Bonefish Grill – Worth the Hype?

Last updated on August 11, 2013 by Liza Hawkins

For years now I’ve heard that Bonefish Grill is amazing. That even though it’s a chain, it’s not like those other chain restaurants. It’s different.


And for one reason or another, I’ve just never made it. I’m a big fan of supporting locally owned and operated restaurants, especially the ones in downtown Frederick, and when I get the opportunity to eat out (not as often as I’d like), I’d much rather nosh at one of those rather than a chain shop.


And then there’s the Bang Bang Shrimp.


“You have to try the Bang Bang Shrimp.”


“I’m craving the Bang Bang Shrimp!”


“There’s nothing better than the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill!”




Okay, so fine. You hear enough people yammer on about how good something is and you have to finally try it. Kinda like how I finally ended up reading 50 Shades of Grey, only without the smut and poor writing. Several of my blogger buds have also written about a similar Grey experience recently here and here. I digress….


So, the other day I gave in to the Bonefish obsession. I had to see what all the hype is about, even though it wasn’t a Wednesday, which is apparently THE day to go if you’re into Bang Bang Shrimp (and clearly, everyone’s into it, right?).


The restaurant was loud and crowded, especially by the bar – like awkwardly pushing people out of the way crowded. And the rotating front doors? Not clever. I get the impression that they were installed by an engineering genius who thought big, heavy, rotating doors were a great idea for a restaurant’s entrance.
Let me pause for a minute.


Because I feel as though I sound like I may have been a little jaded going into my first Bonefish experience. I was. I’m always skeptical of the big chain restaurants, mostly because I find their menus and food to be mediocre.


But I wanted to proved wrong in the case of Bonefish Grill. I wanted them to be different, a chain restaurant that had food tasty enough to mirror their pricier-than-average entrees.


I started with one of these, despite being a “glass of Pinot Grigio” kind of girl:




Yes, that’s a glow stick. And yes, it’s a blue/green concoction of who knows what. BUT, it was pineapple-y and a little frothy, and really really…good. Maybe even a little great.


Nice play, Bonefish. Nice play.


And then? I had to try the Bang Bang Shrimp. Since there wasn’t a Bang Bang entree, I had to settle for the next closest thing:



Bang Bang Tacos: a little crispy, a little spicy, a little…okay a lot yummy. And for about $9, not a lot pricey compared to some of the other menu items.


Would I go back? Sure.


Would I order an entree? Nope.


Next time it will be another Hypnotiq – it really was good – and a selection of appetizers, which (in my opinion) seem to rock.


How about you? Are you hooked on Bonefish? Is it worth the hype?


PS: My friend says they make the best dirty martinis there – get one made with gin and have them use blue cheese-stuffed olives.


Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

2 Comments on “Bonefish Grill – Worth the Hype?

  1. We have no Bonefish Grills near me, but I seek them out when I travel. I always order the saucy shrimp appetizer an have not yet tried the bang bang shrimp. I agree, their cocktails are wonderful.

  2. Hey Donna – missed this comment earlier! I’ll have to try the saucy shrimp appetizer. Sure it’s not the Bang Bang Shrimp app?

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