Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.
I try to be plugged into the community, especially the restaurant scene. But the other day I completely missed the obvious when it came to this new restaurant. As a matter of fact, I missed it twice.
Shrimp Basket is in the small strip mall on the corner of Morris and Webb Roads in Milton. It is near where Bobby G’s used to be. This space has seen at least three other restaurants call it home. If you’re keeping scoring at home, that would be Nana’s Sushi, Corner Room Cafe and Yeti Express. My early observations seem to suggest they might make it. It’s been crowded with cubicle critters every time I drive by.
The menu is mostly fried seafood of various types. I bypassed the fried stuff and went right towards the gumbo and jambalaya. That was a mistake. The gumbo was just spicy broth. It lacked depth and complexity that real gumbo brings. I’ll give them credit for putting some decent sized shrimp in there though. The jambalaya was equally disappointing.
However the fried shrimp my wife ordered were pretty good. They seem to be hand battered with a peppery kick. I was impressed. It kinda reminded me of another joint in town, my first missed clue.
The decor was all cheesy fishing junk. I really dislike stuff like this but it kinda fit into the seafood shack feel they are going for. And again, it reminded me of another place. Hummm.
The service was hit or miss. They had one fella working the entire space. He was overwhelmed and wasn’t multitasking well. He didn’t get any help from the other employees at the restaurant, some of which look bored. Strange.
The connection didn’t dawn on me until later that day when I just happened to be on Windward. I drove by the old Maryland’s Crab House to discover it closed. (cue the light bulb over my head) Ah ha! It’s the same folks! As I wrote on my review of Maryland’s, this place was doomed from the start due to the poor location. Looks like they took the concept and brought it to Shrimp Basket. I think it plays better in this space. Maryland’s had fried seafood and tried to take it upscale. Not gonna work. Shrimp Basket is the same stuff served casual for a cheaper price and in a better location. Much better idea.
I’ll probably give these guys another try. Stick to the fried stuff or perhaps the poboys. You’ll be in good shape. As for the service… it could be new restaurant jitters. However, back when Maryland’s was open they were getting some strange reviews on yelp and urbanspoon commenting on terribly bad service. I got a strange one here on my blog that’s along the same lines. Check it out here. It’ll be interesting to see if the same thing happens in the reviews of Shrimp Basket. In the meantime, don’t let this keep you from trying them. If you’re into fried seafood, this is as good a place as you’ll find around here.