Coast Cuisine - August 2022
- by Lisa Monti
- photos courtesy The Deck
When Jourdan Nicaud, the developer of restaurants and hotels, was planning The Deck on Scenic Drive in Pass Christian, he had in mind a casual outdoor beach place serving flavorful tacos and daiquiris. The venue, with views of Pass Harbor, opened last October serving Nicaud’s interpretation of everybody’s favorite Mexican dishes, from apps to dessert.
The casual nature of The Deck begins at the door, where a sign telling customers to sit anywhere, ending with a postscript that reads “Not Bacchus.”
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This small stretch on Scenic Drive is home to Nicaud’s Hotel Pass Christian and Fill-Up With Billups restaurant across the street from Bacchus. He’s also developing another project on the corner of Market Street and Scenic Drive that will have accommodations and two restaurants.
Nicaud said he sees The Deck more as a bar than Bacchus, a place to go for a drink before or after eating a meal next door. Drinks of all varieties are served up at the The Deck, which offers a dozen draft beers on tap and has daiquiri machines at the ready. The cocktail menu lists various selections of margaritas and martinis and other creations featuring citrus and fruit.
The Deck’s food, though, brings in locals and tourists looking for “a different style of food,” Nicaud said. The menu of appetizers, salad, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos and sides is made with fans of Mexican dishes in mind.
At the server’s suggestion, my dinner started off with Mexican Street Corn Dip to go along with a margarita. The dip, made with fire roasted corn, poblano peppers and onion with a blend of cheeses, came with corn tortilla chips. The house-made chips, dusted with seasonings, were plentiful and tasty on their own. Other appetizers include a Mexican pizza, tamales, dips and chips.
Tacos have been on my mind lately (thanks to streaming cooking shows) so I ordered a couple from the Street Tacos section of the menu. The marinated steak tips with queso fresco and garlic aioli and the carnitas taco both were well seasoned and flavorful.
Specialty tacos include several tempting choices, especially the Crawfish Taco that pairs crawfish and shrimp. There’s also a veggie version if that’s what you like.
Those seasoned corn chips also serve as the base for The Deck Nachos that can be customized with pulled chicken, ground beef, steak tips, shrimp, beans, rice and fajita onions and peppers.
Taco Salad is the one salad available, and The Deck’s version is a generous mix of refried black beans, rice, fire roasted corn, guac, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo piled into a fried tortilla bowl. You can add to this large dish pulled chicken, ground beef, steak tips and shrimp for an extra charge. Dressing choices are avocado ranch, chipotle ranch and jalapeño lime vinaigrette.
If your taste runs to quesadillas, there are six variations, with steak tips, carnitas-style braised slow-cooked pork shoulder, ground beef, sautéed shrimp, pulled chicken and a house blend of three cheeses.
Fajitas – chicken, shrimp and steak – are served on flour or corn tortillas with all of the fixings. A combo fajitas platter adds beef filet as a bonus ingredient.
The Deck’s two desserts offer the perfect way to cap off a meal. There are Churros, of course, as well as Apple Pie Empanadas, dusted with cinnamon and maple sugar and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream and orange marmalade.
The Deck offers weekly specials including Taco Tuesday, Burritos on Wednesday and Birria Tacos on Thursday. Happy Hour is 2 to 5 pm daily. Check The Deck’s social media for updates.
The Deck can accommodate around 110 guests with seats facing outside on three sides, around the large bar and at tables. The center deck faces the water across U.S. 90 and makes the most of beach breezes and late afternoon shade.
107 West Scenic Dr.
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