The Rusty Barnacle only made one appearance on The Simpsons (Homer’s Night Out) before being replaced by The Frying Dutchman as Springfield’s go-to seafood restaurant. I’m not sure why The Rusty Barnacle was replaced, perhaps because the Frying Dutchman has the Sea Captain. Since then the Dutchman (and the Sea Captain) have been featured in numerous episodes, so for the purposes of this comparison I’m only discussing the episode each restaurant was first introduced. For both entries the restaurant setting is integral to the overall episode story making this a worthy comparison indeed!
The Rusty Barnacle
Episode: Homer’s Night Out (The Simpsons Season 1 – Episode 10)
Menu Items: Cod Platter, Squid platter with extra tentacles, Fried shrimp and baked potato, Fish fillet with baked potato, Cold Pet Rat (maybe)
Pros: Has a Banquet Room (Davy Jones Locker) for parties, Servers dress like pirates
Cons: Bachelor parties can get too loud, Privacy is not guaranteed
The Frying Dutchman
Episode: New Kid on the Block (The Simpsons Season 4 – Episode 8)
Menu Items: Everything is made with fish, including the bread: crab, shrimp, french fries, fish and chips, oysters, shrimp
Pros: All you can eat fish*, Can witness a man eating tremendous amounts of food
Cons: Do not allow you to take the steam trays to your table, *Kick you out before you’ve had all you can eat – that could have been me!
Winner: The Rusty Barnacle
Why: A restaurant where the servers have to dress like pirates that ALSO has a back room where you can dance with Princess Kashmir, Queen of the Mysterious East – why would you ever leave? Enjoy your fried shrimp while dancing on the table without the tedious legal battle that comes with a so-called “all you can eat” promotion.