-2 Snaps! Not Recommended
There were problems before we even got to the table. $5 to park ($7 with tip) and the only option unless you park blocks away. When we got inside I was told they couldn't accommodate the reservation I made online through their website (thru Open Table) by a window even though there were clearly tables available by a window, and that I should have called to make the reservation directly with the restaurant. Bad start! They only mildly recovered.
Boca purports to be a farm to table leaning place. I ordered the Florida Pink Shrimp and Grits ($22.95). I love the dish at other places and wanted to compare Boca's. It was excellent! The tender shrimp were cooked to perfection, the tomatoes and scallions added a nice balance, and the Gouda Grits were rich and creamy. The flavor combination was spot on. My table mate ordered the special Basil Pesto Shrimp with rice ($19.00). The shrimp were again nicely cooked but the rice was over the top with cilantro and way too dry. The accompanying sauteed spinach was good, but nothing special.
We topped it off with the Elvis ($9.00). Creme Brulee bananas, fresh cut strawberries (wrongly described by our server as being from Plant City), candied pecans, smoked bacon, and honey drizzle, on a bed of peanuts and peanut butter. I get where they tried to go with it, but it fell flat. With a little more attention it would have been great. The brulee bananas needed browning/caramelizing for real brulee, and the honey drizzle added too much to an already very sweet dish. The bacon had a nice savory salty dimension. Chopping the basil garnish so that it could be tasted with each bite would also make better sense.
The atmosphere is loud and energetic, the food is hit and miss, and there's a problem with parking and the online reservation service. I'm on the fence on whether I'd go back.
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