I am a convert--I love it! I had dinner at Fresh on the Fly the other night with my friend Tommy and we had a very nice dining experience. If you read my postings on urbanspoon.com, you may have noticed that I was not totally thrilled with Fresh on the Fly after a recent lunch experience--my lukewarm fish tacos contained little fish and were served open-faced on the same plate as my coleslaw. Guess what the tortillas were swimming in--coleslaw sauce. And my friend was served barely lukewarm fries. However, the food did taste good (and the fries replaced) and my lunch companions loved their meals, so my urbanspoon.com vote was "like it." Well, after my dinner experience at Fresh on the Fly the other night, i will confirm that vote--I like this place! Well, maybe I even love it!
My friend and I arrived around 6 or 7 on a Saturday evening. It was not very busy, but a good half dozen or more tables were full. We were quickly welcomed and told we could sit anywhere. We were quickly given menus. Within a short time, we put in our drink order: a house Cabernet and a house White Zin--$4 was not a bad price at all for a house wine, so many places charge outrageous prices for mediocre wine. In due time our drinks arrive and we placed an order for some appetizers.
For our first appetizer, we had the On The Fly Golden Breaded Mahi Mahi Bites--bite size pieces of mahi-mahi were breaded and deep fried, then served with a choice of sauces: Jalapeno Tartar, Key Lime Cocktail and Chipotle. The best part of this appetizer was the sauces, especially the jalapeno tartar--it has a nice bite to it. But each of the sauces was actually very good in its own right. The mahi bites were OK--they could have benefit from a bit more flavor in the breading and just a touch of salt. They were good, but not great. But, as I mentioned, the standout of this dish were the sauces, excellent, each one!
For a second appetizer, we had the Cracker Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes. A stack of nicely breaded and fried green tomatoes was accompanied by a bit of perppercorn aioli, a nice accompaniment to the sharpness of the fried green tomatoes. My only complaint would be a bit unevenness in salting--a few slices were overly salted, a few undersalted. But overall, this was a very goo dish. The light breading was great and adhered well to the thin slices of green tomatoes. The presentation was very nice, though to me I didn't quite understand the small bit of diced red tomatoes. No matter, it as a very good dish and we enjoyed it thoroughly.
My friend Tommy ordered the Spicy Manhattan-Style Floridian Fish Chowder. This, for me, was a real standout. The thing I noticed most about it was the bright tomato flavor. Excellent in all regards. Next time I eat here (and there will be a next time), I will certainly have to have some of this excellent soup. Yumm!
I had a side salad with my dinner, in this case, the Island Style Salad. Spring Mix Greens were served with Mandarin Oranges, Toasted Coconut, a bit of vocado, a few Diced Red Peppers, and all was tossed in a Caribbean Mango Dressing, It was very good. the coconut was, to me, a bit unusual on a salad, but it worked very well. The taste of the avocado was a bit lost, but not the rich creaminess of it. It was a very good salad, nice and fresh.
For his main course, my friend Tommy ordered the Crispy Fried Flounder Sandwich. This was hand breaded and deep fried haddock, served on a white roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and also served with Key Lime Cocktail Sauce and a Jalapeno Tartar Sauce. It was a very good sandwich, made all the more good by the accompanying sauces. What a delightful meal this was.
For my main course I had the Seared Wild Caught Salmon which was served over Coconut Rice and was topped with Island Style Salad and Chipotle Sauce. The presentation was excellent, first of all. The bit of island salad on the top was accented by several intersting flavor on the plate. The salmon itself was nicely seasoned and cooked perfectly--some of the best salmon I've had. The coconut rice was a tad undercooked and I did not get any sense of coconut in it. It wasn't bad, just did not shout "coconut" to me in any way, shape or form. Overall, this was an excellent dish, tasty and flavorful. I'd order it again, or recommend it to friends.
We had a very nice dinner at Fresh on the Fly. The have indeed redeemed themselves. The food all came out hot and in a timely manner. Each plate looked great and tasted as good as it lookes. I was particularly taken in by the various sauces, quite a nice job. I'll be sure to eat here again, it could become a Lake Mary favorite of mine some day!