Food in Biloxi: Does it exist?
I am wondering if anyone has any food tips for Biloxi. I have to take an extended work trip down there and it is very hard to get any restaurant reviews that are either trustworthy or for places that still exist (post katrina). I am leary of all the overpriced casino food venues and have had fairly mediocre food experiences, where do the "real" people eat? Where is best seafood?
My top picks for the Biloxi area are Shady's (Thai/ italian/ american mix in Biloxi) and Mosaic (brazilian-flavored tapas in Ocean Springs). Desporte's does pretty good for poboys, but Little Rays and other Hancock County locations beat Harrison County poboys pretty much across the board. Lookout 49 (Gulfport) is popular, but a little more on hearty/ heavy side than my tastes. The food is definitely good quality. Phoenecia in Ocean Springs is very good - the seafood is always excellent and the shawarma dishes are great as well, for something like $12. There's a new place in Ocean Springs, Mediterraneo. It's sort of a cross between Mosaic & Phoenecia with a more Greek emphasis. I've eaten there once and enjoyed it.
Atmosphere at Mary Mahoney's is nice, but I gave up on the food years ago. Jazzepe's is a better choice for a semi-fine dining experience. I haven't eaten at Vrazel's since Katrina.
The chef at Emeril's in Gulfport is Chef Steve from Bay City Grill in Bay St. Louis. I loved Bay City Grill despite its inconsistencies but the Emeril's experience (only once) was a notch down from that. I thought it was rather good but expected more I guess. I'll go back sometime and see how it is.
McElroys is mediocre to bad. I'd pick it over Red Lobster, but that's the most I can give that place. I think Al Fresco is mediocre, but lots of people love it.
Drinx in D'Iberville is definitely worth a visit - good wine selection, good liquor selection and the sommeliers are very helpful and down-to-earth.
Overall, Biloxi suffers from being too close to New Orleans. If I feel like a nice meal, it's an hour & 15 minutes to the CBD or Uptown.
Don't discount the casino food, even though some is overpriced. Beau Rivage's Terrace Cafe and Imperial Palace's High Tide have very good food at pretty reasonable prices - get the Thai Shrimp at Terrace. For a great steak, there's nothing like L.B.'s at the Grand or for exotic spin on steak, go to Carnaval de Brasil at the Imperial Palace. Yes, they are pricy, but worth it. Don't waste time or money in the buffets until you just want to chow down on crab legs. Ocean Springs has couple of very good seafood places -- McElroy's and Aunt Jenny's. Enjoy!
In pre-K days, LB's was a really nice venue. Though I am less of a "steakhouse guy," the food was always good. I did a review, but it was probably 5 years ago, and several server changes for CH.
I do agree with you on not discounting casino restaurants. Until we moved to Phoenix, we were opposed to any resort dining, but soon learned that in AZ, the resorts had the $ to get some top chefs. We have found similar in LV, and have enjoyed many dinners there, though we normally seek out chef-driven, stand-alone places.
Next trip, we hope to add the Emeril's in Gulfport. We've done most places in New Orleans, and a couple in LV, but have not done the Gulfport iteration.
I'm following this thread, as I'm from the Coast, and we often get to head over, when we're in NOLA. In years past, I've been pleased at the dining options on the Coast, especially looking back to my youth. Still, most of the places that I knew are no more, sadly.
Twenty-eighth St. Bistro impressed me pre-K. Is it still open? It was a breath of fresh air on the Coast, but is probably no more.
Thanks for the input,
re: Bill Hunt
Don't think 28th St Bistro is still around, at least I haven't seen or heard of it. I tried Emeril's a while back and was underwhelmed. Had kind of a mechanical atmosphere to it. No warmth from staff and the food was okay. I know that sounds vague, but my food writing skills are limited. Pre-K I used to like Chappie's, but he packed up and moved to Nashville.
One of the suprising things I've found about Biloxi/Gulfport is the presence of some nice wine shops. Bin 605 on Cowan Rd and a place whose name escapes me on Pass Road. It has a sign that says "Wine and Liquor", which is descriptive if nothing else. Both have some excellent bottles I didn't expect to find in Gulfport, MS.
re: Bill Hunt
In D'Iberville there is the recently opened Drinx, which is a great wine shop. I beleive it is on Sangani Blvd. and is easily accessible from I-10 or 110. The staff is great, very knowledgable and friendly even to the novice(me). I beleive the owner used to be a sommelier at the Beaux. It's worth checking out if you're in the area.
In Gulfport try Little Ray's for the best shrimp po'boy that you have ever eaten. Go to Blow Fly Inn for dinner- they have rebuilt finally after Katrina- I've been three times- the first wasn't very good, but both of the others were great!
There is a place on Hwy 49 called something like "Lookout 49" (that doesn't sound right- hope someone will correct me) that we tried for lunch and really enjoyed- I think dinner there would be even better....
I haven't been post Katrina, but Vrazel's used to be very good- and very expensive. There are places all over selling hot spicy crawfish right now- order up 5 lbs and carry them home for a feast! That should carry you into shrimp season!
I'm currently working in Gulfport and the pickings are a little slim. There is decent food to be had, though. Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi is pretty good for seafood and some Southern dishes. The stuffed snapper stood out for me. I like the space, but the kitchen can be inconsistent. Across the street from Hard Rock Casino.
I hear you on the casino places. The Todd English place in the Beau Rivage, Olive's, is decent enough and I didn't think the prices were out of line.
In Gulfport, right next to Biloxi, a place called ConFusion on Tegarden Road is pretty good. Also, Salute' on Hwy 90 in Gulfport has some good Italian. Love their gnocchi...