Sea Blue Seafood Café and Grill opened up in a shopping center in the Copperbrook area of Houston, Texas just two weeks ago. I will admit that while it was being converted from a defunct Sweet Mesquite, I was a bit dubious about the place. They had their primary sign but also a secondary sign saying “Icehouse Café” that made me concerned they weren’t exactly sure what they were. After searching the Internet I did not see any reviews of the place but having just opened I figured it had not gotten a lot of traffic yet. Now that I have eaten there I can conclude that the food is good, the prices excellent and the service stellar.
What you See
The exterior of the building is typical strip center fare. However, the previous tenants added a patio and Sea Blue utilizes this space as well, giving customers the option of eating inside or outside on the patio. The inside is cliché seafood restaurant: fake fish on the wall, nets on the ceilings and a couple fish tanks. The place is so new, they haven’t stocked the tanks yet but I’m sure that is coming. The one thing that is atypical is that one of the walls has murals that take you right into a Corona beer commercial. The new owners did a nice freshening of the old place without redoing things completely. The décor followed through to the restrooms that were neat and clean. They did add two 42″ inch or so HD TV’s to the place and had news on both when we went for a late lunch.
The menu is primarily what you would expect to see at many of the “Cajun” restaurants around town: fried fish, shrimp, oysters, crawfish and catfish as well as po’ boys with the same fried offerings (more on this later). There are also seafood and chicken/sausage gumbo as well as etoufee offerings.
What sets Sea Blue apart though is the offerings that are not typical of the Cajun restaurants. For example, there is an extensive grilled menu as well as fried offerings that are very uncommon: flounder and frogs legs. Sea Blue also does per-pound boiled offerings available in three different heat levels. These offerings are available at a set market price and when I went the crawfish were a mere $3.99 per pound. Snow crab legs were $10.99 a pound, which is actually a great price as well. For those who prefer meat, Sea Blue also offers steaks and some chicken offerings.
They also have fried rice, the only place where the owner’s cultural roots show through in the restaurant. The offerings include shrimp, chicken, crawfish and seafood combo fried rice offerings. On the platters, fried rice is an option instead of the customary French fries and is a nice change from the standard side items offered at Cajun style restaurants.
Beverages include typical fountain drinks as well as tea and coffee. They also have beer, wine and margaritas as well as sake for those who wish to have something with alcohol to cut through the Cajun spices.
The day that I went, I brought my husband and we both opted for fried offerings so we could better compare their food with other Cajun style fried food restaurant food we’ve had in the past. I ordered the crawfish Po’ boy with a side of coleslaw. My husband ordered the fried jumbo shrimp platter with the shrimp fried rice, giving us the biggest sample set we could, aside from choosing grilled food. That said, both of us were very impressed with the food. My po’ boy was literally overflowing with fried crawfish. I probably could have made a second po’ boy and not have felt either was lacking crawfish. The crawfish breading was excellent, a corn meal based breading that, get this, actually had spices in it. The bread was perfect, in my opinion, being buttered and lightly toasted and the po’ boy came dressed with lettuce and tomato as part of the price. The plate was rounded out with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and the requisite lemon. The coleslaw was good but felt like it was perhaps made the day before. If they can address this, this was the only misstep we noticed.
My husband’s jumbo shrimp plate came with 6 very well breaded and butterflied shrimp. The breading was very light and the shrimp tasted fresh. This was actually confirmed later when we asked our server whether their offerings were fresh or frozen and were told all of their seafood is fresh, currently delivered from Florida but typically their seafood comes from the Gulf. The shrimp fried rice was good but slightly under seasoned; however, there was soy sauce on the table and a quick hit with the soy sauce took care of the need for seasoning.
It should be noted that we didn’t ask but I suspect the cocktail and tartar sauce were homemade. The cocktail sauce was especially good and had a different taste to it than either of us is used to. There was a note of ginger in it that complemented the shrimp better than the typical overly done horseradish cocktail sauce that really just accomplishes covering up the flavor of the shrimp.
The service was excellent. The restaurant is setup to order at the front and take a number but they have servers who sat us, gave us menus and took our order instead. The server as well the other woman who filled our drinks were both very friendly and enthusiastic about giving us excellent service. They even complimented my husband’s motorcycle that we had ridden in on. The restaurant had approximately four tables filled at the time we went and all tables seemed to experience better than average service.
The prices for Sea Blue Seafood Café and Grill were excellent. My po’ boy was seven dollars and they didn’t charge extra for the coleslaw. My husband’s jumbo shrimp platter was $7.99, which is at least 2 dollars cheaper than what we’d expect for what he got. Entrees run from $5.00 for a sausage po’ boy to $14.99 for the Sea Blue Combo that includes 2 jumbo shrimp, 2 catfish filets, four fried oysters, 1 stuffed crab and a stuffed jalapeno. Sea Blue also has a kids’ menu, with fish, chicken nuggets, grilled chicken or popcorn shrimp from $2.99 to $3.99.
Sea Blue Seafood Café’ and Grill
8475 #A Hwy 6 North
Houston, TX 77095
Sunday-Thursday: 11 am-10 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11 am- 10:30 pm
Dine-In and Take-Out available
Drinks: Tea, Coffee, Soda: $1.95, Beer $2.75-$3.50, Margarita: $3.00, Sake: $5.00, Wine: $3.50.