It is still a fact that my favorite place to eat in Athens is Harry Bissett’s.
With two locations, one on Broad Street and the other off of Mitchell Bridge Road, they pride themselves in their fresh fish and New Orleans style food.
Here is the basic information:
- Location: Broad Street, between Jackson Street and College Avenue (other location off of Mitchell Bridge Road)
- Phone number: 706.353.7065 (Broad) and 706.552.1193
- Web site: http://www.harrybissetts.net
- Price range: for dinner (appetizer and main course) around $27-30, but worth it!
- Open and close times: Broad Street location, Mitchell Bridge Road location
- Best time of day to go: night, definitely, but would be nice for brunch, too
- Reservations: Normally, yes, but on home game weekends, no
This past Friday, I went to eat at the Broad Street location with my Dad and my friend, Katie. Since it was on a game weekend, they do NOT take reservations. I got to the restaurant around 6 p.m., put our name on the list, and we were seated by 6:30. They have a great bar in the front of the restaurant where you can have a drink, socialize or do both while you’re waiting.
The three of us actually sat up in the balcony of the restaurant. I had never eaten up there before – only in the mezzanine – but I was surprised at how small it was. There were only four or five tables at the top of the stairs, but I learned to appreciate the size when our service was exceptional.
We ordered our appetizer first: Barbeque Shrimp. Our waiter said it was going to be spicy, but I didn’t expect them to burn my throat. Make sure you have a hefty glass of water and a chunk of their homemade French bread nearby when you eat one. After my initial pepper shock, I savored every bit of my shrimp. There are five shrimp on the plate, and they cover a nice pile of white rice. I’m going to step out on a limb and say the rice is better than Aunt Jemima’s.
When we ordered our entree, I asked for the special: bronzed, not blackened, mahi-mahi with a side of collard greens and maque choux. I didn’t really know what it was, but I liked it! The maque choux had a sweet corn flavor with a tomato base and a pepper seasoning. Yum!
Katie ordered the mahi-mahi, too, but she ordered it Thibodaux style. I tried to search where Thibodaux style food comes from, and the only clue I got was the Thibodaux, La.’s Web site. At Harry B’s, if you get something Thibodaux-ed, it comes with their étouffée on top. She ordered a side salad with hers. The fish was good, but her salad was drowned in dressing. I saw her discreetly trying to soak up the extra on her plate with some French bread. To those who don’t like a lot of dressing: ask for it on the side.
My Dad, being the adventuresome eater, ordered their ahi tuna on special. It had a teriyaki sauce on top, but it didn’t go over well with him. Dad eats a lot of ahi tuna, and he was not impressed by their attempt. He said the teriyaki sauce should have told him, “no,” right off, but he ordered it anyway.
Overall, the meal was good. I am not convinced it was the best experience I’ve had in Athens, but, in terms of the quality and freshness of the seafood, Harry Bissett’s is still No. 1. Next time, I may try to pick some courses with different flavors. Maybe I’ll order beef.