Photo | Daniel Anderson
A manageable menu at Kravers Seafood Mobile, which has much more to offer than a couple of fried platters.
Kravers Seafood Mobile • 2368 Leroy Stevens Road • 251-378-5175
A perk of this job is dining with interesting people from time to time. Not that my regular dining companions aren’t interesting. Mr. Bubble, Priscilla Belle Jenkins, Carlos Danger, Rasp, Snake and Scarecrow are all fun to be around. If you’re not at least interesting there’s no reason to keep you close. This week I had the pleasure of dining with Katie’s interesting brother, Craig Davis, and his wife, Eveleen.
Eveleen is Singaporean and well on her way to gaining a Ph.D. Craig is a traffic engineer who has seen more than his share of the world. He studied abroad in South Africa through Ole Miss, the Peace Corps took him to Ghana and western China, he taught English in South Korea, worked a ranch in Montana raising sled dogs and hiked the Pacific Coast Trail, making it through. As you can imagine, he’s seen and eaten a thing or two.
So where does one take a couple who has lived, traveled and dined in so many far-reaching locales? We decided to take them to dine on what Mobile does best: Gulf seafood.
Of course we had to go someplace new, so Katie and I decided to try out the latest Kravers Seafood location in West Mobile. Heading out Cottage Hill, we passed the newly opened LoDa Bier Garten West in the former Hungry Owl and found our target a little farther on the right.
Kravers first made a name for themselves in their Daphne restaurant on Highway 181 as a destination for fried shrimp and more. Baldwin County is crazy about this place so we were hoping the Mobile location would be as favorable.
A couple of waters for the ladies, a Blue Moon for Craig and a Budweiser (my favorite seafood beer) for me and we were hungry for apps. Royal Reds ($13.99 per pound) are hometown favorites but many overcook them, an easy mistake to make. These guys nailed it. Served with melted butter, we got exactly what we’d hoped for. Our waitress was spectacularly helpful and steered us toward the fried green tomatoes with special sauce ($8.99). Cut into wedges, the tomatoes were delightfully different and the crawfish sauce was a little like etouffée. I’m glad we listened.
A bowl of the Best Gumbo Ever ($7.25) graciously came with four spoons, and although admittedly good, the title may be a bit of a stretch. Those are pretty bold words but I’m sure we all think ours is best.
Eveleen had trouble making up her mind and settled for the Pick Two Combo ($14.99), with a monster serving of fried shrimp and grilled snapper. This is a “best of both worlds” combination I’d consider getting. Crinkle-cut fries were her side.
Craig went even less exotic with an oyster po’boy ($7.99). Dressed with lettuce and tomato, my well-journeyed friend offered me an oyster or two. They were amazing. Fried to the point of being crispy yet tender, the oysters may have been my favorite thing of the evening.
I was in the mood for something from the grilled side of the menu and settled on a tuna basket ($14.99). Green beans and slaw on the side were both good. I also enjoyed the white cornmeal hush puppies. The tuna was overcooked, despite my plea to barely singe it with a Zippo. I prefer mine mooing, but it tasted good enough I didn’t complain out loud.
Katie had the most interesting meal, with a combo of scallops and sautéed crab claws. Neither was very large but both were delicious. Though I didn’t hear any complaints from her, I heard a lot of praise for the fried onion rings as her side. Our waitress had talked her into them and also brought us a sample of new potatoes, a welcome addition that seemed to be her favorite.
This was my first time at either Kravers location, and I’ll say it was definitely enjoyable. We ate like idiots with brother Craig in tow (he had Old Dutch twice in 24 hours before his travels took him elsewhere), but his thin frame seems to handle it. No room for dessert that evening, though.
I can say that Kravers has much more to offer than a couple of fried platters. The menu isn’t huge, which I like, and we pretty much touched on everything except crabcakes and sutchi (I was told it’s like swai?) and gave it all a thumbs up. The oysters were terrific and I loved both forms of shrimp. Our waitress was perfectly attentive and helpful without being in the way. I’ll not be ordering tuna again, but if you don’t prefer it bloody then you’ll love it.
I hate my options are either Daphne or way out in West Mobile, but those of you who live in those areas are in luck. I say give them a try. My well-traveled, interesting friends seemed to be pleased with what keeps Mobile interesting. Gulf seafood rules.