|Dining under the Grace Lorraine|
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.
Editor's note: The Oracle dines anonymously and we pay full price for our meals.