With the news of Mudville Grille closing in Arlington, a lot of people were pretty upset. Mudville has been a Jacksonville institution since 1994, so this felt like the end of an era (the St. Nicholas location is still open, so don’t fret). Luckily, this sad news came with a nice silver lining. It was announced that the owners would transition Mudville into a new seafood concept, Southern Coast Seafood. They currently own Outta Line Fisheries LLC, which is a commercial fishing business, so they will be serving their fresh catches in the restaurant.
My husband and I visited on a Sunday night. We were seated and started looking over the menu. I was very pleased with the variety as well as the prices. We initially ordered a few appetizers, but they were out of the Fish Dip so we had to nix that one. They had just opened less than a week ago, so we definitely didn’t hold that against them. We ended up with the Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cakes ($13), which were spectacular. Very little filler, the crab was plentiful, and the crab cakes were a good size (the appetizer comes with 2). There is a house made remoulade sauce drizzled over the top, which we really enjoyed as well.
Since this was our first visit, we got a few entrees to share. First up was the Pan Seared Scallops. The dish came with about 6-7 scallops that were cooked in a Thyme Soubise sauce. They were cooked evenly and we were very pleased with the taste. Even though the menu lists the sides that come with each entree, you can swap them out any way you like (the menu is being updated to reflect this). We went with Pimento Cheese Grits and Pimento Mac & Cheese. Our server Marian warned us that we might get cheesed out by ordering 2 pimento items. We started to feel it towards the end of the meal, but we managed to power through. The cheese was definitely present but was not overpowering like some pimento items can be. We thoroughly enjoyed both sides but I think I would only choose one next time, per Marian’s warning.
Our final entrée was definitely the favorite of the night, the Fried Platter, two ways. We chose Fried Shrimp and Blacked Fish (Mahi Mahi) for our platter. Catfish is the standard fish selection, but you are able to substitute the fresh catch in at no additional charge, so that’s just what we did. It was phenomenal. The fish was cooked beautifully, very flaky and seasoned to perfection. I was very upset that I had to share this, but it was too late to change the rules. Luckily, there were also an abundance of fried shrimp on the platter to distract me. The shrimp were very large and the breading had a fantastic flavor. While they are great as-is, don’t skip the tartar sauce. It tasted a lot like an aioli and was a great accompaniment. We chose fries and Herbed Jasmine Rice for our side items. I was a little shocked to see that the fries were hand cut. I was fully expecting the standard crinkle fry that you find at many seafood restaurants. This was a nice surprise as the fries tasted great, but I was less impressed with the rice. It was more on the bland side and a little dry, but as I said before, they are still working out the kinks so I don’t want to dwell on this too much.
Sadly, we had to skip dessert since we were pretty stuffed by the end of the meal. All of the desserts are made in house so we will definitely save some room next time. Overall, we were very impressed with Southern Coast Seafood. We weren’t sure what to expect when it was announced, but we definitely weren’t expecting this. You can definitely taste the freshness in every bite, and the prices are very reasonable. The service was fantastic (shout out to Marian!) and we had a great experience overall. We literally discussed how much we loved the food all the way home, and for the rest of the night once we got home. I am thrilled that we have such a great new place in Arlington and I urge everyone to check them out.