The first column of January usually begins with, “It’s a new year and I am starting off on the right foot, blah blah blah.” This year is a bit different. We’re a few days into this and I am still eating like a moron.
Hopping John sounds like it could be a healthy dish, but if you put three different types of pork in it, it ceases to be so. Same goes for the greens, and I have plenty of leftovers to keep me full.
Christmas candy, those spicy pretzels I warned you about, cakes and cookies from students as well as the fantastic boutique beef jerky I received in my stocking along with a box of cheese and smoked meats have hardly allowed me to get the diet down to “resolution speed.” On top of this fridge full of stuff, I still was given the task of reviewing a restaurant. Poor, poor pitiful me.
Opportunity knocked a few days ago when my son Lucas Skywalker MacDonald and I figured we had waited long enough for the crowd to thin at “The Force Awakens” picture show. We’ve been excited about the new “Star Wars” but refused to miserably fight the rush. Now we could enjoy it on our own time.
My young Padawan and I were on our way when I offered, “Hey, let’s grab a late lunch first.” These are my favorite reviews, because a 10-year-old doesn’t pull punches when offering his opinion. We soon found ourselves walking through the door of The Seafood House.
This place is at the corner of Cottage Hill and Azalea roads in what used to be a Bunny Bread outlet. Walking in, you notice first that it is really a seafood market, but a few tables clue you in that there’s more to it than that.
Sure, you can order your fill of fresh Gulf seafood choices such as redfish, snapper, mullet and shrimp or go beyond with lobster tails and king crab legs. The bonus is the menu that will surely get you to dine in for dinner.
It’s the usual choices of fish, shrimp, oysters and crab claws that draw you in like a tractor beam, but the crab cakes, fried pickles and egg rolls are an eclectic addition to what you would normally find at a seafood joint. They even have fried chicken wings and turkey necks with rice!
Lucas was all over the place. I had trouble getting him to focus. We had a half-hour before the film started and I didn’t want to miss a thing so I ordered us some appetizers, beginning with crab cakes ($4.99 for two). These sizable cakes were a little darker than golden brown with a bit of a sweet sauce (maybe yum yum?) drizzled over the top. Not what momma used to make, these were a little different; but they were really good, amazingly good for the price.
Homemade egg rolls ($4.99 for four) were a must considering the environment. I’d never had egg rolls and fried seafood before so there was no chance I would miss out on this opportunity. These were not the fat wrapped, cabbage-stuffed egg rolls one finds in Chinese restaurants. These were more like Vietnamese egg rolls, fried, with lots of meat in the middle. I thought they were very good.
My fledgling Jedi settled on shrimp and crab claws ($12.99). This was a monster load of large shrimp and medium crab claws fried crispy, but not overdone, in a flour-based batter. He started with the claws, barely allowing me to get a taste of his bounty. Impressive. Most impressive. “Dad, we need to come here more often.” I was beginning to think the same.
Along with steamed corn and French fries, the meal was a steal.
My dinner was very similar, as I opted for the shrimp and oysters ($12.99). The same shrimp as Lucas’ were indeed delightful and bursting with flavor. The oysters were no less enjoyable. For my two included sides I chose the fried okra, which Lucas never touches; they were as normal and good as any. I also had hushpuppies. The smaller, two-bite size were made with yellow cornmeal and had touches of green and white onion in the batter.
Just then a man sat next to us with a platter of cooked crawfish. I noticed the other menu board and saw that The Seafood House sells crawfish by the pound! That is something I’m certain will entice me to return. I almost asked our neighbor if he’d spare us a mudbug for the sake of reviewing, but thought it too invasive.
At that point we were nowhere near finished, but full all the same. I realized that every single item we ordered, save the steamed corn, was deep fried. No wonder we couldn’t finish anything. The rest would come with us and stay in the car during the movie. Luckily it was cold outside.
The Seafood House is a double threat as a restaurant and a seafood market. It looks as though they’re good at both. It’s a little smaller and a bit out of my way, but I’ll be returning soon. Also, it’s open on Monday, so keep that in mind. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
We made the movie on time and got to see our favorite franchise return to its glory days. A belly full of fried seafood and an afternoon spent hiding from daylight in a less-than-crowded movie theater may sound like we didn’t start our new year on the right foot. With the company I was keeping, I beg to differ.
The Seafood House
751 Azalea Road
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