Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tim's Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse

A long-time local favorite, Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse is famous for its home-cooked seafood, a very unique atmosphere and the most scenic dining experience you will find in Northern Virginia. This hidden treasure on the Potomac River serves all your seafood favorites, including fresh crabs, oysters, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and fish, as well as steaks, burgers, and pulled pork and chicken sandwiches.

The waterfront restaurant sits on one of the widest points of the Potomac River and offers sweeping panoramic views of the river and beach area. The view can be enjoyed from inside the restaurant, the outdoor deck seating or the torch-lit tiki bar located next to the pier.  We decided to go down to Virginia and visit my parents and head out to Tim's for some crab and enjoy their "Waterstock" event this Labor day weekend.  Follow the signs as you near the train tracks for roadside parking.  With bands playing out on a floating deck all day, the restaurant was very festive.

We sat outside on the deck as it was muggy, but overcast so not too uncomfortable. Our server, Shelby, came over right away with cups of water for everyone and was very cheerful and friendly.  We placed our order, picking a plethora of items to share.  First some fried goodies to include: Fried Pickles, Corn Nuggets,  and Sea Bites.  The pickles were thinly slice and served with a Russian dressing-type sauce.  The corn nuggets were sweet little bites of creamed corned that are deep fried.  The sea bites were nice chunks of white cod, served with a traditional tartar sauce. They were not heavily fried as the other two starters, so it was nice to nibble on during this hot afternoon.

Next, my Mom was eager to try a dozen steamed clams and mussels, and a dozen of the crabs.  They were out of the jumbo or large size crabs, so we settled on the medium.  Being the smaller species of blue crab, our server recommended we order a dozen and a half, but with all the other food we got we said we'd start with the dozen and if we wanted more, we could always order more later.  I'm glad we didn't order more, because the dozen ended up being plenty for us.  The clams were HUGE! Some of the biggest I have ever seen, and were plainly steamed with no seasoning what-so-ever.  A couple of the pieces were a little too chewy for me and I could not swallow them down.  The mussels on the other hand, were also prepared plain, but were much more sweet and had a unique mild flavor.  Unfortunately, I only had 2 pieces since my Mom devoured them all! They are her favorite of all the shellfish.

Our big tray of crabs soon arrived, and it was quite a sight.  My Dad asked the server for a quick tutorial on how to properly open up the crab to get to the meat, and she happily obliged.  Basically, she used a knife to lift the little "tab" on the back, ripped that off to take off the "face", split the body apart, cleaned out the insides to get to the meat, and then ripped off the claws to crack those separately to eat their meat.  My Dad was a quick learner and soon was demolishing through the little guys.  The crab meat itself was tender and a bit lacking, due to the small size of these crabs.  It was not heavily seasoned with Old Bay as other places, especially up in Maryland do.  But everyone had a blast hammering away and cracking the claws.  We were a mess when we were finished, and the sun came out and was brutally beating down on us.  Servers brought out umbrellas for all the tables on the deck, but skipped us. So we were hurried to pay our bill and escape the heat.

Overall, the music and festivities at Tim's was pumping, bringing in large crowds from both land and sea. Many were casually dressed and shameless walking around the restaurant and bar areas in only their tiny swimsuits.  (My conservative mother was a little shocked by this sight!) The seafood was very fresh and the prices fairly reasonable. I really enjoyed the corn nuggets and the cod sea bites, as well as the steamed mussels.  The crabs are too much work for me, so I would order a sandwich next time. But it is still fun to watch everyone else get down and dirty to get to the sweet crab meat.  Crab picking is such a classic summer activity, especially along the East Coast, so it was a great way to spend our Labor Day weekend.  If only we had a boat, we could have stayed out on the water longer to enjoy the music and take a dip in the river.

Total Rating: 3.33
Food: 3.5, Price: 3, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 2
What I ate:
Corn Nuggets, Fried Pickles, Sea Bites

Steamed Clams

Steamed Mussels

Plus others ate:
Dozen Steamed Crabs (Medium)

Tim's Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon

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