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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

South Florida Food Festival Review

A tasteful surprise for those with good taste
South+Florida+Food+Festival+Review
Via Instagram: @sfseafoodfest

Nov. 12 kicked off the annual South Florida Seafood Festival in Coconut Grove, marking ten years of appreciation for the oceanic abundance that we live near.

Not to be confused with the South Beach Seafood Festival, which is set for late October of next year, the South Florida Seafood Festival takes place at Regatta Park. The park is in the Dinner Key Marina, the largest marina in Miami. The Regatta Park is also the location of the famous Coconut Grove Arts Festival, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in February.

The South Florida Seafood Festival features diverse seafood-based delicacies, bringing in an impressive collection of food trucks and stands. From grilled oysters fresh off the ice to ceviche and paella, this festival is here to impress anyone who enjoys all that’s nautical.

Between the festival’s mixologists and yard games, there’s entertainment for guests of all ages. Live entertainment plays in the background as ten local chefs show off their skills and best dishes for Kitchen Lab guests. Featured on Deco Drive and Telemundo in 2022, the organizers of the festival pride themselves on their focus on the creativity and drive of Miami’s vibrant culinary scene.

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The event is jam-packed with people, making parking nearly impossible by the time that afternoon rolls around. Thankfully, nearby street parking is set close to $3 an hour, allowing you to walk a few short blocks through the area locally known as The Grove, Miami’s oldest neighborhood.

Those interested in attending may buy tickets at the door or beforehand online, scanned at the door with signs warning guests that there is no readmission. Purchasing a VIP ticket allows access to a special festival area with a shaded bar and DJ, but general admission is more than enough to keep one entertained.

Food is at an additional charge. The selection is varied in both cultural origin and, unfortunately, quality. The nature of making food for a large crowd typically means trading quality for quantity, which showed in some of the dishes I could sample. 

 

Paella & Frutti di Mari

 

The two bowls of paella (one regular and one dyed black with squid ink) and the bowl of Frutti di Mare we ordered were ready the fastest, at the expense of the quality of the carbs. The rice and pasta were a bit cold and undercooked, but the seafood was fresh and perfectly cooked.

 

Fried Conch & Fries

Our order of fried conch with fries took the longest by far— 45 whole minutes! However, it was warm, and the fries were perfectly seasoned, paired with a pink sauce. A simple yet delicious meal, we were pleasantly surprised with a portion large enough to satisfy two people.

Shrimp Pizza

 

Crab Pizza

The pizza was the star of the show by far. Guests watch as the dough is made by hand, tossed, and put in a wood-fired oven to be cooked right before their eyes, ensuring maximum freshness. Our crab and shrimp pies had an authentic dusting of charred flour at the bottom, adding a delightful hint of bitterness that grounds the tastebuds and allows one maximum enjoyment of their slice.

All in all, the Festival provides for a fun and unique experience that is great to enjoy with friends and family— given you have the wallet for admissions costs, parking, and pricey food. Make sure to watch out for its return in November of next year, or look for other seafood festivals nearby!

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About the Contributor
Panni Peschke, Design Editor

Panni Peschke is a senior at MAST Academy. A Miami native, her parents hail from Germany and Colombia, giving her an international background and a grasp on three languages.

Panni has been previously published in MAST’s literary magazine, Spilt Milk, and joined The Beacon to exercise her writing abilities. She aims to publish a healthy mix between sociopolitical issues and local experiences for her fellow students to enjoy.

In her spare time, Panni enjoys filling her parent’s counter, cabinet, and oven space with different materials for her baking obsession.

To complement her creative interests, Panni aims to study business to create a balance between arts and sciences.

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