M&R Seafood is a pearl in a sea of hard-to-find seafood places

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

There’s something about seafood and summertime that just seem to go hand-in-hand.

Is it because seafood can be served cold and raw as a refreshing appetizer, or be dressed up thick and robust as a succulent main course? Perhaps.

Or maybe, the versatility of seafood not withstanding, it’s because dining on seafood — whether fried, grilled, steamed or baked — takes people to a tropical place in their mind. Enjoying the delicate yet flavorful meat of one’s favorite seafood can easily be equated to easy island living.

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The first bite of a good piece of crabmeat can transport a diner to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and stir up memories — or dreams — of relaxing days fishing the open seas and breathing the salty sea air.

Whatever makes seafood the comestibles of choice when the weather heats up, though, Suffolkians are not immune to the lure of good seafood. Whether it’s oyster roasts put on by local community groups or a good old-fashioned fish fry at a neighbor’s house, Suffolk loves to consume its seafood. The question, though, for Suffolkians is where to get good seafood in the area.

And though they may seem few and far between, Suffolk does have its pipelines to the sea in the forms of local grocers and smaller fish markets and seafood specialists. They are often tiny places tucked away in strip malls or located behind bigger, more well-known establishments. But, just like getting good seafood from the open sea, Suffolkians just have a dive a little deeper to get the good stuff.

One such pearl in the sea of places to get seafood is M&R Seafood Market & Takeout on Constance Road. It is a small, unassuming establishment that only does one thing — provide the people of Suffolk with good seafood.

Not only does this small seafood house offer a wide range of fish to its loyal customers, but it also has oysters, clams and, when in season, crabs.

When it comes to the fish that M&R carries, there are a couple of types of fish that the owner, known only as Mrs. Kim, and her employee Brenda Brock, a professional fisherman and crabber, can attest to being among Suffolk’s favorite catches.

“People like the whiting filets,” Brock said. “They like them because they’re good for cookouts. And with filets, you don’t have to get the bones out.”

“But people that like a fishier taste tend to get croakers,” she added, “because they’re not as oily as spots and they’re good for fish fries.”

But the real summertime treat to be found at M&R is the crabs. They are offered fresh, steamed, or deep-fried. M&R even offers a delicate appetizer of crabmeat egg rolls. In fact, the crab is so popular at M&R they claim patrons from all over — including the rest of Hampton Roads and parts of North Carolina — make the trip to their establishment to get their crabs made with Mrs. Kim’s secret recipe of seasoning.

Moreover, crab is a seafood that is often sold separately based on gender. When asked why, Brock says, “female crabs have sweeter meat and the males are just harder to catch and are bigger so they cost more.”

And in addition to the wide range of seafood, the takeout restaurant offers sides like French fries and coleslaw to ensure that people in Suffolk not only get seafood, but a seafood dinner.

So, whether it’s fish, oysters, crabs or any other seafood you crave, establishments like M&R Seafood are around Suffolk to provide the people with that taste of the open sea.

M&R Seafood is located at 808 W. Constance Road, Suffolk. Call 925-0067 for more information.