Many people think that fried food is the true icon of Southern cooking. It would be hard to disagree, but in south Mississippi it would have to be fried seafood.
If ever there was a seafood restaurant that specialized in fried seafood — and I have to say, really good fried food at that — it has got to be Macbe’s in Bay St Louis.
It has only be around for a year, but the word has spread and those with a serious appetite for fried almost anything are lining up at this place and leaving satisfied, and very full.
Owner Theodore Macke grew up in New Orleans, and worked as a fireman for many years, but he always dreamed of opening a restaurant. But it wasn’t just any restaurant he dreamed of, he wanted to open a place that was like the restaurants around the lake front that his dad took him when he was a kid.
Theodore’s partner in this venture is his hard-working wife, Vanatte, but his dad still around and has some strong ideas about how things should be as well.
In the old days, they both enjoyed an enormous seafood platter the NOLA restaurants called a boat, and, at his dad’s urgings, Theodore added several to the menu. That is when business really took off.
Ok, the boats are designed for two, but many people take one on by themselves and that is quite a feat. Just what do I mean by that? Well, the fried shrimp boat ($19.99) has thirty shrimp, four hush puppies and a big order of fried or onion rings. That’s huge!
But even bigger than that is the seafood boat ($29.99). It is loaded with twenty-five shrimp, fifteen oysters, six catfish strips and fries or onion rings. I have never in all my years seen so much food on one platter!
There is plenty of other good food to be had at Macbe’s, including daily specials. We shared a dozen chargrilled oysters, the Thursday special, for just $9 (you can also get them raw for the same price).
There is also a very good foot-long shrimp po-boy on the menu for just $7. We enjoyed the eggplant fries ($4.99) and split a ten-inch oyster po-boy ($12.99) that was very good. The menu is three pages long so you are sure to find something that calls your name.
But do me a favor, would you? Take you time and watch the food come out of the kitchen. I am betting you will be just as surprised as I was when one of those boats comes out!
I am not exaggerating to say that it is the biggest seafood platter I have ever seen! See you there!
If you go
Where: 13029 Highway 603, Bay Saint Louis,
Hours: Closed Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday