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Route 5 Grill & Seafood goes beyond the fish fry for Lenten options

We are nothing if not fastidious. With Lent on the horizon, we are concerned for our stomachs.

How much fish fry can one person consume? It was then that we recalled passing by Route 5 Grill & Seafood. We had always meant to stop, so we did a little investigating for those looking for something other than a fish fry.

Located in what was once Curt’s Stop In (and a not-so-good Dog House afterward), owner Bill MacDonell opened in July after months of renovation done by himself and, “My sons and their friend who is like my son.”

MacDonell’s original plan was to open a hot dog/burger place, but then decided on seafood because he wanted a place that served good portions of seafood at reasonable prices. Plus, Tony’s Bayview and Red Top Hots are just down the street, making the hot dog competition tough. (For those unfamiliar with the area, Route 5 Grill & Seafood is around the Woodlawn Beach area.)

“I love seafood. My goal was to have a place that the average person can come out and enjoy a good portion of seafood without spending a ton of money,” he said.

The joint is small with a kitchen cooking a full menu that offers many options for both seafood and non-seafood eaters so your friends fearful of shrimp can enjoy pulled pork instead.

Appetizers include clams (raw or steamed/$5.50 for six, $10 for a dozen), clams casino ($9 for six), shrimp scampi ($9.99) and crawfish ($10.99 lb.), plus items like stuffed banana peppers ($10.99), mozzarella sticks ($4.99) and hush puppies with tartar sauce ($3.99).

Clams casino ($9.99) are made with a signature stuffing.

The seafood selections are extensive, from the basic fish fry (served daily, $12.99) to a captain’s platter ($29.99) that includes a 6-ounce lobster tail, clams casino, breaded shrimp, coconut shrimp, fish fingers, hush puppies, fries and soup or salad.

A coconut shrimp dinner ($14.99) includes six hand-breaded shrimp served with a mango habanero dipping sauce, macaroni salad, coleslaw, hush puppies and fries.

For those who don’t want fried food, choices include broiled fish (Cajun, lemon pepper or house blend) that comes with vegetables, mashed potatoes, vegetable and soup or salad ($14.99). Blackened fish, an 8-ounce cod, is topped with mango salsa, finished with a cucumber wasabi drizzle ($15.99).

“We make our own breading and seasonings,” said MacDonell.

There is an entire section of seafood pasta, from seafood manicotti ($15.99) made with homemade crepes, ricotta, lobster and crab and seafood lasagna ($16.99), to shrimp scampi ($13.99) and shrimp fra diavolo ($15.99). Mussels marinara is $14.99 and a PaPow shrimp (Thai spiced) is $15.99.

Most entrees, like this shrimp scampi ($13.99), come with a choice of soup or salad and homemade bread.

Daily specials are on Facebook, where you might find items like shrimp and crab ravioli ($14.99) or Baja fish tacos ($10.99).

“We make the batter with 7-Up, Ritz crackers and our special seasonings for the cod,” he said. The corn tortillas are stuffed with the fish, then topped with shredded cabbage and pico de gallo. A shrimp version is $12.99.

“On Thursdays we do a Southern boil. We cover the tables with butcher paper and dump the bucket on top. Folks eat with their hands. We boil crawfish, clams, sausage, shrimp and corn with our own seasonings,” said MacDonell. The cost is $24.99 and includes soup or salad.

Non-seafood eaters can choose from pot roast ($15.99), chicken Parmesan ($15.99) and sandwiches (fish and non-fish), burgers and hot dogs ($4.49 to $9.99).

During the winter, the place opens at Monday through Saturday, around 2 p.m., but MacDonell said, “We are usually here by 11 a.m. so we can serve people if they come in.” Closing is generally around 8 p.m., but earlier if the night is slower, later if they are busy. Closed on Sundays.

Route 5 Grill & Seafood offers dine-in, take-out or delivery to immediate areas like Hamburg, Blasdell and Lackawanna. Catering is also available. Take-out menus with the entire menu are available at the restaurant; a full website is coming soon.

Route 5 Grill & Seafood
3379 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg
(716) 262-0077, Facebook

Route 5 Grill & Seafood has a small, cozy dining room with a nautical feel.

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