Fresh Gulf Shrimp

Fresh Fry!

As 2023 comes to a close, I wanted to recognize a company that has been supportive of this blog and the social media elements related to it. In Fresh Gulf Shrimp, the owners are one of KFF's best supporters on Instagram and Twitter (aka "X"), bolstering some of the things that I posted on the platform. To show my appreciation, I wanted to highlight Fresh Gulf Shrimp (FGS) for the delicious Po' Boy sandwiches that it serves. However, I discovered that shrimp and fish aren't the only things on the menu. For those with a sweet tooth, there's a seafood restaurant that they're sure to love.

In over five decades of living, I have never had a deep fried Twinkie. For years, I have heard people talk about how delicious it was, and that it was a guilty pleasure to have. However, I have never been moved to seek out this sugary confection because I'm not that much of a sweet freak. Still, my curiosity always linger whenever I encounter new things, so during a day when I was getting lunch at Fresh Gulf Shrimp's Oak Court Mall restaurant, I saw destiny. After I ordered one of FGS's platters (more on that later), I browsed the menu while waiting on my order. Then there it was, the dessert menu featuring all of Fresh Gulf Shrimp's desserts. All of them being deep fried, the restaurant serves Fried Oreos, Red Velvet Funnel Cake, Red Velvet Oreos and the dessert that I got, Deep Fried Twinkies. I wasn't sure whether to get them or not (especially after leaving the doctor's office that advised me to cut back on sugar), but my curiosity overcame my judgement. I added it to my order and made the most of it.

Deep Fried Twinkies from Fresh Gulf Shrimp in Memphis, TN
To say that eating a carnival-style deep fried Twinkie is a sugar rush would be understating the experience. Between the copious amount of powdered sugar, the liquified cream oozing from the top of the Twinkies and the sweetness in the pastry itself, I got a bit of a sugar high. It was very tasty and a joy to eat, but it isn't something that I could eat every day without risk of going into a diabetic coma. For those looking for a sugar extravaganza, a deep fried Twinkie is great dessert to get. As for my curiosity, I believe I will give my old kidneys a rest before I try another of Fresh Gulf Shrimp's desserts.
Sailor's Platter from Fresh Gulf Shrimp in Memphis, TN
As for the meal that I got before the dessert, it was good but not as gratifying as the Twinkies. The Sailor's Platter is the kind of meal that my Dad would love (more like a "catfish basket" than what he got at Ben Yay's and more generous that his favorite place Pappadeaux's). The platter consists of four pieces of fried catfish filets (although FGS's online menu list two catfish pieces) and numerous pieces of fried shrimp. As far as taste go, the catfish was pretty typical and similar to most Soul Food restaurants that serve it. On the other hand, the fried shrimp was quite flavorful, with seasoning that was mild yet impactful. Along with the French fries, the Sailor's Platter was quite the meal, even without the fried Twinkies.

Sammie Time!

It's not often that I talk about my work at my main job (which is not at the FedExForum). For the past nine years, I have worked at as a prepress specialist whose primary job is to set up artwork for printing. Although I am often referred to as the "in-house graphic artist" at the flag store, I mostly take the artwork of others to make custom flags and banners for customers all across the country. Even though my job is mostly technical, I can summon the creative juices when the need arises for those who need that service. Overall, my job as a prepress technician rarely overlaps my food blogging hobby, but an order for a custom canopy tent (another product FlagCenter offers) brought me into contact with the friendly people at Fresh Gulf Shrimp. The owner needed a canopy tent for an out-of-town convention where she sought to expand her business. I'm not sure if she achieved her goal, but if the lead item was the PoBoy901, I can't see any reason for the effort not being successful.

Shortly after the custom canopy project was finished, the owner (Jacqueline Johnson) urged me to visit their food trailer at the 2022 Memphis in May World Barbecue Cooking contest at Tiger Lane (or is it still called the "fairgrounds"). Seeing that I was going to the event to see friends and enjoy great barbecue, I took a little time to visit the guys at Fresh Gulf Shrimp. I ended up getting the signature item, the PoBoy901. The sandwich packed a lot of tasty shrimp over lettuce and tomato slices, all within a seven-inch bun. The Po' Boy consisted of a lot of fried shrimp smothered with FGS's own remoulade sauce (called "Remoulade901"). Despite it being a being more than a handful, it wasn't much of a hassle to eat, even when I was standing up (it was less messy than the barbecue that I had). While the shrimp was delicious by itself, the remoulade sauce really enhanced the flavor (it also made a big difference in the seafood platter that I had). Everything about the Po' Boy (even the bun) was fresh and delicious, probably one of the best things that I had at a barbecue festival. Overall, it is a really good sandwich that I recommend to anyone who loves Po' Boys.

SIDE NOTE: Although the emphasis is on fried food, Fresh Gulf Shrimp also serves grilled and steamed seafood. Notably, FGS serves "boils" consisting of shrimp, snow crab, lobster tails and even turkey necks. Given that most "boils" that I encountered consisted of a lot of food, I will let others venture into that realm at Fresh Gulf Shrimp.

To sum it up, I have nothing but praise for Fresh Gulf Shrimp. The seafood is excellent and its confections are amazing. It's definitely a cut above the average mall restaurant in terms of both quality and service. To be fair, referring to it as a "mall food court restaurant" is mischaracterizing the restaurant because it is more than that. Fresh Gulf Shrimp is better known for catering, be it private parties or public events like the Beale Street Music Festival (or whatever the festival is called now). I want to wish Ms. Johnson and her staff the best of success with the hope of the restaurant opening more locations in the future.

NOTE: In case you're interested, you can follow Ken's Food Find on Threads. The social media platform is a nice alternative to the "X".

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