Pinchers Boil'n Pot Restaurant in El Campo has been serving up fresh seafood and local meats since 1999.

Craig Radley, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Debbie, said the restaurant's commitment to "good food and great service" sets it apart.

Pinchers moved to its current location along U.S. 59 in 2005 in a converted gas station and convenience store the Radleys purchased.

Many of the items on the menu come from close by. The Radleys order their meat from local butchers and their shrimp and oysters from the Texas coast, wherever they can find the freshest supply. They import crawfish from Louisiana six or seven days a week when it's in season and raise their own crawfish 15 miles from the restaurant to supplement the supply, Radley said. The crawfish they raise are purged on location.

When pressed to choose a favorite meal on the menu, Radley opted for the fried shrimp.

"We peel and butterfly our shrimp per order, so every day we're constantly peeling shrimp," Radley said. "They're hand-battered. It makes all the difference."

Pinchers also offers an RV park. The Radleys also own an old-fashioned candy shop next door to the restaurant that offers sweets and Blue Bell Creameries ice cream.

After more than two decades in business, the owners are still striving to improve the place as they prepare to hand the reins over to their son. There is an enclosed front porch and back yard seating so diners can enjoy Pinchers' offerings inside or outside, no matter the weather.

"We're always adding to our atmosphere," Radley said. "I just haven't quit spending money on the place."

Radley expects his son Coy, 27, to take over by the time he turns 30.

With Pinchers located right on the highway, cars pass through every day. The Radleys have one shot to blow their customers away with their food and service.craig radley

"Usually when a customer stops in the first time, we have a customer for life," Radley said. "When we sit them down and serve our fresh food, people enjoy it."

Marcus Gutierrez contributed reporting.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on rural community life for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at mrosenberg@vicad.com or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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(2) comments

Alonzo Salazar

I’ll never stop there again. One waitress and management with an attitude. It took me nearly an hour to get out of that place. I mentioned that to a manager and got a so what response.

Billy Bowers

I had the same experience the shrimp boil was like eating jerky way over cooked and when I said something to the staff they acted like on big deal.

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