100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: No. 85 -- Rock Shrimp From Bahama Mama's

As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011,

coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida.

Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.

Nicole Danna
Fresh Rock Shrimp from Bahama Mama's

Are you one of those people who can sit down to an all-you-can-eat buffet and pile on food, plate after plate? If so, you're in luck -- and Bahama Mama's price-to-pile ratio for its fresh rock shrimp is all for you. Never had rock shrimp before? You're in for a surprise. 

Even though it's some work getting through shell and exoskeleton to the sweeter-than-your-average-shrimp meat within, this fresh-catch delight is good enough to savor time and time again. From the whole head-removal-and-shell-splitting ritual way to eat them to the confounding is-it-or-isn't-it-a-shrimp? query, this is one dish everyone should try at this new Caribbean-style restaurant in West Palm Beach. 

It probably helps that Bahama Mama's rock shrimp are the freshest money can buy -- still wiggling around before they're cooked and plated, brought to the restaurant the same way much of the fish at the establishment is: fresh caught by the owner himself, an avid spearfisherman. And every Monday, for $20 per person, they are all-you-can-eat.

So, are rock shrimp really shrimp? Yes. But they taste (and even look) more like tiny spiny lobster. On average, they're no more than two inches in length and are typically served with the head still intact. You'll get them that way at Bahama Mama's, shells shimmering in a bread-dipping-good butter and garlic broth ($9 to $16 for a half/whole pound). Armed with nothing more than a knife and napkin, the only way to get to the succulent meat is to tear off the head, remove the legs, split the outer shell, and cut through the exoskeleton. 

Sound like some work? You won't mind when you're rewarded with that supersweet flavor.

340 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach 33401

Previous 100 favorite dishes:
No. 86: The Grease Beast from Grease Burger

No. 87: Banana Pancakes from Simply Delish
No. 88: Paella from Cafe Seville
No. 89: Coal-Oven Wings from Table 42
No. 90: Pork buns at Umi Fish Bar + Grill
No. 91: Mariquitas from Cabana
No. 92: Meatballs With Ricotta and San Marzano Tomato Sauce from Deck 84
No. 93: Crème Brûlée With Fruit Compote from Mojo
No. 94: Asparagus and Swiss Omelette from La Bonne Crepe on

Las Olas

No. 95: Pad Thai from Sukhothai

No 96: The Mother of All Burgers from Quickie's Burgers & Wings
No. 97: Arancini Rice Balls from D'Angelo
No. 98: "Yum Yum" Korean Pork Tacos from Nacho Bizness
No. 99: Sauteed Gator Tail from Rosey Baby
No. 100: Vacio Steak from Angus Bar and Grill


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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna