Typically when I ask people what their favorite eatery for this dish or that dish is I hear a wide variety of responses. Sometimes there will be a few people saying the same thing, but most often the responses are spread out among both well-known restaurants and the smaller places that not many people know about.
This wasn’t the case when I started asking about the best place to get some good seafood. In fact, the response was nearly unanimous among the people I polled to find out their favorite seafood place: Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar. With three locations throughout the Omaha Metro area, apparently this is the place to get good seafood.
“The food is fresh and very well prepared,” says Amber Tyler. “I love the relaxed, laid back atmosphere. Their clam chowder is great too – as close as I’ve found to the chowder at my favorite East Coast dive.”
Sara Locke agrees. “They fly fish in very frequently and mess with it as little as possible. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with a cut or species, they will educate you and even offer some recipes.”
The idea of the seafood being fresh seems to be the prevailing theme at Shucks. If you’re a fan of seafood –or, rather, a fan of good seafood- you know that time is of the essence when it comes to getting the fish to the customer.
There were a few other places worth mentioning, although Shucks yielded the most responses by far.
I asked my friend Tony Tapper where he goes for fish because he’s the only guy I know who really likes to go fishing; I figured that would make him an expert on where to get good fish around town. His response really surprised me. “What I really like are the little walk-in shops where I can get fish and chips, like the ones in Seattle. Around here, and I know this sounds weird, I go to Applebee’s and get their fish and chips.”
After a pause, Tony and I then agreed that he needs to try out Shucks.
Brenda Thacker says that her family usually heads to Charlie’s on the Lake when they want seafood. I’ve had the tilapia there and I agree that it’s quite good. Another friend of mine, who I’m not going to name because he’s a server at one of the swankier restaurants in town and I don’t want to get him in trouble, says “I really like Bonefish Grill. The crab cakes and the Bang Bang Shrimp are really good, and the service is always really good too.” He adds, “I’ve only been to Hiro once, but I thought the seafood there was excellent too.”
Ruth Bennett used to work at a seafood restaurant in Hawaii, so it seemed logical to ask her where she goes when she wants good seafood in Omaha. “The mahi mahi at Joe’s Crab Shack is some of the best mahi mahi I’ve ever had,” she declares. “Unlike some of the other seafood in Omaha, it tasted very fresh and the flavors were terrific.”
As for me, when I want really great seafood I head to Twisted Cork Bistro. The Sockeye Salmon they serve truly is a triumph. Not only does it taste fresh, but the flavors of the ginger-crusted salmon accompanied by miso-sesame vinaigrette make for a really delicious entrée. It’s almost enough to make me forget that I am in a landlocked state…almost.