Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surf Rider (Chesapeake)

I have visited Surf Rider on Marina Shores Drive in Virginia Beach several times. I love the atmosphere. It's a great place to have a few cocktails and soak up the sun while enjoying the view of the marina. The service is always friendly and efficient and that is why I continue to go back. So, I was a little surprised to learn that an additional Surf Rider had opened in the Town Place shopping center in Chesapeake. Surprised because, in my opinion what makes Surf Rider enjoyable is its laid back location on the water. How can that be replicated in a shopping center?

The short answer is: it can't.

Surf Rider Chesapeake occupies the space that once belonged to Sterling's. As soon as I walked through the revolving door my expectations increased. The room is large and roomy and filled with many tables and booths and a separate bar area. At first glance it looks like an upscale place. Except for the huge fish hanging on the walls. And the laminated yellow menus -- which is what I expect from Surf Rider -- but somehow this place just didn't feel like my Surf Rider.

After ordering a cocktail I checked out the menu and decided on a cup of she-crab soup ($4.75) and a crabcake ($12.95).

The soup came out almost immediately and as soon as it hit the table I was assaulted by the smell of Old Bay. The taste of the soup was okay but it had the consistency of pudding instead of soup and I had to search for the crab.

The crabcake came with two sides. I ordered green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy. The crabcake itself had practically no filler which was good but it was overcooked. The green beans were limp and had a greasy taste and the potatoes were a little stiff.

I was never disappointed when I left the Marina Shores Surf Rider. It wasn't because the food or the service was better. I don't ever remember being blown away by the food at Marina Shores either. I was never disappointed because I loved the atmosphere. It was relaxing. It was calming. It was fun. I didn't feel any of that in Chesapeake. Frankly, I don't understand putting a place called Surf Rider where there is no surf. Just my opinion.

There were quite a few other patrons in the restaurant while I was there so I may be alone in my opinion. Maybe not.

725 Eden Way #700
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 549-2626


Laine and Alex said...

I have NEVER understood people's fascination with a Surf Rider Restaurant at any location. I have never been impressed. I think they are overrated, over priced and mediocre at best. And your are right, this one doesn't even have a view!

Anonymous said...

We tried the Chesapeake Surf Rider and were sorely disappointed. My wife and I had calamari as our appetizer. She had large fried shrimp for her main course and I had a fried seafood platter. All the fried seafood had an "old oil" taste. The calamari had a good taste but were very chewy (overcooked). Our meal arrived almost 30 minutes after the appetizer. My fries were only slightly warm and were inedible. The fish was perfectly cooked but had an oily taste. The scallops were excellent but same oily taste. The oysters were crispy on the outside but very watery inside. The waitress was inattentive. All-in-all an expensive, lousy evening. We would have done better at Captain D's.