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Chomp! Bubba's in Seadrift offers hands-on eating

By by jessica rodrigojrodrigo@vicad.com
May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.

The boils at Bubba's in Seadrift all include sausage, red taters and corn on the cob. I ordered Bubba's Beachcomber because I was hankering for crab. Needless to say, I had more than a dozen shrimp left over. Hopefully, they'll end up in a gumbo this weekend.

Jessica's Rating

FOOD: 3 stars

SERVICE: 3 stars

ATMOSPHERE: 3 stars

The ratings are based purely on the individual's experience.

5 stars = Best

1 star = Worst

Don't miss/Sure bets:

Bubba's has an All-You-Can-Eat Sunday Buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and they'll also cook what you catch for about $10. Now, if only I could catch something.

Details:

Address: 1142 state Highway 185 East, Seadrift

Phone: 361-785-BOIL (2645)

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

For being about a 40-minute drive from the Crossroads' main hub, Seadrift has a noteworthy destination available to land- and sea-lovers alike. Drivers beware, you might pass it if you're not paying attention. No, I jest.

Bubba's Cajun Style Seafood, identified by its blue, lit-up sign and the colorful Christmas lights clinging to the roof's edge, is a Seadrift landmark. Locals know each other by name, and Bubba himself comes out from the busy kitchen every so often to say hello to the regulars and strangers and offer a toast to those celebrating the evening with a cold one - or two.

Enter the door to the local popular eatery and be prepared for a good time. It's a very casual restaurant, with friendly servers who smile and ask if everything came out right, beer in koozies and paper towel rolls set in metal buckets in the middle of the table, complete with Mason jars turned into seasoning shakers and bottles of hot sauce.

There's even romantic lighting with Mason jar light fixtures that remind you that you're out in the country and the nearest "big city" is nearly an hour out.

One of the things Bubba's is renowned for is his seafood boils. On the menu, he has nine different combinations of boils, which all include corn on the cob, sausage and red skin potatoes and choice of seafood. Diners can choose from mudbugs (crawfish for those who don't know the lingo) to Alaskan king crab for those with a richer palate.

It's a great meal for two people; I tried to finish my boil alone, but I'll get more into that later.

The starters on the menu are enough to make a full meal. And if a boil isn't what the stomach is asking for, Bubba's offers lighter fares from the bay and a selection from the land, including burgers like the Big Brad Burger stacked high with the usual P.L.O.T. - pickles, lettuce, onions and tomatoes - and the addition of an onion ring and four fried shrimp.

And if that wasn't enough to fill a burger with, an extra patty can be added to those that are extra hungry. Oh, and it also comes with fries.

I ordered Bubba's Beachcomber (shrimp and blue crab) and Luke ordered, you guessed it, the Big Brad Burger.

When I say that the boils are great for two people, I'm not lying. If I had a tag-team partner for the Beachcomber, we would have been champs standing over a pile of shrimp skins, crab shells and skeletal corn cobs, but alas, I was lying beneath it, waving my no longer white paper towel with my butter-laden hand.

When you order your boil, remember that you can order it one of three ways: mild, medium or hot. I ordered my Beachcomber with medium seasoning, and I needed a few extra paper towels to wipe the sweat off my nose, and my lips were a touch more red than they were before we walked through the door.

The sausage was hearty and full of flavor and the potatoes were the perfect doneness to crumble and smother in the seasoned butter with a touch of sea salt to taste.

Luke's burger was stacked high behind a pile of thick-cut french fries and looked as if it would topple over once it was undressed from its supportive wrapping.

Half a glass of water and about eight or nine paper towels in, I was done. I had eaten two crabs - claws and all - one half of a corn on the cob, half a sausage, one potato and from the look of it, a handful of juicy, boiled, shrimp.

We packed up my leftovers, and as I waddled over to the counter to pay the bill, I noticed a mural on the wall that topped off my night at Bubba's: A giant blue crab, with Bubba riding on top and one of the loaded boils in his hand ready for the eating.

He truly is an icon in Seadrift, immortalized in a painting for all to see.

Jessica Rodrigo is still washing butter stains out of her clothes. Share your favorite stories about eating in the the Crossroads by emailing her at jrodrigo@vicad.com or send her a tweet on Twitter, @eatseatseats.

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