But more on that later. First a little background information on The Blow Fly Inn in Gulfport, MS.
“The Blow Fly Inn was started as a happenstance operation (originally nicknamed Hickory’s BBQ) in 1961 by Albert & Mary Malone. As the story goes, Al’s good friend Mac (who had a restaurant in the vicinity) was constantly being asked ‘Where’s Al’s Place?’ Well, one day after too many inquiries, Mac gave in to his frustrations and replied, ‘Yeah, I’ll tell you—Go to Pass Rd., take a right and follow the string of blow flies.’ Before long Hickory’s was better known as the ‘Blow Fly Inn.’
“For years, Al tried unsuccessfully to list his ‘Blow Fly Inn’ with the phone company but was always told the name was inappropriate. After several years and many inquiries, the phone company reconsidered and it was finally listed. Finally the Blow Fly Inn found its niche among the restaurants of Mississippi. Mr. Al & Ms. Bert have since passed on and are deeply missed by the entire Blow Fly family…” (blow-fly-inn.com). Today, the restaurant is owned by Scott Weinberg.
We learned about The Blow Fly Inn on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and I was intrigued by the restaurant's “phoenix rising from the ashes” (“…through death comes a new life, and the new life is even more beautiful than before” [answers.yahoo.com]) story. In 2005 the Inn was destroyed by 28 feet of water during Hurricane Katrina. “Now rebuilt and better than ever, the restaurant gladly serves up Gulf food for the locals and travelers alike” (biteandbooze.com).
But the building is not all that is new from the days when the Inn was owned by Albert and Mary Malone. “…(T)he food is…no longer the Blowfly you may remember from your grandparents’ days. The menu has changed quite a bit since Owner Scott Weinberg took over the restaurant in 1998. He says, ‘When folks come in and see the extensive menu and realize how different we are from all the other restaurants on the coast, they have a tendency to come back again and again.’ The recipes are creations by the restaurant owner, but he is quick to point out that the ‘family’ at the Blowfly makes all the difference in the world when it comes to the consistency and high standards that go into each dish” (gotoplaces.wordpress.com).
We started by sharing a cup of the Creole Gumbo that was featured on DDD.
At lunch you can either order from the full dinner menu or the shorter lunch menu with smaller portions. Items on the lunch menu included Hamburger Steak, Chicken Alfredo, Shrimp and Catfish, Creole Pasta (shrimp, crawfish, sausage, bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms in a spicy cream sauce), Seafood Platter (shrimp, catfish, oysters, and stuffed crab), Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Seafood Pasta (shrimp, crawfish, oysters, crabmeat, and asparagus in a white wine sauce), Catfish Fillets, Grilled Chicken Breast, Bayou Chicken Pasta (blackened chicken breast over pasta topped with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, and sausage in a spicy cream sauce), and Red Beans and Catfish.
And it was this last item that Chuck selected for his lunch.
His lunch came with his choice of one side and he selected the chopped cole slaw.
From the list of dinner appetizers, I selected the Shrimp and Grits.
Now I have a question. When did appetizers get to be so big? I was only able to eat about two-thirds of it and took the rest home. But it was delicious—along with being very rich.
Chuck’s lunch came with a dish of banana pudding and our server wisely brought a second spoon for me.
This was a great start to our dining adventures on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and earns 4.5 Addie. Let’s hope we continue on this high a note.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.