Peel and Eat Shrimp in Portland
I am wondering if anyone canrecommend any places in Portland, ME (hopefully in downtown) that has good peel and eat shrimp. I know there are many places that are known for oysters, mussels, lobsters, etc (ie Js Oysters) but I am not sure of any places with great shrimp. My wife and I had great shrimp at Summer Shack in Boston last month and are looking for something in Portland as we are arriving on Sunday.
Thanks all for any suggestions.
I've never seen peel and eat shrimp on a Portland menu, either--even when they're in season in the winter. Fresh local shrimp are a welcome treat around about December or January if you happen to be here in the winter, tho--they're little and very sweet.
We also have great oysters in Maine, if you're looking for something cold that you eat with your hands that tastes great with an Allagash White! Eventide Oyster Co., our new oyster bar, is a great place to start. They have all sorts of lovely seafood.
As sultan says, Eventide is a great way to start your evening especially since they're open throughout the day. I love hitting it during that 3-5pm time frame. Eat oysters here, not at J's. J's are about half the price but as I recently learned for the gazillionst time, you get what you pay for. J's for steamers.
Can't remember ever seeing "Peel n Eat" on a maine menu though I've seen it in other parts of the country. Maine shrimp are small, maybe half the size of a medium tiger shrimp, and hard to peel. A large potful will give you lots of peel and not much shrimp. You might try some Fried Maine Shrimp if you find some on a menu. And be sure to sample a Maine Crabmeat Roll and some lobster.
Can't really think of anything this time of the year. Any shrimp available now will be imported from another region of the country/world or frozen Maine shrimp from the winter season. I wouldn't recommend either considering the fresh alternatives available. If you're hardy enough to visit in January/February, then you have hit the shrimp jackpot. Maine shrimp are small, sweet and delicate and a welcome part of the mid winter chowhound diet - it really is something we look forward to.
If you want some food that you get to play with, go with a bucket of steamers from J's.