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Dec 29, 2000 08:24 AM

Anyone tried Kingfish on King St. in Alex?

  • t

I've seen so many restaurants come and go from that spot that I'm thinking there's a jinx on the place. Yet the newest occupant looks rather inviting. I live nearby and want to check it out but afraid of another crappy meal in that building.

Just stumbled upon this board today; what a neat place!



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  1. What corner? Is it King and -- what is it -- Payne? Across from the dry cleaners?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Jim Dorsch

      It's actually one in (east) from the corner, which houses an arty clothing/jewelry type store. The dry cleaners is across King on the corner.

      The last restaurant in that location was Dancing Peppers, which moved to the old Mango Mikes location out Duke St. It was some of the worst mexican food I ever tasted.

      1. re: tcamp

        Are we shocked, shocked to find lousy restaurants going on on King St? The royal strip caters to ouitlanders looking for local "character." Try Arlandria if you're looking for eats.

        1. re: John

          I love Old Town, and I sup there regularly, so herewith I offer my favorites.
          South Austin Grill: worth the wait Mon-Thurs; weekends, how many 'ritas can you down in 1.6 hours?
          Union St: not, strictly, on King, but delish burgers and such, and rowdy.
          Fishmarket: love the unicorn; avoid the ersters.
          Monroe's: not on King St, but in Del Ray. Try!

          1. re: John

            OK, I guess I'll have to wing it and try Kingfish. I'll let ya know.

            I agree there are some marginal places on King but I live in OT and prefer to walk to my meals if possible. Places I do like on/near King include (working east to west) Chadwicks (recently decided I liked their steak salad), Bugsy's (pizza buffet lunch is great for kids and cheaper than fast food for a crowd), Bilbo Baggins (love that wine bar atmosphere), the Warehouse (owned by RT folks, I believe), Pita House (med. food; not the best in the world but good), Scotland Yard (special occasion meals served on musty old kilt-fabric tableclothes) and thai place near the old movie theater. I have a soft spot for places with wooden booths good for corralling a wiggly toddler and for that, I'll put up with the occasional off dish.

            Have heard good things about Monroe's and might take the visiting mother in law there this week.



            1. re: tcamp

              Tamara, I'm a *huge* fan of Old Town, but do taste the offerings in Del Ray. Monroe's is wonderful, if uneven, though mostly even. On a recent visit: (1) calamari had been cooked, and cooked again, probably sitting in the kitch until someone "adventuresome" ordered. Rubber. Nice dipping sauce, though. (2) Fantastic classic veal parmigian: tender, juicy, tart and citric tomato sauce (canned chopped 'toes, likely, but no prob), and a thick melted slice o' mozz. Side of spag, and ask for the olio e aglio. (3) House wine $2.95 per glass. Plus crayons.

              One last thought on Del Ray: avoid, avoid, avoid the Calvert Grill. No matter what you read in the Washingtonian (which, I'm shocked to find gambling here, advertises).

        2. re: tcamp

          Kingfish got a good review in the Jan 2001 Washingtonian. I don't think the review is on their web site.

      2. I *wanted* to try Kingfish in Old Town tonight, but -- contrary to its posted hours (on the door) and its posted hours (in the "Warshingtonian"), it turned out to be closed on Sunday night. How come I never call? But I'll head back during the week.

        In the meantime, avoid, avoid Bilbo Baggins (also in Old Town; north of King, forget the street name). It's been around for umpteen years and - clue to the clueless - is posting its 1983(!) review from the Washington Times on its wall. I had a burger. Nine bucks; maybe a quarter of a pound; defrosted, then pounded into submission, hockey-style; served on a limp, barely nuked english muffin; steak fries, like the burger, defrosted by microwave; utterly terrible. And $9! My companion's chicken caesar was tolerable, but it shouldn't cost $12, not when for the same price you can eat the same at Smith and Wollensky! Service: surly, bored, let's get moving 'cause I want to go home. Avoid, avoid. Reminded me of the Calvert Grill, which should be warning enough.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John

          I'm broken hearted about your report (but things change!)...

          It was probably about 1987 when I last ate at Bilbo Baggins... fond memories of a good wine bar (newish idea in the '80s in this part of the world), the "old town" townhouse space, the perfect table upstairs in the front room with french windows opening onto the street and blooming pear trees in the spring....

          and the spring starter of asparagus salad (not made with those "twigs" of asparagus, either), with the most wonderful main of salmon topped with blue crab meat, beurre blanc and a dollop of caviar - it was new and great to me at the time. Probably one of my first dining-out and lustful experiences combined into one....

          It's breaking my heart that it is inadequate at even a burger, now....

          1. re: John

            I believe Bilbo Baggins is on Queen St. My experience is limited to a couple of brief stays in the beer bar there. Okay, but quiet and sterile.