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Croaker's Spot: The soul of seafood
I had intended to take Lee to Croaker's Spot when I discovered it on touring Jackson Ward in September, 2006 with Christian. In December of that year, Lee and I did stop in here, but only for some sweet tea. The chance to take a full meal here finally presented itself when Paul Negrin and I attended a meeting of the Richmond City Republican party in February, 2007. The walls are decorated with sepia-toned photographs of Jackson Ward's heyday. Half of the restaurant faces Second Street and is filled with round tables covered with white tablecloths. In the other half, the cook works diner-style in a tiny square kitchen up by the windows. An art deco bar fills up the space, along with cosy booths. There is also a tiny little cobblestone patio out back, but we dared not meet out there in the middle of winter. On portions, you really get bang for your buck. Full meals run between $10-20, but the portions almost had me asking for takeaway. There's not much floor space: just a few booths and a long wait to get in at the weekend. They do takeaway, but ring ahead with your order. The surrounding neighbourhoood may seem dodgy, but it is safer than it looks. Croaker's Spot will no doubt play a big part in the long overdue revitalisation of Jackson Ward.
Favorite Dish: I had the fried lake trout with sauteed green peppers and Vidalia onions, potatoes and corn bread, washed down with sweet iced tea. The trout was good. It had bones, but it was nowhere near as bony as the shad I had at the most recent shad planking. The potatoes were all right if a little bland. The pepper and onion medley would have been perfect all by itself, but I wasn't keen on the spicy orange coloured sauce that looked like an Americanised version of French dressing. The cornbread was so sweet, I wasn't sure whether I was eating cornbread or pound cake. However, the sweet tea was great. The Republican committee had the same thing served to everyone. Next time, when I'm taking Lee, Paul, or an out-of-town VT friend there, we can choose what we want from the menu and probably come away with a better outlook. Awhile later, I ordered the fried fish salad because I wasn't terribly hungry. It turns out that the salad which consists of lettuce, tomatoes, shallots, and mozarella cheese came with three great big pieces of fried fish. Even on the salads, they don't skimp on the portions!
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