Steve's Gastronomic Home Page

Harbor House (Closed)

6400 N. W. 39th Expressway
Bethany, OK

Harbor House

Note:  As of Nov. 2008 Harbor House has closed as a restaurant, but still does catering and fish fries at other locations.

The restaurant business is ever changing, giving me ample reason to enjoy as many of my favorite places as I can before they fall victim to the economy, owners' retirement, concept changes, or other factors that may make them disappear as quickly as they came on the scene. Sometimes, though, restaurants I enjoyed when I was younger become reincarnated at a different location, with the food living on at the new restaurant. Such was the case when one of the local seafood restaurants, Der Dutchman, closed, but was in effect continued when the same food became available at Harbor House.

If I counted the times I had eaten at Der Dutchman, it would be well over the maximum number of ten that I use to indicate the number of visits to a restaurant. Harbor House was open for a number of years before I made my first venture here, but it immediately brought back memories of the food I had eaten in years past. The primary menu choices here are for seafood, almost all of which are fried. Catfish and shrimp are probably the two biggest sellers, but salmon, crab, lobster, flounder, and other varieties are available as well. Some are available grilled, but if you want the "old style" food, this would be fried.

Hush puppies
Harbor House serves the same famous hush puppies that originated at Der Dutchman

The famous Hush Puppies from Der Dutchman are now served at Harbor House as an appetizer with every meal. I think they are famous for good reason, since I have tasted very few that come close to these. Harbor House provides pads of real butter (not margerine) to put on them, and only an enourmous amount of self control can prevent the overconsumption of these fried cornmeal sticks before dinner is even served.

Salad at Harbor House
Salad at Harbor House

Salad is one of the several choices of side dishes that are available, and if ordered is served before the meal. The one pictured in the photo was rather impressive, with quite a few toppings and some good green lettuce (along with an equal amount of washed out white leaves). I have subsequently ordered salad, though, that was skimpier on everything except the white colored lettuce. I cannot say, then, that this is consistently a very good salad, although even when it was served as it was supposed to be, I did not care much for the yellow cheese that was added. A house made ranch dressing is available (I thought it was pretty good), and all other choices apparently come pre-made.

Fried flounder
Small order of fried flounder

Fried Flounder was a menu choice that looked as if it would be more to my liking than the shrimp or catfish. I thought the fish was good but thin, with the fried breading that covered the small pieces of fish dominating the flavor. I ordered the fried fish mainly out of nostalga for the type of fish that was served when I was growing up. Today, though, I think I would be fairly successful finding much better examples of fish served in Oklahoma City restaurants. In fairness, though, Harbor House has several non-fried fish, seafood, chicken, and other dinners that I have not tried.

The Baked Potato was the best item I tried at Harbor House (with the possible exception of the hush puppies). A large variety of other side dishes are available as well.

Tamales and chili rellenos (with an incorrect spelling) are available, and I suspect are either very good or very bad (since I find very little in between in Oklahoma restaurants).

Many people say the chicken fried steak is one of the best items served at Harbor House, but I have not tried it.

Harbor House also has a catering service and a drive through window.

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Cuisine: American
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Margaritas

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 17, 2008

Number of Visits: 2

Best Items
Baked Potato, Hush Puppies

Special Ratings
Fried Flounder:
Hush Puppies:
Baked Potato: