The South Beach Fish Market (see the Roadfood.com review), located just south of Newport, Oregon and the Yaquina Bay Bridge, with its shouting multi-colored signs and flying saucer-and-lighthouse-topped crab cooking shack, looks like a tourists-only seafood joint, but darned if it doesn't serve some of the finest seafood on the chilly Oregon coast. That's a Dungeness crab cocktail pictured above, fresh and moist with a gentle taste of the sea. It's the best way to enjoy this crustacean, short of digging directly into the creature. That cocktail sauce, by the way, is sinus-clearing, but we recommend nothing but perhaps a spritz of lemon to fully appreciate the Dungeness' charms.
Even better than the crab cocktail is the fish and chips. Pictured above is wild Chinook, or king, salmon. Back east we never see salmon as fish and chips, but it works. The freshness of South Beach's product is unimpeachable, and the fish maintains its natural moisture during its trip through the hot oil bath. We enjoyed seafood and chips often during our ten days in Oregon and, despite the ordinary fries here, South Beach's fish was the best.
We also enjoyed their famous, thick clam chowder:
and a crab sandwich:
There is outside seating, which is the place to be when the sun is out, but even then the coast is, quite frankly, apparently too chilly and windy for al fresco dining for most people. Coming from the 95+humidity of the east, we reveled in the weather.