Turf N Surf Po'Boy Digging its New Digs
Media happy hour showcases Chef Gilmore’s menu
By Gracie Salem, 12:10PM, Wed. Aug. 7
After several mandated moves along Congress Avenue, Ralph Gilmore’s popular food truck, decked out with duct-taped handwritten cardboard signs and familiar slapdash siding, finally found its permanent home at Lavaca Street Bar back in February.
Last night, members of the local media were invited to enjoy a tasting of his menu and see how the food fit into the vibe of one of the Warehouse District's more casual bars.
Gilmore comes from a family of high-profile cooks (older brother to Jack Gilmore of Jack Allen’s Kitchen and uncle to Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine) and clearly takes his casual po’ boy and taco menu very seriously. Open for lunch and running until midnight (later on the weekends), the kitchen was humming for the large bar crowd early on. While the media took up one large table, most of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd was clearly not part of the invited group, indicating a great turn out for an early Tuesday.
Guests are given an impressive number of choices for Gulf-caught seafood, as well as ribeye steaks, pork chops, and “free-ranged” chicken: fish can be fried, grilled, or blackened and everything can be ordered in a po’ boy, as a couple of tacos, or over a generous salad. Gilmore offers tons of fresh seafood including swordfish, mahi, snapper, salmon, cod, trout, and seared tuna, as well as fried oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp, chicken wings, and fun sides like cilantro fries and jalapeno hush puppies. For the mostly-here-to-drink crowd, the menu has bar-friendly snacks like dolled-up nachos, chips with queso, and a killer burger. Gilmore and his line cooks were happily flipping burgers and dropping baskets into fryers, as the waitstaff kept a narrowed eye on the tables and delivered the food and details about dishes with warmth.
While much of the surrounding district was dotted with sweaty but un-busy valets and empty dining rooms at that early hour, Lavaca Street Bar was hopping, due in large part it seemed, to Turf N Surf’s delicious presence. This writer was very impressed, happy upon leaving, and will definitely return.
Turf N Surf Po'Boy at Lavaca Street Bar
405 Lavaca St
Monday - Thursday 11 am - midnight
Friday 11 am - 3 am
Saturday 12 pm - 3 am
Sunday 12 pm - 10 pm