Friday 18 January 2008

High Tide Harry's Far from Ship Shape

High Tide Harry's
925 N. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

From the entrance, head to the back wall of the dining room. Once there, look for a hallway that leads to the rear of the building. The bathrooms will be on your left, about halfway down that hallway.

What's it like?

High Tide's is a local's fish join in Orlando that serves decent seafood in a somewhat lowbrow atmosphere. As far as reasonably priced fish restaurants go in Orlando, this one of the better options, though since Orlando isn't known for it's seafood restaurants (it's a chain restaurant haven more than anything else), I'm not sure that's saying much. It isn't on par with coastal eateries of the same vein, like the vastly superior Ozzie's Crab House, but still it tries to achieve the same spirit, and for that it should be commended, especially in this seafood-deprived town.

The restaurant, like most fish houses, comes covered with nautical-themed decor, some of which is quite imaginative (I really like the fancy paper lantern shades that cover the dining room ceiling lights -- they look like floating schools of fish), some of which is expected and tired (cargo nets on the walls, etc.). The food, as said earlier, is decent, and the fish is often of good quality, though a 45-minute road trip to Rusty's in Port Canaveral will yield far superior results for the same money.

The bathrooms here are tired and worn down and in need of some serious updating. Dark tile covers the floor. White tile with blue trim covers the the bottom half of the walls. Both house clear spots of grime and wear and tear, as well as holes, chips and stains. Blue-painted drywall covers the top half of the walls, and it's in slightly better condition than the tiled portions (you get the impression that the place paints this area regularly as a means to keep the colors bright and distract visitors from the tile flaws) though it's still nothing to brag about. The sink is your standard white model though it too reveals some grime and wear and tear. The stall is surrounded by walls colored in that same blue found on the walls; it's a dark place and has seen better days, though it would certainly do in a pinch (pun intended, naturally).

The best part of the bathroom is that it doesn't have a strong fishy smell in it, which is often the case in such restaurants. Otherwise, it's one of those places you'd prefer to visit only if you have to.

Marks out of 10:

4. Needs a serious makeover.

Comments to the Management:

I realize the establishment wants to evoke the rustic "Key West fisherman" personality of old-time Florida to some degree, but is it worth sacrificing customer comfort for the sake of authenticity? Somewhere, a line has to be drawn -- and that line, I think, should start in the bathroom.


Anonymous said...

My family dines frequently at High Tide Harrys not only is their seafood unbeatably priced with the quality and quanity for feeding a family on a budget. The owner has been renovating the 45 year old building and has recently started on the inside with the bathrooms.

Long Time Customers-

Eyal said...

Thanks for the update. I agree, the food is decent there and reasonably priced, though the last few times I've gone I've noticed a slip in quality.

We'll make a point to visit the bathrooms again in the near future and publish an update. Thanks again.