On the secluded barrier island of North Padre Island, just across the bridge from the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, a restaurant called Doc's is tucked away almost under the bridge, right on the waters of Corpus Christi Bay. Distant from most anything of note, including the National Seashore down the road, Doc's is a welcome sign to visitors just arriving, or one last place to stop and prolong the vacation for just a few more minutes before heading home. Its prominent location makes it a restaurant spot that most visitors will try at least once.
As a restaurant located on a small dock on an island, it's obvious that its specialties will be seafood. Doc's knows how to do seafood right – with a front-row seat to the natural beauty of the bay.
Drivers crossing the bridge from Corpus Christi to North Padre Island can't miss the Doc's sign down below. The restaurant is located on the Intercoastal Waterway between the mainland and the island. Getting to the restaurant is pretty simple, and parking is a breeze. Speaking of breezes, the waterfront location of Doc's is its greatest attribute, and the wind coming off the waters are a welcome reprieve from the high heat and humidity of this town.
Address: 13309 S Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78418
- Sunday-Thursday 11 am - 9:30 pm
- Friday and Saturday 11 am - 10:30 pm
Doc's has a lot going for it in terms of ambiance. Perched above the water, diners at Doc's can choose to sit outside, right along the edge of the dock. The sea breezes can cool diners off, while they eat fresh seafood and watch the boats sail by.
Inside the restaurant is basically outside, too. The walls, constructed entirely from windows, roll up like garage doors all around the restaurant to bring the inside out. With the walls down, the restaurant would be an exciting spot to watch a storm. Ceiling fans help cool the inside, but unlike many restaurants in these parts, there is no air conditioning turned all the way up to keep the humidity from making you sweat. You'll be sweating whether you're inside or out, but maybe that's just a fact of life around here.
The restaurant is casual, and designed with its surroundings in mind. A large aquarium is filled with a variety of fish. The restrooms offer a colorful salt scrub for your hands.
The servers were nice and accommodating. The food came out fast and they were sure to ask us how everything was every time they passed. Most of the employees displayed their Southern hospitality.
The prices were high, but the portions were large and this is a seafood place, after all. The cost for an entree ranged from about $15 to much higher, averaging around $20 per plate. This did include salad and bread, a main dish, with fish or seafood, one side.
Our server described the day's specials, which all sounded good. I chose one: the grouper with an avocado cream sauce, with a side of rosemary potatoes. The avocado cream sauce had caught my attention from the start. Always a fan of avocado, I was unsure of what that meant, but willing to try. For some reason, I was expecting a cream sauce you'd find on pasta, flavored with avocado – I was hesitant about that. Fortunately, the avocado cream sauce was much like guacamole, and the cream probably referred to sour cream. Phew. And it was delicious – creamy avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions. The sauce paired well with the seasoned grouper. The side of buttery rosemary potatoes was dripping with butter. Of course, it tasted good (wouldn't anything drenched in butter?), but I could have done with about half the butter. Otherwise, they were well cooked with a crisp outer layer. The seasoned french fries were also pretty tasty.
Now for the bad stuff : The bread was basic and kind of hard. The house salad dressing, a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, sounded much better than it tasted, but it was fine. The clam chowder was over-seasoned and spicy, and the side of mixed veggies was oily and garlicky.
Overall, Doc's is good at what it does best – good views and ambiance, and tasty fish.Published On: Monday, June 17th, 2013