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I Love Big Shrimp And I Cannot Lie-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

 

Royal Red Shrimp at King Neptune’s in Gulf Shores Alabama, is my #70th taste on my quest to try all of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

Described as the best peel-and-eat-shrimp in all of Alabama, these ruby-red crustaceans had a tall order to fill.

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King Neptune’s, Gulf Shores Alabama

King Neptune’s is a casual one room dining area with seating for 55 customers described is described as a “rustic nook” that specializes in seafood dishes.

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King Neptune’s dining area

The intention here is for casual dining, this is “the beach.” It is said to be local’s favorite and is also top on the list for many vacationers to Alabama’s gorgeous 32-mile white sand beach area. The focus is on good, fresh local food done right. Meg likes that.

Known for their steamed shrimp that arrives right off the boat from  The Gulf of Mexico’s 1500-foot,deep waters.   The fishery is 15-minutes from the restaurant.

These rather large shrimp and have a bright ruby color. Their taste is described as sweet salty, moist, and yet a distinct texture and subtle flavor. The owner of King Neptune’s once described this delicacy” to be as big as a banana and as succulent as lobster.” [1] These shrimp cook in 1/3 the time of other shrimp species.

This platter comes with steamed New Potatoes and fresh Corn on the Cob, with Garlic Butter Toast.

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Royal Red Shrimp Platter at King Neptune’s of Gulf Shores, Alabama

The shrimp arrived piled high on my plate, and I hit them hard.  Peeling one by one, I experimented by tasting their nakedness and comparing that bite with a hint of lemon, drawn butter, and then shrimp sauce. I have to say that I loved them naked with a dab of drawn butter; they were so flavorful on their own. And yes, they were a delicacy that tasted like lobster.  In fact, I am craving them as I write this post.

MEGastars- 5 ***** Royal-Reds are my new favorite shrimp.   I am lucky to live in Alabama where I have the gifts of the sea.   I do recommend visiting King Neptunes and the Alabama Gulf coast for my favorite shrimp.

 

Who knew Royal Reds and stuff I learn. 

I have heard many times that this species is distinct to the waters of Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico. I am sorry to say that this is not accurate. They are also found in the Northeast where it has been claimed that their Royal Reds have a “higher fat content that makes the sweeter and more tender than Gulf Coast shrimp.” I’m not commenting on those fighting words, I just want everyone to get schooled.

Although the reds were known to the Greek and Italian immigrants over 100 years ago, they are a newer found species (Pleoutus Robustus.) These shrimp are not found everywhere and are pulled from waters of about 50 degrees. [2] [3]

In the 1950’s, they were discovered in the Gulf about 50 miles offshore in deep waters. Found in a few areas of Florida and a 700-square mile area that is located south of Mobile, AL.

MEGatips-

  1. Located at 137 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL The website provides everything that you need for your visit and a few recipes. They are open 7 days per week from 11 AM-9 PM. Closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  2. Lunch Specials from 11 AM – 2 PM and they start at $4.95!
  3. The restaurant has many accolades. I noticed that Southern Living Magazine praises the hand-picked blue crab claws with remoulade sauce are among the best. Bring a friend and try these also.
  4. DO taste the Royal Reds from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.
  5. Do visit Alabama beaches for the soft sugar-white sand, recreation areas, bike trails and really great food.

MEGasources:

[1]  This quote from the King Neptune News page-Chicago Tribune Article

[2] The Washington Post “Deep Down, My Favorite Shrimp

[3] New York Times A Deep –Water Discovery.

_________________________________________________________________

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

 

 

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