Auburn Men’s Basketball did something last week that no other team in the state has even done — it advanced to the Final Four in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the official culmination of March Madness. Read all the glorious details here. Auburn students and townspeople gathered rolls of toilet paper and headed to Toomer’s Corner, site of every significant Auburn celebration, to proclaim their jubilation and cover everything they could find in a blanket of soft white.
Steve and I were in Auburn just a few days after that same basketball team won this year’s SEC Basketball Tournament, hefted the impressive trophy and cut down the net. We were in the area to celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary and wanted to return to the scene of our first year of wedded bliss. It was extra-special that the whole town was lively (students freshly back from Spring Break) and in a happy mood. For me, a celebration ALWAYS includes great food. For lunch, we headed to The Depot, right beside the railroad tracks and within walking distance of Toomer’s Corner and the AU campus.
The Depot, owned by Matt and Jana Poirier (who also own The Hound a few blocks away), opened in the fall of 2015. They perceived a need for an upscale seafood and steakhouse and set about to fill the need in the historic building dating from 1904. The decor, as described by the chef, “combines the look and feel of the Second Industrial Revolution with American Victorianism.”
The Poiriers chose Scott Simpson to be their chef and co-owner, and he has brought extensive experience and training to what he calls an “American seafood brasserie.” Chef Scott is from Southern California and trained in Italy and at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, CA. Before coming to Auburn, he spent ten years in Asia, the Caribbean and South America. He definitely brings an elevated cuisine to the Loveliest Village on the Plains.
The Depot is open for lunch Tuesday through Thursday, for brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
As I mentioned, Steve and I were there for lunch. I chose the Plat du Jour (plate of the day) which consisted of Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya with Poblano Rice and buttered toast. It was only $10 — which, no doubt, adds to The Depot’s popularity among students and business people. Steve chose an oyster po’boy without the bread (carb-conscious), and it was only $12.
Their most popular dessert is Bananas Foster Creme Brulee French Toast Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Spiced Rum Caramel. Can you imagine just how wonderful that is?? Also, often requested are their Grilled Oysters Rockefeller and the daily fresh catch. A ready list of “please call me” folks come running when Triggerfish, Wolffish or Crispy Friend Cobia Wings are being served. If seafood isn’t for you, then consider the wood-fire grilled Prime New York Strip Steak, handcut in house. And, make plans to arrive in time for Happy Hour on Thursdays when oysters are $1 each (“Buck a Shuck”).
P.S. Auburn lost its game to Virginia by one point after being ahead by 2 with 1.5 seconds left. Oh the heartbreak!! But, the future for next season is blindingly bright. War Eagle!