Gator Bites And Bay Scallops For Lunch

At Goodrich’s Restaurant the other day my son ordered the gator bites appetizer. He said we should order more gator because there are far too many of them around.  Who likes alligators?  They are creepy.  For some reason I don’t like the idea of eating one.  But my son highly recommends them as appetizers.

bay scallops dinner
Bay scallops and lots of fried stuff

I stuck with my bay scallops, which were yummy.  Also on the menu are frog’s legs.  I don’t see myself eating those either.

Goodrich’s menu is very “southern” with items such as grits, black-eyed peas and po’ boys on the menu.  Surprisingly they do offer New England Clam Chowder!  Lots of seafood like oysters, clam strips, shrimp, crab, scallops and fish (the catch of the day).  They also serve burgers and chicken.

For a place located in the middle of nowhere – Oak Hill is not exactly a hoppin’ place – Goodrich’s is always busy.  We chose to go in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday because of that.

fried gator bites
Gator Bites

We’d heard that Goodrich’s had sustained damage to their deck and docks from Hurricane Irma back in September 2017. This was our first visit since then.

I was trying to remember exactly how it had looked on our last visit, and finally I asked the waitress what was new, and she said the entire deck had to be rebuilt.   In fact, if you look at the video on their website you can see all the things that are missing now.  Gone are the thatched umbrellas, and the new roof now covers the entire deck, which allows for more covered seating areas.  No more picnic tables either.  The furniture is heavy-duty plastic.

She also said that the only reason it was already replaced is that some of the employees had done it. It seems the wait for hurricane repairs is still long.

new deck and overhang at Goodrich's
View south from the new deck at Goodrich’s Restaurant

Looking south in my photo above you can just see another long dock which has not been fixed.  And beyond that is the Seminole Rest historic site.

There is a place to tie off the boat if you choose that way to come eat, but the old dock is gone with only the pilings left. Maybe they will rebuild that too, but building a dock can’t be easy.

posts where the dock was
The old dock is gone thanks to the hurricanes and storms of 2017.

Although these water-view restaurants are fantastic places to eat – what better view? It must be tough when a storm, or God forbid a hurricane, comes through. Another old favorite place to eat on the water was the Sea Harvest in New Smyrna. That building is still sitting empty, but it did look like someone was re-building that one the last time we passed it in our boat.

Surprised By a Little Seafood Restaurant in Oak Hill

deck view of intracaostal
Looking north

Someone told us about Goodrich’s Seafood Restaurant while we were visiting the Oak Hill area a week or so ago, so we stopped in for lunch.

It’s a little, out-of-the way place that sits right on the Indian River / Mosquito Lagoon.  They have indoor or outdoor seating, and we chose to sit outside on a picnic table.  Even though the weather was very hot, the sea breeze kept it comfortable enough.

Unfortunately I was having stomach issues that day, so I had only the crab patty appetizer. I would have liked to order a real meal.  My two sons were with me and they each had fish and chips.  Everything was very good.

My younger son, who has grown up mostly in the northeast asked, “What are hushpuppies?” Poor thing, he’s led a sheltered life.  The condiments and extra napkins were kept inside a fishing tackle box on the table, which added to the seaside atmosphere.

This place is really not so little… there are tables with thatched umbrellas, picnic tables,  and other tables under the extended porch roof, as well as a bunch of indoor seating.  The ladies room was super clean!  I look forward to going back when I can really enjoy a nice meal.

deck dock seaside restaurant
Looking South

It appears that one could bring the boat right up and dock it to go inside and eat, but no one did that the day we were there.

outdoor dining by the Indian river
Indian River view from the deck of Goodrich’s restaurant

The historic site called “Seminole Rest” is just a bit farther south. In fact, if you look closely you can see the orange roofs of the two houses on the property among that background clump of trees in the picture above.

We did make a trip back and I got some food photos.  Check out Goodrich’s online.


IMG_0769You may be interested in reading this article written by travel writer Bob Rountree who got a photo of a rare white pelican from his visit to this area. He also goes into more detail about this restaurant and surrounding area.

Our Visit to Seminole Rest in Oak Hill

house structure seminole rest historic site
Homestead at Seminole Rest – “Instone House”

We happened to be in the Oak Hill area a week or so ago and first ate lunch at Goodrich’s, then visited Seminole Rest. The location of ancient Indian shell mounds is a protected area which is now part of the National Park Service.

Florida has shell mounds in many places which were left by the Indians who inhabited the state and lived off shell fish, along with fish other types of food. Because of the high use of shellfish, big mounds of discarded shells have become protected areas. In Seminole Rest, two houses sit atop the mound site, which is actually two separate mounds.

The photos on this page are mine, and are not free to use.

Seminole Rest
The “Caretaker’s House” at Seminole Rest

This is not a large area.  It’s a quick walk along cement pathways that wind past twisted, gnarly trees.  It’s a quick walk along the shoreline and out to the new-looking dock on the property. The day we visited was very hot, so it was a quick visit. We didn’t even read the signs set up along the path or go into the house, which I believe serves as the Visitor Center. Someone was sitting on the porch, and the lights were on. The extreme heat made us just want to run back to the car’s AC.

In this photo you can see Goodrich’s restaurant where we ate a delicious seafood lunch sitting on the deck by the river. (It’s that flat building in my photo.)  Although it was HOT, the sea breeze made sitting outside for lunch bearable.

Oak hill Goodrich's
View to the north – Goodrich’s Restaurant

The house names and other information I am sharing here came from looking up the info online.  I’d like to go back when the weather is nicer and go into the house.

Obviously the two houses have been updated with bright yellow paint and red roofs.  It certainly is unusual to see a house built on a hill along the Florida coast.  Click on the link below to see pictures of these structures in more rundown condition.

Read more about Seminole Rest at the National Park Service website pdf, and get more info such as directions, hours and history.


Instone house sits on the Indian River
View of Instone House From the Dock
%d bloggers like this: