by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
My next tasting experience takes me to back over to the island and to Mulligans of Vero Beach! I’ve personally eaten here a few times and I thought the food was good. I often hear people talking about this place in my foodie circles that you go here for the atmosphere and the drinks, but not the food. This peaked my curiosity to find out why that is. I also just found out that they recently updated the menu, so this was the perfect time to stop by and see what improvements they made and if this will change the minds of the naysayers to come back and try them again.
With one of the best locations on the island and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Mulligans has one of the ultra-premium spots in Vero Beach. When crossing the Merrill P Barber bridge to the island, just keep driving till you run out of road. Cross over Ocean Drive and see if you can find a place to park in the Plaza. This is a very busy spot for tourists and other patrons to Ocean Grill, so parking at peak times can be difficult. Overflow parking can be found on the street with just a short walk up to the restaurant. As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by the hostess stand and a small gift shop. A large bar with many stools is to your right as is the main inside dining room. There is additional covered seating outside along with a few “Tiki Hut” style tables with direct ocean views. They also have quite a few Adirondack chairs to sit, have a drink, and a bite to eat if you so choose.
Now let’s jump right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat and drink!
Virgin Raspberry Daiquiri – ($5.99) – Now that looks refreshing! They offer several assorted flavors to choose from including Mango, Strawberry, Pina Colada, and Banana. It’s a frozen drink yet had a smooth & creamy texture. The flavor was quite bold and reminded me of what raspberry jello tastes like.
Firecracker Shrimp – ($11.99) – With a name like Firecracker Shrimp, you would expect this to be spicy, right? It’s made with lightly breaded shrimp coated in flavorful, yet not too spicy sauce served over a bed of lettuce dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and had a satisfying crunch. The sauce was the real star of the dish and had a bold flavor that made you want to keep eating more. Tasting the shrimp with the lettuce and the balsamic dressing changed the entire flavor profile and paired nicely together.
Monster Fish and Chips – ($17.99) – WOW was our first reaction when they sat this dish down in front of us! Basa was the white fish fillet used to make this and it was breaded with their special in-house made coating. French fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce were served alongside. The fish fillet was cooked perfectly, still very moist and tender, and the crunchy coating had a nice richness to it. The fries were double fried and were crunchy on the outside, and soft like mashed potatoes inside.
Lobster Roll – ($21.99) – Originally being from the Midwest, we did not have very good seafood restaurants available to us, so this is the first Lobster Roll I’ve ever had. Chopped lobster is tossed in a special sauce and stuffed into a lightly toasted sub bun. House-made chips and clarified butter were served alongside. The lobster was tender and delicious, and it was not overdressed so you could still taste the lobster. The addition of the clarified butter gave it some additional richness and a saltier flavor.
Texas Burger – ($13.49) – I think you can judge a place by how good their burgers are, and this one was on point. Simply made with an all-beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, and topped off with an onion ring. The burger was cooked to a perfect medium, the bun was lightly toasted, and it had just the right amount of BBQ sauce on it, as not to overwhelm and become the predominant flavor.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – ($6.99) – While not made in-house, they are made by a bakery in New York City and shipped in several times a week. Chocolate cake is layered with a peanut butter filling, and it’s topped off with chocolate and peanut butter chips and what appeared to be brownie chunks. Chocolate and caramel sauces complete the plate decoration. If you’re a peanut butter and chocolate fan like me, then I know you will love this dessert!
Unfortunately, in the food business, once a place gets a bad rap about the food, word tends to spread faster than a fresh jar of Skippy in the very “social” world we live in. On all my previous visits to this restaurant, I’ve never had an unpleasant experience. The food and service have always been good. Is this fine dining or a place a “foodie” would go for an over the top experience, probably not, but it is the place you want to take your family or out of town guests and give them the full “Vero Beach” experience. With the newly updated menu, the spectacular ocean views, I think you need to revisit this place and give it another chance, I know you won’t be disappointed.
Have you tried Mulligans in Vero Beach? What has your experience been with them? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.
Hours of Operation: Sunday – Thursday, 6:30 am – 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday, 6:30 am – 12:00 am (midnight)
Address: 1025 Beachland Blvd, Vero Beach, FL 32963