Great Little Place In Mandeville
Mary Ann Fitzmorris January 08, 2020 07:31 Dining Diary
A bedroom community has definite advantages over the city, but a vice versa applies. The city has advantages too when it comes to activities. We need more restaurants on the north shore. That said, we have some good ones, but they are visited too often by virtue of the fact that there are fewer. Admittedly, most people don’t eat out every meal, so they don’t feel the need to always be searching for more.
And so it was that we came to K Gee’s a few days before Christmas. We found ourselves near the bridge from an errand and dropped in on this little seafood house. It gets less attention than its very popular neighbor, Liz’s Where Y’at Kitchen, and far less attention than it deserves.
As we have mentioned before, K of K Gee’s is Kathy Williams, niece of the late great Chris Vodonovich, better known as Bozo. His place had been replaced by an admirer, Ed McIntyre, better known as Mr. Ed of the eponymous local chain.
Kathy and her sister ran Bozo’s for awhile when there was a schism in the family (too long a story for here) and both left the business after a few years. Her sister stayed out and Kathy and her husband Grant reopened in Mandeville on Highway 190, perhaps better known as East Causeway approach.
Kathy is a grinder, and has done everything that way. From the renovation of the restaurant to growing her business. Without advertising dollars, she went to every function the Chamber of Commerce had on the north shore to introduce herself. She hosted countless meetings and networked like crazy. Ten years later, she is still there, and the business is solid.
She couldn't have done this without the very basis of a restaurant-she had good food. You can’t sell seafood at Bozo’s without learning something. On this visit, we almost didn’t stay because there was a large Christmas office party going on. We expected slow service because this is a little place, but that didn’t happen. This woman is a pro.
We started with shrimp remoulade, which was not large but large enough, with six large shrimp boiled and placed on a dish with shredded iceberg and a great white remoulade. We also got a dirty rice side because I am a sucker for dirty rice. It was good. Dirty rice is never a wow dish, but it was definitely good. I am often tempted by the stuffed artichoke here, but I did get it once and wasn’t especially moved by it. To be fair, my stuffed artichoke standards are ridiculously high. It was good enough.
On the visit where I did the get the stuffed artichoke, we had a garlic soup. If this is ever on the menu or a special here, don’t miss it. Impossibly good, it is made of garlic from a seafood boil, and has that extra flavor. It is also stuffed with chunks of soft garlic and is delectably creamy. One of the greats.
On today’s visit I got a stuffed crab. Remembering Bozo’s, I expected it to be much better than it was. But is stuffed crab good, or do we just remember it fondly? I can't decide. I know that this was a disappointment because not only was it not served in a used real crab shell, it wasn’t even in one of the fake silver shells shaped like a crab shell. It was a patty made like a Salisbury steak. This looked unappetizing, and was maybe less good because of its appearance. It had more stuffing than I was expecting, and much less flavor. A big disappointment. It was served with Kathy’s signature Frips, real fresh-cut ruffle potato chips. Thee are very good, and have been since Day 1. An extra step Kathy takes without thinking of it that way.
Tom got a redfish special than was pan-fried and topped with pecans, his signature dish. It came with new potatoes from a boil. He though this pretty great, with a buttery Meuniere sauce generously coating it all.
Dessert was bread pudding. Enough said.
2534 Florida St Mandeville
Friday & Saturday till 10