The Blue Marlin Fish House has been at this location in one form or another for decades, but in the past twenty years or so the state built a new park building, with restrooms and a visitor information center. The entrance is about 250 yards east of South Dixie Highway (US-1) on the south side of State Road 826 (NE 163rd Street). Blue Marlin Fish House Restaurant: The open air interior is very casual, with some light nautical décor: Opposite the parking lot is the Oleta River, a dock, and view of the mangroves: The first time that I visited, I saw this sign, which puzzled me:
Later on, I found out that many an afternoon, Dale the Biker has a beer while leaning against the counter in that spot. Dale & Sign: Looking out from the kitchen is DJ the owner who leases the space from the state:
The old building at this location only sold smoked fish, and house-smoked fish is still on the menu. To-go order of marlin, mahi-mahi and grouper, along with tartar, key-lime mustard and chipotle-pepper sauces:
I've never had better. The fish is brined/marinated overnight, with different recipes for each fish. Warren the smoke master in front of the smoker, with some avocado wood:
The yellow device is a recorder connected to a thermocouple in one of the slabs of fish. They also use buttonwood and mango, and other local woods. There is another smoker which they use for meat. Smoked Brisket Sandwich:
This was very tender and tasty. I put the house-made cole slaw on top, covered it with the top of the lightly grilled Kaiser roll, and very much enjoyed it. It was very tender. Hand-pattied ½-pound burger served on the same roll:
I mentioned previously that he cooks these on a commercial sandwich grill, and it wasn’t as crusty as I might have preferred ( I still enjoyed it). I think that if I had ordered it cooked more (medium-rare to medium) it would have had time to brown more. The waffle fries, although not house-made, were good.
Also grilled on the same appliance is a kosher-style, foot-long hot dog. Naked Foot-long Hot Dog:
This is a good dog, and the usual condiments and relishes are available. It is also available as a chili dog. Chili-Slaw Dog:
The chili is house-made. I would prefer it without beans on a hot dog, but it is otherwise tasty. I added the house-made coleslaw.
One current drawback for me is that Monday though Thursday no fried food is available. The reason is that the state-owned building has no provision for a grease trap and exhaust. DJ owns a concession and special events trailer which does, but he doesn’t have the staffing to run it during the slow weekdays. DJ’s Trailer:
These are the bad boys that fry up the food. Triple-Double Friers:
DJ expects that to change in June, because of this:
Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives had a shoot here, and the episode is set to air on June 8th! The owner hopes that Monday through Thursday business will pick up enough to enable him to hire staff so that both kitchens can be manned seven days per week.
I hope so, because I really enjoyed the fried grouper sandwich I had one Friday. Grouper Sandwich:
They marinate the fish in beer and Secret Spices overnight, and the result is very juicy and flavorful, with a crispy crust. It was the best that I have had.
On another fry-day, I had some very good conch fritters. Conch Fritters with Key Lime Mustard Sauce:
I enjoyed these. As you can see, there are some peppers in the batter, and there was a mild seasoning that may have included cumin. The sauce was good, and I also tried some with Cholula, which worked well too. Onion Rings on the Side:
Although not house-made, these are good, oniony rings.
A new item on the "Specials" menu is the Lobster Burger,
served with lettuce and tomato on a cornmeal-dusted grilled kaiser roll with a side of roasted-red-pepper sauce (other sauces are available). Think of a crab cake made with lobster instead of crab. I found it to be quite tasty, with obvious chunks of lobster. Maine Lobster Burger: Maine Lobster Burger Assembled and Split: Non-fry-days Menu: Fry-Days Supplemental Menu:
A Daily Specials Menu:
The fried fish and the smoked fish are exceptional here, and many other items are very good. Most of the prices are typical for Miami these days. I recommend a visit for those who like smoked or fried fish. Keep the weather in mind, as it is open-air, and bugs might be an issue after dark. Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St
North Miami Bch, FL 33160 Mon 12-5PM Tue 11-7PM
<message edited by MiamiDon on Fri, 04/24/09 12:10 PM>