Monday, December 5, 2011

The Dockside Restaurant

700 Jordan Point Road  
Hopewell, VA 23860-8249
(804) 541-2600

                I will not lie, the first few times that I’d ever been to Dockside I hated it. I did not enjoy the food that I ordered, the service was bad and they did not serve sweet tea.  Not too long ago there was a change in management which at first seemed like for the worse, if that was possible.  But recently my parents and brother, who also did not like Dockside, have raving about their “awesome” crab cakes.  They claimed that they were some of the best they’ve ever had, especially in the Tri-City area.  Although I trust my family I did not believe them and did not want to waste my money at a place a “knew” was bad.
                A weekend or so ago lent me the opportunity to try these “awesome” crab cakes without wasting my own money.  Ever since father’s day I promised to take my father shooting in Charles City. The range is only open seasonally so we were not able to go until this last month. So we loaded up the rifles, picked up my brother and headed to Charles City. The range was free and very nice. After an afternoon of shooting we were heading back to Prince George and our route brought us right by the Dockside. Since we had not eaten lunch my dad stopped so that I could try a crab cake.
                The place was totally dead, as it usually is, so we had our choice of tables. We sat next to a large window              . The view of the James River would have been beautiful except for the fact that we were staring directly at the factories on the river which their smoke filling the air. We arrived too late to order crab cake sandwiches because they are only served at lunch which ended exactly 2 minutes before we were seated.  Since we wanted the crab cakes we had to order the crab cake dinner which comes with two grilled crab cakes, 2 sides and rolls for $17.99. This is actually cheaper per crab cake than the sandwich and it comes with two sides.  Since there were three of us we had to order two. For sides we ordered a baked sweet potatoe, cole slaw, french fries and sautéed zucchini and squash. Be warned if you decide to share an entrée at the dockside you have to pay a $3.00 “plate fee” which kind of stinks.  
                I was very happy to discover that the owners, although Yankees, have learned how to make pretty good sweet tea.  After one round, our waitress quickly discovered that it would be easier to just leave the pitcher on the table. It was not long before we were brought our plates. Before us sat four delicious looking and smelling crab cakes and four sides. The waitress offered to get us buns since she knew that wanted crab cake sandwiches but we decided that the fresh baked rolls that were brought out with the meal would more than suffice. The side dishes were surprisingly good.  The sweet potatoes were moist and tender not at all dried out and our waitress was more than happy to supply us with as much brown sugar as we needed.  The french fries were thick cut fries and were ok. The cole slaw was also the thick cut variety with not too much mayonnaise. It had a nice flavor and a good crunch.  It was the zucchini and squash that really stole the show as far as the sides were concerned.  They were sautéed until extremely tender with a nice buttery flavor that did not totally over whelm their actual flavor.  The sides were very good but let me get to the really amazing part, the crab cakes.
                These crab cakes were very large and stuffed with crab meat and very little filler and perfectly pan seared. The searing left a nice crush on the outside of the crab cakes but left the inside moist and juicy.  The crab cakes were large enough that I was able to cut it in half and make two sandwiches. I have to say that using the rolls instead of buns was a great idea and they went perfectly with the crab cakes.  Topped with a little remoulade  sauce, these crab cakes were awesome.
                I was planning on putting the menu for Dockside up but I really felt that there was no point because if you come here the only things that you should order are the crab cakes.  If I am ever in the mood for crab cakes the Dockside will be the only place I go in the Tri-Cities from now on.

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