My Culinary Quest: Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill in Creve Couer, Missouri
Dinner at Gulf Shores
My wife and I, having worked in food service our entire careers, are accustomed to dining at "off" hours. So it was unusual for us to show up at Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill at 6:00 on a Friday evening. 9:00 is more our speed. There was a ten minute or so wait, which was spent perusing the specials board, the Riverfront Times picked up in the foyer, and people-watching. We were seated next to the noisy, overflowing bar. But don't think this is a negative; in a restaurant with a family-friendly atmosphere and sports team banners hanging throughout, the noise and challenge of maneuvering are welcome.
Owner Harry Parker was again evident throughout the dining room, this time seating guests as well as greeting them with his pleasant smile and demeanor. Instead of sweet tea, my wife and I decided to begin our meal with some serious libations. She ordered the margarita, the special of the evening, and true to the celebration of Mardi Gras weekend, I ordered a Hurricane. This was my first Hurricane. Not a big fan of rum, I thought this drink was strong, generous, portion-wise, and very tasty. I could not finish the thing, lightweight that I am.
We ordered two starters; once again choosing the Cajun-fried Okra and opting to test the mussels this visit. The okra were again excellent. Even our picky boys enjoyed them. The mussels had some great flavor but were slightly overcooked. The broth served with them could have been slurped with a straw, it was that good.
Our entrees included Fish n' Chips for the boys, Cornmeal-fried Catfish for the wife and the Bourbon Street Combo for myself. The fish was excellent all around; crispy exterior and moist/tender interior. The fries were equally excellent. Everything was well-seasoned. The Bourbon Street Combo included Jambalaya, Andouille Sausage, Red Beans & Rice and a Crab Cake. The bad news is that the shrimp on top of the Jambalaya was slightly overcooked, like the mussels. The good news is that that is all of the bad news. Everything else was delicious, especially the Crab Cake; it was just as crispy/moist/tender as the cod and catfish. The entrees were served with slaw, which was again good, but a bit of an afterthought.
To my later regret, we skipped dessert. Having tried the Cheesecake Xango on our previous visit, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the beignets, the bread pudding, the peach cobbler or the chocolate pecan pie. I also look forward to visiting some Sunday midday for the Bourbon Street Brunch. Gulf Shores serves an array of Benedicts and other selections.
Another enjoyable meal. Thank you, Mr. Parker, for the creation of this wonderful dining experience, as well as welcoming us into your new "home" to meet your new "family" and partake in one of life's greatest pleasures. We will be back soon.
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