NEW ORLEANS -- Bevi Seafood Co. hits all the benchmarks for beloved local flavors of the po-boy counter and seafood market, but adds enough of its own style to stand out and earn a high rating for the way it makes the standards its own.
Bevi Seafood Co.
236 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans; 504-488-7503; and 4701 Airline Dr., Metairie; 504-885-5003
Both locations of Bevi Seafood Co. are in older seafood markets that have been redone. The first, in Metairie, was previously River Pond Seafood, and the Mid-City edition was the old K-Jean's space. Both are suitably casual, though the Mid-City spot has somewhat more creature comforts. It's a fun place to dine in, with big TVs showing the game and a full bar. It's also built for quick take-out orders of boiled seafood and anything else on the menu.
Even if a po-boy led you through the door, it's a good idea to get some boiled seafood, especially if you have some company to help work through a pound of shrimp or a few crabs. The gumbo is immensely satisfying, a deep dark hearty style loaded with meat and seafood. Bevi has a particular way with cheese fries. Try the “swine fries" for a basket heaped with pork, including thick cut cracklin’ on top.
The conventional po-boys are all you could ask for. They’re well-crafted, generously stuffed, built on seeded bread. The fried shrimp in particular are big and fried gorgeously crisp. Bevi is also a good place to branch out a bit. There's nothing too outlandish, but the smoky oyster, with pastrami bacon and smoked havarti cheese, lives up to its name. Shrimp remoulade and fried green tomato po-boy is another great combination, showing off the freshness of the shrimp and adding the fried crunch of the tomato. The BLT with fried oyster is part of the non-po-boy list that’s worth a look too. These shops are also examples of seafood joints that do roast beef really well. Always look to the specials board, where you might find meat ball po-boys or a more elaborate Italian creation.
The draft beer selection is small, but better then you'd expect from a counter service seafood joint. In Mid-City, they serve fresh made daiquiris with changing flavors.
Most po-boys are in the $10 range, which feels right given the quality and abundance of what they put together here. Get the half po-boy/cup of gumbo combo for a particularly good deal. Boiled seafood is priced seasonally of course, and Bevi is a reliable spot that keeps the pricing current with supply.
Bevi is familiar enough. The two shops are po-boy joints and seafood markets. What makes them special is the way they bring new energy to the style, while not forgetting what made them so popular in the first place.