I love eating seafood in southeast Texas.
View SE Texas Seafood Trail in a larger map
I grew up eating it. It’s in my blood literally and figuratively. I’ve been away for awhile. Steaks and haute cuisine were the main culprits. But I’m back and on the march.
Most of the SE Texas seafood places I went too growing up are, amazingly, still around. I guess they’re doing something right. Well, I’m going to find out.
This is the first in a series of scouting trips/food adventures/moseys in SE Texas. Mainly it will be about seafood, of the the Gulf Coast/Tex-Cajun/Cajun variety. But I’m sure I’ll stumble upon a few various and sundry BBQ/Tex-Mex/CFS joints along the way. I’m sure you won’t mind if I drop in for some brisket or an enchilada on occasion.
My benchmark cuisines will be 1) dark roux filé gumbo (seafood or chicken & sausage), and 2) fried catfish. Will also sample the likes of fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried alligator, hush puppies, etouffe, stuffed crab, dirty rice. Seasonally — raw oysters, crawfish, soft shell crab, and BBQ crab.
But I need your help. Tell me about some places to go for seafood in southeast Texas. It might be a place you went to when you were a kid, or a place you go to now. Give me a name and general location and I’ll find it. And I’ll report back.
My main geographical focus is I-10 to the north, Gulf Coast to the south, I-45 to the west and the Sabine River to the east.
So here’s the first itinerary. Alright, let’s roll…
This itinerary is for Saturday 4.11.09. It is a subset of all the places I have pinned in the Google Map above. If you want to locate a place on this itinerary geographically, click on the “View SE Texas Seafood Trail in a larger map” and there will be place name listings to the left of the large map. Find the one that corresponds to the place on this itinerary and click. It will highlight on the map.
I’ll start around 10am and try to finish before sunset. This is going to be a “mosey,” i.e. I’m in no hurry and reserve the right to do whatever the hell I want. I will try to live tweet as much as possible for anyone interested. You can follow at http://twitter.com/houston_foodie.
Again, if you have ideas of places to go while I am traveling and tweeting, let me know through Twitter. I am happy to break off the itinerary if it sounds like a big payoff.
SE Texas Seafood Scouting Trip 4.11.09
Old River Cafe – Winfree TX – Don’t know much about this place. May be nothing at all. Then again might stumble on some great CFS. Worth a shot.
Gas Station – On the Old and Lost Rivers – This is a shiny new gas station. Last time I drove by they put up and awning that said something with “crawfish” in it. “Crawfish Joes” or some such. Give it a look-see.
Gator Junction BBQ – Wallisville? TX – Stopped by here a couple times in the past. BBQ is passable, but need to dig a little deeper. See if I can get the guy to show me his pit.
Roadside Produce Market – Anahuac TX – Will probably drop by to see if they have anything interesting. Something tells me I’ll be eating paper shell pecans next week!
Convenience Store – Anahuac TX – Never stopped here, just a convenience store, but they imply they have some hot food. Country kitchen type deal.
Anahuac, Texas – I have no idea what to expect here. But there has to be some restaurants. No chains here, would be surprised to find a McDonalds. So there’s got to be something. Just going to drive around and ask people.
Smith Point, Texas – Will drive out here for general interest and if time permits. Expect to find no food. Since this was ground zero for Ike, I honestly don’t expect to find anything. If I can get to the Bay, from this vantage point I can look west and see San Leon (Gilhooley’s) and to the southwest Bolivar (Stingaree).
Stuckey’s – Middle of Nowhere TX – Before there was Buc-ees there was Stuckeys. This roadside novelty shop and restaurant has been around at least 30+ years. Took quite a hit from Ike but is back to serving up the pecan logs.
Boondocks Road aka Jap Road – Fannett TX – There’s alot of SE Texas history, some painful history, on this unassuming stretch of blacktop in the middle of nowhere. I’ll write more in a blog post, but I may take drive down there just for old times sake.
Sartin’s Seafood – Nederland TX – Only one thing to look for here: BBQ crabs. Checking for quality and to see if they have reinstituted the AYCE platter service.
Sabine Pass, Texas –
If you believe what everybody says, there’s nothing left here after Ike. I’m going to try to make it down to check it out. I know the elder Sartin’s still live here. Maybe I can find the original Sartin’s location?
Crystal Beach, Texas – Again, afraid of what I will find here, i.e. maybe nothing. Hope I can get across the bridge at the cut. If not, long drive home back through I-10.
Stingaree Restaurant & Bar – Port Bolivar, TX – Just going to scout this place in preparation for a visit with friends in a week or so. Known for BBQ crabs, cold beer and beautiful sunsets.
Gilhooley’s Restaurant-Oyster – San Leon, TX – If I have time I’ll swing by here for some roasted oysters.
That’s about it. Ambitious itinerary but should be fun.
Captain Tom's I-10 (either just inside the beltway on the east side or out near Katy on the west) has super cheap oysters, shucked in front of you ($4.95 a dozen) and if you can get it, they make the BEST fried flounder, whole with the tail & all [though they cut off the head ;)]. Their fried shrimp is good too if you can't get the flounder.
I drive by Captain Tom’s on I-10 east all the time and the place is always packed. Been meaning to try it and will soon.
Ooo… fun. Look forward to following along. I always want to find new places to get my friend shrimp fix.