**** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED ****
“How are you?” I ask Maurice, the chef of Seafood Shack, as I step up to the order counter at the back of the long storefront dining room.
“Blessed,” he answers. “Blessed like you.” A sign on the front door declares this to be a Godly place. Spirituals play in the background on the house sound system. Maurice goes about his business with the tranquility of a man who knows his soul is saved.
Even a non-believing appetite with a taste for well-fried seafood will feel blessed to find this humble eatery across from the Waynesboro courthouse. Large shrimp, encased in rugged batter with a heady pepper punch, are genuinely exciting to chew. Whiting is firm and toothsome with big fish flavor. Even tilapia, which can be boring, is so well enhanced by its breading that it seems to have extravagant buttery character.
Everything is breaded and cooked to order, meaning there is a 15-20 minute wait, so regular customers telephone their orders in advance; and much business is take-out. While side dishes are not from scratch, I very much enjoyed the vegetable crunch of fried okra and found the sweetness of the somewhat soupy cole slaw a good balance for the spice of the fish.
I suggest that if you plan to visit Seafood Shack, you call ahead, not necessarily to place an order so it’s ready when you arrive, but to make sure it’s open for business. In my experience, the posted opening hour of 11am is somewhat flexible.