Most anyone who lived on the Coast prior to Hurricane Katrina remembers the Ole Biloxi Schooner, which was a mainstay on Biloxi’s Point Cadet for 20 years until the storm wiped it out.
Joe Lancom, who was just 21 when he opened the original in 1985, reopened for a brief time in downtown Biloxi and then in D’Iberville.
Now he’s relocated to Mississippi 15 just north of Walmart in Biloxi and renamed it Schooner.
The menu is reminiscent of the old days and includes plenty of local favorites.
Start with a cup of the Schooner’s famous seafood gumbo (cup $6, bowl $8) that has generous portions of shrimp and crab.
You might also want to try the Schooner Fries ($5), topped with house-made gravy or the Loaded Fries ($6) that are covered in Joe’s famous gravy, cheese and bacon bits.
There are five seafood platters from which to choose (including one of my favorites, stuffed crabs, for $15) that range in price from $15 to $20, and remember the oyster platter is based on market price.
If you are a seafood platter fan (for those who want to try a little bit of everything), make sure to try out the Schooner’s Wednesday and Thursday evening two for $20 seafood platter special.
If you are old-school, however, when you take a look at this menu you’ll be looking for just one thing: the Vancleave Special, which is perhaps the most famous local po-boy of all, invented at Rossetti’s years before. The Schooner’s menu calls it by its generic name, the Crab Meat and Cheese Po-Boy ($11; overall po-boy prices range from $10-$12), but by whatever name you call it, it is stunningly good.
It is a po-boy loaded with what amounts to a crab cake, melted American cheese and dressed till it’s overflowing with lettuce, tomato and a lot of mayonnaise. Add fries and a bottle of cold Barq’s root beer and you are in Biloxi heaven.
There is a good hamburger on the menu, and the other classic po-boys that you would expect, but when I visit the Schooner I am not even looking at the menu.
Give me a crab meat and cheese po-boy, pressed till the cheese is melted and gooey, a Barq’s root beer, and let’s agree not to talk for a while, OK? Maybe I’ll get just one more to go.
14391 Mississippi 15, Biloxi
Wednesday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.