d give it a shot. It was actually pretty yummy! I was impressed.
Dessert. The selection here is pretty strange. Baklava, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and ice cream bars. Personally, I suggest the baklava. It’s a tiny serving, but super sweet, and a perfect little end to a wonderful meal.
And, of course, we must talk about price. It’s actually not too bad. It’s not often we look at a check expecting it to be a certain amount and have it turn out to be less. It happens at the Dancing Marlin.
My overall rating:
See you next week with more writerly randomness!