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Surfish Station and Raw Bar 

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We visited twice and had two completely different experiences. On the first try, we had a waitress who didn't know a clam from a codfish, food that was either under- or overcooked, and we were seated in the new, nondescript addition attached to the old filling station. On the second visit, we had a knowledgeable, attentive waiter and were seated in the main part, which unfortunately is designated as the smoking section but offers a fun, lively dining environment. Even though we were not overly impressed with what we ate, we enjoyed this visit, thanks to service and aesthetics.

Entrees on the menu include seafood platters, crab cakes, fish and the requisite prime rib, chicken and surf 'n' turf, all priced under $20. Specials were chicken Alfredo, frog legs, soft-shell crabs and a tuna-steak sandwich. I decided on the pasta du jour ($15.95) — penne with plentiful shrimp and scallops in a creamy, pink marinara sauce that was tasty and complementary to the seafood. My companion chose the soft-shell crab special, billed as three pan-fried specimens served on toast with french fries and slaw ($26.95). The crabs arrived still sporting a good deal of flour, and B.P. reported that they were rather mushy and underdone.

After two visits, I can say that what Surfish Station offers is an informal setting for a wide range of patrons — bikers, grannies, babies and yupsters. The food is reasonably priced if not impeccably prepared, the service has potential to be wonderful, depending on who you get, and the setting is innovative, depending on where you sit. Time will tell which experience dominates and determines the fate of this newbie.

— Carter Braxton



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