One of David Eller’s goals at his restaurant, Coop to Coast, is to get people who don’t really care for seafood to change their minds.
“There is a whole body of people who won’t eat seafood, and then a whole body who love it,” he said. “We use fresh ingredients along with great sauces—and that pulls people who don’t try seafood often to try it, and usually, they like it. All of my sauces are made from scratch and are based on trying to pull people into trying seafood.”
For example, the C2C shrimp is tossed in a crowd-pleasing sweet chili sauce, and the shrimp tacos are made fresh with a crunchy coleslaw and spicy, flavorful sauce.
Add to that the restaurant’s best seller—fish and chips—and it’s no surprise that Coop to Coast won the 2022 award for Best Seafood, as voted on by readers of The Independent.
“The fish and chips are a twist off the classic fish and chips recipe,” Eller said. “I haven’t reinvented the wheel. It’s just about taking fresh ingredients, making sure the batter is perfect every time, and using a really good maldon salt. All of my recipes are inspired from places I’ve been and recipes I’ve learned throughout the years. I just took those recipes and put my own spin on them.”
Coop to Coast opened inside Main Street Social in July 2021. Eller was one of the first restaurants to join the food hall. During the pandemic, when everything, including construction and most businesses, shut down for a time, Eller spent months serving a variety of fish and shrimp prepared different ways to his friends and family to perfect his recipes.
“I was practicing constantly,” he said. “There was a day where we just tried tarter sauces. I bought some frozen fish sticks and had some friends over. I made six or seven different tarter sauces to see which was the best. We had a lot of fun with that.”
In the near future, Eller plans to add more seafood offerings to his menu, including fish tacos, and someday, he hopes to open a second location in another city.
“I have a love for the restaurant industry,” Eller said. “I got into it because I love people. I know if I take care of my people, they’ll take care of my recipes, and those will take care of my guests.”
Coop to Coast is open every day but Monday during the same hours as Main Street Social. Those hours change depending on the season. For more information, visit cooptocoastlhtx.com