Unk’s Shrimp Shack

Unk's Shrimp ShackIt’s not unusual for us to make a last minute trip down the road to Unk’s Shrimp Shack when nobody feels like cooking.

Unk’s Shrimp Shack is, obviously, a seafood restaurant.  Family owned and operated, the restaurant has been serving area residents and guests at The Villages resort for years.  Though the grilled shrimp and steamed broccoli is good, nobody should ever go to Unk’s and not order the Seafood Platter which, even in the Seafood Platter for One size, is enough fried food to feed a family of six.  Piled high with french fries, fried clam strips, fried catfish filet, fried oysters, stuffed crab, hush puppies, and boiled shrimp, the Seafood Platter is unbeatable when you’ve got a craving for anything fried.  I also love the condiment station stocked with homemade green tomato relish, cocktail, remoulade, and tarter sauces, and there’s even a tub of pure, nose burning horseradish which I love to eat on saltine crackers with a bit of the tomato relish.

The one downside of Unk’s, is the price.   Me and my husband always get the Seafood Platter for One and an order of grilled shrimp, and it really adds up quick.  However, the food is delicious, and you couldn’t ask for nicer people than the folks over at Unk’s to buy dinner from.  Also, they do serve beer at Unk’s, which is a plus in my book,  but also usually ends up being another wallet drainer if we are dining in.

Unk’s Shrimp Shack is located on the corner of Big Eddy Road and 2661 in Noonday, just outside of the Villages Resort on Lake Palestine.  They have seasonal hours and are not open every day, so I strongly suggest calling first before heading out that way to ensure they’re going to be open.  Also, another word of advice… the guys in the kitchen might throw some extras on your Seafood Platter if you buy them a beer, so be sure to keep that in mind!

Unk’s Shrimp Shack
16760 County Road 1261
Flint, TX 75762-9182
(903) 939-2323

Cajun Bayou Seafood Market

Cajun Bayou Seafood MarketA new Cajun restaurant recently opened on 155 in Flint.  Like Randy’s, it is a casual place with no air conditioning and it’s BYOB.

As far as ambiance, it is basically a huge wooden patio shaded by large trees.  You walk to the counter to order, then your food is delivered once ready.  I was having trouble decided what to get, so I asked the guy behind the counter what he’d consider the specialties to be.  He said everything on the menu is great which is nice but didn’t really help narrow it down.  I finally decided to go with a shrimp poboy, and my sis got the soft shell crab poboy.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  Our jaws dropped when the sandwiches were delivered…  These things were huge!  They tasted good, but I could only eat about a third of mine before throwing in the towel.

Cajun Bayou Seafood MarketI ended up going back with my husband several days later, since he hadn’t gotten to try it yet.  This time we got the crab cakes, fried pickles, vanilla sweet potato fries and fried boudin.  I am in love with fried pickles, and these were good.  The crab cakes were good, but they were covered in a thick sauce which overpowered the flavor of the crab.  Next time I’d definitely see about getting the sauce on the side.  The vanilla sweet potato fries were also good, but I think the vanilla may have been a bit too strong for my taste.  The fried boudin was good, and I think anyone who likes boudin would like it.

Cajun Bayou Seafood Market Cajun Bayou Seafood Market

I’d say this place is a must for anyone who likes Cajun food. It is really cool and will be a great summer hang out.

Cajun Bayou Seafood Market
18950 Hwy 155 South
Flint, TX, 75762
(903) 825-1158

Cajun Bayou Seafood Market on Urbanspoon

Breakers A Seafood Joint

BreakersDuring what was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up a couple gardening necessities, we realized it was also time to stop somewhere for a quick bite of lunch necessities.  But where?  I hate the days when it seems nothing sounds good, so I was both relieved and excited when my husband suggested we try Breakers.  I’ve been meaning to try this place as I’ve heard many good things, yet it’s one of those restaurants that too frequently slips my mind during the restaurant decision making process.

We were seated at a comfortable booth and I ordered a cool, refreshing Landshark.  It only took a minute for me to realize that there are many, many things on the menu here that sound delicious.  In the interest of trying as many as possible in one shot, we decided we’d try the crab cakes, the shrimp cocktail, and the avocado fries.  Yes, that’s right.  Avocado fries.

Our food arrived promptly, and I immediately dove into the crab cakes.  They contained an impressive amount of crab meat, and they tasted great.  Next, I tried a shrimp.  It was a good shrimp.  Hard to mess that one up, but a good shrimp none-the-less.  Finally, I was ready to sample the avocado fries, which were wedges of breaded avocado, served with creamy dipping sauce.  Very tasty, yet quite heavy as the name would imply.

I can’t wait to go back sometime and try their specialty drink, Orange Kush.  I’m not exactly sure what it is, and I can’t find it on their website, but I remember it sounding very interesting.  Maybe someone from Breakers can chime in and help me out?   In any case, I can say with confidence that Breakers will be high on my radar from now on.

5106 Old Bullard Road
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 534-0161

Breakers on Urbanspoon

Fish City Grill

fishcitygrillFish City Grill Revisited

After our first experience at Fish City Grill, we had mostly made our minds up that we were NOT going back.  However, the raving comments some of you left after our last review and the owner’s warm invitation to come back and give it another try convinced us to give this place one more shot before writing it off completely.  At the end of the day we support Tyler businesses and hope to see them all succeed and flourish.  And, we just really like places that serve good food and have excellent service.  Tyler can never have too many of those, right?

We went back to Fish City Grill on Thursday evening and were seated at a corner table right by the big screen.  Though we were invited back, we remained anonymous throughout our meal.  Just like it might not have been fair to judge Fish City after one night of bad service, it also wouldn’t be fair to critique them if they knew they were serving the Tylerites.  We wanted to give them a fair shot to redeem themselves, and did they ever.

One of the big reasons our second visit to Fish City was so much better than the first was our awesome server, Ray.  He was funny, polite, and knowledgeable, and I’d venture to say he’s one of the better servers in Tyler.  I enjoy having a server who can make good suggestions, and all of his were spot on.  We started with the fried pickles which were delicious, and for our entrees I had the mahi mahi, my sister had the salmon, and my husband had the crab cakes.  I also knew I wanted a glass of wine with my meal, and Ray’s suggestion to go with the Pinot Grigio was perfect.  Our entrees, which came out promptly, were amazing.  My mahi mahi was seasoned just right, and I especially liked the green beans spiked with diced purple onions.  My sister’s salmon came with a dollop of spicy butter and was excellent, but we all agreed that the crab cakes my husband ordered (based on Ray’s recommendation) were our favorite.  I will definitely be ordering those next time.  And yes, after this experience, there will definitely be a next time.

It’s amazing how different my impression was after this visit than it was after our first.  Everything was better this time around.  Thank you so much Fish City for inviting us back.  We would be sorely missing out if we let one bad experience keep us away from this place.

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

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