The Other Restaurant Row
South shore eateries, markets help make a neighborhood
Marisco's Seafood Restaurant1504 Town Creek Dr., 462-9119
Marisco's Seafood Restaurant lives up to its name -- a casual, family-run Mexican eatery that does a mean business in seafood. From your arrival at the restaurant, which anchors a rather unexciting strip mall complex, you know what's in store. This Austin veteran, in business for over a decade, looks like some sort of seafaring barge, its exterior painted a marine blue and hung with sturdy ropes and nets. Sun-bleached oyster shells litter the flowerbeds out front, and beach scenes play silently from the televisions anchored overhead in the casual cantina side of the restaurant. Inside, Marisco's oysters come cold and gleaming on the half-shell and are as steely and plump as any served in the unassuming seafood shacks along the Gulf coast. Marisco's coctel de camarones is an imposing glass of piquant, tomato- and chile-based sauce bobbing with plump shrimp and cubed avocado. Lovers of warm soup thrill over Marisco's seafood caldo, a hearty broth riddled with shrimp and chunks of fish fillet -- even miniature crabs, claws and all. Marisco's caldo isn't a light soup in the "ladies-who-lunch" vein; this is seafood soup as a meal, especially when paired with warm corn tortillas. Regulars at Marisco's consistently order the house-battered catfish fillet with its mammoth portion of steamed vegetables and rice on the side. The flaky red snapper fillet with its ultra-light, slightly spicy breading is a favorite as well.