|Market By The Bay Shrimp Po-Boy with fries and coleslaw.|
A number of years ago, the Alabama Tourism Department published a great “best-of” list called “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” One place that immediately caught my eye was Market By The Bay in Daphne, and I added a visit to this restaurant to my “bucket list” several years ago. On Saturday, I finally got the chance to eat there and officially scratch this trip off my list.
Market By The Bay is located at 29145 U.S. Highway 98, which is just south of the I-10 bridge in Daphne. As it turns out, I’ve driven by this restaurant a number of times, but just hadn’t noticed it before tucked away on the west side of Highway 98. Market By The Bay isn’t a large restaurant, but it more than makes up for it with its world class menu and high quality food.
We arrived at Market By The Bay Saturday around 1 p.m. and wedged into a parking space near the main entrance. If you’ve never been there before (like us first-timers on Saturday), as you approach the main entrance, you’ll see a set of doors on the left side and a set of doors on the right. To place your order, take the doors to the right, which leads into the part of the building where you’ll find the order counter, cash register, drink machines and fresh seafood counter.
If you’re not sure what to order, try their Shrimp Po-Boy, which the restaurant is famous for. Once you’ve placed your order, go back outside through the double doors, cross the entryway and then enter the double doors on the left side of the entrance, which takes you into the sit-down dinning room portion of the restaurant. This side is not only well air-conditioned, but also features a large screen TV. On Saturday afternoon, it was appropriately tuned to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which was nice.
Not long after we sat down, our food was brought out to us quickly, and throughout the meal our friendly waitresses continually checked on us to make sure we had plenty to drink and were well taken care of. I was also struck by how clean everything appeared, and you also couldn’t help but notice how much take-out business the restaurant does. I’d say for every person who sits down to eat, they have two come in to pick up orders to go or leave with coolers full of fresh seafood.
Market By The Bay is known far and wide for its almost-too-big-to-consume Shrimp Po-Boy sandwich, which I enjoyed on Saturday with sides of fries and coleslaw. This sandwich features dozens of fried shrimp spread over two large toasted halves of Po-Boy bun. If you’re like me, you’ll have to eat a lot of the shrimp before you can even think about closing the bread together in order to eat it like an ordinary sandwich. Even then, this sandwich is far from ordinary. In fact, it’s the best Shrimp Po-Boy I’ve ever had. Nothing even comes close.
In the end, how many of you have eaten at Market By The Bay? What did you think about it? What other restaurants would recommend visiting? Let us know in the comments section below.