Bentonville, AR - Flying Fish Food Review
109A NW 2nd St, Bentonville, AR 72712
Photos here: http://www.nowthatscookin.com/node/434
Having won a couple of gift certificates from Northwest Arkansas Travel Guide to the Bentonville, Arkansas Flying Fish location, we decided to stop by there and give them a try.
The decor is very quirky and fun. There are pictures all over the place of people with their "catches" and there is even a wall of "Billy Bass" plaques. You bring one in and they will "adopt" it from you and in exchange you get free basket of catfish and your Billy Bass on the wall with your name on the wall plaque.
Overall the facility was clean as were the restrooms. When you enter you can proceed through the left door for pick up orders or through the right door to get into the line to order. Once your order is placed they will give you a wireless buzzer that lets you know when your order is ready.
We ordered the 4 Shrimp / 1 Catfish Fillet basket which was $11.49. Served with french fries and hush puppies. The batter on the catfish and shrimp was good. Well seasoned and cooked properly. The catfish was fresh tasting, moist and cooked well. Same for the shrimp. I am not sure that the hush puppies are made from scratch, I did not ask. They were a tad bland for my taste.
We also ordered the Grilled Grouper plate which was $11.49. Served with grilled veggies, beans and rice. The grouper fillet was a bit thinner than I would have hoped for, but it was cooked well and seasoned perfectly for my taste. Nice char marks on them as well. The sides were spot on.
In addition, we also had the crawfish chowder which was $6.25 for a bowl. The chowder base was really good and there were some nice healthy chunks of crawfish making this foodie very happy. This is one that I would order over and over from them.
They fry their food in 100% peanut oil. Which is great for folks that are concerned about their trans fat and cholesterol intake.
Now, on to the only negative to my experience there.
When I went to go pick up my gift cards the man behind the counter, I think his name was Juan, made me feel like I was going through an interrogation. Asking for ID, which I understood, but taking forever to study the ID. Making me feel like he thought I was presenting a fake ID. Then questioning me pretty extensively about who I got it from and why.
Then when we went to use them, he was interacting with an older couple just ahead of us. They were complaining to him that he had not punched their cards properly. He actually took the time to argue with them that he was right and they were not. I could tell the lady was getting frustrated. He ended up doing nothing for them.
Then it was my turn to order, which we did and I presented my cards. This was the same guy that had interacted with me when I picked them up originally. He again questioned me on who I got them from and why. Explaining to me in detail how he gets scammed by people saying they are wanting them for charitable reasons when in fact they use them for other reasons And I could imagine this happening, but it made me feel like I was getting the third degree and made me feel somewhat uncomfortable. I actually suggested if this was an issue to him maybe instead of just signing the back of them as he did, he may want to put the name of the "organization" that he gave them to, that way he would know at a glance that information.
The vibe from my personal interactions with him as well as what I saw in regards to his interactions with that other customer and some things I have read in other reviews, is that he really can make people uncomfortable when they utilize this promotion he has. Which makes me ask why they even do the promotion? To me, it is poor customer service and really kind of rude and could drive off potential repeat customers, which is the whole reason for the promotion. To reward repeat customers.
In summary: The food was really good and the facility is clean and a fun place for individuals as well as families to go to eat. They are hitting the mark in regards to their food offerings. But in regards to how this individual interacts with his customers, that can be a deal breaker. I think this restaurant is worth trying and would suggest it to my readers, I can only hope you get the customer service you deserve as well.