Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant and Crabhouse

Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant and Crabhouse
1510 Cherry Hill Road
Dumfries, Va. 22026-2939


Reviewed: June 20, 2009


OK, the tone and attitude of the teenaged hostess turned out to be a big heads up as to how the evening at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant would go. As she took us to our seats, I asked her, “So where are the crabs from?” Her clueless answer: “I don’t follow crabs. The bay, maybe?”


Tim’s, get a clue. Train the young waif. She’s your first line of defense. The eating out experience is supposed to be enjoyable, not annoying. She should know what you’re serving. The answer from the less clueless, but nameless waitress: North Carolina.


Now, over the years, I’ve been to Tim’s with mixed results. This time, the results were, well, not positive.


There’s always a crowd at Tim’s. Some boat in, while others drive in on a windy, undeveloped road, a rarity in Prince William County. Tim’s hasn’t been overdeveloped like other areas of Dumfries, although development is coming closer and closer. For ambience, the outdoor seating and bars, live music and great boating scenery rate a 4 on a scale of 5.


There was a wait for outdoor seating, so we opted for a wonderful, riverfront window table inside. It would have been nice had it been wiped down. I thought it was just me, until I saw somebody else at another table lay down paper towels so he could put his hands on the table to avoid the stickiness. Tim’s, here’s a hint: Wipe the tables down. It will reduce the number of flies.


The crabs, I will admit, were fresh and seasoned decently. But they rate only a 2 on a scale of 5. First, it was early in the evening and the $40/dozen larges had already sold out. What the restaurant called mediums certainly didn’t look or feel medium, even for $36/dozen. I would have hated to see the regulars. The kitchen managed to drop one of the 12, so a full dozen didn’t make it to the table. Once all 12 did make it, we wondered out loud — what happened? Twelve crabs should come with 24 claws. OK, maybe a few less. Our count: 12 crabs, 4 claws.  A dozen crabs later and the two of us are still hungry. Sadly, going into the restaurant, we weren’t that hungry to begin with.


The waitress was honest enough to tell us about the dropped crab and to make sure crab No. 12 came out to us. She also kept the drinks coming, even if they were non-alcoholic.


From the looks of things, that’s why people were there – the drinks. It’s an enjoyable, relaxing setting, complete with tiki torches, American flags, plastic seating and a little sandy beach. One moment you can be watching a train roll by. The next you’re watching Tim’s pontoon boat shuttle people from their boats to the restaurant’s dock.


Ladies, if you’re not coming off a boat to the restaurant, make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. Tim’s literally is next to the train tracks. Get there too late and you will be walking the tracks to get from the backup parking lot to the restaurant.


If you head there, opt for the outdoor seating. It’s worth the wait. Inside, you can’t hear the live music, although you will get a kick out of the beachy scenes painted on the wood floors and the tin advertising signs on the ceiling. The location is the winner at Tim’s, not the crabs. I’m hopeful the next time we’re there that the food will surpass my now already low expectations.

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