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DAL: Seafood, what am I missing and Fish on Fire

On Sunday, we ate at the 3 star DMN rated Fish on Fire in Addison and the food was barely mediocre. I had their house speciality "Mexican shrimp cocktail" which wasn't special, and the tilapia tacos, again weak and average tortillas, rice, slaw, and some bland tasting fish. My wife had a bowl of gumbo and hush puppies and ate NONE of it. Again, the gumbo was average and the hush puppies were the frozen, pre-formed logs.

I'll take the hit on picking this place because trying a new restaurant is always a roll of the dice (see Scott's CFS journey). Just like everybody has their neighborhood Mexican fave, I'm still looking for the same when it comes to affordable seafood restaurants. Why aren't there more choices like S&D Oyster Co (closed on Sunday) and Fish City Grill (when is it NOT crowded)? I like Pappadeux's but the portions are enormous and it can get pricey. It seems like most Dallas seafood restaurants fall into two categories: high end (Cafe Pacific, Oceanaire, McCormick and Schmick's, etc.) or the down home, pseudo fish house (Aw Shucks, Fish Bone, Hook, Line & Sinker, etc).

Anybody have any good recs?

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  1. If seafood with a Mexican twist is of interest, the original Calle Doce on 12th street (there's another one further north) is wonderful, in my book. It's in an old house with lots of character and has outstanding food, as well.

    1. I was gonna mention that. Scary part of town, but good food.

      You're right on the dichotomy though. There really aren't good mid-priced seafood places. In addition to the places you listed, you could try Chamberlain's Fish Mkt & Truluck's.

      TT

      1 Reply
      1. re: TexasToast

        La Calle Dolce's second location is in the Lakewood neighborhood (east of downtown) on Abrams at around La Vista. The food is the same as the Oak Cliff location, the neighborhood may be more to your liking (one of the more popular, trendier areas in Dallas), and the decor is is a little more uptown than the converted house on 12th Street.

        Fish City Grill and its sister restaurant, Half Shell, continue to be my favorite seafood spots in Dallas. I understand that Fish City Grill is opening more spots in the Dallas area and is looking at the franchise market. Rockfish is also good, and not terribly pricey; the owner used to be partners with the the Fish City Grill Owners, and you will note some similarities in the menu.

      2. I like the older one, the new one's next to the Pour House, right? Doesn't have much character.

        Yep, Fish City Grill is good, esp the one at Preston/ Royal?

        Had a bad experience at Rockfish once and haven't been back since.

        TT

        1 Reply
        1. re: TexasToast

          Fish City Grill at Preston and Forest is my fave seafood joint in town. We were there at least weekly when we lived in the neighborhood.

          I know what you mean about the decor at the Lakewood La Calle Doce not being the same as the comfy old house on 12th Street; it's pretty standard Dallas modern. Still, it doesn't offend, and the food is of the same quality. I must say, though, they've made some changes to the paella, which used to be my favorite dish there but is not anymore.

        2. La Javita, on Harry Hines, just north of Inwood, is really good, priced right it helps if you can speak a little spanish, or you can just point to things on the menu. Their shrimp cocktails are good, they have a couple of really flavorful soups, and the last time I was there I had a garlic infused scallop dish that was good.

          1. Maybe I just got lucky. But I have been there about 10 times over the last 7 or 8 months and haven't had a problem.