JC Seafood House in Seagrove is a Special Treat
If you want a tummy full of seafood with a tangy Louisiana flavor, take yourself down for a real treat to J C Seafood House, located about two-and-one-half miles east of Seaside on Scenic 30A.
J C serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. The two brothers who own the restaurant, Hai and Jr. Pho, have completely renovated and brought in all new kitchen equipment to the premises. Some of you may remember dining at the site when it housed the Yanni’s and Gravel Road restaurants. Pleasant muted earth tones on the walls immediately soothe and make you feel at home. The cheerful wait staff, Gail, Michelle and George attend to your needs promptly.
My wife Karen and I shared fried calamari dipped in a not-too-spicy red sauce and the soup of the day--a crawfish and lima bean soup. She had the shrimp and andouille fettuccine and I chowed down on the shrimp penne, which is tossed in alfredo sauce. Both were scrumptious and reminded us of Louisiana. Upon inquiring, we discovered that the brothers learned their cooking skills at four years of cooking school in Baton Rouge, after arriving in the United States from Viet Nam in 1978.
The duo further perfected their skills in such notable restaurants as Fairchild’s in Baton Rouge, Beachside Cafe in Destin and the Ocean Club at Tops’l, where Hai and Jr. became executive chefs. More recently, Hai worked as an executive chef at the Old Florida Fish House restaurant for four years.
For ten years, from 1995 to 2005, the brothers owned and ran Nena’s on Hwy 98. Many of us locals and visitors have fond memories of good culinary experiences at Nena’s over the years. “We hope that many of our loyal Nena’s customers will find out about to our new location on Hwy 30A,” Hai told me.
In keeping with their Louisiana influence, the brothers order fresh andouille and boudin sausage from Louisiana three times a week. The newly renovated restaurant seats seventy indoors and thirty comfortably on the shaded porch outdoors.
This spring and summer, Hai and Jr. plan to boil seafood, Louisiana style on the outdoor porches. For those of you who’ve enjoyed a traditional “low country boil” with potatoes, mini corn on the cobs, sausage, onions mixed in with the shrimp or crawfish, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the spicier Louisiana version. I can’t wait to taste crawfish, shrimp and crabs boiled in Zatarain’s Seafood Boil or sample a few oysters while sipping a cold non-alcoholic beer.
While eating our seafood pasta, we noticed the hearty burger with mounds of french fries being served at the next table. Hai explained to us that they buy their beef fresh and grind it themselves on the premises. “That way we get the quality of beef we expect and it is always fresh when we prepare hamburgers,” Hai says.
While sharing our creme brulee and tasting robust coffee, Hai told us, “If all goes well I hope we can expand to next door and open a sushi bar. But we will see.”
This is a family business--owned and operated by good people who live in our community. The very name derives from the initials of Jr’s two children, Jackie and Christie. If you’ve made the decision to support local businesses as much as possible, I recommend trying JC’s.
The amounts of food delivered to your table are not fashionably skimpy. The good folks at JC’s expect you to come away satisfied with the reasonable price you have paid for well-prepared, well-presented and well-seasoned food.