Silver Bay Seafood replaced the Ryan’s restaurant on Presidential Parkway, geographically and figuratively. The food is not bad, but it’s not great either. The prices are higher than fast food but not as much as a quality seafood restaurant, and the ambience is clean but rather boring.
We enjoyed the unusually shaped hush puppies that look like thick clam strips; the shape seems to keep them from staying raw in the middle. They’re delivered to your table like chips at a Mexican restaurant, so it’s hard not to fill up on them. The appetizers were the usual cheese sticks, jalapeño poppers and chicken wings, so we passed on those.
The only outstanding entree item is the fried shrimp, but you must request that salt and pepper be added. Only the third of the three times that we came were we offered this option when we ordered the fried shrimp, and it made all the difference in the world.
The menu says, “All fish available with salt and pepper,” and it will not come with it unless you request it. I highly recommend it; for folks avoiding salt, this place is a dream.
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Most of the other items -- from the crab cakes to the french fries to the clam strips -- just seem frozen and fried. The cole slaw was very finely chopped and had great flavor, but the baked potato was just OK. The ribeye steak is not recommended; it was tough and chewy, with way too much fat and gristle.
If you’re just looking to fill up on average quality seafood, the price is pretty good. Almost every item comes in a regular size (at an average of $9) or large size (averaging about $13) and the large could easily serve two if you eat enough of those hush puppies. The fried combination plate is only $13.99, including frog legs, clam strips, oysters and deviled crabs along with catfish, tilapia and shrimp.
Other items under the fried section (which the menu says has “great choices for the health conscious”) include boneless/skinless flounder, grouper, white fish, whiting, jumbo shrimp, perch fillet, calabash chicken and chicken livers. A fried seafood platter includes baby shrimp, oysters, clam strips, deviled crab and a fillet of flounder for $16.99.
We didn’t try any of the broiled items, but they include Atlantic salmon, mahi mahi, gulf grouper, hot or cold boiled shrimp, and marinated chicken -- for slightly higher prices. A broiled combination plate is $14.99 and a platter of flounder, jumbo shrimp, oysters, deviled crab and stuffed clams is $17.99.
The desserts are huge, but I’ve never had raspberry cheesecake with pink icing on it. We tried it along with the lemon cream cake and German chocolate cake. None of it was bad, but neither was it particularly good. However, there was a lot of it -- a fitting description for the food in general.
Silver Bay Seafood
Address: 4690 Presidential Parkway, Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 88
Price range: $7.99-$18.99
Rating: 2.5 stars