Gulf Shrimp and Grits at Vin

In the Low Country of South Carolina, "breakfast shrimp" is a staple of fishermen and locals alike. At Vin (530 Texas, 713-237-9600), this lowly dish has been taken to a new level. Called "Gulf shrimp and grits" ($11), the dish looks more like a Zen garden than something to eat. Four extra-large shrimp cooked in a spicy mixture of paprika oil protrude from a large cup; inside the cup are stone-ground cheese grits studded with pieces of Andouille sausage, which accounts for the smoky flavor. An Asian-style spoon and grated Parmesan cheese sit next to the cup on a rectangular platter, presumably to add to the grits. You may not know whether to eat the scenery or admire it. Eat it.


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