A brand new seafood restaurant is now slinging East Coast-style Low Country seafood boils in Montrose.
Seafood Connection, which opened at March 12 at 507 Westheimer Road, is already drawing long lines and loyal fans of the restaurant’s famous secret sauce. The restaurant was founded in 2015 as a food truck in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it sold massive platters of boiled crab, shrimp, corn and potatoes in church parking lots and at social events. In 2016, founder Jamie Walker opened a popular brick-and mortar restaurant in Charlotte. A second location opened in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2020, but closed shortly after due to the coronavirus.
“We were like the Turkey Leg Hut in Charlotte,” says director of marketing Von Juan, who recently moved to Houston with the rest of the Seafood Connection team to open the Montrose restaurant.
The restaurant quickly developed a cult following thanks to its house-made Flava Sauce, which comes in original, Cajun and spicy versions and is sold online. The restaurant’s motto is “It’s something in the sauce,” which it proudly displays as a neon sign inside the Montrose location.
In a typical Low County boil (here, Low Country refers to coastal regions in the South like Georgia and the Carolinas), shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn and sometimes other vegetables and seafood are cooked together with spices in a giant pot. It’s also sometimes also called Frogmore Stew, a reference to a small Gullah-Geechee fishing community between Savannah and Charleston. Like a crawfish boil in Houston, a Low Country boil isn’t just a meal. It’s an event.
At Seafood Connection, the boils are then topped with a sauce of the diner’s choosing. “Our whole thing is the sauce, it’s something that you’ve never tasted before,” Juan said.
When Walker started looking into expanding to other states, Houston immediately came to mind, Juan said. “Behind Charlotte, Houston was the second most-popular place buying our sauce (online),” he said.
One of Seafood Connection’s most popular offerings is the Flavorbox, a boil topped with a cluster of king crab legs. Another, the Lockjaw Platter, contains half a pound of shrimp, a lobster tail, and corn and potatoes. Other dishes include wings, fried shrimp, crab rice and seafood salad.
Juan said he knows Houstonians have their own style of seafood, but he’s confident that there’s room for Low Country style as well. “I don’t think we’re really comparable,” he said. “We’re looking forward to making our mark and staying in our lane. Just come and get the sauce. We’ll make you a believer.”