Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: American Seafood Corporation

restaurantI have discovered what may be the coolest and most delicious seafood shack in the Northern Virginia area. Cleverly hidden behind the parking lot of a classy Lee Highway strip-mall (which also includes the excellent Pastries By Randolph, which you should go to for all your fancy pastry needs), American Seafood Corporation looks like a tiny shack in the middle of a parking lot that would have no idea what a fish was, let alone how to cook it. But this is deception at its greatest, for inside the tiny shack are two fish experts by the name of Gary and Martha Royce. They know how to both cook up some fish and engage a customer in conversation to pass the time it’ll take to cook up your soon-to-be-delicious meal.

restaurantI have discovered what may be the coolest and most delicious seafood shack in the Northern Virginia area. Cleverly hidden behind the parking lot of a classy Lee Highway strip-mall (which also includes the excellent Pastries By Randolph, which you should go to for all your fancy pastry needs), American Seafood Corporation looks like a tiny shack in the middle of a parking lot that would have no idea what a fish was, let alone how to cook it. But this is deception at its greatest, for inside the tiny shack are two fish experts by the name of Gary and Martha Royce. They know how to both cook up some fish and engage a customer in conversation to pass the time it’ll take to cook up your soon-to-be-delicious meal.

The jumbo lump crab cake sandwich is virtually perfect. Perfectly crispy, perfectly juicy, perfectly sized, etc. I could have used a bit more tartar sauce, and at $15 this isn’t a sandwich you’re going to be able to eat every day unless you’re the kind of person who budgets for accidentally shattering your monocle in your champagne glass when you’re shocked.

For those who like drinking delicious butter but fear that you’ll be judged harshly by your snooty peers, I would strongly advise getting the lobster bisque. It’s less of a lobster soup and more of a creamy concoction that only a heavenly force could have devised. Martha advised me to stick the generous bowl in the microwave for two minutes, and that was right on the money. While this soup probably had calories in the four- or five-digit range (not including decimals), I’d be lying if I said I would hesitate to get it again.

For those needing something sweet to round out the mouth-watering fish dish they have just consumed, there is no alternative to the key lime pie baked by Mrs. Royce herself. This is the real deal. Made with key lime juice that Mr. Royce claims to buy in 30-gallon barrels, a slice of this heaven is a little less solid than the more commercial versions (almost like a mousse) and a little more tart, but approximately ten thousand times better. At $5 a slice, it may seem expensive, but quality doesn’t come cheap.

If you want real fish from real people in order to make real dishes, go here. If you want (arguably) the best fish lunch in the area, go here. If you like supporting local businesses that can blow any larger and more powerful competitor out of the water (and steal all of their fish in the process), go here. If not, there’s a Long John Silver’s across from George Mason High School.

American Seafood Corporation is located at 4550 Lee Highway, Arlington. For more information, call 703-522-8080. Restaurant hours are Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

 

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