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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Shrimp Warehouse For Great Food

I read a recent review of a new seafood restaurant that opened in Brandon, a community on the far side of the universe from the paradise that is SOG City. I didn't get the impression that the reviewer had actually been to The Shrimp Warehouse, so I pulled up the restaurant web site to see what I could see for myself.

Dining under the Grace Lorraine
Let me just say it takes a whole lot more than the typical Tampa fried or broiled-in-oil seafood to get the Oracle's taste buds in full 'all a-twitter mode', but the on-line Shrimp Warehouse menu did just that. Several of the choices reminded me of some delicacies from the sea that the Belle of Ballast Point and I have enjoyed in N'awlins like the Bayou Boil and the Louisiana BBQ Shrimp.

As soon as my bride got home from work yesterday we piled into Gus (the family pick'em up truck) and headed off to the nether regions of Hillsborough County. The Shrimp Warehouse is located on Lumsden Road in a shopping plaza. This plaza is on the right-hand side of the road coming from the crosstown direction. I mention this because there is another shopping plaza on the left side that also has a shrimp restaurant. We first went to that one by mistake. You don't want to make that same mistake. Trust me on this! There is no comparison between the two.

We were greeted almost immediately at the Warehouse door by a charming young lady named Karen who guided us to our table, presented us with menus, and took our beverage orders. Karen, who also doubles as a manager, stayed as our server during our entire visit and definitely enhanced the evening. And, she wasn't alone. The other servers were also attentive - removing empty plates and glasses even though we weren't their table. The team work was impressive.

Now, let's get back to the food. Mofongo! When was the last time you saw that puertorriqueño dish on a local menu? I was tempted, but we've got a trip to Puerto Rico coming up later this year so I decide to delay my first mofongo tasting until then. But, oysters on the half shell? Bring'em on!

The Shrimp Warehouse oysters were sensational on several levels - perfectly shucked and presented, salty and delicious. There was a tasty dipping sauce that I gave a try, but I rarely do anything to oysters if they are good, and these were very good. While I was slurping my oysters my bride enjoyed an order of fried green tomatoes with a savory, but piquant dipping sauce. I had a taste and we both agreed this was a great starter, though a bit spicy for the more timid tongue.

For our entrees we chose the Catfish Basket (8 oz of fresh, crispy fried catfish) for her and the Bayou Boil with plenty of Louisiana crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn and andouille sausage for me. The catfish was superb and the Bayou Boil was sensational. I had juices and sauce dribbling from my fingers and spread ear to ear across my face. This delicious dish required some serious involvement and I gave it my all.

The Shrimp Warehouse is one of those rare restaurants that make me long for an extra stomach - so much great food and not enough room to stuff it all in. This place demands a return visit.

Dinner for two with our fair share of adult beverages and well deserved 20% gratuity came to about $90.

Photography by Lydia.

The Shrimp Warehouse on Urbanspoon

Editor's note: The Oracle dines anonymously and we pay full price for our meals.


  1. It's amazing you went to the same restaurant that everyone else did that wrote reviews on urbanspoon. You see reviews about a place no where near you and figure the reviews were fake and decide to go there?? First of all, The food was awful. Servers were no where in sight. Teams...?? Ha! Understaffed and confused, at best. I guess if maybe I portrayed myself as a "blogger" and had pictures of me SLURPING my fingers, perhaps I would have received such stellar service in a timely manner and actually received a hot meal. Anonymously, you say? You ate at the Shrimp & Co a few months ago, which are owned by the same people. I call BS.

    1. First, thanks for reading the Oracle and taking the time to post a comment.

      Now I will correct many of your poorly thought out ramblings:

      In looking at the Urbanspoon comments, there were eight in the month of March - six were "likes", one was a dislike, and one left no rating, but it would probably have been a dislike. I'll give March a six positive and two negative.

      For the month of April there were two blog postings, mine and another one that was dumped by Urbanspoon because it apparently wasn't a blogger, and more than likely never visited the Shrimp Warehouse anyway.

      All four of the April comments were negative but all were posted on the same day - April 13. The reviews you claim I ignored as fake were not even posted until several days after my visit. My blog posted on April 12 after my April 11 visit. That would suggest that my drive all the way from South Tampa was based upon the six positive reviews in March.

      It is interesting to note that one of the April comments was from vino1231 who has a history of 11 Urbanspoon comments - six were "dislike", including Ocean Prime, Council Oaks, Restaurant BT, and two for Boizao (one July 2011 and the other March 2012). If Boizao was so awful, why go back? I should mention that a Waffle House got a good review. Maybe vino1231 should stay out of the more upscale restaurants. Probably too rich for the plebian vino1231 taste buds?

      That the four negative April comments all occurred on the same day, makes me wonder if someone, somewhere got their bloomers in a bunch because of the competition. Also, if all four of these "gloomy Guses" showed up at the Shrimp Warehouse during my shift I think I would have turned in my server uniform and order book and gotten the hell out of there.

      If anonymous had removed his or her head from "whatever" a little longer they would have seen the disclaimer at the bottom of my review. The Oracle has never announced our status beforehand and never will. We present ourselves as regular customers with no other agenda than enjoying a meal.

      The only thing that could separate us from other customers is that we are polite and considerate to our servers.

      Yes, we did dine at Shrimp & Co. We didn't see anyone at the Warehouse that we saw at the other restaurant. Rarely after a visit do we announce who we are. We do return to reviewed restaurants and only once in two years of blogging has anyone recognized us. That was at the German Bistro in South Tampa and even then we refused discounts or freebies.

      So, take your BS and stuff it!

      To other Oracle readers I suggest that you ignore this anonymous clown and support an outstanding new restaurant, and if you think we have any clout, tell Karen that the SOG City Oracle sent you.