Fish River Grill is a seafood centric restaurant that promotes itself as the place where locals love to eat. There are three locations. Foley, Gulf Shores and Fairhope, all in Alabama.
608 McKenzie St
Foley, AL 36535
1545 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
19270 Scenic HWY 98
Fairhope, AL 36532
We visited the Foley location. It’s an appropriately decorated venue with a vibe somewhere between a family restaurant and a tourist spot, leaning toward the family restaurant side. The bar is good sized and in a separate room from the main seating. There was a TV or two in the main dining area but nothing really useful if you were say, trying to follow March Madness.
The menu is what you would expect in this area. Appetizers include usuals but leans heavily to what I would call locally expected like cheese curds, gator bites and hush puppies. It also contains some unique choices like the Swamp Soup and Cajun Crawfish Pistol. There’s a good assortment of sandwiches, burger, po-boys etc. The entree’s are almost all grilled or fried seafood except for the grilled chicken salad. It does include gator and frog legs. They have a menu of smaller serving sizes for kids, seniors or just someone who isn’t trying to gorge themselves. I would like to note that the prices are very reasonable, especially for the current inflationary situation.
The drink menu (non-alcoholic) is cheap. $1.29 with free refills on tea, sodas and lemonade.
If you order from what they call the Watering Hole. You will find the regular assortment with two noted exceptions. Pretty much every place in the area serves Bushwhackers, It’s rumored to have originated in the area and like most history there’s arguments over where it was actually invented. Fish River has a signature drink, which you will see in social media posts over and over. The Jubilee Beast is a Bloody Mary topped with a fried soft-shell crab. This makes for an amazing visual presentation. Sadly I didn’t try one on this trip.
The beer menu is also very standard, mostly American standards like Coors Lite, Miller Lite etc. They do carry a few craft beers from Fairhope Brewing, one of which was on tap.
We were seated pretty quickly. We were just on the front edge of dinner time and the restaurant was pretty full by the time we left. We visited on a Thursday night. Our waitress was sweet and she kept a pretty regular check on us until toward the end of our visit. In fairness, it was getting busy and like most places these days they were probably a little under staffed. However, I think she did a good job dealing with her customer load for the most part. She was a little clueless when I asked about craft beer on tap or in bottles. She should have gone a gotten me an answer when she didn’t know the what kind of craft beer they carried, but did not. I walked to the bar and asked myself after making three attempts to get the information from her.
Cathy’s chicken sandwich was very good. I ordered the big seafood platter. Fried, which is not my normal choice. The gator bites and oysters were very good. the shrimp was average at best. The fish, I didn’t ask what kind of fish because our waitress was really busy, was a mixed bag. There were two pieces, same kind of fish. One was very good, the other tasted like it had gone bad and I left it on my plate. The stuffed crab was not good. The stuffing had about 50% more veggies in it than needed and it overpowered the flavor. I wish I had taken a picture of this. The slaw was very good. They bring you huge squeeze bottles of cocktail and tartar sauce and both were delicious. The fries were good also and came with hushpuppies and fried okra. The portion sizes are more than enough and I would say that I would consider the smaller plate offering if we visit again.
I always feel a little bad about reviewing a place based on one trip and one meal, but when you are a vagabond it’s just how it has to be. So I’m really sharing my impression after a small sample size. Overall the service was sufficient, the food above average. Fish River Grill is a good solid place to eat with reasonable prices. I would really like to have tried their burgers which looked really good but I was in the mood for seafood which is how we ended up there in the first place. We would eat here again and I think most people would not leave disappointed.