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Chomp! Baytown Seafood serves succulent fish, oysters

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
Sept. 12, 2012 at 4:12 a.m.

At Baytown Seafood, the menu overflows with seafood dishess. During a recent visit, I ordered the fried fish and oysters plate, and Luke ordered the shrimp fried rice, which came with two shrimp egg rolls.

Jessica's Rating

FOOD: HHH

SERVICE: HH

ATMOSPHERE: HH

I hope you enjoy the adjustment of my ratings.

4 stars = Best of the best 3 stars = I recommend it without hesitation2 stars = Good place to visit for something new 1 star = It has a few pluses and few minuses

Don't miss/Sure bets:

They have an impressive selection of soups on the menu from gumbos, etouffees and seafood soups. If Mother Nature ever decides to bless us with cold weather, you can bet I will be cozy in a booth ordering a seafood soup.

Details:

Address: 4010 Houston Highway, VictoriaPhone: 361-578-8622Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

The last time I lived near the coast, the common fare was lobster rolls served with your choice of butter or mayonnaise.

Now that I live here in the Crossroads (or Golden Crescent, however you prefer to call it), the common fare is shrimp and fish. Also, the proof lies in the number of restaurants that serve fresh shrimp and fish dishes.

A reader tweeted me his recommendation for Baytown Seafood Restaurant. He said they serve up a mean alligator appetizer. I had been there before, but I have yet to try the alligator. I couldn't do a full meal during the lunch break .(Next time, I will tweet you back how I like it.)

Each time I open the menu there I get a little overwhelmed. There are a ton of different combinations available, and it takes me a few minutes to decide exactly what I'm craving. I knew I was in the mood for seafood, but the big question was, what kind of seafood was I hankering?

It's been a while since I've had a hearty seafood soup, but it was hot outside. I love oysters, but oyster season in the Gulf begins in a few months. But that means they're probably shipped in from the East coast. They had tons of seafood plates (Duh), but which should I choose?

Luke said they have a tasty fried rice plate, and I could always eat me some fried rice. (So, I ate some of his and ordered something for myself.)

Our waitress popped in and took our drink order and was off in a blink of an eye. The two sweet teas arrived and the clock was ticking. I ushered Luke to order his fried rice first while I teetered between the fried or blackened fish. I asked what the plates come with and I felt even more overwhelmed. There were so many options for one plate: one piece of fried fish; my choice of six shrimp, oysters or scallops; fries, dirty rice or steamed veggies; and salad or cole slaw to start. Good thing I was hungry.

Before I could see the bottom of my salad bowl and after eating all of Luke's tomato slices, our lunch arrived. My plate arrived with a piece of fried fish, six fried oysters and steamed veggies (squash, broccoli, carrots and onions). My new favorite thing to do when I sit down to eat at a seafood joint is to mix a big blob of Sriracha sauce - so long as they bring it out or have it sitting on the table - with either tartar sauce or ketchup, depending on what I've ordered. The tartar sauce for the seafood and ketchup for the French fries. It's wonderful. If you enjoy a good sweat while you're mowing down a plate of good eats, I recommend it.

The oysters were given a nice flour batter and cooked until just a notch beyond golden. Some people don't like their oysters undercooked or soft, and these were a perfect doneness. Crisp, yet still juicy.

The fish was dredged in a cornmeal coating and fried to firm filet, but still soft enough to not need utensils to eat it.

The veggies were cooked to a soft but not mushy texture and needed a smidgen of salt and pepper for my taste. A few dashes of each and they were perfect.

Luke's plate of shrimp fried rice was paired with two fried shrimp egg rolls, which came with a spicy and tangy dipping sauce. If you aren't that hungry and want to share a plate with someone, the fried rice plate with two egg rolls could easily be split.

I ate all my oysters, but left half my veggies and half of the filet. It all went in a box along with Luke's fried rice. Enough for an entire meal even. I do love when we can save enough leftovers because that means no washing dishes from cooking a meal at home. Plus, its more bang for your buck.

So, for about 10 bucks each, we had another meal to eat later that week.

The seafood was fresh, and I can't wait until oyster season opens, again. Except this year, I hope red tide does not kill all those briny delights. I have a brand new oyster knife I didn't have a chance to use last year. Can't wait for a chance to break it in. Or at least eat some fresh oysters on the half shell.

Jessica Rodrigo is feelin' adventurous. Know a new place we've never Chomp'd? Give me a heads up at jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet me @eatseatseats.

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