Love (This) Shack
The word is out about Waterfront Seafood Shack in Calabash.
Want fancy-schmancy ambience? Don’t come here.
Want white glove service? Don’t come here.
Want a choice of fine wines, high-end cocktails and craft beers? Don’t come here.
Want top-drawer nautical decor? Don’t come here.
But if you want outstanding seafood, friendly service and being so close to the ICW that you might stick your foot in it, then, by all means, wend your way to Waterfront Seafood Shack in Calabash.
Jimmy Durante’s classic signature “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!” is the stuff of legend here, and, for sure, there is no dearth of great places to eat in this quaint seaside town. Boundary House, Oyster Rock, Captain Nance’s, Ella’s, the Dockside Restaurant and others have been sating appetites for many years.
But Waterfront Seafood Shack has something unique — a direct pipeline to great fresh seafood from their fishing boats to your plate. In fact, there is a take-out seafood store right on the premises, along with dockside and garden seating.
As aforementioned, alcohol is not served at the Waterfront Seafood Shack, though you are allowed to BYO. But an array of refreshing non-alcoholic drinks is available.
Try the Strawberry Smoothie, for example. It went very well with my blackened shrimp dinner, a meal that contained at least 18 succulent, fresh shrimp (which probably began their day offshore).
Blackened, seasoned to perfection and served with fries and a delicious cole slaw, it was a dish well worth the price of $18.75. The missus raved about an unusual blackened crab cake with sweet potato fries and slaw, claiming that is was “very different, very interesting and very delicious!”
Owners Bob and Serina Taylor turned their 20-year-old ice cream shop into a seafood restaurant just eight years ago, and they haven’t looked back since.
The business is also a family affair, as their two daughters, a soon-to-be-high-school graduate and a college co-ed, walk the planks of the dock for their parents.
I asked Bob how business was, what with one of N.C.’s premier restaurants — The Oyster Rock — just a stone’s throw away. The businesses actually share part of the ICW dock. He was effusive in his praise for what the Rock has done for the area, bringing in a clientele somewhat different than that which he attracts.
But he also noted that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” The missus and I, for example, devotees of the Oyster Rock, had heard good things about the Waterfront Shack, but we just never had occasion to go. The same conversation took place 10 feet to our left where other customers mentioned the good things they’d heard about The Shack. And though we were the only ones on the dock at 5:30 pm by 6 pm, all the seats were taken, and the tables in the garden were filled. So, somebody knows something.
We can attest that the hearsay was accurate. The food is fresh and delicious, and in the right weather, the dock is an ideal place to grab a great meal for a reasonable price. Serene, comfortable and picturesque, it’s a wonderful spot for a visit. True, you may have to hike a bit to get to the loo, but it’s clean and well-lit, and, as long as it’s not an emergency, a little exercise never hurt anyone.
And, with “The Season” in full force, you might do well to get there early. Remember, people are talking about Waterfront Seafood Shack. With very good reason.
Want to go?
Waterfront Seafood Shack
9945 Nance Street, Calabash