The Austin Chronicle

Bayseas 7

Reviewed by Mick Vann, October 22, 2010, Food

Bayseas 7

1311 Chestnut, 499-8833
Monday-Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, noon-6pm

Bayseas 7 was located in the Victory Grill before the move to new digs on Chestnut. The building is spotless, with a crisp blue-and-white, 40-seat interior, complete with jazz mural and white baby grand piano on the south wall. You'll find football on the flat-screen, jazz on the sound system, frosty air conditioning, and a laid-back crowd of neighborhood regulars. Owners Eddie and Freddie Roland kept their menu of mainly seafood, with a cafeteria-style meat-and-two, soul food blue-plate special during the week at lunch for $7.99; our favorite days are Tuesday (righteous chicken and dumplings and beef tips) and Thursday (succulent oxtails and turkey with dressing).

Everything on the menu – catfish, sea trout, tilapia, shrimp and jumbo shrimp, and oysters – is available in a dizzying assortment of combinations and price ranges, from $5.99 to $15.99 (unless you go for the Family or Super Family orders). We started with a cup of rich and spicy gumbo ($4.99), made from a chicken-and-sausage base with trout and shrimp added. The Rolands have a deft touch with the breading on their fried seafood. We split a seafood combo platter ($15.99 for four trout, four shrimp, four oysters, and fries) and found all of the seafood perfectly cooked and moist, with a light, flaky, and golden brown crust. We especially liked the sea trout and plan on having the trout sandwich ($3.99) on our next visit. We also got a catfish basket ($8.99) and loved it; the breading has some cornmeal and spice added, and the fish is fresh and moist.

The fries are generic, the onion rings ($1.99) have a tempura-style breading, and the slaw has a light mayo-based dressing. We liked the hush puppies, homemade spicy golden brown nuggets of cornmeal goodness, and loved the biscuit-style peach cobbler ($1.39). Roland brothers, you have our vote for the ideal combo of delicious soul food and fresh, perfectly fried seafood! 

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