Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant

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Mags81
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2003/11/20 22:20:00 (permalink)

Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant

Has anyone even eaten at the Sea Gull Pier Restaurant located on the Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell. I always heard it was good so finally decided to give it a try this past October. I got a fried flounder sandwich and I thought that it was incredible. The filet was HUGE and fried to a crisp golden brown. In fact it was served open-faced and you couldn't even see the white bread that was underneath of it. Most importantly the flavor was right on the money, it had to be one of the best filets that I've ever had. Has anyone else had any good/bad experiences with this restaurant? What have you ordered there? Would you go back and/or recommend it?
#1

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    Edwaste
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/20 23:15:24 (permalink)
    Yes! We have been there this September on our way to the OBX. I got some breakfast and it was great considering the price. I saw some other people eating the fried fish and it looked tasty. How can you beat the view...It's one of those places that is a must try, not just for the decent traveling food, but the unusual location.
    #2
    JimInKy
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/21 03:46:20 (permalink)
    I've been anticipating mention of that wonderful restaurant in an unlikely setting on the Eastern Shore side of the bay/bridge tunnel. Only, my memorable restaurant isn’t the Sea Gull Pier, it’s Sting Ray’s Cape Center Restaurant. I guess we now know there are at least 2 restaurants worthy of mention near the tip of Virginia’s Cape Charles.

    As we made our way down the Eastern Shore on vacation in 1998, we often heard about Sting Ray’s when asking about good seafood restaurants. The dining guide we’d bought also said good things. So we weren’t worried; the last seafood meal of our trip would be a success. At last we saw it, the final gas and food stop on route 13, about a mile from the bridge terminus. While we thought we were prepared for the sight of it, we weren't. Sting Ray’s is a combination modern truck stop, gas station and convenience mart in a building that happens to have a fine seafood restaurant in the back.

    Sting Ray’s serves stunningly delicious and perfectly prepared food. The menu offered an extensive selection of fresh crab, shrimp, flounder and other seafood, prepared every which way. I was astonished to find a baked winter squash as a side dish. At the next table, plump cauliflower, grown nearby, was served with a homemade sauce.

    While seafood dominates the menu, there are some other noteworthy choices, including fiery Sting Ray Chili, which the owner is famous for. We read that sometimes the menu includes lamb and European desserts. As this fresh and elegant food is served in an incongruous setting, this Eastern Shore treasure is referred to by some as “Chez Exxon”.

    There was a considerable line on the Saturday night we visited and we met several people. One couple had driven 2 hours from Richmond just for dinner (paying $20 in round trip tolls for the privilege). Then there were two couples in tuxedos and eveningwear, carrying good wine standing next to folks freshly scrubbed from work on the nearby farms and waters. A teacher and spouse had driven down from Salisbury, Md. The two of us were en route home from an Eastern Shore (and Tangier Island) crab eating vacation--soft shells or crab cakes every lunch and dinner for 3 days. The Richmond people said they made the trip a couple times a year. With seafood that good and so well prepared, I’m not surprised people made a 4 hour round trip for dinner.

    We decided to enjoy as much seafood as possible at our last meal on the coast. Looking around at the happy diners we wanted to order about every dish on the menu and so we splurged, ordering 4 seafood entrees. I vaguely recall how good they all turned out, but I’m imprinted with the memory of the fried flounder. Until that moment, I had no idea flounder could be so delicious. It was an enormous piece of fish, fresh and expertly fried, then rushed to the table hot. Everything about this meal was so fine, that after just a few bites, we began whining before about living 12 hours away. It was eat and cry, eat and cry.

    Sting Ray’s is still going strong, making new pilgrims all the time. It’s located at 26507 Lankford Hwy. Cape Charles, Virginia, and the phone number is 757-331-2505. I thought their prices quite reasonable for such high quality food, and the staff was friendly. It’s definitely a Roadfood kind of place.
    #3
    seafarer john
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/21 12:08:48 (permalink)
    Damn! We drove right by that place a half dozen times- but there wont be another time- definitely a stop for us!
    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/23 05:54:17 (permalink)
    If you are talking about the restaurant in the middle of the bridge, I an my brother had breakfast there a couple of years ago and it exceeded our expectations. We have remarked several times since then that it was one of the better breakfast cooks I have ever had.

    Who would have thunk it.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    JimInKy
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/23 07:23:30 (permalink)
    We crossed the bridge late at night and were unaware of the Sea Gull Pier restaurant. My guidebook from then, The Insider's Guide to Virginia's Chesapeake Bay, says a new bridge was on the drawing boards and would parrallel the first bridge. Completion was anticipated by 1999. Well, I didn't see any signs of it in September 1998. I rather doubt it's been built or even funded?

    That's all the Eastern Shore needs--to become a north-south highway alternative to I-95 (travelers going north to New York on 1-95 can shave 90 minutes off their trip by detouring across the bay).

    Anyone know the status of a second bridge?
    #6
    Edwaste
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/23 10:11:13 (permalink)
    The second has been built. Both sides merge together before each tunnel and then separate afterward.
    #7
    IndyRoadfoodFan
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/23 11:23:36 (permalink)
    I ate at that bridge/tunnell seafood restaurant many years ago. I had the seafood platter, it was fantastic and what better atmosphere can you have for seafood. You all make me want to get back there again soon... JB
    #8
    seafarer john
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/23 11:50:01 (permalink)
    And if you are a birdwatcher, bring your glasses because there's a pretty good chance to see some sea birds in the Winter out there in the middle of the Bay. Your local Audobon society can keep you informed of recent spottings if anything of interest has shown up.
    #9
    JimInKy
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    RE: Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnell - Restaurant 2003/11/24 02:46:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Edwaste

    The second has been built. Both sides merge together before each tunnel and then separate afterward.

    Thanks for the information. I'm surprised some newer maps don't differentiate between the two bridges. I hadn't thought the original tunnels would be used for bridge number two.

    At least driving will be safer now and probably more relaxed.
    #10
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