The stated goal of Slapfish, a seafood franchise with a location in Waterford Lakes, is an admirable one: to get people to eat more seafood. I suppose if you owned a pizza franchise you’d likely set a goal to get people to eat more pizza.
Shortly after stating Slapfish’s goal in a statement on the website, the founder, whose name cannot be easily read in his signature (it’s Andrew Gruel), also says that people are disinclined to eat more fish because of “sensationalism in the media about contaminated seafood” with “mercury and this and that.” So, marketing apparently isn’t one of Andy’s fortes.
Further evidence: A logo that looks like a bloodied hand that has just done some serious spanking.
I did not feel as though I was in imminent danger of bodily harm when I visited the east Orlando location recently. I found the interior to be bright, tidy and nicely appointed, with a large mural of fishing boats lined up in a harbor somewhere. That the boats were not out fishing is probably meant to emphasize the downturn in seafood eating.
Slapfish is a quick-serve operation. Order and pay and the counter then take a number on a table stand to the seat of your choice; someone will bring your order when it is ready.
I ordered a cup of New England Clam Chowder, which had hunks of red potatoes, bacon and clams — in descending order of predominance — in a thick and velvety broth. It bordered on being a bit too floury, and could have been better with more clam parts, but overall it was a nice starter.
And my Reel Fish Sandwich looked impressive, too — a piece of grilled tilapia draped over lettuce and tomato, topped with red cabbage, served on a toasted bun. Then I discovered that the fish didn’t quite cover the whole sandwich. Still, I liked the light seasoning on the fish and thought the whole sandwich was a good meal, especially with the seasoned fries that accompanied. I did not feel as though I had eaten any mercury. Or this or that, for that matter.
I liked, too, that the staff was accommodating even after the order had been delivered, asking if they could fetch any condiments or utensils.
The menu on the Slapfish website does not include prices, which is a bit annoying and usually indicates that the prices are high. But my chowder was $4 and the sandwich $10 — nothing to be ashamed of there.
I’m all for Gruel’s campaign to get more people to eat seafood. Pleasant atmosphere and staff, decent food and good prices. If that scares you, you might as well eat more pizza.
Slapfish is at 783 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-866-1804.