Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Apr 6, 2014 11:50 PM

Shrimp Shack on SR20 near Anacortes - Updates?

Has anyone been to the Shrimp Shack on SR 20 between Anacortes and Deception Pass lately? Is it still there, and still any good? I saw a rec from early 2013 but not necessarily a report from anyone who'd eaten there recently. Their website says something about "new ownership," and it looks a bit expanded since I was there last (Fall 2012, I think - I LOVED it then).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "Sweet D's" has been dropped, now just called The Shrimp Shack:

    "Dear Sweet D's Shrimp Shack fans:
    The Shack is open and under new ownership! We have so enjoyed our time serving you all food prepared with love & the best local shrimp you will find anywhere! Please give the new owners your support and know that our time with you will always be treasured.
    All the best,
    Laurel & Dieter Drews"

    3 Replies
    1. re: LotusRapper

      Hi, LR:

      You and/or sedimental (or other frequent passersby), please post on any changes you perceive in the new owners' operation.


      1. re: kaleokahu

        Will do. Been a LONG time since I've been to Sweet D's and IIRC I had fish & chips only. I'm interested in how this new operation is like.

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Update, kaleo.
          Just went there yesterday. My, they have grown! Expanded outdoor seating and now indoor seating. Busy place on a Friday afternoon. I looked at the menu ( quickly) and I think it has some new items. I was going to look for the alligator sandwich, but forgot. I didn't eat there (just had to do Old Edison Inn for fish and chips, even though it isn't as good as years gone by, it IS a tradition for us yearly :) BTW the fish is still "pretty good".... good tartar.... Ubiquitous fries. Win some/ lose some.

          I got 2 pounds of fresh shrimp at the shack to go. They were disappointingly small ones. They said they have not had the big ones this year. Better luck next year maybe. This place is going strong and it is nice to see they care about quality and don't want to lose their loyal customer base.

          How I love the cocktail sauce there...what on earth do they do to it to make it so addicting? I have no idea. We call it crack cocktail sauce :)

      2. Was passing by Saturday on a day trip out of Seattle and noticed the line of unfed guests at the order window. I turned around and went back. Ordered the Oyster Burger as I was a first time visitor and they had a huge banner up advertising it as "Home of the Oyster Burger". It was fabulous!
        The bun was especially good and obviously nothing like you might find at the local store - someone actually baked this fresh. The oysters were crispy, hot and flavorful. It was topped with nicely sautéed onions and cheese, a leaf of green leaf lettuce and ripe tomatoes.
        The staff was super friendly and the beer cold. They have a small indoor seating area with a small bar and a big tent top outside set up like a beer garden. I can't wait to try it again and see what the shrimp sandwich is like. It is the "Shrimp Shack" after all!

        24 Replies
        1. re: JoBear456

          You just made me salivate .......

          Now, does anyone know if this new incarnation of SS has any relations to the one in Bellingham ?

          1. re: LotusRapper

            Guessing no as different logo and different menu. Did I mention the fries were pretty good too. Of the 'coated' style and very crispy. Couple dashes of malt vinegar and they were outstanding.

          2. re: JoBear456

            Good to read your review! We pass by here on average once a week, but it never seems to be at mealtime (either that or we already stopped for lobster rolls at Skagit Fish Market). So haven't been since the owner/management change. We'll have to make an effort.

            And I doubt there's any relation to the place in Bham. This place has been called Shrimp Shack for eons, just now under new owners. Kind of similar story and menu to the Shrimp Shack in Bham, also around for a long time, but they seem to have existed separately. I bet there are shrimp shacks all over the country!

            1. re: L.Nightshade

              Hi, LN: "And I doubt there's any relation to the place in Bham. This place has been called Shrimp Shack for eons, just now under new owners."

              I doubt it too, but the Shrimp Shack in Bellingham has been there for >40 years.

              My dad used to deliver meat to the Sharp's Corner market when I was a little boy, so I know *that* one has been there for at least 50 years.

              Not particularly unique name is my take-home.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Sorry, I meant to imply that the SS in Bham had been there at least as long, just not related to the one outside Anacortes. Both long-timers (although I've only been living here and seeing them for the last 15 years or so, so you've clearly got the jump on me there!). And I agree, not a unique name. You can find that name all over the country.

                Nice to see you posting in the PNW thread from time to time. Do you live up here or pass through frequently?

                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  Bham's SS is soon to be no more. I might hop on down next week for my first/last meal there and wish them well:


                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Yes, I saw that. Definitely one of the longer lasting eateries in Bellingham. Most of my favorites only lasted a year or two.

                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                    Hi, L.N.

                    I was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, and my beach house is near Edison. One side of my family has been in Bellingham since the 1880s.

                    I'd post more on PNW, but it's a pretty moribund (yet overbroad) board. I find that there's generally more useful PNW info on Seattle, Van and Portland boards. More's the pity.

                    But I need to post a couple new threads here today, anyway, so thanks for the reminder.


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Long family history in this area; very cool!
                      You're right about the PNW board: usually not a lot of posts, and a very broad area to cover. But it's home, so here I am.

                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        Hi, LN:

                        Well let's pull and be damned together, then. Keep posting.

                        If we can count on sedimental and LotusRapper and a few others, we can get some small kine critical mass going for the NW of PNW anyway.

                        Have you tried Slough Foods in Edison? Their dining area out back is a great place on a sunny afternoon. Outstanding cheese and charcuterie selection, and Breadfarm is right next door. It's Edward R. Murrow's hometown.


                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          Synchronicity! I just the other day recommended Slough Foods to LotusRapper! Great place, isn't it?

                2. re: JoBear456

                  I find the burgers and fish and chips to be ok, but not special. The buns are from Avenue Bread in Bellingham.
                  Seasonally, they cook fresh local shrimp and sell them by the pound to peel and eat. Right now they have medium size Coon Stripe Shrimp. In mid July they will have the large Spot Prawns for a few weeks.
                  The beer garden is a welcome new addition. Sometimes in the summer they fire up a grill and do oysters.

                  1. re: Fidalgo Burk

                    Thanks LN and FB :-) Never been to the Bham Shrimp Shack, but they sound pretty good. Can't do wrong with Ave Bread's buns. Do they do oyster po' boys ?

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      They have fried oysters on a bun with grilled onions, cheese, tartar, and lettuce which they call an Oyster Burger.

                          1. re: LotusRapper

                            how do you eat the boiled whole shrimp? break the head off and toss?

                            ill have to try them again. the fries used to be not great as was i think the mac salad. burger with fried oyster was always good though. i usually take the back way from anacortes to whidbey so miss them.

                            1. re: divadmas

                              Hi, divadmas:

                              You need to sit down with an experienced peeler with two pounds, and have them eat your lunch. You learn pretty quickly that way...


                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Hmm so you believe in survival of the fittest? Be careful what you wish for.

                                1. re: divadmas

                                  Hi, Diva:

                                  Think of it as tuition.


                                1. re: divadmas

                                  Break off the heads, suck on 'em, and toss. At least for me. The shells & whiskers make me choke (if the beer doesn't wash 'em down adequately).

                      1. Re: Shrimp Shack (Bellingham downtown)

                        Went there today for lunch. As luck would have it, I arrived right at 12:10 and every nook and cranny was occupied. Asked the owner(?) lady at the till what the wait time would be .... she said maybe 30 mins. For take-outs, the wait time would be closer to 45 mins. I opted to eat in and wait. As luck would have it, another customer at the bar by the till finished her lunch 10 mins after I arrived, so I snagged that spot pronto.

                        Scanned the menu, decided to go for the First Mate Combo (1 piece each of cod, halibut, shrimp, oyster, 2x scallops + fries) for $10. I had originally ordered the Captain's Combo (twice the size of First Mate Combo, for $16.99) but changed my mind.

                        While waiting, numerous new customers came in and asked about the seating and take-out wait times. Many were shocked how long it'd be, including two BPD finest in blue.

                        About 50 mins after being seated, my order came. Hot and fresh off the fryers, and the food was good. Luckily not greasy, each piece was moist and flavorful (esp. the oyster). The batter was crisp & golden and only on the cod and halibut was there a hint of oil when pressed with the fork (but no oil stain on plate bottom). The slaw was fairly standard and didn't stand out in any way. The tartar sauce however I liked, it seemed more like a light tzatziki that is distinctly dill w/o the mushy relishy consistency.

                        So in the end I was quite satisfied with my order but then wished I had stuck with the Captain's Combo, or at least a combo with mostly shrimp (prawn) and oyster strips.

                        Chattin' with the owner (?) lady while paying the bill, the word is their landlord raised the rent and so they've reconsidered staying at this location. AND they mentioned several times they may pop up elsewhere after the dust had settled. I urged her to open up in Fairhaven [grin].

                        But part of me wish they would one day take Soy House's spot on Holly (since Soy House seems to be garnering negative reviews there) which would be perfect. And the irony there is that's the spot of the ex-Boss Tweed's, an all-you-can-eat seafood joint years ago, and which I actually enjoyed eating at for what it was.

                        Those of you planning to hit the Shack before they close on the 24th better get yourselves in there quick. And expect LONG waits.