Reflections on Stripmall Eating

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Name: Cap'n Cat's Clam Bar
Location: Route 561, Voorhees, NJ
Personnel: Bethany, Rocky, Me
What We Ate: Garlic Steamed Clams, Rolls, Coconut Shrimp, Fried Oysters, Spicy Fries, Broiled Combination Deluxe (Scallops, Shrimp, Crabcake, Flounder), Coleslaw, Diet Rite
Condiments: Tartar Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, Piña Colada Sauce
Bill Total: $58
Observations: I don't know why I went looking for a taste of the sea in a Voorhees stripmall. In retrospect, it seems kind of dumb. It was a holiday weekend, though, and not having planned a trip to a beachy place, I was craving crustaceans. At the front Cap'n Cat's has a little fish counter. In the grubby back dining room, where we were seated, the service was slow and distracted. To start, we got a bowl of steaming clams for sharing, but since we had no plates of our own we had to huddle over it like it was fondue. The clams were rubbery and the broth was not rich enough to justify bread dipping. On a positive note, I was pleased to find Diet Rite on the menu, a beta cola that got pushed aside in the fierce Coke and Pepsi wars of the 80s. For a main, Rocky had oysters that were so heavily breaded they might have been cow thymus for all we knew. Bethany had fried coconut shrimp, which were a better choice — if only because they came with a piña colada sauce that tasted like the TGI Friday's cocktail mix they sell in the state store. My platter was hardly worth the $16.95. The crabcake had nice fresh meat but its crust was unappetizingly dark. The scallops came slightly overcooked; shrimp were tasteless; the fish was watery. Even the spicy fries were underwhelming. Also, as Bethany pointed out, it's kind of lame to serve condiments in wasteful plastic containers to people who are dining in. Would Red Lobster have been better? Perhaps.

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