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Joe Patti’s Seafood Market…

Posted by on April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016. Pensacola, Florida. 

AN UNLIKELY POST?  My story continues with a visit to Joe Patti’s Seafood Market. What’s to post about a seafood market, right? Wrong! Joe Patti’s has become a Pensacola destination for those whopatti seek quality seafood and friendly service. People visit from all around the country because the market has a long history of offering the very best fresh seafood. And for a wanna be professional chef like me, my visit was like being a kid in a candy store. While we’re in Pensacola I’m going to take advantage of Patti’s to practice and improve my seafood preparation skills. I’m pretty good at cooking almost everything, although I must admit that so far I’m not a real pro at cooking seafood. Maybe by the time we’re on the road again in a few months this will have changed. Hope so!


The Seafood Market is the size of a warehouse!


“Back in the Day,” most of the seafood caught locally came to market on this boat.

A LITTLE HISTORY.  Oh, come on…it’s not that bad! In the 1930’s, Joe and his wife began selling seafood from the front porch of their house in Pensacola. Captain Joe soon developed a reputation for being hard to please…he refused more product than he accepted. He later instilled this high standard for quality seafood in his six children. Each of his sons became captain of his own shrimp boat and his daughters were also very involved in the business. During the 1960’s and continuing for more than 30 years, Joe supplied seafood to all the restaurants along the Gulf Coasts of Florida and Alabama. His refrigerated trucks ran seven days a week and it was during this time that his brand recognition was really established.  Later, Joe decided to focus his efforts on his retail store operation and let others take care of supplying the coastal restaurants. Today, that retail store employs a crew of more than 100 and the store is open all but four days of the year. Pensacola locals are completely spoiled by the abundance and quality of fresh seafood located right in their back yard!


The fresh seafood counter seems like it’s a hundred yards long!


Fresh salmon fillets.


“Crab Fingers”


Lobster, of course.


Locally Caught Gulf of Mexico “Head-On” Shrimp. 


Whole Steamed Crabs.


These are crab traps. The holes in the sides are required by Fish and Game, so the undersized crabs can escape from the cages before they’re hauled to the surface. 

HUGE SELECTION OF SEAFOOD. The Market offers a huge selection of fresh and flash frozen seafood, including many varieties and sizes of shrimp, lobster, caviar and salmon, whole fish and fillets, crab meat claws and legs and clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. We’ve been to the Market twice, having been introduced to the place by our local friend Jon and the next time going by ourselves to do some shopping. On each of our visits, the place was so busy we had to almost muscle up to the counter to be served. This is really quite an operation. For my San Diego friends back home, Patti’s is like Point Loma Seafoods, but much, much larger. I don’t think, however, that the quality of the product here is any better than back at home. In fact, the San Diego display of seafood is better than at Patti’s.


Louisiana Cooked Crawfish. When we were in Louisiana visiting historic plantations last year, we ate a bunch of these. They were really good…kind of like “little lobsters.” Who’d have ever guessed that I’d be eating a Po’ Boy Crawfish Sandwich? It’s all part of our Adventure: Places, people, food…



I don’t know what kinds of fish these are, but frankly I wasn’t interested in buying one! I was taught years ago that if fish smell “fishy” or have “dull eyes,” stay away! This Market has no “fishy smell” and I think all the seafood is very fresh, but if I were in the market for a whole fish, I’d be leery of the eyes on these guys! I’m no expert, but just sayin’…



And these are frog legs. I’m not going to be taking any of these home, either.



If you don’t feel like shelling crabs, you can let Joe Patti’s do it for you and just purchase one of these tubs of crab meat.

I guess I’m not too adventurous because despite the huge selection of seafood at the Market, all I bought was some Salmon. No Frog Legs. No Head-On Shrimp. I wasn’t even tempted.


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