You may have heard of them as the latest foodie craze, but we have known about Royal Reds for a long time around here. What's a Royal Red, you ask? They're like Gulf shrimp, but better. Imagine, if you will, a jumbo shrimp with the flavor of lobster and scallops. And they come out of the sea bright red, not grey like most shrimp.
You can find Reds all over the Atlantic coast, but the best location for catching these guys is in the deepwater 60 miles off the Gulf Coast. Only a few shrimpers go out that far, and the season and their number are limited. When Reds are in season from late summer to late fall, be on the lookout as they hit restaurant menus. Since they are flash-frozen at sea, though, they are available year-round on some menus.
The best Royal Red recipes are simple, usually based on butter and garlic sauces. You won't find them fried or in gumbo--that would be a tragic waste. And just like the best-fried catfish in Gulfport, MS, you can't get them any fresher than on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
If you're looking for the best sort of Gulf seafood experience, head over to a family-owned beach establishment like the Cajun Crawfish Hut, which is the pinnacle of beach dining--fresh seafood, right off the boat, and cooked simply. Get your Reds boiled as an appetizer or as your entree. Plus, there are plenty of other local options to choose from.
Lil' Ray's Restaurant has Royal Reds on the menu from October through April. Check their specials board for the best preparations. They're available boiled or steamed with a butter sauce. If you're in town during the wrong season, fear not--their other options are great too. Look for the oysters on the half shell, crawfish, and regular Gulf shrimp.
Located right on the beach, Shaggy's Gulfport Beach is a happening local spot with a little bit of something for everyone. You'll find their Royal Reds on their specials menu, uniquely cooked with sausage and peppers in a divine white wine seafood broth. It's simple, delicious, and filling. This dish is one of the most unique and best Royal Reds near Gulfport, MS, that you'll find.
Suppose you’re looking for a more upscale menu and dining experience, head on over to Half Shell Oyster House in Gulfport. Check their specials for Royal Reds, including broiled Reds for starters or a three-quarter pound meal served with hot-drawn butter for dinner.
Captain Al's Steak & Seafood has a Tuesday night Royal Red dinner special. You can get one pound of Reds with corn and potatoes for only $15. Reds are also featured on the starters and dinner menu every night of the week, albeit at a slightly higher price.
Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar is a New Orleans institution. Their Gulfport location keeps up their time-honored tradition of serving the absolute freshest Gulf seafood. While they're known for oysters served nearly any way, they've got plenty of other local catches, too, including Royal Reds at market price.
The Island View Casino and Resort's Beach Blvd Steamer has all sorts of fresh seafood, including Reds when in season. Served with their signature Boulevard Bread and a chopped salad, you can't go wrong here.
Broiled or Alfredo-style on pasta, The Rackhouse Steaks & Spirits has Royal Red Shrimp for lunch or dinner. Finish it off with their Bourbon Pecan Creme Brulee for a special treat!
Down the road in Pass Christian, Shaggy's Pass Harbor has Reds and a great view of the watery home from which they came. It's an island-style beach spot with great drinks and fresh seafood. Check out their signature Reds dish with sausage and peppers sautéed in a wine sauce.
Bacchus On The Beach is another excellent spot for Reds and other fresh seafood. They've got a Royal Red Shrimp Scampi made with white wine, garlic, and parm on penne pasta. Delicious!
BAY ST. LOUIS
A taste of the islands right here on the Gulf Coast, The Blind Tiger Bay St. Louis works hard to foster that island-time attitude. The owner, Thomas Genin, brought the idea of the laid-back island bar home from the Caribbean. Plus, he studied under Emeril Lagasse, so you can't beat the food. They've got a simple menu, based on what's fresh and available, just like in the islands. During Reds season, head over and check it out.
Cuz's Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill is another excellent option for Reds in Bay St. Louis. Their Reds entree comes with one pound of shrimp steamed with sausage.
200 North Beach Restaurant and Bar has peel-and-eat Reds from their seafood bar. Reds also occasionally appear on their "date night" and specials menu, so keep an eye out.
Grab the Best Royal Reds near Gulfport MS
If you haven't tried them, Royal Reds are worth seeking out. And there's no better place to do it than right here in Gulfport, MS.