CATCH OF THE TOWNEnjoy tastes from the Gulf - and a beloved bread pudding - at Birmingham’s Chuck’s Fish. No beach trip needed.
By Lauren Dowdle
Photos by Dawn Harrison
Instead of packing up and traveling to the Coast to enjoy local seafood, residents can simply head to Chuck’s Fish in Birmingham to satisfy their craving.
With locations in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Mobile, Chuck’s Fish brings its fresh dishes and inviting service to people across the state. They strive to provide a top-notch dining experience and menu that will continue to bring people back again and again.
“We really pride ourselves on creating a warm environment,” says Britney Campbell, general manager of the Birmingham location. “We have lots of guest that dine with us weekly, and they have become our family for sure.”
The restaurant and its owner have deep ties to the Birmingham area, making the location that much more special. Its namesake, Chuck Morgan, grew up in Birmingham and followed his passion as a civil rights attorney. Born in 1930, Morgan gained national prominence for his speech on race relations in the South, along with his landmark cases for racial equality.
His son, Charles Morgan III had an idea to open a seafood restaurant in his father’s honor. He owned Harbor Docks in Destin, Fla., giving him the perfect resources for a seafood restaurant.
The first Chuck’s Fish opened in Tuscaloosa in 2006, and the Birmingham location opened in 2009. The newest restaurant opened in Mobile just last year.
Located on 280 in the Terrace at Greystone, the Birmingham restaurant continues to impress customers with its fresh, quality ingredients. All of the fish they serve is hook-and-line caught by boats from their wholesale seafood market Harbor Docks. They also look to use local produce when possible, and all of their meats are hand-cut either in-house or by local markets.
Those local tastes come through with every bite of their dishes — and they’ve got several to choose from to satisfy a range of taste buds.
While their nightly specials tend to be the most popular dishes, Campbell says guests also love their white chocolate bread pudding, uptown shrimp and fresh-caught gulf fish. Other dishes include crab cakes, parmesan-crusted grouper, stuffed shrimp, smoked tuna dip and seafood gumbo.
All of their restaurants have similar menus, although each is a little different. “We have a few signature dishes that are staples for all of our restaurants, but each one has their own personal touch that reflects the chef de cuisine,” she says.
In addition to their seafood entrees and appetizers, they also have an award-winning sushi menu that includes classic and house specialty rolls. Chuck’s Fish even has non-seafood dishes like panéed chicken, ribeye and filets. To satisfy someone’s sweet tooth, other dessert items include key lime pie, chocolate crème brulée and their featured cheesecake.
“We have incredibly fresh seafood, delicious sushi and if you people don’t like seafood, we have steaks as well,” Campbell says. “We say we do sushi, steak, seafood.”
They serve brunch on Sundays, accompanied by live jazz music that goes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some popular brunch dishes include their bananas foster French toast, burger with pimento cheese, fried egg and bacon jam, blackened catch with McEwen & Sons grits, rosemary cream and house salad.
They also have seasonal drink menus, along with a wine and beer list. Their signature cocktails include refreshments like a pineapple jalapeno margarita, strawberry lemon crush, lemon drop and the old fashioned.
And that’s just a sample of what they serve. “We have many more options that are all delicious,” she adds
But there’s more to Chuck’s Fish than its gulf-to-table meals. The family environment and quality service continue to attract people to the restaurant. “I really enjoy the relationships with our guest,” Campbell says. “We have a lot of regular guest that really are like family to us.”
The team at Chuck’s fish gets just as excited about being in the restaurant and giving guests a memorable meal and experience.
“I also love the hustle of the restaurant, that part of the night when the restaurant is full, people are enjoying their food and drinks and their company, you hear the dishes rattling in the back and the smile on peoples face when they leave and have really enjoyed their dining experience with us,” she says. “That’s what we do it for!”
So whether someone is looking to enjoy local seafood, refreshing drinks, must-try desserts or a welcoming dining experience, they can find it all and more at Chuck’s Fish in Birmingham. No beach trip needed.
Chuck’s Fish is located at 5426 U.S. 280 E. in Birmingham. They are open 5-10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (brunch) and 5-10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit Chucksfish.com.