Shades at the Loop - The best creme brulee in Florida

Discussion in 'Dining and Food' started by Cork On the Ocean, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Cork On the Ocean

    Cork On the Ocean directionally challenged

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    The owner of Shades on the Loop was so concerned about a thread on another board that he contacted me and urged me to come back to Shades ..... so CorK did! This says a lot about a restaurant owner that he truly cares that patrons have a good experience and Joe does! Tonight Kat and I visited Shades. We were seated promptly, our waiter was right there for us and provided great service.

    [​IMG]

    I had the wings (naked) - quite tasty and Kat had the Ceasar Salad which was great! We weren't real hungry but next time I can wait to try the Carmelized ? Pork. mmmm, sounds great. Kat's had an excellent Merlot and I had a good strong rum and cokes.

    After dinner, we splurged for the Creme Brulee. IT WAS THE ABSOLUTELY BEST I've ever had- better than I had even in Paris. We were absolutely thrilled to meet Joe the proprietor who's a really nice guy. He's listened to us, addressed the issues of a new and busy restaurant with his staff and has made Shades on the Loop one of my new favorite places on 30A.

    If you've tried Shades on the Loop before - try it again and it will only be better. Joe is a hands on owner who works on the premises a billion hours a week and truly cares. Thank you Joe for being you! :wub:
     
  2. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    Yummy, I'll be going there when I get down to the beach. Creme brulee is one of favs. :wub:
     
  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Wow and thanks Cork for this review. I've been there a few times and while I really enjoyed the atmosphere, the food experience was lacking in some ways. But will gladly give it another try!!!
     
  4. DD

    DD SoWal Expert

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    Sounds yummy! :D
     
  5. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Did...you...say...creme brulee??

    I'm a custard-before-chocolate kinda girl.:D
     
  6. lindatat

    lindatat quirty

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    We had a great lunch at Shades when we visited. We would definitely go back.

    Now to go off on a tangent (and what thread would be complete without a tangent) I had some to-die-for Creme Brulee cheesecake at Smiling Fish Cafe that same week. Now I have something to try for dessert at Shades next time!
     
  7. imasunbum

    imasunbum Beach Fanatic

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    The Oyster PoBoys are BAD (as in good) ;-)
     
  8. katie blue

    katie blue kt loo

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    Mr B and I REALLY want to love Shades, as it's so close to us. We went last year with another couple shortly after they opened but hadn't been back since. Maybe things have improved? I hope so, definitely will give it another try. Good management can change anything.

    Our experience (from last year, mind you, things may have changed) was that the decor was nice but "sterile" as our friends put it. (Hey, they were brand new, so of course it was.) We ordered the grouper, which was average at best. It was too fishy tasting, obviously not 100% fresh, but it was late on a Sunday night which may explain that. But the worst part was the too-cool-for-school waiter that night. There were hardly any customers in the place, but we couldn't get the waiters attention away from his co-workers, and when he did come around he never once made eye contact...we felt like we were bothering him to be there. So we never returned. I'll give it another try though, since Joe seems to really care about the customers. I'll assume that "waiter" is no longer employed there...
     
  9. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    There seems to have been a lot of turnover in wait staff. I find the service more attentive at the bar.

    Cork - Glad to hear about Joe's hands-on attention. It seems to me that the food has improved in my recent visits, maybe his work bearing fruit. My last dinner was an iceberg wedge followed by the "oyster clump" or "oyster pile" or whatever they call the appetizer that's a big pile of their always good fried oysters. Both were just right.
     
  10. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I also ordered the grouper (last year after they opened) and it was inedible.

    I've seen that they have a lot of business at lunch and dinner - not too many restaurants down that way. I was never impressed with the original seaside shades restaurant, but of course they had plenty of tourist business. This is the problem with many of our restaurants - they are going to get the business whether they offer good food/service or not (everyone on vacation is looking for a place to sit, relax and let someone serve them food and drinks). But, if they can turn out really good food, then they will get the locals all year round in addition to tourists during the season.
     
  11. potatovixen

    potatovixen Beach Fanatic

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    I also really want to like this place, but I just can't seem to get into it.

    The service I've received has never been great, but I haven't been in a few months, so things may've changed. The food I've had has been good, but not worth the money.

    I'll have to give it another shot.
     
  12. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Wierd bunch of reviews on this place. How can some say it is SO good, and others say it is SO bad. Surely it's not THAT inconsistent. :dunno:
     
  13. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    I've been to Shades by the Loop quite a few times since it opened because I, too, am interested in trying out and supporting restaurants on the east end of 30A, close to us. I think their oyster po'boys are among the best I've had (along with those at Hurricanes and Village Market -- also very good). In general, I've liked their food. At least in the past, their service has been slow and I agree that some of the staff seemed somewhat uppity rather than in a "can I serve you well and quickly" mood, but that may have changed and I'll definitely go there in August with the family (maybe 7 people) to try out that creme brulee! The only other advice I'd offer if the owner is reading this is to be sure the waiters have little aprons with pockets for their order/check books - some of them store them in the back of their pants and that's a bit odd (they take your order and then stick the order book down their belt/pants on their backside -- something doesn't seem right about that). We laugh about that when we are there (maybe that's not happening now). I go there by myself sometime for an oyster po'boy and to use the wireless internet for lunch.
     
  14. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    Sometimes I think the restaurant suffers from trying to be all things to all people. Specifically:

    -The decor and layout are stylish, but neither cozy nor elegant. People like to be able to pigeonhole a place. You know, Seagrove Market=funky, Cafe 30A=casual elegance, Borago=loud and happy, etc.
    -The menu isn't exactly "beach seafood place" nor is it "fine dining". Again, inability to pigeonhole.
    -The bar has a bit of "sports bar" with the big screens on ESPN.

    I think there actually HAS been some inconsistency in the food and service in the past. I'm glad to hear from Cork's review that Joe is working on it. My own recent personal experience suggests the food is better. Hoping the service will improve too...

    Having said that all, it's one of my regular places. There are good dependable items on the menu (I agree they do fried oysters well and find their grilled grouper second to only Seagrove Market). The service at the bar is good. I'm happy they are there.
     
  15. potatovixen

    potatovixen Beach Fanatic

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  16. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    well, it seems that this is one restaurant that has been very inconsistent. Before this thread, I had never heard anyone say they could recommend Shades... I sincerely hope this is changing through good management and consistently good service and food.
     
  17. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    I agree with others on this board that many of us are becoming "regulars" waiting for the kinks to be worked out because the location, quality of food, etc., show great promise (in my opinion). And it sounds like the owner is working on the kinks and isn't taking anything for granted (and that's a good thing). I wish Shades great success. And, again, I'm looking forward to an oyster po'boy and now creme brulee, too. I definitely could make this a routine stop on my way from Panama City airport to 30A if it's mealtime...
     
  18. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    In the summer there are enough visitors that a place can survive, if not thrive, with bad food and service. Hopefully better communications and new methods such as this forum will make them improve or suffer.

    The locals know where to go and they help the good ones in the offseason pay the bills.

    Cork mentioned wings (and creme brulee what a combo :D ), as a wing addict I say MoJo's in Sandestin were the best and the ones I had at the new Shade's didn't measure up. They were a bit better at the old locale.

    BTW - MoJo's is now closed and another wing joint took over 1/2 the space. i Haven't tried them yet. MoJo's didn't have a clue how to get people through the door and it's too bad cause they had good product and should have been packed all the time but then they never asked me. :lol:

    Fried chicken and good sauce is not brain surgery. :bang:
     
  19. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    We've been to the new Shades every month this year except June (daughter was with us, and she'd rather cook). The food had greatly improved on our last visit. The grouper in the grouper sandwich was large and well-cooked just like the old Shades (as opposed to small and overcooked as in previous visits). I enjoyed the house salad with grilled fish and their signature sweet pepper vinaigrette.

    If you're a fan of the old Shades, in my opinion you can only enjoy the new Shades if you just wipe those memories out of your head. The atmosphere is very cold, and it's very noisy. The waiters run around in a frenzy. Not like the funky, laid-back atmosphere of the old Shades.

    We will be back, especially when we drive down for short stays in the off-season and don't want to take the time to grocery shop, cook, and do dishes. We also enjoy the sports bar atmosphere at Shades in the off-season because it allows us to dine while watching college football and college basketball which we're very into. [​IMG]
     
  20. Suncat

    Suncat Beach Fanatic

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    As fans of the old Shades, we will be trying out the new one for the first time this week. I'm glad to hear that the sweet pepper vinagarette is still available, although I think you said previously that the squeeze bottles of it are no longer on the table-- :sosad:

    We're also anxious to see how the wings compare, along with our other favorites. Sorry to hear that the atmosphere is not as laid back and we also hate to have to drive there now instead of walk or bike. Appreciate all the comments and reviews.
     

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