On Sunday afternoon Mrs. Food Blogger and I made one of our semi-frequent excursions to the Gulf Coast. I had taken the time to pick out three Ocean Springs eateries that I have been wanting to try. Sadly when we arrived we found that all three close around 3:00 PM on Sundays. Mrs. Food Blogger suggested McElroy's on the Bayou.
I grew up eating at McElroy's in Biloxi, and had not tried the post Katrina McElroy's on the Bayou. After I was forced to accept the fact that we were not going to be eating Mediterranean/Middle Eastern because all three places that serve that cusine in town were closed, I sort of began to want a good po-boy.
Upon entering we were greeted by a very nice receptionist who handed us off to a seating hostess who took us to the table and introduced our server. We were given menus immediately and our drink orders were taken. After a few minutes she returned to ask if we were interested in an appetizer.
We ordered fried crab claws. They were out and served in a reasonable amount of time. They crab claws were lightly breaded and seasoned. They could have used a little more seasoning, but they were not overly salty like you find at some places. They were served with tarter sauce and cocktail sauce. We thought that they would have been complimented well by a nice remoulade sauce.
By this time we had both decided on po-boys. The wife ordered her standard the fried shrimp po-boy, while I fought back an initial urge to order the soft shell crab and ordered a half/half on shrimp and oyster (pictured).
The po-boys were served with fries, they were not hand cut, they were standard processed fries. The positive was that they seem to fry all their seafood and fries in very hot oil and the food has very good texture.
As I deconstructed my po-boy I found ample amounts of seafood on both halves. The shirmp could have been fried a couple minutes more and could have used a bit more seasoning in the breading. They were good, a bit above average but not great. The oysters were well above average, good flavor (fresh), good texture and a good amount.
The food overall was respectable, but not outstanding. The atmosphere was a bit unusual, nothing like the McElroy's in Biloxi that I grew up with, but the people were to notch. Kind of felt oddly Shoney's-ish. Kind of just cookie cutter in the tables, chairs, drab wall art. The view out the back deck over Bayou Fort is beautiful, but they didn't have table service set up outside.
The service we received was top notch. Everyone we talked with was a cut well above average from the receptionist, to the servers to the chef, they made it into a very nice dining experience.