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The Happy Clam Seafood Restaurant, has been family owned and operated locally, by the Moncure family since 1979. There was a brief interruption, courtesy of Hurricane Isabel, between 2003 and 2007. The Happy Clam is at Bayside Marina, and is associated with The Seafood Market at The Happy Clam. They have photos on the walls of old time Colonial Beach.
Favorite Dish: Normally I would have one of the specials, but I had seafood gumbo the day before, and I'm not a fan of okra unless it is in some kind of soup or stew. So I had hot tea and shrimp salad with hush puppies. Bob had soup and tuna salad and cole slaw. Then we both wanted coconut cake, but it apparently hadn't 'set up' yet, so Bob had double chocolate cake and I had chocolate pie. Each dessert was $4.95. The bill before tip was $35.92
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 11 Monroe Bay Ave
Phone: 804 224 8282
We sat by the window, and I watched a little boy playing on the sand. He was chasing some female mallard ducks. While we were eating, we saw a lady come ashore in a kayak - she was a bit wet.
Favorite Dish: We both had virgin pina colas.
I had a cup of the soup of the day which was seafood gumbo to start - it was VERY spicy. Bob also had a cup of soup. Bob had a Fish and Chips Basket (appetizer) $8.99, and I had the coconut shrimp appetizer $9.99.
Written Oct 1, 2008
Favorite Dish: Bob had a pulled pork sandwich and I had the special which was the chicken cranberry chutney salad. ($6.99).
Written Oct 1, 2008
I was afraid this would be expensive but it wasn't too bad. They have an outside deck, a regular dining room and a bar with TVs which were showing the Redskin's game. The service was a little slow.
Favorite Dish: Bob had an shrimp po-boy for lunch and I had a Canadian Mountie (which was a chicken breast, Canadian bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce sandwich). It was very messy to eat as a sandwich. BBQ sauce all over the place.
For dinner, we went back to the restaurant. Bob had a half dozen raw oysters, and asked for a half pound of steamed shrimp and some cole slaw, but they gave him a pound instead. I had crab Norfolk (photo 5), which came with a salad (a big heap of greens plus two tiny cherry tomatoes and two tiny pieces of cucumber. I ate the tomato and cucumber and a little of the greens. There was also a huge baked potato which I had a couple of mouthfuls of and some fried zucchini. I had trouble eating it all, although I did have part of a creme brulee for dessert.
Friday, we went up to eat dinner at the restaurant and this time the salads were better (photo 4). They had a reasonable amount of tomatoes, carrot slivers and croutons and mine had blue cheese sprinkled over it. Bob had clam chowder and fried oysters with a baked potato and cole slaw (photo 2), and I had a ribeye with mashed potatoes. I brought most of the ribeye home with me as I couldn't eat it all.
Updated Sep 29, 2008
Address: 1787 Castlewood Drive
Maybe we were there on a bad night. But lots of factors combined to make it not such a pleasant dining experience. Someone here said they were a little slow. For us, they were a lot slow. Our food was finally served an hour after we were seated. The appetizer of stuffed mushrooms came out very quickly. We had polished those off long before the waitress came back to take our meal order. I also ordered hushpuppies, and silly me thinking since they were listed as a side item on the menu, they'd actually come out with the meal. They came out very quickly by themselves, so they became unintentional appetizer #2. Knowing now how long it took for the entrees to finally arrive, I'm glad the hushpuppies came out when they did. And like the other comment, they were overdone. When the food finally arrived, it too, was overdone. I had ordered the broiled flounder stuffed with crab meat. It was so stuffed, they had to cook the heck out of it so it would get done in the middle, but this dried out the flouder to the consistency of jerky. Dockside had been recommended to us by our B&B owner, and she'd even made reservations for us, so we felt committed instead of walking away. The next day for lunch we found High Tides in the middle of town by the pier and had a much better experience. I think we'll trust our own instincts from now on.
Written Aug 25, 2008
It was very good, but a bit slow. That's fine if the food turns out well. It was pretty good. Our group ordered a variety of stuff. It was all good except the hush puppies were a bit over done. I had the fried sampler plate; the fried oyster were very delicious as was the rest of plate. Alas my constitution can't take that much fried stuff.
All of it was very good. It started off with some nice salads also.
You don't really need to make reservations during the week. There are a couple more dining options in Colonial Beach, but we stopped only here.
It's right on the very scenic and very wide Potamac River.
Favorite Dish: Fried oysters. The steamed crab cake was also very good.
Written Aug 14, 2007
Address: 1787 Castlewood Dr., Colonial Beach, VA 22443
The food is good, the location is nice -- it's right at the marina.
I recommend it four group functions or a nice, quiet dinner.
Reservations probably aren't necessary but I made them when I went
with a group of about 8.
Written Apr 30, 2006
Address: 1787 Castlewood Dr
One of the marinas on Monroe Bay is Bayside
Equipment: Open in late March or April
Updated Apr 4, 2011