Friday, February 17, 2012

Captain Ernie’s Fish House Restaurant – East Tennessee

Time to take a break from the summer/fall 2011 road trip blogs…even though I have a few more to publish!

Back to our home turf…East Tennessee!

This is Capt. Ernie’s Fish House Restaurant in North Knoxville Tennessee.  Capt. Ernie was a commercial fisherman in the Florida Keys.  He and his wife Lyana had 4 boys and Lyana was working as well.  To be more supportive of his wife and family, Capt. Ernie decided to give up the fishing and open a restaurant.  He and another friend decided that rather than trying to start up a restaurant in the Florida Keys where competition is rampant, they’d open a seafood restaurant in Knoxville, an area where seafood restaurants are few and far between.

It’s apparently worked out rather well.  So far, this family venture is doing OK.  Capt. Ernie’s has been in operation for over 2 years now and business has reportedly been good.   You can’t judge the customer volume by this interior photo.  It was mid-afternoon on a weekday when we stopped in for a bite to eat…

The interior of the restaurant was simply decorated in a Florida seafood motif with lots of fishing photos and art on the walls.  The premises were clean and orderly.  Needless to say, we couldn’t really evaluate the service…there was no pressure on the waitress or the kitchen during our visit.

A new item on the menu was the conch fritters.  I like conch but I hesitated to order the fritters because I’m not a fan of bell peppers…a usual ingredient.  Capt. Ernie brought us one to try.  It wasn’t my favorite for the reasons mentioned…but Laurie thought it was very good.

One of Laurie’s favorite soups is Lobster Bisque and it was on Capt. Ernie’s menu. ($5.95) She ordered a bowl and although it was a lot different than some of the others she’s had over the last couple of years, she liked this version quite a bit.  I tasted it and agreed with her.  As you can see, it was laced with bits of lobster.

Laurie ordered the Fiesta Key Fish Sandwich with the blackened Mahi, fries and cole slaw. ($10.95) The sandwich was topped with cilantro lime aioli sauce…very flavorful.  The French fries were OK and the slaw was very good!

There are quite a few other sandwich options to choose from… First of all, there is the basic Fish Sandwich with Mahi, Grouper, Hogfish or Yellowtail Snapper grilled, blackened or jerked. ($9.95) Then there are the Super Grouper ($10.95) and the Cuban Shrimp Sandwich ($9.95).  For landlubbers, there is a Cuban Chicken Sandwich ($8.95) and a Burger ($7.95). 

I decided to go with the Fried Fish Basket and I chose Grouper for my fish. ($11.95) It doesn’t look great as it’s served…almost looks like fish ‘nuggets’.  However, the fish was fresh, it was hand breaded and it was very enjoyable. 

Other choices for the fried fish basket included Mahi, Hog Fish and Yellowtail Snapper.  Additional fried seafood options included Shrimp ($10.95), Scallops ($9.95) and Catfish ($8.95)

Well, as long as we were at it, we decided to spilt a slice of Key Lime Pie. ($5.90) It was a nice and refreshing way to end the meal.  The pie was tart, yet sweet, with a nice crust.

All in all, Capt. Ernie’s Fish House Restaurant was a positive experience.  Like most seafood restaurants, the food is a little pricy vs. the average non-seafood establishment.  But Capt. Ernie’s fish was fresh, the ambience was Florida Keys casual and both Capt. Ernie and our waitress were very helpful.  We will be back one day around dinnertime so we can try a couple of the Appetizers and House Seafood Specialties!
Capt. Ernie’s Fish House Restaurant is located at 747 North Campbell Station Road in North Knoxville Tennessee. (It’s in the first little strip shopping center on the right side of the road immediately after exiting I-40/75 at North Campbell Station Road) The restaurant is open 7 days a week from 11 AM until 9 PM.  Phone: 865-671-0026.  Website:
Just click on any of the photos I’ve posted to enlarge them…
Many thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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