Restaurant review by: David Mandich - 21 October 2003
The Shrimp House Restaurant is the original purveyor (going on 14 years now) of fine local shrimp dishes in Cabo San Lucas. It is not to be confused with any other late coming restaurants with similar names like The Shrimp Factory, El Shrimp Bucket, Forrest Gumps Shrimp Shack, etc.
Former Canadian owner Phil Sedera and his wife Adrian still waits on tables and their personal interest in the place shows. The air conditioning is perfect, the ambience just right for a limited menu dinner house.
Phil is very exacting about his offerings. He offers only seven menu items ranging from 1/2 kilo to 1 kilo of shrimp and lobster prepared in a variety of styles and combinations. No salads, no desserts. Unnecessary he says. I disagreed with him, discussing the issue with him, my wife, my guests and anyone else who would listen. Then I finished my meal and marched across the street to the Dairy Queen and ordered a sundae with everything on it to teach him a lesson. And I learned one in the process myself. I learned that at fifty-four years of youth, Im not a kid anymore, capable of eating sugar directly out of the sugar bowl. I felt bad after eating only three spoonfuls of the sugary, ice creamy glop and tossed the whole sundae in the trashcan. Never again, I vowed.
Phil was right. His portions are perfect, a salad or a dessert is over-the-line and unnecessary. Hey! Wheres the garlic buttered French bread? Nada. For it distracts from the main point of visiting this restaurant in the first place. The point being; Indulging in two of the best delicacies the sea has to offer, at a reasonable price, served up with generous portions. Prices (plus tax) range from $8.85 usd for an order of 5 jumbo shrimp, $12.95 for a combination of 1/4 kilo lobster tail with 1/4 kilo of medium shrimp, to $33.30 for a kilo (figure around 2 lbs.) of jumbo sized shrimp. With jumbo shrimp going for $16 to $20 dollars a pound in the stores, it makes you wonder how he does it. His secret is his connections with the shrimp boats.
For the hard-core carnivore, I was informed that he has an arrangement with another restaurant around the corner and can have any of their menu items brought to his place should Aunt Minerva from Cincinnati rather die than eat lobster. Let them eat steak, I always say. More lobster for me, har!
The most popular menu item is the combination of a 1/4 kilo lobster tail and 3 jumbo breaded shrimp for $12.95. The split lobster tail was breaded, deep-fried sans shell and the shrimp were shelled, filleted, flattened, breaded, and deep-fried as well. I noted the cooking process resulted in a fried batter coating that was greaseless and almost baked on in appearance and texture. It was a great fried meal for those without ironclad stomachs like me. The lobster was moist and flavorful, the shrimp large enough to warrant several good mouthfuls per prawn.
On another visit I had a platter of boiled peel and eat shrimp. I chose to have them served cold. Wow! It was a plate full of plump ones the size of little puppies all happy and rolling about yelping. Well, almost.
Accompanying the lobster and shrimp dishes were dipping bowls of Melted Garlic Butter, Special Cocktail Sauce a Spicy Mexican Sauce and slices of limón a local version of a crossed lemon and lime. It was all very good.
Beverages, though limited in options like the food entrees, covered the bases enough to satisfy most folks. There are soft drinks, four Mexican beers, one brand of red house wine, one brand of white house wine, Margaritas, Piña Coladas, Lime and Strawberry Daiquiris, Tequila 1800, Special Canadian Club and (watch out!) the Bulldog, (the house drink). I had one. Only one. For 7-Up and beer go down way to easily for me to over do this number.
A nice schoolteacher from Sacramento at an adjacent table had five Bulldogs. Then things got all dreamy. After attempting to give a waiter a neck and shoulder massage, have her picture taken with him, then offer to marry him, she broke his heart saying adois mi amor and walked out the door. Without assistance too! I found myself wondering
is that what my sixth grade teacher did on her vacation? Bet you never knew shrimp and Bulldogs could lead to romance in a joint like this. Warning! The mixed drinks are huge, inexpensive and too good to have only one.
This restaurant has many local regulars. Tourists will come in for lunch, then return for dinner. One seasonal tourist that Phil told me about, always dines here on his arrival in Cabo San Lucas, then has his last meal here before his departure. I believe him, because I fit in one of those categories as well. For perfect shrimp and lobster at non-tourist prices, good service and no desserts, you cant beat The Shrimp House Restaurant.