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Spicy Boiled Crawfish, $4.50/lb Peel 'n Eat Shrimp, $11 Shrimp Poboy, $4.99 Crawfish & Shrimp Steam Pot, $13.99 Snow Crab Steam Pot, $25.99 Fried Softshell Crab & Shrimp, $10.99 Hours: Monday - Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Scout Notes: When it comes to surefire ways to warm up in the wintertime, sweaters, long underwear, and trashcan bonfires have nothing on a good ol' fashioned spicy Cajun crawfish boil. While Atlanta isn't exactly bursting at the seams with reliable bayou-style seafood shacks, it still came as a delicious surprise to find that a tiny little spot up in Norcross is doing justice to the culinary world of crustaceans. Spicy boiled crabs, crawfish, and shrimp; seafood pastas and wraps; po-boys stuffed with fried catfish, grouper, oysters, and shrimp. And then there are the steam pots. Is it too early to call those suckers Oceania's signature offering? Because even though the place has only been open for two months, those seemingly bottomless pots of warm, spicy seafood and extra trappings have quickly emerged as the crowd favorite. When they bring it out and you're quite literally up to your eyeballs in food, you'll see why. After conducting years of scientific study, I've come to the conclusion that oftentimes, the most delicious of seafood comes not from white tablecloth restaurants or Michelin-rated sushi bars, but from the places you'd never expect: a delapidated shack on the beach, perhaps, or an unassuming place in a surburban strip mall. And Oceania is perfectly reminiscent of those hidden treasure chests of seafood delights that one might stumble upon, happenstance, after a couple hours driving along the Gulf Coast. Only here, instead of the coast, this seafood house sits right off of Jimmy Carter Boulevard. But between the authentic Cajun recipes and the way that Norcross traffic almost, almost sounds like the sea, you can close your eyes, take a big bite out of that po'boy, and imagine you're sitting pretty just outside Gulfport. Owner David, who grew up with the ever-frustrating quandary of loving crawfish but finding few places in Atlanta to eat them, originally planned to open Oceania as a sandwich joint that happened to also serve those tasty little crustaceans. But as his customers begged for more and more Cajun-inspired goodness, the menu evolved to include po'boys, fried seafood baskets and platters, boiled seafood plates, and perhaps the most popular and intriguing section of the menu, Oceania's hearty steam pots. Essentially a feast in a bowl, the steam pots include "a little bit of everything" — which is almost an understatement. My jaw dropped when David brought out the snow crab steam pot, one of the restaurant's most popular items, which was a heap of enormous snow crab claws, mussels, shrimp, crawfish, sausage, corncobs, and more, all boiled in David's signature spicy boilin' mix (which took over eight months to fine-tune) and dusted with a bit of seasoned salt. The sheer volume of food you can feast upon for the prices on the menu is astonishing, which is why Oceania's already accrued a nice little crowd of regulars that pop in several times a week for their spicy seafood fill. And while the restaurant doesn't quite have the paperwork that allows you to top it all off with a beer, that's coming soon (as soon as January, perhaps). So, there you have it: a humble on the outside, delicious on the inside little seafood spot that isn't afraid to pile your plate high with its goods. We can see why Oceania's first customers begged for more ragin' Cajun dishes, and we're willing to take many, many roadtrips to Coastal Norcross in pursuit of them.