Rouses Everyday - September & October - page 24

s our waitress
approached the
table, I could see
her crooked arm strain just
a bit and a little bit of wobble
in her gait. This had to be our
“OK,” she said, grabbing plates
from the oversized tray. “Two roast beef
poboys …” She scanned the table for subtle
bits of sign language. “A half shrimp?” A little nod.
“So that means the platter is for you, right?”
“Oh. HELL. Yes!” I replied, nearly forgetting my
manners. Adding (after a
pause): “Ma’am.”
My lunch hit the table with an audible THUNK and a
noticeable see-saw shift in my direction. A sandwich
might be a sensible meal, but a fried seafood platter (in
all its glory) is another thing altogether.
My dining companions were guests from out of town,
and they’d never seen such a thing.
“Man,” one managed after finding his words, “That’s
gonna be WAY too much food.”
Any right-thinking person looking at the mountain of
fried goodness would be hard-pressed to disagree. The
oversized oval of industrial china was piled high with
fried shrimp, a few oysters, fish fillets and a chunky
stuffed crab haphazardly arranged on a bed of French
fries. Popcorn crawfish if you’re lucky.
Oh yeah … and hush puppies. Never forget the hush
“Oh, I think it’s going to be just right,” I replied. “It’s
gonna be just about perfect.”
As the apex entrée of any gulf coast seafood joint, the
venerable “seafood platter” is pretty hard to ignore and
easy to understand in context. If you’ve got a commercial
deep fryer and access to great locally-caught seafood,
you’re gonna have a menu featuring local denizens of the
deep. Beach towns and coastal cities along the gulf seem
to be bound by local ordinance to serve a wide range of
sea-dwellers in po-boy and plate (choose two sides) form.
Fried & True
Pableaux Johnson
photo courtesy
Deanie’s Seafood
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