Hook & Reel

Hook & Reel

The first time I went to Hook & Reel was shortly after it opened. My boyfriend and I were in the area and our favorite Woodmore Center restaurant had closed (RIP: KBQ BBQ). We were hungry, Hook & Reel was there, so we decided to give it a try. We were the only customers in the restaurant. The bartender, who we later found out was the manager helping develop the menu and train servers, was very helpful and friendly. Sidebar: this is the same guy who helped turn Kabu Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi around. I don’t remember what we ordered but that was over a year ago, and we hadn’t been back since until…

Last week we were back in the area for our friends’ son’s Kindergarten graduation. Y’all this graduation was almost as long as my college graduation last month – but wayyyy cuter and more entertaining. At any rate, after an hour and a half of songs and dance, we were hungry. We ended up at Hook & Reel.

We again took a seat at the bar. There were only two other sets of customers, both of which were seated in booths enjoying combo buckets of seafood, potatoes, and corn. We didn’t feel like doing that much work (and we were skeptical about the freshness of the crawfish though Hook & Reel also has crabs, clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobster that can be prepared with a selection of seasonings and sauces), so we ordered some less labor intensive entrées. My boyfriend ordered the oyster po’boy with regular fries and I the fried shrimp with sweet potato fries.

Our freshly made meals arrived quickly. The sweet potato fries lacked flavor but the regular fries were pretty tasty (though they needed salt). My boyfriend loved the po’boy and indeed it looked delicious. The fried shrimp was also very good.

Fried shrimp from Hook & Reel

The critiques:

  • Our server was adequate – she took our orders and brought our food. Other than that she was M.I.A. Later a couple other folks took a seat at the bar and then she was too busy talking to another server to be attentive to her new guests.
  • The music. My boyfriend said it was relaxing. I found it an odd selection for the middle of the day. They were playing R&B slow jams. I kinda felt like I was at my old job – for context, I used to work at a restaurant and bar that turned into a lounge after 5. Depending on the night, we might play some smooth R&B. But, on this occasion, we were not at a lounge and it was not after 5.
  • Okay, this one is even more of a personal preference than the last – all the plasticware. Part of Hook & Reel’s tagline is “No Plates, No Forks, No Rules,” which means throwaway cutlery and single serve salt and pepper are what guests are offered. Now that I am more conscious of the environmental harm of single-use plastic I was uncomfortable with all the disposable items Hook & Reel uses.

Would I return? Possibly. But not proactively.


Hook & Reel
9201 Woodmore Center Drive #403
Ardmore, MD 20774
(301) 773-7779