I am not Catholic or Lutheran so I do not fully grasp the whole Lent concept. I know from an outsider’s point of view that there is some fasting and penance going on, so that would pretty much leave me out of that whole business. There is also something called Joyous Saturday, but aren’t all Saturdays joyous? Mine certainly are.
Then we have all these pre-Lenten activities which is an opportunity for excess. This makes the whole season seem much more appetizing for those of us on the outside of things. Mardi Gras could create converts, to be sure. I maintain that the pope is not currently watching, so do as you wish. However, Catholics over the age of 14 are required to abstain from meat and from food made with meat. I am not sure how fish isn’t considered a meat, but this is the busiest time of year for our local fishmongers.
I spoke with the owners of Sea Breeze in Plano today and they confirmed that they sell more seafood during the month leading up to Easter. This also happens to be prime seafood season for the rest of the world as well since we are the receiving end of some super great catches from the waters across the country.
Over the next week we will share our favorite places to find great seafood. Our staff has most generously volunteered to check into a few excellent restaurants around Dallas and Fort Worth to load up on the very best oysters, fish, crab, and lobsters. This is considered a glory detail.
Our first stop was for lunch yesterday at one of the more casual spots in Dallas, and luckily there are two locations, because Seafood Shack stays silly busy. The clientele is mostly comprised of Hispanics, so it is best if you have brushed up on your language skills. But the staff is eager and friendly.
There is a fairly wide selection of seafood to choose from at the Shack. Here you will find a good amount of fried items, but there are also some fine steamed, baked and grilled fare. The Boiling Pots comprise of heavily Cajun seasoned shellfish, both shrimp and crabs. Soon they will offer crawfish, and these are pretty amazing as they are super spicy and steaming hot.
The fish options for frying and grilling are Tilapia, Catfish and Salmon. Not exactly my favorite fish in the sea, but the catfish can be pretty righteous.
One of the better choices includes anything that hints of Mexico. So the Shrimp Cocktail, Ceviches, and Enchiladas are very good and not to be missed.
The Oyster Po Boy is also extremely good. The Gumbo has a great color, and the flavor is OK, but it doesn’t seem they spent much time on a roux. Or they thinned it out so much you miss out on that rich flavor. The seafood mixed into the soup is scarce, making this an item to avoid altogether. Instead go for the mixed seafood stew. It is actually soup-like, has a terrific flavor, and packed full of sea critters.
If you are still someone who can fathom eating raw Gulf Oysters then check in on Tuesdays when they are a low price of thirty cents each. Mammoth in size, and extremely cold, but still questionable. Grilled or fried is the best use of Gulf Oysters.
Check out the home office location on Webbs Chapel, or the fancier new digs on Northwest Highway near Lemmon Avenue.