Ugh, I know what you must be thinking: “How could you ever consider this cumstain of an establishment as anything resembling a restaurant — much less one worthy of review?” Well, to answer your question: We were returning from a Hudson Valley road trip, and this Bronx island was a nice stopping point before switching drivers and heading into the chaotic New York City landscape. Also, watch your dirty mouth.
So we drove slowly down City Island Avenue carefully scrutinizing the various seafood restaurants. The whole point was to pick an unassuming and basic place. Fried fish was naturally the idea, and for some reason we assumed the literal proximity to the ocean (well, technically the intersection of the Long Island Sound and the East River) meant quality food.
Well, we should have taken the frequent [racially-motivated?] kerfuffles in the parking lot as some indication. Also, there was no apparent reef, despite the name.
First and foremost, the only thing the three of us ordered was the fried shrimp, which is accompanied by fries and what was termed coleslaw, but what was laughably nothing like what this North Carolinian grew up with. Clearly we all quickly ditched everything else in favor of the shrimp, which was actually quite good. Very crispy and well seasoned. The drinks were cheap — another plus. Also, the “restaurant” has numerous stations set up, eager to pump (and I mean pump) out your favorite sauces — as long as those sauces included tartar and cocktail.
Needless to say, this place lacked what I would term questionable hygiene. There was literally trash and debris strewn around the ground. I was strangely relieved by the presence of an orange tabby, who was clearly more than just a little nonplussed by it all. “Yah, I live here. What are YOU doing here,” the cat seemed to shout?
P.S. Cash only.