Best Fried Shrimp I've Had in a Long Time -- Pincher's Crab Shack in N. Fort Myers
On New Year's Eve day, mom treated me to a belated birthday lunch, and we ordered the fried shrimp, boom boom shrimp and stone crab claws. The best of the three was in fact the fried shrimp.
They were medium sized, lightly (very lightly) battered, perfectly fried, and very fresh. I grew up in Fort Myers and the hallmark "standard" for other restaurants to measure up to is (was) Dino's, over on Fowler Street. Dino's were larger, but they weren't any fresher. The Pincher's shrimp are similarly served with lemon wedges, iirc. Cocktail sauce was on the table, but I had to ask for the tartar sauce. (It would be fantastic if they offered a remoulade sauce, and made a shrimp po-boy!).
I think the pound of shrimp was around $11 if you only ordered one pound. We ordered the shrimp "two ways" with a pound of shrimp prepared any way you like, and the other pound another way. Other options were coconut shrimp, blackened, and maybe some others -- (maybe listed on the online menu I link below). This deal comes with two sides for @ $20, iirc. You cannot beat that price for the quality! All I can say is that on my next trip to Pincher's, I am getting two pounds of fried shrimp -- Forget blackened, coconut, boom boom, bang bang or whatever. You can't beat good, simple perfectly fried fresh gulf shrimp. (I sure wish I had a Pincher's here in Arlington, Virginia).
The boom boom shrimp is supposed to be like "firecracker shrimp," and was described as "like a wings sauce with butter and hot sauce, on breaded shrimp (with the tail removed)." They were fine while hot, but tasted salty when they got cooler. They come with some kind of bleu cheese dressing for dipping.
The crab claws were perfectly cooked, and meaty. They were offered hot or cold, and I had them cold. I thought they were reasonably priced. They were served with lemon wedges, but I'd have loved some drawn butter.
Mom enjoyed her crab and corn chowder, which had a lighter broth (rather than a bisque-type creamy base) and a little bit of a kick. (She had been the one interested in the "boom boom" shrimp, but ended up eating more of -- nay, "PINCHING" -- the fried shrimp I'd ordered! LOL!).
The cole slaw was good (although a wee bit small, compared with the voluminous fries), but the fries were terrible. We mentioned the crummy fires (because I had specifically gotten assurances before we ordered about how "great" the fries were). The waitress was apologetic, and offerd us a new batch or something else of our choice. The fresh green beans which they brought out to replace the fries (which they of course left on the table) tasted fresh, and were very nicely seasoned and cooked properly (i.e., not crunchy, but not mushy). Garlic bread was heavy on the "buttery" topping, but as the bread had a nice chewy texture and decent garlic oomph, I enjoyed it anyway (hey, it's greasy garlic bread, but tasty). The veggie side dish that a neighboring diner had looked like it was good mixed veg -- made with fresh veggies, too, I believe.
The "happy hour" is really anytime the place is open -- so any drinks are two-for-one. Draft beer is $3.99, so you get two beers for four bucks -- not bad!
You can't beat sitting by the river, either. All I ask is that you don't mob the place; I want to get in the next time I visit! ;-). By the way, there is a dock right there, so you can boat to the place (it's NW of the Cleveland Avenue Bridge over the Caloosahatchee (also known to us old-timer natives as the "New Bridge.")
Here's the link: http://www.pincherscrabshack.com/
By the way, Zyliss makes the very BEST seafood pick http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-20370-Se... . I bought some at the Publix on Hancock Bridge Parkway to eat my leftover crab claws -- and for future home use).
Pincher's Crab Shack
10029 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913