John's Journal...

Summer Fishing off Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill

EClick to enlargeditor’s Note: After a day of charter-boat fishing or enjoying the beach, you’ll be hungry. No beach trip is complete without a fabulous, fresh seafood meal. I’ve visited the Gulf Coast area for decades and have compiled a list of exceptional restaurants where visitors can be sure to get a good meal. Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill is the most-recent addition to my list.

Not far from Biloxi in Pass Christian, you’ll find one of the finest eateries on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill, located in the Pass Christian Harbor. The chef is Thomas Genin, who attended Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island, and spent 3Click to enlarge years working under world-famous New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse. Shaggy’s opened in June 2007. South of Highway 90, Shaggy’s was the first business to rebuild privately after Hurricane Katrina.

Cedar Plank Redfish:
The specialty of the house is Cedar Plank Redfish. “To make Cedar Plank Redfish, we blacken one side of a fresh redfish fillet in a skillet with olive oil,” Genin says. “At the same time, we set a cedar plank on fire on the stove. Next we put the blackening seasonings on the unblackened side of the fillet and put the uncooked side of the redfish down on the burning cedar plank. The cedar plank is then put in a convection oven and cooked for 10 minutes. The convection oven puts out the fire on the plank and slowly bakes the redfish, allowing all the flavor of the cedar plank to be absorbed by the redfish fillet. Click to enlargeThe cedar plank and the fillet are then removed from the oven and placed back on the stove, and the cedar plank is once again set on fire. Once the plank has caught fire, it’s put on a plate and taken to the table while the board’s on-fire.” This cooking system causes the redfish to have a delicious, distinctive taste and the meat to be very light and tasty, unlike heavily-battered and fried redfish fillets. This fish dish is one of the most delicious I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, this special is only available during the week because Shaggy’s weekend rush means the staff doesn’t have time to prepare this special dish.

Southern-Style BBQ Shrimp:
“We sauté the shrimp in Worcestershire Sauce, white wine, garlic, lemon, black pepper, fresh rosemary and a little butter,” Genin reveals.

Charbroiled Oysters:Click to enlarge
Genin begins with fresh oysters on the half-shell and adds butter, garlic, lemon, parmesan cheese and olive oil to the oysters as they lie in their shells. The oysters are baked at 450 degrees in the oven for 6 minutes to produce delicious-tasting oysters with a distinctive Shaggy’s flavor.

Crabmeat Caesar Salad:
I love Caesar Salad, but this was the first time I’d had one prepared with crabmeat. Genin adds fresh-lump crabmeat and avocado, which makes this traditional dish new and exotic.

Wasabi-Seared Yellowfin Tuna:
“For this dish, I sear yellowfin tuna for 5 seconds on each side,” Genin mentions. “Then we slice it very thin and serve it on seaweed with wasabi mayonnaise.”

If you’re fishing on the Mississippi Gulf, and you want to have a unique dining experience, try Shaggy’s. The restaurant sits on pilings out in the harbor, giving it a Gulf ambiance, the food’s delicious, the service is great, and Chef Genin is a unique individual who prepares some of the finest seafood you’ll ever eat.

To learn more about Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill, call 228-452-9939, or visit To learn more about Mississippi’s great vacation opportunities, go to, call 1.866.SEE.MISS (733-6477), or email For a great place to stay during your trip to Mississippi, call the Isle of Capri in Biloxi, Mississippi at 1-800-THE-ISLE (843-4753), or visit

Check back each day this week for more about "Summer Fishing off Mississippi’s Gulf Coast"

Day 1: Summer Cobia with Captain Mike Foto
Day 2: Sharks and Porpoises
Day 3: Spanish and King Mackerel
Day 4: Take a Family Shrimping Trip
Day 5: Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill


Entry 520, Day 5