Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill is growing. They have bought the space next to them in the strip mall off the corner of Parker and Preston, and they’re increasing their size 50 percent. They’ll be a full-service place, too – no more ordering at the counter, and a full bar is in the plans for the expansion. Growth is, of course, a sign of success in most every capitalistic venture, and this is no exception. Sea Breeze is growing, and even changing a little bit, but there’s one thing that’s going to stay the same: their passion for the product they sell.
“I could talk about fish and seafood all day, but really what it’s all about here is bringing fresh fish in from all the coasts – The East and West as well as the Gulf; we want to meet all the needs for the chef-at-home,” says Sea Breeze co-owner Rick Oruch. “We try to get everything directly flown in fresh – if that’s a possibility – instead of using distributors. A lot of our fish are bought at auction at three in the morning and then flown directly to us.”
Since 2007, Oruch and co-owner Mark Alterman have been bringing fresh seafood to Plano in this manner, and it’s a practice that’s not going unnoticed. Halibut and salmon are mainstays, of course, but grouper and Chilean sea bass are also frequently on Sea Breeze’s rotation, among many others. And it’s not just fish, either – lobster, mussels, clams, oysters – a respectable variety of fresh shellfish can be found there, too. And just as a heads-up: spotted prawns are on the docket for sometime in October.
But it’s not just the offerings for the home cook that are bringing people through the door at Sea Breeze. A full-service kitchen offers a bevy of daily specials as well as a permanent menu. Lobster rolls (lots of lobster, not much filler) are a customer favorite, as is the clam chowder and the fish and chips. There are tuna nachos (pictured), clam pots and etoufees. Oruch even created a smoked salmon club (they do their own smoking) with bacon and Havarti cheese.
“We just try to be creative and come up with things that feature the fish, whether it’s sole, halibut, king snapper or any of the other things we’ve got. In the end, if we’ve developed it in the kitchen and we’ve found something that worked, then we’ll get it on the menu,” Oruch says. “A lot of the recipes are mine, but some of them are from our past and present chefs.”
Of course, being constantly creative can have its consequences, too.
“The downside is that whenever we put something on the menu, we don’t take anything off – so the menu just gets bigger,” Oruch says with a laugh.
It’s a bigger menu for a bigger restauarant, one that will maintain its dedication to quality seafood and delicious dishes regardless of its size, and those are two things that certainly aren’t going to change.
Oh, and the dress code. That’s not going to change either.
“Oh, it will be full service and a full bar,” Oruch says. “But I’m still going to to show up in shorts every day.”