El Barquito Seafood & Oyster Bar Opens in Sharpstown: Review by Kace’ Conaway

El Barquito Seafood & Oyster Bar Opens in Sharpstown: Review by Kace’ Conaway
El Barquito, in a remodeled Sharpstown building that used to be a Long John Silver's. Image Credit: Tyess Korsmo

El Barquito, opened about six weeks ago, has shot to the top of my “places to go” list. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, the prices ranged from $12 to $25, and the location is near my school and the Southwest Freeway.

Walking up to the family-owned restaurant, I was immersed in the seafood experience. The ship-shaped building has large ocean-view windows, waves painted on the exterior, and nautical pilings. Inside, I stepped into an ocean decor lover’s dream, with features including a water-like marble floor, fishing gear on the walls, a large anchor on the hostess booth, and a mural of an ocean sunset.

The staff greeted me with big smiles. I even noticed another customer being greeted with a hug. My waitress, Andrea, was kind and attentive.

Per Andrea's recommendation, my friend ordered the fried shrimp combo: fries, hush puppies, and six nicely sized shrimp. I ordered an oyster and the Camarones Rellenos, which included shrimp wrapped with a jalapeño and crabmeat, fries, and hush puppies. My friend and I concluded that the food was delicious and well worth the price.

My Rellenos were perfectly cooked, decently sized, packed with flavor, and not too spicy. The hush puppies were tasty and not over-fried, which my friend and I appreciated.

I paired my oyster with lime. I was a bit nervous because the restaurant didn’t have any other sauces or toppings for oyster, but I was pleasantly surprised when the taste was perfect!

Beyond Andrea's superb suggestions, the service was excellent. Every waiter that passed my table wore a big smile and asked if my friend and I were enjoying ourselves. Service seemed to be moving fast at all the tables, even those with large parties.

The management probably deserves some credit. Andrea, who works as a paralegal on weekdays and a waitress on weekends, said that management is very understanding of her schedule and communicates well. She loves the seafood and the restaurant’s positive vibe.

Christian, the manager (and owner’s son), thanked God that “business is good,” telling me that they do well on weekends. The location–right on the southeast side of Beechnut and 59, next to the new gas station–likely helps.

Image Credit: Tyess Korsmo

Christian said El Barquito was a lifelong dream for his father, who has always had businesses around Sharpstown. They love meeting new people and want to keep the restaurant family-friendly to “serve the community the best way we can,” he said.

Christian said they get fresh seafood straight from the Gulf almost every two weeks. To build their menu, they picked “a little bit of what our family loves,” but they plan on upgrading the menu based on customer feedback. He believes their best dish is the El Capital, which features catfish, shrimp, rice, and fries.

Christian praised the day chef, Elba, for doing “a wonderful job of training kitchen staff to ensure fresh and good food,” and the night chef, Alexa, for doing “a great job with the demand and teaching the staff.” He says his family hopes to stay at the location as long as the community allows them–and open more locations in the area.

Overall, I enjoyed El Barquito. The niche interior design elevated the experience. The staff was kind and timely. Most of all, the food was fresh and delicious!

El Barquito is located at 8107 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77074. You can find them on Instagram @elbarquitosouthwest and on Facebook at El Barquito Seafood & Oyster Bar.


Kace’ Conaway, reporter and community engagement specialist
Kace’ is a legal studies major at Houston Christian University. She has always had a deep love for writing and is grateful for the opportunity to share that love with the Sharpener and its readers. She hopes her work will have a positive impact on campus and in the Sharpstown