For $20, today's Groupon gets you $45 worth of Cajun/Creole fusion food and drink at Gulf Coast Grill. Chef Martin Juarez adds California flair to gulf cuisine and serves it up in an unassuming dining area; it's like eating in an alternate history where early French settlers settled in a swamp overflowing with jicama, aioli, and fennel instead of mud, crawfish, and ill-tempered alligators.
Gulf Coast Grill's menu gives you a healthy fusion of Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex, and Caribbean cooking. For a meal later in the day, go with the Big Easy (house-smoked pork chop with peach chutney, a half order of jambalaya, and house-smoked BBQ ribs served with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies, $25.95) to overload your mouth with a parade of yummery. If you're indecisive, try the Cajun Combo of three house specialties (seafood gumbo, jambalaya, and hushpuppies, $21.95). Desserts include Kahlua crème brûlée garnished with fresh strawberries ($7.95) and old-fashioned bread pudding with sun-dried cherries and bourbon sauce ($7.95).
Gulf Coast beverages include a comprehensive wine list, featuring an admirable selection of reds, whites, cognacs, and ports until 1 a.m. on weekends; or tipple one of Gulf Coast's specialty N'awlins-themed cocktails and martinis, such as the Fat Tuesday (Meyer's dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, ginger ale, $8.95) or the Bourbon Street (Maker's Mark, Triple Sec, and a splash of Sweet & Sour, $9.95).
Note: This Groupon is good for dinner only.
Gulf Coast Grill's cuisine and rustic, elegant shipwreck atmosphere get some spicy reviews from a variety of local media, including an Editor's Choice from the Union-Tribune, compliments from Gayot, and a nod from CityBeat:
- The Gulf Coast Grill's crab cakes are among the best in town — sweet, substantial, with not a hint of starchy fillers and accompanied by a smoky black-bean-and-corn relish. But there's something else in there. It's addictive. It's elusive. We think it may be illegal. – Jocelyn Broyles, Union-Tribune
- For true Southerners, the chicken fried chicken (with garlic mashed potatoes smothered in country gravy) and the house-smoked pork chops (with peach chutney, veggies and more of those amazing mashed potatoes) are the real thing. – Gayot
- The hush puppies and remoulade sauce are incredible, the caesar salad is awesome and everything else I've ever had is great, but that clam chowder... that has my mouth watering just thinking about it and makes the drive from Santee totally worth it. – prplelah, SignOnSanDiego.com
- The staff is attentive but not overbearing. They serve up a mean cocktail... – JABBER5, SignOnSanDiego.com
The Original Gulf Coast
Today, the Gulf Coast region comprises of the five U.S. states that border the Gulf of Mexico—but that was not always the case. The five original Gulf States—New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and America Jr.—were known as the Gulf States because Gulf once meant highfalutin and did not refer to a body of water. This was also when Philadelphia was a state and four and five meant the same thing.
Soon, however, the popular usage of Gulf shifted, and the states that were near the Water-Gulf of Mexico took the mantle of Gulf States. Unfortunately, history has not been kind to the original Gulf States: New York was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire; New Jersey is currently 80% covered in water parks; Philadelphia lost its statehood in a friendly World Series bet between governors; and America, Jr. became Portugal.
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.