Shrimp and Company, Plant City
I did buy two coupons from Shrimp & Company in Plant City, but they're not valid on Fridays and of course, when do I remember this? Today, though, once I was done with my eye appointment, we ventured over to Tampa for Ed to perform an Ikea hack and I remembered Shrimp & Co., so we made the detour. If you're going, there about 1/4 east of Parkesdale Farms, on the south side of 92 (Baker Street). From the outside, the place is unassuming.
Inside, though, we received a warm greeting from the man behind the counter, asking if we'd been before. When we said no, he told us a little about the menu, that everything is prepared fresh to order. He urged us to sit down at a table, look over the menu, then come up and order. Ed noticed crawfish, and we were told that it's the tails, breaded and fried. I was going to get shrimp (the offer shrimp, scallops, crawfish, clams, gator during the season, and chicken), but Ed pointed out that they had clams and it sounded too good to pass up. Among their appetizers was deviled crab, and Ed got one. If not for the fact that it would be way too much, I would have ordered the fried green tomoatoes, too. Maybe I can drag someone along next time that does enjoy.
That deviled crab was nice, a crisp outer breading with a lightly spicy filling, on that says "Hi, I'm spicy-nice to meet you." Nothing obnoxious, just a little hint. On the side was an absolutely wonderful remoulade, which this didn't need, but oh how nice it was to have the option.
Within ten minutes, we had both baskets in front of us: Crawfish basket, with fries, cole slaw, hush puppies, and remoulade.
Clam basket, with red potatoes, cole slaw, hush puppies, and remoulade.
Both crawfish and clam can be chewy-neither one of these were in the slightest. They were tender and clearly breaded in house. My potatoes were diced up, with garlic, parsley and a little bit of olive oil. I actually ignored the remo until the last two pieces, because the clams were so good on their own. These hush puppies were light and more corn bread flavored than ones found elsewhere. Ed and I did a bit of sharing, and this first time exposure to fried crawfish will not be the last. Another thing that didn't need the remo, but oh so good with it, too.
Prices are reasonable ($8.99 per basket), even without using the restaurant.com coupon (I couldn't get the app to work on my phone today). We enjoyed our meal so much that Ed was asking if we could come back for dinner, so he could try the scallops. I wouldn't have minded having a shot at the shrimp. Alas, we didn't-but we will definitely remember to get back here another time. If you're planning a stop at Parkesdale for a strawberry shake (or a shortcake in season), maybe you should get lunch or dinner at Shrimp and Company first!