With a menu largely driven by wild-caught fish and locally sourced ingredients, this neat and tidy casual eatery masquerading as a dive serves up Florida and Caribbean-inspired fare with aplomb.
The hickory-smoked fish dip ($7), a balanced whitefish blend that wasn't overly smoked (a problem with many fish dips), came with applewood bacon, jalapenos, diced onions and fresh-from-the-fryer warm corn tortilla chips.
Our oyster shooters were composed of plump, meaty shellfish, a fiery Key Lime cocktail sauce, crisp sweet celery and lemon. The shot glasses are $1 each and a dozen for $10. The heat factor was a little intimidating for my taste, but my dinner companions loved it.
My catch-of-the-day mahi sandwich ($6) was offered blackened, seared or fried and dressed with lettuce, tomato and onion. I opted for blackened, a good choice for the zesty citrus and chipotle aioli topping. The sweet and juicy fillet had a wonderful, fresh clean flavor.
If you are a mahi fan, order the fish seared and served BLT-style ($10). The stacker builds with mixed greens, fried green tomatoes, applewood bacon and garlic mayonnaise.
I love that salads are not humdrum sides here. For $6, a bowl of mixed spring greens came tossed with Mandarin oranges, toasted coconut, rich avocado, diced red bell peppers and a mango dressing. It was a great mix of textures with nice pops of richness and sweetness tempered by the occasional hit of tanginess.
The vegetable and fruit medley eased the guilt of having one too many of the addictive french fries ($3).
After 5 p.m. the menu expands with pricier entree items including scallops, grouper, flat-irons steak and paella. Bread and a side salad come with each.
The name Fresh on the Fly is a creative description for this casual eatery in Lake Mary. It's rare to find such quality of fish in an inland quick-serve setting.
Florida native Chad Wadsworth is behind the handling of the great catches and more at Fresh on the Fly. Wadsworth developed his flavor palate and cooking techniques at a Central Florida Spanish/Asian fusion eatery and at the fine-dining restaurants at the Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores.
The menu clearly has diners with a conscience in mind. The fish is wild-caught and for those who prefer hooves and feet to fins, the chicken is hormone-free and the grass-fed beef comes from Deep Creek Ranch in west Volusia County's DeLeon Springs. I also like that all dressings and condiments are made in-house.
The restaurant's interior is fish-market sparse with large illustrations of fish along the walls and photographs of fishing excursions and anglers proudly displaying their fresh catch of the day. Guests can sit at tables or at the kitchen window and interact with the culinary team.
Although service was uneven in efficiency and focus, our server was very friendly and all guests were warmly greeted at the door.
email@example.com or 407-420-5498
Fresh on the Fly