When my daughters and I walked in the door we were immediately greeted by a fellow patron with “Believe me, it’s worth the wait.”
The last time I was at the Fish Net, I met my parents and my cousin Jack as they were already sitting down at one of the familiar picnic-style benches. As a child I was fascinated by the atmosphere; from the woodsy exterior, the Lilly pad-strewn water surrounding the back porch I assumed was teeming with alligators and the surety that I would sit in proximity to someone I knew.
Tonight the appeal of food, family and familiar faces was passed on to the next generation. We began the evening by ordering our beverages of water, Coke, and sweet iced tea. The sweet tea was a traditional South Georgia sugary delight. The best aspect of the tea and the water was that they each came with their own pitcher—no waiting around for refills.
I ordered the seafood platter which consisted of shrimp, scallops, oysters, clam strips, crab cake and hush puppies. White fish was not available, so I opted for extra oysters. I love oysters, so I considered the lack of white fish a big win for me. The meal also included a side of cheese grits and salad bar. The salad bar is diverse in its offerings and can satisfy the sweet or salty taste buds. I especially enjoyed the slaw that has a creamy consistency and bread and butter pickles as well as dill. Each entrée item was fried, not burned. I was given both sauces-tartar and cocktail; again negating the need to ask for something necessary. One daughter had the child’s portion of popcorn shrimp and French fries. I didn’t have to ask if she was pleased since she ate everything except for 2 French fries. My other daughter, still not one to eat anything “fishy,” had the Land Lubber’s grilled chicken breast with cheese grits. She commented that is was very tasty and a little spicy. She has a very sensitive palate, so who knows. The chicken was accompanied by the Fish Nets’ own version of corn bread. The bread looks like a flat golden brown disc on the outside and a light buttery yellow on the inside containing a subtle sweetness. My family is always amused at the attention I give to portion size. Well, tonight as I polished off the last three oysters, I felt like Adam Richman of “Man vs. Food.” This time, man won. I went back to the salad bar for chocolate mousse with bits of Oreo cookies hidden within. A fluffy, sweet conclusion to a well-rounded meal.
The Fish Net is one of the most comfortable places I have ever eaten. When I was child I felt safe, warm and welcome. As an adult I went with my family to enjoy their company and eat some really flavorful food. As a parent, I continue the tradition of taking my own children where we all feel safe, warm and welcome. The Fish Nets’ slogan is “Come Get Caught in Our Net.” Like my fellow patron said, “Believe me, it’s worth the wait.”
The Fish Net
3949 Sportsman Cove Road
Lake Park, Georgia 31636
Owned and Operated by Leb and Debbie Upchurch since 1992
Hours: Thursday & Friday 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturday 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM