Restaurant News & Reviews

Crawfish feels right at home on the bayou

Crawfish tacos at Tasty Tails in Gulfport are available with fried or blackened crawfish. They can be topped with fresh pico de gallo.
Crawfish tacos at Tasty Tails in Gulfport are available with fried or blackened crawfish. They can be topped with fresh pico de gallo.

In 2014, when Tasty Tails opened in Biloxi near the Saenger Theatre, I wrote an Eats story, describing the seafood gumbo and boudin egg rolls I had enjoyed there.

Now, Tasty Tails Seafood House has opened a second location, this time on Bayou Bernard, in the former Blow Fly Inn location. It’s also closer to where I live.

Usually I try to visit restaurants that have lunch hours during the day, but days have been hectic lately, so I went to Tasty Tails one recent weekday evening on my way home. If you’re relatively new to the Coast or have never been to the Blow Fly, describing how to get there might be more complicated that actually getting there. Perhaps the easiest way is to take West Pine Street from Cowan Road. Keep going west on West Pine until you get to the stop sign at Washington Avenue. You’ll see the sign for Tasty Tails on your right. Turn right down the little road, and there you are. Blow Fly is still on the building, but there’s a fun Tasty Tails sign near the steps where customers can get their photos taken.

Owners Tai and Addis Nguyen have added some Blow Fly favorites to the Tasty Tails Gulfport menu, such as Fried Green Tomatoes ($6.99, add crabmeat for $6.99), Shrimp & Grits ($15.99), Chicken Alfredo ($13.99), 12-ounce ribeye ($27.99) and Hamburger Steak with Onion Gravy ($11.99). Otherwise, it’s classic Tasty Tails: boiled seafood, seafood platters, poboys, Lobster Pasta (market price), Oyster Fusion (raw oysters topped with house special sauce, caviar and horseradish, $10.99 for a half dozen, $19.99 for a dozen) and appetizers such as the boudin egg rolls ($5.99). Crawfish plays an important role on the menu, found in everything from poboys ($12.99) to fried rice ($13.99).

I decided to try something different yet somewhat familiar. Something like the crawfish tacos ($9.99), which are served with fries. They are available with either fried or blackened mudbugs; I went with blackened, craving that spicy blackened seasoning. My server also asked if I would like fresh pico de gallo with that. Why yes, I would. It would all be washed down with sweet tea.

I had been given a two-seater by the window. If at all possible, get a table with a view, although those of you less vertically challenged might still be able to enjoy the scenery from a more interior table.

The sun was just setting, and I could see lights in houses across the water twinkling on as well as the occasional boat passing by. There are also outside tables on the deck to enjoy.

My plate had two large, generously stuffed tacos served in those metal taco holders that keep your order in order. All bets are off, though, once you pick one up. There’s a lot of crawfish in that taco, and several pieces decided to jump. Both tacos were topped with obviously house-made pico de gallo and a nice drizzle of sauce. It’s a fresh yet slightly spicy dish that doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down. You get plenty of fries, too.

If, by some chance, you still have room for dessert (I didn’t), there are goodies such as Ice Cream Beignets ($4.99), House-made Banana Pudding ($4.99) and Fried Cheese Cake ($7.99). There’s a children’s menu, too, offering fried shrimp, fried catfish and chicken tenders, each at $6.99, with fries.

However, at a table where parents and their two young children were seated, the kids were happily enjoying crabmeat Dad was shelling out for them.

Tasty Tails has also made the downstairs an open-air bar with live music to enjoy on pleasant evenings.

Tasty Tails Seafood House Gulfport

Where: 1201 Washington Ave., Gulfport (corner of West Pine Street and Washington Avenue)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week

Phone: 228-265-8225