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Best seafood in Port "A" and Rockport?

  • SFO Jun 12, 2008 06:00 PM
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Looking for fresh seafood in Port Aransas and Rockport, preferably boiled and not fried. Somewhere the locals go. Any ideas?

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  1. Our favorite in Port A is The Wharf. If you're getting off the ferry, its the first right on Cut Off Road. Any fresh fish in their garlic sauce is very good.

    1. Thanks for the rec. Have you ever been to Snoppy's? I think it is under the bridge. Never been, but I heard it was good.

      1. We always make a point of going to Shell's Seafood and Pasta. It's small and the food is delicious, especially for the area. I don't recall specifics as it's been a couple of years. I do recall, however, that if you get there too late, seating is difficult and they regularly run out of items.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Rene

          Shell's is a great place. I agree with the seating. Ever been to the Venetian Hot Plate? Never been, but heard it was good. Hoping to try something new.

          1. re: SFO

            I like the Venetian Hot Plate but the couple we travel with LOVE it! They are in Port A more often than we are so they have been many times. I prefer Shells, of the two.

            1. re: Rene

              Thanks for the reply. I'm skeptical about the Venetian myself, but maybe one of these days I will have to check it out.

              1. re: SFO

                Venetian is very good and great atmosphere, but expensive. We only go to Snoopys if its close to sunset. Foods OK, not great, mostly fried items. We like Shells for lunch, but yes, its usually a wait for a table.

                1. re: SAnativegirl

                  Appreciate the info. I've heard Snoppy's has a good atmosphere. Ever heard of Lisabella's? I've been once before and really liked it. It is right next to the Tarpon Inn. It is expensive and you will need to bring your own wine. We were a little unprepared the first time we went and had to run to the stop-n-shop on the corner. Just in case anyone is interested the address is: 224 E. Cotter. I recommend reservations. I'm interested in trying The Wharf this time.

        2. Most of the seafood in Port A is fried. (For example: Fins, Island Cafe) This is not to say it's not good, but the majority of fish dishes are fried.

          I completely agree with the recommendations for Shell's and Lisabella's. Lisabella's has a lunch menu that's pretty similar to the dinner one, but lunch is considerably cheaper. At Shell's the fish sandwich is pretty popular.

          I've also heard good things about Cafe Phoenix on Beach St. (not open Sundays & Mondays). I haven't been there, but there menu looks good and includes crabcakes and tuna steaks.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cowfish

            Thanks for the info. I was not aware Lisabella's is open for lunch. Never heard of Cafe Phoenix before. I love crabcakes so this would be a good option.

            1. re: SFO

              Cafe Phoenix just opened a few months ago. In fact, they don't even have much of a sign yet. However, it has been packed each time I've been in. It is across the street from Venetian Hot Plate. Venetian has long been our standard for a high end meal in Port A. However, Cafe Phoenix is quickly surpassing it. Cafe Phoenix just started doing dinner a few nights a week and is open for lunch most days (maybe not Sunday and Monday or something like that). Last time I was in, they didn't have an alcohol license yet and it was BYOB (easier on the pocketbook). The owner/chef was the chef at Beulah's/Pelican Club for years -- but don't expect their crabcakes. I think the Cafe Phoenix version is better -- lots of crab -- yum!

            2. re: cowfish

              Edit: Lisabella's appears to have changed their menu. The food wasn't bad the last time I went a few weeks ago, but it was not what I remember. We tried their early bird specials. The crabcake was pretty good with a lot of crab, and I especially liked the dressing they used on the accompanying dinner salad. They are no longer open for lunch.

            3. hemingway's in rockport is very good, but a little on the pricey side. surprisingly high end in such a location.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hellpaso

                I checked out the website and the menu is very eclectic - much more than just seafood. The only place I've ever been in Rockport is The Boiling Pot. It was a while back and I'm not sure if it is still good.

              2. Charlotte Plummer's in Rockport is good, they have lots of different varieties of fish (depending on the catch that day, of course) and will prepare them any number of ways.

                Avoid Moon Doggie's, though. They claim to be a seafood restaurant yet had nothing but crab cakes and fish tacos on the menu, with the latter being the absolute worst I'd ever had in my life. It was basically a cheese quesadilla with a little cod tossed on top. Disgusting. (And their brisket nachos were so greasy as to be inedible.)

                1. One of my favorite places in Port A is La Playa (not to be confused with the La Playa restaurants in Corpus Christi - they are in no way affiliated).

                  Although it is a Mexican restaurant, it does offer some seafood. They make a good ceviche, seafood enchiladas, and fish tacos. They also have daily seafood specials. It's right next to Venetian Hot Plate, which is also very good.

                  1. I was in Port A this weekend and enjoyed all of my meals. Had the grilled fish sandwich at Virginia's and the fish and the bun were great, and the fries were fine. For dinner that night we went to the Spagheti and Seafood place in the geodisic dome that has been there for 30 years, and I had one of their fish specialty dishes with avocado and bacon and a very good sauce that complemented the amberjack. The highlight was definitely the dinner we had at cafe Phoenix .. I loved both seafood specials she had that night, the service was friendly and excellent, the place is small (make reservations) and tastefully done and the locals were really friendly. Still no liqor license so most people were bringing a bottle (the folks next to us even offered to share their bottle !). I will definitely go back there on my next trip.

                    1. Crab-N, over near Aransas Pass, right on Tx 35 is very good, nice surroundings, sood service and right on the water. For a more fried, fried and fried dinner, the Big Fisherman, on Tx 188, off of Tx 35 is large with a large menu and good food (not gourmet, but good anyway).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dlcole

                        I was going to comment on both places before this post. The Crab-N(no web site that I can find), is quite good, expect a wait and dress a little nicer here. I've been to the Big Fisherman once, and a friend and semi-local twice, and quite frankly, we both found it apalling. The Big Fisherman was savaged in a Texas wadefishing website, while Crab-N was a destination for bringing freshly caught fish for consumption. If you're in Rockport and tire of the local hit and miss seafood scene, try Panjos Pizza for some of the better thin crust pizza that I have had in Texas, but go light on the ingredients, think cheese and one topping at most.