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Jun 8, 2010 05:48 PM

Raleigh: Saltwater Seafood and Fry Shack

Well, we may may not have a seafood CSA yet, but this new place makes me very, very happy!

The owners are Earps, as in Earps Seafood on S. Saunders. I love that place, but my home and job make it very hard to get to that location. This new place is on Capital Blvd. at Fenton. Actually the address is 4 Fenton Street - this is the road just south of the Dunkin' Donuts if you are headed N. They are south of I-440 and Crabtree Blvd. on the section of Capital that splits into N. and S. one-way streets divided by a strip of businesses.

They have a full seafood counter and a takeaway counter. The cooked menu is similar to the restaurant at the state farmers market. There is an upcharge for broiled, steamed or grilled. Sandwiches are $4.50 - 4.99, lunch specials 5.99 - 7.50, Dinners 6.99 - 10.99. A couple of family meals (fish) for 13.99 - 16.99. Sides limited to slaw, fries, hushpuppies.

I had heard about it and stopped off after work to check it out. They had just closed, but graciously let me in when I said I just wanted a copy of the menu. The place looked and smelled clean as can be. The seafood area was closed and iced down. Limited grocery selection, like Earps. Oysters and soft shell crabs listed as specials (fresh).

I can't wait to get there earlier! Earps was always my go-to place for seafood and I have missed them. Saltwater is at a much more convenient location for me and I hope to have more info to post in a week or so!

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  1. I popped in on Saturday afternoon, having seen word of it in the N&O. They were all as nice as could be. It reminded me of one of the seafood markets at the beach, and they had fresh (whole fish on ice) as well as frozen. There were live crabs. They told me that a most of the fish is fresh from the NC coast - apart from a couple of things like Tilapia from up north. I was tempted to order some fried fish or shrimp, but I was headed home to make dinner.

    But speaking of a seafood CSA, though - we have something very close, in Southport Seafood.


    I bought some of their fish recently at the Five Points Farmers Market. But they're not there every Saturday.

    1. This place is AMAZING! its going to help me break away from the standard shrimp, scallops, tuna, etc. I spent 20 minutes talking to Mike Earp and walked away with a rockfish. They'll cut it up any way you want. I decided for the gutted, scaled fish with the head cut off. It actually sat in my fridge for 48 hours before I cooked it on the grill with just old bay and olive oil. I got about 2 lbs of good meat off the fish, all for $15. I've been looking for this store since I moved to Raleigh 4 years ago. If you like fish - GO! NOW!

      1. We went for lunch Wednesday and were very happy. Two of us had one of the day's specials, spots, and the other had a catfish sandwich. The fish was very tasty and well prepared, the hushpuppies good, and the fries pretty bad, unfortunately. We ate out on the curb which was an experience but we were told that they will be putting in picnic tables very soon. Good idea because that beautiful crispy, hot fish would have been lukewarm and soggy by the time I got back to my office. I look forward to having lunch there very often.

        I'm also looking forward to picking up some whole fish for the grill this summer. I just have to remember to come with a cooler.

        1. Excited to see the Earp's opening up in my neighborhood. Longer hours mean I can drop by after work for some fresh fish. I tried out some trout and shrimp from the Fry Shack window and really enjoyed it. Can't wait to hit the grill with some mackerel.

          15 Replies
          1. re: FuzzyT

            Yes, I live close by too and have been enjoying them a lot!

            I've tried a fish sandwich - fish was great, bun made it slightly less so. My SO had the fried spots - excellent and very nice hush puppies. My car still retains a slight fish aroma from dining in the vehicle...

            All of the fresh seafood I've purchased has been terrific.

            1. re: meatn3

              Good choice. Spot is one of my favorite fish.

              1. re: Naco

                It is so nice having the option of something other than salmon, flounder and trout. The other day they had two varieties of mullet, spot, croaker (sp?), sheepshead and more.

                After a number of years in Asheville after the one good seafood market closed, this is heaven!

                1. re: meatn3

                  Croaker tastes similar to spot- they're both small, bony fish that you tend to find together. Mullet is probably my favorite fish.

                  1. re: Naco

                    I am hoping to figure out the modest smoker given to me and smoke some mullet. That is one Florida food that I just can't get anywhere else. I love mullet too!

                    I have not cooked croaker or spot myself. I've usually seen them fried. Any other methods/recipes that they lend themselves to?

                    1. re: meatn3

                      I've only had croaker and spot fried myself- mullet too, for that matter, and that's not just a Florida fish. We catch them on the NC coast.

                      1. re: Naco

                        By Florida food I meant it prepared by smoking - I've never encountered smoked mullet elsewhere. The richness works well with smoking - better than any other fish imo.

                        1. re: meatn3

                          Is it a hot smoke 200 to 250 deg F, or a cold smoke?

                          1. re: chazzer

                            My smoker or the smoked mullet in Fl.?

                            I got mine from someone on Freecycle - have not used it, but it looks like it uses an electric burner. The folks had lived in Alaska and used it for smoking fish there. Looks like 2' high aluminum box.

                            It might be this one:


                            There used to be lots of places smoking mullet in the Tampa Bay area, now just a handful. Ted Peters is fortunately still going strong and they smoke over red oak. I think it is hot, but I am not versed in smoking. Here is a link with some info:


                            I spoke with a fellow in their smokehouse a few years ago and took notes, but I can't recall their location or what details he shared.

                  2. re: meatn3

                    Wow, they had mullet? I might have to move back to NC just for that.

                    1. re: mikeh

                      Please do! Your voice is missed...or at least come visit!

                      You would like this place and the new Southern cooking place on Raleigh Blvd. (5 minutes away). And the taco truck up the road at Hodges. These three help me not miss the old banh mi that once was the crowning glory on Brentwood quite so much.

                      1. re: meatn3

                        So, what's the place on Raleigh Blvd? Think I missed that one.

                        Tried that taco truck on Hodges today. Excellent!

                        1. re: TerryG

                          This is the thread on the Raleigh Blvd. place:


                          I had them fry up several chickens for 4th of July - everyone enjoyed it immensely.

                        2. re: meatn3

                          Thanks to meatn3's posting on Jul 8, 2010, we found Southern Flavor on Raleigh, Blvd. this evening - the fried chicken was delicious as were the hush puppies and coleslaw and we know we'll return. If and when a craving for fried chicken hits you, by all means go there - the entire staff is friendly, courteous, helpful, the place is clean - we will also have to try some of their other options -

                          1. re: monelle

                            Glad you liked them! Folks seem to think they are a little off the beaten path, but actually they are just minutes south of 440. Worth the effort to locate!

                            Sometimes they have a special of fried thighs, 8 for $5 or so. I guess breasts are more popular. I prefer dark meat so it works out great for me!

                            We order from the nightly specials a bit, ox tails being a favorite. Only item that hasn't thrilled me was the potato salad (iirc), not bad, just not as good as everything else.

                            My 4th of July group is already asking if I'll have the fried chicken again!

              2. This sounds great; I'll have to check this out! I noticed a previous poster mentioned Southport Seafood, I agree excellent quality. They are now affiliated with Bickett Market which just opened near the 5 points area.