A Tail of Two Crabs

After months of having an Opening Soon sign out front a new restaurant opened just down the road from me. Knowing it was a seafood place and boils were going to be a thing with them I was eagerly waiting to give it a try. In the meantime another, similar restaurant opened a few miles further away so when this one finally opened I figured I’d give them both a try and compare.

The place near me is called Yummy Crab. When they first hung the Opening Soon sign it was going to be called Crazy Crab. I don’t know if the mental health community or Big Crustacean got involved but the name got changed to Yummy Crab before it opened.

The building they were in was also previously a seafood restaurant and it has a very large seating capacity that was largely unused when I went for lunch. This suited me fine as I got good service and got in and out rapidly while having a good lunch. They have fried and boiled seafood but I came for the boil so I really didn’t pay the rest of the menu much mind. I got the lunch snow crab legs. (The original pics I took I accidentally deleted so this is from a second visit)

The boils come with different types of seafood and they have combos and add-ins. I kept it simple and got the 1/2 lb snow crab legs lunch special which came with a potato, small cob of corn and a boiled egg (this was a new thing to me). Once you pick the seafood and add-ins you pick a flavor, I went with Cajun, and a spice level, medium for a first try.

It was delivered to the table in a big plastic bag, along with a bucket, bib, claw crackers (I had to ask for these on the first trip), and gloves. I’m a big fan of the gloves. The cajun spice was obviously the powdered version and in spite of the copious amounts you can see it really wasn’t that cajuny. Medium was fairly weak on the spiciness front. On the upside everything was well cooked, the crab came out of the shells nice and easy and it was a great lunch that didn’t leave me stuffed. I rated them 4 stars because I had to ask for the claw crackers and sweetener for my tea plus boils like this should have sausage not egg. Obviously since the picture is from a second trip I liked it enough to go back.

The place that opened first that I visited second is named Fiery Crab Juicy Seafood. When I first saw the name I thought, “you couldn’t work moist in there too?”. Fortunately the web site and menus all just have Fiery Crab on them. I don’t know what this place was before it was Fiery Crab but it also has a large seating area that was marginally more occupied that Yummy’s. Again I was good with that because the service started good and I did get my food in a timely fashion.

To make the comparison equal I got the same thing at this place.

Here you can see the plastic enclosure it’s served in. The accouterments accompanying the meal were essentially the same but the gloves were slightly different and they didn’t provide any wet wipes. I got their Cajun flavor with was called Fiery Cajun with medium spice. You may be able to tell from the pictures that they use the liquid boil mix instead of the powder and their overall spice level at medium was significantly higher than the other places. Another difference was it came with two potatoes and a couple of pieces of kielbasa sausage in lieu of the egg. The crab didn’t come out of the legs quite as cleanly but did have a good taste. I gave these folks 5 stars because I didn’t have to ask for anything and sausage was a default ingredient.

Comparing the two I think the actual crab was superior both times at Yummy but Fiery has the edge on overall flavor and they have sausage. Either one gets a thumbs up from me.

Gulf Shore Grub


I spent a few days this week vacationing on the Mississippi gulf shore and managed to have some good meals.  Notice that was plural so this will cover several places I enjoyed while there.

The evening of my arrival I wanted something close to the hotel I was staying at in D’Iberville and some searching turned up Quickly Asian Fusion Cafe just around the corner.  It’s a spot where you order at the counter and they bring it to your table.  They had a wide variety of Asian foods and as the name says fusions of cultures.  I almost went for the spam and egg bento but instead chose the bulgogi bento box.

This was a fantastic meal.  The egg roll and chile oil dipping sauce was a great start.  The bulgogi beef and kimchi were sweet and mildly spicy respectively.  The rice had some sesame seeds and even the lettuce in the salad was fresh and crisp with a nice ginger dressing.  I got a white peach oolong hot tea to drink with and sip after the meal.  The restaurant is a bit of a hangout for some and has a barlike counter that had a couple of guys playing Fortnite or something similar and a group of high school kids were clustered around a couple of tables drinking hot tea and milk tea.  It was a cool place with lots of options to drink and eat.  Definitely a good find on day 1.

The morning started with a quest for a breakfast place that wasn’t a chain.  Following a little Yelp and Google action I settled on The Grind Coffee & Nosh in Biloxi.  This little coffee shop is in an interesting building at the front of some other shopping areas.  The interior has a counter to order and about a dozen 2 and 4 seat tables and in the center are 4 big overstuffed chairs in front of a fireplace.  The smell of coffee was a like a bit of heaven as I walked through the door.  The menu isn’t complex and it took me only a minute or so to settle on the sausage, egg & cheese panini.

Before talking about the food let me just say the size of that coffee cup was magnificent.  It held about twice a normal cup so I was kind of in love.  Then I got the panini with the side of sliced apple.  I went with sourdough bread to sandwich the scrambled egg, cheddar and extra large sausage patty.  The sausage was not bad and had a little bit of spiciness that they could have ramped up a bit for me but it was a tasty start to the day.

After riding around checking the area I wound up at the IP Casino in Biloxi in time to catch lunch and some football at one of their restaurants, Highlights Sports Lounge.  As an aside I was planning to make my very first casino sports bet and put a few bucks on Carolina.  Well I grabbed the betting sheet and was quickly baffled by all the nonsense on the form.  I wanted to circle or check a box give them a $20 and be done not have to take a course on how to fill out a betting form.  Of course glancing at Homeless Hector over there filling out his form with the attitude of an experienced pro I probably could have figured it out except for one thing.  I didn’t want to.  It worked out alright though as Carolina lost.

Back to the food.  This is a sports bar with a ton of TVs in the dining and bar areas and where there aren’t TVs sports memorabilia covering the walls.  Each booth had it’s own TV that you could tune to one of the games being played.  The nice young lady taking care of me hooked me up with a good beer to go along with my lunch selection.

I got their Smothered Mushroom Burger.  The burger was a half pound of angus beef, with roasted “wildforaged” mushrooms and fried button mushrooms and cheese curds plus onions, bacon and mushroom sauce on a artisan bun.  Along side this was a loaded potato salad.  It was every bit as good as it sounds.  The bacon was crispy the mushrooms had a good texture and the burger was very beefy.  Even the potato salad was some of the best restaurant potato salad I’ve had.  It had sour cream and bacon bits in it like a loaded baked potato and those were both welcome additions.  I waddled out to the casino with a full belly and dollar signs on my mind.

After dropping some bucks on video poker, circling the $5 blackjack tables like a shark waiting for someone to vacate a seat, which never happened, and then more than making up the losses at the roulette table it was time for dinner.  After my losing streak on the video poker machines I got a newbie comp of a free buffet at the casino’s Back Bay Buffet restaurant.  

The buffet seating area was quite large and the buffet area was laid out in themed areas like Southern, Italian, Asian, Carvery, Backyard BBQ, etc.  There were a lot of choices and I strolled around and grabbed one or two items until the plate got full so it was an interesting mix.  The food was all adequate but nothing was great.  Coming off the big burger at lunch I only got one plate so I was happy it was comped and I hadn’t paid the $26 regular price.  In spite of the so so nature of the food I had I wouldn’t hesitate to try this again to try a number of the other foods to see if so so was the norm or I just picked some poor samples.  What it missed in tastiness it made up for in options.  From here I rolled out of the casino to the car.

The next morning breakfast was at the Fried Green Tomato in D’Iberville close to the hotel.  This was a place that had lots of locals enjoying breakfast with friends and coworkers which I took as a good sign.

I kept it simple and hard to mess up.  Interestingly they exceeded my expectations by having some of the best grits I’ve had in a long time.  They were about the perfect consistency and had a great corn taste that made them seem like they were fresh ground from quality hominy.  The sausage was pretty good as well and I liked the little melon ball scoop of whipped butter rather than the individual pats or tubs you often get.  Made me think they were being cost conscious to keep the prices reasonable, which they were.  The service was good too even though there was only one lady covering the place for most of the time I was there.  Good start to the day.

After a morning visiting the shore front and some historical spots I wanted some seafood for lunch since I’d really not had any and that seemed like a crime being where I was.  I decided to try Gallotts Fresh Catch restaurant.  I chose them because I’d seen the large Gallott’s seafood processing location the first day when I was driving around and I figured the restaurant should have an edge in the seafood area.  Turns out they knew what they were doing.


The restaurant is a large building up on stilts right next to the water and had a nice view.  It wasn’t busy and I got a nice seat near a window.  I was initially disappointed when I was handed the lunch menu because the seafood options were very limited but then the server lady hit me with the daily special, seafood etouffee.  She informed me it had crawfish, shrimp, crab and sausage in the etouffee and the whole thing was topped with a strip of fried catfish.  Well heck yeah I wanted that and OMG it was delicious.  Every bite had at least two of the ingredients in the spicy roux and you could tell the flavors of the seafood and sausage through the roux.  That was quite possibly the best etouffee I’ve ever had.

I spent the day wandering around Biloxi and the surroundings working of lunch.  After managing to walk it off by the time supper rolled around I figured I was still in the mood for seafood and there was an interesting looking little place right next to the Fried Green Tomato called, Cafe New Orleans.


I was greeted first by the gator and next by two young ladies who were in the midst of decorating for Christmas.  One offered me a cookie and the other offered me a seat.  They were off to a good start.  The main dining area walls are covered with murals of bayou scenes and the walls hung with memorabilia setting a nice atmosphere.  I decided to get the most bang for my buck with their sampler.  Goodness gracious that turned out to be both a good and bad decision.  The sampler came with shrimp, oysters, fish and a stuffed crab all fried of course plus a choice of potatoes done one of three ways and a salad.  I figured based on the price it would be a little bit of all of that.  Turns out it was a lot of all of that.  I hate to reuse text lingo but OMG that was trawler full of food and all of it good.  There must have been a couple of dozen shrimp, a dozen or so oysters, the two pieces of fish and that stuffed crab was as big as my hand.  Even the potatoes were great, diced up redskins cooked in butter on the grill and sprinkled with cajun seasoning.  I could only eat about half of what was there and if the hotel room had had a microwave I might have taken it back to the room for breakfast but as it was I had to leave it and depart with a tear in my eye.

The final meal I had was at the airport.  I had time to kill before my flight and it was getting on to lunch time so rolled over to the bar / restaurant that served the pre-security area.  The served Arby’s food and had a small menu of their own as well and I initially figured I’d be eating Arby’s but they had a local sampler as well.

This sampler consisted of small cups of a crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice and one of chicken and sausage gumbo.  As hard as this is to believe even the airport food was good.  The etouffee had some generous portions of crawfish and was reasonably spicy and the gumbo was slightly spicy with dime size medallions of sausage plus ground chicken.  The red beans and rice wasn’t the mild dish that was good and filling.  I had a couple of localish beers to wash these down.  One a rye IPA and the other was the picture Biloxi Blonde which came recommended by a couple of the other patrons.  That final meal put me in a spot where the flight was a nice place to nap after that meal.

The culinary phase of my trip to the Mississippi gulf shore was certainly successful and a tick mark in the Pro column if I think about going back.



Beach Week pt 2

More Surf City Cuisine

This week we continue with the restaurants visited during family vacation week and since it covers five places it’s longer that normal.  The first was breakfast at Batson’s Galley with my nephew.  I selected this place because they have country links sausage which are harder to find than they should be.

The place looks to have been around for awhile and has the appearance of a typical diner when you go in except it has a huge beach mural on one wall and a copy of the 10 commandments hanging behind the register.  We got seated as soon as we walked in and drinks provided in a jiffy.  I went with a simple breakfast seen in the picture and my nephew went for the chocolate chip pancakes.  They were definitely on beach time and it took longer than I thought it should have based on the number of customers and the lack of complexity in our orders.  Fortunately the food made up for the wait.  The eggs were scrambled firm and not overcooked.  The sausage was mildly spicy with a good amount of sage.  The potatoes were a surprise hit, lightly crisp outside, evenly distributed seasoning generously applied made them a great accompaniment to the sausage and eggs.  Per my nephew the chocolate chip pancakes were outstanding and the chocolate chip quantity and distribution were spot on.

Next up was lunch at Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille with my sister, brother-in-law and niece.  Daddy Mac’s is a second floor restaurant so you’re climbing stairs or waiting on an elevator that is slower than taking the stairs from what we observed since we took the stairs and beat the elevator.  They have a nice ocean view from inside as well as seating outside on a deck.  We decided to sit inside as it was a bit warm even with the breeze.

I got their shrimp and grits which were different from any of the myriad of others I’ve had over the years.  As a side note shrimp and grits is one of those dishes that no two places or people seem to make the same and has more variation from place to place than just about any dish I’ve seen.  As long as it has the two titular ingredients anything else is fair game and these folks threw me a curve ball with theirs.


When the server placed the bowl in front of me my first thought was, “These are some thin ass grits and what’s with the toast in the middle.”  Turns out that wasn’t toast but a grit cake fried or toasted brown with a plentiful helping of shrimp and mushrooms in a savory gravy that was delicious if unexpected.  I had a Mother Earth Brewing Endless River Kolsch style ale to wash it down.  It was light and paired well with the meal.  The other’s enjoyed their meals as well see below for the bonus pics.  This was another place on beach time when it came to time between ordering and receiving food.

The following day saw a trip to Surf City BBQ which had great reviews from the nieces & future nephew-in-law.  This was one of the rare spots that wasn’t within easy walking distance but still very close to the house so a sister & two brothers-in-law jumped in the car and off we went.  The restaurant is in a little strip center and doesn’t look that much like a good BBQ place from the outside but inside the atmosphere is BBQ joint.  I got a combo plate with pulled pork and chicken.

One thing to mention is they bring a basket of hush puppies to keep you going until the food arrives and are quality hush puppies.  The chicken was tender and tasty but no thrill ride.  The pulled pork was eastern NC style vinegar & pepper lightly sauced with more at hand on the table if you needed more.  Very enjoyable.  The fried cornbread square was different but good.  The Brunswick stew was good but Georgia hash is better and the green beans were cooked to perfection, tender but not mushy, with just the right amount of salt.  There was a lot of food and no room for the banana pudding the server was pushing hard.

Last breakfast outing was not the best.  I was walking to Spudee’s when I passed Beach Bunny Subs and Grill and saw they were serving breakfast and since I hadn’t been there I figured I might as well.  I should have kept walking.  Not that the food was bad but no busier than they were it took way too long to get my food.  I got seated right away but it took a while before the server came over to get my order for coffee.  When that got to me I decided to try the Tidal Wave Scrambler.

Then started the epic wait for my breakfast.  I don’t know what they were doing besides cooking back there but they must have been squeezing the eggs out of the chickens and milling the wheat for the gravy flour.  Anyway I finally got my scrambler which I’ll tell you about since you can’t see much beyond the gravy.  Two eggs, sausage, onions, peppers, hashbrowns, corned beef hash, cheese, stray tomato, smothered in sausage gravy.  That sounds like a ton of food and it was plenty but the hashbrowns weren’t well represented and in spite of the overly long wait the onions and peppers were essentially raw.  This was the worst experience of the week and I couldn’t recommend them at all.

On a happier note lunch was a family event to a restaurant recommended by the owner of the house we rented.  The Riverview Cafe in Snead’s Ferry has been around for a bunch of years and is locally known for their fresh seafood and pies.  They have a changing roster of specials each day as well as the menu to order from.  Just about everyone ordered something from the specials board.  I got the tilapia, shrimp & deviled crab and a Dogfish SeaQuench Ale.


The ale came first and it was quite the experience.  It is a combination of styles but the prevailing flavors are the lime and sea salt.  It’s light and refreshing and a great summer beer to enjoy with your seafood.  We also got a couple of baskets of hush puppies here to keep us from getting surly while waiting for the food.  When it came the tilapia was lightly breaded, fried and tasty.  The deviled crab was on par with those you’d get at a chain.  The shrimp though was the star of the trio.  It had a light batter that you could see the orange stripes of the perfectly cooked shrimp through.  The seasoning in the batter was outstanding and made for the best fried shrimp I’ve had in a long time and maybe ever.  The sides of mac & cheese and green limas were both above average.  I traded a shrimp for a scallop from another family member and it was a toss up which was better so suffice to say you couldn’t lose with either.  I was told the ribs were well worth considering too.

We ordered pies to take home for later; a chocolate, a coconut cream, and a lemon.  I don’t have pics because they didn’t travel well and the meringue stuck to the box top on two of them which was ok with me because I find meringue on a pie to be just an obstacle to overcome to get to the good stuff.  All three pies were quality, not as good as mama’s pies but pretty good.

Overall the week’s dining experiences were positive and most were enjoyed with various family members so that just made them a bit better.  Already looking forward to next year.

Seafood Sunday


I kept it domestic this weekend and decided to visit a place I’ve been meaning to check out since I moved up here from Augusta. Captain Steve’s.  As the name and the post title suggest this is a seafood restaurant although they have steak, chicken and pork as well.  I had seafood on my mind however so I thought I’d give them a shot.

When I moved to Fort Mill the parking lot, which is huge, was gravel and dirt and the exterior had the look of a fish camp.  One of those places that has a ton of seating in an open area with lots of plain tables and chairs designed not to be too comfortable because they have a high volume of people to serve on any given weekend.  That’s what I imagined anyway passing it countless times without ever going in.  Over the years they’ve obviously been successful and the parking lot has been paved and the exterior got a facelift and based on what I saw I’d say the interior got a boost as well.

The parking lot was about half full when I arrived and I was seated immediately.  They do have efficiency in mind because they have two lanes for you to get seated, one for parties of 4 and under and one for larger parties.  Being Sunday after noon the attire of the crowd was everything from me in my shorts and t-shirt to the guy in the 3 piece suit and family all dressed in their Sunday best at the table next to me.  As you can see from the menu they’ve got a pretty good selection so it is a place you can bring just about anyone.

Going against my southern DNA I decided to get broiled instead of fried and chose the 2 item Create a Platter with the Greek style flounder and sea scallops.  As a side note here my server was a very pleasant young lady who’s name I didn’t get but I liked that when I asked a couple of question she didn’t know the answer too she admitted it and offered to let me try an item or she could ask someone else.  The question she did know the answer to, “What’s Greek style?”, she led with “Do you like feta?” and when I said yes she completed the rest of the ingredients.  She only checked in a few times but they were are the right times and my tea didn’t get empty and I didn’t have to wait long when I was ready for the check.  Ok, back to the food.  The platter came with a house salad and side which I elected to be potato salad.  Along with the salad, which could have been a meal by itself, a basket of hushpuppies was served up.

A nice thing about a place that’s really busy is you can count on the stuff being fresh and this salad tasted fresh and I’m not even really a salad person.  I tried a couple of the hushpuppies and they were decent as well.  Then came the seafood.

The flounder fillet had feta, tomatoes, celery, onions, carrots and herbs, all finely chopped, on top and the generous portion was cooked just right.  The flounder had mild fish taste as you’d expect  and the feta was in fact the strongest flavor in the mix.  The potato salad was ok but I only ate a couple of bites because I had to prioritize at this point and the scallops were going to be priority one.  The scallops were about the best I’ve had in a long time.  They were tender and had a great scallop taste a subtle salt flavor like they were just pulled from the sea unlike at many places where they are rubbery and almost tasteless.  I’m not sure what seasoning they used on them and at first I was afraid it might overpower the scallop taste but it didn’t.  I finished the scallops and most of the flounder but I could not clean my plate today.

So lessons learned, either don’t eat the salad or go for a one item platter otherwise something gets left behind.  I definitely will be going back to Captain Steve’s and trying something fried just to keep things in balance.