Review: Snapper's Seafood in Biloxi

A few weeks back I made my first trip to the Katrina ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast since, well, before Katrina.  I have been to a few coastal communities but this was the first time I had actually gone to the coast itself.  US Highway 90 is one of those great coast-to-coast US highways that pre-dates the Eisenhower Interstate System.  The stretch of Hwy. 90 that traverses Mississippi's coastline is called Beach Blvd. and it is the main drag in Ocean Springs, Gulfport and my destination, Biloxi.

Over 20 years ago when a certain trombone player accepted a scholarship to a music school on the Mississippi Gulf Coast there were plenty of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops along Beach Blvd. but the casinos that finally delivered the region from a century of economic ruin brought by post Civil War Reconstruction were not.  When those casinos showed up Biloxi was transformed from a sleepy sea side tourist trap into a bona fide vacation destination.  Then came Katrina.

In the span of one night Mother Nature eradicated the region's economy in one 30 foot high wall of water.  The storm surge that struck the area did more damage in 10 seconds than New Orleans endured through the entire storm.  Everything was leveled.

Some six years later Biloxi is open for business and they did it largely without the colossal helping hand from FEMA and heart broken Hollywood stars that New Orleans received.  The casinos were the first to return followed by the other touristy businesses.  But there are still large sections of Beach Blvd. that lay desolate.  It was at the end of one stretch of nothingness that I lucked into Snapper's Seafood.

Snapper's is not a fancy restaurant nor does it have the personality of some of the legendary seafood eateries on the Gulf Coast like Wintzell's Oyster House in Mobile or Flounder's Chowder House in Pensacola.  But it was clean (it should be, virtually every building on Beach Blvd. is less than six years old).  They have a long dining deck that overlooks the beach.  Most importantly, after a day of sampling craft beers, they had fried food.

The temptation was there for a big seafood platter but then I spied my Kryptonite - a fried soft shell crab po' boy.  Some people don't care for soft shell crab.  An old buddy of mine says they look like tarantulas and won't gone near one.  Hey, that's more for me.  Snapper's did everything right, big crispy steak house style fries and a nice juicy crab dusted with cornmeal and dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion and tarter sauce.  They also placed the sandwich into a panini press giving it a crusty exterior and making it easier to handle.  A nice touch.

My assessment of Snapper's is that it is not the kind of place you put on your Bucket List but it is the kind of place you wish you had in your neighborhood.  Snapper's Seafood is located at 1699 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi, MS.  (228) 374-7962
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