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Looking for New England style seafood houses

Hi all,

My husband and I just moved to NoVA from metro Boston a month ago. In the last several months I developed a love of fried oysters. In the Boston area, I would just go to XYZ Fish House or XYZ Seafood Shack or something like that and get a box full of oysters (or fried clams, shrimp, etc.). You would just order S,M, or L box. This was all without going anywhere near the water. These places are in unassuming strip malls in the burbs and usually do a huge take-out business.

In NoVA, every time I eat out and there's fried oysters on the menu (Old Hickory Grill's were fantastic), they're generally artfully displayed on a plate with some sort of sauce. Are there any "fish houses" just serving seafood platters, boxes of fried fish, etc. in this area?

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  1. Most will be shocked at my you may have to settle for" answer, but Long John Silver's (Falls Church) still makes a decent piece of fish, pretty good slaw and hush puppies - anything else on the menu, of course, is a bad idea.

    Sadly, they had fried oysters (good ones, and cheap) some years back, but no more.

    I anxiously await other responses - I'd kill for fried oysters!

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser

      Yikes!! Well, I'm a sucker for hush puppies...

    2. Seafood platters are available in old-fashioned restaurants in Baltimore, but those are getting fewer and fewer all the time.

      I can't help you in northern Virginia.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hal Laurent

        Had some decent seafood platters in Greektown at a place whose name escapes me. Surprised at the quality of the crabcake.

        And I love me some coddies and a cold Natty Boh.

      2. The four-piece fish "sandwich" at Horace & Dickies on H Street NE is as close as you're likely to come to a decent fried fish box. Carry out only. You get the occasional Lenten fish fries at local churches but those are few and far between.

        1. Charleston in Baltimore is arguably Maryland's best restaurant: one of their specialties is fried oysters with remoulade sauce. Superb.

          Fried oysters are $9.00 at Tackle Box in Georgetown http://tacklebox-dc.com/about-tackle-...

          Also, Kinkead's (originally opened as 21 Federal on Nantucket Island) is one of D. C.'s best seafood restaurants and is known for lobster rolls, fried whole belly clams as well as fried oysters. Legal is here, too. Black Salt (who also have exemplery fried whole belly clams) sometimes feature fried oysters.

          1. You might try Hank's Oyster Bar in Alexandria they have some things I don't if they have fried oysters, but it is closers to the style you want, although the prices aren't. You might try Tacklbox, I haven't been in a couple months now but the belly clams and french fries and grilled bluefish were mm mmm good.

            Also Central has fried oysters on their menu. Not the style you were looking for but I am sure better than Long Johns.

            1. If you're ever out near Haymarket, check out Catfish Lewie's (catfishlewies.com). It's very casual -- almost a fast food atmosphere -- with exceptionally fresh and well-prepared seafood. It's a bit different than Boston (I used to live there too :-) ), but very good.

              5 Replies
              1. re: chriscatva

                I went to Catfish Lewie's today - my notes are in a separate post. Thanks for the suggestion!

                1. re: wayne keyser

                  Funny, so did we! But I live in Haymarket, so it's easy :-). I usually eat there once a week or so. I hope the OP will try it. I thought of her today while I was there, and I think it really does have the same sort of vibe as the Boston places, along with excellent fried seafood.

                  1. re: chriscatva

                    Thanks so much for all the suggestions! Catfish Lewie's sounds great, as does the Tackle Box. I found another place closer to me (I live in Burke) called Captain Pell's Crabhouse. Any thoughts on this place?

                    1. re: Trixie Too

                      We finally tried Captain Pell's a few weeks ago. It is very popular. The big thing there is crabs. They have crab dinners with corn on the cob and fries, as well as all you can eat crab feasts. While I like crabmeat, I don't like having to work so hard for it LOL! So I had the soft shell crab dinner which was very good. My husband had the fried scallops dinner. The dinners came with fries and coleslaw and you are given plastic forks. Take a look at their website:
                      BTW, I understand where you are coming from---My husband and I are native Bostonians.

                      1. re: Trixie Too

                        I don't remember if they had fried oysters, but I really liked Clare and Don's Beach Shack (is that the right name?) in Falls Church (liked it better than Tackle Box). Only been once. I think Hank's is good for fried oysters, though not the strip mall dive you're looking for.

                2. Hank's Oyster Bar in Old Town and in Dupont might fit the bill. Also, Tackel Box in Georgetown.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Jacey

                    Hank's and Tackle Box are good, but the OP is looking for something "stripmall-ey" with takeout. Those two are pretty upscale.

                    I think the fried oysters and catfish at RT's are more what they're looking for, price- and ambience-wise.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      You can definitely get Tackle Box to go.

                      1. RT's (on Mt. Vernon Ave in the Del Ray section of Alexndria) is a good suggestion for fried oysters. The Wharf on King St in Old Town Alexandria is also good. I believe RT's and the Wharf have the same owners.

                        You sould try Hank's, although I believe their fried food is consistently too greasy.

                        I like the oyster po' boy at Southside 815 in Alexandria. About 90% of the time I love them there (lots of oysters, which you could take off the bun if you don't want a sandwich) and the rest of the time it's just okay.

                        The Fish Market on King St in Old Town is a place that has "fried everything" seafood platters, but I've not been there in a long time. I don't think it's too well regarded on this forum, but you could give it a try.