Affordable lobster in landlocked Atlanta. Sounds like the unicorn of food myths doesn’t it? Fortunately for seafood lovers who feel hopelessly far from the coast and its fresh shellfish, this does exist. Goin’ Coastal, which opened this fall in the Virginia-Highlands, is currently running a deal Monday-Wednesday nights for $15 lobsters with French fries and coleslaw. I was sad to have missed the chance to try their $17 family dinners on Sundays but this deal seemed to be an adequate replacement.
We had a reservation for the Tuesday night we went to Goin’ Coastal. It clearly wasn’t necessary that night, but our server attributed this to the thunderstorms and rain. Typically, he explained, the restaurant is packed on lobster nights. It did feel quiet but I otherwise enjoyed the atmosphere. I immediately felt as if I had been transported to a local seafood joint on the New England coast. The faint smell of seafood and the simple decor worked to create just the right vibe.
There was a selection of a few high-end beers on tap in addition to the bottled options, and while the wine list wasn’t extensive, it offered several solid options. We both started with appetizers because we expected that at $15, the lobster would be on the smaller size. Brendan, my dining partner that night, tried the she-crab soup, which was scrumptious. There was almost no evidence of the creamy pink soup left in the bowl by the time he finished it.
I ordered the oyster combo, which was a selection of the three oyster preparations on the menu – Rockefeller, crab stuffed and parmesan garlic. (Two of each type so it’s easy to share.) I enjoyed the different preparations but they didn’t taste all that different from each other. They also offer a daily selection of oysters on the half shell.
The entrees on the menu were enticing but none as reasonably priced as the lobster special. The fried seafood platter with your choice of oysters, shrimp, scallops and catfish was among the staples you’d find at an authentic coastal restaurant. Fresh fish was listed on a giant chalkboard and the menu also included the obligatory non-seafood options of chicken or steak.
Due to the constraints of our $50 mission, we both had the lobster special. As predicted, it wasn’t the heartiest sized lobster I’ve ever seen, but I did not leave hungry. Some people don’t enjoy lobster because of the work it takes and subsequent mess it makes. I don’t mind it, though, and might even say it’s part of the fun, minus the occasional spray of juices from cracking open claws. The reward of sweet succulent lobster meat dipped in warm butter is always worth it to me as long as there is a wet nap nearby at the end.
While the lobster was not a huge size, its low price tag means each person can also order an appetizer and you still won’t have to splurge. Between our starters, lobster and fries, we left satisfied. So if you don’t mind working for your dinner, I highly suggest you try lobster night at Goin’ Coastal. There are plenty of other options for any in your party who may not like it, but just don’t expect the bill to be under $50 if anyone orders entrees off the menu.Tab: 1 She-crab soup 1 Oyster combo appetizer +2 lobsters $46 Quickfacts Neighborhood: Virginia-Highlands Chef: Zach Kell Restaurant web site Green tomato rating: