Monday, April 16, 2012

Low Country Let Down

3501 Marye St.
Savannah, GA

It’s an eternal search.

I can see it clearly in my mind.

A backwater fish camp tucked away under the Spanish moss draped live oak trees patronized by hard-scrabble shrimpers and watermen downing American beer.

Weathered worn picnic tables out back right by the water piled high with really cheap fresh seafood (because the owner bypasses the middle man by purchasing straight off the shrimp boat of his second cousin Bubba).

As you pull into the gravel parking lot of Desposito’s just across the Wilmington River from Savannah’s infamous Bonaventure Cemetery, the little cinder block dive gives rise to such expectations.

But ultimately, Desposito’s falls a bit short of my Suit757 fantasy fish camp.

First of all, despite the low overhead of this ramshackle little joint, the place isn’t exactly cheap.

Eleven bucks for a dozen oysters. Nineteen bucks for a pound of crab legs. Three bucks for a 12 ounce bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Desposito's sure isn’t giving it away.

Most disappointing of all – especially on this beautiful sunny 72 degree winter day (I thank Al Gore for global warming everyday) – is there is no outdoor seating at Desposito’s.

You sit inside the cinder block walls peering out the painted shut windows.

I know firsthand Coastal Georgia’s infamous sand gnats can be brutal, but I’d love the chance to escape the A/C and take my chances outside on a day like this.

Heck, I’d settle for a screened in porch. Or even a sea breeze through an open window.

Oh well.

But what Desposito’s lacks in seaside ambiance, it makes up for with fresh no frills seafood.

You know it’s a good sign when you walk in and see every table outfitted with pages of the Savannah Morning News classified pages to soak up piles of oyster shells and crab carcasses.

Unfortunately, blue crabs were out of season, but I still managed to create my own Coastal Georgia seafood feast with good local oysters and shrimp.

The steamed oysters were spot-on, especially after a quick dip in Desposito’s own spicy cocktail concoction. Creamy and spiked with a dash of mustard, it was one of the better seafood condiments I’ve ever tried.

My Low Country Boil of shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage could have used more spice. I’m used to my shrimp being drenched in Old Bay. But these were hardly seasoned at all.

And as a Suit with Irish ancestry, I can tell you there is no food more boring than bland boiled potatoes. Thank goodness for Desposito’s cocktail sauce.

The sausage, on the other hand, was first rate, juicy with a sharp snap in every bite.

The shrimp salad did not suffer from any such seasoning rationing. Sweet with curry and relish and served on toast with lettuce and tomato, this shrimp salad sandwich might be the highlight of Desposito’s limited menu.

All in all, while Desposito’s came up a bit short of embodying the seafood shack of my Suit757 dreams, it’s not a bad place to sit a spell and enjoy the bounty of the local waters.

But I know that magical fish camp is out there.

Some where.

And you can rest assure, my loyal Suits in Strange Places readers, Suit757 will keep searching.

Rating: Would Wear a Free Shirt.

Deposito's Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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