Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market
Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market: 13451-16 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, Florida, 33919
Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market is located on the west coast of Florida in Ft. Myers. They have been around since 1982 and are part of a local restaurant group with three more west coast eateries and four on the east coast for a total of 8 places you can try.
I was in Ft. Myers for a work trip. I always hate to eat alone, so I reached out to a friend who had introduced me to two amazing guys and asked him if he thought they might want to grab dinner so I could explore the culinary destinations in a city that I have only been a few times. Joe and Jack agreed to join me and recommended that we go to one of their favorite spots, Prawnbroker.
I have to admit, at first, I thought they said “pawnbroker” and thought it was going to be an interesting place to eat based on that. Would people be hawking their wears and negotiating while we sat around eating dinner? Then when I did my research, I found where it was located and the restaurant’s actual name.
Prawnbroker is located in a shopping strip mall with plenty of parking. It’s nothing fancy on the outside, with a very non-descript yellow building with the entrance covered by its signature green canopy saying “Entrance” with a picture of a fish on the side. Most of the businesses close by the time it gets busy, and there are a few other eateries in the same location. Keep in mind that they are open only for dinner starting at 4 pm.
As you enter, you will be greeted by the fish market in front of you. Now I don’t want you to think of those enormous fish markets like in Seattle. This is just a small single deli counter with a great selection of fresh catches, shrimp/prawns, soups to-go, and sauces. A friendly face will also greet you as the fishmonger or hostess welcome you to the restaurant.
There are several sections of the restaurant, including a glass-enclosed patio-type area with a few tables capable of seating six people each. The remaining seating throughout the place is a mix of booths, tables for four, and larger tables for groups. From the outside, you would never know it was as big as it is inside.
I would highly recommend reservations as this place can get very busy. On the night we went, there was a steady crowd, but it was never filled completely. But on certain nights, Jack and Joe said it could be tough to get in.
To start things off, Prawnbroker has an excellent selection of appetizers, from chowdahs to shrimp, escargot, oysters, and more. We each had something different. Joe started with the New England clam chowder, or chowdah as they like to spell it. He got a cup full of a creamy base with a heft amount of clam bits throughout. He smiled the whole time he was eating it and took no time in polishing it off.
Jack went a bit healthier with a small salad with creamy Italian dressing. It’s a nice mix of greens, cucumber, tomato, and olives. He was pleased with his usual starter as we clicked our glasses together from our cocktails.
I chose to try the shrimp bisque. It was an excellent choice in my mind, with a thick and creamy base and plenty of chopped-up shrimp throughout. The texture and flavor mended well together, and I couldn’t get enough.
Prawnbroker Main Dishes:
As we sat and conversed, our main dishes arrived. There is typically a vegetable and potato served with each entree. Jack highly recommended that I get the steak fries, so it was a no-brainer for me to add fries to my meal.
Jack immediately knew what he was going to have and almost convinced me to go with the same dish. He ordered the baked stuffed shrimp, filled with crab meat and seasoned panko crumbs, and then finished with lemon butter sauce. Since Jack orders this all the time, he was obviously very happy with his meal, especially those crisp steak fries. There was nothing left on the plate when he finished.
I went back and further on several dishes as I could not make up my mind. Finally, I settled on the crab cakes. Prawnbroker serves them as three 2 oz. cakes that are lightly breaded, and you have your choice of being fried or sauteed. I went with the fried version and could not be happier. Because they were smaller to start with, you didn’t feel like there was too much food, and it did not take me long to devour my meal. I loved the house-made tartar sauce, and those steak fries that Jack recommended hit the spot perfectly.
Joe chose the Chilean sea bass in a parmesan crust. They sautee the fish and then finish it off with a lemon caper sauce normally. But Joe did not want the capers on and just went with lemon sauce. He said the fish was cooked to perfection. Unlike Jack and I, Joe went with the rice as his side item. I think he finished before I did and said his meal was fantastic.
Now many of you know I don’t normally do desserts much. But Jack and Joe twisted my arm, and we tried a few different choices. First was the lemon sherbert. I was impressed with the flavor as many places that serve this dish can be too tart, but not at Prawnbroker. It was spot on.
The second dessert was the vanilla bean creme brulee. They call this burnt cream with caramelized sugar, and the four blueberries on top set this dish apart. Finally was the apple crisp, which they served warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle on top. You can’t go wrong with any of these three options as they all hit the spot perfectly.