If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends or your significant other, then you need to check out Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at North Hills in the Captrust Tower. Cowfish opened in April in their second location (the first is in Southpark in Charlotte) and has been going strong ever since.
Cowfish owner, Raleigh native Marcus Hall, said the name/idea started as a bit of a joke. He already owned eeZ Fusion & Sushi in Charlotte and was looking for a new location. When he found the perfect space, it neighbored a burger joint and they joked about knocking down a wall for a sushi burger fusion place. The idea stuck and Cowfish was born.
The restaurant serves both burgers and sushi about 50/50. The most popular item on the menu is their Bento Boxes, which also inspired some of their decor. You can see the Bento Box design in the image above in both the bar and the sushi bar areas. And that fish tank? 2200 gallons. It was featured on Tanked! on Animal Planet.
Back to the Bento Boxes. Each Bento Box allows you a burger sample, some sushi and a sampling of sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers (which have a kick to them but are DELICIOUS), and edamame. If something doesn’t appeal to you, Cowfish is happy to switch it out for something you might like better.
When you arrive and after you’ve ordered your drinks (they have a full bar), I recommend starting with their Crab Rangoon Dip. It’s TO. DIE. FOR. In fact, I totally failed to take a picture because all of us dove right in before the server had even walked away from the table. Just imagine the classic crab rangoon filling served as a creamy dip topped with a parmesan panko crust, served with wonton crisps and sweet chili sauce.
If you want something a little more than dip, my husband and I had the Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos on our last date night and they were simply scrumptious. It’s five crispy wonton chips topped with the abovementioned Crab Rangoon Dip, spring mix, homemade guacamole, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, sliced seared rare blackened Ahi tuna and microgreens.
When it comes to your meal, you have plenty of options. My party of five had three people go with the Bento Box, one with the mini slider burgers and I chose sushi.
We also were able to sample one of the more popular Burgushi rolls – the Taste Explosion. Burgushi utilizes beef and burger components in a sushi format. The Taste Explosion includes natural Angus ground beef, applewood bacon, fresh jalapenos and spicy cream sauce inside of a sushi roll coated with tempura flakes. Each piece is topped with marinated Roma tomato and pepper jack cheese, then baked and drizzled with cashew cilantro pesto to finish.
Now I’ll be honest. Our table did not love this roll, and I don’t think Burgushi is for everyone. I am a huge sushi fan, so I just couldn’t shake that it wasn’t fish. But if you’re adventurous, I say go for it!
I had the Miss Moffitt roll, which apparently Mr. Hall created to impress his wife while they were dating. The roll includes spicy tuna, scallions and crispy tempura flakes rolled inside, topped with thin slices of fresh avocado, then drizzled with sweet eel sauce.
Of course, we had to save room for dessert. They have milkshakes on their menu for goodness sake, both with and without alcohol. To start, we went with the chocolate cake (which is the only dessert that they don’t make onsite) and two milkshakes, the Very Cherry Cobbler and the Gimme More S’More Shake.
Word to the wise, our cherry loving friend said the cherry shake tasted like cough syrup. The Smores shake, on the other hand, was guzzled down by a very happy camper.
The chocolate cake was ok. It’s very dense and doesn’t have much actual cake. It’s heavy on the fudge component. I would recommend sticking with Cowfish’s own desserts, like the Mousse is Loose, which features layers of brownie and vanilla and chocolate mousse. It was heaven in my mouth.
Next time I want to try the Apple Pie “Wontons” which are wontons wrapped around homemade apple pie filling and flash fried to perfection. It’s served with sweet caramel cream dipping sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe I’ll pair it with the No Sleep Til Brooklyn shake, which includes ice cream, malt, coffee concentrate, chocolate shavings, Kahlua and dark rum garnished with whipped cream and crushed espresso beans.
Expect a wait
For a popular new restaurant, you knew there was a catch right? They don’t take reservations, so expect a wait. A long wait. On weekend evenings, the wait between 6:30pm and 8:30pm can be up to 2 1/2 hours long. On the bright side, they have a full bar, lots of area outside for waiting on a nice night and two sets of cornhole boards.
If you have a large group, consider renting out the Cowfish Bus! Their custom mini-bus holds up to 14 passengers, and is available on a first come, first serve basis. It’s $200 per night, which includes one pick up prior to dinner, and one drop off following your experience at The Cowfish. The maximum radius that the bus will travel is 15 miles.
I’ve been to Cowfish three times now (once in Charlotte, twice in Raleigh) and it is definitely one of my favorite places for a fun evening out. It can be quite loud, so if you want a more intimate affair, this probably isn’t the best choice. However, if you want good food, yummy drinks and a fabulous atmosphere complete with a friendly and thorough serving staff, you’ll be quite happy at Cowfish.
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Thank you to Cowfish for the appetizer and dessert sampling. We really appreciated the time you took with our table and look forward to our next visit.
Photography provided by A Parenting Production and Cowfish/Denny Deaton. All rights reserved.