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Shrimp n Stuff on the Island

It's summer, and crazy-hot in the Houston area. What can you do to find a bit of relief? Hop on I-45 and head south to Galveston Island, walk along the Seawall, hit the historic homes or Moody Gardens, then stop for some seafood at Shrimp n Stuff.

Located at 3901 Avenue O (at 39th Street), Shrimp n Stuff has been serving up fresh and budget-friendly seafood since 1976, when Jim Bennett started this neighborhood favorite. Current owner Jeff Antonelli has kept things the same way; as he says, "I inherited good stuff, no need to change any of it."

There's both indoor and patio seating; the four of us opted for a cozy table inside where we wouldn't melt. My in-laws had touted the gumbo, which was okay, but too heavy on the okra for my taste. I wanted to try a bit of everything and ordered a seafood platter. The cornmeal battered catfish was just right, and I enjoyed the shrimp and oysters. But my favorite was the crab balls. They looked like giant hush puppies, meaty and creamy on the inside.

Another hit at our table was the fish tacos, golden-fried catfish dressed with black bean relish and topped with secret remoulade sauce. Both my husband and brother-in-law enjoyed them to the last bite.

Shrimp n Stuff is famous for its poboys, particularly the shrimp and/or oyster ones, and they're all under $6. I also saw some impressive seafood salads on neighboring tables. We were on our way to a graduation at Moody Gardens, so we skipped the alcohol, but they offer beer and wine for as little as $2.77.

Be sure to pay Shrimp n Stuff a visit next time you cross the bridge. Whether you eat in or take advantage of the drive-thru, you'll be pleased.

What are your old-time favorites? I'd love to visit them.


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