If chillier days have you longing for summers at the beach, eating seafood so fresh it’s being sold out of the back of the truck by the docks, we may be able to suggest a quick fix.
Skrimp Shack, which opened in October, is a fast-casual seafood spot in Pineville serving up shrimp, crab, catfish, mahi and more. Order your fish in a taco, a basket or a sandwich, and get it grilled or fried.
Save room for mac and cheese, collards — and of course, hushpuppies.
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The self-proclaimed “home of the fattest fish sandwich” opened its first area location in McMullen Creek in October. Plans for two more Charlotte-area franchises in Gastonia and Huntersville are in the works for the rapidly growing Virginia-based chain, which currently has 20 locations across the country, with plans to double in size by the end of the year.
Expect simplicity: customers at the Pineville location compliment the seasoning and the portion sizes, said Bryan Leybold, a corporate director who is involved with the opening of the Pineville location. “People who like seafood love ours because the breading is light and basic. A lot of places put too much seasoning or spruce it up too much. We offer large portions at a good price while keeping the integrity of the quality.”
Back in the day, Skrimp Shack co-founder Mitch Hartman actually was the guy selling fresh seafood from the back of his truck. He noticed a recurring twist on the word ‘shrimp’, Leybold said. “No matter where he [Hartman] would go, people would say ‘shrimps’ or ‘skrimp’,” Leybold said. So when Hartman and his wife, Stacey, opened their first restaurant in Newport News, Virginia, the name just made sense.
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Leybold’s favorite meal is the Crabmeat n’ Skrimp Po Boy for $10.85, with large shrimp on a toasted hoagie. Sauce lovers, listen up: “We also have a very unique garlic aioli — that’s what makes the sandwich,” Leybold said.
Here are four other can’t-miss dishes, Leybold said:
Skrimp Nugget Basket
12 jumbo shrimp; includes a side and a drink.
Choose from spicy, mild, mango salsa or buffalo.
Pick from whiting, catfish, flounder, tilapia, haddock — or mahi for a $1.00 more.
Whiting Fish Sandwich
Now that you know what to order, know you can make it part of your busy day: The spot is purposefully located near other retailers. “High foot- and vehicle-traffic areas with great anchors are great for people who want a quick bite of high quality, reasonably priced and quick-service seafood,” Leybold said. “McMullen Creek Shopping Center was the perfect fit for all of our criteria.”
A visit here between stopping at the post office and grabbing tomorrow’s groceries may not be exactly the same as sand between your toes and the smell of sunscreen and summer — but maybe you can trick yourself for a moment.