Nothing says summer like propping your bare feet on a nearby rail, drink in hand, to watch the sun set over the water, surrounded by the heady scents of Coppertone, coconut and fried food. If your attitude needs adjusting or you’re just ready for a good time and good food at a good price, set your latitude for the Blue Parrot Grill, just off Highway 150 in Mooresville. If the tranquil lake views, colorful, beachy vibe and upbeat music aren’t enough, a frozen concoction from the tiki bar will turn you into a Parrothead.Come by road or water. The Blue Parrot overlooks the Blue Parrot Gang Northbridge Marina, which offers gas and waste pumps, dockhands and visitor “parking” for up to 18 boats. And bring your canine companions as well: The Blue Parrot is dog friendly. Manager Alida Gjuraj characterizes the menu as “American classic”, featuring plenty of burger iterations, ribs and familiar favorites such as BLT and Philly steak, along with imaginative additions that include the blackened mahi sandwich and grouper sandwich. Sandwich prices range from $6.50 to $10. (Nothing on the menu is over $15.)Entrees include steak, chicken and shrimp, pasta with a choice of chicken or shrimp, a buffalo chicken platter, sizzling salmon, half rack of ribs, surf and turf or coconut shrimp. Prices range from $9.99 to $15.As you’d expect, there are also plenty of seafood dishes to choose from as well, from fish and chips and fish tacos to crab and stuffed blackened mahi. Starters, which range from $5.99 to $8.99, include everything from fried pickles and chili cheese fries to gator bites, which we all sampled in the interest of diligence and found to be very tasty, moist, flavorful and not overly breaded. The bar offers a full selection of beer and wine, but diners find it hard to resist the tropical-themed drinks, including classics Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitans and Screwdrivers, and frozen concoctions such as the Blue Hawaiian, Pina Colada, strawberry Margaritas and Daiquiris and more. Ask about the daily drink specials.The weekend starts early at The Blue Parrot with live music on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. till “the last customer goes home happy.”Good food, great prices, cheerful service and atmosphere right out of a Jimmy Buffet song--a visit to the Blue Parrot is like a mini vacation in the Conch Republic for a fraction of the clams.
Fish Tacos Topped with Pico de Gallo and Slaw ($11.99): The fish tacos totally fit the beachy vibe of this lakeside spot. Besides the lightly battered piece of fish, the best element was the spicy kick of the pico de gallo—it definitely brought some heat! I ordered plantains as my side, which was a welcome alternative to classic chips or fries. –Associate Editor Cristina Wilson.
N.C. Burger ($8.49): This was a Carolina classic, with the meat grilled just so, on a very fresh bun and loaded high with tangy slaw, tomato, lettuce and chili (I opted to omit the onions.) Messy, but worth it. The fries were fresh and perfectly seasoned. --Freelance writer Terry Hoover
Perfect Fish Sandwich with Lettuce, Tomato and Onion ($9.99): This was a perfect way to complement an outing on the water. The mahi was blackened to perfection and served on a yummy grilled bun. As a side, I chose the shoestring onions. They had a nice light batter that didn't overwhelm the flavor of the onions.--Senior Graphic Designer Tracie Stafford
Coconut Shrimp (11.99): Eating these yummy morsels from the sea while looking out at the water from a shady outside deck felt a lot like being at the beach—which is always a good thing. Dipped in rich coconut butter and served with a tangy and delicious barbecue rum sauce, the coconut shrimp definitely hit the spot. – Editor Sam Boykin
Want to go? Blue Parrot Grill169 Pinnacle LaneMooresville, NC(704) 663-1203www.lknblueparrot.com