Southlake diners are divided on Daddy Jack's Lobster & Chowder House.
The half from Texas think the red checked tablecloths must come from a barbecue shack.
The half from elsewhere know this looks like a real New England lobster house.
With successful locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, Daddy Jack's opened in Southlake Town Square last month, meaning lobster rolls and clam chowder are no longer a plane flight away.
"Daddy Jack" Chaplin founded the Texas restaurants along with his Chaplin's in New London, Conn., known for reasonable prices and serious seafood.
The Daddy Jack's menu is strictly New England: thick chowder or lobster bisque, grilled or sauteed fish, but no New Orleans spice.
"We're finding that a lot of customers here have lived in New England and they know what's authentic," said Clay Sexauer, an executive and partner along with chef Dominick Simonetti.
Right away, Southlake diners wanted a lobster roll, not just a lobster-shrimp salad.
The new Daddy Jack's also continues a tradition from Fort Worth: It quietly serves a great steak.
The tenderloin is 6 ounces, the dinner portion 12. Top it with garlic-mushrooms or just team it with a lobster tail.
The Southlake location also offers a 1-pound "lobster madness" dinner for $14.95 Mondays through Wednesdays, and some half-price wines by the bottle on Thursdays.
Daddy Jack's is open daily for lunch and dinner at 355 N. Carroll St., Southlake, 817-442-0983, daddyjacks.org; or in Fort Worth at 353 Throckmorton St., 817-332-2477.
At the other end of Farm Road 1709, Mo'Fish in Keller is part Cajun, part Baja and part fun.
Mo'Fish is the new seafood and oyster bar owned by Gloria Segovia and the family from neighboring Funky Baja's Cantina.
Mo'Fish takes a Cajun menu and cranks it up a half-notch, serving chargrilled oysters three ways: traditional, habanero-bacon style or lemon-blue cheese-topped. Po-boy sandwiches come the usual way or with bacon, avocado, blackened or with Buffalo sauce. Grilled fish platters include sauce choices such as jalapeño-cream or ancho-cream.
The fried catfish is light and flaky, some of the best in Northeast Tarrant. An 8-piece bucket with two sides ($25) feeds a family.
Besides traditional sides, diners can choose jalapeño cheese grits or grilled ears of corn.
Mo'Fish serves lunch and dinner daily; 721 Keller Parkway, 817-741-1155.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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