Kristi and I haven’t had a chance to write a foodie blog in a while, but we’re getting geared up to share a few thoughts about some interesting eating places in 2015. This past week found us at a Port Arthur restaurant: Tracy’s Seafood and Deli.
This a shared blog so we’ll be going back and forth between mine and Kristi’s thoughts.
KRISTI: Fridays are my favorite day of the week; Jason and I are usually both off work. So we have a thing where we try and find a new eating establishment. Apparently the extent of our sense of adventure includes nothing more than a fork, but I dig it. Jason posted a picture of yesterday’s day’s eating joint. The picture didn’t do the place justice. Here it is in case you missed it.
Nothing says appealing like a hot pink wave wall painted with primary colored geometric shapes and a nice fake potted palm tree/ivy. That’s why I felt obliged to write a quick post about today’s cuisine.
I’ll let you in on how I found out about this joint. I’ve been in physical therapy for three weeks now because apparently when I behave myself instead of freaking out under stress, the stress just builds up in my neck and shoulders. It makes me wonder if behaving myself is good for my health. The stress had been so built up that I ended up having daily headaches, half of a hand going numb off and on and the feeling of creepy crawlies all over my head, all the time.
Anyway, Dr. Hunt here in Nederland is fixing me up. Part of my therapy is doing these gosh awful exercises for my neck and shoulders, usually three sets of twenty. I have to count for myself so I can’t talk. Others that have been at this a while are pros and can do their exercises and talk at the same time. One guy mentioned last Wednesday that he got the best chicken wings “from the hood” a few nights before. He said the place was named Tracy’s and was on Gulfway. I did my best the rest of my time to count my neck tucks and remember where Jason and I needed to go on our next Heyday Friday.
Friday was wet and cold but there was sunshine in my soul.
JASON: There are so many great eating spots right here in Nederland that we haven’t ventured out lately. When Kristi overheard some folks talking about this seafood place in Port Arthur that served up some serious chicken wings, I was immediately interested. We had a little time on our hands this past Friday and a few dollars burning a hole in our pockets so we ventured into the heart of Port Arthur to check out Tracy’s Seafood Deli.
Where Is It?
I’m not far off when I say Tracy’s is in the heart of Port Arthur. It’s a convenient location to anyone working at the Motiva plant. I’m sure I’d be there as often as I could if I was nearby at lunchtime every day.
What’s It Like?
At some point in the past, Tracy’s was a Burger King. They have maintained some of the furnishings, but nothing of the menu. This might be the best repurposing of a fast food place I’ve ever experienced. Don’t come here expecting napkins and silverware on the table. This is a place for hungry people to fill their bellies with fried, boiled or grilled seafood goodness.
What We Ate.
I couldn’t just order one thing. I was hungry for seafood and for their chicken wings. I checked out the menu online before going in. I thought the pictures on their website were a little too good to be true. The first image I was really interested in was a platter of jumbo shrimp that were large enough to live up to their oxymoronic name. The shrimp I saw on their website could have been saddled and ridden by small children. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but I was pleased to find there is still some truth in advertising. Check out this plate of bad-boys I put down.
When I saw the price for the chicken wings, I was a little taken aback. I didn’t scope these out on the web first so I came into Tracy’s expecting the WingStop or Buffalo Wild Wing variety. 6 wings for $10.39 was overcooking my grits, but I didn’t come all this way to turn down a culinary adventure. When they came out of the fryer, my financial frown was turned upside down. When you eat wings at Tracy’s, don’t think about wing pieces. Think about the entire wing, except feathers. This was simple, tasty goodness.
I had leftovers! I brought the box home for the kids to enjoy. They ate everything but the salad. I’m afraid they even ate the bones.
Kristi is an oyster fanatic. If a place has fried oysters, that’s her first stop on the menu. She picked up half a dozen with fries. There are usually pitfalls that we watch out for when ordering fried oysters. The first is over-breading. When a restaurant is serving up the pre-made, stale-off-the-truck, variety of oysters, it shows up first in the breading. The breading can drown out the natural oyster goodness. The next pitfall is the size of the oysters. We’ve been to places where you had to search through the breading to even find an oyster. We don’t go in for the tiny ones. If we can eat an oyster in one bite, it’s No Bueno. Third, it should not be overcooked. These delicate sea goodies cease to be good if they are left in the fryer for too long.
I’m glad to report that Tracy’s gets 5 stars on their oyster prep. Their oysters were HUGE. These were two, or three, bite delights. They were lightly breaded. They were not afraid to let their oysters speak for themselves. The cornbread breading was just enough to make it interesting, but not so much to take away from the oyster experience. Finally, they were cooked just long enough. We like them raw, so undercooking should rarely be a problem. These still contained significant, natural oyster brine, oozing out after every bite.
KRISTI: I had my favorite food cooked just the way I like it. I would say I loved oysters but my grandmother always told us not to say we loved anything besides people. She was THE BOSS and I’m still afraid to not do what she says. Fellow oyster likers can see how big and juicy, and not ruined by too much crust, these oysters are. I hate having to peel off superfluous crust. Fries are usually just a filler in my opinion, but these fries were fresh and well seasoned. They paired well with the homemade tartar sauce which I normally never eat.
If you have a little time on you hand and a hankering for goo seafood, try out Tracy’s Seafood Deli.
I’m looking forward to trying the Boiled Crawfish, Crab Legs, and Vietnamese Egg Rolls.
Give them a try and let them know what you think.