Passing by this rather plain metal building you might not even give it any notice, but to locals, it’s a landmark. Poteet Seafood has been a leading distributor of Wild Georgia Shrimp for over 35 years. I am passionate about documenting and promoting these places because the people behind them really are a vanishing breed. Due to the prevalence of pond-raised Asian shrimp and the lower price of that product, combined with higher fuel costs, it’s harder than ever for independent fishermen to survive. Though I personally don’t buy any imported shrimp, I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to live near the coast and have easy access to the product. But by all means, please buy Wild Georgia Shrimp whenever you can. If you live far from the coast and just have to have some, you can order from Poteet’s website, linked above.
Tag Archives: Georgia Seafood
When the weather on the coast turns cooler an invitation to an oyster roast is the one most coveted by locals. Whether an impromptu affair in one’s backyard or an orchestrated event benefiting a special cause, these gatherings are central to the folklife of the coast and it’s not a recent phenomenon. The Guale people perfected the art of roasting oysters long before Europeans ever arrived.
Oyster etiquette, if such a thing exists, requires no more than an open fire, a sheet of metal (often the inverted hood of an old junk car or truck), and enough wet burlap to cover your bivalves. Beer and other adult beverages also figure mightily into the ritual.
Folks who live along the Gulf of Mexico will argue for their oysters’ superiority but they only have size on their side. It’s true that ours live in complex razor-sharp beds known as clusters and as a result don’t get as large as Gulf oysters, but what we sacrifice in size we more than make up in taste. Georgia’s oysters are more flavorful, hands down, with a sweet saltiness not found in their Gulf counterparts.
The tender at this particular roast (known as Clam Jam) benefiting Altamaha Riverkeeper at Altama Plantation was busy all evening taking shovelfuls of freshly steamed oysters from fire to table in short order.
Newcomers to oyster roasts are often put off by the shucking but there are always folks around who will help the uninitiated. Most locals have their own gloves and oyster knives. Tables with long legs that position the oysters in easy reach of the diner are essential at a large gathering like this one.
Thanks to Jen Hilburn for inviting me to Clam Jam 2017. Mike McCall and I had fun showing guests around the Altama property while waiting for supper.
Some of the best fresh-off-the-boat shrimp on the coast can be found at the Shrimp Shack on US17 near the Sapelo River in Eulonia.They sell the shrimp heads on. It’s not a restaurant, but this family-owned business is known for their high quality Wild Georgia Shrimp and they’ve been in business for over 20 years. They use a price sign similar to one you’d see at a gas station, and if the open sign is on, they’re open. When they run out of shrimp they close. Simple and perfect.
This spot in the Belleville community on the Sapelo River has been a seafood destination at least since the 1940s, when Rosco’s Place served up fresh local fare to scores of locals. Later, the Barnett family operated the Sandpiper Inn here until it was struck by lightning and burned in the 1960s. Mike Phillips opened Pelican Point here in 1986 and in 2015 his son Charlie reinvented the restaurant as The Fish Dock at Pelican Point. While some bemoan the loss of the legendary buffet, new patrons are warming up to the fresher seafood now being offered. And the fresh clams come from Charlie’s Sapelo Sea Farms.
Since first opening in 1956, the Buccaneer Club was a venerable institution on the coast, especially among locals. Originally a members-only establishment, it was known for its huge platters, brimming with all variety of local and exotic seafood. I photographed it in 2011, not long after a complete remodel or rebuild. According to recent reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and Expedia, the restaurant, located on the Sapelo River near the Belleville community, closed earlier this year.
First opened at a nearby location in 1940, and once known as the Shrimp Boat Restaurant, Archie’s was a longtime Darien landmark and a favorite stop for travelers along the busy Coastal Highway (US 17).
As traffic moved off 17 and onto nearby I-95, business slowed and the restaurant was closed by 2006. The structure seen here opened circa 1975 and was demolished in 2015.
From 1975-2004, Charlie Teeple’s in Thunderbolt was one of Savannah’s favorite seafood restaurants. Steamed crabs and oysters were among their most popular offerings. This building wasn’t the restaurant, which was located on the nearby Wilmington River, but rather Charlie’s retail store, where fresh boiled crabs remained in demand. I’m not sure when it closed, but it’s been abandoned for quite some time.