This place is great. This was the biggest catfish that I have ever seen on a plate. The fried pickles were off the chain, and the skillet cornbread was so good I wish that I had taken some back to Michigan in the plane. I can't wait to bring my fiance back with me. The service was FAST-FAST-FAST. Good Job
The restaurant and all of its food is great. However, I laugh at the reviewer that thinks the fish is caught just outside in that lagoon of a lake. It is not. Secondly, there is no room for a plane to land in that lagoon either. You might have seen a fisherman...and you might have seen a plane.... but neither was servicing the restaurant.
I've traveled all over the country and eaten at some great restaurants, but Top O' The River takes the cake.
The catfish is caught right outside off the dock with a canepole and I think I saw a Cessna seaplane flying in the fresh stuff (i.e. swordfish, mahi-mahi) from the Gulf.
However, the best part of the ambience has to be the magnificent 100 lb mudcat swimming in their fishtank. It's like something off a coral reef....that eats beer cans
This is the worst case of false advertising. Their ad in the yellow pages says one thing and they tell you another on the phone. Don't expect to be treated like you are paying them! The management is rude and inconsiderate. I won't be going back.
If so, you'll love this place. Has the atmosphere of a Chucky Cheese. Limited menu that leaves much to be desired. If you want good catfish, go across the street to Pruett's BBQ,(not a big fan of their's, either).
If it weren't for the gimmicky cornbread served in a mini cast iron skillet, and the pickled onions, you'd be better off at Captain D's.
I have had fried catfish anywhere that fried catfish is supposed to be the best... but Top O' the River is at the TOP! Couldn't have a more casual atmosphere... and the dining couldn't be more casual but the setting is really exceptional for this type of restaurant...ON THE RIVER!
Now when you're seated, IF you're seated timely on the weekend, you will be brought tin plates, tin measuring cups of creamy coleslaw, an iron skillet of cornbread and a dish of pickled onion which is really fresh onion slices with a light vinegar on them. I recommend ordering fried dill pickles for appetizer.. they are really a treat! IF you've made the mistake of ordering a full meal while munching on the slaw and cornbread, you'll have another meal or 2 to take home. I do recommend the Riverboat Special.. which is their fried catfish special, enough for two. I'm telling you, the catfish is exceptional! There is other seafood fare but the catfish is so good why bother with anything else!
Now, if you're going for a romantic dinner, you might escape with some romance but don't count on it. There'll be kiddies, seniors, crying babies and loud noise from serving lots of people. But wow, the food is excellent! Grab your romance while strolling outside on the boardwalk.
Here is the room for improvement: serve real butter with potatoes, add french dressing or ketchup to the tartar sauce though I'm not opposed to doing it myself.
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