We ate there on a friend's recommendation (boy, is he in trouble!) on August 30 around 7 PM. We ordered the fried catfish and the fried oysters. We give the fried catfish a B+, but the rest of the meal was a big disappointment. The fried oysters were tasteless; if I didn't know what I was eating, I could not have identified what the food was. The hushpuppies were an exact uniform size and shape, dry and with very little flavor- they had to have been frozen and baked. My baked potato had a large black solid piece in it near the skin the size of a small egg and I had to return it (after a frustrating time trying to get any waitress back to our table). I here note that the little black girl clearing tables was the only person being nice to us and asking if we needed anything. They need to promote her to waitress.
They charge you $1.50 extra for any side other than slaw or french fries and I think this is a rip-off as, given their prices should amply cover these choices. Prices, as some have reported, are not really reasonable with the amount and quality of the food served.
Our waitress, Tammy, took our order, served it and disappeared for almost the rest of the meal. She did come over just as we were finishing with a pitcher of drink. We thought the table service and attention was very bad.
Save your time and money. There are much better seafood places in the Riverside area. Scope them out.
We have been eating at The Ark for 20 years, Never had a bad experience. I live about 1 mile from the Ark and it is always crowded, but not a long wait. It is more than worth the wait. Good service, delicious food, friendly people, local owners.
I know there's a lot of places in Alabama that you can drive your boat up to and dine, though I don't know of many, but The Ark is a tradition. It's seafood o'plenty and guess what? It's Alabama, it's NOT coastal sooo it's alll F R I E D. Good but fried.
Since I've been the event coordinator for the annual bass tourney in Pell City, the night b/f the tourney, the volunteers eat at The Ark. It just makes the whole event worth the effort. You wouldn't ordinarily darken the door of this place if you didn't already know it's value. Then again, that would be EVERY worth restaurant in Nawlins! Book/cover syndrome.
The Ark is great.... it's just not what us health conscious city slickers are used to having.... what a treat!
their catfish will melt in your mouth. yes you have to wait a short time but you won't mind a bit when you taste the food. good prices and large portions. i don't see how they serve so many people so fast.
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