Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo

Seafood | Soul Food
excellent
Worth a detour
Michael Stern | May 16, 2018
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At one time back in the early years of this millennium, there was a Facebook group of over 1000 people whose primary purpose was to encourage Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo finally to open for business. It was a long wait, but in April, 2018, over a dozen years after Windell Davis found an available old convenience store at the edge of downtown Aiken and painted its name on the side, he finally did open up. In the first couple weeks of business,  you hardly could get in the door because of crowds eager to try the curiously named fish house. It still can get mighty busy at lunch hour and on weekend nights, but the hordes today are less about curiosity than about eating some very good seafood … and mo’.

The menu is a broad one, and exactly what’s available varies with the market; but the basic repertoire includes bream, whiting, perch, flounder, mullet, croaker, porgy, tilapia, crab legs, scallops, oysters, and shrimp, as well as pork chops, chicken livers, and gizzards. My go-to dish is fried flounder — thick, moist fillets hugged by a thin batter with nutty richness and vivid spice. It doesn’t get much better than this. On the side, there’s mac ‘n’ cheese in buttery sauce with black-pepper punch; and frequently there are fried green tomatoes. These are terrific tomatoes — a best dish: just barely tart, with slight tooth resistance, encased in crisp, sandy batter. Hush puppies are ok — more about chew than flavor. Other available side dishes include grits, fried okra, corn nuggets, onion rings, and an array of seasoned fries.

A dessert cooler holds compelling sweets, including pineapple/coconut pie, bean pie, and peach cobbler — all of which you want to get heated before they’re served. The portions are modest-size, big on flavor, and definitively homemade.

Service is friendly and enthusiastic, even when the place is overwhelmed by customers. As is true of most really good restaurants, you can be sure the proprietor is on duty overseeing everything and making sure people are happy. Windell Davis is an inspiring success story.

Oh, and by the way, menu listings for fish-frowners include quarter-pound burgers (and double quarter-pound burgers), hot dogs, foot-long dogs, sausage dogs, and corn dogs.

 

 

What to Eat
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Flounder
Flounder
Must-Try
Moist, cream-rich flounder is sheathed in a brightly seasoned coat.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes
Must-Try
Best side dish: tart green tomatoes encased in brilliantly seasoned crust
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Must-Try
Mac 'n' cheese is a dramatic duet of buttery richness and pepper punch.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Combo Plate
Combo Plate
Must-Try
Combo plate: lots of EVERYTHING!
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Hushpuppies
Hushpuppies
Hushpuppies, chewy and onion-sweet, won't steal the show from the seafood.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Coconut Pineapple Pie
Coconut Pineapple Pie
Coconut pineapple pie is one of several very homey, very sweet desserts in the cooler. It's best when heated up.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Bean Pie
Bean Pie
Bean pie is vaguely reminiscent of sweet potato pie: earthy, rich, well-spiced.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Fried Green Beans
Fried Green Beans
Fried green beans are an alternative to fried okra.
Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, Cheeseburger
Cheeseburger
Char-cooking gives the burger a picnic flavor. It's OK, but not in the same league as Off Da Chain seafood.
Directions and Hours
closed now
SundayCLOSED
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday11am - 8pm
Thursday11am - 9pm
Friday11am - 10pm
Saturday11am - 9pm
Information
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes

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