Austin >Food & Dining > Pacific Star Restaurant-Oyster
13507 N Hwy 183, Austin, TX | Directions 7875030.450127 -97.790630
Awesome! – I loved the decor for one thing! The beer was ice cold, the oysters were great and when the main entree came out I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I did not expect so much from this little restaurant tucked in among the car dealerships. People are missing out!
Great Food, Great Service – This is the kind of place crave seafood. I am from Houston and the Austin version of seafood has not really wow'd me. The exception is Pacific Star in NW Austin. The food is great and the family proprietors are top notch. If you are looking for 5 star, cloth napkins and fine china this is not your place. But if you are looking for great food, belly up to the bar and put your lips around the best seafood in town.
BAD SERVICE!!! – We ate here at about 5pm on Friday. Right off the bat, the service was bad. One waiter for the hole place on a busy day! The food was ok, the catfish was very greasy. I asked the waiter if I can have a refill on my drink and he just ignored me. We were rushed out this place. It's very small so believe me, you will be rushed. I didnt get a refill, we were rushed and when it was time to pay that's the ONLY time the waiter was attentive. You're better off paying a higher price for seafood because the quality will be better and most importantly, the service will be better somewhere else. You get what you pay for!!!
Long John Silvers was Better, Frozen fried Mexican tries Cajun – Hole in the wall with bad service and worse food. They haven't the first clue as to Gumbo. Beer is warm and flat. Most of the menue is frosen fried Mrs Paul's items. It is in a delapidated old Long John Silver's but I bet it was better. How can you mess up raw oysters but an obnoxious, cracker wraper grabing waitress and a bell haapy fry chef sure did it for me. I have never had my plate reached across so many times. Get a root canal. It would be more pleasant.
The oysters: awesome. The rest, kind of bland – We came in with high hopes and were not disappointed with the ENORMOUS oysters on the half shell appetizer for about 1/5 of what you would pay for those someplace else. Fantastic. The entrees, however, left something to be desired. The cornmeal crust on the fried foods (I got the combo so I could sample everything) was pretty bland and generic tasting, no "wow" factor. And some strange celery or carrot flavor kept bothering me the whole time and made me not want to finish. The crawfish etoufee that previous reviewers had gleamed about was also a bit disappointing. Again, bland. Even the garlic bread that accompanied the dishes was bland, which was hard to understand. The service was good; bunch of nice kids working there, they were responsive and friendly. The low price made the trip worth it if only for the oyster appetizer. But not really flavorful stuff after that, as far as what we tried.
Better fried clam strips than New England; Better fried flounder than Galveston – Well, waddya know? Austin either has great continental dishes like Chilean sea bass topped with crab (Eddie V's), or great creole dishes (Gumbo's), but Pacific Star is the only restaurant in town that has seafood like you'll find on the Gulf. I personally don't care that much for Papadeaux's, because Pacific Star has them topped in all departments. One of the nicest things about Pacific Star is the ambience--you'll think you're on vacation on the Texas Gulf. You almost feel like there's sand on the floor. Their fried clams are the sweetest I've ever had (including Boston), and their fried whole catfish is SO SUPERB. The shrimp rice is AMAZING. Very child friendly and family friendly. The staff are attentive but not overbearing by any means. The prices are 1/2 of what they would be at a downtown seafood restaurant, and the food here is SO MUCH BETTER!!!
actually able to get good seafood in austin – i grew up working in a seafood market/restaurant and have been frustrated with trying to find good seafood in austin. i went to pacific star on a recommendation from a couple of regulars at my bar and was extremely pleased with what i ate. i had some awesome oysters diablo and a great crawfish pirogue. i have returned since and have had various broiled and blackened fish entrees and have never been disappointed. glad i could find a place that ventured out of the realm of catfish and into the ocean.
North Austin find serves up fresh, affordable seafood. – In Short
Old wooden planks creak under your feet as you enter. The decor is decidedly beachside dive, with a cramped interior bathed entirely in pale blue. A TV in the corner keeps the locals entertained as they mingle around the circular oyster bar. Get started with a bowl of savory gumbo or the shrimp diablos, spicy shrimp wrapped with bacon and a jalapeño. The catfish filet is breaded with cornmeal, tender and flaky, with a crunchy exterior.
Never Going Back – The service was extremely slow, about 5 other tables served before us that ordered after us. Fried shrimp (how can you mess that up) had absolutely no flavor, the shrimp diablo appetizer was average but still bland. The flounder had stickers all inside of it, it was practically unetable. Was not worth $35 for two people. This place will not stay in business if they continue to disrespect their customers and not care how their food is prepared.
good stuff! – This is a place I end up going back to, despite its distance from my home in south Austin. The food comes quick and delicious.
As for downsides, I don't think there's enough indoor, air-conditioned heating, especially for large groups.
The shrimp cocktail with pico de gallo is delicious (toss in a little Tabasco sauce from your table for some extra zest). The crawfish sandwich (I forgot the name) was just amazing, albeit a tad too greasy for me.
The blackened snapper was really good too, and just like another reviewer pointed out, the shrimp rice is delicious. The iced tea is oddly really good too.
All in all, delicious, well priced seafood. It definitely has a local feeling to it, if that kind of thing matters to you: you see Harley Davidson bikers in there, and you can eat at the counter bar-style too.
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