Thursday, July 8, 2010

Croakers - Virginia Beach, VA

Croakers Interior
My favorite thing about Croaker’s is the sign out front. It still says “Don’t forget 9/11” and has ever since, well, 9/11. I know that statement doesn’t forebode well for their food, but it is the truth. I have eaten there at least a half dozen times and have never left raving or complaining about the food. Ambiance is a big part of it. Croakers is small. The main dining room is like a galley, with two smaller rooms branching off. The décor is a little ridiculous. My 6 year old loves it, if that tells you anything. However, it is always crowded and usually there is a line with a wait, so not everyone is as blasé as I am.

Croakers parkingTuesday night we had 6:30 reservations, and that was a good thing. The wait was already 45 minutes. They get a decent sized crowd early on from senior citizens who inhabit the multitude of condominiums up and down Shore Drive and like to eat at 5pm. (Please note: I am not making fun of them. I am jealous. I want to be retired and live on the beach. I already prefer eating dinner early.) Their parking is sparse. We lucked out and grabbed a spot behind an employee who posted a sign on his/her bumper letting you know it was okay to block him in. Thanks Buddy! Without that we would have been on the side street somewhere.

Once seated it was pretty obvious that the servers were slammed. We had a nice, beachy/surfer type guy who knew his stuff and did a good job without appearing to be ruffled. It took a bit longer than normal to get our meals. Since I had not yet had a Softshell crab and they are almost out of season, I decided to try theirs. The server recommended sautéed, and I concurred. My husband got the same. My brother ordered the mixed grill and my mother the broiled flounder. They have a kids menu, with most entrées priced at $7.99, a little on the pricey side. Otherwise, they are not really kid friendly, offering no crayons, etc., to entertain your child. Come prepared.

I think that my mother out ordered us all. Her flounder was the best looking flounder I have seen in a long time. It was almost an inch thick, perfectly cooked and seasoned. It was a very large portion, of which at least half went back home with her.
Croakers dish Mixed GrillMy brother’s mixed grill looked a little well done to me. He agreed that he likes his Tuna and Salmon a bit more on the rare side too, but assure me that it was not dry, and was quite good. The Softshells arrived covered in a sauce. Not what I expected to see. Since it was a special item, no preparation notes were on their specials board, and none were given when we ordered. As we ate them we could not discern the contents of the sauce. Croakers dish Soft Shell CrabFinally I asked the server and was told it was their special house sauce and he rolled off the ingredients. The primary ingredients were butter, flour, garlic and some other herbs/spices. It’s not that the sauce was bad per se; I just wish it had not been on the crab. It overwhelmed the flavor and robbed some crispiness from the texture. So, as usual, the dish was not bad, but I cannot rave about how good it was. Softshells and Mixed Grill were both 20.99, the Flounder was 22.99.

On a final note, they have great cornbread. It is sweet, which I like, and very moist. Make sure you try it if you are a cornbread fan.


3629 Shore Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
(No Website)

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