If you have ridden down Grand Bay Wilmer Rd to HWY 90, you have seen this red food truck. It’s peeking out behind some signs and landscaping straight across from the 3-way. After being in business since 2016, Kitchen of the Sea food truck has settled into this location that is easily accessible and gets plenty of local traffic. Vernon and Lisa Bennett joined his shrimping experience and her experience of selling seafood on the corner of Fort Lake Rd and Grand Bay Wilmer, to produce this homestyle cooked seafood in a food truck experience. Not originally being from Grand Bay, I didn’t know about the old sno-cone stand that Mr. Clark had here years ago. One fun piece of information about the food truck is that if you grew up enjoying those sno-cones, they now own the same machine that Mr. Clark used back in the day, so it could bring you back a few years and give you a story to tell.
The Bennett’s are fellow foster parents; they have been foster parents for two years. They also use Alabama Baptist Children’s Home like my wife and I. So as you can imagine our conversation quickly turned to talking about the children that are placed with us and the ones who we have had in the past. Having conversations with people in the same position we are allows us to draw on each others experience, I thought I would throw in a little life tip.
Since the recession of the economy in 2008 food trucks have taken off in popularity and many experts believe it will continue to grow into a billion dollar a year in revenue industry. There are many factors as to why I believe they do so well, and the ease of picking up restaurant quality food on your way home from a busy day is just one. And that’s what they deliver here, restaurant quality with an affordable price tag.
I ordered the seafood platter with potato salad and coleslaw, shrimp wrap, and the shrimp tacos. The seafood platter is a generous portion of shrimp, fish, and oysters. Each of the three items were cooked exactly how you would expect them to be, the shrimp and fish had a nice crisp to them, and the size of the oysters were just right with that homestyle batter fried just how I like them. The homemade coleslaw and potato salad complimented the meal exceptionally well, but the potato salad won me over. My mom has always made my favorite potato salad; its perfection, Mrs. Lisa’s potato salad is the closest I have found to my moms from any restaurant.
My wife has been seeing pictures of the shrimp wrap posted on Kitchen of the Sea’s Facebook page and made it pretty clear to me that I was to order it so that she could try it. Well, she almost was disappointed, once I took my first bite I just had to have more. It’s, in a sense, a shrimp po boy but with a tortilla. The taste is very similar to that of a po boy, but without the heavy bread, and the shredded cheese is a smooth textured addition. After ordering the shrimp tacos, I was afraid it would be fixed like the wrap and was second guessing my choice. But once I opened the box and saw the mound of homemade coleslaw and tomatoes covering the shrimp inside of the tortillas, I knew I had made a good decision. And after the first bite of fresh fried shrimp with the mixture of that delicious homemade coleslaw, it reaffirmed what my eyes had already told me. Typically if a dish tastes well enough, I can overlook a little bit of the different textures not meshing well together, but the crunch of the shrimp, matched with the chewy of the coleslaw and softness of the tortilla mixed just right and complimented the taste of the dish.
I wasn’t going to leave without getting a sno-cone, and with the many choices to choose from, I picked banana. While I didn’t grow up in Grand Bay, or ever had a sno-cone from Mr. Clark’s place, I did sit and think of the conversations that people have had while enjoying a sno-cone made by this machine. Little things like that are what’s great about small towns, and I hope that ours never lose sight of the small things that make it so great.
Follow their Facebook page, Kitchen of the Sea, to keep up with their hours and to see some of this delicious food they post pictures of occasionally.