Jessica Holbrook taste-tests hush puppies, crawfish tails, shrimp linguini with Cajun seasoning and a combo platter with cod, onion rings, fried clams and a crab cake at Eadie’s Fish House Grill & Pub.
On a cold, blustery evening near the end of winter, Eadie’s Fish House Grill & Pub is a reminder that summer really isn’t that far away.
The Plain Township dive—and I say that with love—would be at home in a waterfront town where diners track in sand and need to be reminded to put on a shirt before ordering. It’s an unexpected find in landlocked Stark County.
On its website, Eadie’s says it’s “inspired by every Coastal Dive that we have encountered, so far.” It shows. Eadie’s is almost tacky, with walls covered in beer signs, tchotchkes and decorated dollar bills. While we ate, a waitress brought the table next to ours a box of markers so they could decorate their own dollar.
Seating is at a premium at Eadie’s—especially when it’s too cold to sit on the covered deck or patio. On a busy Wednesday, Dave and I grabbed a table on the enclosed porch. Local favorite Hey Monea! plays most Wednesday nights, and I was glad I could catch a show during dinner, but Eadie’s can get loud. The porch was a good way to enjoy the music and still have a conversation.
Despite its name and decidedly coastal influence, Eadie’s offers more than seafood. The menu contains myriad sandwiches (about $4.99 to $11.99) including cheese steak and pulled pork, as well as burgers, chicken, steak, wings, tacos and PDQ coney dogs made with a recipe dating back to the ’50s.
The seafood offerings also are extensive—fish, shrimp, mussels, crabs, lobster, crawfish, clams, oysters and alligator all make an appearance. The packed menu made it hard for me, a perpetually indecisive diner, to make a decision, so I gathered recommendations from previous diners before we arrived.
I have a feeling it’s hard to go wrong at Eadie’s. Everything we tried was excellent, and I’m eager to go back and sample more of the menu.
The crawfish tails ($11) are battered, fried and served in a basket alongside a sweet chili sauce. The Cajun-spiced breading is crispy and well-seasoned and goes well with the sweeter crawfish meat, though it overpowers the smaller pieces of crawfish. The sauce is sweet and spicy with a good amount of heat. I enjoyed it so much that I used it to dip our order of hush puppies ($4.99). The fried (are you sensing a theme?) cornmeal balls didn’t need the help. They’re crunchy, soft and flavorful.
Dave went for the grilled shrimp linguini ($16) with optional Cajun spices. It came with a hunk of garlic bread and a side salad, which were both fine but nothing extraordinary. They didn’t need to be because the pasta was the star of our meal. The dish felt elevated for a fish shack. It’s essentially shrimp scampi—plenty of butter, garlic and lemon—served over a bed of pasta. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and the Cajun seasoning added a great kick. Dave left Eadie’s with plans to try to recreate it at home.
I opted for something more traditional with a combo platter ($23.50) of beer-battered cod, fried clams and a crab cake ($2 up-charge). Everyone raves about Eadie’s battered onion rings ($2 as a substitution for fries), so I had to try them.
The result was a homogeneous basket of brown, crispy, deep-fried beauties (the crab cake came on the side), most of which is sitting in a carry-out container in my fridge.
Our server brought us paper baskets (great for sharing) and a trio of tasty homemade sauces—tarter, cocktail and onion ring sauce—in big plastic bottles.
Eadie’s portion sizes are generous and worth the price. And while my basket wasn’t exactly Instagram-worthy, it made up for a lack of color with a lot of flavor.
I understand why folks love the beer-battered cod. The breading is crispy and doesn’t fall off the juicy white fish. It benefits from a shake of malt vinegar and dip in tarter sauce. But as much as I liked the batter, it overwhelms the more subtle fish. I just wanted more cod.
The same breading coats Eadie’s onion rings. I see why they come so highly recommended. The breading complements the crunchy, sweet onion rings and doesn’t easily slide off. I’m obsessed with the slightly spicy, flavorful onion ring sauce. I’d definitely order them again, but maybe not with the fried cod. It was just too much of the same flavor.
This was my first time trying fried clams, and I was pleasantly surprised. The breading was (I think) the same seasoned coating as the crawfish. These little guys were the perfect amount of chewy and crispy without being overly greasy. I especially liked them dipped in the homemade cocktail sauce.
The crab cake was my favorite component of the combo. I loved the big chunks of crab meat, and the delicate flavors were a nice departure from everything deep-fried.
Eadie’s Fish House Grill & Pub is at 6616 Wise Avenue NW in Plain Township. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, see eadiesfishhouse.com or call 330-494-4000.