Neil and I had the pleasure of being invited to the soft opening of The Cowfish restaurant this week, and I cannot wait for you to try it for yourself. Our first experience at The Cowfish was at Universal City Walk in Orlando, so you can imagine how excited we were to have another location open near us. Y’all know I love me some good local restaurants! While our meal was complimentary, all the opinions in my review are mine.
The Cowfish Backstory
What exactly is The Cowfish? I was fortunate enough to personally meet one of the owners, Marcus, during the soft opening, and I found out exactly how the concept began. Their website sums it up best:
The Cowfish brings to the world the first restaurant focusing on offering both the best sushi AND the best burger in town. Fresh, innovative and delicious, the sushi segment of the menu is a unique balance of traditional and unconventional. All natural, creative and hearty, the burgers entice with fresh ingredients and bold flavors. Spiked hand-spun milkshakes, premium sakes, craft beers, wine and 10oz exotic martinis round out a huge bar menu that is sure to please. The Cowfish aims to offer something for the entire family.
The Cowfish Birmingham Restaurant Review
Birmingham’s version of this unique restaurant concept is located at The Summit. It takes over the former Lime Cantina spot near Village Tavern and Saks Fifth Avenue. While this may not seem like a highly trafficked spot, it’s definitely easier to find parking. It is also simpler to enter and exit than other areas of the popular shopping center. The Cowfish is a decent sized restaurant. It’s not massive, but big enough to accommodate a full bar, several four tops and booths as well as a few tables for bigger parties. Next time, I want to sit next to the kitchen and watch all the action happen.
Inside the Restaurant
The Universal City Walk location is gorgeous, but the Birmingham location feels a little more upscale. Nods to the brand can be found in every area from the wallpaper to the artwork to the bar top. As much as I love a good theme, I can also appreciate solid branding throughout a restaurant. There’s no confusion about where you’re eating once you’re inside. Neil and I were fortunate enough to experience the restaurant on a date night, but I can definitely see bringing the kids here in the future!
Outside the Restaurant
Out on the patio, there is plenty to entertain while you wait. Cornhole and a giant Connect Four board are currently in place, and there are plans to include more games in the future. The bigger-than-life Cowfish statue nearby is the perfect spot to pose for a family photo op! Eventually, their app will allow you to join the wait list online so you can spend less time waiting around for a table. As a mom of antsy kids, this sounds like a dream to me! I’ll have to report back to you once the app functionality is opened to our area.
What to Eat
Now that I’ve set the stage for the location and feel of the place, let’s talk food. The menu is extensive. We ordered an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Normally, we are not three course meal people, but we took one for the team so you would know what’s what. It was a difficult job, but someone had to do it.
I love a good Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer, and holy mackerel, The Cowfish version was incredible. Our Spicy Togarashi Shrimp was flash fried and tossed in spicy Japanese chili sauce. It was served over Asian slaw with pounded ginger sauce, and we cleaned. it. up.For our entrees, Neil choose the unique All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi and I chose the Fushion Specialty Bento Box.Neil’s entree was literally cheeseburger sushi. It looked so weird on his plate, but the flavors and crunch it gave were sensational. I’d never tasted anything like it.
I branched out with my sushi choice and tried their Blackened Tuna Roll which consisted of lump crabcake mix and cream cheese inside, coated in tempura flakes, and topped with seared blackened tuna, avocado salsa and jalapeño. The flavors were great, but I probably would have preferred something with a little less cream cheese. However, the remainder of my box allowed me to sample edamame, sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers, and a mini burger. All of those items were perfection.To end our meal, we enjoyed Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake. It was a creamy coconut almond cheesecake atop a golden fortune cookie crust, finished with almond coconut and raspberry sauce. I’m not usually a cheesecake fan, as I much prefer chocolate desserts, but this didn’t taste like cheesecake at all. It was light and creamy and, thankfully, not a heavy ending to our meal.
Overall, my experiences at our local restaurant and the Universal City Walk location were positive. The vibe of the place is fun and family friendly, and the prices are reasonable for the kind of food they offer.The Cowfish Birmingham location officially opens to the public on July 26! What are you going to order first?