Fish City Grill

fishcitygrillIf the Fish City Grill is a sinking ship, then our server last night was the captain.  And unfortunately, the food did little to preserve the life of this vessel.

We arrived last night, a Wednesday evening, and were excited and optimistic to try Tyler’s newest seafood restaurant.  And hungry.  We were very hungry.  We arrived about 10 til 7 and waited just a few minutes for a table.  This was promising…  I thought the food must be great in order for a small seafood restaurant in Tyler to be packed on a Wednesday.  The hostess sat us at a nice corner booth, and we started browsing the menu.  We waited nearly 20 minutes for our server to take our drink orders or even greet us.  I was pleased with his draft UFO suggestion, but that’s about the only compliment I can muster up.

We ordered the oyster nachos to start with since we were both so hungry.  They arrived promptly and were just OK in my opinion.  Not bad, I just doubt I’d order them again.  After much deliberation between the crab cakes and the shrimp dinner I made up my mind that I would try the shrimp dinner with grilled shrimp.  My sister decided on the Mediterranean shrimp pasta.  One problem…  It was now 7:35 and our server had not been back since he dropped off our appetizer.  He hadn’t even asked us what entrees we had selected yet.  We thought about just getting the check and leaving, but at this point we had invested so much time in trying to eat at Fish City, we felt like we should stick around for a full meal.  When our server finally came back around, we said we would like to order dinner, but were worried it might take awhile.  He responded by saying, ‘oh, I didn’t know you were in such a hurry’…  Umm we were not in a hurry, but we had no idea we were in store for a lengthy dining ‘experience’ a la Melting Pot.  Whatever, at least he took our order.

When our food did arrive, it was mediocre at best.  My grilled shrimp was good, but no better than any other grilled shrimp I’ve tasted.  My sister’s pasta was a pretty big disappointment as well.  The menu describes the dish as sautéed veggies and feta cheese tossed with bowtie pasta…  This description is quite misleading seeing as the ‘sautéed veggies’ include nothing but an overwhelming amount of sliced black olives and tomatoes.  I decided to drown my disappointment with a second UFO, but instead of bringing me that – the beer that he had originally recommended – our server brings me a mug of dark brown porter ale of some sort.  When I asked what it was, he realized his mistake but instead of taking it back, he told me just to try it first to see if I liked it before he had to walk it all the way back to the bar.  Mind you, our booth was less than five feet from said bar.  It was clear that it was time to get our check and get the heck out of town…  errr, Fish City I mean.

We placed our credit card on the table to signal we were ready for the check.  Our server took the card, and came back once he’d scanned it.  To end the night on a good note, he attempted to strike up a conversation by inquiring about the pronunciation of my sister’s last name.  Even after she told him what it was, he mispronounced it again and since his mispronunciation involved a reference to pigs, he actually oinked and snorted several times before bidding us adieu.  Of course, after he left we realized he did not leave the itemized receipt, only the credit card slips, and we were left wondering what we were actually paying for.  Not wanting to subject ourselves to another oinkfest, we just let it go and left.

Fish City Grill certainly made an impression I am not likely to forget.  And definitely not in a good way.  I’d be curious to hear about others’ experiences at Fish City.  If any readers have eaten there please tell us your thoughts.  I’d hate to write Fish City off completely but am compelled to after the experience I had last night.  Hopefully they can turn things around and steer this ship back to safety.

Fish City Grill
4740 South Broadway Avenue
Tyler, TX 75703-1308
(903) 266-9218

14 Comments

  1. Sorry your experience was so bad! Servers make a huge difference, obviously. I’ve only been there once, and our server was a really sweet guy, but he messed up our order in several ways and wasn’t that quick. (If I’d had your experience, I’d have spoken to the mgr.) I do, however, recommend the bread pudding with whiskey sauce! YUM! I’d go just for that.

    I don’t know why it’s so hard for restaurant owners to have a well-trained staff. Is it their training or the people, themselves, I wonder?

  2. Stephanie, that bread pudding sounds delish! If I ever go back I’ll definitely try it. You are so right about the ability of a server to make or break a dining experience. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. this is the second day review of this place i have heard so far. i’m not a fan of seafood, but i will probably never eat there now.

  4. My name is Bobby Asad and I am the owner of Fish City Grill. I want to apologize for the bad experience you had at Fish City Grill. Thank you for your feedback. This allows us to correct any problems. I would like to invite you back to Fish City Grill as my guest to try and change your impression of us. If you have any questions or comments my email is basad@fishcitygrill.com or tyler@fishcitygrill.com.

  5. I love this place. I have been several times and it has been a wonderful experience. I love the pot roast and the bbq chicken. The oyster nachos are out of this world. They are MY FAVORITE!!!

  6. Friday afternoon lunch at Fish City Grill

    Like everyone else, I enjoy eating lunch out on a Friday afternoon. Also like everyone else, I know that it will be busy, and you will have to more than likely wait. I was pleasantly surprised when my wife and I ate lunch at Fish City Grill for lunch. It was very busy, but the Hostess was able to seat us in a booth immediately. Our server greeted us almost immediately. She was friendly, and extremely knowledgeable about the day’s specials, (she even convinced us to try the 1 pound of crawfish special).

    She delivered our drinks promptly and notified us that our crawfish, (which we decided to order as an appetizer would be out shortly). After about eight minutes, she brought our crawfish to our table, with everything you would need to enjoy them. This server wasn’t missing a beat. She brought out two small plates, two large plates for our shells, silverware, wet naps, plenty of napkins, and did it all with a smile. We placed our order for our entrees, and dived into our appetizer.

    As we were two thirds of the way thru our appetizer, our server brought our lunch. I had the Crab Cake sandwich, and my wife tried the Fish City sandwich. They were both exactly made to order, and looked great accompanied with a side of Hush Puppies. We enjoyed the rest of our meal and the busy Friday environment. The wait staff was attentive, and very friendly.

    If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Fish City Grill, I highly recommend it. If you have had the opportunity to enjoy Fish City Grill, I hope you will return as I am sure to do the same.

  7. I have been to FCG a few times and have always had a great experiences. The chalkboard specials are always really good and have great portions. I like their selection of beer that strays away from the usual stuff you can get anywhere here in town. I recommend the Brooklyn Brown. Service is always good. I usually sit at the bar. I like the laid back attitude and the rocking oldies music. You should give them another chance to show you how good they are. The oyster nachos are good but the shrimp cocktail is much better.

  8. I am quite shocked at Tylerites comments and the experience they had at Fish City Grill!!! Being seafood lovers, my husband and I have been going to FCG a few times every week since they opened. We have NEVER had a bad experience. Most new places take a while to get things really going, these guys have been top notch since the very beginning. Besides the delicious fresh fish specials, the waitstaff is one of our favorite things about this place. They are always so friendly and very knowledgeable! The atmosphere is casual and welcoming and the staff and management are very attentive to our needs. My husband tried a fish that he had never had and found he didn’t care for that type, the manager personally visited our table and with NO hesitation at all quickly offered him something else. We appreciate the “we’ll make it right attitude”, that is quite hard to find now days. I encourage anyone that loves great fresh seafood to give this place a visit and please by all means try their famous oyster nachos, I’ve never even like oysters but love these nachos! We’ve been waiting for a great seafood place to come to town. Fish City Grill is definitely a one of a kind restaurant in our city!

  9. I have taken out of town guests to Fish City Grill twice, both were bad experiences with service. The male servers wear baseball caps and 4 carat earrings, not the type of attire you would expect from a nice restaurant. Though the food is great, the service is VERY slow. On one occasion, the server completely forgot one of my guests’ meals. He never noticed until we were leaving. We didn’t mention it because it would have taken so long. We went to Jake’s for the rest of the night and were, as usual, very pleased.

    As they say:
    1st time, shame on you
    2nd time, shame on me

  10. fish city. i have been their like 4 or 5 time with my family, We love it their we get the same person to sever us and she dose a good job. she tell’s us about what is new there and what she likes and dose not like about the food. i have ask her 2 or 3 time what is good that day and i have gotten what she said was good and i loved it. i’ll go back for sue.

  11. Great crawfish! I would definitely go back! Bobby…you need a larger location, or a 2nd one.

  12. A friend took me for lunch one day. FCG is one of her favorites. She says best bloody mary in town. Lunch was fast, delicious and the service was perfect. I will def be back.

  13. We too had a very disappointing time at Fish City. The service was beyond bad and the “all you can eat crab special” was truly abysmal. Close to $70 down the drain. I even took the time to write corporate about it. My email was forwarded to the franchise owner who emailed us promises to make it right. A couple of days later, we received a $20 gift card in the mail. We will not be going back.

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