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Cherry has had a craving for shrimp for the longest time and being the considerate husband that I am, I decided to help her fulfill her craving. But we’re not talking about the regular shrimp you can find at any supermarket or seafood restaurant… we’re talking the shrimp you find at Sweet D’s Shrimp Shack. I’ve only been here one other time in my life and that was many years ago… so this was a good refresher. If you’ve never heard of Sweet D’s, that’s not too surprising – it’s located in the middle of nowhere off Highway 20 in Anacortes. It’s literally a large white shack on the side of the road with a handful of parking spots and a large covered area with a few picnic style tables. They specialize in their local shrimp, but they have a surprisingly large menu offering adventurous items; from elk burgers and gator-wiches to blue crab sandwiches and oyster burgers. All the food they serve in is Washingtonian style – fresh and local!

sweet d’s shrimp shack 

daily specials

The Food:

pound ‘o shrimp

 beer-battered fish and chips

breaded humboldt squid steak strips & fried oysters

My Review:

The shrimp is served cold (cocktail style) with its head and shell on and scooped into a brown paper bag. I was a little surprised because the shrimp were so small, but that didn’t take away from experience – if anything, it added to it! Getting down and dirty peeling each and every shrimp before you devour them is somewhat barbaric – very gratifying. Each shrimp had great natural flavor – perfect combination of sweet and salty. No cocktail sauce or additional flavors were needed to finish the entire bag. We were definitely rookies buying 3-lbs… most everyone bought the 5-pounder and there were even several people with coolers buying 10+ lbs. of shrimp!

I’m a huge fan of fish and chips and these definitely filled the “greasy fried foods” hole in my stomach. Two adjectives I wouldn’t normally pair together when describing something I was to put in my mouth are; big and thick… however when it comes to fish and chips those two words are what you look for! Small and skinny fish and chips wouldn’t be very appetizing. I was a little torn on how I felt about these fish and chips. Some parts of the batter was fried perfectly – with the bites being very crunchy. But then there were some parts of that weren’t as crispy – almost like a thin layer of corn bread. The fish was cooked well but the inconsistent texture of the batter on the outside threw off the experience. The fries were good – nothing special or out of the ordinary.

The breading on the calamari strips had nice overall flavor, but slightly overpowered the natural flavor of the squid. They were fried a little too long for my liking as well – past the golden brown that you look for more into a clay-brown color. The two oysters were breaded nicely and did a good job accenting the flavor of the oysters. These local oysters are larger than your average oyster which makes them ideal for frying.

My Conclusion:

When I think of Anacortes, diversity isn’t the first thought that comes to mind, however I was very surprised to find the exact opposite when I ate there. It was like I stepped into the seafood isle of SeafoodCity! Nonetheless, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. Don’t come up expecting the best seafood in town because you’ll get the lowly sidekick. Anyone that makes the drive up here is definitely coming for the  main attraction, the superhero, the shrimp.

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