Among encased-meat products, handmade sausage is the most delightful, followed closely by a saddlebag filled with jerky and a can of Spam crammed inside a larger can of Spam. Have a meaty meal with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of quality meats and seafood at Harrs Surf and Turf in Palm Harbor.
The protein professionals at Harrs Surf and Turf help customers to pick out dry-aged beef, all-natural poultry, and fresh seafood from their well-stocked market. A four-pack of bacon-wrapped 8-ounce filet mignons compound protein intake ($24.99), and boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($2.89/lb.) and seven different flavors of stuffed chicken breasts ($3.49 each) fight for the right to sit shotgun on the ride home. Seafood arrives fresh daily after completing an 800-meter freestyle, and friendly butchers cut and wrap each maritime morsel. Shoppers on the hunt for a specific cut may also request that the butchers whittle any meat to a desired shape or all meats into a grill-able Rubik’s cube.
Harr's Surf & Turf Market
To call Harr's Surf & Turf Market a family business is a bit of an understatement. Stephen Innocenzi, the manager and head chef, has been joined by his mother, two aunts, a grandmother, a sister, a brother, and his two grandkids—38 employees in all. The meat industry comes naturally to the clan; Stephen’s stepfather, Ervin Harr, first picked up a filleting knife in 1961, and the pristine white aprons and cases full of crystalline ice eventually called to Stephen as well.
"Back in ’87,” he says, “I was working at a restaurant and studying to be an architect. I found passion for food, so I came to the family business."
In the shop, deep glass display cases teem with more than 20 varieties of fish each day, including Florida black grouper and wild-caught salmon. Staff members carefully wrap shellfish, shrimp, and crab legs, and can fly in live Maine lobster with one day's notice. Stephen walks among the aisles, going out of his way to dispense pairing advice and cooking suggestions.
"We have a customer that comes in, she'll have us write the cookbook's name and page number on the wrapper so she can remember what goes where. I think someone somewhere else would look at the woman, and say 'Huh?' But those of us that have been here, we're fine doing it. We don't mind."
While planning dinners, patrons draw from a stock that includes dry-aged prime beef, pork, lamb, hormone-free poultry, and Boar's Head deli products, all custom-cut in house. Bottles and jars stand on the shelves in sleek ranks, the colorful labels of 350 beers and wines displaying countries of origin that include Spain, Germany, and France. Stephen also takes particular interest in crafting complete meals for patrons to take home.
"We have 22 different types of kebabs made every day. We also have giant, stuffed twice-baked potatoes, we sell about 4,000 of those a week," he says, adding that much of what he prepares is dependent on trends. "My wife and I like to go to eat once or twice a week, and after, we'll brainstorm with the family, see what's popular."