Awful Arthur’s Seafood Company, St. Michaels, Maryland – A Review

by artfuldiner on July 27, 2021

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wining and Dining

Awful Arthur’s Seafood Company

402 South Talbot Street

St. Michaels, Maryland

(410) 745-3474

Awful Arthur’s was founded by Arthur W. Webb, Jr., in 1975. The original restaurant was located in Exmore, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and served pizza and subs. In 1983, Webb moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and created the first Awful Arthur’s Seafood Company. The seafood concept proved to be so popular that, in 1991, he began opening more Awful Arthur’s back in Virginia. There are now four locations in the state, two in Richmond and one each in Roanoke and Salem.

Awful Arthurs - Exterior The St. Michaels outpost, located in the heart of the historic downtown, was the first to open in Maryland… And it’s about what you would expect… a super casual eatery featuring indoor/outdoor seating and a bustling authentic oyster bar that serves up more than nine varieties of oysters as well as clams, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, crawfish, and their famous steamed seafood platter. Whatever your piscatorial preference, you will undoubtedly find it here.

Awful Arthurs - Lobster Mac & CheeseBut if the oyster bar isn’t quite your thing, the regular appetizers have a great deal to offer as well… The Blackened Tuna Bites, for instance, come replete with your choice of horseradish ranch or ginger soy dipping sauces. Then there are a number of other interesting items, such as: Day Boat Scallops wrapped in bacon and accompanied by hollandaise; Shrimp & Grits; Crab Dip; baked Oysters Awful topped with chorizo, jalapeño, and smoked Gouda cheese. On the other hand, if you really feel like splurging – and also have a hearty appetite – why not start with the Lobster Mac & Cheese (pictured), chunks of New England lobster and perfectly cooked elbow macaroni swimming in a velvety sauce courtesy of Chapel’s Country Creamery cheddar. Rich, rich, rich!

 On the other hand, if you’d prefer something that’s a wee bit lighter on the palate, the kitchen also does a splendid job with greenery. The House Salad, for example, offers mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet red onions, and a very nice honey vinaigrette dressing. There is also the ubiquitous traditional Caesar as well as a Seasonal Salad, boasting spring mix rife with strawberries & blackberries, goat cheese, and candied walnuts splashed with lemon poppy dressing.

Awful Arthurs - Roasted Beet SaladThe evening of our visit, however, the special Roasted Beet Salad (pictured) was particularly noteworthy. In additional to the roasted red beets pillowed on mixed greens, it tantalized the palate with an intriguing combination of pickled onions, crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, and sweet balsamic dressing.

Entrées, for the most part, round up a number of the usual suspects: Crab Cake DinnerCioppinoScallopsChesapeake Bay RockfishLinguini with ClamsFresh Catch of the Day… etc., etc. There is also quite a selection for landlubbers – Penne Pasta PrimaveraAngus Hot Dog & Angus BurgerClassic Reuben… and Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich – on the other hand, why go to a seafood restaurant and order chicken? Your guess is as good as mine.

Awful Arthurs - Lobster RollOn this particular evening, my dining partner and I were in a more casual mood: She decided upon the Lobster Roll (pictured); I, the Fish & Chips. Both were excellent. The most important thing about lobster is its texture. Lobster meat turns tough and rubbery when overcooked. Once prepared, lobster’s soft flesh should be pristine white, soft and tender… and here, presented on a toasted buttered bun, it was right on the money. Given a choice of side dishes, my partner chose the Fresh Fruit and was quite pleased.

Awful Arthurs - Fish & ChipsNeedless to say, Fish & Chips (pictured) is not the kind of entrée that I would chow down on a daily basis… Every once in a while, however, I do get the overwhelming urge to succumb to temptation. The dish may seem like a no brainer to the average diner, but there’s plenty that can go wrong – and usually does – as I’ve discovered on numerous occasions in numerous restaurants… And beer batter is generally the culprit. Meaning, there tends to be far too much of it, totally eclipsing what precious little fish just happens to put in a guest appearance. In this case, happily, the proportions were just right. The batter was judiciously applied, light & delightfully crisp (as opposed to soggy); and the cod was moist, flaky, and very much in evidence. And let’s not forget those “chips”; the fries were first-rate, as was a side of house-made coleslaw.

Awful Arthus - Peach Berry CrumbleDesserts – all made in-house – are on the homey side. The night of our visit, the sweet ending of choice was the downhome Peach & Berry Crumble (pictured) garnished with a tiara of vanilla ice cream. And all the elements were in perfect sync… the peach slices and berries were at the peak of ripeness, the streusel-like topping just the right combo of flour, sugar, and butter, and the vanilla ice cream a marvelously creamy counterpoint to the delightfully crunchy topping. A study in simplicity, to be sure; but, given the character and quality of our app and entrées, it was an extremely satisfying conclusion to an equally satisfying evening at table.

As an added plus, the outside dining area – most of it sheltered beneath a canopy to protect against inclement weather – is particularly pleasant. As are the servers. They are young, enthusiastic, personable… and they know the menu.

In St. Michaels, if you’re a seafood lover, Awful Arthur’s is the place to go.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe & Stay Well


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: