Seafood World in Lighthouse Point Has Old Florida Nailed
Papa Hughie's, a relic that opened in Lighthouse Point in 1976, is all about that Old Florida vibe. There's no pretense to its fresh seafood, which it also sells directly from its front-of-house market. All of its snapper, grouper, tuna, oysters, shrimp, stone crab, scallops, and lobster are prepared as simply as possible, which often means broiled or fried with a wedge of lemon on the side. The result is, you get to taste the seafood itself. It's a showcase of Florida's oceanic bounty, the sort of which is becoming rarer and rarer these days.
On a recent visit, I also sampled three large stone crab claws for less than $20, plucked straight from the market case and cracked and served with spicy mustard sauce. The claws dripped sweet juice as I pulled them apart, and the meat was fresh and clean-tasting. The smoked mahi-mahi fish dip that Papa Hughie's also makes in house is peppery and smoky, with an addictive quality that's hard to resist -- especially when slathered on sesame-laced crackers.
All of it jibes with the décor, a winding hall of dark wood and dusty rafters that looks like the barnacle-covered hull of an old ship. Although it's far cry from a new, hip seafood joint, I'd come back to Seafood World in a heartbeat to sample its classic take on cracked conch, slurp raw oysters by the dozen, and eat huge fillets of local grouper broiled with lemon, paprika, and butter. Is there anything better about Florida?
Papa Hughie's Seafood World
4602 N. Federal Highway, Lighthouse Point