Sorry this is delayed!! This is last weeks tipful Tuesday! 🙂
I LOVE seafood. I love shrimp, I love flounder, I love crabs, I love it all! I’m also very picky about where I suggest people to try. As a local “Virginia beachian” and someone who grew up on the island Hatteras, NC during the summers I consider myself pretty knowledgable on my beach critters and what they should taste like. Hm, at least around here. My first seafood critique of a restaurant is if they have Old Bay Seasoning. If they do not, then they automatically are crossed off my list of favorites… even if they’re food is outstanding. No seafood restaurant should exist without Old Bay. (If you are reading from out of town/grew up out of town and care to dispute this fact – you don’t count. I’m well aware that outside of the south east that most folks do not know what Old Bay is. This is why I have since learned I should travel with it. haha). Red Lobster does not have Old Bay.
RED LOBSTER off the list. My next critique is whether or not it’s a chain. If it’s a chain restaurant it also gets scratched off my list of favorites. RED LOBSTER, CAPTAIN GEORGES, CAPTAIN Ds, etx, (ok -so there’s a small exception here – in North Carolina a restaurant called “The Mayflower” BUT I can dispute this all day as it is a very small chain and only exists in the small confinements of North Carolina… It’s deliciously yummy AND they have Old Bay.) My third critique is if they have fried flounder. No, I don’t always order fried flounder, in fact, most of the time I don’t — but it’s a menu must have. If they don’t have fried flounder – Scratch. Finally, she crab soup. Every good seafood restaurant should have she crab soup made from real crab meat (not authentic and not just claw meat). I’m ok with it being only a soup of the day and only having it available sometimes… but it must be a menu option at some point. And obviously the restaurant must be clean, yummy, and have great service! 😉 So, without further adieu my favorite seafood restaurants in no particular order that I think you’re CRAZY if you don’t try. All restaurants are located in hampton roads or within decent date night driving distances. 🙂
1. Surf Rider – if you like fried flounder or crab cakes this is the place to go. Best crab cake I’ve ever had! Hardly any filler or breading… just a yummy pile of crab. The flounder hangs off the plate and is absolutely delicious. They’re are about 5 Surfriders in the hampton roads area now – Our favorites are the one in Hampton and the one off Shore Drive. While one has been recently opened in greenbrier, it tends to not hold up to the other Surf Rider restaurants. 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Surf-Rider-Restaurant-Group/157292807636962
2. Waterman’s Surfside Grille – Waterman’s is located at the ocean front with waterfront dining. It’s outstandingly delicous whether you’re looking for fried flounder, jumbo shrimp, or yellowfin tuna. My only suggestion if you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere is to try to catch watermans in the early evening. As the night grows later, this restaurant tends to turn into a DJ, drinks, and fun kind of zone. 🙂http://www.watermans.com/
3. Margie and Ray’s Crabhouse – This place has everything from steamed crabs to fried oysters. We’ve only been a couple times but it was a great experience each time. This is a small family owned t-shirt and flip flop type restaraunt. We chowed downed and wiped our hands off on paper towels. LOVED the atmosphere here. This place get super crowed so the earlier the better for here. http://www.margieandrays.com/
4. Lobscouser – This is a great family owned restaurant located in dowtown portsmouth. Their shrimp is to die for and their lunch prices are unbeatable. In particualr, I LOVE their salad dressings and if I took a stab at it, I would say they made the dressings themselves. The staff is AMAZING and the food is always great. The crabcakes here are not my favorite but I’ve heard many say they love them. I tend to stick with shrimp and flounder and genuinely love them. http://www.lobscouser.com/
5. Jones – If you like popcorn shrimp this is the place to go. While they are known for their bbq this restaurant has quite the tasty fish and shrimp. It is located in the churchland area of portsmouth and we have been going for YEARS. Absolutely fantastic. http://jonesbarbecue.com/
So there you have my top five picks. We also love the Coinjock Marina, The Mayflower Seafood Restaurant, and The Lynnhaven Fishhouse – so try those also!!
What are some of your favorite seafood restaurants???
Until we meet again,