Finding good seafood in Galveston can be surprisingly challenging. Believe it or not, many seafood restaurants serve frozen seafood on their menu. It’s totally beyond me. A few years back we had trouble finding a place that wasn’t sold out of soft shell crab. We finally stumbled onto The Gumbo Bar on Post Office Street, little did we know we found what would become a staple in our Galveston adventures.
The Gumbo Bar is right by The Strand at Post Office and 21st (fully known as Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar). It’s not Tucked away by any means as its in the touristy part of town. But the owners of The Gumbo Bar have a host of restaurants in popular parts of town including the sister property The Gumbo Diner on Seawall.
We walked in and the small shotgun style joint was busy at lunch on Saturday. We sat at the bar and found out quickly the name Gumbo Bar is quite literal. Although there were beer taps and plenty of alcohol nearby, the most noticeable fixture at the bar was the large gumbo steam pots. The Gumbo Bar makes the gumbo fresh to each order at the bar.
When I say “make” I should probably say assemble. The dark brown base goes in with all the fresh seafood, sausage, and veggies that accompany the roux thickened stock. They allow the flavors to boil in the steam pots at the bar to marry the lovely flavors together. The gumbo is then served in a bowl over a bed of rice in the lil’ daddy and big daddy sizes. The little daddy is plenty of gumbo. And it’s really good. The depth of flavor is not lost in its quick assembly. Short of Louisiana it’s some of the best I have had. The big daddy is only for those ready for a big meal and perhaps someone to share it with.
But we really hit The Gumbo Bar for po’ boys and you should too. Offered in a full (quite large) or “shorty” size (just perfect) the po’ boys are a star. Stuffed with your choice of standard seafood options like shrimp, crawfish, catfish, or soft shell crab (even fried chicken) this sandwich is my favorite. They complete the sandwich with cabbage, tomato, and Tabasco mayo. My favorite is the half and half fried shrimp and crawfish tails with lettuce instead of cabbage. The succulent shrimp and pop of crawfish make this an amazing sandwich combination. My wife goes for the fried soft shell crab. And it too is amazing. I have to be in the mood for fried soft shell crab, and a simple bite of her sandwich seems to quickly put me in that mood.
How can you beat that? You really can’t. But you can certainly sign up for a 1 – 2 punch by getting their awesome French Fries with your po’ boy. The fresh cut potatoes are the crispy type that give way to the perfectly cooked pillowy interior. Don’t forget the fries! You won’t regret it!
I have yet to have a bad meal here. Outside of the gumbo and po’ boys, The Gumbo Bar serve the expected seafood fare. On repeat trips we’ve had the blackened shrimp, the fresh fish, and the fried seafood platter. All have been great dishes. It’s the reason we go back each time we visit family in Galveston. It’s one of the best seafood joints we have found on the island.
F – 3
V – 3
R – 3.5