Ted Peter’s (South Pasadena, FL)

Day of the Week: Saturday, 8/25
Total Bill: $65 (before tip)
Breakdown: 2 beers each (8 total), 2 smoked fish spread, 1 smoked mahi platter, 1 burger
Pros: AMAZING FOOD
Cons: Cash only, limited menu, limited indoor seating, closed Tuesdays, closes early (7:30 PM)
Verdict: I’ll go back even though I don’t live anywhere near there!

She says:
I went for a beach day with three girlfriends (hubby was at work), which included a post-beach stop at Ted Peter’s. Two of the other girls had been there many times before and after going I felt really stupid that I had never been before. Ted Peter’s is an institution. It’s been open (in the same location) since 1951 and is still family owned and run.

I will forewarn you: this place has quirks. They are cash only. They will not serve you beer unless you order food. They will only serve 4 beers per person. They only serve beer period. And only one kind of beer is on draft (MGD). They are closed Tuesdays and they close early (7:30). They have very little indoor seating and the menu revolved around smoked fish in various forms (spread, platter, sandwiches, etc.). But what they do they do awesome.

The smoked fish spread is probably the best I’ve ever had. Some other spreads get overwhelmed by the onion, mayo, etc. but this spread tastes like smoked fish. The smoked mahi was incredible and definitely large enough for two people to share. All the smoked fish platters come with a side of their hot German potato salad. I’m not even a German potato salad fan as a rule but this stuff was incredible. I could eat a whole tub of it. We got the burger to share too because one of the ladies had heard their burgers are fantastic but of course when you go to Ted Peter’s you just have to get fish. The burger also did not disappoint. Their burgers don’t have bells and whistles (just like everything else) but the meat is perfectly seasoned and cooked and the bun is buttered and toasted. Killer combo. The food was so good I got a half pint each of the spread and German potato salad to take home to my mom, who also loved it.

A note about the smoked mullet: everyone says the flavor is incredible. So why did we get the mahi? Because mullet has lots of bones. If you don’t like picking around bones, get the mahi or salmon.

Ted Peter’s is the perfect beach hangout. Most of the seating is outside at picnic tables, so if you’re sandy or wet no one cares. The beer is served in frosty mugs. If you’re going to the beach in the South Pasadena/Gulfport area, make sure you stop at Ted Peter’s. I plan to go back and take my mom next time, even if I’m not going to the beach.

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish on Urbanspoon

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish Inc on Foodio54

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About twofoodiesinlove

About the couple: We are thirtysomethings. We’ve known each other since 2001 when we were in college together and we got married in 2009. About the wife: She’s been an accountant since 2004 and loves numbers maybe a little too much. She eats and cooks and bakes and drinks and constantly has to watch her weight because of it. About the husband: He’s a government employee… for 9 years… he likes nice people who don’t talk too much and FOOD!!! He’s a fatty who loves beer, wine and clear spirits. He likes to cook, usually stuff that is too hard for him but usually turns out well. he tries to watch his weight as it goes by at the speed of light but can’t seem to see it… oh and he loves the Wifey. she rocks.
This entry was posted in great value, Pinellas County, restaurant review, seafood. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ted Peter’s (South Pasadena, FL)

  1. Joe Finagan says:

    They are cash only because they have always been cash only. Remember they have been around before the debit/charge machines came along, and before you were born, so you’ll have to live with it.

    Also, the debit machines cost to much today and the convenience isn’t worth providing to the customers at the % rate the bank charges per transaction. When I drive by, I don’t see any lacking of customers because of it. When I go there, I know to have cash. It’s just a memory thing, remember to carry cash, the world is not totally dependant on plastic.

    Limited menu? How? It is their menu from day one. What is missing that you want. Chicken? It’s Ted Peters Smoked Fish, nothing else. The burgers are a bail out for people who end up there who don’t like fish. The burgers aren’t something they really worry about, they are frozen and not what they sell. No one really cares about the burgers because they know what they are for, non-fish people.

    Limited indoor seat. And that is great! It doesn’t hurt to eat outside. The wind is more the problem than anything else. A fly isn’t going to eat that much and if you swat it, consider it a side order courtesy of the house.

    Closed Tuesday. So what day would be better? They all have to have a day to do housework, shop, errands and rest.

    As for closing early at 7:30, so what’s the problem. There are breakfast/lunch places that close at 2 PM. Be grateful they are open until 7:30.

    They don’t serve beer without food because they don’t want to become a bar; they don’t serve more then 4 beers per person because they don’t want drunks being created and they have morals and values that today’s people don’t know, don’t understand and when imposed, immediately whine about their rights have been violated. But, they are not responsible enough to manage their own drinking and not become a drunken slob at a fine restaurant.

    Ted’s IS a fine restaurant. It is unique, serves the best mullet, mackerel and any specialty fish that may come in for a “special.” Amberjack, Tuna, Kingfish and other species as you found the Mahi and the Salmon.

    The Mullet is the specialty and because someone doesn’t like “picking around bones” is no reason, but an excuse not to do the work. If you have lived here, and lived eating what the gulf has to offer, you learn just how to eat every fish and miss the bones. Even how you eat it counts. The belly of the mullet is the best part. But people won’t eat it because, it’s not the side meat.

    It’s like people who won’t eat Blue Crab or Snow Crab because it is “too much work.” I am one who has caught, cooked, cleaned and eaten Blue Crab and there is a technique that you must be taught or, you end up with shell, guts, lungs and fat everywhere and would rather toss it than learn.

    You are right about the food and all that you mentioned being very good. You got that correct. Ted’s is a place of history, tradition, family ownership rejecting corporate infestation and provides food that is worth every dollar you spend for it.

    I was there, well drove up upon the scene, the day that Ted died. The customers were all in tears, in grief, disbelief of what they had seen. They were worried and scared that it would be the end of a tradition, a landmark and a piece of history. But Ted’s survived and continued on to this day. So the short comings you found about Ted’s …. were Ted’s ideas, and should be honored. Because those idea’s are why Ted’s is there today.

    • Joe, thanks so much for being our first commenter! I selected those cons because I think they decrease some convenience for the customer, and in any service business the most important person is the customer. I think Ted’s is a charming place and will absolutely go back but I know a lot of people (my husband included) who would say all the exceptions are not worth it for them. There are some restaurants in NYC that sound absolutely fantastic but they have so many rules (i.e. Pok Pok in Brooklyn) that we just crossed them off our list because it sounds like too much effort. Personal preference.

      Update 9/6: I unapproved two additional comments to this thread because I did not feel they added anything to the conversation and they contained ad hominem attacks. Don’t complain about it–this is our blog and it’s not a democracy.

  2. Jon says:

    Holy moly! I was thinking of going to Ted’s again and maybe doing a review. After reading Joe’s tirade, I’m thinking, “Maybe not.”

    I was reading one of your comments to a Epicurean Perils of Sweet Polly review, and I just had to read about this firestorm you guys created. Do you think Joe channeled dead Ted from the great beyond? Scary stuff, this.

  3. hehe I will say, the other comments I received (that I couldn’t post because they, unfortunately, violated our commenting rules) defended me and my review. I still don’t see what the big fuss was. My review was overall positive and I’d go back!!! I like your blog, btw. I think we have pretty similar tastes.

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