As a huge fan of the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh, I’ve passed by the NC Seafood Restaurant many times. Located in the back row in a stand-alone building, you’ll immediately notice the red tents and picnic tables on the side of the building. And it had been a while since I had done some fried seafood so I took advantage of a day off to check out this Raleigh and Farmer’s Market classic!
When you think fried seafood in North Carolina, you think Calabash. Growing up in New England they fry seafood differently up there but round these parts, it’ll be very lightly breaded and served with hushpuppies and slaw. The NC Seafood Restaurant has the usual choices of fish (whiting, flounder, trout, shrimp, scallops, oyster and more) which you can get fried, broiled or in a sandwich. The interior of the restaurant is pretty bare and warehouse-like with a large black and white sign listing the menu. I order at the counter, going with the two way combo of shrimp and trout for $12. I get my receipt and number, grab a drink and chill out waiting for my order.
Inside there are a bunch of four-tops scattered about along with some longer communal tables for sharing. Crowd looks very local and senior for lunch, no surprise there! At each table you’ve go ketchup, tartar and seafood-cocktail sauce to bling out your food. My meal takes about 15 minutes and I get handed over a large Styrofoam container that’s pretty darn heavy. Cracking it open I’ve got a heap of potato wedges, hushpuppies, small fried shrimp and two trout filets along with some slaw, wow! In my crystal ball I see a nap in my future…
Everything is nicely done in this huge plate off food. Hushpuppies are nicely fried and oniony and the potato wedges tender. Lightweight coating on the small shrimp along with nicely fried trout round out the meal. Don’t think the cole slaw is fresh-made but it worked fine to counter-balance all the fried. But the truth is that while the food here at the NC Seafood restaurant is all pretty solid, it’s more about quantity here than pure taste. Because while everything I ate was decent, nothing really stood out either.
So next time you’re at the NC State Farmer’s Market and not in the mood for the Southern eats at the Farmer’s Market Restaurant, you can go more casual and do seafood at the NC Seafood Restaurant. Just be careful with your portion control because they give you enough food to feed two people here! And yeah, while fried seafood may be tasty, it’s going to jack up your cholesterol levels just a wee bit…
1201 Agricultural Street
Raleigh, NC 27603