On the Texas Gulf Coast, seafood is a way of life. The industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs for fishers in Texas and beyond and generates millions of dollars in revenue for businesses of all kinds across the region. Even though it doesn’t have the shimmering reputation of the East or West coasts, the Third Coast boasts an enviable seafood bounty.
At restaurants in Houston and beyond, “Gulf caught” is used on menus as a badge of honor. It’s a point of pride for Houston establishments like Eugene’s and UB Preserv, and Pier 6 in San Leon to support the region’s fishing industry, just as it is for diners to eat local catches. From redfish to char-grilled oysters and freshly fried tilefish, here’s everything you need to know about the Texas Gulf Coast’s most popular proteins — and where to find them.
What to know: A prize for both fishers and diners, redfish (also known as red drum) is arguably the Gulf’s most recognizable fish. It was popularized in the 1980s by Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme, whose beloved blackened redfish spurred a national trend that resulted in severe overfishing of the species throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Since, the wild population has rebounded and some fisheries have begun farming redfish.
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