By Estella Fullmer Brown
For Hometown News
Goodrich's Seafood & Oyster House has been bringing traditional 'old Florida' seafood to Oak Hill residents and visitors for several years.
The delicious oysters and seafood caught the attention of Emeril Lagasse, famous chef and host of "Emeril's Florida" on The Cooking Channel.
Chef Emeril "travels from the Atlantic to the Gulf to parts in between in his quest to discover the best local cuisine as well as the stories and people behind them," according to the Cooking Channel. He decided one season was not enough to show the world Florida's best restaurants, so he is filming another season of "Emeril's Florida" and Goodrich's was one of the highlighted restaurants.
Filming of the episode was in January when Chef Emeril visited the seafood restaurant tucked back on the Indian River with a view of Gaines Island.
Goodrich's Seafood is part of the Galbreath Restaurant Group and is managed by Karyn McNamara, who said she is keeping traditional Florida style seafood as the main focus.
"We make everything here," she said, "we don't use commercially prepared ingredients."
From the freshly homemade breading to the sauces and desserts, everything is made at the restaurant from fresh fish, meats and produce. "We don't serve pre-made batters or sauces," Ms. McNamara said, "We make everything right here from scratch."
Goodrich's buys from local fishermen and farmers whenever it can to ensure the freshest food possible and give back to the community by supporting other local businesses, fishermen and farmers. "You're not going to find food that tastes exactly like this anywhere else," Ms. McNamara said. "Our breading recipe is 'Old Florida' style and our own creation."
The menu options include traditional Florida seafood with simple, good-tasting local flavors. "I am still keeping the prices low as I reasonably can," Ms. McNamara said.
Goodrich's offers batter-dipped, deep-fried fresh fish, breaded and fried shrimp, grilled fillets and many other options sure to please the whole family.
The restaurant, at 253 River Road, offers a variety of seafood and shellfish. The most popular fish dish is the Coconut Swai but what people really like is the all you can eat shrimp night, Ms. McNamara said. "We serve all you can eat butterfly shrimp on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
On Tuesday, Friday and Sunday is all you can eat fish. On Thursdays there is the fish and clam combo special.
While you are enjoying an appetizer of coconut shrimp or boneless chicken strips, you can watch the local river wildlife from nearly every table inside or have a beautiful view from the tables on the pier. The appetizers range from $8.99 to $11.99 with very healthy portions.
For lunchtime, there are a variety of sandwiches and wraps starting at $5.99, including buffalo chicken, the Classic Diner Burger, a crunchy fish sandwich and a soft shell crab BLT or blackened fish wrap.
Goodrich's po' boys are a favorite lunch item, too, and are served with a hush puppy, lettuce, red onions and tomatoes on a toasted hoagie roll topped with a "kickin' bayou sauce" and homemade fresh sweet coleslaw. They range from $9.99 to $13.99 and include beer-battered fish, gator, shrimp, crunchy fish and crab cake.
For dinner there is a "Create A Combo" plate for $10.99 that comes with a choice of any two items on the combo list. "Not Yo Momma's Fried Fish Sticks" and fried local mullet are a couple of the choices as are sautéed garlic shrimp and grits or fried farm-raised flounder.
The dinner plates range from $11.99 to $20 for the Goodrich Seafood Platter, which includes generous portions of shrimp, scallops, fresh catch of the day, oysters and crab cakes. You also can get frog legs, alligator and a half pound of fresh fish caught by local fishermen either grilled or batter fried. For the person in your dinner party who prefers non-seafood options, there are crispy, golden-brown fried chicken breasts for $8.99, pan sautéed coconut ham steak, chopped steak or liver and onions for $10.99.
Patrons can enjoy the chowder bar that features the soup of the day with baked beans, coleslaw, fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, black-eyed peas and southern greens or cheese grits.
Goodrich's also does some catering and you can book it for private parties, including the famous Oyster Roast, which is on the pier. Private parties must be for a minimum of 20 people. The Oyster Roast also is offered occasionally on holidays or for special community events. For details, call Ms. McNamara at (386) 345-3397.
To get to Goodrich's, turn east off U.S. 1 onto Canal Avenue and then south on River Road. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and closed on Monday.