Dining Out: Twin Tops Seafood
Last Week, the family and I were looking a place fairly close by to get a good meal, and we decided to hit one of the local fish camps. A short drive from our Lake Wylie home toward Belmont yields at least three fish camps, including: Twin Tops, Graham’s Fish Fry, and Catfish Cove. Twin Tops and Graham’s are across the street from one another and Catfish cove is about a mile down the road. On this occassion, we decided to visit Twin Tops so that is the one I will review here. I am sure, I will eventually get to the others as well.
You will notice the biggest problem that Twin Tops immediately upon pulling into the parking lot - limited parking and VERY tight parking spaces. If you are driving a Suburban-sized vehicle, you may want to get their early to guarantee two spots next to one another. If you are driving a SMART Car, you should be fine. Of course, parking is a minor detail.
The last two times we have been in, it has seemed like a long time before we were approached by a waitress - almost to the point of wondering whether or not our table even had a waitress assigned to it. As usual, the restaurant was packed with people, so perhaps she just got busy. Eventually, the waitress did come and took our orders. A few minutes later, she returned with the iced tea - which was a bit rough. Traditionally, fish camps usually have good sweet tea so this one was puzzling to me. My wife recalled the tea being bad last time as well. I would recommend going with a soda or something other than tea. We will not be ordering tea there again.
At the same time that the tea was bought to our table, a basket of hush puppies were also delivered. My wife liked them a lot. I thought they were good, but I have definately had better on many occassions. I would rate them about a 7 out of 10.
They had several all-you-can eat specials up on the board - depending upon the night of the week, as follows:
Tuesday, Perch $7.95
Wednesday, Calabash Shrimp $8.95
Thursday, Whiting $8.95
As is the case with most of the fish camps nowadays, the large platters are always all you can eat. This is assuming that you can finish the large platter to begin with. On this night, I wanted to try a little of everything [because I knew I would be writting about it later], so I ordered the all-you-can-eat three item combo platter for $11.95 which featured Calabash Shrimp, Deviled Crab and Flounder. I would only rate the flounder about a 5 out of 10. It was pretty average. Next time, I will probably order something different in place of the flounder. The Calabash Shrimp were a different story though. They were lightly breaded and fried to near perfection - earning a score of 9 out of 10. I will definately be eating more of these in the future. The third item was the Deviled Crab which was also excellent. It was some of the best Deviled Crab I have eaten in a long while - earning an 8 out of 10. I ended up getting reorders of both the shrimp and the deviled crab, but had to fight my way through the reorders - I was so stuffed.
My wife who is not a seafood eater, ordered the 1/2 order chicken tender basket. I am not sure if they messed up the order and gave her a whole order or if the 1/2 order is usually this big. It was monsterous. I have never seen anything like it and it was supposedly only a 1/2 order - see photo. As far as the quality goes, she would rate them a 7 out of 10.
Also of note, since I mentioned the difficulty of getting a waitress, I must say that once she finally got to our table she was very attentive and very good. Of particular note, my drink did not get empty which, as I have said before, is rare.
As with many fish camps, you pay up “at the front” when you are leaving. The front area reminds me of an old time candy store with classic candies lining the wall - making it impossible to resist an extra purchase as you are paying your bill. Next to the main door sits a Ms. Pac Man machine - how great is this!
Also of note, Twin Tops does not take credit cards - quite a dissappointment considering it is 2008. Even McDonald’s and Taco Bell take credit cards. Twin Tops does take debit cards. I am not sure the logic behind this. Perhaps they are trying to save on credit card processing fees which are much more than debit card processing fees. Who knows? Just remember to take cash (or a debit card).
They are also not open on Sundays or Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.