Bite into a Po-Boy of half fish and half grilled-to-perfection shrimp and the flavor of the food immediately dances in your mouth.
This is New Orleans cooking and flavor at its best without going to Louisiana to find it. You only have to go to 9575 Navarre Parkway in Navarre to find Where Y’at Seafood Market.
Barely a quarter mile east of Walmart and right across the street from the Dollar General is a destination for anyone who loves Cajun and creole cooking.
Where Y’at is a family-owned business headed up by Paul Ruiz, a 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force who retired as a Chief Master Sergeant.
Ruiz noted that he offers a free meal to anyone coming back from a deployment and will throw a party for a group coming back from a deployment.
He grew up in New Orleans and learned to cook at an early age. And he used to cook a lot for events on base while he was in the Air Force.
His stepsons, Courtney and Will Lumpkin, help manage the business, which not only features a seafood market on the property but also has a food truck where you can order a meal and sit down under the covered eating area and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The market opened in 2017. The food truck is new to the location, starting up this year.
Ruiz never planned to get into the restaurant business.
“It kind of happened by accident,” Ruiz said.
A friend of his told him he should get into the crawfish business because he’d only have to work half the year. Ruiz spent his time driving a truck around delivering crawfish and it’s one of the more popular items at Where Y’at during crawfish season.
“Once I got into it, I decided to expand on it and open my own place,” Ruiz said.
It’s been growing ever since. Plenty of fresh seafood items are available in the market, including snapper and grouper as well as other popular fish caught in the Gulf. You’ll also find lobster and shrimp in the market. There’s even a gift shop.
When it comes to meals at the food truck, the menu has plenty of options. And the recipes are Ruiz’s own.
Cajun egg rolls, truffle fries tossed in Cajun seasoning, red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee and seafood gumbo are all available as well as boiled seafood, which you can even have prepared Viet-Cajun style. That involves have the seafood tossed in garlic butter mixed with Asian flavors such as ginger and lemongrass.
Wings and wraps as well as tasty dessert options such as Nana Bren’s World-famous cheesecake or Gone Bananas Pudding will put to the exclamation point on your meal.
Looking for breakfast? Where Y’at has that, too. JuJu Pouches, which are sort of like flattened breakfast burritos, are seared right on the grill make a great meal. Beignets are also available.
“We’re always tweaking our recipes and making them the best they can be,” Ruiz said.
It’s why Where Y’at is where you need to be for the best in New Orleans style cooking right here in Navarre.
Where Y’at Seafood Market
9575 Navarre Parkway
Navarre, FL 32566