Monday, July 12

GRAVY GULF EDITION: BAYLEY'S, A COASTAL INSTITUTION ON THE BRINK



My Lunch at Bayley's, June 22. For now, Crab Claws are Off the Menu
A DISPATCH FROM ASHLEY HALL
JULY 10, 2010
Fowl River, Alabama
Bayley’s restaurant, the storied home of the West Indies Salad and fried crab claws, is sputtering along without regular access to oysters or crab. They still have access to fish and shrimp; they are still serving their mullet and grits on Wednesday night and their comfort food such as country fried steak.  But without crab meat, their signature dishes are — for now — off the menu. The business is holding on by a thread, and Katie Smith, the owners’ granddaughter says they won’t last long like this. Negative perception of the area and meager supply is their enemy. “My grandfather is having a hard time letting go,” she said. He’s vowed to close rather than to serve imported seafood. But today, the doors are still open.

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Ashley Hall is an SFA member and contributer to Gravy, the SFA's foodletter. She is traveling along the Gulf Coast to capture stories relating to the oil spill as a traveling Gravy correspondent. We'll be posting relevant entries here, but visit the blog she's set up for the project, Third Coast Byways, for more