Today, July 20, 2008 is my 24th birthday, and to celebrate I ate A LOT of food. I did not drink or smoke weed as I usually would to celebrate because I have decided to live clean. Today marks 3 weeks of sober life. It is the longest I have gone without getting drunk or high since I was 15. I enjoyed these pleasures for a while but those times are over. I don't need to fret though because I have other things in my life that keep me happy, and shrimp is the one on my mind today.
If you've ever seen Forrest Gump you remember the famous scene when Bubba is explaining the shrimping business to Forrest. Bubba goes on to list every shrimp dish he can think of.
Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There, uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole... shrimp gumbo, panfried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp... shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... that's, that's about it.
I think Bubba missed a few: shrimp dumplings, fettuccine alfredo with shrimp, shrimp scampi, popcorn shrimp, cajun shrimp, shrimp wrapped in bacon and probably a lot more I can't think of.
If you are a glutton like me you already know the best time to eat shrimp is in the fall. That is when Red Lobster runs their "ENDLESS SHRIMP" promotion. The first year I found out about it was in 2004 when I moved into my first apartment. I was failing out of college, had no job, and very little money. I returned all the cans and bottles in my house and scrounged enough money to get shrimp with my then roommate Artie. I was very overwhelmed when I got there. We were both starving and foolishly filled up on biscuits, salad, and rice before we even got our 3rd plates of shrimp. Artie was done after four plates and I finished five. It was a moderate showing but nothing special.
The "endless shrimp" promotion started allowing you to choose from 5 different styles of shrimp: fried shrimp, popcorn shrimp, shrimp scampi, coconut shrimp and fettuccine alfredo. Recently they have added a buffalo shrimp dish to that list, though they may or may not have discarded the coconut shrimp from the promotion. The popcorn shrimp and the shrimp scampi are my favorites though I usually try to get one plate of each. I always order the shrimp and pasta dish last, pick at it a little bit and get it to go. If you're going for max shrimp you're not going to get that dish in the middle. If you're some kind of fucking bozo you might order it first or in the middle of your meal loading you up with carbs and creamy cheese sauce which is what they want you to do. Remember, Bozo was a fucking clown and now hes fucking dead.
My finest "endless shrimp" showing was my second year in 2005. I was living with a bunch of whack jobs at 39 Pine and something ridiculous was constantly happening. Dudes railing out nasty girls in beds that didn't belong to them. Near fights with Albert Einstien who lived next door. Getting into fights with drunken roommates wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and a tired scowl. Shows that turned into beer can throwing wars and kitchen wrestling matches. Wild times.
Anyways fall rolled around and it was once again time to try and induce iodine poisoning at the Wolf Rd. Red Lobster. This time not only was I physically prepared but I was also mentally prepared. I knew all the speed bumps that the restaurant was trying to throw in my way to stop me from eating my max potential of shrimp. I had some help too. A friend of ours showed up and refused to buy anything and was just eating shit off peoples plates so I gave him my salad and rice (but not a single shrimp). I did indulge in a couple of those cheesy biscuits but I definitely got my fill of shrimp. Around the sixth or seventh plate I ordered the waitress, who was feighning friendliness all night, began giving me looks of horror and disgust. By the time I ordered my 9th and final plate (which I didn't finish and took home) she seemed on the verge of throwing up. I was almost ready to vomit myself.
I really packed it in. Eight full plates of shrimp. at least four of them were scampi. That is a lot of butter and oil and it really takes its toll on you when you factor in the rest of the shrimp is fried. I didn't get iodine poisoning as I had hoped but I did acomplish a feat many felt impossible: FOUR POUNDS OF SHRIMP DOWN THE HATCH. I ate more shrimp in one sitting than I had in the last year since my first "endless shrimp" endeavor. It was a proud moment for everyone in my family.
The main motivation for this post is my beautiful friend Miranda decided to grill me up a wonderfull birthday dinner with shrimp included. I never try to make a big deal out of my birthday but she made my day very enjoyable without embarrassing me, which I appreciate. We ate four kinds of shrimp: shrimp cocktail, cajun shrimp, bbq shrimp, and shrimp seasoned with old bay seafood seasoning. Thank you Miranda, you're the best.