100 Favorite Dishes: No. 85 -- Rock Shrimp From Bahama Mama's | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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 [email protected]

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

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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

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