There’s a lot to like about Fresh on the Fly, although I don’t count the name among them. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to associate a restaurant with flies. Not that I saw any at this little Lake Mary eatery. In fact, the tidy space was one of the things I liked, along with the not-too-over-the-top nautical decor that included tabletops with navigational charts of Florida waterways and paddle fans set askew so that they resembled big propellers.
I also liked my fish tacos, which were prepared with chunks of “blackened” mahi mahi, shredded lettuce and spicy pineapple salsa on warm flour tortillas. The chunks of fish were rather small, and there weren’t a lot of them, but at $6 for two I did not feel cheated. And they were really quite delicious. (Aesthetically they could have been more appealing — the two tacos were served open on a plain white plate with nary a garnish.)
I was less enamored with the spicy Manhattan-style Floridian fish chowder, which I can only guess would be different from a Florida-style Manhattan fish chowder. Either one I would expect to have more fish than the chowder I was served. It had cubes of potatoes and carrots and an occasional chop of celery, but fish was all but imperceptible. (It was indeed spicy, to a sweat-producing degree.)
I also wasn’t impressed with the service. Besides delivering the soup after I had received the tacos, my server stood chatting with a friend at another table while I waited for my
check. When she returned my charge slip for my signature, she placed it on the other side of the table instead of deigning to clear the empty dishes that sat in front of me. (Apparently she was anxious to get back to her conversation.)
I like that chef Chad Wadsworth sources from local purveyors, including Deep creek Ranch for beef products. Sadly, he isn’t able to offer the Apalachicola Florida oyster shooters, and I think you can guess why. This was my first encounter with an unavailable menu item caused by the oil spew (I refuse to call it a leak). Thanks, BP!
Fresh on the Fly is casual but comfortable. There is an open kitchen with a counter where guests can dine on bar stools and watch the food being prepared. The restaurant’s slogan is “great food fast,” which is probably what they mean by on the Fly. I’d go with “good food fast,” as long as you have a server who can do more than just wing it.
Fresh on the Fly is at 1210 S. International Parkway (at Lake Mary Boulevard), Lake Mary. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-878-5808. Here’s a link to their Web site.