Where you can get Texas’ official crustacean any way you like it
Blackened, broiled, stuffed, grilled, fried and boiled, Shrimp ’N Stuff serves up Texas’ official state crustacean, as well as Gulf flounder, snapper and redfish, in a dizzying number of ways.
The downtown island restaurant is tucked inside the historic Washington Building, once occupied by a hotel, and anchors the corner of Mechanic and 23rd streets.
Shrimp ’N Stuff offers patrons indoor seating or shaded cafe tables on the patio beneath a pergola. An expansive green lawn gives the outdoor space a park-like feel, an oasis from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Longtime Shrimp ’N Stuff fans needn’t worry. Many of the restaurant’s classic dishes, famously adored at the original Avenue O restaurant — which is still going strong — made the leap to this downtown outpost. Starting a meal with an order of half a dozen deep-fried crab balls is a good way to whet an appetite. Each tasty morsel can be dunked in creamy tartar sauce. And don’t neglect to finish off the salty, crunchy, wafer-thin homemade potato chips accompanying the crab balls.
The flavorful shrimp gumbo’s roux is the color of a penny, laden with seafood and classically presented over white rice. The shrimp po’boy is loaded with crispy, batter-fried shrimp and dressed with tartar sauce, tomato and finely shredded lettuce.
New additions include sizzling rib-eye steaks; grilled chicken poblano accompanied by a side of citrus butter sauce; juicy all beef burgers served on soft brioche buns with the works; and linguine topped with grilled shrimp and tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce.
Refreshing salads also are on the menu, including the instantly popular Shrimp Salad Stack. This light, yet satisfying, cool and creamy tower features rich layers of buttery avocado, ripe tomato and lightly dressed shrimp salad. It arrives with crostini, a side of greens and a drizzle of infused olive oil dressing.
Diners might be surprised to find homestyle favorites chicken-fried steak and chicken-fried chicken on the menu of a seafood restaurant. Each dish is lovingly prepared the way granny made it for Sunday family dinner. Pieces of beef and chicken are dipped in buttermilk and then flour before being fried to perfection. Time-honored sides, mashed potatoes and green beans, accompany these fried and true dishes. Diners can order sinful jalapeño bacon gravy in lieu of the standard white.
The restaurant’s generous meals are served on distinctive hand-painted plates, bowls and platters with the Shrimp ’N Stuff name. The downtown location of this iconic restaurant shed the disposable dishes long favored at the original location, a nod to the desire of owner Jeff Antonelli’s children to go green. Another notable difference: the downtown Shrimp ’N Stuff offers patrons a full bar. The Ruby Breeze signature cocktail is fruity and tropical, making you feel like you’re drinking in the island vibe. And it’s hard to resist a frosty Tiki Wheat beer from local Galveston Island Brewing.
Shrimp ’N Stuff
216 23rd St., Galveston