If you were looking for a place to eat in a strange city, you'd pick the one that had a bowl of plastic flies by the front door for you to reach in and take a few as souvenirs....right? Fitting since the name of the restaurant was the Blow Fly Inn. I sense more than one of you might be cringing and thinking that would be the last place I'd pick.
Well, what if the restaurant had been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, showcased on one of Emeril Lagasse's television shows and named a favorite seafood restaurant by Southern Living magazine. Aha...you're feeling different now, aren't you?
We're always up for an adventure when it comes to dining and so was our oldest son Brad when we picked him up for dinner this evening. He's been in Biloxi for a short time but between long hours at work and frequent trips back to Columbus, he hasn't had a lot of time to explore the dining scene. That's alright...we came prepared. Wayne had done a little Internet search and selected the Blow Fly Inn.
High on stilts, the restaurant overlooks the water and was the perfect setting for a relaxing family dinner. Little did we know when we ordered that we were selecting two of the three dishes they're known for...crab cakes for me and a hamburger steak for Brad. They were delicious.
The restaurant didn't always have the Blow Fly name; it was originally Hickory's BarBQ. The story on the menu said people kept asking one of the restaurant's nearby competitors how to find it and frustrated that people were choosing barbecue over his location, he told them to go down the road and follow the blow flies. Apparently the description it didn't discourage the diners and the name stuck. For many years the phone company wouldn't accept the listing with that name, claiming it was inappropriate, but finally relented when everyone in town referred to the restaurant by that name. No flies were in sight when we were there, except for the plastic ones in the bowl, of course. And the BBQ menu has given way to steaks, burgers and seafood.
It's located in Gulfport, Mississippi, which took the brunt of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the original restaurant was destroyed by more than 28 feet of water. That's just hard to imagine but as we drove back along the coast, we could still see a large number of vacant lots where everything was washed away and hasn't been rebuilt. Sometimes recovery takes a long time.
Taking a little liberty with the adage Don't judge a book by it's cover, I guess the lesson of the day is don't judge a restaurant by it's name.