As many of you know, the former South Prairie Oyster Bar recently closed and then reopened with a slightly different concept. We had been fans of the old place, so we were eager to stop by and see what was new. The owner has not changed, so we expected a small cozy environment and lots of good personal service. On that note we were certainly not disappointed. It’s the same as it always was, where the owner does just about everything – a little cooking, a little waiting tables, a little bartending – and has an employee or two to help out, but it’s a very small and personal place.
The booths have all been removed and on one side have been replaced with the “market” where they offer salsas, jerky, goat cheese, and other sauces/condiments. This is intriguing but I am on the fence about whether it was a great business decision. Maybe they sell an awful lot of these items; if so, then it was the right move. But there are only 4-5 tables in there now, plus the bar. We noticed at least two parties come in the door while we were eating, look around and see no seats open, and leave. It’s a small space, no doubt, but it seems like if that is the case, seating would be at a premium. But we will see.
The menu still offers much of the same food as before, although there are no longer oysters. They do, however, have the fried catfish and shrimp that were my favorites from the old menu. They also have some new items such as their goat cheese appetizer, pictured at the left. While goat cheese seems oddly out of place on a menu that includes fried seafood and Texas-style food like chili, it was nevertheless delicious. I ordered the fried shrimp which was terrific as always, nice and crispy and with tasty fries. (I wish they would bring back the hush puppies though!).
While I am not sure all the changes in this restaurant were for the better, I still think it’s a Grapevine treasure. There are not many places where you have such an intimate setting and so much personal involvement of the owners. The patio would be a great place to relax on a nice evening and their food remains great. Stop by and decide for yourself.