It's been many years since my last visit to the Trawl Door Restaurant in Oriental, and my memory of the physical layout back in the day is hazy. I do remember the food -- fried fish, hush puppies, French fries -- typical Southern fare. I was excited to check out the resurrection of the Trawl Door by New Bern's Flame Restaurant, hoping for a more modern cuisine.
There are three dining venues at the Trawl Door: an open-air deck, a covered deck/bar and the inside dining room. We chose the latter. The restaurant is on the water, and the open-air deck is the only venue that has water views. Even so, management has done a beautiful job renovating the inside. Below is a photo taken as I was exiting the very nice Ladies Room.
Go straight and you'll be back outside. Turn right, and you're headed toward the dining room, as below.
The dining room is on the dark side, even though there are some windows that face the parking lot, but it has a nice feel.
There were four of us, and we each ordered something different. For me, it was Pan Seared Flounder with summer squash, zucchini olive oil and basil tomatoes, natural juice and mashed potatoes ($15.95). I asked for another veggie in place of the potatoes but when my entree came, there was just the squash. The veggies were under the fish and they, and the fish, were absolutely delightful, cooked to perfection. The veggies were not too raw and not too cooked, and the sauce was perfect on the mild flounder.
Bob ordered Seared cod with garlic mashed potatoes, andouille sausage and clam broth ($16.95). There were some small clams with this dish. He raved about everything.
Darian asked for Seared Atlantic salmon with truffle tomatoes vinaigrette mashed potatoes and
lobster nage ($18.95). She asked for another veggie in place of the mashed potatoes and got a cauliflower-broccoli medley. She loved the veggies and the fish.
Serving sizes on all of the above entrees were adequate, but not huge. None of us had difficulty finishing our entrees and there were no leftovers to carry home. The fried seafood platter, below, is a larger entree. It should also be mentioned that none of the four of us were served hot entrees. Everything was warm, which was okay, but not preferable. Like good diners, no one asked for anything to be returned or replaced. We dined early (6:30 pm), and the restaurant was not crowded, but we did order four different entrees, so that may be what the problem was.
Hubby Guy, a clam lover, was upset there were no clams on the menu. The only thing he could find to order was the Seafood Platter of fried shrimp, oyster, calamari and flounder served with a side of
coleslaw($19.95). He asked for more shrimp in place of the calamari. Though it wasn't mentioned on the menu, this entree also came with French fries. When he asked for tartar sauce, he was told there was none available, but one of the sous chefs made him a red sauce. He loved the shrimp and oysters and ate them all. He left the flounder.
We asked our very cordial server to take a photo of us before we left. Guy and Darian are on the left, and Bob and I are on the right.
The Trawl Door, http://www.thetrawldoor.com, 518 Water Street, Oriental, NC, (252)249-3500
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS FRIDAY MAY 24TH