We ventured across the Potomac to Old Town Alexandria to show my parents the quaint, historic King Street area. We paid a visit to the Fish Market for dinner. Like most Old Town restaurants, the Fish Market is housed in a really old building with a colorful history. During the Civil War, the building was a field hospital and later it was used to cure ham and beef products (you can see the nails in the beams on the second and third floors of the restaurant).
We started off the meal with the seafood restaurant standard: New England clam chowder. Well, we tried to start the meal off with the chowder but our waitress forgot to bring it. Just as our entrees were being carried out we reminded her (a second time) that we hadn't seen the soup yet. She rushed it out and while pretty good, I'd rather not have to wait 20 minutes for it.
B ordered the Admiral's Platter (broiled shrimp, scallops, salmon, and crab imperial served with potatoes and coleslaw). It was a fun tour of the high seas that wasn't the most amazing seafood we've ever had, but nothing to make you seasick either.
I was craving crustaceans and ordered the snow crab legs. It was a massive pile of crab that barely fit on the table. Nothing fancy here, just straight up snow crab served with melted butter, fries, and coleslaw. So tasty and such a good value (less than $25 for a huge serving).
Don't go to the Fish Market expecting amazing service (our waitress was terrible) or fancy cooking. Go if you're in the neighborhood and looking for solid, reliable seafood at reasonable prices.
Second Thoughts from B
Let me reiterate that the service was terrible. It wasn't that anyone was rude or wasn't trying though. It was more a case of extreme forgetfulness. However, this was the second time we've dined at the Fish Market and the other time was quite pleasant.
So assuming you go and avoid Miss Absentminded, you're in for a decent meal in a very cool building. J touched on the history that surrounds you. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it makes the meal, but it certainly makes it worth a stop.
So let's take inventory. In reviewing our trip to the Fish Market, I've discussed the poor service and the cool building. No mention yet of the food. I think that's pretty telling and very appropriate. It is standard, average, decent seafood. Basically what you'd expect at a place like this... and nothing more. There's nothing wrong with that, especially with a historic building in such a charming part of town.