4/7/2017 | Chris Dearman
Celebrating their one year anniversary on April 18th, Off the Hook Fish House has become the place to go on Government Street in Ocean Springs for great seafood with a fun atmosphere.
Tim Wold, along with his wife Lisa, opened Off the Hook after building a reputation for great food at their popular restaurant the Cast Iron Cafe, located near the Vancleave/Gautier exit off Interstate 10 two years prior. The success of that restaurant, along with having more free time after Tim’s retirement from F.E.B Distributing after 28 years, made them want to bring locals and tourists alike something that had been missing from Downtown Ocean Springs.
The seafood restaurant and bar is located at the site of the former iconic Henrietta’s, which operated on Government Street for decades. Taking inspiration from the Wold’s travels to the Florida Keys, Costa Rica, and Mexico, they have decorated the air-conditioned interior with a nautical theme featuring art and photography by local artists. They also built a deck out back under lighted sycamore trees that features a full-service, live entertainment bar and plenty of outdoor seating. It’s the perfect atmosphere that will make you feel like you have "escaped” to a tropical paradise.
Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, the family oriented business features a variety of items that are sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Breakfast is served Monday through Saturday, 7am to 11am, and features all your favorites from eggs, omelets, pancakes, french toast, waffles, and more. $5 Fridays brings a fish & grits special that has built quite the following, and be sure to pick up a Breakfast Club punch card, where after purchasing six breakfasts you get the seventh one free.
"In 1947 Henrietta’s started a Breakfast Club,” Tim said of wanting to keep a bit of history alive. "We wanted to bring that back and reinstitute it for our customers”
Off the Hook’s Sunday brunch is not to be missed, with standouts such as Shrimp N Grits, the Crabby Cakes omelet stuffed with crab dressing and topped a fresh lump crabmeat sauce, and the Seafood Biscuit Benedict, fluffy biscuits topped with eggs, shrimp, crawfish, and crab, covered in a white shrimp cream sauce. They also offer fresh beignets served with chocolate, honey, or an orange marmalade sauce that are said to be the best in the area.
Off the Hook also features daily lunch specials. Monday features a chicken fried beef steak, Tuesday pork chops, Wednesday brings fried fish with red beans & rice, Thursday a hamburger steak with toasted potatoes and black-eyed peas, and Friday all-you-can-eat shrimp spaghetti that has become a local favorite.
The lunch and dinner menu also features a large selection of Southern seafood staples, as well as "land” options. Appetizers include fried calamari, crab claws, fried shrimp and crab balls, and a delightful Fish House Smoked Tuna Dip served on a loaf of French bread. There are also numerous salads, sandwiches, baskets, tacos, Po’Boys, beef, and chicken dishes. The commentary homemade potato chips and jalapeno ranch dip is especially a nice touch.
Be sure to bring your appetite when ordering one of the and Fish House Favorites, as these large portion meals are sure to please. The Grouper Sizzler Platter is served on a bed of crab stuffing, covered with crab claws and grilled shrimp. The Red Snapper and Sea Bass plates are healthier options served with grilled zucchini & squash, stuffed crab, and grilled shrimp. I went with the Blacked Red Fish served over a creamy shrimp creole rice. It was seasoned perfectly, and I had plenty leftover to bring home.
The Wold’s are very community oriented, having held many successful fundraisers at the restaurant for those in need. They also feed Gulf Coast service men and women free meals on Christmas Day to bring them together in a relaxing situation, rather than when there is tragedy. Their generosity continues throughout the year by giving 50 percent off to all first responders.
"As long as we can do it, we’ll do it. No expectations, and wanting nothing back in return,” Tim said of his generous spirit. "We want the community to know that we support them.”
They also are doing what they can to promote Downtown Ocean Spring, working with other area businesses to try to grow the pot, not just carve a slice out of it. For instance, last year they implemented "Five Sundays in July,” where they invited other area restaurants to serve signature dishes to Off the Hook customers for free, with the Wold’s covering the food cost. It was such a success, they will be doing it again this year.
"My philosophy is to grow the downtown and all the businesses,” Tim said of wanting to give people a chance to try something they may never had tried before. "I didn’t want to just come here and carve out something from everybody. I want everyone to share the pie.”
Be sure to come out to help Off the Hook fish House celebrate their one year anniversary on Tuesday April 18th from 2pm to 10pm. Their delicious frozen Bushwhackers made with real ice-cream and three different rums will be available at the always bargain price of only $5, and a brand new shrimp bar on the patio for fresh cold foods will be ready for to-go orders.
"Four different acoustic bands will be playing throughout the day,” Tim said. "We are going to celebrate our first year right by giving everyone some nice specials and extra surprises all day long.”
Off the Hook Fish House
1013 Government St.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi