Cajun Shrimp Shack - Closed

Update: 11.20.11 
I just received word that Cajun Shrimp Shack has shut its doors.  

Original Post: 10.6.11
I didn't have a lot of expectations for the Cajun Shrimp Shack.  There's usually not a lot of cars in the parking lot and the outside doesn't have a lot of appeal.  But you know what they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. I have to admit it pulled off seafood with New Orleans style flavor well.  I was particularly impressed with the array of sauces, but not everything was a bouquet of roses though.

French bread smothered
in a crawfish sauce
As the starter, you get french bread drench in a crawfish sauce.  The bread is not toasted which is all the better to soak up all this sauce.  It's super creamy with bits of crawfish, pepper, onion and celery. There's not a lot of crawfish but for a free starter I'm not complaining. To me, it resembles a cream of celery soup mixed with more cream and seafood stock.  It was so good I asked for a second order and if I didn't stop him; my brother would have licked the plate.

Pastalaya $14.99
I had pastalaya, which was describes as jambalaya made with pasta instead of rice.  This bowl is huge.  There's plenty here for two if not three people.  The shrimp and crawfish was cooked just right and they were not skimpy with how much there is in it either. There was also a good amount of sausage mixed in as well.  I thought the sauce was on the thin side so I asked for a little more parmesan cheese and stirred it in.  It made the sauce thicker and stick to the pasta.  When I was stuffed, I still had about half a bowl left.  I took it home and heated it back up later that night.  It was still delicious.

Eggplant Springdale $16.99
My brother had the eggplant springdale.  It's two slices of eggplant deep fried, topped with a seafood cake then smothered in shrimp remolaude sauce.  It takes a bit of getting use to because the remolaude is a mix of sour, spicy and creamy.  The eggplant itself is wonderfully cooked.  The outside of eggplant is crunchy but the "meat" is still soft.  I don't know how the sauce just sits on top instead of soak through the breading but it works.  The seafood cake consists mostly of crab but I'm sure there is some filler like shrimp too.  The sauce kinds of overwhelms the delicate taste of the seafood cake, but it was still good. The shrimp part of the remoulade sauce was kind of a joke.  There was two on the entire plate. This came with two sides.  My brother chose the fried okra and sauteed cabbage with sausage.  The fried okra is your norm.  There isn't anything special about it.  The sauteed cabbage could have been better.  It was kind of fatty and I didn't see a lot of or any sausage.  We barely touched the sides because the entree was plenty to satisfy a hungry appetite.

Shack Attack Plate $23.99
There's also this whopper of a entree called the Shack Plate.  For $23.99, you get boiled shrimp, snow crab legs, crawfish, sausage and two sides.  Because crawfish is out of season, we had a choice of extra snow crab or shrimp; so of course we chose extra snow crab.  The quantity is huge but this dish definitely lacked some quality. The snow crab was just ok.  The meat was little soft and wasn't nearly hot enough.  The sausage was good.  The boiled shrimp was really salty and a mushy.  I dipped the shrimp in some cocktail sauce and it negated some of the sodium but not enough to make it palatable.  The corn looked like it was cooked a little too long.  The potatoes were delicious.

This place is such a dive.  There's a mix mash of decor that's a cross from cute seafood knickknacks and mardi gras masks and beads.  More than half of the shack is dedicated to an open kitchen and bar.  The other half is the dining room.  The place is a little dingy but not horrible. It use to be a Hooters and I can still see a lot of the aspects of it still here.  The prices are a little high.  Entrees start at $15 but there are po-boys that are under $10.

Service is not the worst I've ever had, but definitely not the best. We used a certificate and because of that the gratuity is automatically added to the tab.  I think that factored into our waitress not as attentive as she should be. The owner and executive chef, Mario Mena, is a hoot.  He doesn't stay in the kitchen but is seen going from table to table greeting guests.  I like that.  It shows that this place is a locally owned and operated.  It also gives customers a chance to meet the man in charge of everything.

I've found a menu for the shack, but noticed the price and items have changed some.  However, I figure it's better to have an idea of the food and prices than going in blind.

Cajun Shrimp Shack on Urbanspoon


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