Saturday, May 28, 2006 -- 10:00 p.m.
Sitting in the smokey hotel bar, perusing the dismal-looking bar menu we began to wonder if this great southern town had anything to offer other than barely digestable room-service fare. As we quaffed tepid beers and bemoaned our situation a fellow bar-fly piped up with a suggestion that we head down to Cabbage Town for an off-beat bite to eat. And what a suggestion it turned out to be!
We drove the short distance from our downtown hotel to the tiny pocket neighborhood known as Cabbage Town. Our friend at the bar suggested several small places -- just what we like, no chains for us! We settled on a whimsically, yet aptly named, Six Feet Under. Located directly accross the street from an ancient cemetary this local seafood joint does not look like much from the outside. But, even at 10:00 in the evening, the lot was full.
When we walked in we had our doubts, the floor was extremely worn hardwood, a rickety stair case led to a roof-top bar, and the main bar was surronded by various characters nursing beers from a great variety of drafts including a number of German and Belgian brews.
The dining room was a hodge-podge of old wooden booths and even older looking tables. It was plain and absolutley nothing fancy. The menus handed to us looked to have been printed years ago on standard legal-size paper. Both wore stains of previous customers like badges of honor. Our booth was against the front window and afforded a view of the street and the cemetary.
The menu offered a large selection of seafod entrees from which I choose the blackened shrimp tacos and my wife choose the catfish filet. The food arrived quickly and upon first bite we were both infatuated.
The shrimp tacos were a perfect blend of crisp greens, cucumber, shrimp, cheese, and wasabi-based sauce. A small cup of sweet onion and jalapeno salsa came on the side. A few drops of this salsa on the three, generously stuffed tacos made for a wonderful kick and set off the cool greens and cucumber without over powering. The tacos were served with homemade potatoe chips on the side.
My wife's catfish filet was nothing short of amazing! The fish was moist and flaky with a crunchy coating that was probably the best we have ever tasted. And that is saying a lot since my wife hails from Alabama where catfish is practically the state meal. The catfish was accompanied by roasted potatoes that were a bit too spicey due to a heavy dosing of pepper.
All-in-all, the meal we were served was excellent. The staff was very friendly and took care of everything we needed. It says a lot that the booth next to us was occupied by four police officers -- my father, a firefighter before he passed away, always told me, look to see where the police and firefighters eat, its always the best food in the area. In this case, he was absolutely correct.