Note: this review of mine was originally published awhile back on a well-known travel site. Not a new review but I liked this place then and I still do!
There are so many chain restaurants in every American city and they certainly seem to be thriving. I try to patronize as many “unchained” establishments when I can. I think the Olive Gardens of the world will do fine without my dining dollar.
The Old Fish House Restaurant is one of those authentic, local places that I love to find when I’m travelling. I walked through the door about an hour before closing on a Friday night and immediately loved the unique design and decor. It’s been said before that there’s an inverse correlation between the money spent on the dining room and the quality of the food in most places. The Old Fish House in Cocoa Beach ain’t the Ritz, the furnishings are dated and just a wee bit tacky but their food is absolutely first-rate.
I started with the Buffalo Shrimp and found them to be near perfect. It’s easy to over-cook shrimp or to turn up the heat a bit too much on the buffalo sauce, but this appetizer was just what I was looking for. The breading was just the way I like it as well. It’s way over-done at so many places.
For my entree I went with the Catfish sandwich; they serve it broiled or fried. I went for the latter and can’t think of a single thing I would have done differently if it were my place. A fish sandwich can be prepared and served a jillion different ways, their approach was straightforward and worked quite well for me. I’ve had my fill of soggy fish drowned in Tartar sauce, overly-toasted sub rolls and mediocre cole slaw at so many seafood houses, but there was nothing to not like at the Old Fish House. My sandwich was paired with New Potatoes and some very-good slaw. Watery or too-sweet slaw can be such a downer! The chef did come out for a table-side visit. That was a nice and unexpected touch.
The prices were a bit higher than I expected at first but not excessive for the quality of the food. The service was adequate. I was a bit miffed when I had to ask for Bleu Cheese dressing for my Buffalo Shrimp but serving it with wings is not a given anymore, so the expectation that it would come out with my shrimp was probably unrealistic.
I loved my first visit to the Old Fish House Restaurant and will definitely dine with them again the next time I’m in Cocoa Beach. They are known for their all-you-can-eat offerings and although there’s nothing I can tell you about that from my visit, I just might have to visit again soon and bring my big boy appetite with me…
Bulldog Ben Basile
The Old Fish House Restaurant
249 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway
Dial 321 799 9190
Photo credit: Benjamin Lawrence Basile