Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fresh Fresh Seafood

Allie and her tilapia stuffed with lump crab meat.

After another long day at The Spro, I took Allie over to one of my favorite local restaurants: Fresh Fresh Seafood on York Road, immediately south of the Towson Circle. It's a true Mom and Pop shop run by a real mom and pop. I've been coming here for the past two years and it's always been good.

Fresh Fresh's entrance is kinda small, nondescript and so easy to miss that I'm surprised anyone actually finds this place. The decor is minimal to non-existent. There are some mural-type paintings on the wall, formica tables and those same steel chairs you find in all the cheap eateries. Simply put: if you're coming for the decor, you're going to be extremely disappointed.

What you do come here for is the seafood. The owners make no claims as to the provenance of the ingredients - just that it's always fresh and always prepared to order. Service is sorta odd and fruity - there's really no way to describe it otherwise. It's not bad, it's just odd and fruity - almost off-kilter. But no matter how odd it may seem from time to time, they're just so nice and so welcoming and so earnest in their service that nothing else matters and you quickly overlook all the quirkiness.

I don't eat at Fresh Fresh all the time. It's usually saved for when baristas come to town to visit The Spro. After a day of talking/making coffee, a meal at Fresh Fresh caps off the day.

Scallops in lemon butter.

Today they're offering freshly squeezed lemonade and it's hot outside. Thankfully, their cups are bottomless and we're making good use of their generosity. It's sweet and lightly tarty. Actually, I would have preferred a bit more tartiness but it will do.

First round are scallops in lemon butter. Sometime I just get in the mood for scallops and must have them. This was one of those times. They were just right: seared with butter. Can you ask for more?

For our main courses, Allie had the broiled tilapia stuffed with lump crab meat and I had the Chilean sea bass. My bass was thick, meaty and tender but could have used a more liberal seasoning of salt and pepper. It was good but such a large cut of sea bass tends to get monotonous over time and I think a smaller portion would have been more enjoyable. Allie's tilapia was done the way I like it - with crispy edges for texture. It too needed more seasoning but was still quite good.

It's fresh food prepared with simple ingredients and techniques. Just what the doctor ordered.

Chilean Sea Bass.

One thing you'll notice from the images is that it's very simple food. Nothing extraneous or elaborate. Just food. The sides were also simple: macaroni and cheese, french fries and broccoli. I'm always a fan of macaroni and cheese but the fries need to be blanched before being finished fried because they lose that crisp and the broccoli would have been better had they been steamed just a little less - I prefer more of a "snap" in my veggies.

But otherwise, it was another good meal at Fresh Fresh. But one thing to remember about Fresh Fresh, it may look simple but it's not necessarily cheap. This is quality seafood in large portions at an appropriate price. Our meal cost eighty dollars with tip. But like I said, it's fresh and made to order - which also means that it takes a bit longer since it's only pop in the kitchen while mom works the floor.

Fresh Fresh Seafood
507 York Rd
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 821-3474