In the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, one of the title character's best pals, Bubba, lists more than 20 ways one can cook shrimp. Though the chefs at Fish Bone Grill—which is now celebrating 30 years in business—don’t cover them all, they come pretty close. The Fish Bone team tends to stick to a few staples—crab legs, catfish, and oysters in addition to shrimp—but there’s hardly a lack of variety on their menu. Patrons can order the fresh seafood in any number of ways, including golden fried, blackened, sautéed in a New Orleans–style stir-fry, mixed in an étouffée, or hidden inside a piñata. The chefs also incorporate additional fresh seafood, such as salmon, mahi-mahi, tilapia, sea scallops, and alaskan snow-crab legs into a few of their specialties, and they even throw in a few land-faring meals such as chicken-breast sandwiches and chicken tenders. Regardless of your order, the portions are always generous, encouraging you to grab a beer and stick around to enjoy the fun, vibrant atmosphere of this modern throwback to an old oyster bar.
Most people probably don't know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator. Chef Ivan Pugh, however, could likely tell which was which by taste alone. At The Alligator Cafe, gator is a mainstay of Pugh's menu, found in spoonfuls of gumbo and between slices of french bread. It's not the only item that's imported directly from the bayou. Chef Pugh sources most of his seafood from Louisiana, although he looks to Mississippi for his catfish supply. As for the fixings, they tend to come from local purveyors, including Empire Bakery and Rudolph's Meat Market.
These ingredients combine for Cajun and Creole entrees that have become accustomed to regular press attention—recently, a Dallas Morning News review that praised the "bold, fresh and piquant flavor" in a bowl of gumbo and found the crawfish étouffée "smooth and spicy, its complex heat developing with each spoonful." Diners can spice up their meals by requesting that they be "voodoo'd," which means covered in a mixture of hot peppers or stuffed into a small doll to-go. Abita beer offsets the fiery sauces, as do the cool notes of frequent live acoustic blues performances.
Featuring an extensive menu of creative American food—including The Reuben 1976, born on the restaurant and brewery's opening day—Humperdink's has served the mertroplex area for 36 years. Humperdink's boasts menu items such as barbecue ribs, sustainable seafood, steaks, gourmet burgers, and original buffalo hot wings, along with a number of award-winning microbrews crafted on the premises and served on tap.
It's not hard to tell which part of the fish the seafood at Fish N Tails Oyster Bar comes from. That's because chefs focus only on enhancing the flavor?not the shape?of their seafood dishes. They grill up entire catfish whole with just a pinch of spices and juices, and serve crawfish boiled with chunks of potatoes and corn on the cob. At the oyster bar, they serve up classically prepared oysters by the dozen, with the salty sea flavors pairing especially well with house micheladas made with a choice of beer. But for those who like their seafood fried or camouflaged between buns, chefs offer po' boys, tacos, and fried baskets, as well as chicken and sides like hush puppies and veggies and rice.
Though its name and logo imply a particularity for oysters, Aw Shucks’ menu goes beyond that to feature a diverse range of seafood options. Patrons can order anything from tilapia tacos to the house-specialty fresh shrimp cocktail with avocado and serrano peppers, and distinctly Cajun options include po’ boys, whole catfish, and boiled shrimp. Oysters are of course available, and arrive iced on the half shell or served fried with french fries. Meals are complemented by pitchers of beer, wine coolers, and blended margaritas.
At Park Central Banquet Hall and Restaurant, a quintessentially American menu presents chicken-fried steak and grilled-cheese sandwiches. The classic grub can be enjoyed in the regular dining area or, for special occasions, in the restaurant’s onsite banquet hall. Here, parties of up to 209 can be seated around tables handsomely dressed in Park Central’s own linens, which, to the chagrin of young guests, are probably not Spider-Man 2 bed sheets. Sweet-potato fries accompany a selection of burgers and sandwiches, and at breakfast, farm-fresh eggs pair with a choice of meats that includes ham and bacon.