I took my parents out for lunch the other day and let them choose the location (it was his Father’s Day lunch a day late). Dad chose Mitchell’s because he had fond memories of a nice lunch sitting outside with some good appetizers. He wanted to see if he could have a similar experience.
I haven’t been to Mitchell’s in ages and I don’t think I had ever been for lunch. They do have a nice patio and we sat out there. Dad went with his classic combo—shrimp cocktail ($12.99) to start and a big bowl of clam chowder ($5.99). While we don’t always agree on food, he certainly knows his clam chowder. He has eaten it about everywhere.
He shared his shrimp cocktail—there were 4 good-sized shrimp and they were nicely done as you want shrimp cocktail. Tender enough and not mushy. They were obviously very fresh. I liked that they served it with two sauces—the usual cocktail sauce (my Dad’s favorite) but also a spicy mayo-based remoulade-style sauce. I appreciated having something different. It was well done, although shrimp cocktail isn’t something I would normally order.
He thought the soup was just ok and I agreed. There are several styles of clam chowder and this was the type based mainly on heavy cream. I like clam chowder that is thick and more like a stew and less like a soup. And with lots of clams. This had a more milky taste, rather than a chunky chowder kind of taste. It probably could have used a little more seasoning as well.
Mom had a shrimp sandwich ($11.99 that was very interesting to me. It was shrimp that were about the size of the ones in the shrimp cocktail that were fitted together into a patty and then grilled. I don’t think I have ever seen a patty made out of a puzzle of whole shrimp. It was topped with avocado slices and garlic chili mayo and served with a side of fries (there was some lettuce and tomato on there as well). It was a little dense though, because there was just so much shrimp packed in there, and I would say a little overcooked as well making it a little tough. Good flavors though—naturally I like the avocado and the mayo was good giving it a little spicy kick. Maybe a bit more of it to help with the dryness. The fries weren’t bad, they were just slightly seasoned.
For my lunch, I had the yellowfin tuna off of the “today’s fresh catch” section of the menu (I think it was $14). I chose to have it done “Shang Hai” style, which means the fish, is steamed with ginger and scallion and served in a soy ponzu sauce with steamed rice and spinach alongside. I asked our server what temperature the fish was cooked to, and he said whatever I wanted. I told him medium rare. I bet you can guess how this went. It was not medium rare at all. I would say at best it was mdium to medium well. The sauce was pretty good, a little sweeter than I expected and I didn’t get a lot of ginger flavor from any of it, which made me a little sad. There was a fair amount of flavor though, and if the fish had not been so overcooked, I would have enjoyed it, but with it prepared as it was, it was only okay. The spinach was plentiful and nicely sautéed and I thought went very well with the fish and the sauce.
This meal pretty much reminds me of most I have had at Mitchell’s. They have good quality seafood and ingredients, but the execution is just off enough that I have a feeling it will be awhile before I return.
Mitchell’s Fish Market
14311 Clay Terrace Blvd.
Carmel, IN 46032