23 Old Hwy 51 S
5 out of 5 POWs
Seafood is often hit or miss. Usually, one course is good but something else is off. You like the hush puppies, but the fish is just, eh. Or, the portions are slim and the price is wallet-busting.
I have never found what I would call the perfect seafood restaurant. That is, up until now. I was escorting the super villain brute “Bane” back to his cell at Arkham Asylum when the big guy told me he was hungry and wanted to stop and eat.
I had driven by Crossroads Seafood a few times on my way to Hernando and made a mental note to try the place the next time I was in the area.
Most foodies will tell you that these off the beaten path non-chain restaurants are always the best, and you will get no disagreement from me.
A look at the menu found plenty to my and Bane’s liking. Crossroads offers a diverse menu of seafood options with a Cajun twist, everything from Po Boys, oysters, shrimp and catfish to gumbo, crawfish etouffee and shrimp and grits.
As it was our first time here, we decided to each order a different appetizer to share. Bane ordered the crawfish tails ($9). They arrived in a basket that could easily feed a party of four with some leftover to take home. They definitely did not skimp on the crawfish. The tail meat was fried in the house’s Cajun batter to a golden brown and served with a special dipping sauce.
Normally, I don’t bother with crawfish because it is too much work for so little meat. But in this case, somebody else had done the work, and being fried they were cooked just right.
“They were fresh and tender and had a good spice to them,” Bane said. “It could easily have been its own meal. There was plenty to go around. So bring your friends.”
After scanning the menu, I was intrigued by the description of their Boudin Balls ($10). This was a new one to me and it did not disappoint. The mashup of Cajun sausage with rice and Creole seasonings was deep fried to a nice brown. Between the sausage and the seasoning, they had a moderately hot and spicy flavor. And again, the portions were very generous.
For the main course, Bane decided to give the fried oyster Po Boy ($13) a try. He was pleased when it came out and saw that the Gambino bread was toasted the way he likes it. The sandwich was massive - too big to fit in your mouth - and came loaded with oysters that were seasoned in the house Cajun sauce and dressed with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
“They were some healthy looking oysters,” Bane said. “They were nice and plump and cooked perfectly.”
Bane chose slaw for his side and while he would have preferred it with a few more onions and pickle juice, the side tasted perfectly fine.
I chose the catfish fillet basket ($9.99) for my main course. I like catfish, but you can never tell what you are going to get. I don’t like a fillet that tastes gamey or like mud, which I find I get too often at other seafood restaurants. I need not have worried. The two fillets were breaded in Cajun spice, were nice and white, and fried to a golden brown - just the way I like it.
For my side I chose the crawfish mashed potatoes. In all the catfish houses that I have ever visited, this was a first. The potatoes came jam packed with bits of crawfish and proved to be a good choice.
Bane and I both agree that this is one of the best seafood places we have ever been to. Everything was seasoned to perfection, was fresh, and served with generous portions. And it didn’t break the bank either. Bane’s total came to $26.43 with a pink lemonade, and my tab was $23.15 with an endless Coke refill, a fair price for all of the food that we ordered.
The inside is clean, the decor is very seafood themed mixed with what I would call country roadside. And the service was outstanding. We didn’t have to wait forever for our selections to arrive and our waitress was very attentive. Crossroads is definitely a place you will feel comfortable ordering a basket of crawfish and knocking down a few beers. We can definitely see why it has been chosen as DeSoto’s Best several years in a row.
“I liked the menu selection and it is definitely authentically Cajun,” Bane said. “I didn’t try the red beans and rice. So I guess I will try that next time and see just how Cajun it is. This place did everything well. I was not disappointed and will definitely be back. It would be a good weekend stop.”
The Bat concurs 100 percent and may have found my new go-to lunch seafood spot.
5 out of 5 POWs
(We would give it more if we could!)