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Metompkin Seafood

14209 Lankford Highway, Mappsville, VA - (757) 824-0503
Posted By Michael Stern on 3/5/2010 11:42:00 PM
Metompkin Seafood is a ramshackle roadside market that sells terrific local seafood cooked to order. When I stopped by one Saturday in February, it had only just opened after a winter hiatus and spirits among customers standing inside were high. "Finally!" one woman called out, ordering a couple of pounds of steamed shrimp, a fried scallop platter and a crab cake sandwich. "I've been hungry since Christmas." A man in a camouflage hunting outfit said he'd driven forty-five minutes to Mappsville three times in the last week just to have plates of seaside (as opposed to bayside) oysters.

Dining here is about as far from corporate fast food as cheap eats can be. When owner Ellen Hudgins takes your order at the counter, she writes it on a slip of paper and carries it to the back room, where the fish is fried, oysters opened, and shrimp steamed. Ten to twenty minutes later, the cook brings forth Styrofoam containers and foil-wrapped sandwiches and Ellen announces, "I've got you some orders here." Hungry hopefuls listen to see if their time has come. Grab a can of soda from the cooler, then dine at a picnic table or in your car.

The dishes I want more of are fried oysters -- a perfect balance of crunchy crust and gooey insides -- and a flounder sandwich that was two large hunks of fish encased in a vividly seasoned crust, expertly fried so the meat within was moist and sweet. The fried crab cake is not the deluxe lump-style cake but it is unimpeachably crabby; and at $4.95 for a crab cake sandwich, it is a bargain meal.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Fish Sandwich
Crab Cake Sandwich
Oyster Platter
Candy
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

We ordered the fish and shrimp platter, adding on some fried oysters and clams.  Everything was outstanding!
"We ordered the fish and shrimp platter, adding on some fried oysters and clams. Everything was outstanding!"
Cliff Strutz





The fish sandwich might be trout or even rock fish, depending on the season. This one is flounder: moist and fresh, enveloped in a vividly seasoned crisp crust. While it's technically a sandwich, the bun is nothing more than  a handy way to get the fish from its wrapper to your mouth.
"The fish sandwich might be trout or even rock fish, depending on the season. This one is flounder: moist and fresh, enveloped in a vividly seasoned crisp crust. While it's technically a sandwich, the bun is nothing more than a handy way to get the fish from its wrapper to your mouth."
Michael Stern


A close view of the crab cake. It is not an ultra fancy one like one finds over in Maryland, but I sure wouldn't kick it off the plate.
"A close view of the crab cake. It is not an ultra fancy one like one finds over in Maryland, but I sure wouldn't kick it off the plate."
Michael Stern


Just some of the fresh seafood available!
"Just some of the fresh seafood available!"
Cliff Strutz


Metompkin is a no-frills seafood market with a few available side dishes (hush puppies, French fries, cole slaw). You are looking at the dessert menu.
"Metompkin is a no-frills seafood market with a few available side dishes (hush puppies, French fries, cole slaw). You are looking at the dessert menu."
Michael Stern


Here's some of what was fresh on February 27, 2010.
"Here's some of what was fresh on February 27, 2010. "
Michael Stern


Step up and tell Ellen Hudgins what you'd like to eat.
"Step up and tell Ellen Hudgins what you'd like to eat."
Michael Stern


Prices are as of August 2013.
"Prices are as of August 2013."
Cliff Strutz


This is the one and only indoor table. It is possible to eat here, but most people use it as a place to wait while their seafood is being cooked. It is outfitted with paper towels, hot sauce, vinegar, a real estate guide and a bible.
"This is the one and only indoor table. It is possible to eat here, but most people use it as a place to wait while their seafood is being cooked. It is outfitted with paper towels, hot sauce, vinegar, a real estate guide and a bible."
Michael Stern


What food-focused traveler could resist these folksy signs along Highway 13?
"What food-focused traveler could resist these folksy signs along Highway 13?"
Michael Stern


For connoisseurs of signage, Potampkin Seafood is a folk-art bonanza.
"For connoisseurs of signage, Potampkin Seafood is a folk-art bonanza."
Michael Stern


Beyond fine seafood from the ocean and the bay, Metompkin is Roadfood par excellence: part of a community that loves and appreciates it, completely tuned in to local foodways, informal and friendly. Here is one very convincing piece of evidence that American regional food is alive and well and a joy to discover and to eat.
"Beyond fine seafood from the ocean and the bay, Metompkin is Roadfood par excellence: part of a community that loves and appreciates it, completely tuned in to local foodways, informal and friendly. Here is one very convincing piece of evidence that American regional food is alive and well and a joy to discover and to eat."
Michael Stern


For outside warm weather dining, they have several picnic tables right outside the front door.
"For outside warm weather dining, they have several picnic tables right outside the front door."
Cliff Strutz


Sign outside front door.
"Sign outside front door."
DANNY SMALLEY


A driveway full of shells is a sure sign of a quality Roadfood restaurant.
"A driveway full of shells is a sure sign of a quality Roadfood restaurant."
Cliff Strutz



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